By Leahnora Azad, Editor
That's Life: Starting Over, One Breath At a Time
- Sharon Salzberg
There is no experience like getting lost and found in a good book. Whether you need a getaway (don't we all?) or looking for a spark of inspiration, the beauty of reading transports us to ideas, insights, and experiences that expand our outlook on life and self. From books that brought us closer to our dreams, changed our habits for the better, and deeper appreciation of life, we share our personal favorites to stay present and lead our days mindfully. Ahead are our favorite reads that may help you ground yourself, recalibrate, find balance, and reset during moments you feel overwhelmed or blocked with challenges.
1. The Power of Now
Eckart Tolle provides a manual to live in the now, guiding readers to become conscious of the power behind thoughts and emotions that shape our ability to live in peace and authenticity. Its primary teachings acknowledge you are not the mind -- but pure consciousness. The Power of Now prompts readers to reflect on these questions:
"Who am I, and what do I believe in?"
"Where are your attachments?"
"Are you too deep in the past or future?"
Tolle thoroughly explains the present moment as the only reality -- guiding readers to find this presence in daily life.
Our Founder Anastasia reflects,
"I read Power of Now about nine months before launching Minori, and I am pretty confident the wisdom this book gave me removed a lot of pre-launch anxiety I would have had. It taught me that you should focus on the present moment. To learn how to be fully present in everything I do, instead of allowing my mind to slip into daydreaming about the future or holding on to pain from past life choices.
I read this book in tandem with beginning my meditation practice. I found that its teachings aligned with the general practice of mindfulness and the goal of freeing yourself from the pain we cause ourselves by allowing our minds to uncontrollably think about what has been or what could happen, failing to live in the present."
2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
"I saw that everything was written there before me and that the doors had only been closed before because I hadn't realized that I was the one person in the world with the authority to open them."
The Alchemist tells the story of an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago whose reoccurring dream prophecizes him finding treasure at the foot of the Egyptian Pyramids. He meets a mysterious man named Melchizedek that pushes him to find his "Personal Legend." Journeying the sands of the Sahara, Santiago embarks on a journey full of obstacles and personal revelations that lead him to use his soul as a compass, guiding him to the heart of his dreams.
Are you letting fear stop you from doing what excites you most?
Through his words, Paulo Coelho beautifully visualizes the journey of Living From The Heart. Like Santiago, each of us comes to learn one of the most important lessons of life: To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation. The Alchemist uniquely presents the importance of self-compassion and trust when exercising personal autonomy.
"Imagine if everyone went around transforming lead into gold. Gold would lose its value. It’s only those who are persistent, and willing to study things deeply, who achieve the masterwork." The Alchemist
One of the most impactful teachings I've learned from reading this book is the value of failure. We each have the potential to become Alchemists of our own life, transforming the led of fear, doubt, and appearances of failure into keys that enable to our highest expansion. Coelho grants readers a better understanding of mindfulness as personal alchemy. By Living from the heart, we become equipped with a "personal language of the soul" that strengthens our intentions in the face of setbacks.
3. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits gifts readers an understanding of one of the most influential forces of our lives -- our habits. This book has an abundance of insights for the person who wants to create change in their life or simply a better understanding of how the mind works.
James Clear outlines how to build better habits and break free from limitations. He examines the science of habit formation and how it can be a tool to live a better life. Clear proposes the most profound changes arise from the compounded small decisions made each day. Typically when we set goals, we restrict ourselves to the assumption that big leaps bring us closer to fulfilling our desire.
With the backing of behavioral sciences, Atomic Habits suggests, "If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done." Clear presents the value of tiny improvements that build into long-term results. Instead of facing the pressure to have instant and groundbreaking results, we learn to appreciate the resilience that keeps us moving forward regardless of attaining any goal.
Each of these books carries fundamental truths that help to live more mindfully and intentionally. Most importantly, they teach us to embrace who we are and our unique life experiences from a place of patience and trust.