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B is for ‘Books’: Spiritual Books that I Love!

These recommended books have made it on to my list for a variety of reasons. On this list you will find the amazing, the enlightening, and the downright life-changing! Love to read but not sure what to pick up next? If you passionately peruse the ‘mind, body & spirit’ section of your local bookstore then read on! These 20 books Magic Bookchanged my life and massively impacted my spiritual development and understanding in their own special way. It is with love and gratitude that I share them with you. Each of the titles are active links, click on them to find out more about these wonderful authors. Have you read a spiritual/self-help book that rocked your world? Let us know by clicking the comment bubble!

1. You Can Heal Your Life- Louise L. Hay.

Anything that I can say about this book will fall short of its true power. This is the seminal self help text. Louise’s work is the standard of love, giving, compassion and honesty that many of we writers in the genre aspire to. This book came to me when I was 21. I really needed some guidance as to how to be happy with myself and my life. I was in a place of fear and self-doubt and Louise’s guidance in You Can Heal Your Life snapped me out of it miraculously! I was delighted and honoured to finally meet Louise at I Can Do It- Glasgow in 2012. Over the years I have purchased 5 copies of this book, for various people in my life in their time of need. This book has united and re-united me with significant people in my life and most of all, has re-connected me with myself. Thank you Louise, you, your words and you philosophies are a game changer. Great for: Absolutely Everyone!

2. Seven Experiments That Could Change the World- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.

My goodness, this book blew my mind. I feel such a sense of excitement when I come across a book that elegantly fuses spirituality and science. Dr Sheldrake does this effortlessly, intelligently and with feeling. Some of the highlights involve pigeons, dogs and telepathy. This book is a manifesto of the new and intuitively correct way of thinking that science and spirituality are co-creative friends and not enemies. He offers experiments with a ‘go ahead and try it, see for yourself!’ attitude, which is irresistible! Read it, it’s brilliant. Great for: Spiritual Scientists.

3. How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body- Dr David R. Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton is my hero. He is a fellow Scot who has given me amazing advice (and has previously worked at my University!). This book is phenomenal. You will say ‘wow’ at some point when reading. His research into the placebo effect and the power of intention and visualization is fresh, evocative and exciting and the application of it has the potential to change the way we ‘think’ about wellness and treat dis-ease. Is your mind the most powerful medicine to ensure your wellness? Dr Hamilton and I think YES! and he expresses it beautifully. Great for: Anyone who wants to feel more empowered about their health.

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway- Susan Jeffers.

Susuan Jeffers’ most well known work is so simple and effective. It explains fear and how to move forward from it, through questions. Questions which cause the book to become a mirror in which the readers is reflected in all his or her glory. It is a wonderful technique. Read this book and know yourself better. Great for: Anyone about to take a leap!

5. Many Lives, Many Masters- Dr Brian Weiss.

The most compelling thing about this book is that it is written by a man who you cannot help but trust and believe. He is so intelligent and sincere. Dr. Weiss was having difficulty treating one of his patients who was suffering from debilitating fear. He tried hypnosis as a last desperate attempt to understand his patient- you will be shocked and inspired by what happens next. Let me put it like this, if you have never believed in life after death or reincarnation, prepare to think differently! Great for: Anyone who has experienced deja-vu.

6. The Prophet- Khalil Gibran.

I think Khalil Gibran channeled the words of this book/poem. The resonance of the words are so high that they seem to be of Spirit. I won’t spoil it for you. Run a bath, light some candles and read it. Put it away for a day, then get it out and read it again. You’ll be moved. Great for: Lovers of Philosophy and Poetry.

7. The Road Less Travelled- M. Scott Peck.

An extremely interesting look into the human psyche, outlooks and behaviours. With anecdotes, brave comments and case studies. Although it is never expressed directly, this book has a very strong spiritual and loving vein running through it. This book is an excellent read which makes psychology and psychiatry an artform. Great for: Armchair Psychiartists.

