Personal Growth Book Suggestions
The Power of Positive Energy: Everything you need to awaken your soul, raise your vibration, and manifest an inspired life By Tanaaz ChubbThis is probably one of my favorite books, if you are at the beginning of your spiritual journey or wanting to understand manifesting the life that you want, this is a must read. The author does a fantastic job breaking down your energy and how to build a spiritual practice easy-to-understand section. This book will not disappoint. Click here to order.
Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again, by Johann Hari.
I would recommend it to EVERYONE. I truly enjoyed this book. It talks about technology, social media, our environment, our sleep patterns and everything in between. Jahann discusses how it all effects our ability to focus and the problems that it is causing now and will continue to cause if we don’t do something about it. I found it even more interesting because of the ages of my kids and their continuous ask for cell phones and my continuous answer of no. If you are looking for a book full of experts, data, and interesting findings on focus and the lack thereof focus I highly encourage you to read it. Click here to order.
Atlas of the Heart, Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, by Brene' Brown. I am a big fan of Brene’ Browns other books Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead, this book is different but not in a bad way, I enjoyed it but it was not what I was expecting. The book explores 87 different emotions that we as humans go through. Believe it or not when Brown was doing her research and asked people to name emotions, the average number of emotions named was three… happy, sad, and angry. There are so many more emotions, this book breaks down different emotions and helps identify our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. If we don’t understand how our emotions shape our thoughts and decisions, we become disembodied from our own experiences and disconnected from each other.
This book is broken into 13 sections, each section goes through a different set of emotions, and she maps out the definitions of the emotions, necessary skills to identify the emotion and the framework for meaningful connection. She throws in some personal stories and research that was done as well. And of course there are great quotes throughout the book.
There were many key concepts that really stood out to me that I thought I would share but would encourage you to read the book if you are interested in discovering the emotions we go through, how to identify them, and how to use them to improve your connection to others. What I found interesting you may not, but with 87 different emotions I am sure there is something in this book for everyone. Click here to order
Here are 6 concepts that really stuck with me:
1. Resentment is not a form of anger, it’s a part of envy, if you resent someone you are not angry at them, you are envious that they are able to do something you can’t or won’t. Here is a simple example, if you get home for work and the kitchen is a mess and your husband/wife is relaxing on the couch. You may say you resent them for not cleaning up. But really you are envious of them that they can relax when the kitchen is a mess and you wish you could relax with a mess like they can.
2. “Perfectionism is not striving to be our best or working toward excellence. Healthy striving is internally driven. Perfectionism is externally driven by a simple but potentially all-consuming question: What will people think?” Brown goes on to say, “One of the biggest barriers to working toward mastery is perfectionism. Perfectionism kills curiosity by telling us that we have to know everything, or we risk looking ‘less than.’”
3. Joy and Happiness are not the same. Joy is sudden, unexpected, short-lasting, and high intensity. Joy fills us with a sense of freedom. Happiness is stable, longer lasting, and normally a result of effort. With Happiness we feel a sense of being in control. Joy is more internal, and happiness is more external and circumstantial.
4. I am a huge fan of practicing gratitude, and this book reinforces what I already believed about gratitude. It is good for us physically, emotionally, and mentally. The research done shows that gratitude is correlated with better sleep, increased creativity, decreased entitlement, decrease in aggression, increase in decision-making skills, and decrease blood pressure. I love this quote “gratitude is an emotion that reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others.”
5. I personally focus on JOY everyday so the section on “Foreboding Joy” was very interesting to me, if you are afraid to lean into good news, wonderful moments, and joy because you are just waiting for something bad to happen… that is foreboding joy. Brown states “no emotion is more frightening than joy because we believe if we allow our selves to feel joy, we are inviting disaster. We start dress-rehearsing tragedy in the best moments in order to stop vulnerability from being us to the punch.” People who show a deep capacity for joy practiced gratitude, “In the mist of joy, there’s often a quiver, a shudder of vulnerability. Rather than using that as a warning sign to practice imagining the worst-case scenario, the people who lean into joy use the quiver as a reminder to practice gratitude.”
6. Humility can be summed up in one sentence, “I’m here to get it right, not be right.” Read that again!
7. The section on grief stuck out to me due to some recent personal losses. David Kessler, grief expert, states “Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.”
I hope I gave you some insight to Atlas of the Heart that makes you want to grab the book and start reading. I personally don’t think this book would be a good audio book with how it is broken down and laid out. Let me know what you think after you read it!
No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering By Thich Nhat Hanh
This book was recommended to me by an employee, and I am so grateful for it! I read it from cover to cover on a plane ride.
The book starts with this quote “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” Thich Nhat Hanh
To me that quote sums of the book very well. When it comes to suffering, we tend to believe we should never suffer and if we are suffering there shouldn’t be joy. Neither are true, you can’t have joy and happiness without suffering, and you can suffer and feel joy simultaneously.
Throughout the book he provides ways to practice being present, concentrating on your breath, and finding deep concentration to be able to be more mindful throughout our day and life.
Though the title says “The Art of Transforming Suffering” you do not have to be “suffering” to enjoy the book. It has a way to help you rebalance your life and learn ways to live through suffering and find joy throughout your life. He states in the book “when you learn how to suffer, we suffer much much less.”
This book is a good reminder when situations come up within our life to ask yourself “Why is this happening FOR me? NOT… why is this happening TO me?”
This book is 128 pages so it is a quick read but there are so many good take ways to balance your life. I highly encourage you to read it. Click here to order.