Back in my school days, I dreaded the sight of a required reading list. The thought of being forced to read books that I hadn’t chosen seemed like pure torture to me. Now that I am older (and definitely wiser), reading has become a very big part of my life and something that I look forward to doing often. While I love a good beach read / guilty pleasure novel (especially on vacation), more often than not, Britt and I both find ourselves trading non-fiction titles.
Whether I am reading an inspirational memoir, a book on parenting or expert advice on business, each good book I finish always leaves me feeling more inspired to be a better version of myself. A few years ago, I made a very conscious decision that I never want to neglect to focus on my personal growth — Diving into books like these has become an amazing way for me to grow and stay connected with myself on a regular basis.
Life gets busy for everyone, and we forget that emotional and spiritual self-care is just as important as physical care — Just like I know I have to go to the dentist, I know that I also need to be equally diligent about growing as a person. Committing to reading for your soul is all about making a conscious effort to do it. Instead of picking up my phone or turning on the TV, I try to open a book instead. Even if you only find time to read here and there, those few minutes will no doubt leave you feeling more inspired than looking at your phone would have.
Below are some of Britt and I’s favorite books for the soul — These titles are ones that have absolutely helped us grow as people, and have left us feeling inspired! Add them to your summer reading list, and I promise you won’t be sorry you did! Tag #TheSweetLife and show us which titles you have added to your summer reading list for the soul!
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel
Cyn's Reading List:
Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton
Glennon Doyle Melton’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard.
We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby
With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she's "35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something"—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech by Heather Cabot
Meet the women who haven't asked for permission from Silicon Valley to chase their dreams. They are going for it -- building the next generation of tech start-ups, investing in each other's ventures, crushing male hacker stereotypes and rallying women and girls everywhere to join the digital revolution. Geek Girl Rising isn't about the famous tech trailblazers you already know, like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer. Instead, veteran journalists Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens introduce readers to the fearless female entrepreneurs and technologists fighting at the grassroots level for an ownership stake in the revolution that's changing the way we live, work and connect to each other.
The Awakened Psychic: What You Need to Know to Develop Your Psychic Abilities by Kala Ambrose
Everyone has intuitive ability at some level, and those abilities can be helpful tools in making decisions, following your dreams, enhancing your relationships, and building a business or career that you enjoy. In this book, you’ll discover the different kinds of psychic abilities and how they work together so that you can manifest your destiny and live a spiritually fulfilled life.
Goldie: A Lotus Grows In the Mud by Goldie Hawn
With her trademark effervescence, Goldie delivers a personal look at private and powerful events that carried her through life: her father’s spontaneity; her mother’s courage; and the joy of being a daughter, a sister, a parent, and a lover. She writes about her childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina. She takes us on a tour of her go-go years in 1960s New York City, the phenomenon of TV’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, her Oscar-winning debut in Cactus Flower and Hollywood stardom. She writes intimately about the challenges of love, anger and fear, and the importance of compassion and integrity. She speaks openly about her family, her partner Kurt Russell, her children; her faith, her curiosity for that which she doesn’t yet know, and her thirst for knowledge. Most of all, it is a trip back through a life well lived by a woman well loved.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Britt's Reading List:
Light Is the New Black: A Guide to Answering Your Soul’s Callings and Working Your Light by Rebecca Campbell
Light Is the New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world – modern-day lightworkers, who agreed to be here at this time in history. In order to thrive in this new age, everything we do must be an authentic expression of who we truly are. Light Is the New Black will guide you back home to the callings of your soul, so you can light up the world with your presence.
Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within by Rebecca Campbell
Rise Sister Rise is for the women who agreed at soul level to be here at this stage in history to lead this global shift that the mystics of all of the ages have predicted: the return of the mother and the rise of the feminine. It is essentially a call to arms for women to rise up, tell their truth, and lead. Most women have spent much of their working lives “making it” in a man’s world, leaning on patriarchal methods of survival in order to succeed, dulling down their intuition, and ignoring the fierce power of their feminine. They have ignored the cycles of the feminine in order to survive in a patriarchal linear system – but now the world has changed.
I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man's Self in a Transitioning Time by Paul Selig
Humanity has lost itself. Both as individuals and as a world culture, we have forgotten our true nature. In I Am the Word, writer and medium Paul Selig has recorded an extraordinary program for self- realization, as dispensed through beings of higher intelligence, sometimes called Guides or Ascended Masters. These figures seek, as they have in the past, to assist men and women in discovering the higher, purposeful nature-or "Christed Self"-that lies dormant within us all.
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco
Alyssa Mastromonaco worked for Barack Obama for almost a decade, and long before his run for president. From the then-senator's early days in Congress to his years in the Oval Office, she made Hope and Change happen through blood, sweat, tears, and lots of briefing binders. But for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren't nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican. Full of hilarious, never-before-told stories, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate portrait of a president, a book about how to get stuff done, and the story of how one woman challenged, again and again, what a "White House official" is supposed to look like.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Pocketbook Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra M.D.
This is a book you will cherish for a lifetime, for within its pages are the secrets to making all your dreams come true. Based on natural laws that govern all of creation, this book shatters the myth that success is the result of hard work, exacting plans, or driving ambition. Instead, Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success: When we understand our true nature and learn to live in harmony with natural law, a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships, and material abundance spring forth easily and effortlessly.
The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence by A. H. Almaas
The keys to self-knowledge and deep contentment are right here before us in this very moment—if we can simply learn to live with open awareness. In The Unfolding Now, A. H. Almaas presents a marvelously effective practice for developing the transformative quality of presence. Through a particular method of self-observation and contemplative exploration that he calls inquiry, we learn to live in the relaxed condition of simply "being ourselves," without interference from feelings of inadequacy, drivenness toward goals, struggling to figure things out, and rejecting experiences we don't want. Almaas explores the many obstacles that keep us from being present—including defensiveness, ignorance, desire, aggression, and self-hatred—and shows us how to welcome with curiosity and compassion whatever we are experiencing.