I’m sure you can imagine my library of books that have made a profound impact on my journey of living Simple Clean and Whole! On a typical day, I have between three and five books on my bedside table, and they’re filled with tags, dog-eared pages, and highlighted messages that speak loud and clear to me.
In fact, I’ve made it a ritual to buy all of my educational books in the traditional format – printed and bound – and I buy all of them from my local bookstore. When I used my Kindle, I missed out on the tagging, dog-earing, and highlighting! It’s just not the same experience for me.
With that said, I want to share my five favorite books for encouraging change with you. I highly recommend adding some or all of these to your own bedside table!
1. The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
Recently, a dear friend visited me and gave me this book. It’s the type of book that infuses you with exactly what the title promises – The Book of Joy! I read about 5-10 pages each night to fill me with words, thoughts, and a view that are nonjudgmental, unassuming, and purely magical.
Together, the Dalai Lama, who I was honored to see at the Beacon Theater in New York City two years ago, and Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop, have all of the ingredients to produce the most beautiful recipe to infuse joy into your everyday life.
2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
I’ve mentioned The Four Agreements before when I shared my 10 lessons learned while living Simple Clean and Whole. It’s basically my Bible when it comes to living Simple Clean and Whole. It’s also the first book that I invite my clients to read.
This is a very short book, so it’s really easy to read – even for the novice. It’s also really relatable! Here’s a taste: Imagine your life following these four agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
Of course, Ruiz elaborates on each of these four principles in his book. What I love most is that this is a lifestyle practice that leads to self-awareness. Remember, your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your behaviors. Most importantly, your behaviors lead you to discover your belief systems. The four agreements taught in this book will give you the opportunity to fine-tune your belief systems.
3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Brene Brown has an amazing story that most men, women, and young adults can relate to. Imagine accepting being vulnerable. Imagine working through life peeling away your mask of toughness, weight, addiction, and expectations to live a life a truth!
Brene will take you on that journey in her book. Think of the word “courage” as you read.
4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions and helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. Next, it delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness.
In a nutshell, this book opens you to deep realizations of the habits and patterns in life that have kept you stuck. I’ve written before about rewriting your manual to get unstuck, and this book is a great resource to help you gain freedom from those old patterns.
5. The Languages of Love by Gary Chapman
I read this book years ago when my husband, Drew, and I began walking and visiting our life together as a couple and parents. It gave us verification that not everyone is “in love” in the same way. It was at this time when I really began to understand that we all have a very specific way of showing love – whether it’s by affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch.
This book is a must have in your collection, especially if you’re co-habitating! Read it and you just might begin to accept and honor your partner or loved ones as you begin to understand their unique love languages. I know I did!
More of Jen’s Favorites
As we move from cold to somewhat warmer weather, I feel like it’s time to SHIFT up our thoughts, patterns, habits, and overall behavior. These books are a great way to start and to support your own SHIFT. After all, taking the time to indulge in self-discovery is the best gift you can give yourself!
Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will include links to my favorite Ted Talks and podcasts!
In the meantime, if you’re like me and information about food, nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle feeds your soul, you can purchase my ebook full of delicious breakfast recipes here. Want to go even further? Let’s work together!