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Some of Our Favorite Inspirational Books

Inspirational books

We just love receiving good recommendations, whether it’s for restaurants, movies, great books, or whatever.

Over the years we’ve been asked what books we have enjoyed reading and have made a big difference in our lives, so we thought we’d start putting a list together for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are five of the ones that make our ‘favorites’ list.

 

1. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Benjamin Zander

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Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment.

The authors’ harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.

 

 

 

2. The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynne Twist

 

This unique and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money—earning it, spending it, and giving it away—can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Lynne Twist, a global activist and fundraiser, has raised more than $150 million for charitable causes. Through personal stories and practical advice, she demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose.

In this Nautilus Award-winning book, Twist shares from her own life, a journey illuminated by remarkable encounters with the richest and poorest, from the famous (Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama) to the anonymous but unforgettable heroes of everyday life.

 

 

 

3. Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Possibility and Play by James P. Carse

 

“There are at least two kinds of games,” states James P. Carse as he begins this extraordinary book. “One could be called finite; the other infinite.”

Finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life; they are played in order to be won, which is when they end. But infinite games are more mysterious. Their object is not winning, but ensuring the continuation of play. The rules may change, the boundaries may change, even the participants may change—as long as the game is never allowed to come to an end.

This book had a profound impact on how we see the world and or choices in it.

 

 

 

 

4. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (Revised Edition)
by David R. Hawkins

 

David R. Hawkins details how anyone may resolve the most crucial of all human dilemmas: how to instantly determine the truth or falsehood of any statement or supposed fact.

Dr. Hawkins, who worked as a “healing psychiatrist” during his long and distinguished career, uses theoretical concepts from particle physics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to support his study of human behavior.

This is a fascinating work that will intrigue readers from all walks of life!

 

 

 

 

 

5. Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili-King

 

If you have ever been interested in the art of shamanism this book is uniquely suited for use in today’s world, Hawaiian shamanism follows the way of the adventurer, which produces change through love and cooperation, which is in contrast to the widely known way of the warrior, which talks about solitary quests and conquest by power.

In this book you’ll discover how to:
• Interpret and change your dreams
• Heal yourself, your relationships, and the environment
• Cast the shaman stones to foretell the future
• Design and perform powerful rituals
• Shapechange
• Make vision quests to other realities

 

 

We hope you check these out and, if you’re inspired to read them, that they are as meaningful and supportive to you as they have been for us.


Start Seeing Yourself As Unstoppable with this Simple Self Help, Self Esteem Builder

Do you ever worry that you are not “good enough,” “not smart enough,” or just “don’t have what it takes,”? If so, you’re not alone. Many people have these thoughts. While it may be helpful to know that you are not alone, these thoughts can really interfere with your ability to achieve the things you want most out of life.

A recent report published by the Priory Group addressed the issue of low self esteem,  reporting that millions of British women are suffering from low self esteem that prevents them from having healthy relationships and reduces their overall quality of life. The report, titled, I’m Not Good Enough, surveyed the women on several issues and concluded that these problems are pervasive.

Have you ever seriously thought about your self esteem? Do any of the following statements ring true for you?

1.  I’m just not good enough to get what I want.

2.  At times I feel worthless.

3.  Other people don’t seem care about my needs.

4.  I’m often concerned about what other people might think of me.

5.  From time to time, I worry that there’s something wrong with me.

6.  It seems as though I’m all alone and I must do everything by myself..

7.  Thoughts such as I’m powerless, weak, not safe, helpless often pop into my mind

8.  At times feel like, I’m unlovable or unworthy.

9.  Sometimes in challenging situations, I don’t take care of myself very well.

10. My life is very limited, I have no choice.

If these are things that describe you or how you feel, then low self esteem is most likely limiting you in someway. Interpreting unpleasant experiences from our past often ends up making us think we are less worthy and less deserving of happiness. On the other hand, past circumstances aren’t the only way you might start believing statements such as those above.

For example, have you ever heard someone say something about you and you took it to mean that one of those statements must then be true about you? Now, just because someone says something about you doesn’t make it “THE TRUTH”, but the consequences of believing it is true can have a serious affect on your self-esteem.

On the other hand, self esteem doesn’t just miraculously improve when someone makes a positive statement about you either. Often it’s quite the opposite; many self esteem building experts now suggest we should back off from over-praising our children and making them feel good without having them put forth any effort or motivation.

The truth is, self esteem is not really the goal, it should be considered as more of a result of a person’s confidence in themselves, and knowing what they are capable of achieving. It is often described as a way to explain how well your actions produce results.

Can you learn to build self esteem? Yes, definitely. But only if you are able to transform the limiting beliefs that you hold, these are the things that are preventing you from developing enough competency to make you feel confident.

