These books have supported me on my hero’s journey. Some of them were required reading, some found, and some gifted- but all were given to me at exactly the right time.
What would it be like if you lived your life like a hero on a journey? I love finding things in the world: blue doors, the number 3, grocery lists discarded on the street, lost playing cards (especially Aces), and BOOKS.
I’m so delighted to share this list with you.
Maybe, you’ll find them when you need them most- a friend may send you one, or you could find one at a free library! If you cannot wait, I’ve linked you to Amazon. However, I highly recommend finding a local book store to purchase from. Let’s dive in!
Bird by Bird– Anne Lammot. I read this my first year in college. I was anxious, depressed, and homesick. I wanted to quit playing music. Anne has been through it all. She is hilarious and taught me to take things, “bird by bird”, write shitty first drafts, and imagine anxiety as little mice- pick them up by the tail, drop them in a jar and screw the lid on.
The Artist’s Way-Julia Cameron. I came home from college- a bit defeated- but not as depressed. This was the assigned reading for a class at Sacramento City College. Through artist dates, meditations, and writing daily this book brought my creativity back to me. I wrote and recorded an album with friends as a final project.
Be Here Now– Ram Dass. You can open it to any page or read it cover to cover. This is the only moment. Be here now. This book was given to me by one of my best friends Orrey Severet who artfully created this website and new blog!
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying– Sogyal Rinpoche. This was assigned reading for my coaching class. There are powerful practices for supporting folks in transition, the most powerful one: is compassion. My favorite quote: “My religion is to live and die without regret”- Milarepa.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho. I drove off from my grandmother’s house and saw an orange book with a yellow sun on it laying in the middle of the road. I drove past it a moment, thinking “it would be weird to pull over and get a book from the road,” but then made a U-turn. I’m so glad I did, because (if you read the book) you’ll know that this was an omen.
The Other Shore – Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2020, I accompanied a family to the doctor’s office and waited outside. I saw this book on a bench across the courtyard. It was just waiting for me. It took me a year to pick it up and start reading, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. This was what all of my friends and family received as holiday gifts in 2021. Another omen.
All About Love– bell hooks. This book was given to me by my best friend Hunter at a time when I really needed it. I moved home from San Francisco, leaving a ten-year-long abusive romantic partnership. I finally released myself from the pain and suffering that I clung to as love. Page after page, I saw what complicated messages we receive on love. Most love songs are written from males’ perspectives, we all hurt and hide our emotions to somehow save ourselves or the other person. The most radical thing I learned is:
“When we are loving we openly and honestly express care, affection, responsibility, respect, commitment, and trust,”All About Love- bell hooks.
Since then, I have committed to living my life with a love ethic.
You’ve come to the end of my list of inspirational and life-changing books. Which of them have you read? Which one was your favorite? What books do you love? What should I read next?
With lots of love,