Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
BY SUSAN CAIN
“Don't think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”
Susan Cain walks us through the difference between introverts and extroverts in how each derives and spends their energy. She shows how our society values and rewards extroversion, when in reality introverts have contributed greatly to society. The book helps shine a light on the power of introverts as well as raising up us introverts to embrace our unique characteristics and abilities. This book changed my life. It was the first book I ever picked up that helped me to reflect on my own personality and embrace my introversion after being raised to believe that I had to become an extrovert to “get anywhere in life.” Perhaps we could all benefit from a bit more quiet time in our lives.
The Moon Book: Lunar Magic to Change Your Life
BY SARAH FAITH GOTTESDIENER
“Because she’s the world’s celestial anchor. Her gravity stabilizes earth on its axis. She’s both predictable and wild. Because she’s got rhythm all her own that mirrors the season. We find our own rhythms when we look to her as a guide.”
The Moon Book is a practical and beautiful guide to living in sync with the phases of the moon. Sarah Faith Gottesdiener takes us through the history and science behind the moon and offers extensive pages filled with tools in the form of spellwork, meditation, journal writing prompts, tarot card spreads, and magical rituals. This book invites us to deepen our connection to the moon and deepen our connection with ourselves to better serve the collective good. In the seasonal cycle, winter represents the dark moon or new moon, a.k.a. the perfect time to settle in and learn about the moon and start a new beginning in alignment with La Luna!
Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger
BY LAMA ROD OWENS
“There’s something about our identity as activists that is so closely related to the anger that we experience. What would it look like if we formed our activist communities around joy, not the suffering or the anger, as a basis for our change work?”
Love and Rage explores how anger can be a conduit for transformation, collective liberation, and social change. Underneath our un-metabolized anger lies our wounds, pain, generational trauma, and more. This beautiful book walks us through a radical re-envisioning of the concept of anger, alongside practical meditation and visualization exercises. I love how personal and also political Lama Rod’s writing is: through sharing his experiences, we witness his journey of working with anger to eventually accepting and loving his anger. This book is a MUST, in my opinion, and his signature Seven Homecomings meditation practice is powerful beyond words.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALY
“To overcome the anxieties and depressions of contemporary life, individuals must become independent of the social environment to the degree that they no longer respond exclusively in terms of its rewards and punishments. To achieve such autonomy, a person has to learn to provide rewards to herself. She has to develop the ability to find enjoyment and purpose regardless of external circumstances.”
Flow is a state of consciousness where one experiences an incredible amount of involvement, creativity, and enjoyment. Flow isn’t just for top violinists, chess players, and olympic swimmers: anyone can access this state of being in almost anything that you do during the day. From doing the dishes, to conversations with others, to riding a bike, to working at a desk. With an understanding of flow and with tools to help us create the conditions to cultivate it, flow can be within reach regardless of circumstance. Ultimately flow experiences contribute to our sense of well-being, fulfillment, and overall happiness. But I warn you that this book just may transform your relationship to… everything…
All About Love: New Visions
BY BELL HOOKS
“To return to love, to get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we seek romantic relationships. We believe these relationships, more than any other, will rescue and redeem us. True love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.”
“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others.”
To best capture a bit of how incredible this book is, here is a quote from bell hooks’ own introduction to the book itself: “We want to live in a culture where love can flourish. We yearn to end the lovelessness that is so pervasive in our society. This book tells us how to return to love. All About Love: New Visions provides radical new ways to think about the art of loving, offering a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power. It lets us know what we must do to love again. Gathering love’s wisdom, it lets us know what we must do to be touched by love’s grace.”
BY YUNG PUEBLO
i can only
give to you
what i have already
given to myself
i can only
the world as much as
i understand myself
If you are on Instagram, you just may have come across @yungpueblo. Inward is a collection of minimalist poetry and prose by meditator, writer, and speaker Diego Perez, the human behind yung pueblo. Each page contains a careful selection of words which are filled with wisdom. Concepts of self-love, understanding, letting go, inner peace, unconditional love, and self-awareness guide us through our paths of inner discovery and eventually inner healing. I keep a copy next to my meditation cushion to flip to a page to read anytime I need grounding inspiration and re-orientation back into my inner world.
The Year of Magical Thinking
BY JOAN DIDION
“We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. as we were. as we are no longer. as we will one day not be at all.”
We get a glimpse into Joan Didion’s psyche as she recounts again and again her husband’s life and death over the course of a year as a way of trying to make sense of it all. It is a deeply intimate view of life and death, of marriage and parenthood, and the “shallowness of sanity”, thus creating a beautiful experience for the reader. In the depths of winter, this book can help us explore our own loss and grieving process amidst the collective grief we are all experiencing right now during this pandemic.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
By Pema Chödrön
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”
As the title suggests, this is a perfect book for right now as the world seems to be crumpling around us. Instead of turning away from pain, hardship, and suffering, this book has us turn towards it, to face it head on. Pema Chödrön gives us practical wisdom on how to navigate fear and painful emotions from a Buddhist lens, but in a way that can resonate with anyone regardless of belief. This is one of those books I read many years ago, but one I am turning back to this winter to regain some perspective on traversing difficult times.
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