3 books that changed my life ... FOREVER
For a practicing Yogini, I have terrible patience for reading. If I am not captured within the first two pages of a book, I'm out. My mind wanders, I day dream or worse, I pick up the phone and scroll through instagram (awful I know).
The reason I am telling you this is because for me to recommend a book, it means that every word has gone through the filter of my distracted, hippie sometimes ADHD mind and still made it out the other side.
These days we tend to read a lot of blogs, articles, essays and journals, and I think these shorter pieces, while greatly affecting our attention span, have created a wonderful thirst for information. I believe that books can really quench that thirst because they take us on a journey, building a deeper understanding of the topic slowly but surely. A good book takes an expert(s) to write and can very often cut through the BS you come across online.
I have obviously read more than 3 books in my life (you would hope) but these three really changed the direction of my life for the better.
1. The Law of Attraction by Esther & Jerry Hicks
Moving to London was quite a shock to my system (my beach bum/yoga hippie system). Like many long trips abroad (2 years and counting), I felt vulnerable and alone in the first few months of living in this crazy, busy and ginormous city. The positive of this vulnerability (and at times anxiety) was that I began reaching out for ’Self-Help’ philosophies and teachings that could get me out of this mental rut that I was experiencing. Luckily one of my absolute dearest friends (thank you Georgia - I love you) softly navigated me to these teachings through YouTube. It really didn’t take long before I noticed the law of attraction taking positive shape in my life. I wanted to know more so I bought this book and as cliché as it sounds, the miracles unfolded when I followed and acknowledged these explained principles of life. It’s not a religion, nor is it against religion, it’s just a wonderful way to live the life you want. Needless to say, I attribute every bit of my success to learning how to live in gratitude and attract the right people and situations into my life. Everyone should read this, like now. I think it should be taught in schools - I most certainly use the Law of Attraction more than I use Algebra.
Who should read this:
Anyone that wants to have as much money, opportunity, love and happiness as their heart desires - I guess that narrows it down then ... In seriousness, everyone needs this book, and would benefit from this philosophy, however - I believe it only sinks in when you're in a state of suffering. If you feel like your stuck, and no matter how hard you try you continue to be faced with situations that pull you back down to the place you don't want to be, then this is the book for you.
2. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy - Paul Chek
This book changed my life because it suddenly forced me to acknowledge and honour my body in a way that no other fitness expert had. When I first started training in the gym the culture was heavily steeped in the concept that men should be massive and girls should be skinny - there was minimal discussion on moving the body as an entity, and rather it was all about isolation of muscles to ’sculpt’ the body you want. Although many athletes were training ‘functionally', the concept of ‘Functional’ training, or ‘Primal patterns’ was really scarce amongst the general population, the Paleo diet didn’t exist and I don’t think anyone but the Andeans knew what Quinoa was. How to eat, move and be healthy was (and still is) a really great introduction to healthy living and it was the first book that I had ever read on ‘Health’ in the holistic sense. I still haven’t come across a book that covers holistic health and wellness as brilliantly as this book did - especially for it’s time.
Who should read this:
I think this book needs a revisit in the industry - especially now in this age where all the girls count their Macros and eat 'Flex bowls' (Look I didn't know what it was either, but a flex bowl is basically this bowl of food - if you can call it that - where you would put all the Macro nutrients you had left over in your IIFYM diet, very often consisting of oats, snickers bars, whey protein powder, honey, cocaine ... etc etc). I'm actually not againts Flexible Dieting, I know it has saved a lot of bikini and fitness models from metabolic damage and has also made their lives more enjoyable. The problem is that this Fitness Model culture is filtering down (thanks to instagram) to the general public who think that being lean and tonned automatically means you're healthy. It doesn't - I've been lean and toned and extremely sick (in mind and body). This book addresses healthy movement and eating (healthy being the operative word), and asks you to look at your fitness and health regime from a more holistic perspective. This book is for people wanting true health - not just a sub 6% body fat reading.
3. Buddhist Bootcamp - Timber Hawkeye
Buddhist Bootcamp is like medicine for your mind. By medicine I don’t mean temporary relief of persisting symptoms, I mean actual healing. Healing that gets right to the cause of your deepest inner turmoil and the cause of your suffering. Timber Hawkeye has managed to take incredibly complex Buddhist principles, that can be at times clouded with religious misinterpretations, and has translated them for the modern day woman/man. This book came to me at another very tumultuous time in my life, full of confusion and his words both soothed and clarified my life. Buddhist Bootcamp is like a life map to help you navigate your way to act with love and let go of anger and resentment - couldn’t every body do with a little more of that?
Who should read this:
The Dalai Lama said that “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation." This book doesn't teach meditation, but it does teach peace, internal peace - which is the only peace that exists really. I will narrow this down and say that this book is very, very, very good for people that have trouble with their temper or have anxiety - but the best part about it ... is that it is not dogmatic, religious or esoteric in ANY WAY. It is perfect for that person who just does not respond well to anything that even smells like New Age hooey.
I can tell you now that I found it so tricky to narrow this list to 3. I really love the works of many writers including Bret Contreras, who changed the way I looked at Glute training. Charles Poliquin, who although has a personality to be reckoned with, still revolutionised the way people approached health, strength and conditioning and because of this also consequently changed my nutritional and training life. Yoga & Vegetarianism by Sharon Gannon was a book that completely expanded the way I looked at food and animals; which I really believe is a highly disregarded aspect in our lives and we are turning our heads away at the massacre that occurs right under our noses (and on our plates) every time we eat meat or even choose dairy. Gary Taubes, Weston A. Price, Donna Farhi, Ian King … I mean the list goes on ...
I always believe that books, like crystals, are very synchronistic. They find you when you most need them - so perhaps you’re ready for one (or all) on my list.
I hope so! I would love to hear about YOUR life changing books - please comment below!
Happy Reading and lots of love,