Beginning Your Personal Development and/or Spiritual Journey? YOU NEED THIS BOOK LIST!
2020 was strangely a year of clarity. As a collective, we had awakenings to old systems and patterns that weren’t serving us. There was so much physical and societal death. It felt like there was so much going on above and below the surface… and it was a lot to cope with.
Are you all okay? I know there were a lot of days where I was not okay.
For the past few years, but in 2020 especially, I have been opening up myself to both a personal development and spiritual journey. (I mentioned this briefly in my first post, The Girl Behind the Blog) It was what I leaned on during this past year to push me through.
To give a little background, in case any of you can relate… being raised in the Catholic faith didn’t provide a true resonance for me. There were some messages in there that were good about unconditional love, but there was a lot of noise and archaic language. As an adult, I was drawn towards “personal development” books that eventually made me realize we are all spiritual beings living a human experience.
As a child, always I felt so optimistic, light, and free. However, as an adult, there were overbearing feelings of being weighed down, pessimistic, and even depressed. What was the point of all this? I went from childlike-bliss to this perspective that the “reality of the world” was really painful, difficult, and complicated.
At the same time, even when things felt hopeless, I felt like there was a missing piece. There was still a little light flickering inside of my heart. I had some sort of faith and inner knowing that there was something bigger than what we could visibly see. Something that my inner child knew to be true:
There is still magic in the world. But how do I unlock it?
Even though I don’t have all of the answers for you… I do have this resource list of everything that has helped me along on my journey so far. For this post particularly, we will dive into a list of personal development & spiritual books that have been eye-opening and inspirational.
All I have been doing is following my intuition and letting it guide me to different avenues of learning. I have kept an open mind and an open heart to just see what resonates. Just take what sticks and leave the rest.
Human beings have such “limited perceptions.” (obviously) We’re all running on patterns/points of view/programs that we’ve picked up during our lifetimes. We aren’t taught to be open to alternate modalities, to look at things differently than what school or society always said to be “true.” Let alone, tune into our inner worlds!
Have you ever questioned why you believe what you believe?
Why are things the way they are? What are we even doing here out here on this floating planet in space? Is there more to life than working a 9-5, getting married, having kids, and 2 weeks of vacation a year? Like… is that it??
Those are the kinds of questions I kept asking and this is where it led.
If you’ve been having thoughts similar to this, then finding this blog post was not a coincidence. You may be ready to start expanding your awareness!
For this post, I want to share my favorite personal development and spiritual books with you. I will link the resource as well as a little anecdote of why it made such an impact. Whichever one(s) you feel innately drawn to are most likely meant for you – for that’s your intuition and your subconscious mind speaking. It may be yearning for the information that is within that book!
I hope you all enjoy and find some joy in diving into something new. Let me know if you get to check any of these out. I would love to hear if any of this resonates with you!
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Personal Development & Spiritual Books
I was in a New York City bookstore in 2017 with my friend Priscilla, and she saw this book on the shelf titled The Secret. She told me “this book is really powerful, what they explain in there is real. People get really into it and go to seminars about it and stuff.”
I was like… what could possibly be in there that makes it that impactful?
This was the first book I read that sparked my whole journey. It expanded my awareness and I felt like I was finally learning a “secret” to life that I was looking for. It is the perfect introduction to the Laws of the Universe, especially the Law of Attraction (like attracts like). It’s easy to read and it’s a quick read. There’s even a documentary of it on Netflix if that’s more your style. (Click here for The Secret Documentary – Netflix subscription required)
Rhonda Byrne has written other spiritual books, including The Magic and The Power. I haven’t read them yet but they’re on my bookshelf waiting for me. I have heard they’re great complements to the first one.
The second book I read on my journey was You are a Badass. Once I read this, I was all in. The tagline literally says “how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” YES! You don’t need to be “spiritual” to learn something amazing from this book, and Jen Sincero acknowledges that. This was the book that helped me give myself full permission to live authentically. It covers everything from comparison traps to fear, gratitude, meditation, and getting over your own B.S. Most importantly though, every chapter ends with Love Yourself.
Jen Sincero has an awesome writing style. She has also written books called You are a Badass at Making Money and Badass Habits. Again, these are sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. However, I trust Jen’s writing and messages enough to also recommend these.
This is a small spiritual book full of huge lightbulb moments. It explains why life works the way it does. Have you ever been curious about the Laws of the Universe? They are what make up the game of life. The Game of Life and How to Play It dives into the laws of karma, prosperity, non-resistance, forgiveness, and more. I would re-read this over again any day. Absolutely another great introductory level (and profound) book to expand your awareness.
When I tell you this book changed my life, it changed my life. I actually got this book on Audible so I could listen to Louise Hay’s voice read through it. It was like her message was speaking straight to my soul. She had many hardships and illnesses herself and was able to heal through positive affirmations. She explains so much in this book – humans’ resistance to change, how we store emotions in our bodies, and that we create sickness aka dis-ease in the body. There’s even a chart that explains physical “problems,” probable causes, and a new thought pattern to implement. It is very powerful.
Click here for the book version, and here for the audio version. Then if you would love a great accompaniment, there is a You Can Heal Your Life Workbook that I personally did and highly recommend, as well.
E-squared was the book that really expanded my awareness of the ways that energy works. There is an invisible energy force around us and within us. Pam Grout even includes experiments you can do to prove to yourself that your reality is malleable, based on your thoughts and where you direct your energy. They really work, too! Tons of epiphany moments in this one. I felt really excited listening to it and it truly provided a deeper understanding of the unseen.
