When I was 25 years old and a mom of two babies, it hit me hard. Anxiety and fear began to bubble to the surface and a floodgate opened with two decades worth of repressed emotions rushing out. Call it a quarter-life crisis or call it a crisis of faith — either way, it completely shook up my existence and forced me to face a challenge I wasn't prepared to face.
At the time I felt really alone and scared, and I didn't know where to begin. I grew up, like many other Millennial mamas, in a secular home with parents of Roman Catholic and Muslim backgrounds (quite the combo, I know). I assumed that if I had a religion that I truly believed in, I'd feel safe again.And most importantly, I would be able to raise my boys to have some faith themselves, so that they could avoid this struggle in life.
It was all fine and dandy as I began an exploration into different religions to see which one best suited me. I came up with Reform Judaism. It seemed to be the most open and most focused on the here and now. I figured I could convert, we could convert the kids, and all would be swell. My husband — a good Roman Catholic boy who attended church every Sunday for 16 years, but had since denounced the religion — was fine with the decision.
But a major challenge arose that I couldn't get past: I couldn't wrap my head around the doctrine — it just didn't ring true for me — and the whole point of converting was so that I could BELIEVE something enough to find faith.
I was back to square one and it was bad. Really bad.
I had struggled with depression my whole life and one of the worst periods was around this time, especially with the added anxiety. I came to a tipping point, and then something shifted. I started having chance encounters with people. I started stumbling on books I'd just heard of. It was rock bottom looking up, ready to take the first step.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is this Buddhist proverb: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." And I was very ready — I was open to pretty much anything, with a skeptical eye of course. The books that began to enter my life truly changed me for the better. I started slowly, trying my best to avoid new-age jargon and overly spiritualized authors, and laid out a solid foundation for understanding my place in this world.
Today I'm sharing my Top 5 Books for the Beginner Soul-Searching Early Mama —
One of the most important things I wanted to share is that when you're reading, it's very important to have a place to dialogue and share your epiphanies, your questions, your thoughts. So I created a Goodreads community to do just that. Please join me over there, and we'll select a book and read together!
Here are the Top 5 Books That Changed my Life (in no particular order):
1. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle is my #1 spiritual guru. He is the only spiritual author out there that is no frills, no ego, pure presence. I can't recommend his work enough.
2. A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
Equally as good as The Power of Now, but expands on the content.
3. The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra
This is a quick 3-hour read that lays out some fundamental Universal Laws. For example, Karma, Manifestation, etc.
4. Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
HHDL is right up there with Eckhart for me. He is the most compassionate, down-to-earth person I can think of and this book is a game-changer.
5. The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield
Do you guys remember this book? It came out many years ago and was a smashing success. It's actually a fiction book, but I love it because it is an easy, compelling read that spells out some really important fundamental concepts.
SHARE the books that changed your life in the comment section!