Books We Love
Perhaps you aren't ready to pack your bags for a trip or immerse yourself in a workshop. So the next best thing is to read an inspirational book that will get you thinking about how to change your life.
Thriving Through Uncertainty
For many people, uncertainty can drain or overwhelm. It can be difficult to see which path to take, in the midst of change or transition. Thriving Through Uncertainty shows the path is already within you—and more fulfilling than you imagine. This practical guidebook will help to activate your innate intelligence instead of doubt it. More importantly, it will show how to use any uncertainty as a launching pad for joy.
Life was falling apart. Within the space of three years, Sonia Choquette had suffered the unexpected death of two close family members, seen her marriage implode, and been let down by trusted colleagues.
In order to regain her spiritual footing, Sonia turned to the age-old practice of pilgrimage and set out to walk the legendary Camino de Santiago, an 820-kilometer trek over the Pyrenees and across northern Spain. Day after day she pushed through hunger, exhaustion, and pain to reach her destination. Eventually, mortification of the flesh gave way to spiritual renewal, and she rediscovered the gifts of humility and forgiveness that she needed to repair her world.
Sonia shares the intimate details of her grueling experience, as well as the unexpected moments of grace, humor, beauty, and companionship that supported her through her darkest hours. While her journey is unique, the lessons she learned—about honoring your relationships with others as well as with your own higher self, and forgiving all else—are universal.
Waking Up In Winter
This is a book we that continually had us saying "this is me!" over and over again. It's targeted at people in midlife who might be rethinking their careers or deciding what they want to do as they heard toward retirement.
The book is written in a journal format with best-selling life coach Cheryl Richardson sharing her innermost thoughts as she tries to navigate her life — a true case of "be careful what you wish for" because she wanted to be a world-renowned author, coach, and speaker so she traveled the world constantly and found herself incredibly unhappy.
The reader follows along as she takes the time out to decide what she wants from her life and begins to create a new way of being that serves her. What we found really interesting is when she decided for her New Year's resolutions, rather than say she wanted to lose 15 pounds, or get a new job, she decided to instead focus on how she wants to feel. For example, "I want to feel comfortable in my body — healthy, fit, and strong." This is such a better way to approach it than saying you want to lose 15 pounds and beating yourself up if you can only do away with 10!
Waking Up In Paris
"Waking Up In Paris" is Sonia Choquette's memoir and account of the pain and loss she experienced in her life and her desire to try and figure out what comes next. Like so many of us who feel beaten down and lost and who just can't go on doing the same old thing any longer, Sonia and her daughter decided to figure out their next move while going to live in Paris!
The often hilarious account tracks Sonia's move — first renting an Airbnb for three months, and then going to another apartment -- across the Atlantic and into her new life. We learn about what it's like to assimilate into a foreign country, to try to set up house, and to figure out who you now are as a person after so much change.
If you're a fan of Paris or anything French, then this book will definitely appeal to you as you can totally live vicariously through Sonia as she learns how to live in Paris. The memoir delves deeper into not only the physical aspects of what it is like to pick up your life and go live in a foreign country, but also the emotional upheavals and soul searching one goes through when you realize that who you thought you were and what you thought your life would be is now completely different.
A Thousand Days In Venice
Marlena de Blasi
A chance meeting with a stranger in Venice turns into a love affair and marriage. Author Marlena de Blasi, a chef in her 40s, gives up her life in the midwest to go live in Venice. It's an intriguing memoir which delves into not just the physical things one needs to do to move their entire life to another country, but also the psychological mechanications it takes to start over again in a new country and a new relationship.
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Alice Steinbach, who wrote for The Baltimore Sun, decided it was time to shake up her life a bit and go travel for a year. Travel vicariously with her as she heads from France to London, Oxford, and Italy. Along the way she finds unexpected love and has some incredible introspective moments about who she is as a woman.
The Wisdom of Sundays
If you are a fan of Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" show, she has compiled the life-changing insights from her Super Soul conversations with many of the country's top spiritual leaders from Tony Robbins to Deepak Chopra, Cheryl Strayed, Eckhard Tolle, Sue Monk Kidd, and so many others.
The book is divided up into 10 sections featuring one-page recaps of thoughts from spiritual leaders on Awakening, Intention, Mindfulness, Spiritual GPS, Ego, Forgiveness, Broken Open, Grace and Gratitude, Fulfillment, and Love and Connection. It's a perfect book for your night table to read a tidbit of wisdom each night before going to sleep.
We've got quite a few pages folded down as a reminder to go back and re-read them.
If the name "Cheryl Strayed" sounds familiar, it is because she is the character played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie "Wild."
We first learned about this book when we heard Oprah Winfrey was buying up copies of the tome and giving it to everyone she knew. Also in an easy-to-read format, Cheryl distills her wisdom from "Wild" and thoughts about surviving life's hardships in simple and short little essays that pack a huge punch. They basically tell you to put your big girl panties on and show up for your life and get over the whining and crying and pity parties we tend to indulge ourselves with. But she does so in a much more eloquent way.
Brave Enough is a book you can also keep on your nightstand and read just a page or two before bed or upon waking up as it will certainly give you the motivation to get out there and grab the most out of life.
Inspired & Unstoppable
This is the book that sparked the idea for Soul Journey Inspiration! So now you get some idea of how powerful this book really is.
Tama was an unknown author to us, but we liked the title and decided to give it a read. It tells the story of Tama and how as a Harvard-educated lawyer with a great job, she gave it all up, moved to a really inexpensive apartment, and decided to focus on what she really loved doing — writing.
This turned into a dream career for Tama as a life coach, author, speaker, and trainer who inspires people to listen to their inner voice and go after what they truly want in life.
Tama offers some great advice on how your mind and the universe plays tricks on you when you think you are ready for a new career, relationship, or whatever, and everything conspires to draw you back into the old one.
I've Been Thinking
This is the perfect bedside companion. Put it on your night table and read a passage or two every night before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning.
While she doesn't address her marriage breakup beyond saying it was over and she clearly has a hard time adjusting to being alone, it's a great read for those of us who are re-evaluating our lives and our lifestyles.
Maria takes an honest look at careers, relationships, family, empty-nest syndrome, health, and yes, even politics. Somehow I was shocked but also appreciative to experience her honesty when talking about re-evaluating everything in her life including her party affiliation. SPOILER ALERT: this member of the uber Democratic Kennedy family is now a registered Independent!
For someone who always seemed very focused on glitz, glamour, and the Hollywood lifestyle, it's nice to see she's as neurotic and screwed up as the rest of us!