I have a lot of time on my hands now and what better way to fill it than with reading? In the process, I decided that while I really could read Cecilia Ahern all day or spend hours trying to decipher the very Ultra Complex plot lines of Game of Thrones, I would also venture into the self-help/motivational shelves at the bookshop.
I’m not to proud to say that my head is so messed up right now that it could do with a little help. I know many people from The Before who would have told me that this is all really unnecessary, that we already have all the tools and teachings we need, that tops all the self-help books on amazon. I was one of those very people that sprouted this thought, too proud then to concede to needing any sort of help.
I think many people shy away from these books for a few main reasons:
– they think they have it all sorted out already and that their way is the only way you need
– they think it’s all new-age mumbo jumbo and rubbish philosophies
– they feel weak or embarrassed having to resort to a book to solve their problems
But here’s what I’ve learnt after having dipped just a little into each of these books – these books aren’t purporting to replace your entire belief system nor making you concede any sort of weakness. They’re just tools that give you a different perspective, a different way of thinking that could strengthen what you already believe in or what you’re already doing. It’s like you’ve been running at the park for years when you suddenly chance upon a gym – it’s not that the gym is better than running at the park, but the gym does give you access to different machines and facilities that could enhance your running experience.
I can’t deny where I have come from. After 8 years, there is much in there that is a part of me now and I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate any of it or that it hasn’t helped me. I used to think that was enough and that to read anything else would be a kind of betrayal to what I was already being taught. That’s a rubbish way of thinking really. As I’ve been reading, I’ve also come across things that really don’t jive with me at all and which I can’t seem to relate to any of my personal beliefs; but I still enjoy it if only to get a different way of thinking about things and to see how people express and recount their own experiences, thoughts and inner wisdom.
The photo above is of the books that I’m now reading (yes, all four at once; together with the Cecilia Ahern, Jeanette Winterson, the Game of Thrones and Fitness magazine). A little rundown, then, if I may:
Being Happy: I got this specifically because the book seems to address certain problems that arise out of that chronic need for perfection that plagues me (and so many people in today’s world). And how to find contentment amidst all that, because as you may know, perfectionists find it quite impossible to really be happy about things unless things are well, “perfect” – and they seldom are.
The Power of You: Written by a dear friend and a fairy godmother, Anne Jones, which talks about how easily we give away our personal power and how to reclaim it. Anne recommends starting a journal as you work your way through the book and there are exercises that help you write and think things through for yourself.
How to Make Anyone Fall In Love With You: Okay, not that I’m really out trawling for “anyone to fall in love with me”, but I wanted a fun read and the cover looked kitschy and fun. This is a part of a series – there are other books like How to Talk to Anyone but Leil Lowndes became most famous for this one and heck, though I’m not on the prowl right now, it packs a helluva lot of handy tips for even just making friends and being likeable.
Search Inside Yourself: Written by the Google king himself, Chade-Meng Tan, this book came about after the tremendous success of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs that were being developed and offered at Google for their staff. Lots of good stuff in here actually, and good, quick, practical, easy exercises for starting mindfulness training – helpful for everything from curbing that obsessive need to refresh your Facebook news feed to wanting to restraining yourself from beating up someone’s face).
So yes, I admit that with the state that my head has been in for the last goodness-knows-how-long, I need a little help as I try to pick myself up and Put My Life Back Together. And they’ve been fantastic friends, these books. It’s nice, if nothing else, to be reading positive words and thoughts and just rest in that energy.