8. Teen Witch- Silver RavenWolf.

I got this book when I was 15. When I decided to include it in this list, I had to search for it online to remind myself of the cover art. As soon as I saw the cover design, it was like looking into a box of photos and memories from my childhood: many emotions and feelings came rushing back. Teen Witch was the first book about spirituality that I ever read! This book is an introduction to magick for young people. It focuses significantly on nature, the earth and empowerment and that’s why I love it. This book really got me started on a spiritual path and I highly recommend it to any young person who has an interest in wicca or spirituality. Great for: Young Wiccans and Mother Earth lovers.

9. Ask and It Is Given- Esther & Jerry (Abraham) Hicks.

Want to know what is at the core of the Law of Attraction? Get this book. Esther Hicks channels the wisdom of Abraham to explain how Attraction works on a vibrational and energetic level. This book is not an easy read but stick with it, when you get familiar with the ideas, it will have a profound and empowering impact on you. Great for: The Law of Attraction.

10. A Course in Miracles- Dr. Helen Schucman

I am about half way through reading this book, at the time of writing this. Every sentence in ‘A Course in Miracles’ gives me the chills because it is so true, so inspiring and resonates so deeply. Great for: Remembering your God connection. (What could be greater?).

11. The Young Person’s Happiness Handbook- by Me!

I still cannot quite believe that my first book is due out in April! The process of devising and writing this book has been such an amazing experience for me that it had to go on the list! This book is a smart and savvy self-help guide for young people. The focus is on navigating the challenges and achievements of a young adult life with love, awareness, spirituality and humour. I have written the book that I wish someone had written for me when I was 18! Stay tuned for launch date confirmation and your chance to win a free copy! Great for: The young in body and young in spirit!

12. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

A wonderful parable and beautiful story. This book has two personalities: The Alchemist before you know the ending, and The Alchemist the second time around! Great for: All you dreamers and mystics!

13. Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert.

I laughed, cried and rejoiced along with Liz in this beautiful travel/docu/novel. Liz’s literal and spiritual journey is a whirlwind of beauty, bravery and feeling that many readers will relate to. She writes candidly and insightfully. Julia Roberts plays Liz in the movie adaptation, which I enjoyed, but the book is really something special. Great for: Anyone who has experienced heartbreak.

14. The Lightworker’s Way- Dr. Doreen Virtue.

This is one of Dr Virtue’s earliest works which utilizes a mix of her life experiences, spiritual philosophies and good old love and support to reach out to the ‘Lightworker’ in every reader. Want to see yourself in a more powerful and loving way? You will when you discover the Lightworker within with the help of Dr. Virtue. Great for: Improving low self esteem.

15. Tao Te Ching- Lao Tzu (interpretation by Dr. Wayne Dyer).

One of the oldest books in the world (not my exact copy, it was printed in 2012!) but the messages contained within are timeless. There are some famous phrases in the Tao Te Ching that really stop a racing mind in its tracks and gives it something nutritious to eat. Read it slowly and mull it over. Great for: The deeply philosophical.

16. The Shack- William P. Young.

This is a wonderful and (true?) story about a man who receives an explanation from God about the ‘why’ behind his personal suffering. Get the tissues at the ready and read from the heart. Great for: Opening the mind and heart.

17. Freedom From the Known- Jiddu Krishnamurti.

A clear thinker and wonderfully insightful, spiritual being gives insight about releasing fear and embracing love and self-knowledge. Think you know about love, passion, knowledge, violence and change? This book will enrich your thinking, and if you allow it, your way of living. Great for: Anyone who desires a new or deeper spiritual understanding.

18. Intuitive Studies- Gordon Smith.

I have read A LOT of books about developing mediumship. This book is the most recent I have read, and the best. Gordon Smith is wise, caring and fearless in his explanation and direction for anyone who wants to improve their connection to God and the Spirit world. I have been a medium for 10 years, and I learned so much from this book. Whether you are brand new to mediumship or are looking to approach your mediumship from a fresh, real and enlightened place, read this book, it’s brilliant. Great for: Mediums old and new!

