Adventures in Self-Help Lit

Audiobooks are my new thing. I love the ability to consume a new book while also getting things done–cleaning, knitting, cooking, etc. I’ve been turning to my local library’s app to rent audiobooks for free, and recently listened to Dan Harris’ 10% Happier, an account of his journey through the worlds of self-help and meditation after having a panic attack on live television. Read by the author, the book was a humorous account of a sceptic’s ascent into meditation retreats and self-reflective solitude. 10% Happier also introduced me to other self-help that I’ve been exploring recently. Below, I’ve written about the recent books and workbooks I’ve read to help me better get in touch with myself and my creativity:

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: This intersperses Tolle’s own experiences with advice on how to disconnect yourself from your own mind and ego and live in the now. I’ve found the ideas outlined here to be very helpful, though at times repetitive.

Be Here Now by Ram Das: This book, not mentioned in Dan Harris’, was a little more “out there”. It is an account of the author’s experiences with meditation, interspersed in the center with illustrated musings on becoming enlightened. I found some of these ideas helpful, others outlandish.

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron: A highly popular workbook that claims to help readers connect with their inner artist. This book is split into weeks, which come along with a chapter on a different topic related to creativity, and then activities to get in touch with yourself and your creative process. My favorite part of this book has been Cameron’s “morning pages”–while completing the book you are asked to free-write three pages each morning, which I have found very meditative.

Wherever You Go, There You Are and Coming to our Senses by Jon Kabat Zinn: Kabat-Zinn is a master of meditation, and I have found his books on mindfulness to be essential. Wherever You go, There You Are introduces readers to meditation practices, while Coming to our Senses expands upon the ways in which the practice of mindfulness and meditation could potentially impact the world as a whole.

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