Inspirational Reads …
Throughout the life of my blog you have heard me talk about the importance of “a story” and mainly YOUR STORY. So, today I thought it would be fun to dive into where that inspiration came from as well as a few other inspiring reads from my collection and how they helped me change my mindset and dive right into life to get to the place I am at today in hopes that they also inspire you …
I love to read. I wish I could advise more people to read. There’s a whole new world in books. If you can’t afford to travel, you travel mentally through reading. You can see anything and go any place you want to in reading. ~ Michael Jackson
Before diving in … here is my list of inspirational reads:
Yes, this is “the list” I recommend to all my friends and acquaintances. Of course, this is just what I like to call the “short list” but the honest to goodness best of the best!
The Gifts of Imperfection is first on this list and was first on my list which started a rollercoaster in my usual reading habits. I found this treasure just roaming around my favourite bookstore one day while I was out to lunch from my day job that I truly despised. This is the book that CHANGED MY LIFE. The book that opened my eyes to what it was I truly wanted from life … not what I felt I had to choose due to the way the cards were dealt. In this book, Brené Brown (New York Times best-selling author and professor) talks about how to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. She helps you explore how to cultivate the courage, compassion and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that YOU ARE ENOUGH. To wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging. So, in short …. STEP #1: BE YOU and don’t settle for anything less. Even is people try to convince you otherwise. Here is a quick teaser from her book …
“Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, what if I can’t keep all these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?”
After I finished this book, I then realized how much Brené’s words spoke to my inner being and how much I liked reading this type of novel. So, back to the bookstore I went … on the hunt for my next inspirational read. Luckily, I didn’t have to search far as 50 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life – BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve pretty much fell into my lap. It was as if the books in the store were finding me, instead of the other way around.
While reading Andrea Owen’s book I felt as though I was having coffee with my bestie and chatting. It wasn’t a dry read at all whatsoever AND she really did make me feel like I was ready to break away and ignite my inner badass. Andrea’s book is a much-need kick in the ass for women everywhere! She had this powerful way of guiding me through her acclaimed strategies to create a more fulfilling life. With each goal-orientated lesson empowering me to take control of the barriers that keep me from achieving the love and success I truly desired. And to top it off, her life-changing wisdom helped me (and I imagine many other women) uncover all the self-limiting beliefs I was holding onto and pushed me out of my incredibly “safe” comfort zone by zeroing in my difficulties. She’s not into sugar-coating the truth and like my bestie, held me accountable for my own actions.
I wanted to leave you with another blurb as a teaser but in case you’re not into reading, Andrea also has an amazing podcast (gotta make sure there is something here for everyone). I’m not even going to sneak you the fun details. Just go check it out. Here’s the link: http://yourkickasslife.com/52ways/.
If you end up liking Andrea’s book or podcast, then I’ve got news for you …! She just launched a second book which I am honestly stupid excited about. It’s called: How to Stop Feeling Like Shit – 14 Habits That are Holding You Back From happiness. If you are lucky enough to grab a copy and read it before me … feel free to drop your review on the book within the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Now, let’s talk Big Magic! This amazingly written novel by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) resonated with me because she dug into the life of living creatively or “creative living beyond fear”, as she would say. While reading this book I felt inspired, empowered and ready to dig deeper into my creative-self. Something I was, at the time, hesitant to do (story for another day). In her own words, she asked me to embrace my curiosity and let go of needless suffering as well as how to tackle what I love the most despite fear and despite harsh words from others. So, to me … she taught balance and how to embark on a dream long deferred. She taught me how to infuse my everyday life with more passion and a different mindset. Her words in this book was just what I needed to hear followed by the first two reads.
The next three books on my inspired reads list all fall into the same bucket. Well, sort of. I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t), The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Daring Greatly are all teachings about self. On the realization that you are not the only one going through life with certain struggles like you may think you are and realizing that YOU ARE ENOUGH, and less thinking of what others think. On how to put yourself first more often and stand up for how you feel by saying “No” when you want to. On how to let yourself be vulnerable and courageous in order to transform the way you live, love and lead in your life and not worry so much about perfection.
As Brené Brown writes:
The courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that give true purpose and meaning to life are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy, and joy into our lives.
I know Brené is the most popular within my list, but perhaps with reason …!
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