I was looking through my bookshelves recently and it got me thinking about the books that have profoundly impacted my life. There have been 5 to be precise. I thought I might share them with you.
1) The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
I read this book in 1994. It arrived in my life at the perfect time because I was into the second year of my PhD and my research was going badly. I was under pressure to get results but nothing I was doing was working. I was feeling very depressed, not just with my results, but because I felt I was supposed to be doing something else with my life.
The book was like a breath of fresh air because it talked about the power of the mind and of belief. It was exactly the kind of thoughts I had been thinking but I hadn’t realised anyone else thought the same kind of way. It was a direction-changer for me because it ignited the thought in me of writing and speaking about that kind of stuff and I realised that it was the ‘something else’ I was supposed to be doing, maybe not right away but at some stage.
Check out The Power of Positive Thinking
2) The Nature of Personal Reality (A Seth Book), by Jane Roberts
I also read this in 1994, only a few months after I read The Power of Positive Thinking. I was on a roll and had started having thoughts about the nature of reality. I had figured out that there must be ‘layers’ to reality and consciousness, as well as other realities (or dimensions). I found this book in a bookshop in Glasgow, Scotland, and lapped it up.
It spoke of how consciousness creates reality, how we exist as larger entities (or souls), and how our individual and collective beliefs shape everything around us. It was deeply metaphysical, not least because it was a channelled book.
Jane Roberts was a trance medium and she channelled Seth, who called himself an ‘energy personality essence’. The teachings are profound. I tried to share some with my friends, most of whom were sceptical of the whole channelled thing, but they became engrossed when I asked them to side-step that issue and just read the words.
To date, this is the book I have re-read more than any other book.
Check out The Nature of Personal Reality
3) The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield
I read this book in 1998. It represented the beginning of my journey out of the pharmaceutical industry. I had taken a job where I was a scientist developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer, but my real interest was the power of the mind and consciousness. I was fascinated with the placebo effect and for me it was a demonstration of our capacity to use the mind to heal.
The Celestine Prophecy put many of the teachings around life, psychology, the mind, and even spiritual evolution into a captivating adventure novel. There was a chapter on seeing auras that I loved and it set me off on a mission to learn how to see them for myself.
I remember sitting among some trees one day, a few days before Christmas of 1998, trying to see the auras around the branches and leaves. If you doubt that we have the capacity to see auras then read my blog article on a scientific discovery that showed how an overlapping of brain regions (synaesthesia) can give us the ability.
Check out The Celestine Prophecy
4) Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch
I read this book in 1999. It was only a few weeks after I had resigned from the pharmaceutical industry. I had been excitedly thinking of the workshops I would run and the topics I would write on. At the time, it was all power of the mind stuff and self-development.
Then along came Conversations with God to remind me how much my real passion was to infuse what I write and teach with love and compassion. Inspiring love, compassion, and kindness was an important part of who I was but I guess I just didn’t realise that I could talk about it, nor that anyone would be interested in what some perceived as ‘sentimental, soft stuff’.
But love, compassion and kindness has formed a thread through all of my books so far and Neale’s book began that exploration for me.
Check out Conversations with God
5) Dying to be Me, by Anita Moorjani
I read this book just a couple of months ago and was privileged enough to talk with Anita quite a bit during the two recent I Can Do It conferences held in the UK by our publisher, Hay House.
Anita had cancer, she was in a coma and her organs had just packed in, when she had an NDE (near death experience). She described her experience; what it was like, how she became one with everything, and how we are all connected. She saw her future, if she chose to come back, where the cancer would rapidly disappear (no one had ever previously recovered from that kind of cancer at that stage) as she lived her life fearlessly, as she learned to love herself. The main lesson she brought back was the importance of loving ourselves.
That really struck a chord with me. Even though I do what I do, I really don’t think I have been loving myself that much, in that outside of when I’m on stage (where I feel really at home) I often hold back from expressing myself out of fear for what people might think or say. It might sound silly to some, but I guess we all have our challenges.
Check out Dying to be Me
I have read and enjoyed many, many other books over the years, but I only wanted to include in this blog those that had the greatest impact upon me.
Maybe I should have called this blog, ‘5 books and 2 tapes that profoundly impacted my life’ because I could add that two audio programs by Dr Wayne Dyer also created a seismic shift in me.
The first was a single tape (this was in 2000 before CDs were as popular), called ‘How to get what you really, really, really, really want.’ I listened to it sooooo many times. I even transcribed it and used it as a basis for a one-off talk I did to about a dozen people back in 2000. The other was an 8-part tape set called, ‘The Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny’.
What impacted me most about Wayne was that his love, compassion, and kindness shone through not just in his words but even in the tone of his voice. You can sense it in how he says what he says. For an entire year I listened to those tapes every time I drove my car.
What books have most impacted your life?