Books are an incredible tool when it comes to expanding our minds and deepening our knowledge. We can learn something in a few hours that took years for the writers to understand and discover. With personal growth books, we can go straight to the source - learning from the masters and greatest teachers themselves, even if they passed on years ago
Whether you are a yogi who practices regularly on your favorite yoga mat, or simply someone who wants to lead a more conscious and mindful life, these 3 incredible self help books will assist you in your journey of personal growth and discovery.
A New Earth: Awakening your life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
There is a reason why Oprah Winfrey calls this book 'a wake-up call for the entire planet, one reader at a time.'
A New Earth is by far, one of the most eye-opening and soul-stirring books when it comes to Mindfulness, Spirituality, and Consciousness. This book helps the reader understand the ego and how one can tap into his or her highest self. We are once again reminded that there is no such thing as the past or the future: only the Now. Our unlimited potential, true fulfillment, and joy lie in the present moment.
There is a beautiful paragraph where the author writes:
"When you are present, when your attention is fully in the Now, that Presence will flow into and transform what you do. There will be quality and power in it. You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do."
Have you ever done something just to get to the end result? Whether it's praise, money, or recognition, when we focus only on the end goal while doing something – the quality of our 'doing' diminishes.
If the only reason you do your job is for the paycheck that you get, most mornings, you will wake up feeling exhausted and unhappy. Sure, the money might be worth it in the short term; after all, who doesn't like a fancy car and a big house? However, we're not able to tap into – and experience – the most important things that we came here to experience — presence, unconditional love, meaningful work.
If your reason for doing Ashtanga Yoga is just so you can have sculpted arms and show-off your fancy handstand, you will have no fun and enjoyment in your practice.
Yoga is a great teacher of Presence and patience; therefore, if you ignore this aspect, you might miss the whole point of Yoga!
Eckhart Tolle says that 'Nonresistance, nonjudgment, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.'
Can you feel the difference that your life, and your practice, would have if you kept these three words in mind?
Nonresistance to what shows up, whether it'd be unexpected obstacles at work or uncomfortable emotions during your practice, would help remain calm rather than stress. Having no judgment towards oneself and how good, bad, flawless, or clumsy the yoga practice is, would bring more freedom and enjoyment. Most importantly, how would all that you do shift if you weren't concerned with the end result?
If you're ready for the next chapter in self-discovery and breakthroughs, you sure don't want to miss this insightful read.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Miguel Ruiz is a spiritual teacher and author who shares incredible Toltec wisdom. If you could read only one book that would transform your life in all areas – this would be it. The four golden rules of the Toltecs that the author shares can bring more fulfillment, love, and abundance into your lives - if you apply it!
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don't take anything personally
- Don't make assumptions
- Always do your best
At first glance, these rules might seem fairly straightforward. However, when you go about your day-to-day life, you understand that it is harder than it looks!
Being impeccable with your word – with yourself and others – is something many of us don't do. How many times have you promised something to someone, and failed to keep that promise? How many times have you said that you will do something, but broke your word to yourself? 'When I go home, I will do yoga because I know how good I will feel afterward.' Yet, 3 hours and five cookies later, you're sitting on the couch thinking 'Well…. Ok. I will do Yoga practice tomorrow.'
If we can't keep our word to ourselves, how can we expect to keep our word with others?
Imagine just how much your life could transform if you were impeccable with your word. You followed through, kept promises to yourself and others, and understood that your word – and the quality of your word – creates your world.
Rather than having a detachment from what others say, we make everything about us. Can you imagine how much more peaceful and calm we would feel if we didn't take anything personally?
Not taking anything personally ties in perfectly with the third rule, 'Don't make assumptions.' Unfortunately, we make assumptions all day long. We make assumptions about others, we make assumptions about others making assumptions about us, and this seems to be a never-ending cycle. As incredible as our mind is, oftentimes, we imprison ourselves with the thoughts that we think. When we go to our first yoga class, we assume that other people will be laughing at us and pointing fingers 'Look! It's her first yoga class! She can't do the poses!'
