I’ve mentioned many times that various books have helped me through difficult times in my life. I’ve suggested book titles to countless clients, usually writing the title on the back of their information sheet so I know they have it for later reference. Books can be a place to get a variety of ideas from, you might garner just one simple truth, or you may find many eye opening facts and examples. Some books remain friends for life, others simply pass through on a journey of their own as you work your way from one destination to another.
I like books, no, I love books. I love to read. I am certain I would just shrivel up and die if I could not read, or have books read to me, every day. Books, or more accurately, the stories between their covers, allow me to escape the everyday trials and tribulations of my own life by going on an adventure with the characters I read about. Perhaps a puzzle needs solving, or a criminal caught and punished, or a missing person found and reunited with their loved ones, books allow me to experience life outside of the boundaries I’m constrained by at any given time.
When I refer to reading, I’m being a bit elitist, I’m referring to properly written books, not magazines, not newspapers, not social media; while they require one to ‘read’, they do not engage the mind in the manner I am referring to when I use the term. Stories can be like music, they can transport you to another place. When you choose your transporter well, then pay attention to the twists and turns as the journey progresses and remember the landmarks, you will learn new skills you can use to alter the course of your life.
There are books for any occasion and for any purpose. I’m sharing some of the insights I have gained from these titles. Some I still have in my hard copy collection, some I have gifted on to others, some I now have in electronic format too. I always recommend using the services of your library before making a purchase. Books take up alot of space and can be expensive. Borrowing from a library makes sense, then if you like the content enough to refer back to it, purchase it. The main thing is to actually read it, or buy a recording and listen to it.
There’s another reason I like books so much and it’s to do with people and how when asked questions about emotional subjects, they often aren’t willing, or able, to tell you their actual truths about how they dealt with the difficulties in their lives. Often, it’s those nitty gritty pieces of how they dealt with troubles we need to know to help our own selves through difficult times, but often those are the very details that won’t be shared because of the fear of being judged unfairly, or even being ostracized. Stories provide a window into different ways of being, different ways of thinking; and I’m a huge supporter of thinking and researching, and then thinking some more before taking action.
It’s also important to know and remember as time goes by, that you do not have to love the book, or what it’s saying to you, for it to be helpful. You can hate the way it makes you feel, yet you can use the information to create welcome changes within yourself.
Knowing there is a different way of being is the first step, the next is learning and practicing it, then comes understanding and continued practice until it becomes a natural part of who you are. Then you take the next step toward becoming more of what you want to be and less of what you don’t want to be. Books can be your friends if you let them.
National Library of Australia – http://www.nla.gov.au/ – a place of wonder and the most amazing information. The home of Trove where you can find almost half a million Australia resources, including online access to books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music and archives. Fascinating place to visit.
Find your Local Australian Library – http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/libraries – Use the search functions to find a library anywhere in Australia. I looked up some of those little outback places where I used to live that didn’t have the luxury of a local library at the time I was there. I’d send to the State Library for books to be posted to me. Now, most of those town have their own local libraries.
Ryllandra’s Recommended Reading List
There are many titles that can provide you with countless insights, below is a selection I’ve personally found useful in providing varying insights into creating a better life for myself. I’ve also had very positive feedback from many clients who read the titles I suggested for them.
You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay (the book, NOT the movie)
Feel the Fear and do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers
Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them – Susan Forward
The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
The four titles above were the first of the stepping stones that lead me to a new way of thinking. Coming into my life in a roughly six month period when my life was in great turmoil, they were each, in different way, instrumental in guiding me to a number of realisations about my life. I read them in the long ago and far distant past and have recommended them thousands of times.
You Can Heal Your Life was instrumental in helping me understand the formulation of affirmations. It has value as a true beginners’ book for those who have no idea where to start the journey of self renewal. I don’t even recall how this title came into my hands. It was the very first step I took into an unknown land of self development and change for the better. After a time, I moved beyond what this title had to offer, particularly as regards effective affirmations; discovering a new world offered by Shakti Gawains’ Creative Visualisations, which I shall tell you about in the next installment of Books are you Friends.
Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them – Female babies should be born with a copy of it in their left hand! I recall how I had to hide that book in a brown paper bag so my then husband did not see it. The information it held taught me to understand what I had already felt about my situation, it explained and gave words to describe what I had been going through. It’s not the best title, however, the content is indeed life altering. It’s not just about men, it’s about all of us, how and why we become the way we do. Mysogyny is one of those things that has shaped society since the Ancient Greeks and perhaps even before.
The Road Less Traveled was loaned to me by a friend, way back in those long ago times. The daughter of a fire and brimstone preacher, my friend had great difficulty accepting the realisations it brought for her. She’d tell of how she’d read a paragraph that would make so terribly angry, she’d throw the book at the wall and leave it lying there for a week, before picking it up again and reading a bit more, and so on. The book survived its’ repeated contact with the wall and she loaned it to me. Before I had read it half way through I knew I had to have a copy for myself so I could refer to it when I needed to. I have chocolate wrappers and post-it notes marking favourite passages, I really should tidy it up. I choose to read, but not take on any of the religious stuff, but it’s important to be there to explain how our own thoughts came to be because our society is a religiously based one that has impact on our thoughts and behaviours.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is one I turned to time and again to remind myself to have confidence in myself, that being afraid is only a feeling and to push past it. It helped me understand victim mentality better and to then step out of the ways of thinking and being I no longer wanted to be steeped in. Another book with whatever was at hand for a bookmark marking favourite passages.
When we learn better, we can be better. This is another reason why I love books. Books provide a window into ways of being, attitudes, places and experiences we would not otherwise have had the opportunity to explore. While I enjoy reading, and the acquisition of a new book for a great many reasons, I’m not foolish enough to believe that just because something is written it is necessarily true, or indeed, the most appropriate course of action to take. No, not at all.
Books and the insights they provide are a very useful tool to use to identify, and then to go on to achieve, your own personal goals.
Front Image: Sherry Tetens Long Dreamstime.com