Do you enjoy reading? Growing up, my parents, brothers and I were voracious readers, heading to the library each Saturday, returning home with the maximum number of books we were allowed to check out and repeating the cycle again the following Saturday. We’d sometimes negotiate with one another at the library: “You check out those and I’ll check out these and then we’ll switch.” We read a wide variety of topics in books, magazines (from Readers Digest to MAD Magazine), comic books; consumed the Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz series, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew; classics like Call of the Wild, Little Women, Walden; history, wars, political intrigue, mysteries, Egyptology, dance, music – we’d read under the covers after Mom told us to turn out the light. (I think of a lot of us did that! ha!)
I go through spurts of interests in my reading. At one point, I was primarily reading business books along the lines of In Search of Excellence; at another stage, I read classics that I’d missed (Grapes of Wrath); and at another, I indulged in Latino authors and stories.
Lately, my reading has mostly been regarding spirituality and our yearning to connect with the Divine. There is such a wealth of reading available and many of my like-minded friends have wonderful recommendations that I keep adding to my list.
Right now on my nightstand are four wonderful books that I’ve recently completed reading.
- The Yoga of Jesus draws beautiful, rich parallels between the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of the ancient yogis. Examining Christian teachings through a yogic viewpoint provided greater clarity and a deeper understanding; I read this slowly, pondering and absorbing, going back to re-read sections. A beautiful, enriching experience.
- In Your Truest Self, Jan Lundy interviews 12 inspiring spiritual women and identifies 12 spiritual principles to help us strip away the false ego and identities we’ve manufactured and to reach inside to the truest and most authentic version of who we are. There are thoughts to ponder, reflections and exercises to aid our journeys. I love the stories of the 12 women and was inspired by the way their personal belief systems helped them through very challenging situations.
- Happy Yoga – possibly my favorite book ever! This is the third time I’ve read this book, it’s that amazing. It’s not about physical yoga, so much; it’s about how to be happy! I think that just about every word in this book resonates with me. The first time I read it, some of the ideas and principles were very new to me but felt so right, like a personal discovery that I’d known all along but that had been hidden from me until I read this book. Reading Happy Yoga always gives me profound joy!
- Anam Cara is by Celtic poet John O’Donohue and if you’ve ever listened to his audiotapes, you’ll find yourself hearing his smoothly lilting Celtic voice in the prose. The language is utterly beautiful, each word like consuming the finest meal and drink. O’Donohue’s love for Celtic mystical thought shines forth and he brings you into a world of deeply ancient truths, of harmony with all that is Divine.
And now I’m re-reading The Four Agreements, a book of simple, practical guidance that challenges me to be more mindful and operate from a different state of heart.
What’s on your nightstand? Any recommendations you’d like to offer? Which reminds me: I need to renew my library card!