Top Books from 2019

2019 has been one of the most monumental and transformative years of my life. And I wanted to share some of the impactful books that accompanied me throughout the journey. I hope that you find inspiration too.

And if you have a book that needs to make it on my 2020 reading list, please let me know!

Mary Magdalene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel & the Christianity We Haven't Tried Yet by Meggan Watterson “And this is how you rise; further up is farther in.”

Mary Magdalene Revealed is the book I have been waiting to read my whole life. Meggan Watterson’s research and sharing of her personal experiences are an invitation to your initiation. Whether you consider yourself religiously or culturally Christian, this book holds wisdom, insight, challenge, and beauty. Read this and then begin again! I was excited to share this book with many women on my Yule gift list!

Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action by Seane Corn “. . and the true revolution to freedom begins the moment we answer the soul’s call for peace.”,

Revolution of the Soul rocked my world. Her irreverent tone, coupled with deep and vulnerable sharing of her journey was beyond inspirational. This book is a HOLY HELL YES for anyone ready to go beyond the external and come into a deep connection to their soft juicy divine center in this messy human experience. This book is a must-read for all yogis and all who aspire to serve the world from love!

Spiritually Fierce: Are You Ready to Surrender to Your Unlimited Self? By Ricci Jane Adams “My belief is that the time of ambivalence is over. No longer can we sit in inaction and spiritual apathy. We are being invited to meet the times in which we live with the willingness to change and awaken.”

I am not sure how many times I have read this book, but I have it in pdf, audio, kindle, and paperback. This book is a manual for meeting and living Truth. I am so grateful to my mentor and Soul Sister for encapsulating through this book an accessible way to meet these truths and begin the journey. I think this book is essential for anyone ready to live in truth and create their life with purpose. This book is holy information made available to apply immediately to your life!

WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wambach “Leadership is taking care of yourself and empowering others to do the same. Leadership is not a position to earn, it’s an inherent power to claim. Leadership is the blood that runs through your veins—it’s born in you. It’s not the privilege of a few, it is the right and responsibility of all. Leader is not a title that the world gives to you—it’s an offering that you give to the world.”

Wolfpack was a total surprise. I absolutely fell in love with Abby Wambach and the wisdom in this book. Part of my journey this year has been in redefining and clarifying my relationship to power structures, especially those structures where I am supposed to be leading. I chose to give up my administrative leadership role this year from this clarity of how the system and structure were unconducive to impactful or transformational leadership. Reading this book began to foster my hope for what might be inside of structures that are willing to open to feminine leadership principles.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis “You are allowed to want more for yourself for no other reason than because it makes your heart happy. You don’t need anyone’s permission, and you certainly shouldn’t have to rely on anyone’s support as the catalyst to get you there.”

So I have to admit I didn’t want to read or like Girl Stop Apologizing, but I am happy I did. I read the first book by Rachel Hollis and liked it okay, but I didn’t find it deeply insightful. I decided to read Girl Stop Apologizing partly because I liked the title but mostly because my husband heard a podcast, and he felt that Rachel was talking about a frustration around creation I had just expressed to him. So I grabbed the audiobook, and Rachel began to accompany me on my walks across campus between classes and meetings. I definitely enjoyed hearing her read the book as it was more conversational, and I “got her” much more than before. She was also the full-on hardcore cheerleader lighting the fire under my ass that I needed in this season. So if you are looking to get over your same old excuses about why you are settling for mediocre creations or expressions, this book will catalyze and inspire you!

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport “what we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore—plays in defining the quality of our life.”

Deep Work was another hubby recommendation, and as usual, he was right about knowing what I needed to hear. As someone who has a big capacity as a creator, my kryptonite can be taking on too many projects and not tending my schedule fully. These sabotages cut me off from fulfilling that full capacity. I think the concepts in Deep Work are applicable whether you are an academic or not. This book gave me more permission to set boundaries, especially around email and attending extra meetings. If you are ready to deepen your creativity or service in the world, this book can help you work for your intentions and let go of upholding that good girl worker.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brené Brown

“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.”

I found this book looking at leadership, wholeheartedness, and vulnerability to be a rallying cry for what possible and not just inside of “spiritual” structures. It brought forward great healing as I fully grieved my academic life. In this book, I recognized what I wanted to be part of, healed and forgave myself and others, and set about showing up with even more vulnerable authenticity, clarity, and a lot more compassion.

Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home By Toko-pa Turner

“The only antidote to perfectionism is to turn away from every whiff of plastic and gloss and follow our grief, pursue our imperfections, and exaggerate our eccentricities until the things we once sought to hide reveal themselves as our majesty.”

Belonging might be the most poetic book for returning home I have read. Toko-pa Turner has a way for diving right into the heart and holding great space for the grief and longing to [finally] surface. The quest for home was one I began as a child. For so long, it centered on exploring my homelands. I was lucky enough to travel extensively, and through those experiences, I was able to meet the more profound longing that was able to be presenced by meeting the land, the desire to be part of, to be known, and to belong. I found many part’s of my own journeys of coming to belong to myself mirrored in this poignant book. I found it illuminating and insightful and a must-read for my fellow pilgrims.

Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon by Dr. Joe Dispenza “if you focus on the known, you get the known. If you focus on the unknown, you create a possibility.”

I jokingly say that I stay on a steady diet of Dr. Joe these days. His work can be one that you say, yeah, we heard that already. But I appreciate that we need to listen to it over and over again until we are living the lives we truly desire. My healing this year has been focused on the physical body, and it has been an intense, and even at times, scary journey. The tools in this book are revolutionary, and I know every day I am wiring myself for a more significant experience. I strongly recommend this book to those of you who are ready to believe in your capacity to create your mind, body, and life in the image of amazing beauty you are willing to birth into being. Becoming Supernatural is not for the faint of heart dabbler wanting the easy way of self-help. This book is a manual for personal transformation of the highest order.

Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday “How different would the world look if people spent as much time listening to their conscience as they did to chattering broadcasts? If they could respond to the calls of their convictions as quickly as we answer the dings and rings of technology in our pockets?”

So firstly I haven’t finished this book. I began it on Christmas, so it’s arriving on the wire. But OMG it's brilliant. Simply. Pure. Truths that you have probably heard but the writing is superb, and the inspiration is not to be discounted. I am reminded what I am gaining by doing what I say I want to be doing...not all that I am giving up. As someone not interested in behavior modification but the transformation, I appreciated the way foundational behaviors are laid out in the path to transformation. And while Holiday isn’t taking you into that transformation, he is guiding you to the beautiful foundation needed for it. My husband asked me to read this book with him. He started it several weeks ago and wanted to share it with me. I am so grateful he did!


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