Featured image by Yatharth Roy Vibhakar (@midaseared)
Choosing to embark on a journey of self-growth and improvement can often feel overwhelming, and with the resurgence of spiritual practices and the term "spiritual awakening" becoming more prominent within mainstream media over the last few years, it's becoming increasingly difficult to set apart the authentic from the fake, and know where to get your information from.
I, myself struggled to make sense of where I could find a reliable place to begin initiating the start of my own spiritual journey earlier this year. Reading an array of books that claimed they could transform my mentality and way of living became a matter of trial and error, with many that left me feeling as though I just couldn't resonate with the messages being conveyed. However, after having spent a year immersing myself within an abundance of paperbacks within the self-help and spirituality genre, I feel I've finally found a small selection of books that have genuinely imparted a newfound sense of wisdom and optimism within my life, and am here to share them with whoever else is hoping to find a new, inspiring read.
1. The Journey from Abandonment to Healing - Susan Anderson
"Reality is constantly changing. But it is up to you to take charge of it and move it forward."
Originally published twenty years ago, The Journey from Abandonment to Healing imparts readers with the comforting reminder that although heartbreak and loss are inevitable within each of our lives, there are, and always will be an abundance of ways in which this pain can be alleviated. The book offers readers an understanding as to how you can shift your mindset from a state of denial and grief, all the way to a place of acceptance and optimism, and also sheds light on some of the most influential healing techniques recognized within the practices of spirituality. An example of these techniques includes inner child work, creating boundaries, mindfulness, and the practice of dreamscape. I found that one of the most powerful messages conveyed within this book was the insight into the word "akeru", an Italian word that translates to "love your fate". The continual mentioning of this term throughout the book reminds readers that it truly is possible to go beyond accepting a difficult reality all the way to celebrating it.
2. Embracing Uncertainty - Susan Jeffers
"Trust in a Higher Power is not a necessary ingredient for a beautiful life, but it is precious in helping us embrace all the uncertainty we face throughout our lives".
Written by one of the most well-known and respected authors within self-help literature, Embracing Uncertainty is described as "one of the most comforting and life-affirming books you will ever read". Delving deep into the idea that how we experience life is a choice, this book confronts the uncomfortable truths that encourage readers to begin taking responsibility for their own happiness, despite the uncertainty that we perpetually face throughout the course of our life. Adjusting your outlook on life to the belief that everything is happening perfectly is an important and recurring theme throughout this book. Likewise, it's suggested that beginning to embrace the way life unfolds with a sense of curiosity and wonder is another important part of finding inner peace and acceptance. With her comforting and affirming beliefs, Embracing Uncertainty reminds readers that although we cannot trust 'forever', we can learn to trust ourselves to handle whatever happens in our lives in a powerful and loving way.
3. A Return to Love - Marianne Williamson
"In order to escape the illusion and find inner peace, remember that only love in a situation is real. Everything else is a mistake and does not exist."
Encompassing the belief that love really is the most powerful aspect of life as we know it, A Return to Love sets out to affirm the ways in which choosing love can have a life-changing impact on the problems we face within both our individual lives and also the world as a whole. Throughout the book, author Marianne Williamson details her own personal journey into the world of spirituality and emphasizes the sheer importance of addressing the parts of oneself that need to be nurtured and healed. Though this book is heavily centered around a belief in God, the ultimate message conveyed throughout doesn't necessarily require any religious faith. Instead, A Return to Love suggests that God, whatever that means to you, is an entity that exists within each and every human being on the planet. Looking to reassure readers that they already have everything they could ever need to begin embarking on a spiritual journey of healing, this book encompasses the understanding you'll always be able to connect with your higher self, because "the perfect you is the love within you.".
4. The Power of Letting Go - John Purkiss
"Surrender isn't the same as giving up or doing nothing. It just means that we stop trying to make the world conform to our fixed ideas about how things should be."
Published earlier this year, The Power of Letting Go provides a comprehensible insight into the subconscious conditioning within humanity that has influenced us to try and possess full control over every aspect of our lives. The book approaches this universal struggle with a straightforward approach to dismantling this preconditioned behavior, broken down into five stages; how to be present and enjoy each moment, how to let go of the thoughts that keep you stuck, how to let go of the pain that runs your life, and how to surrender and tune into something far more intelligent than your own brain. This book also provides a variety of techniques that can be applied to everyday life, focusing predominantly on meditation and the practice of being present in each moment. Ultimately, this book serves as a gentle reminder that true happiness and acceptance is only ever attainable within our lives once we learn to let go and trust the process of life itself.
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