10 Inspirational Books Everyone Should Read This Summer
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The warm days of summer provide the perfect setting for quiet time and relaxation. One of my favorite ways to relax is with a good book. When I look for something to read, I choose it with the intention of nourishing my soul and warming my heart. When an author speaks to me on a very deep level, I feel inspired to live my best life.

Each of these books has impacted me so profoundly that it’s my great pleasure to recommend them here to you!

1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

In this book, Holocaust survivor Dr. Frankl offers anyone who may be searching for answers to life’s chaos and dilemmas a very critical call to action by not telling people what to do, but why they must do it. Frankl’s story is one of hope and love, stating that, “We cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.”

2. Letters to a Yong Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke

This book is a beautiful argument and plea for us to live an authentic life, addressing the silent questions that exist in the deepest chambers of our hearts. With these words, we are inspired to have confidence and to trust our own feelings about our lives: “You are looking outward and of all things that is what you must not do. Nobody can advise and help you, nobody. Go inside yourself.”

3. Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This manual-style book based on The Power of Now offers us a guide for practicing the principles for living in the moment. Tolle’s very practical exercises and meditations give tremendous power to moment-by-moment living.

4. You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

Written by a spiritual teacher and peace activist, this book will help you feel inspired to establish ways to live life from a place of gratitude and peace. He states beautifully, "Here are things you can do to make your life better, go ahead, don't hesitate, you can do it."

5. Into the Heart of Life by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

This brilliant book gets to the heart of what keeps us from living our greatest, happiest life: the mind. This insightful Tibetan Buddhist nun says, “Our mind with its incessant stream of thoughts, memories, opinions, hopes and fears is our constant companion, from which we cannot escape even in our dreams. So it makes sense to cultivate a worthy travel companion for our journey.”

6. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This is a perfect pocket-size book for understanding how we create stories about ourselves and our lives in our minds. This well-known Toltec nagual says here, “How can you know if what you believe about yourself is true? The truth is we have no idea who we are — we have been saying these stories to ourselves about ourselves for so long that that has become the image of ourselves Our faith has been invested in the lies about ourselves. It’s a story but it’s not the Truth.”

7. Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein

This book by motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein inspires me to “step into the person I came here to be.” With the tools here, you open up your capacity to tap into your inner source of strength and love. I suggest reading this book once, and then using one of the tools each day as a source of inspiration and practice.

8. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

Things fall apart in our lives quite often — some in small ways, and others in big ways. I love the way this Buddhist nun says, “When things fall apart, that usually means we are on the brink of a change of some kind.” This book gives us beautiful advice on how to relax into what is and understand deeply that “This very moment is the perfect teacher.”

9. The Gift of Change by Marianne Williamson

In this book, spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson gives us hope by detailing 10 basic changes we can make as we learn to view the world through the eyes of love instead of fear. She says, “The Universe is primed to start over again in any moment, and it is only our thoughts to the contrary that keep it from doing so.”

10. The Practice: Simple Tools For Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace and Uncovering Happiness by Barb Schmidt

Yes, I'm including my own book here! As a spiritual seeker for more than thirty years, I wrote this book to share my tips for putting into practice an easy to implement 3-part daily routine to help you find more confidence, feel less stressed, and find deeper meaning along life's path.

As the season draws to a close and we all retreat back inside, these pearls of wisdom are sure to keep the sun shining in your heart and mind!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Barb Schmidt is an international lecturer, life coach and author of “The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness.” Barb is founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World designed to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace by incorporating workshops and weekly teachings with Barb and many of her esteemed mentors, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Andrew Weil, and many others. Barb is also the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a non-profit organization through which she teaches The Practice, and is her tool for spreading her belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace.” Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life has rapidly expanded to include an online community via Facebook through their daily inspirational emails and weekly blogs. In 2014, Barb’s extensive achievements in fostering positive change earned her an invitation to the White House State Dinner.