I have always been a voracious reader but for most of my life it was all about fiction with the occasional memoire thrown in here and there. After completing yoga teacher training, I got sucked into the world of non-fiction and personal development kind of books. These days, I have a mix of fiction and non-fiction on my nightstand and am never without an inspirational/personal growth kind of download on my Audible app.
I especially love to listen to non-fiction. I find it to be such a great way for me to soak up a little inspiration during my day-to-day activities. Most often I listen to it in my car as I’m driving around town or on runs. I can’t tell you how much I have benefited from so many of these books and how much power they have to not only get me thinking but also to shift the mindset/emotional state I’m in.
This morning in my yoga class I was talking about the Four Agreements and gave all of my students homework to read or listen to it immediately. It got my wheels turning that I needed to share my favorite motivational/feel good reads with you!
If every human on earth read The Four Agreements, we’d be so much better off for it. I find myself referring to, “don’t take anything personally” and “don’t make assumptions” basically every single day of my life.
Here’s a highlight of the four agreements and you MUST listen or read ASAP. It’s a very easy and short read and so wonderful.
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret
If you feel short on time or just need quick daily inspiration, I love Journey to the Heart for daily meditations an uplifting messages. I often read from this book in class.
I listened to this book all through half marathon training last year and I LOVE it!
“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
I also love that she talks about not giving your art or passion the responsibility of being your livelihood. I can’t agree more that we sometimes put too much pressure on our gifts to provide and sometimes they just need to be our side-projects/passions.
I love this book so much that I’ve purchased it in bulk to give as gifts. It’s required reading for our 200-hour teacher training at the yoga studio.
Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll find in the book…
: Life balance is a myth, and the pursuit of it is causing us more stress then the craving for balance itself.
: Being well-rounded is over-rated. When you focus on developing your true strengths, you enter your mastery zone.
: Screw your principles (they might be holding you back).
: We have ambition backwards. Getting clear on how you want to feel in your life + work is more important than setting goals. It’s the most potent form of clarity that you can have, and it’s what leads to true fulfillment.
This is a long-time favorite. I would recommend all of Brene Brown’s books.
“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. …Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack. …This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.”
This is just an introductory sample of the feel good books I love! I’ll post part two soon and in the meantime, I’d love to hear your recommendations and suggestions for feel good books you love!