“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

    – Steven King

As a writer and self-help enthusiast, I love all books, especially books that teach me something about myself, other people, and our world.

Here are a few of my favorites. Please check back, as I'm always adding to my library and list. 

Become What You Are

“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”

Three years after a midlife upheaval, the pieces of my self began to settle into a new configuration. After living a nomadic existence for more than two years in Maine, my attachment to places and things underwent a significant shift. Six months ago, I was ready to claim my own space and purchased a place of my own in Connecticut, the state I'd lived in for 30 years while raising my three children.

However, I recently chose to temporarily dip back into that nomadic lifestyle as a house sitter in Maine (it is home after all). On my first night, Become What You Are, a slim white paperback called out to me from the bookshelf. I’d heard a few of Watts' lectures online and was drawn to his concepts about authenticity, impermanence, and interconnectedness. 

Watt's argues that the key to living a fulfilling life lies in embracing change rather than resisting it, inviting us to let go of attachment to fixed identities and outcomes. His words were the affirmation I needed as I work to release my grip on various identities.

Watts offers a beautiful alternative — to dance with the rhythm of life and find freedom in the acceptance of life's inherent flux. Sounds simple, and yet it took a major life disruption for me to finally see the illusion of control I'd held so tightly.

Watts invites us to transcend the confines of individuality and experience the profound unity that underlies existence. For me, this shift in perspective has fostered a deeper sense of compassion and empathy and given me a glimpse of a more authentic way of being in the world.

Become What You Are was published in 1955 and continues to inspire readers to embark on the journey of self-discovery. Whether you are a seasoned seeker or a newcomer to the world of spirituality, this book offers invaluable wisdom that has the power to transform lives.

For anyone facing a significant life change or transition, I invite you to check out this classic and welcome whatever awaits you on the other side.

The Artist's Way

"Creativity is like crabgrass—it springs back with the simplest bit of care."

Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" is a transformative guide for anyone seeking to unlock their creativity and live a more fulfilling life. I have been dipping in and out of this book since my 30's and each time I return to this work, I gain new insights and inspiration. One of the most compelling aspects of the book is Cameron's emphasis on the importance of reclaiming a sense of safety, identity, and power in the creative process.

Cameron's 12-week program offers a holistic approach to nurturing and expanding our creative potential, drawing on a combination of practical exercises, insightful reflections, and empowering principles. Through practices such as "Morning Pages" and "Artist Dates," we are encouraged to cultivate a supportive environment for creative endeavors while exploring our passions, interests, and aspirations.

Cameron's writing is inspiring and practical, providing valuable tools and techniques to overcome obstacles, such as self-doubt, perfectionism, and creative blocks. By addressing the inner critic and challenging limiting beliefs, Cameron empowers us to embrace imperfection, take risks, and trust in our creative instincts.

Moreover, "The Artist's Way" is more than a guidebook for artists and writers but a universal resource for anyone seeking to tap into their innate creativity and live a more authentic and fulfilling life. Cameron's insights into the creative process are applicable to various fields and endeavors, making the book accessible and relevant to a wide audience.

Overall, "The Artist's Way" is a powerful reminder of the inherent creativity within each of us and a roadmap for cultivating a more vibrant and inspired life. Whether you're an aspiring artist, a seasoned creative professional, or simply looking to reignite your passion for life, this book offers invaluable guidance and inspiration on your journey toward self-discovery and creative expression.

Atomic Habits

James Clear elevates the concept of habits into a vehicle that can help us change our very identity. For Clear, habits were life saving and helped him rebuild his life and skills after a traumatic injury put him in a coma as a teen.  Practical strategies show us how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. As Clear so cleverly puts it, "Habits are the compound interest of self improvement." Deceptively simple but incredibly powerful.

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this is one of those books that I return to periodically and it's message always penetrates a bit deeper each time.

Anatomy of the Spirit

I have purchased numerous copies of this book over the years for friends because it's that good. Using the body's seven centers of spiritual and physical power, Myss synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions to demonstrate the seven stages we pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. 

You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety. – Abraham Maslow

. .   

Copyright © 2024 Lee Bodkin |
Women's Midlife Transition Coaching | All Rights Reserved.