The Inner Work feels like an answer key to life. It is a spiritual book that should be on everyone’s bookshelf. It wakes you up to realize that you are not your thoughts – we are operating from limited consciousness, perceptions, and patterns. Most of humanity is living this way and does not even know. The Inner Work is what helps us heal and wakes us up to be able to live in a state of pure happiness and inner peace. It emphasizes the importance of being present. It clarifies how to become aware of your triggers and getting to the root program, so you can transcend beyond the limitations of the mind. Again, LIFE-CHANGING and an easy read. (still with very profound topics) My inner self gets all lit up when I read this book and I wish everyone on the planet would read this one.
Ah, Abraham Hicks. What a light in an otherwise complicated world. Have you ever wanted something, like a relationship, job, money, etc., and didn’t know what to do with that desire? Ask and It is Given explains more about human desires, why we have them, why it’s okay to have them, creation, and manifestation. This book is written in a Q&A format and has tons of juicy insights to teach you how to get into alignment with your desires (while simultaneously detaching and trusting the Universe!). Esther (Abraham) Hicks’ teachings have a very warm, light, and comforting energy, and I feel very peaceful when listening to them. I also listened to this one on audiobook.
If you want to understand why humans experience so much suffering and if you’re asking yourself those big, existential questions, The Four Agreements is a good one to dive into. It brings awareness to how we create needless inner turmoil for ourselves that robs us of our joy. There are four core agreements (as stated in the title) that make up this code of conduct for a better quality of living – be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. They do a great job of diving into detail with each one to provide greater comprehension of how to live a happier life.
Told from the perspective of Eckhart Tolle, who went through a spiritual awakening himself, The Power of Now gives insight on how to achieve true inner peace and awakening. He talks about how there is truly nothing but the present – the past and future do not exist except for in the confines of the mind. Tolle explains how humans identify with their thoughts, perceiving their thoughts to be “real” when they are, in fact, the ego. He then dives into how we must detach from the ego to find inner peace. It is written in a Q&A style format. This book is full of really deep information, some of which I am able to grasp and some of which I am not yet. However, I found that listening to the audiobook while driving was the easiest way for me to consume the information.
Journey to the Heart is a book that has an entry for each day of the year – each one being around or less than one page long. Every entry is dated and has a gorgeous message that always seems to be exactly what I need to hear that day. They truly do speak to your heart. I keep it right near my bed so I can either start or end my day with something insightful. It has been a wonderful addition to my routine and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time to implement!
If you followed Lin Manuel Miranda’s Twitter for a while, you may remember the days when he used to post Gmorning and Gnight tweets each day with inspirational messages. They were the perfect little pep talks to start and end the day. Well, he released an illustrated book, Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You, with these short snippets to provide you comforting messages whenever you need them. I like to open the book to a random page and see what it opens to – oftentimes it ends up being extremely resonant to whatever I’m going through!
Also, if you decide to purchase the audible version of Gmorning, Gnight, it is narrated by Lin Manuel Miranda himself, which is just a whole other level of magic.
Within minutes of listening to Atomic Habits, I was sold on this book. James Clear breaks down really tangible and do-able ways to build long-lasting habits. If you want to up-level your life, this is a book to definitely add to your list. It is definitely more in the self-improvement category of things! James Clear also explains why humans are habitual creatures, the science behind it, the way our minds work, and why we do what we do. The advice he shares in this book is so powerful and easy enough to implement into your daily life. I would read this one again in a heartbeat and I’m sure I would learn even more the second time.
The Power of Vulnerability is audiobook only, and honestly, I love it that way. Brene Brown talks about vulnerability and emotions in a way I have never heard before. Her teachings made me feel safe, they created a desire of wanting to open up more, and I truly feel more freedom. I finally learned how to lean into authenticity, connection with others, and bravery in a world that can otherwise feel scary. This is the sort of media I would listen to multiple times to try and get more intellectual nuggets out of it each time. Do you want a life-changer? This is definitely one of them.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
So this one, again, lies more in the “self-development” category than anything but wow, having a clear space truly contributes to having a clear mind. Clearing out personal belongings equates to clearing out stagnant energy. Marie Kondo breaks it down in this book and explains it very simply – if your item does not spark joy – thank it, and let it go. I used to keep everything (because I am very emotional and nostalgic) but her tactics finally lightened my load. Especially for someone who moves frequently, this was a really good book to read. You don’t even need to follow it step by step – just do what feels right for you!
This book has been so powerful that they even made it into a Netflix show! Watch it here – Netflix subscription required.
These books are ones I have either heard phenomenal things about, started and haven’t finished yet, or read too long ago to give you a full synopsis. However, I still think they are worth mentioning because I would consider them to be in my “toolkit” as personal development and spiritual books I would absolutely refer back to.
- Personal Power Through Awareness: A Guidebook for Sensitive People by Sanaya Roman
- Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
- The Energy Cure by William Bengston
- The Energy of Emotions by Emily Maroutian
- The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
- The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
My intention is for this post to serve as a valuable guide for you! If you have ever read any of these books before or if you plan on diving into one in the near future, share your experience in the comments! I am so excited for you. I just know that whatever journey you take on will be magical.
Also, this blog post is part one of a series. I have many resources that have made up my personal development and spiritual journeys… and I really want to share them with you! So look out for future blog posts featuring who I’ve found to be the most impactful personal development/spiritual YouTubers, speakers, public figures, and more.
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Until Next Time 🙂