top influential books

Celebrating the Top 5 Influential Books of My Lifetime

Over the years, I have been introduced to so many wonderful books that have opened my eyes to new ways of interacting with the world around me. Spiritually, I have grown so much in the past decade.  Generally, the way it has happened has been that I meet someone who I vibe with and feel inspired by first.  There just is that deep “click” that happens with certain people, ya know what I mean? It’s as if they are touching my soul.

He or she then shares a life experience, book, or a story about another person who has influenced his/her path in life.  Somehow, just from those little moments, I am led to someone or something that was meant to come into my life at just the right time.

Everything You Need, You Will Be Given

I believe that the Universe delivers us the people, the experiences, and the messages we need for our own evolution. If I look back on my life, even the extremely challenging and tough situations I have endured, I know that they were given to me to help me evolve into the person I am today.  

So this month, instead of focusing on just one book to review like I typically do, I am sharing the five most influential books I have read in my life. 

Now, remember, what is influential for me might not be so for you. It’s all about what we needfor our highest self.  (But, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you’ve been brought to this post to hear about these books….just sayin’). 

I gravitate towards “self-help”, motivational, inspirational reads because I love developing my psyche and my spirit.  

Self-Help? Yes Please!

I put “self-help” in quotes because unfortunately, I think the genre carries a negative stigma with it. If you’re seeking self-help books there mustbe something wrong with you, right? This belief couldn’t be further from the truth.

I simply don’t believe that anything is wrong with people for wanting to better themselves and evolve.  We all have “flaws” or shortcomings that we’re trying to overcome or improve.  I believe that self-help books can be incredibly informative, inspirational, and life-changing if you’re willing to do the inner work on yourself.  You mustbe open to change.  

I, personally, love all the metaphysical questions that expand my mind and spirit.  I look forward to trying new things and experimenting with different ways of approaching life.

So without further ado, here are my top five reads:

My Top 5 Influential Books

1.  The Celestine Prophecyby James Redfield

2.  Loving What Isby Byron Katie

3.  Who Would You Be Without Your Storyby Byron Katie

4.  You Can Heal Your Lifeby Louise Hay

5.  Your Healthy Journey by Fred Bisci

Let’s start with:

#1 The Celestine Prophecy.  

A former colleague of mine led me to this book over a decade ago.  I connected with him on a deeper level than I did with some other co-workers.  We’d find ourselves talking about life in metaphysical, humanistic ways unlike any other friend I had had before.  We were very spiritually connected to say the least.  He asked me if I had read The Celestine Prophecy, which I had not. I hadn’t even heard of it. After our conversation, I immediately sought out a copy of the book and dove right in. 

Celestine Prophecy

The Spiritual Journey

His recommendation was spot on.  This book was compelling! The story supported feelings I was already having myself about people’s energy fields, coincidences (there are no such things), synchronicity, etc.  It all just aligned with what my soul was experiencing and ready to expand on.  It was a spiritual awakening.  

I couldn’t wait to share what I had taken away from the book and to discuss the insights brought to light throughout the book with my friend.  As expected, we chatted for days about how the insights in the book have happened in our own lives.  

The book was a great combination of adventure and spirituality. I have re-read it several times because I love it so much.  It is #1 on my list for a reason!  Check it out if you haven’t already. 

#2  Loving What Is 

I was introduced to Byron Katie’s work through a therapist who specialized in using compassion and self-acceptance as tools for internal change. If you’re not familiar with Bryon Katie, she’s awesome (in my humble opinion).  

She went into a deep depression in her life and while in the depths of that depression, she discovered that her thoughts and beliefs were only powerful if she chose to believe them.  She realized that she could question any existing thought or belief she was having and free herself from their grasp, which was ultimately contributing to her depression.  

Introducing The Work

She developed a technique called The Work, which I think is extremely effective and powerful because it prompts all of us to simply question our thoughts instead of automatically believing they are true.  

In this book, Byron Katie teaches you how to practice this method in your own life.  It releases just about any emotion that you’re attaching to: fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, anger, hatred, disbelief, you name it!

For me, I found it transformative and I use it as a clinician with clients.  That’s how much I believe in it!  I’ve seen it work!

#3 Who Would You Be Without Your Story

Another one of Byron Katie’s books focuses on the stories we tell ourselves that keeps us trapped in untrue patterns in our lives.  She encourages her readers to do The Work to investigate limiting thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves that ultimately are not serving us.  So, I ask you this, “What is YOUR story?”  What have you been telling yourself that might be contributing to your struggles?  This book is a great read if you’re looking to do some self-work and are open to changing and bettering your life!

#4  You Can Heal Your Life

Ah, Louise Hay.  She is one of my greatestinspirations.  I have never met Louise and sadly she has passed away so I never will, but I feel so connected to her.  Her approach to life and her wisdom resonate with every fiber of my being.  

I only discovered her a few years ago, but clearly that’s when I was meant to.  Louise was a pioneer of holistic medicine, in my opinion.  She was diagnosed with “incurable” cervical cancer, which she realized was her own doing.  Louise brought it on herself.  She was holding onto resentment about childhood abuse and rape that she experienced and it manifested into cancer of her cervix.  

Intuition Can Be Your Miracle

Instead of choosing conventional medicine to treat her condition, she chose holistic methods including forgiveness, colonics, talk therapy, positive affirmations, nutrition, and reflexology.  She cured her own cancer.