Before you can build self esteem you must take those limiting beliefs and transform them into new beliefs, ones that lead you to develop new skills or improve old ones. This is not as difficult as it seems. There’s a formula you can apply to help you work through the process, think of it as putting out a fire—the fire that has burned up your self esteem. You’ve most likely heard the phrase, “stop, drop and roll,” and this is what you need to do to build your self esteem.

How does this work? First, you must Stop and listen to the warnings you are hearing from yourself. Then, you need to Drop all judgments of yourself. Finally, you will Roll out a new plan to improve your beliefs.

Stop

Before you can make any changes, you need to identify how you feel. It is often easiest to start with feelings of discomfort—take these as the early warning signs. As soon as you begin to feel this way, immediately Stop and try to identify those judging thoughts that are running through your head. It can be helpful to actually write these thoughts down on paper.

Drop

Once identified, the judgments need to be quickly Dropped. This means you need to know what is truly important to you. When you figure out what you value–that has you make these judgments in the first place–you then shift your thinking from judgments to values and focus on them.

For example, ” I’m just not good enough to get what I want.” might change into focusing on how important accomplishment, or happiness are to you. Try these statements on for size, which feels better? ” I’m just not good enough to get what I want.” How does that feel? Now try this one, “I care so much about accomplishing things and being happy is very important.” How does that feel? Can you feel the difference?

Roll

Dropping judgments can put out those awful fires that have burned down your self esteem. After the fire is gone, get ready to Roll out a new plan, one that focuses on what is most important to you and one that focuses on your strengths. Plan to include two or more specific actions that will support you on your new path to improved your confidence and increased happiness. For instance, if you are looking to find more satisfaction in your career, perhaps your plan could include refreshing and updating your resume and pursuing some new job interviews.

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A Self Help Motivation New Year’s Resolution — Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself!

Try This One on For Size

As we move in to the first weeks of 2011, let your number one New Year’s Resolution be a commitment to self-care and self appreciation.

Have you been putting effort into changing your life for the better for yourself, those around you, and maybe even the world? Does it seem you’ve tried just about every [tag-tec]self help[/tag-tec] book and [tag-tec]personal growth[/tag-tec] program on the market?

If so, while these efforts are often helpful, sometimes the self-awareness they bring can lead to frustration and even more self-criticism and judgment. They can become just one more thing you’re striving to measure-up-to.

You are Doing the Best You Can

As you move into this new year, remember that you are always doing the best you can, and that your “mistakes” are important sign-posts along the road that leads to true happiness. If you take time to read them, they can always help guide you on your way.

So the next time you find yourself feeling frustrated or being judgmental or self-critical — STOP — then take time to identify the learning lesson, celebrate your intentions and efforts along the way, and remember to appreciate all of the wonderful things about you.

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You will have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” ~ Alan Alda

Remember that it won’t always be easy to let 2011 be your year of self discovery, self-care and self appreciation, but allowing yourself to relax into the perfection of every moment will guaranteed this year to be part of the glorious, excitement filled journey of your lifetime.

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Be Your Own Boss!

Don’t Tell Me What to Do

Are you tired of people telling you what to do all the time? Do you long to make your own decisions and live your own life–confidently? If so, then it’s essential that you learn to make inwardly motivated decisions, ones that are driven by your personally chosen  [tag-tec]core values[/tag-tec] and that are expressed as conscious intentions. Simply put, this is how to Be Your Own Boss.

Whether you know it or not, you always have an intention, but if you have an unconscious intention and it’s motivated by limiting beliefs then you’ll end up simply reacting to your circumstances, or as we like to say, re-enacting your past experiences over and over again.

To be your own boss you need to develop your internal authority. This internal authority comes from having a very clear understanding of what’s most important to you at a values level. Internal authority also comes from your ability to create clear conscious intentions based on these values, which in turn motivate the actions you choose to take.

Sadly, most of us have an extremely underdeveloped internal authority, which means our actions are dictated by our limiting beliefs, and our past experiences as they are triggered by external stimulus. If this is true, then whenever we are challenged by a difficult situation we often just react, mostly without even thinking.

What’s Most Important to You?

Changing this pattern and becoming your own boss is only possible when you develop your internal authority. Only when your internal authority is functioning as an expression of your values and conscious intentions will you have the opportunity to respond to situations with true authority.

The very first step in making these inwardly motivated decisions is to know what you most deeply. So if you’d like to start making decisions confidently–decisions that will be satisfying for everyone involved–start by slowing down and getting to know the person you really are.

The next time something happens, and you are feeling dissatisfied with the situation, stop and ask yourself “What do I value that’s missing for me in this situation?” When you come up with the answer, then ask yourself, “What can I do in this moment that is in harmony with my values and that will create more of what I want?”

“I saw that everything really 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.” ~Paulo Coelho

Choose to be your own boss today!

When you learn to stop reacting, and start responding with authority in everyday situations you will experience a kind of personal freedom you’ve only imagined. You are in control of your life and your experience when you choose to be.

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Self Improvement – Why Bother?

