“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk
I was recently asked by a friend, to recommend a book that would help her develop a sense of the true nature of the soul and how she can access this wellspring of wisdom and heart-knowledge. My collection of “soul inspiring” books is as wide and expansive as the soul itself, so I narrowed the field to my Top 5 Books That Will Hug Your Soul. I’ve chosen each book because of the way it brings its own unique approach to how we can get a little closer to knowing that elusive inner voice that is our soul.
After much soul searching, here are Five of my favourites and why.
1. Anam Caraby John O’Donohue.
Poet, philosopher and scholar, O’Donohue was the ultimate ‘Soul Whisperer’. His magical use of language, storytelling and Celtic Mysticism helps seekers make “the invisible …become visible”. Sadly, O’Donohue died suddenly, in 2008, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of his dedicated followers. Thankfully, he left a rich body of work including Anam Cara, Gaelic for ‘Soul Friend’. Many writers try to use the mind to reach the soul, but O’Donohue’s use of Celtic wisdom, allows direct access to the inner sanctum. Your soul will find a friend in this exceptional book.
2. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield.
Buddhist monk, psychologist, and author of the equally profound book, A Path With Heart, Kornfield offers another insightful book that helps us find equilibrium after we reach states of grace and enlightenment. Kornfield explores how we can return to our earthly and often mundane chores whilst maintaining our heightened states of awareness. This book is for anyone who can’t live a hermit’s life, but seeks to bring soul-inspired living, into their everyday lives, even whilst doing the laundry.
3. Kitchen Table wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen.
Physician Rachel Naomi Remen discovered how stories have the power to heal both through her work as a doctor and as a patient. Using the kitchen table idea of sharing our collective stories, she encourages us to embrace mystery, to form stronger connections to each other and to live a soul-inspired life. Using her patients’ true stories, and sharing her own challenges with a chronic illness, Remen shares with us many remarkable journeys of discovery, and of unexpected paths that lead to inner strength, courage and peace, often, when it was least expected.
4. Daring Greatlyby Brene Brown.
Following the stupendous success of her Ted Talk and book, ‘The gifts of imperfection’, Brown gifts us with another soul expanding gem, ‘Daring Greatly. She believes that exposing our authentic selves may feel difficult, even dangerous, but living on the outside of our potential is worse. Brown says we need to embrace vulnerability and “step into the arena”, tap into our souls to find meaning and purpose, and dare to live our best life possible. I love this book because without courage, we cannot overcome our limiting beliefs, and access our soul’s potential.
5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
This extraordinary book tells of Tolle’s journey from a state of depression and fear to fully awakened state, after he experienced a profoundly transformative event after his 29thBirthday. A decade later, Tolle finally understood the experience and developed his new philosophy and understanding about the mind and human consciousness. Embracing the teachings of masters like the Buddha and Jesus, Tolle helps us identify the false self and shows us how we can all access our deepest and most authentic self and free ourselves of self-inflicted pain and live a life, free of illusion.