2016 was a busy year for me in the reading category. I find that books are some of my best mentors: offering insights that are tangible and always accessible. To me books are an investment, not an expense, and building a personal library is a powerful source of wisdom. I have readers of this blog who often ask where I get my ideas and the “where do you learn that?” question. Much can be answered by the books on this list. So if you’re looking for some new reading material in 2017 read on to discover my favorite, and eclectic list, from this past year.
The Best Books I Read in 2016:
One of the big changes I am working on, probably for life, is to make ideas more sticky; more lasting. This book really changed my approach to working with clients and my writings by helping me cut to the core of topics and avoid the ‘Curse of Knowledge’ (you’ll have to read the book to learn more!). In fact, I wrote about this book’s influence on me earlier on this site.
This is easily one of the books I’ve ever read. If you’ve ever been curious about the history of our species, what allowed us to spread to every corner of the globe, our what our future may look like then Sapiens is a must-read. This book has helped me better understand why we do the things we do as a collective species and as an individual. You will see this book color my writings quite a bit moving forward.
I am an unabashed fan of Eckhart Tolle. He has a way of writing that resonates as something that you’ve always felt but could not or would not articulate. In A New Earth, he discusses how our attachment to the ego, who we think ourselves to be, is a main source of dysfunction in our lives because it removes us from “what am I experiencing now?” and replaces it with “what would I rather be experiencing?”.
This is a book I refer my clients and friends to often because, to quote Tolle:
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” This is one of those books that, if you are ready for it, will change your entire perspective.
This is by far my favorite book from Moshe Feldenkrais, whose writings have impacted my clinical practice more than any other author. The following quote alone should be enough for you to find this book a MUST-READ:
”It is alleged by teachers and physical cultists that bad posture is harmful. I venture to brave this opinion as ill-conceived. There is no general harm whatsoever in any awkward or ungainly configuration in the body itself, except the minor local effect… The ill effect that we do find is not due to anatomical configuration that is harmful per se, but to the fact that it is completely compulsive and is the only one the ill-coordinated person uses for performing the act.”
Eminently readable with real-life examples of how to apply her principles, Byron Katie teaches that it is our perceptions, the story we tell ourselves, that governs how we understand and interact with our world. More than any other book this year Loving What Is set me even deeper down the path of self-exploration. My second-most frequent book recommendation to clients and friends.
The premise that our environment governs much of the expression of our DNA is seriously underappreciated by the vast majority of the population. Bruce Lipton’s discussion of the cellular membrane, not the nucleus, as the brain of the cell is excellent. And I am grateful for this book setting me down the rabbit hole that is quantum physics.
“There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.” In the Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan Watts describes how to live in the present and use the feeling of insecurity as a guidepost rather than something to avoid. Watts was an eloquent speaker and you can find literally hundreds of his talks on YouTube.
Also in 2016 I put together two on-demand webinars:
These are both 90+ minutes in length and full of useable information for yourself or your clients (if you’re a clinician or bodyworker you’ll get CEUs too!).
These webinars have done phenomenally well so if you breathe (all of you) or are in pain (most of you) will you check out these webinars?