All of us face times in life where we feel a little lost, where we lose our footing or forget parts of ourself. In these times, it’s important to gather the things that remind us of who we are and provide us with perspective and grounding. Books have always been a source of support for me. They are like the friend you are never without and can always turn to.
10 books in particular have become favorites of mine, always giving me something new when I’m trying to find my next step forward. They are like the medicine cabinet for my soul. I return to them often; their pages are worn, there are notes in the margins and each of them have a deep, personal attachment for me. I’d like to share them with you in hopes that if you need them, you will find them there for you, always willing to help, always able to sit quietly with you and bring you gifts to help you on your journey.
This is my favorite book. Every day, I open it and read one of the short, inspirational essays inside. Madisyn Taylor has a way of lifting my spirits every time I read her words. Even when she’s discussing challenging things and suggesting ways to move through a challenge or discomfort, I always feel uplifted. DailyOM has become a valuable tool in my arsenal of wisdom. Her reminders feel like you are having a morning conversation with a close friend who always tries to lift you up. You can read it cover to cover, or you can open it up in a random place and see what speaks to you. Each entry is no longer than two pages long and the joy and inspiration held within each entry is like sunshine on your shoulders.
Everyone should have a copy of this book somewhere in their home. And maybe you should have three… just in case you want to give your friend one. If you don’t have a copy on hand, though, Madisyn Taylor’s words are never far— there’s also a DailyOM website, filled with wonderful entries that just feel good to read.
This book is not easy to describe. The best place to start is that it is not just a game changer, but a life changer. I’ve read it a few times now; often I’ve come to it in times when I’ve felt broken, with no one to turn to. By turning to Michael Singer’s words, usually in a bath with lavender oil and candles burning to calm my senses, I’ve often been able to remember who I am and find my way back to myself.
This book helps you to start to understand the difference between your thoughts and you. This is such a powerful tool. We often get confused with the voices we hear: what should I listen to, which one is truth, which one is God? With so many thoughts rushing through our heads, it can be hard to make sense of each one. And when we are uncertain of things, the voices get louder and our peace gets weaker. This book has helped me in so many ways. My own personal copy is beat up and has notes all over it. Singer gives you tools to practice and help distinguish between the voices to find your own truth, beyond the noise. He introduces you to your “inner roommate,” a concept that will make you laugh and cry, but once you learn how to recognize the different voices, you will feel free and truly untethered.
This is a book you can return to over and over again, and it’s one that needs to be read from cover to cover. For some, you may want to read it every few years to check in with yourself. But it’s always worth the investment of time; I never feel like I’ve wasted a moment when I spend my time within these pages.
Sometimes, life needs a different kind of cure. I am a big fan of feng shui principals in interior decorating and design. One of the major lessons it’s taught me is that changing your surroundings can have a huge impact on the way you feel. Our homes are where we recharge, rejuvenate, heal, nurture ourselves and raise our families, and it’s important to recognize the power that holds. This book has been a go-to when I feel the energy around me getting stagnant. My favorite chapter that I often return to is Chapter 7, The Sense: Sight, Sound, Smell and Touch, which shows how certain colors and shapes can affect us. It’s always fun to be reminded of these things.
I love to change my environment, but I don’t always want to purchase new things. As this book teaches, sometimes it is just a matter of moving things around. The placement of furniture is very important to how you feel in the room. The principles of feng shui make a lot of sense when you really look at them; to me, many of them are based in very practical thinking, and that’s always appealing. This book is a wonderful tool when you’ve done too much reading and too much thinking and you just want to move things around.
So open this book, put on some good music and let the games begin! I do suggest having a friend over when moving furniture — otherwise you will scratch your floors. ( You should see my floors.)
This book has such sentimental value to me. The copy I have is the copy I had given to my dad while he was undergoing cancer treatments. Sadly, he passed away in 2013. When my brother Craig and I were cleaning out his place, I found it and brought it back to LA with me. It’s a very special book for that reason, but what makes it so precious is that it is a book filled with inspiration. Each page has a different gentle reminder that it’s “never to late to… “ It’s one of those books that I can open to any page and the words will usually find their way to the core of whatever I’m going through, touching my heart and inspiring me to do something. I just opened it up… here is what was on the page:
It’s never too late….to be kind
Most of us rush through life
And miss many of its greatest rewards.
Take a gentler road,
Where you have time to talk to people.
Learn about their lives, and their loved ones.
It will broaden your life.
It will give you compassion.
Accept their kindnesses.
Be kind in return.
It’s a great book to keep in your purse or on your nightstand, always nearby to provide comfort and fresh inspiration. This book is like a best friend who’s always there to remind you that it’s never too late to be all that you want to be. Thank you, Patrick Lindsay.
I keep this book in my bathroom, which is my favorite place to read. (#TRUTH. ) I’ve had this book since 1988 — it’s a go-to book of inspiration filled with thought-provoking quotes by some really incredible thinkers, some famous, some not. ( I love that.) The quotes always challenge me, excite me, or give me peace. It encourages movement and thought and energy when I may feel stuck. Sometimes, pages from the book are just for fun and make me smile. Some of the quotes are designed to make us laugh at ourselves, and some are designed to catapult us into a new chapter of life. Either way, this has been one of my “ride or die” companions for years, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share it with you all today. Check it out; it also makes a great gift.