19. Paradise Lost- John Milton.

It may surprise you that Paradise Lost has made it on to this list! It is a formidable force of a poem, and apart from its religious content, you may not think of it as being a very spiritual book. I approached this poem through my University degree, but I had been certificated as an Angel Therapy Practitioner for 3 years already! Having the opportunity to meet the Archangels in a completely different context really helped me to understand them better, it helped me to understand how other people might think about the Angels, and it allowed me to appreciate how the Archangels can assist us in ways that I hadn’t considered before! Paradise Lost is not an easy read, but it is well worth it. The descriptions of the layers of spiritual realms is really insightful and the Angel imagery featured I definitely feel manifested in Milton’s imagination from the Angels themselves. Read it and see. Great for: Those who enjoy a challenging read.

20. Looking Back- Arthur Findlay.

I have a very special place in my heart for J. Arthur Findlay. He is considered one of the most influential men in Spiritualism, and he lived in my hometown, a tiny town in Scotland. Arthur Findlay is best known for donating his absolutely beautiful stately home in Stansted, England, to the study, discovery, development and proving of psychic and mediumistic phenomena. His home is now known as ‘Arthur Findlay College’, where I spent a very happy week obtaining advanced training in mediumship. ‘Looking Back’ is Arthur Findlay’s autobiography which charts his remarkable journey from layman to Spiritualist, through the words of a clever, sceptical and scientific mind. Looking Back is a great read. It is a big thick book, but it’s exciting and interesting so you’ll get through it in no time! Great for: The open-minded sceptic.

I am sure that you will enjoy these recommendations. Read any of these books? Loved them? Didn’t love them? Got recommendations of your own for Spiritual readers? Please share your knowledge in a comment!

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This week, treat yourself to some alone time reading for pleasure.

Next Week: C is for ‘Children’.

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A is for ‘Affirmations’: How they work and what to do when they don’t.

A is for AFFIRMATIONS: How they work and what to do when they don’t.

It was 2009-2010 and the recession was at its lowest ebb and so was I. For the first time in my adult life, I was without employment. My happiness levels and funds were as depleted as the job market, and I was unable to provide for myself financially. So I gave up my flat and moved in with my sister in an attempt to staunch my bank account’s number haemorrhage.

‘I’m never going to have enough money,’ I thought. ‘I’m never going to get a job that pays enough…there’s a recession, there are no jobs…I’m going to be in debt forever…my debts keep piling up’.

These were my affirmations and I practised them religiously. Day after day, these were the promises I was making to myself. I worried about money all the time, I talked about having no money all the time, and I convinced myself that my situation was never going to change. I was convinced that I was being judged as a failure, but really, no-one was judging me except myself.

I came to believe passionately in poverty, and with every day that I was without a job I thought: See, this is proof that I’m always going to be poor.  I didn’t realize at the time that my own limiting beliefs were making a challenging situation much, much worse. I was unable to see that I was lucky to have a sister who’d let me stay with her, and that I was getting to spend more time with my family. I couldn’t see it. I believed only in the ‘bad’ elements of my situation, and I received what I believed.

This went on for months, and my cycle of negativity had evolved into a downward spiral. Despite my negativity, I secretly held on to the hope that I’d be happy again. One day, this hopeful thought managed to force its way into my mind, like a glimmer of light, noticeable amidst the pervasive darkness. The thought that I might one day be happy again dawned on me, like the sun cracking over the horizon and dispersing an inky black night:

What if it’s my thoughts, and not the recession, that’s causing me to feel so unhappy?

When this realization dawned on me, the grip of my inner lack-narrative weakened. Previous to this, I hadn’t considered that what went on in my mind could affect the outside world. But as soon as I made the connection that my negative thinking was causing me to pick out only the events that would justify my beliefs, it resonated through me with the sort of chime achievable only by truth. I knew that for my financial situation to improve, I had to stop thinking so negatively about it.

A few days after I made this new promise to myself, I was visiting a friend in Edinburgh. As I left the train station, I noticed a bright white piece of paper loosely lodged in a crack in the pavement. It fluttered back and forth in the wind, as if it was waving to me.  The street was busy, and yet no one had noticed it.  As I got a few steps closer, I couldn’t believe my eyes: the piece of paper waving at me was a £20 note!

I picked it up and laughed.  It was more than a £20 note, it was a symbol of change.  ‘Thank you’, I thought.

****

An affirmation is a proposition that you think or say repetitively because you believe it to be true, however it is actually the repetition of the thought or statement that convinces your mind that it is  true. The process that you go through to convince yourself of the truth of a given statement is unbiased, it works the same whether the content of the proposition is positive or negative.