If You Value Your Time – Take Time for What You Value

Does the question ever cross your mind as you run through your very busy days, “How could I possibly bother spending the time trying to improve myself when I’ve got so much to do?”

Does it seem as if your life is so full of just trying to get things done that the ideas of acquiring [tag-tec]self help skills[/tag-tec], enhancing your [tag-tec]spiritual growth[/tag-tec], or implementing a new [tag-tec]personal development plan[/tag-tec] seems almost impossible? And yet, is there also a gnawing question that lingers in your mind, “Is this all there is?” “Am I missing out on something even with all these things on my to-do list?”

If any of this sounds familiar, then the next time you’re confronted with the hectic pace of daily life, take a moment and find the time to “bother” with your [tag-tec]personal development[/tag-tec]. Gaining a clearer understanding of ourselves always adds value to our lives and can also increase our sense of significance and purpose in those daily activities.

Finding meaning in our lives starts when we begin investigating who we are and what is going on around us. We are the only one that can say for certain what is deeply important to us, so if we get so very busy that we don’t take the time to stop and look at our life, it may fill up with things that don’t give us the kinds of joy and meaning we truly want.

Is Your Cup Overflowing?

Here’s an old [tag-tec]Zen story[/tag-tec] that speaks to the truth of this:

A university teacher visited Nan-in, a Japanese master. The professor was interested in learning about the Zen philosophy. Nan-in served the professor tea. He poured tea in the professor’s cup until it was full. But he kept on pouring.

The professor watched the tea overflow his cup until he could no longer stop himself. “My cup is overflowing,” he said, “no more will go in!”

“Like this tea cup,” Nan-in replied, “you are full of your own ideas and opinions. How can you learn about Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

To learn anything new, you need some room for it in what you already know. With life’s crazy pace, every once and awhile it’s important to invest the time, energy and attention to let in new ideas and awareness.

That was Zen – This is Now

You can begin emptying your cup by examining what you believe and what you value.

  • Do some things just seem “right or wrong”, “good or bad”, or “appropriate or inappropriate”?
  • Are your [tag-tec]beliefs[/tag-tec] broader than the set of [tag-tec]cultural beliefs[/tag-tec] permeating our lives on an unconscious level?
  • Are you easily able to recognize which [tag-tec]beliefs[/tag-tec] are motivating your actions?
  • Do you know the values that are reflected in your [tag-tec]beliefs[/tag-tec]?
  • Are you able to recognize when your [tag-tec]beliefs[/tag-tec] are not accurately reflecting your [tag-tec]core values[/tag-tec]?

Unless you occasionally take the time to consciously empty your cup of beliefs that do not fit with your [tag-tec]core values[/tag-tec], it will fill up with various cultural beliefs that come to you from the outside, which become the unconscious motivations influencing the choices you make and how you live your life.

As you empty your cup, you begin to make room in your life for the question, “Are the beliefs I hold as the truth really my own beliefs?”

Another question to ask is, “Did I knowingly choose these beliefs as my own or did I simply take them on without question?”

You answer these questions by exploring whether your beliefs support what you really value, or if they are just beliefs you learned simply because they have been part of our culture for hundreds or thousands of years.

Bother to Be – Continue to Ask – and Be Willing to Listen

To understand more about how [tag-tec]cultural beliefs[/tag-tec] might be influencing you, look at the principles you live by and rules you follow. Or consider all those little adages you were told growing up such as, life is hard, it’s a dog eat dog world, only the strong survive, etc.

Explore these for yourself. Ask, “Do I truly believe these?”  Do these principles, rules or sayings really support me in living the life I desire, one that is a reflection of what I truly value?

Here are a set of questions you can ask yourself as you go through your day that will help you figure this out for yourself:

  • What do I really desire in this area of my life?
  • What would I like to experience right here and right now?
  • What motivates the action I’m about to take?
  • Is what I’m about to do going to get me the results I really want?
  • Is what I’m doing now really what want to do?

Take pause and remember that in the process of questioning, there are no hard and fast rules, no good or bad answer, no right or wrong beliefs. The purpose is to begin taking time for your [tag-tec]self-improvement[/tag-tec] and [tag-tec]spiritual development[/tag-tec], to experience the fact that this is worth “bothering” with.

An Empty Cup Allows Room to Grow

We trust that as you uncover your own [tag-tec]personal values[/tag-tec], start developing empowering new beliefs that reflect those values, and begin taking actions that are in alignment with them, your discomfort or dissatisfaction with the hectic pace of life with begin to diminish.

You’ll start clearly recognizing which of your daily activities reflect what you value and experience an increased sense of significance and purpose in these. You’ll also start easily pruning away the clutter in your life as you get more clarity about what is important you and what is not.

As your life becomes more meaningful, taking the time for [tag-tec]self-improvement[/tag-tec] will not only be worth bothering with, you will welcome it because you know you have plenty of room for it in your cup!

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