She went on to write her book Heal Your Bodylisting probable metaphysical causes for bodily ailments leading readers to treat their own symptoms through holistic means.  Next, she wrote You CanHeal Your Life, which prompts readers to take a good, close look at their lives and do inner work to heal areas that are causing pain or discord. The exercises that she provides the reader are life changing.  I cannot speak highly enough of her work.  

Naturally, her holistic approach to healing and personal development speak to my soul on a very deep level.  

#5 Your Healthy Journey

In 2006 after some of my breast implant illness symptoms started to appear, I sought out my first colonic experience.  I was having so much gastrointestinal distress and through my research, I decided to try colon hydrotherapy.  I am SO glad I did.  

Oh, How She Glows!

The hydrotherapist was this beautiful, glowing, fit woman who radiated from the inside out.  If colonics could make me glow like her, then I was all in! (Joking, sort of, not really) During my colonic sessions, I grew to know her and her lifestyle as she shared why she got into the colon hydrotherapy business.  She was a raw vegan and believed in cleansing the colon to detox the body.  I had never heard of raw veganism before.

Raw Vegan

She explained that she only ate food that grew from the Earth, but more so, she only ate rawfood.  Nothing cooked.  This seemed extreme to me, but her energy, glow, and vibrancy were enough to make me want to know more!  

She explained that she worked with a nutritionist named Fred Bisci based out of Long Island, NY.  He was a raw foodist most of his life and an incredible athlete to boot!  She suggested I make an appointment with him because she thought a lot of my digestive woes could be addressed with his nutritional counseling.  Sign me up! At this point, I was completely open to learning about other lifestyles that might be better for my body.  Clearly what was happening in my body was not optimal.

So, a few weeks later, I drove to Long Island, New York and pulled up to Fred’s house where he conducted his nutritional counseling sessions.  Here was this 80 year old man (having been a raw foodie for 40+ years) with clear, glowing skin inviting me into his office. On his wall were photos of him competing in Olympic style weight lifting and running ultra marathons in his younger years and running on the beaches of Long Island with his two dogs in his older years.  He explained to me that he ran 5 miles every day on the beach with his dogs (at 80 years old!).  Clearly this man was doing something right.  

Chemistry Isn’t Just for Classrooms

He explained to me that 100% raw isn’t a lifestyle for everyone.  It’s difficult, as any of us can imagine. It’s not the standard American diet, that’s for sure. He said most of his clients do the 80% raw lifestyle which is much more doable.  He outlined how this nutritional lifestyle works, including everything from food combining to alkalinity concepts.  I had never heard of these things before, but again, I was open to learning and experimenting.

Fred handed me his book, Your Healthy Journey, which outlined the entire process of leaning into this lifestyle.  Everything from the “why you would even wantto do this” stuff to “what you might feel like as your body detoxes the crap you’ve been ingesting” information lined the pages.  Having his book was so incredibly eye opening for me. I realized that my entire life, I have been fueling my body with processed, unhealthy crap.  Yes, crap.

No one ever taught me about the chemistry of my body growing up.  I thought chemistry was just something I learned in school and never had to think about again.  I never applied it to how foods affect my body’s performance and functioning.  

A Shift in Perspective

But thanks to Fred, my perspective started to shift.  He was the catalyst for me as far as having a greater awareness about what I put into my body.

Leaving his office, I vowed to give his nutritional plan a try.  I went vegan and gluten free that day.  The first four days of detox were utter hell. I barely left my bedroom due to my splitting migraine, bowel distress, weak body, and nausea.  When would this feeling end? I wasn’t allowed to take any pain medication because that would stop the detox process.  So I had to push through it – naturally

After the fourth day, I woke up with an abundance of energy! I got through the worst part and came out on the other side ready and rearing to go!  Let’s do this!  

I committed myself to living this lifestyle 100% despite the judgment that many people threw my way.  I was an outsider in my own family because no one ate this way.  None of my friends ate this way, either!  It felt isolating at times, but I knew it was for my ultimate good so I stuck with it.  

Great things came from this lifestyle.  

1)I had more energy than I knew what to do with

2)I lost unneeded body fat and weight

3)My mind was clear and sharp

4)My moods were stable

5)I didn’t experience a single headache! 

Aside from alleviated symptoms, I joined communities of like-minded people that elevated my spirit in ways it longed for.  I was introduced to meditation, juicing, and tons of other holistic practices and learned so much.  I loved how I felt! 

Juicing

My Soul is Speaking to Me

So you might be wondering if I still live this lifestyle? 

Sadly, I don’t currently adhere to it but I don’t think there is a single week that goes by when I don’t think about it.  I loved the way I felt taking care of my body, mind, and soul that way.  

Once I became pregnant, I stopped this lifestyle and I haven’t gone back fearing it might be too difficult to adhere to while raising a family. (Insert Byron Katie prompting me to investigate that belief….Is it absolutely true that it would be too difficult?)

I can tell you this, I am genuinely considering leaning back into it in the not so distant future.  Stay tuned!

So I will leave you with this.  If you’re wanting to try a new lifestyle and if eating whole, organic, mostly raw makes sense to you, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out Fred Bisci’s website and book. Even if you’re curious about it, it’s worth reading about.

He changed my life.  I think about him and the lifestyle weekly.  Seriously.  I do. (That’s probably my soul telling me something, huh?)

Time For Your Evolution

There you have it! Those are the five most influential books of my lifetime so far. If any of them speak to you, I recommend that you read them.  Just like I said, all it takes is for someone to merely mention something that sparks your interest.  Trust that spark.  It’s your soul’s evolution calling you!

Happy reading my dear friends!

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