Top 10 Best Books for Positive Living

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These books have changed my inner life. As a consequence, my outer life changed drastically over time.

I went through some very negative, bad times. Especially in my teens and early 20s. I was so fraught with negativity that I had to find a way out. As a reader, I thought I had a better chance of finding the answer to personal health in books.

So I went to my local bookstore during the spring of my junior of college, and found the number one book that is responsible for the complete uplifting of my life. I read this book over Spring Break with my friends in Mexico, and my life was never the same. Everything changed after that.

Books and teachers CAN turn everything around. It’s true. One course, one class, one book…and life will never be the same.

Each of these books has had such a positive impact on my life in different ways. To me, there are three modes of positive living: awareness (mindfulness or conscious attention), love, and creativity.

Each of these books speaks to one or more of these three modes.

10. Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:

This book is a study of A Course in Miracles, which is not included in this list because I had a hard time reading it for whatever reason.

But Marianne lays out her translation of the Course, and it’s quite a lovely translation indeed. It speaks of the glory and love that we already are, and advises on how to return to that brilliant, that spark of God within. That is where love is, and that is where we transform ourselves and our lives.

This book is a powerful reminder of how powerful we are, and that love is our greatest antidote to the fears that hold us back.

Become childlike and shine again with this beautiful book.

9. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

The little beautiful exercises of this book are still with me. I think about this book all the time, and read it every other year. It was the second book I read to develop my mindfulness practice. It was the first time I did the Loving Kindness Meditation, which is a staple in my hoard of go-to meditation practices.

If you need your own help starting a habitual meditation practice, this free email course has helped hundreds of people get going:

This book teaches in terms of life experiences and exercises and stories. I love the simple way Kabat-Zinn writes because I love looking at mindfulness and meditation as a way of healing. And I mean healing everything - mind, soul, and body.

I even bought the audio of this book to listen to in my car.

8. The Power by Rhonda Byrne:

Better than her first book, The Secret, this little power-packed book is like the even-better prequel to a badass movie. Spoiler alert: the power is love.

To me, any personal development book or spiritual book that does not talk about love is missing a lot. But it’s not just about love, it’s about love as a means to co-create your life. Love what you have, love what you want. Use this power to your advantage. After all, you’re made from it. So you’ve got plenty.

The best thing about this book was her little shortcuts she uses to cut through to the feeling of love, so that it’s possible to feel it all the time. Even when being affronted by a PET - code for Personal Emotional Trainer.

Simple and straight-forward, excited language, this one counts for creativity, presence and love.

One of the main uses of The Power is gratitude. It needs to be an active component of your life. To make it stick, try this free course that will touch your life and uplift it in so many ways:

7. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown:

Being vulnerable in this world is not easy. But thanks to Brown, it’s become a lot easier. It’s easier now to speak your truth, to go for what you want, and to show your emotions openly, and also to be there for other people.

Brown speaks of bravery, empathy, and vulnerability from a researcher’s prospective. To sum it up, what it means to be whole-hearted and to live a full, beautiful life in terms of connection, imperfection, truth, and even family.

Brown will root you on to take the risk and not care what anyone thinks about it in the process. It’s all about the courage to be you and live your truth.

6. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Creatively speaking, I got so much from this book. As a writer and artist, I felt so abundant afterward. I love Gilbert’s loving tone as she encourages her readers to step up to a life of creative passion, to embrace curiosity, and stay open.

One thing that really stuck with me about this book was that ideas are like traveling entities that want to be expressed. If you don’t express your idea, it will move on. She told this with a personal narrative about an incidence between her and Ann Patchett. This really inspired and moved me. Just the fact that ideas are everywhere, just waiting for someone open and willing and loving enough to nourish and express them.

There are so many soulful guidances in this book about creativity, I felt the magic.

5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle:

Eckhart is getting two mentions in this list because to me, he is the clearest writer and teacher about consciousness. He started out as an academic, and an academic, clear look at consciousness and spirituality is the best way to read about presence.

There are so many key epiphanies and strategies for right-now living, that this book stays in a drawer in my nightstand. I love it. Almost every word is underlined.

I guess the reason I love it so much that I’m afraid of missing my life, thinking the whole time. As an over-thinker, presence is something I have to remember over and over again. This book helps to keep me aligned in this moment.

4. Mindful Loving by Henry Grayson:

This book speaks to both mindfulness and love. You don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to read this. This book could help you with any troubling relationship that you’re in.

This book presents 10 concrete practices for creating deeper, more conscious, more loving connections with people you love.

Life is made of relationships. Some might say it’s part of why we’re here. This book is the clearest, and most incisive one I’ve seen to make mindfulness work for any relationship and to cause more love within the connection, brighting the invisible tethers between you.

3. The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success by Deepak Chopra:

Most mornings in meditation, I go through all seven spiritual laws in my head and incorporate them into that time. Starting with the field of pure potentiality.

The thing is, when it comes to success, it has to be magnetized to you through your unyielding wakefulness and love from within. I struggle sometimes with this, and I guess that’s why I always go back to these 7 spiritual laws.

But when I remember to abide by them, they never fail me. This books speaks to all 3 modes of positive living. It especially speaks to creativity and creating what you want through the force field of your own mind. It’s calming, soothing and up-lifting.

This is a little book, but can be so potent. 

2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron:

This book is like a textbook and course for anyone who wants to create, to be an artist of actual art or an artist of life. It’s meant to be done in 12 weeks and comes with homework and practical tasks to help the artist move out of stagnation and fear.

This one was recommended to me by a dear friend, both of us trying to create different things in our lives, but it worked wonders for both of us.

The best thing about this book are two things: the urgency with which she writes about the Artist’s Date, which is like quality time with the inner child, and the Morning Pages, which is basically like getting all the crap out of your head first thing, really compelled me and changed me. I cling to these two things and see better results in my work as a little creator, a spark of the Creator myself, as a result of following these two rules.

Countless other things in this book also helped me to create (the highest mode of positive living).

1. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle:

This is the one. The book I bought in the bookstore my junior year of college. Literally big things started happening in my life within weeks of reading it, and I KNOW it’s because my frequency changed as a result of reading this one.

I began to feel my own aliveness, and a care for the energy of the world was born. I began to work on my own consciousness for the sake of the earth. I began to awaken and enjoy my moments. I had more compassion and patience and joy. I was less judgmental about others and life.

I began to understand the negativity that was following me around as a real energy field that Tolle calls the Pain Body (and I had a big one). I began to shine a light on my ego.

You should see this book now. It’s been dog-earred and watermarked and underlined to death. I’ve read it so many times over the years, I just need a new copy probably.

Sometimes I do A New Earth dips, wherein I just open it up and read what I need to read for that day.

It’s the best I’ve read so far for all three modes but especially the first and most important, consciousness.

Hope you enjoyed this list and that it helps you in some way. If you’d like to order any of these books, I work at an independent bookstore called Turnrow Books that does online orders and would be happy to send you any of these. I love supporting small, independent bookstores. Order any of these here: turnrowbooks.com.


Comment below if you have any books to add to this this list or agree or disagree about these listed!

Related: Drop the Resistance, Pick Up the Peace {5 Guideposts}

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