Whenever we communicate with each other correctly there is an exchange of energy.
— Reshad Feild.
This book is my little treasure and by the same author. It’s a red hardback little pocket-sized book of quotes and thoughts by a variety of thinkers. What I love about my copy of this book is that it’s written in beautiful calligraphy by Susan Hayward herself. The handwriting adds such unique flavor. It makes me feel like I’m holding an ancient text in my hands. She says in the preface that she wanted to “create a handbook of positive and uplifting thoughts that would inspire anyone in need of guidance.” This book teaches you how to listen to your own intuition. Reading a quote from someone else can help your mind open up to other ways of thinking beyond our own. But the real gift is that when you read a quote, as you are reaching for some help from the universe, you must use your own guidance, and listen to your own heart as you interpret it. As you do this more and more, you will learn who you are and come face to face with your own special and unique soul.
Another fascinating fact about this book is that it was rejected by every publisher, so the author ended up self publishing. Her determination and continued commitment to her vision created something that has touched my life and that is what I wish for all of you and always for my own self as well.
Ideas by themselves cannot produce change of being. Your effort must go in the right direction, and one must correspond with the other.
— P.D Ouspensky.
I just pulled that quote. Isn’t it quite perfect? You see, it really does work… I hope you will try it and find the same resonance that I do.
I use this book when I judge. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. What I meant is that I wrote the “Four Agreements” into the front page of my book when I first started out as a judge on Dancing with the Stars. Being a “judge” was challenging for me at first, because I struggled with that word. For me it brought about connotations of having to be perfect, of being the ultimate dance expert. It made me feel that I was then going to be judged in return. It was just scary. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I didn’t want to act like I know it all, because who does? I loved being a dancer and a choreographer, but the idea of being a judge felt like it lacked a certain creativity and expression that I had always had in my life. But, being a judge was the path that the universe had laid in front of me, and I needed to find a way to embrace it. It seemed like something that, deep down, I needed to learn ( and there have been many things I learned from being a judge).
I remember when I first started, chatrooms were popular, and it was a new phenomenon to hear the feedback from everyone. When you are a dancer, usually feedback is positive. Suddenly, because I was a “judge,” I had all sorts of feedback. It was a newer type of position in television. Really, before Len, Bruno and I, there was only Paula, Randy and Simon from American Idol. At first, people also didn’t quite know how to respond to us. The fact that we were judging people ( the stars) that they already loved only added fire to their reactions to us. So, I learned how to face negative feedback at the same time I was learning how to give feedback that wasn’t always positive. This was a struggle for me, and I ended up talking to someone about it. She asked me to sum up what I stand for. The answer was quick and easy: “I believe in honesty and integrity.” She responded: “Well, that sounds like a perfect judge.” Soon after, I came across this book, The Four Agreements. And not only did I love the book, I found the principles to be perfectly in alignment with how I wanted to approach my position.
These four principles have enriched my life in many more ways than just helping me find my path as a judge. They have helped me in my relationships with people in all facets of life. I sometimes forget the principles but that is why I have more than one copy of the book throughout my home. It’s a great gift as well.
This book is an easy way to find a little motivation when you need it. It’s filled with reminders that keep you on track to creating your own brilliant life. It’s playful and heartfelt and tremendously motivating. You can read a page or two a day and you will live a life infused with a very special kind of wisdom.
9. Your Brain Is Always Listening: Tame the Hidden Dragons That Control Your Happiness, Habits, and Hang-Ups by Dr. Daniel G. Amen
Dr. Amen has helped me in my own personal journey towards wellness. He offers simple solutions to complex problems and helps you understand the way your thoughts affect and shape your life. This book has been very helpful for me and I’ve given it to many people since I came across it. One life-changing concept he addresses in the book is ANTS, or “automatic negative thoughts,” and ways to recognize and combat them.
I have had the good fortune to work with Dr. Amen over the past six months and he has helped me so much on my journey towards wellness. Any book of his is full of useful, practical ways to find a new approach to shifting your perspective and tackling obstacles. But this book is the one I’d recommend the most to my friends and family, so I’m recommending it to you as well.
10. Medical Medium Revised and Expanded Edition: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal by Anthony William
Working on the mental and emotional sides of feeling stuck are always important, but it’s just as crucial to make sure you’re looking after your physical health as well. As someone who has struggled with autoimmune conditions, maintaining a healthy equilibrium is very important to me, and Anthony William’s books have become a big part of that process. Anthony William is an incredible human being and has a gift for healing people. I began drinking celery juice after hearing about him speak about its health benefits, and I’ve had the incredible opportunity to speak to him and work with him on a regimen that helped me so much. This book not only comes stocked with loads of easy recipes, but it can also help you look at the way your diet impacts your overall health and consider how we can use foods to help heal ourselves.