10 Life Changing Books for Developing Spirituality in Early Recovery
Not everyone’s a reader these days. However, in today’s world, there are multiple ways to get the goodness books hold. Mainly, through audio. You can easily download an app and begin downloading fantastic books to listen to vs reading. Regardless of how you like to read, it is important we continue to grow, especially in our recovery. And regardless of whether or not you are spiritual, many of the following book recommendations are great for developing a better sense of self, a more positive outlook, and tools for reaching your goals.
Anyways, enough talk! Let’s get to the books!
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now is essentially a guide to detaching from our thoughts. Our thoughts, or egoic mind as Tolle calls it, tries to keep us from the truth about ourselves. The truth that we are more than our thoughts. That we are more powerful than we could ever imagine. In order to get to that realization we have to have the wisdom to know that there is something beneath the thinking mind. He starts off the book by calling attention to the idea that we can observe our thoughts. Well, if that is the case, who is doing the observing? He then talks about who the observer is. The observer is deeper than thoughts and is our being. The book itself is almost interactive as Eckhart takes you through the chapters. He asks you to stop and practice so you yourself can experience what he describes so masterfully. If you want a new way to get present in the now, and want to begin meditating this book is a great starting place. I read this book in my teen years and it absolutely changed my life. Highly recommend!
The Spirituality of Imperfection
This book is all about what it describes in its title. Our imperfections and how they do not make us less than, but how they make us a whole person. The books states that the first step toward understanding the human condition is to admit your imperfections. That to deny your essential imperfection is to deny yourself and your own humanity. The book also dives into the questions, who are we and why do we so often fall short of our goals for ourselves and others? The book helps us seek to understand our limitations and accept the inevitably of failure and pain, in order to ease our hurts and move towards a greater awareness of ourselves. Once doing that we find the serenity that comes with understanding that our imperfections are what make us perfect. How does it do it? The Spirituality of Imperfection brings together stories from many spiritual and philosophical paths, weaving past traditions into a spirituality and a new way of thinking and living that works today. If you are looking to find meaning within suffering. Beyond theory and technique, inside this remarkable book you will find a new way of thinking, a way of living that enables a truly human existence. Also, highly recommended!
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
This book came to be as the result of a psychiatrist interviewing the Dalai Lama on how he personally achieved inner peace, calmness, and happiness. And what a book it is! The Art of Happiness is broken down into lessons. Lessons like you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual, and the only thing constant is change. It holds little nuggets of wisdom that can teach you
- How much external events really influence your happiness
- What compassion means to the Dalai Lama and how you can develop it
- Why the Western notion of romantic relationships can sometimes hurt happiness
- Why habits lie at the root of happiness
- The way to find meaning in every situation
- What you can do to replace anger with tolerance
If you are looking for a practical guide on how to significantly improve your day to day life, this is a good one. Bringing together the analytical mind of a psychiatrist and the spiritual wisdom of the Dalai Lama, you really can’t go wrong with this one. It is worth the read!
The Sacred Enneagram
The Sacred Enneagram is a trustworthy, richly insightful guide to finding yourself in the enneagram’s 9-type profiles, and applying this practical wisdom to transform your life. Now if you don’t know what the enneagram is, don’t worry it is pretty easy. It is a personality type essentially, but it is also far more than a personality test. If you are ready to get a bit deeper and start looking at the behaviors that are holding you back this is the book for you. The enneagram, as described in this book, is a sacred map to the soul. The enneagram offers a bright path to cutting through the internal clutter and finding our way back to God and to our true identity as God created us.In conversational style with compelling stories, The Sacred Enneagram will show you:
- How to understand the ‘why’ behind your type, beyond caricatures and stereotypes
- How to align your type with prayer
- How to identify and find freedom from self-destructive patterns
- How to grow in reasoning ability
- How to face your past and step toward healing
- How to awaken your unique gifts to serve today’s world
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements is a short read, but it is one guaranteed to change your life. The Four Agreements are simple and probably things you have heard before.
- Be Impeccable with Your Word
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
Now these might sound easy. But the author, Don Miguel Ruiz, dives deep into these agreements with a clarity that makes it easy to see how these are not as easy as we think. With simple wisdom, The Four Agreements shows you how to begin practicing these things in your daily life for clarity, direction, purpose, serenity and inner contentedness.
Purpose Driven Life
The Purpose Driven Life is a recommendation straight from the RECO owner. It reached new heights of fame, as it was a book read to an individual in the midst of a hostage situation. The man who was holding hostages, was asked if it would be okay if they read to him. He said it was. By the end of the reading of the book. He had surrendered. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about this book, I don’t know what else does.
The Last Lecture by Pausch
Pausch delivered his “Last Lecture”, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007. This talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk”, i.e., “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance? A month before giving the lecture, Pausch had received a prognosis that the pancreatic cancer, with which he had been diagnosed a year earlier, was terminal. His lecture would become one of his literal last. This book, while not a spiritual guide, is moving and offers many life lessons. Lessons that Pausch wishes us to learn long before we too leave this earth. If you’re okay with getting a bit emotional, and looking for a moving book that will push you to live your life to the fullest, this book is for you.
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
If you know about The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, you might know about The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis again employs the formidable talent for fable and allegory. The premise, we have a writer, in a dream. He boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through heaven and hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations and comes to significant realizations about the ultimate consequences of everyday behavior. This is the starting point for a profound meditation upon good and evil. If you are looking for the life lessons behind a fiction a novel. This one is it and no one does it better than the master himself, C.S. Lewis.
Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox
In The Sermon on the Mount, philosopher and early AA influence Emmet Fox suggests Jesus’ teachings as a practical approach to shaping life into what people really wish it to be. A cornerstone reference in AA’s spiritual development, this book has a place in every recovery library. I actually haven’t read this one so I can’t attest to its greatness but it is one that has influenced many people I have known and it is a recommendation from our very own Director of Operations.
The Happiness Hypothesis
This is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world’s civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives. It is a book about how to construct a life of virtue, happiness, fulfillment, and meaning.
That’s all for now. If you are looking to enrich your life, of course reading just about anything will get the job done! However, these 10 books are a great place to start. Read any of the recommended reads? Let us know what you think!