Books & Audiobooks

These books, grouped by author, that have had a profound impact on me.  Click on the links to read more about each book.  You can also click on each author’s name to visit their website.

By Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brené Brown, Ph.D., a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living – a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

In her 10 guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough,” and to go to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

Daring Greatly – Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on 12 years of pioneering research, Dr. Brené Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Rising Strong – Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

Braving the Wilderness – Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”

 

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Big Magic – Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

 

By Louise Hay

You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” The author has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer. An excerpt from You Can Heal Your Life: Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.

 

By Cheryl Richardson

Finding Your Passion – (Audio/CD)  Cheryl Richardson gives hands-on exercises to help us reconnect with ourselves, to help us find out what things get us excited. What books, films, or people do you find ourselves drawn to? What personal challenges have we overcome? What stimulates us? What makes us mad? These questions will start us on the ‘passion path of development’.

Stand Up for Your Life – (Book/Audio/CD) Richardson challenges us to begin an interactive training program that will transform internal obstacles such as self-doubt, conflict phobia, and a fear of what others think, into a new foundation of courage, confidence, and self-esteem. By investing in our personal and spiritual development, we will build a strong character that allows us to create a larger vision for our lives — a vision of service and contribution to ourselves and the world.

Take Time for Your Life – This is a guide for anyone struggling to balance the demands of career and family, or who are simply looking to find peace of mind in a world of chaos. This seven-step program contains advice, action plans and client success stories.

The Art of Extreme Self-Care – This life-changing handbook offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time. Designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble.The book is filled with personal stories of how Cheryl and others have learned to make the practice of Extreme Self-Care their new standard for living. With chapters such as “End the Legacy of Deprivation,” “Take Your Hands off the Wheel,” “The Absolute No List,” and “Does That Anger Taste Good?”, you will stop the endless cycle of self-betrayal and neglect that stems from daily violations of self-care. Each chapter includes a relevant resource section that offers books, Websites, audio programs, podcasts, and more should you want to explore a particular topic further.The Art of Extreme Self-Care is a sane and sensible program that gives you the permission you need to dramatically upgrade your life.

Waking Up in Winter – This is the candid and revelatory account of how at midlife, Richardson found renewed contentment and purpose through a heroic, inward journey. The unfolding story, told through intimate journal entries, follows Richardson from the first, gentle nudges of change to a thoughtfully reimagined life – a soulful, spring awakening.

 

By Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson

You Can Create an Exceptional Life – For countless people around the world, the words of Louise Hay have served as a beacon, leading them out of the darkness of despair and into the light of a better life. Cheryl Richardson is one of the many individuals whom Louise has greatly influenced . . . before going on to become a best-selling author herself. So what happens when these two combine their collective wisdom into one book? The result is what you’re now holding in your hands. As Louise and Cheryl engage in a series of empowering and intimate conversations, you’ll feel as if you’re simultaneously having lunch with your best friends and also attending a master class put on by two leaders of the self-empowerment movement. As they travel throughout North America and Europe together, Louise and Cheryl discuss a wide range of topics, including the importance of loving ourselves and our bodies; aging consciously; bringing true prosperity and abundance to the world; manifesting positive relationships—both with family and friends and in the workplace; and facing death in a dignified and peaceful way. These two amazing women are living proof that the spiritual principles they discuss in these pages really work. As you read, you’ll discover that you, too, have the ability to create an exceptional life.

 

By John P. Strelecky

The Why Cafe – In a small cafe at a location so remote it sits in the middle of the middle of nowhere, John–a man in a hurry–is at a crossroads. Intent only on refueling before moving along on his road trip, he finds sustenance of an entirely different kind. In addition to the specials of the day, the cafe menu lists three questions all diners are encourage to consider.

  • Why are you here?
  • Do you fear death?
  • Are you fulfilled?

With this food for thought and the guidance of three people he meets at the cafe, John embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes him from the executive suites of the advertising world to the surf of Hawaii’s coastline. Along the way he discovers a new way to look at life, himself, and just how much you can learn from a green sea turtle.

Return to The Why Cafe – To his great surprise, ten years later, John suddenly finds himself at the cafe once again. There are more questions on the cafe menu:

  • Why are you here?
  • Are you playing in your playground?
  • Do you have MPO?

And there are new adventures to be had.

As before, his time at the cafe launches his life in an inspiring and new direction.

In a small cafe at a location so remote it sits in the middle of the middle of nowhere, John–a man in a hurry–is at a crossroads. Intent only on refueling before moving along on his road trip, he finds sustenance of an entirely different kind. In addition to the specials of the day, the cafe menu lists three questions all diners are encourage to consider.

  • Why are you here?
  • Do you fear death?
  • Are you fulfilled?

With this food for thought and the guidance of three people he meets at the cafe, John embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes him from the executive suites of the advertising world to the surf of Hawaii’s coastline. Along the way he discovers a new way to look at life, himself, and just how much you can learn from a green sea turtle.