To get the year off to a good start, this week I wanted to share a curated selection of the most influential books I have read that have changed my perspective for the better during times of stress. In some way or another each of these books has shaped my world view, given me hope, skills or insight that I hadn't come across before in the hope that it reaches you too.
If life is treating you well right now, feel free to archive this email for a rainy day, but if things could be improved, these are 6 good ones to explore if you are looking to change your perspective or viewpoints about your current circumstances.
The topics that these books cover include:
- communication skills, for all conflicts
- mind-body connection
- clear, practical advice for choosing happiness
- the power of our thoughts, and how we can change them
- how yoga, or any other spiritual practice, can help us manage turbulent times
- challenging times, from the perspective
You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. Louise Hay's bestseller was groundbreaking when it was first released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis in the US. In addition to sharing the skills and tools that she has applied in her on practice, she shares her personal journey of overcoming a range of adversity (including sexual trauma) and reaching ongoing health and happiness in ways that were previously unattainable. She also has compiled one of the most comprehensive list of physical ailments, the triggering thought processes and the corresponding affirmations to address nearly any condition under the sun which can be a useful starting point for any self-enquiry.
Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul Essentials, by Stephanie Dowrick. Stephanie is an Australian psychotherapist and best-selling author of 5 books. I love this book because it has hundreds of different self-awareness exercises and nuggets of wisdom, each with their own page. This is the type of book you can flick through when you need some inspiration, and find it.
Psycho-cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz. I've mentioned this book before on the blog, but this was the very first mind-over-matter book I crossed paths with as a 16 year old. This book first introduced the concept that whatever is happening to us and creating us pain and suffering, is simply a question of perception. As a plastic surgeon he observed how people's perceptions of themselves could either be radically altered (or not) through cosmetic surgery, and went on to find out more about why some people's lives changed radically after a much wanted nose-job. Excellent food for thought.
Bringing Yoga to Life, by Donna Farhi. Donna Farhi is an influential New Zealand based yoga teacher who's gentle teachings brought kindness back into my own self-care routines. She speaks highly of having a ritual to maintain and the benefits of embedding this practices when things are going smoothly (i.e before a crisis emerges). She strongly subscribes to the view that life will always have it's challenges, and being able impartially observe these, without subscribing to the drama is truly the way to acheiving a happy life.
Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss. This book shares the experiences of Weiss, a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, conducting a series past life regressions one of her clients. I found this one particularly helpful when facing grief, shame or confusion about complex interpersonal dynamics that aren't easily explained by conventional means. His client's anxiety and depression gradually decreased as layers of past lives were uncovered and resolved. A great one for anyone interested in past life connections.
Hopefully one or two of the titles has piqued your interest or correlates with something you might be wanting to address right now, or may be use to someone close to you.
As always, I'd be really interested to hear your feedback, and would love to hear your recommendations for books that have uplifted you before so that it can be shared with The Third Way facebook community as well.