The 4 Books Every Spiritually-Curious Person Needs to Read [First]
Oh boy, oh boy, do I love me some books. I’ve been thinking (excitedly) about writing this blog for some time because it’s all about books!
I started my spiritual curious journey with books as my guides for two reasons:
They are easy to attain and can be inexpensive from the library or Amazon, giving access to a lot of knowledge at your fingertips.
I could do it alone. I’m an introvert and I like to figure out my thoughts and feelings alone first. Books gave me the chance (and still do) to stumble through some ideas before I talked to other people or went to a class with other humans.
i really needed this
I wanted to write this because I wish I had a guide when I first started out. I was searching for content and answers that reached beyond what everyone around me knew and I have a feeling you might be looking for the same thing.
You might know you want to start looking for some answers but really don’t know where to look. I have a little roadmap below with a little synopsis of the book so you can make some educated guesses, BUT…
I really suggest you rely on your intuition for this. At this point, you might not have any idea of what I’m talking about, but you have an intuition.
It’s the voice in your head telling you to read one book over the other but your head is also saying things like, “but Jodi says I should read this one first.”
Ignore me! Haha. I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. I am here as a guide, a plan to follow if you have no idea BUT if your gut is telling you to reach for one book over another, listen to it.
Ok, enough of the pep talk. Check out the breakdown below and please, head over to your local library or Amazon and make a plan to start one of these books today. If you just start reading a page, you will be moving in the best direction, forward!
These are in the order I would read them now. Let me explain why.
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Ok, this book has sold millions of copies and Oprah loves it, but maybe you haven’t heard of it (because you live somewhere without wifi or are under 25). But maybe you have heard of this little diddy …
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of GOD. Your playing small doesn't serve the world.”
This little nugget of wisdom was a beacon of light for me as I struggled in my 20s to find my power. This book is filled with so many knowledge bombs like that and it deserves to be the first book on my list because it is really the book that changed it all for me.
It was a jumping off point that led me to me personal journey and I continue to go back to this book (I also have the audiobook for quick access on a plane/car/train).
Things to know
The book is based on a metaphysical text called A Course in Miracles. It’s a “channeled” book. That might throw some of you off, so don’t pay attention to that part.
A Course in Miracles is a little hard to read and understand in this day in age and Marianne breaks down all the messages that book delivers in a way that is so digestible. Her story is amazing and since she wrote this book in 1992, she has become one of most honored speakers in the world of spirituality, love, and oneness.
She mentions God in the book a lot. If that’s not your cup of tea you can just change it in your head to whatever you believe in. She is talking about God as the higher power in the universe, a figure of transformation. It’s not a religious construct to get hung up on.
How to use it
The book is broken up into two parts, principles and practice. Each section is broken down further and it’s really easy to pick up and put down when needed. The paragraphs are short and you can literally read a page or so a day and feel like you gained volumes of knowledge.
Depending on where you are in your life, you might be attached to specific sections and that’s ok. But do not just skip to the relationship section if you’re heartbroken. The real gold is in the principal's’ section.
I would tell you my favorite parts, but it’s honestly impossible. I have the book in front of me and I’m staring at highlighted sections on almost every page of this 300-page book.
This book feels like medicine to my soul when I feel lost, sad, depressed, confused, failing at life, etc. It never fails me.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
I picked this book to be second because it took me a minute to warm up to the ideas in it, not because they are hard to understand, but because they are so simple.
Louise is (was) known as the grandmother of self-help. She wrote this book in 1984 and was a pioneer of self-care before we knew what it was. This book has sold over 30 million copies. Louise founded Hay House, a publishing company that focuses on the self-improvement industry. Her story is crazy and filled with obstacles most people wouldn’t have been able to conquer.
She created support groups for people living with AIDS/HIV in the 80s and had been helping people heal their lives up until her death in 2017 at age 90.
Things to know
The book is based on the idea of mantras and affirmations to heal what ails you. It’s a little more woo-woo, but the practices and tools she mentions in the book are life-changing.
There is mirror work (i.e., talking to yourself in the mirror) and linking physical ailments to negative thoughts. The idea behind this book is your thoughts are making you sick.
This book is the ultimate starter kit for anyone wanting to know the basis of true self-care. She mentions all the tools and the voice of the book is so soothing. It’s like a fairy godmother who juices and recites affirmations.
How to use it
I suggest you read the book from the beginning. Like I said, she’s really easy to understand and each chapter gives lots of things to try so give yourself time to go through it.
There is this awesome glossary in the back of the book that gives you new thought patterns to adapt for a ton of different physical problems.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
If you like stories, you will love this book. It reads a little like a fairytale or a fable with an important message. The knowledge within is sacred and the way Don Miguel tells it feels magical.
As you can tell from the title, the book is based on 4 principles. They are laid out in a simple and easy way to understand, there is no confusion. The hard part is taking action.
Things to know
The 4 agreements are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Sounds like what your second-grade teacher had written on the chalkboard, right?
I’m sure you read all of those and were like, yeah duh, got it. But no. Putting these ideas into practice every day is hard. That’s why there is a book about it.
The book is short (138 pages on half-sized paper) and is quick to read. The ideas are so perfectly laid out but actually not taking things personally is way harder.
How to use it
Read it in order. The story builds on itself, but once you have read it once, go back to the parts that seem the hardest for you to change. I find myself going back to the 2nd agreement, “don’t take anything personally”, a lot.
The introduction can be little mystical, but keep going. The chapters are short but the effects are lasting. It’s like having a shaman in your pocket or at least what I think it would be like.
May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
This is a perfect way to end this mini-crash course in spirituality. This book is a 40-day guide with exercises to do every day. It really drives home the principals you have been learning about in the other books.
I freakin’ love this book.
Not just because she is my friend, but because I love to have a set plan and this is that. I do this at least twice a year because it really grounds me in the mindset I desire and curbs the crazy thinking.
Gabby really walks her talk and this book is a glimpse into the practices and mindsets she has created for herself in her path. This is so helpful when you are starting out and not sure how to make the changes stick.
Things to know
It’s a day-by-day guidebook. You need to start with intention of setting aside 5-15 minutes every day to do the work. Once you get into the groove, you it will feel routine.
There are affirmations, passages to read, and journal prompts. She also has a meditation album that goes with the book. I suggest it for sure, but she also has the meditations written out in the chapters.
Also, Gabby created a video course that takes you through all 6 weeks of the book in an hour and a half of videos that include meditations and lectures. I love this part of the experience. It is costly but if you have the means to purchase it, I totally suggest it. It’s a beautiful compliment.
How to use it
It’s really easy. Just open and do as she says. Don’t do more than one day in a day, but if you miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just pick it back up.
Make time for this one, it will really make the changes you are seeking, one small step at a time.
OK, that’s it. Now it’s your turn.
Which book spoke to you? Go with that one. Or maybe you still aren’t sure, so then follow my lead and start with A Return to Love. You can’t possibly make a mistake here.
I also thought about some of you. You might be a fast reader or have read some of these already so I created some bonus content, a list of the next 7 books you should read after these. You can grab that list below.
All the love,
P.S. Looking for actionable practices you can use to help make these mindset shifts stick? Grab my FREE meditation guide below if you're ready to upgrade your life.