Happy Full Moon! This lunar eclipse in Leo is calling on us to let our freak flags fly! To be ourselves despite of any fears or rejection. For many of us, we might not even know that part of ourselves anymore after years of suppression. Or maybe we just need a reminder to get back in touch. So here are 5 books to shift your perspective and get back in touch with your most authentic self.
I’ve always loved reading. I started with Nancy Drew, The Secret Garden and Charlotte’s Web and I remember getting a lot of attention from teachers in junior high when I was reading The Celestine Prophecy, (they thought it was a mature read at my age) which I came across on my own and was definitely the beginning of my spiritual path, (the psychedelics I was experimenting with at the time, likely were beginnings as well, though I didn’t know it at the time. sorry mom- we can laugh about it now.) I’ve linked the begeezuz out of this post so you can load up your book shelf.
I’m pretty sure I was too busy drinking in high school to read anything aside from a text book. For a lot of my adult years I viewed my adolescence as a total derailment and that I had completely lost my way. But now I think it was all a part of the journey, big lessons that needed learning, though I wouldn’t have the awareness to actually learn them for about 20 more years. It was because of these books, and many teachers that I was able to change my perspective, learn from my past, and move forward on a more purposeful path. See the previous post regarding #nochill
After high school I read a lot. I asked a well-read friend what I should read and he suggested starting with the classics. So I did. I read The Stranger by Albert Camus, and War and Peace, I read all of John Steinbeck and Joyce Carol Oates. And then pretty much everything Oprah suggested. I don’t read much fiction anymore, as I’m addicted to learning and a sponge for knowledge. I’ve been on a constant search for “that thing” that is mine, that I’ll excel at for quite some time and these books have inched me closer to what sparks my bliss.
What does this have to do with Photography Tashia? Well, nothing. And everything. These books have helped me see past my emotions, and struggles, and the constant striving for more. More importantly they’ve helped me become more present and to be able recognize the beauty in my life and celebrate it more. Though I can take a picture to show you the beauty of yourself and your life, I’d love for you to feel it more deeply, or more often too. Often that takes a lot more work. So perhaps we can start here, and maybe some of these will lead you down a path to beauty and magic too. I’m most definitely still learning, always will be, but I’m enjoying the journey and just hoping to share a bit of light. Which is what photography is all about too. Beautiful Light. 🖤
The pictures and titles link out. In no particular order…
This book was so fascinating to me! I read it around the time I did my Level 1 reiki certificate, so I was all about the Chakra system. I found it really interesting compared to Jungian psychology – which I love – and to learn what chakras were developing at which stage in my life. I could remember back to a certain age, and then understand things like why I tend towards shyness in certain situations, or how an experience that took place at a certain age caused me to be to less outgoing. Or whatever it might have been. Then combined with my new knowledge of reiki and the chakras I could work to clear any blocks. The publisher describes it best…. In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today.
The Molecules of Emotion
Prior to this book, the mind-body connection was totally lost on me. The idea that what we eat can affect our biology, and thus affect our thoughts and moods. 🤯 Mind blown. As mentioned, I’ve struggled with ‘moodiness’ for most of my life. So the idea that I could have helped all this considerably with my diet alone was so profound I stopped eating McDonalds and started a a Bachelor of Science in Psychology on the path to become an Endocrinologist. (We can chat later about how many career paths I’ve started and abandoned.) This gets a bit scientific at times, but I enjoy that. I always need to know the how and why.
Are you living? Know someone that’s dying? Read this.
As some of you may know, I lost both my dad and my brother in the span of six months. I was struggling at the time to understand why, and likely having a bit of an existential crisis. This book eased so many fears around death and helped me continue living without the extreme anxiety that everyone I love was going to start dropping like flies. Based in Buddhist thought, this book is one that everyone should read. That means you.
Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.
This book brought a perspective that landed with me in a way that felt like getting home after a long horrible vacation. You’ve likely read it, as it was an Oprah’s pick, but if not I highly, highly recommend reading it or even reading it again. (Note to self) It can be challenging if the concepts are new to you, but stick with it and I promise it will be worth it. Learning about the ego and how to detach from it will help you move towards a more fulfilling and mindful state of consciousness. Less of the emotional rollercoaster BS. Ya Dig?
This book blew my mind in a way I couldn’t even comprehend at the time, but it was an introduction to all this metaphysical stuff that I totally fell in love with. Very interesting, even just as thought exploration. I’m not even sure how to describe it. From Publishers Weekly: Pinchbeck’s claim is that we are in the final stages of a fundamental global shift from a society based on materiality to one based on spirituality. Intermittently fascinating, especially in his autobiographical interludes, Pinchbeck tackles Stonehenge and the Burning Man festival, crop circles and globalization, modern hallucinogens and the ancient prophesy of the Plumed Serpent featured in his subtitle. His description of difficult-to-translate experiences, like his experimentation with a little-known hallucinogenic drug called dripropyltryptamine (DPT), are striking for their lucidity: “For several weeks after taking DPT, I picked up flickering hypnagogic imagery when I closed my eyes at night … In one scene, I entered a column of fire rising from the center of Stonehenge again and again, feeling myself pleasantly annihilated by the flames each time.” Pinchbeck’s teleological exploration can overwhelm, and his meandering focus can frustrate, but as a thought experiment, Pinchbeck’s exotic epic is a paradigm-buster capable of forcing the most cynical reader outside her comfort zone.
The Presence Process
This book was recommended to help integrate the learnings from the ayahuasca ceremony I participated in. If you ever have the opportunity to partake in one, do not hesitate. Well, make sure you’re in good hands first, and then don’t hesitate. I learned a lot about myself and my past and the people in my life. My suppressed memories and experiences that impacted my life in BIG BIG ways. My words don’t do it justice, but it was the most beautiful and incredible and courageous things I’ve ever done, all set to the most beautiful chanting as a soundtrack that will never leave my bones. But I digress. I left feeling as though I’d had major brain surgery, and all my organs rearranged, and how was I going to arrange my life to fit this new and deeper understanding. This book. This book doesn’t require you come to it with anything though. Ceremony or not. It will change your life.
AND PLEASE PLEASE, SHARE YOUR SUGGESTIONS WITH ME TOO!