beach read

I am constantly asked for book recommendations. August is here and many people take vacations or slow down a little, so a great book seemed in order. I am not a huge reader. But, what I lack in quantity, I make up for in quality. There are a handful of books that have changed my life because I have turned them into emotional workouts. I have demonstrated what that looks like for the last book on the list.

 War of Art by Steven Pressfield An amazing work about the struggle of creativity. Pressfield specifically focuses on writers because he is one, but this is for anyone who faces fear. When considering stepping forward into whatever you find most meaningful in your life, we are tapping into our creative core. What matters comes from a deep space within where we dream and create the life we most desire. Pressfield lays out the natural response we have to facing our fears in a concise, clear and thought provoking way. I would recommend this to anyone who is an artist, starting something new that is close to your heart, or even thinking about it. Really quick read.  A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Need a little self-love? Williamson preaches the gospel in this one. I underlined so many lines in this book that I stopped underlining because it seemed easier to accept it was all one big underline. I would say more, but that would require me to pick a quote or point and they are all good. 

Archetypes by Carolyn MyssDo you ever sell out? Ever play the victim card? How about hero? Maybe a little more childish than you want to admit? Myss explains that we all have many parts. Some parts are not too attractive, but that is ok. although we all have many parts, we do not have to lead with them. When my victim comes out, I just say hi now and then send her on her way! 

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This is my bible. No book has had such an effect on my daily life. Ruiz writes about the four agreements you should base your life on. At the face of them, they are super simple concepts, but as tempting as it is to dismiss, read with care. If you take a moment to think about the nuance he brings up in each one, it can change you life. I turned the agreements into emotional workouts. Over a month, I practiced an agreement a week as if I was preparing for a marathon. Week one: Be impeccable with your word. He means not only to others but to yourself. No negative inner dialog against you or others. I did not make it 10 seconds without making an internal comment. Amazing. Week two: don’t take anything personally. This almost killed me. My emotional muscles were flexing and failing over and over. Nothing personally? Based on his definition of personal, I could make inroads into this idea. Since we all have different definitions of the “rules” of life, we are only offended by other’s not sharing in our “rules”. If we could agree on the “rules”, we could all get along. Week three: don’t make assumptions. For a week, I made an attempt at no assumptions and got a crash course in good questions. Without assumptions, we have to ask questions to understand if we understood someone properly. Week four: always do your best. I know we have all heard this one before, but again he describes “best” in a new way. Every day we have a best. Maybe we did not sleep so our best is less than it would be on a day with full rest. Our best varies from day to day. Do you best given the circumstances.

I hope you find the same level of fulfillment as I do, but feel free to let me know what you did not like. I would love to hear your thoughts. Better yet, if you have a book that you love, please pass it along. I am alway interested in reading something new and inspiring.

Happy reading!