I started Ordinary Days, Meaningful Life to share my journey toward finding perspective, seeking inspiration, and learning to let go. Scary as it is to share this stuff so openly, I decided to start it in the hopes that if I share the meaning I’m discovering in my life, you too will discover new meaning in your life.
One of the places I seek out inspiration for new meaning is in great books. Today’s post is a roundup of some of the books that have had a profound impact on me. I hope these help you too!
Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle
Both of these books chronicle some roundabout spiritual life journeys of author Glennon Doyle. Her first book, Carry On, Warrior, is a series of essays about motherhood and life. Regardless of whether she was talking about her serious struggles with alcohol and drugs or her more recent trials of trying to get the laundry done, Glennon gives us all permission to recognize that life is just hard. It just is.
Her second book, Love Warrior, is an incredible memoir about her journey of self-discovery. While the book was originally pitched as a love story about her and her now ex-husband, the book was truly a story about learning to love herself despite a lifetime of self-deprecation. Spoiler alert: After the book was released, Doyle divorced her husband and married pro athlete Abby Wambach. I heard about her divorce before reading this book and actually found her journey of reconciliation with her husband all the more meaningful. In the end, the story is not about healing a broken marriage; it’s about healing broken souls.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is fascinated by human nature and has written a number of books about it. She’s become known for her expertise in happiness and understanding how to make that happen for yourself. In Better than Before, she explores ways to intentionally build habits in your life that lead to improved health and life satisfaction. She also lays out her foundational framework for understanding personalities, The Four Tendencies (her subsequent book), that helps you figure out how to best set yourself up for success.
This book really helped me understand myself and how much control I have over small habits in my life. It was instrumental in my weight loss journey, as well as understanding how to sleep better and get more organized.
I happened to read this book not long before When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink, which is not inspirational per se, but does really help you learn a lot about how to time decisions, creativity, relaxation, and inspiration for maximum effect. Plus it’s really interesting and matches nicely with Rubin’s book.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
This book changed the way I see the world and how I understand my life. There is a note in the beginning of the book that you cannot just read this book, you must do all of the exercises to get anything out of it. With reluctance, I followed her instructions for the first exercise and found myself in tears soon after.
This short little book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, invites you to look deep inside your psyche to find what you believe are the worst, darkest parts of yourself and then to warmly and completely embrace all those parts of who you are. With gentle invitations and honest narration, Debbie Ford helps you discover who you are so that you can walk through the world more whole.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
I just finished listening to the audio version of this book and I strongly recommend it. In Year of Yes, the notorious creator of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy shares her journey of learning to say yes to things that are new, scary, and different. The biggest thing she learns along the journey is to say yes to herself.
I was shocked at how relatable Shonda was in this book. Although her professional success is on a whole other scale than what I ever hope to achieve, I still found myself nodding along as she described her trials as a successful businesswoman and single mother. It reminded me of my own issues with embracing my ambition and finding my own my path. Also, she is a damn good writer and her voice is really easy on the ears.
I’d love to hear from you!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Tell me about the books have inspired you!
Ordinary Days, Meaningful Life is a labor of love geared toward working moms ready to embrace the chaos and find meaning in it. If you found this post meaningful, please share it with someone you think would enjoy it too! I’d love to stay in touch with you! Leave a comment below, contact me, or sign up for the mailing list. I can’t wait to hear from you!