Quarter-Life Crisis: 5 Books That Changed My Life

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!

Read more from Heidi at The Conscious Perspective and join her Goodreads community for more book discussions! And stay tuned for more of her personal-development posts here at Early Mama! (yay!)