We are making affirmations all the time. Your life is the sum total of the beliefs you affirm. And you hold those beliefs because, in repeating them, you have assimilated them into your consciousness. Your consciousness adapts to comfortably hold the beliefs that seem true to you. The fact that you are reading this post probably means that you have spontaneously made many negative affirmations about yourself over the years. It has taken you a long, long time to believe what you do. So when you realize that you no longer identify with the beliefs you hold about yourself, it can take time and effort to change. What would you rather think about yourself and your life? Give those beliefs the same repetition that you gave the beliefs that you don’t want, and you will harness the power of the belief–>justification–> belief cycle. Having said that, it can be very difficult to change your beliefs because some beliefs are not under your conscious control. The mind is a miraculously complex entity that can hide nuggets of belief in your subconscious or in half-forgotten memories. For more on this, see my post B is for ‘Belief’. Sometimes, positive affirmations don’t work because the new affirmation comes into conflict with a deeply entrenched belief. When we try to affirm something that is opposed to a deep-seated, subconscious belief, the ‘superficial’ affirmation is not strong enough to change one of our core values, even if, consciously, we really want to change. And when it doesn’t work, we beat ourselves up even more because we failed to change, gave up, or lost the will to do our affirmations, and so the spiral of negative affirmations begins again. If this sounds familiar, try this:

To access the negative core belief and bring it to your conscious mind, ask the belief questions. Interrogate your negative belief. Listen to it and understand it. For example, say you constantly affirm that you are unloved and unwanted. On a conscious level, you know that this belief is crippling you. So you choose a new thought: I am desired and loved. You say it over and over, you write it out and stick it to your fridge, and the magic words are your laptop wallpaper. You work with the new affirmation for a few months and yet, you feel very little difference, and any difference you do feel is undermined by a voice within that chases the affirmation with a ‘yeah right, who could ever love you?’ You don’t really believe this crap do you?’ And you’re right back to square one. This will happen to many people who want to use the power of affirmations to change their outlook. Don’t beat yourself up if it happens to you. When you have a quiet moment, write down the negative affirmation that is deeply true to you. Take a few deep breaths and meditate on questioning the belief. Some good questions are:

Why do I hold this belief?

Is there a specific event that was the initial trigger for this belief?

Are there examples of times when this belief was true, when I felt unloved and unwanted?

Are there examples when the opposite was true, when I felt very loved and desirable? What did that feel like?

What does it mean to me to be ‘loved’ and ‘desired’?

Is there a way that I could love and care for myself more to help this new belief become true?

By questioning your belief, you change your relationship to it, and in so doing, you unsettle its ‘true’ and ‘logical’ place in your belief system, thereby making room for new beliefs. This method takes time and effort as you are trying to rewire your mind without the instruction manual! But keep with it, you’ll extinguish, or at least manage it, eventually and when you do, you will benefit so much from a more positive and empowering set of truths.

Some affirmations are easier to believe than others because we believe that some things are more accessible to us than others.  You may feel that a new car is much more accessible to you than true self-love.  It is only the fact that you believe that that makes it so (inception, anyone?) The only scale of difficulty in embodying positive beliefs is dictated by our beliefs about difficulty of attainment.

Here are some ‘positive affirmation’ ideas to get you started…

‘I’m sick of being fat, my cellulite is ruining my life!’

Becomes

‘I love my body.  My body is trim, beautiful and radiates with health.’

‘I’m never going to find love, why do guys always treat me like crap!?’

Becomes

‘I love myself.  I am loving, loved and loveable.’

‘*sigh* I hate my job, no one appreciates me.  I know I’m being underpaid.’

Becomes

‘I am inspired by my job. My efforts are rewarded and I am well paid.’

‘Why I am always skint? I hate having no money to enjoy life.’

Becomes

‘I earn ______enter amount here (I suggest £100,000, or why not a cool million?)_____ per year and I love my life!’

I would be so happy to read your positive affirmations. Leave me a comment by clicking on the bubble at the top right of this post.

Thank you for reading!  Until next week, enjoy exploring the You-niverse!

Next week: ‘A is for Angels’.

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