These assumptions we make frequently stop us from doing the very thing that we would like to do. The same way, we make assumptions about others. We assume that our boss is snappy at us because he hates us when, in reality, he might be having problems with his wife. We make assumptions about what others think of us – when in fact, they're probably not thinking about us at all.
If we genuinely work on implementing the third rule - don't make assumptions - we will be surprised to find out just how free and liberated our mind will begin to feel
Above all, what we can commit to right this moment is doing our best. Whether it's implementing these rules into our lives, keeping a regular yoga practice or simply sticking to our to-do list – we will fail, we will forget, we will mess up.
This is not about being perfect. This is not about punishing ourselves when we take something personally or break a promise – this is about our commitment to never-ending growth.
Our best will look different on a good day than on a bad day. Be compassionate and kind with yourself, and keep doing the best that you can. There are more gems than just these four rules in this book, and I highly recommend you give yourself the gift of reading it.
The Universe has your back by Gabby Bernstein
A little surrender, letting go and faith can go a long way!
Gabby is a New York Times bestselling author who talks about spirituality, surrender, and how we can become best friends with the Universe!
It's easy for us to fall into a pattern of force and control: tirelessly working on building our business or desperately looking for a partner. We love to be in charge and know all the details of life. We're natural dot connectors, and we work hard to figure out how we will get from point A to point B.
Gabby has a beautiful prayer in the book: 'I step back and let the Universe lead the way.' Let's be honest, how often do we let life, and the Universe, guide us? How often do we choose surrender over force? Most of us have learned from a young age that when we get out into the real world, it's all about working and making things happen. Businesses don't magically grow, magical relationships don't randomly come to be, and opportunities don't come knocking at your door.
However, we've forgotten that we are a part of a bigger Universe. A Universe that wants to guide us, and a Universe that wants to help us achieve all that we want to achieve. There is a difference between forcing something to happen and allowing it to happen.
What would happen if you stopped desperately looking for a partner? If you stopped forcing the promotion and the raise to happen? If you just said to life, and the Universe: 'Okay! I surrender! I've been doing my part, I've been putting myself out there, I've been working, but nothing! Please guide me in achieving my dreams. Help me fulfill my deepest desires.'
The author has some incredible and truly magical examples in the book. In one of the chapters, Gabby explains how she and her husband were desperately looking for an apartment in New York City. They were grumpy, disappointed, and had no fun during this process. She suddenly realized that she was forcing things to happen, having expectations about how it should happen, and not letting the Universe interfere. Lo and behold, when she surrendered the struggles of finding a place and ideas of how it had to happen, they found the most incredible house (not even an apartment!)
If you have a deep vision for yourself and what you want to do, achieve, and have in life, let the Universe interfere
Our small human minds can't see the endless possibilities and opportunities that are lurking around the corner, because we're so focused on how we think it should happen. Surrender allows room for fun and joy.
When you get on your yoga mat to practice Yoga, do you want to force every move and have a million expectations about how your practice should be? Or do you want to surrender to your body, to the practice, and allow fluid movement to come through?
Yoga is a great teacher of surrender and letting go. You have to surrender your control, let go of any expectations and tune into your breath and Presence
The same way, we all could use a reminder to surrender our control to the Universe, and let it shows us the magic that it possesses.
You will be thoroughly surprised at how quickly and effortlessly things will start moving. You will run into a potential investor at the airport whilst waiting for a flight, meet your future husband at a random concert that you decided to go to last-minute and find the home of your dreams by taking the wrong turn when driving.
Suggested article: Yoga as a Lifestyle
A New Earth: Awakening your life's Purpose, The Four Agreements, and The Universe has your back, will not only expand your understanding of life and self but will also bring a deeper quality and Presence to all that you do. Whether it's engaging in a conversation with your loved one, or simply getting onto the yoga mat to practice Yoga - your new sense of awareness and depth will shine through.
With love, Gabie