It is Day 4 of our 30 Day Challenge and today I am talking about a Soul Flow Practice I have been doing every day since I was 8 years old: Inspirational Reading.
I find reading something soulFULL once a day – morning or night or both – inspiring, healing and motivating.
Here are 5 benefits of reading inspirational books:
1. They set the tone.
A Self Development (or Soul Development) book is going to infuse your brain with uplifting messages and positive, life-affirming concepts. This puts you in an optimal mindset for your day and raises your vibration. I love starting my day this way, but I also love reading them before bed to start my dream space on the right note.
2. You start to believe in yourself.
You begin knowing what you are capable of – that you can do, be, and experience more than where you are now. If you feel stuck, the ideas in these books can encourage you and help you bust out of your perceived limitations.
3. Not only do you improve–you expand.
Improvement is like an arrow…it is focused, driven, and moving forward. Expansion is like a spiral…it opens and blossoms, it receives and is nourished. By expanding and absorbing the nourishment of these books, you can then channel that energy into improvements to yourself and your life.
4. You are inspired to take positive action.
Reading inspirational books inspire you to create goals and projects that accelerate your growth. Maybe you amp up your creativity or improve your self-image, or create a vision board of your drams and desires. You don’t just read, you are called to action.
5. You make better choices.
Reading makes you become more aware, so when life throws something at you, you have tools to respond differently and handle situations better. You also start choosing what to fill your day with; choosing what resonates and what works better for you.
If you want to start changing your life, the wisdom from a good, inspirational book can challenge, strengthen and motivate you.
So I want to share some of the books that have changed, moved and inspired me. Most of them I have purchased extra copies of because I give my copy away! This list is not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but any one of them is sure to inspire you.
Because I am a Soul Leader rather than a Thought Leader, I am sharing Soul Reads rather than Self Help books. Self Help books can be very motivational, but I yearn for wisdom that goes straight to the heart and deep to the soul. (Affiliate links included.)
I’ll start with what is on my nightstand and in progress for me.
I am and active and lucid dreamer, living a second life when I sleep. This book explores the ideas around dreams and sleep and I want to see if it helps enhance my dream space even more. I am especially intrigue by the Yoga aspect of this book and didn’t realize that the Tibetans have a practice called the Yogas of Sleep. Even though, I have only just started this book, but I can tell it is earning a permanent spot in my library.
Brand new. Sitting on my nightstand. It is about the ancient wisdom of creating unlimited abundance. I am thinking it will be a cross between Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and Abraham’s Law of Attraction, but I am looking forward to the authors take on it.
Most of us create our goals in a head space. We want something, we visualize it, and we take action steps to achieve it. Danielle LaPorte brings DESIRE into the equation. You create goals from a feeling space.
For instance, if you have a goal to create a tropical vacation for yourself, you visualize what it looks like: the blue of the water, the cabana boy bringing a tropical drink with fuit and bright umbrellas. The Desire Map asks you to feel the feelings you want to feel. And then create your goals from there.
When I was 8 years old the Bible became my first love. Odd, because my family was not religious, but I was drawn to it and for many years studied it devoutly. While I do not identify as a Christian in the traditional sense now, I still consult it on a regular basis. This version is translated from the Aramaic, the original language of these texts, which shines a different light on some of the stories.
In 325 A.D, a group of wise men gathered together to create the doctrine of what we know as the Christian faith. THis was the Council of Nicea. They debated what the core beliefs were going to be for the religion and they also decided, of all the wisdom texts, which books were going to become The Bible. The Gnostic Bible is a compilation of the texts that didn’t make the cut: The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, mystic Islamic writings. If you desire a fuller picture, these stories will enlighten you.
I am a HUGE fan of Rob Bell. He was a popular pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church, who has now expanded into a new realm. I love him because he is well-versed in the scriptures, but also has a larger view of their meaning. Expansive and open. In one of his books, “Velvet Elvis”, he tackles some of the big questions of Jesus’ life and claims that some versions of Jesus should be rejected ~ especially those that intimidate or inspire fear and hatred. In “Love Wins,” he takes on the heaven and hell and offers an alternative answer to the normal paradigm. I am a devoted listener to his Robcast podcast, as well.
A MUST on every woman’s bookshelf. Whenever I need deep understanding of something I am going through as a woman, I pull out this book. Whether it is about being the hated mother, or the abandoned wife, or the rage of being wronged… whether you are the young fertile nymph, or the wise crone, there is wisdom here. I have bought 100 copies for friends and family.
A spiritual daybook, a poetic, insightful entry for every day of the year. Short in length, long on meaning. Each entry has a practice to do at the end of it as well, which makes this a perfect Soul Flow read for every morning.
A classic! I had so many “A-ha moments” reading this book and have given several copies away because of it. In fact, I think I gave my last copy away and need a new one for myself!
Paramahansa Yogananda tells the story of his life: the experiences of his childhood, encounters with saints and sages during his search throughout India for a guru, this training and then the thirty years he lived and taught in America. He is witty, candid, and inspiring.
If you read Autobiography of a Yogi and love it, this is a great set to have.
Paramahansa Yogananda takes you on a journey through the four Gospels, verse by verse. He interpretation transcends sectarianism and reveals the unifying harmony within all religions.
Yogananda said, “In titling this work The Second Coming of Christ, I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and, after imparting a universal path to God’s kingdom, was crucified and resurrected; his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What is necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one’s own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ Consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true Second Coming.”
A life-changing point of view.
For the scientist, intellectual, and rationally oriented, Ken Wilber brilliantly explains how the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual are not disparate, they are holistic and integral.
Wilber uses nontechnical language to explain complex theories that integrate the realms of body, mind, soul, and spirit. Then he explains how these ideas can be applied to the real-world through politics, medicine, business, and education.
A gem! I can rarely find this book anymore, so I stopped giving my copies away. Ken Carey worked at a post office, then had a dream that caused him to apply for emergency leave. He then moved to an isolated area of the Ozarks with his wife, and began a new life as a carpenter and lived without electricity, plumbing, newspapers or magazines.
At one point they got snowed in, and he felt these words coming to him and he was compelled to write them down. This is definitely channelled from something that loves us. I wept through most of it.
Another perfect Soul Flow practice book. You can read it straight through or pick it up and open it at a random page a hit of positivity. Chock FULL of anecdotes and wisdom. You never walk away not feeling good.
Each of these books has earned a permanent place in my library. I read them and consult them again and again.
Find a book that inspires you or challenges you, and read from it for 5-20 minutes every day. The wisdom and inspiration will shape your choices and your perspective. As a FREE download for today, I put together a worksheet that you can print or use as a guide, to take your Soul Reading to the next level: applying it to yourself and your life. Click the link below to access it.
––––> Soul Reads Contemplation Worksheet <––––
Tomorrow, I will be back with a conversation about GROUNDING LIVE on Facebook!