As a doctor who became fascinated with the strong, scientifically proven link between fear and disease, I started realizing it might be part of my job as a physician to help people deal with their fear as part of their prescription for self-healing. But I'm not a psychologist or a spiritual teacher! How could I, as a physician, help my patients?
Inspired by the call to make courage part of the medicine I prescribed, I read hundreds — and I mean hundreds — of books. I read everything from the original sacred texts to psychology and spiritual self-help books to articles in the psychological literature to fiction and memoirs, trying to cull together answers to the question "How do we move beyond fear?" and "What makes us brave?"
I also interviewed hundreds of resilient people who had faced terrifying experiences and mined those experiences for every ounce of soul growth they could. The results of my research are compiled in my book, The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind & Soul.
But in case you're on your own journey from fear to courage and would find it helpful, here are my recommendations for the books that most influenced me.
1. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
2. Falling into Grace by Adyashanti
3. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
4. An Open Heart by the Dalai Lama
5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
6. Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
7. Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck, Ph.D.
8. Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver
9. Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser
10. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
11. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hạnh
12. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
13. A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
14. Be Here Now by Ram Dass
15. The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron
16. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
17. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
18. Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore
19. The Illuminated Rumi by Jalal al-Din Rumi
20. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
21. Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain
22. The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn
23. Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss
24. Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
25. Love Without Conditions by Paul Ferrini
26. Loving What Is by Byron Katie
27. Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
28. The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
29. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
30. I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj
There are certainly many others that I haven't read yet, and for this particular list, I chose to focus only on self-help-ish books. But there are so many others! And I know there's SO much wisdom in this community. I'd love to hear your recommendations. Which books make you brave? I'll add them to my reading list.