I credit my mother for instilling in me a love of reading very early in life, and consider myself extremely privileged to have grown up in a house full of exceptionally well-written books, and to have had access to a library. Throughout my childhood, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and other feisty female protagonists took me on endless adventures through my own mind. In fact, I have no doubt that this early exposure, in large part, built my mind, creating countless pathways linking imagination with reason, building my vocabulary, and instilling the all important habit of curiosity. Thanks, Mom!
I feel immensely grateful, also, for the many, many brilliant human beings throughout time who decided it was important to put words down on paper, creating the many hundreds of books I have certainly devoured my way through in my life. Thank you, Writers, Publishers, and Distributors.
Needless to say, I still read constantly. This week, rather than sharing my own thoughts, I'd like to share three contemporary books of non-fiction that have recently held me in rapt attention on the couch, night after night. If you are looking for a comforting, inspiring companion during these turbulent times, you cannot do better than inviting one of these three authors into your home. Enjoy!
Teri Degler, The Divine Feminine Fire
This book weaves together accounts of the divine feminine as both spiritual experience and creative expression in the lives of female mystics across three traditions: Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism. Degler links this historical research with stories of contemporary women in a way that makes clear the vital connection between the twin spiritual and creative impulses that many of us feel. Reading her work helped me to understand and integrate these impulses in myself and feel more grounded and confident in my life choices.
Lynn Mctaggart, The Power of 8
An expert in the science of spirituality, McTaggart details ten years of experiments in group intention, discovering that not only does collective focus have measurable results on its target, but that it also creates a "boomerang effect" that stimulates remarkable healing of all kinds in the lives of the intending group members. I find it so satisfying when science catches up to what we intuitively know is true, and this book does exactly that. If anyone wants to form a virtual intention group with me, please respond to this message!
Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell
Exploring the immediate aftermath of several recent natural disasters, Solnit offers us a vivid portrait of humanity's "default setting," which arises spontaneously when the established order collapses temporarily. Contrary to what many of us believe, this default setting is overwhelmingly altruistic, improvisational, and above all joyful, and points to a new vision of what society could become - one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local. Even as I donate money and call my representatives, I frequently feel helpless to address the overwhelming social conflicts we have here in the United States and around the world. This book helped strengthen and clarify my belief in what is possible socially and globally, even if it isn't manifesting yet, even if it may not come in my lifetime.
Recommending books and other resources is part of what I do through my empowerment coaching work. If you know someone who feels stuck or troubled by an ongoing struggle of any kind, please share this post with them, or encourage them to connect with me for a completely free, one-time consultation. Even in one session, subtle shifts can often be made, and you'll know by your own response whether coaching is a productive strategy for you.
Have you read a good book lately? Please share in the comments!