Books are not just a source of entertainment and knowledge, but can also help you move beyond your emotional pain. If you are thinking about a fresh start then Anima suggests 5 modern literary masterpieces, which will give you the strength to shed the excess baggage and heal yourself, one page at a time.
The Power of Now
Author: Eckhart Tolle
Do you keep thinking about your past and constantly worry about the future? Is your life filled with regrets and perpetual anxiety about things you can’t control? If yes, then the message in this book might just rescue you from your misery. Published in 1999, “The Power of Now” describes a belief-system based on living in the present moment and not dwelling on the past. This philosophy calls for disabling the “pain body” which is basically the vicious supremacy of the mind and the ego. So if you want to be happy and content with life, focus on the present moment because the past and the future is an illusion. Sounds a bit confusing? It’s exactly the opposite as the book is written in simple English with a clever question answer format. The best part about the book is that the author is not preaching any religion or advocating any drastic lifestyle change, but advocates teachings from Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism and the Bible. “The Power of Now” is a global best seller, translated into 33 languages and openly advertised by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Meg Ryan and Jim Carrey. As for the author, his personal details are cloudy except that this German-born spiritual teacher suffered from depression and after a failed attempt at suicide at the age of 29, began his journey of self-discovery and teaching.
Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
As a 30-something writer Elizabeth Gilbert has everything – a job, which takes her all over the world, a handsome husband, and apartments in Manhattan and suburbia. Yet, at the prime of life, this author of three novels hits a midlife crisis of impressive magnitude. Money and status fail to bring her relief, and she is overtaken by panic, sadness and confusion. This propels her towards a divorce, a profound depression and a condemned love affair, which drives her to the edge. Unwilling to give up, Gilbert takes a bold and life-changing step. She sells her property, quits her job and embarks on a solitary journey of transformation and self-discovery. Eat, Pray, Love is a witty account of a crucial year and her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia. Full of funny moments and an honest examination of her personal life, Gilbert manages to keep the readers entertained and asking for more. There is no self-pity or regret in this memoir, just an observation of her past memories and wrong turns and ultimately understanding of the fact that, redemption lies within and you can decide the course of your life. Not surprisingly, the popularity of the book has ensured a Hollywood movie with Julia Roberts playing the author.
The Celestine Prophecy
Author: James Redfield
During the late 1990’s, The Celestine Prophecy, literally took the world by a storm. For three years it was the biggest selling book and generating comments from readers such as ‘It changed my life’ or ‘It is utter trash’. But if you ignore the remarks and choose to focus on Redfield’s messages, which are categorized in the nine insights intertwined in the story, it has the potential to alter the way you think about yourself. The book talks about coincidences in everyday life, and if it is happening more often, to a large number of people then it is somehow linked to our evolution as a species. The book in its basic format is an adventure story, which carries the reader into the Peruvian Andes, where an ancient manuscript surfaces in the jungle ruins. It states that the end of the 20th century will be a time of spiritual awakening. Extremely engaging and fast-paced, each chapter explains one basic insight, which helps in understanding a person’s life, from the kind of job they are in, their relationships with their partners and much more. Cleverly written with an engaging plot, this hyper-seller is the mother of all self-help books and it has rightfully earned the title.
Author: Rhonda Byrne
What do you really want? A bigger house? The latest sports car? A promotion at work? More money? Your ideal partner?
You can have it all and much more by just changing how you think. It is as simple as that and that’s the secret behind the international phenomenon “The Secret”. Inspired by the book “The Scienceof Getting Rich” by Wallace D, ‘The Secret’ propagates the thought that what you think you will get. So, if you want to improve the quality of your life, then you must change the way you think. The formula behind “The Secret” is quite simple. 1-Ask. 2-Believe. 3-Receive. So if you want a better job, then make a wish to the universe, believe that an opportunity is just around the corner and wait for it to manifest itself. Sounds too simple? It actually is. The Australian author, throughout the book gives information on how ‘The Secret’ works, ways to use it, how to apply it and make it work for you in every part of your life. Written in a simple and engaging manner, there are also expert advice from physicists, doctors, philosophers, teachers and authors. The book focuses heavily on being grateful for what you have in your life right now instead of wishing you had more. It encourages you to make a list of things that you are glad to have in life, example, a house, a great job, family, a car, your health, money in your bank account, your pet. Once you are thankful for what you have, it will attract even greater stuff in your life. Try and find out if it works for you.
The 5 People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
83-year-old Eddie dies during a rare carnival ride accident. Just as Ebenezer Scrooge took a significant Christmas Eve preview of his past, present and future, Eddie gets a similar guided tour through his own life. But while the icy Scrooge is offered a chance at improvement, it’s clear from the word-go that Eddie is, in fact, dead. His job now is to meet the five spirits waiting to help him make amity with his time on Earth. In Albom’s vision of heaven, the newly dead join with spirits who help them make the changeover to the hereafter. Most people would expect to meet long-lost friends or kin, but in Albom’s view, it is outsiders who can best educate us. Through his meetings, Eddie comes to accept the mayhems he witnessed as a soldier, which cast a shadow over the rest of his life. In the book’s most affecting moment, Eddie also sees that his decades as a common maintenance worker served a worthy purpose than he ever imagined. There’s a fine line between emotional and mushy, and Albom staggers on that ledge at points. But his power as a writer allows him to pull back, keeping his worthy message intact. Albom is confident of asking the big questions, and in this effort he nose-dives into perhaps the most prevalent of them all: Why are we here? Have faith that Albom will offer a likely answer.
PS: Written by Neha Ghosh this article was first published in Animmag.