Forget the brain-teasing drama of crime thrillers and the sickeningly sweet, heart-racing nature of romance novels, try something different and settle into these soul-soothing reads instead.
They will soften your experience of life and open your mind to a sense of something bigger than your day-to-day existence.
OLD MASTERS >>
Old, sometimes ancient, philosophical writings have influenced us as people throughout time and the messages contained within them rarely seem to date.
The wisdom shared in these texts can be reimagined to provide comfort and guidance in the midst of a fast, full and complex modern life:
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu: A classic Chinese text, written over 1,500 years ago by the man considered to be the father of Taoism (or ‘living in harmony with the way’). You can find many translations in print, all a little different, all worth a read.
The Prophet—Kahlil Gibran: Almost one hundred years old, this book is a sequence of poetic fables that offer an alternative take on universal aspects of life, such as work, love and time.
MODERN-DAY SAGES >>
A handful of special poets manage to write in a way that enables the reader to consider the big, often existential questions in a gentle and somewhat ordinary manner.
Try reading anything by David Whyte, a living poet who writes, and speaks (try finding his stunning audio pieces) in a way that touches the soul, deeply. A good place to start is ‘The House of Belonging’ or ‘The Bell and the Blackbird’ though all of his work is beautiful.
John O’Donohue also wrote about the ordinary in a very magical way. His work is rooted in Celtic spirituality, though it is very accessible and because of its grounded nature, is particularly supportive in times of turmoil or big life-transition.
Kent Nerburn manages to somehow elevate the ordinary into something sacred, inviting us to consider the beauty of possibility in our everyday lives. ‘Small Graces’ is a particularly special book with something in it for everyone.
SOUL-STIRRING POETRY >>
All of these poets write short pieces that will simultaneously calm you down and wake you up. They write of the breadth of life – love and loss, the land, big questions, tiny blessings, pain, joy.
All of it visceral, all of it elemental and coursing with energy. All of it deeply rooted in the confusion, wonder and of course truth in what it is to be alive:
Victoria Erickson – ‘Edge of Wonder’ and ‘Rhythm and Roads’
Nayyirah Waheed – ‘Salt’
Rupi Kaur – ‘The Sun and her Flowers’ and ‘Milk and Honey’
Nikita Gill – ‘Wild Embers’
Beau Taplin – ‘Bloom’ and ‘Words of You’
You’ll find all of these poets on social media too, which is a great way to test out their content.
Take care for now,
You can mediate and practice Yoga Nidra with me at my new podcast ‘Calm Down, Wake Up’. Find us on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or come and connect with me on Instagram: @laura.beckingham