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What’s on my bookshelf…

Before I get started with this week’s post, I want to let you know that I’ve decided to take the next three weeks off from blogging and podcasting.  This is the first time in 3 years that I won’t be posting any material on my blog (with the only exception being my end of the year “best of” that I do around Christmas and New Years).

To be completely honest, I’ve been working myself to the bone and life has been asking a lot from me recently.  I’m also smack dab in the middle of my Saturn Return so I’ve been feeling pulled to stop doing and, instead, look inward, reflect and reevaluate where I am in life.  (*Note: If you don’t know what Saturn Return is, I will likely be write about it when I’m more in the “I realized how I grew” stage.  So don’t worry I’ll explain it more later).

To take care of myself (and practice what I preach!) I need to acknowledge and accept my feeling and give myself the space to really stop, reflect and process.

So on August 15th I will be back refreshed and with some brand new material for you.

Because I don’t want to leave you hanging during the weeks I’ll be gone, I have three books that I want to recommend to you that I think will be very beneficial.  These books I’ve either read (or am reading) this summer and I’ve absolutely loved them — and I’m sure you will too!

Book #1 – Tears of Triumph by Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is one of my all-time favorite authors and the author of the phenomenal bestselling book A Return to Love.  Marianne is a student of A Course in Miracles and, likely, the most well-known teacher of the Course.

In this book she takes on the idea that suffering, grief, depression, and sadness are a natural part of our own spiritual growth and evolution as human beings.  This is contrary to how our modern society’s perception of sadness and suffering — which is that it is all “pathological” and “unnatural”.  As Marianne says at one point in the book that we used to expect people to process the loss of a loved one for at least 2 years and now anything over 6 months is somehow “bad”.

As a result of this perception of sadness and suffering, our tendency has been to over prescribe psychological medications like antidepressants.

This book I have finished a while ago and it is an incredible book to help guide us to treat our own sadness and suffering differently and those of others.

Book #2 – Discover Your Authentic Self by Sherrie Dillard

To be completely honest, there have been so many personal-growth, self-help, and psychology books that I’ve read that I’ve gotten to the point now where my expectations are pretty low.  If I go to pick up a book in the personal growth genre I often expect it to be pretty generic, mediocre, and not much different from others in the past I’ve read.

This is what I was expecting when I got this book from my mentor, Sherrie Dillard.  I’ve read all of her past books and other books on similar topics.  What makes would make this book any different?

What I’ve learned through my own writing and through reading a lot of other people’s material is that the blog posts, books, and materials that stick aren’t necessarily the ones with new material per-say, but the ones that really put their own unique angle.  It’s more about sharing the material in one’s own unique way so that either another audience can understand it or to include other factors that other writers haven’t taken into consideration.

With this book, Sherrie does exactly that — she discussions the topic of authenticity in a way that I have not (or very rarely) heard from anyone.  And, because of it, I feel she’s really hitting the nail on the head on what it is like to truly live your life from an authentic place.

Book #3 – Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I initially watched the movie before reading the book this summer and I found the old advice from my Jr High English teacher to be true — the book is always better!

If you’re looking for a novel — or a memoir that reads like a novel — that’s all about a young woman’s journey of healing from the grief and loss of her mother while hiking Pacific Crest Trail, then you’ll want to read this.

The book is incredibly deep, emotional, and raw.  Cheryl isn’t afraid to write about the deep darkness of one’s own human emotions when in the process of healing.  She doesn’t try to cover up or hide any of her struggle and suffering with fluffy words.  She tells the complete and total truth of her process unapologetically.

That being said: Reader beware!  I found myself on the verge of tears (or actually crying) many times reading this book.  This book goes incredibly deep and, for that reason, its not for anyone who doesn’t like going into the deep darkness human emotions.

What are you reading this summer?  Or what do you plan on reading this summer?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