“What fascinates me is that hardly anyone is wondering what we’re actually doing on this planet. Most accepted the work-eat-entertainment -sleep cycle as life and have no desire for a deeper understanding of our purpose in this universe.” ~ Jim Carrey
Life consists of so many things, the more you begin to unwind and discover who you are the more self work comes into the picture. Personally I’m someone who has always liked to uncover and work on myself without any assistance but books definitely have helped expand my perspectives and helped light up my path.
Today, I’m putting down a few books that have helped, not enlighten me, but really helped steer myself, to put the wind in my sails whether it comes to understanding myself, or past traumas or even question my beliefs or stir up some new ones.
These books have as a matter of fact guided me on my life’s journey and I’m positive it will help you with yours.
1. When the Body Says No
With decades of experience and interactions with patients, Dr. Gabor Maté talks about how stress due to multiple reasons, but mostly focused on childhood trauma, is a root cause of diseases in adulthood. In his book “When the Body Says No” Maté puts forth his conversations over decades with his patients suffering from a range of chronic illnesses.
The book puts forth a case that the way we have been conditioned to live our lives itself can contribute to illness. To look at the body as a whole and not separating the mind and body, psychoneuroummunology, is not really a new concept, in fact one of Plato’s dialogues, Socrates quotes a Thracian doctor criticising one of his Greek colleagues, “This is the reason why the cure of so many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas; they are ignorant of the whole. For this is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the mind from the body.” You cannot split mind from body, said Socrates
The book dives deep into emotions and their effects on the body, parent- child relationships and how they affect adult life. Multiple behavioural patterns that do not serve us stem from acts of people pleasing that get incorporated from an early age. Maté also includes the Seven A’s of Healing to understand how we can conduct ourselves in a way where we can avoid letting our body be taken over by negative emotions.
2. Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life
Who doesn’t want to live a long life if it’s a happy one, this book by authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralle is an international bestseller for a reason. Okinawa in Japan has the highest life expectancy, where reaching a 100 years is normal, as a matter of fact 80 years is still considered young there as most people are absolutely fit at that age.
In the simplest lesson the book teaches us that, “Life is not a problem to be solved. Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounding by the people who love you.”
That itself is a valuable lesson to learn, the book talks about the lifestyle of people who are happy and live long, surprisingly, simplicity places a big role in it but combined with other things like living close to nature, socializing with people who you love or who are fond of you, eating till you are 80% full, never retire even if you have retired professionally and a lot more.
Discovering your Ikigai, your purpose for living and it also talks about how you can achieve flow states.
3. Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon
If you ever underestimated the human bodies potential for achieving, this book is a must read. From healing, to manifesting your destiny, Joe Dispenza puts forth multiple case studies along with his research and documents to support his claims.
Of course that’s not going to be enough for most people, his work has been claimed as pseudoscience but to be honest he’s not the first person to put forth claims such as these. With case studies of self healing, to achieving a life that one desires, Dispenza’s book will walk you through understanding your energetic system, drawing your energy back to put it to use in your life, clearing your brain with meditations and breathing exercises and even manifesting your desires to make your life better.
The book showcases the power of self belief and the ability to reprogram your mind to enable healing and higher wellbeing. It will teach you how to be in a state of gratitude to enable receiving, if you want to know more read Going Supernatural ~ Unlocking your True Human Potential ~ Part 1
4. Taking Charge: Your Life Patterns and Their Meaning
As compared to all the other books on this list, the probability of you hearing about this one is quite low. Gudrun Burkhard was a physician and therapist, that specialised in Biography and she lectured around the world. Taking Charge combines her years of work as therapist with Rudolph Steiner’s seven year maps of human life from the age of 0 to 70 years.
According to Steiner each of these cycles put forth their own challenges and rewards, Gudrun, puts forth multiple biographies of her patients and showcases how when hardships are ignored they keep coming back after a period, with vengeance until either we work on it or it gets the better of us.
It’s fascinating to see more or less each of us as humans have a broad similar pattern to our lives that we unfolded uniquely to our being. At the end of the book Taking Charge allows you to create your own life biography to understand yourself better and give you some clarity of your own milestones. If this interests you our article on the cycle patterns of our existence is a must read!
5. The Love for Imperfect Things
The love of imperfect things is written by a Zen Buddhist South Korean Monk, Haemin Sunim. He is well known and was actually involved in a controversy with his app that charged for his meditations. He has travelled the world lecturing and finally decided to go back to monastic life.
The Love for Imperfect things does involve a lot of personal experiences, simple quotes and wonderful lessons. It also taught me how to accept the father-son relationship which I had quite some trouble with. The book really helps you understand who you are and why you do the things you do.
It engages inner dialogue and help you come alive and love your imperfect self. The book is filled with little stories that help shine some light in the darkness, its a tiny little book that makes for a quick insightful read.
6. The Courage to be Disliked
At this point of this article I would like to say that none of these books are in order of best to worst, the courage to be disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga would be the book I would recommend you to read if you have no time to read any of them.
Our world moves via principals generated by Freud and Jung, where trauma plays such a massive role in shaping who we are today. But the book takes the contrary views of Alfred Adler that says that we’re basically shaped by our lifestyle or rather that none of our past creates who we’re today but us ourselves.
That statement can be very blunt to just read like that, the book builds it up very nicely where a young man who does not like his life talks with a philosopher. The entire book is based on multiple encounters or so to say debates between the two of them shifting through insights of Adlerian psychology.
Being someone who has held trauma responsible for shaping my life, there were so many tada moments that the conversations were nudging me out of my comfort zone. I’m going to be doing an article for members on this one soon!
7. The Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose
Let me be honest with you I haven’t fully finished working with the Gene Keys completely, and in all honesty it will probably take me a long time to embrace all it has completely. But this book by Richard Rudd has immense potential in steering you on your path and it had to be put here.
The Gene Keys is deep work on what we in India call the Kundalini, the Chinese call the IChing, where your life path or so to say destiny is already pre planned based on the time and place you were born. Now don’t get me wrong, you still have a major part to play as the choices you make send you in different directions on this map.
Something like a game of snakes and ladders, but with different outcomes, the gene keys comes with set of codes to help you find the ladders on this game leading you to find your genius (your talents not just intelligence) and live your best life possible. While the concept is fairly simple you can imagine that its very indepth as it takes into account these ancient systems that are still used and combines them along with years of research into a massive book that can help guide you on your life’s path!
I do hope you enjoyed this selection of books, I’m positive each one of them has something that can assist you on your path. But remember it’s always you who has to take the steps and convert this knowledge into wisdom! All the very best.