Who is ready to step into 2021 after the rollercoaster of a year we had in 2020. I found myself reading more non-fiction than previous years. I also have to take into account my interest have changed since my childhood and teen years. Honestly, my developmental stage has nothing to do with my reading habits or the genres I gravitate towards. Since primary school, I have always been interested in non-fiction genres from autobiographies, memoirs, self-help, and so on. Although when I turn to fiction, I do notice a pattern of heading towards series versus stand alone. I love good character development! I can find myself engulfed by books and I can have several stand-alone in progress at a time. For this post, I thought I’d share my top favorite non-fiction reads as the year 2020 closes and enters 2021.
Whether you are in team resolution or intention setting or going in blind with fist clenched, I believe these books are well relevant for any period of time. Personal development to me is more about increasing self-and social awareness. Every year I find myself rereading these titles. These authors provide timeless concepts that are applicable for any season of life and taps into your ability to redirect and pivot when needed.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself By Michael A. Singer (Goodreads) : Being your most authentic self is a common concept spoken in leadership and psychology fields. As common as it is mentioned and advertised not many know what it entails. Singer does a great job at detailing what hinders us from leading authentically and how to begin uncovering what thoughts, emotions, and patterns can guide us there. It is not technical but provides a more self evaluative and reflective style for you to process.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Goodreads)– Stress, pain, and other life events occur that are beyond our control. Kabat explains the practical ways in which to practice mindfulness and meditation to understand how your body responds to the different stressors you encounter. This book focuses on teaching body awareness. The structure and audiobook narration may sound medical in nature but the practical and technical methods to incorporate mindfulness practices are worth the read.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (Goodreads)– Mckeown takes a laser focus to what encumbers us in the everyday. In terms of setting intentions, the concept of essentialism guides you to take inventory on the way you approach life and what unnecessary routines that create obstacles to what you desire most. If Marie Kondo focuses on the material items that clutter our physical space, McKeown dives into how our behaviors and thoughts clutter our mind.
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach (Goodreads) – Tara Brach is a known Psychologist in the study of mindfulness and meditation. Radical acceptance is a concept that teaches how to live in the present moment in our various relationships. Brach explains how to confront a wide range of emotions and reframe our relation to them. *Trigger warning: Some stories may re-activate sensations caused by trauma- related (e.g sexual abuse, child abuse).
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (Goodreads) – At the intersection of creativity and mental health, Gilbert provides a perspective on creativity that turns away from the ‘ tortured artist” persona. Creativity can be captured in everyone if accepted. Big Magic highlights how creativity can be nurtured and also can bring suffering. Gilbert narrates her relationship with creativity and invites others to define that relationship for themselves.
How about you,
Have you read any of these titles? Do you have a favorite reread?
Recently the American Psychiatric Association released a brief on reporting on mental health cases and the status of individuals and communities (article). APA highlights the detriment that media has on reporting mental health cases that lead only to violence. This skewed view only delays treatment due to the shame and guilt that is associated with…
My journey in the lifestyle of minimalism is a tool that allowed me to find what I valued in this life. I assumed this process would reach an ultimate destination, but that proved to be misinformed. The journey continues. It instead opened the door to what it means to live intentionally. One of my major…
Mindfulness movement is making its way beyond the yoga studio and on college campuses. This may be the start of your college journey or it’s coming to an end. And based on your level of self- and social- awareness you are going to bring a unique perspective to different situations. What I have found from…