Top 10 Inspiring Books of 2018

Another I thought it would do me good to review and to share with you too. I read many books, usually two or three at a time. This is a list of books I’ve read in 2018, that deeply touched me, or sparked a life shifting practice, or an “aha” moment.

whatever arises, LOVE that –

About once a year a book comes along for me that is an absolute game changer. This book is one of those.

No one suggested this book, I didn’t hear about it or see someone mention it online. I was at the library for our weekly volunteer work of pulling holds and shelving returns. I was shelving a return book when the word “LOVE” on the spine of this book caught my attention.

I pulled it from the shelf. Opened it to a “random” page and what I read was so meaningful I checked out the book.

Nearly all spiritual books I read contain the same message presented in different formats and from different perspectives. Which I LOVE. As sometimes it doesn’t resonate when presented at a particular time or in a particular way.

This is not one of those books (for me). It is a deeply energetically powerful book. It took me to the next level by guiding me in integrating what I have been experiencing and the path I have traveled the past three years.

In my own words, “Love the hurt, love the pain, love the unknown, love all of it until it is released, transmuted and the heart opens even further.”

Over the past 17 or so years I have been a heavy and frequent user of the phrase and similar phrases like, “Love is the Answer” and “All You Need is Love.” For me, this practice of loving whatever arises gives a new and different meaning to this. It’s the next level. It’s the game changer. I’m in.

“Love is the impulse to embrace the innocence of life that brings spiritual harmony to the forefront of your experiences. Whenever love is poured into your heart or sent out as blessings to others, the light within all things awakens.” – Matt Kahn

Rediscovering Life – Awaken to Reality –

Attachment, desire, happiness, and freedom …. It’s all revealed in this wonderful and powerful book! When I find a book that moves me, I read it about a half dozen times consecutively. On round three with this one. xoxo

The Right to Write –

This book and its powerful content was like a walk down a familiar, well-worn, and comforting path welcoming my writer’s soul home. LOVED every single bit of it. This is one I would love to own and have as part of my wee book collection.

Why should we write? For me, this is a powerful book. The author brought together so many of my own feelings and thoughts about writing, why I write, what happens when I write, and that EVERYONE should write.

One doesn’t have to share their writings. Simply the act of writing is healthy and therapeutic.

Cameron shares how writing can be playful, as well as a practical and profound experience. The art of writing will never be the same for you after reading this book.

A GREAT book for any of my writer friends!! And, pretty much anyone who wants to at least begin writing a daily journal for therapeutic reasons …. I’m serious! This is a powerful book!! I just want to hug and squeeze it! xoxo

Writing Down the Bones –

“The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world, and why not finally carry that secret out with our bodies into the living rooms and porches, backyards and grocery stores? Let the whole thing flower: the poem and the person writing the poem. And let us always be kind in this world.” – Natalie Goldberg

Another book I deeply loved. Enjoyed the energy of the book and would love to own this one! My reading preferences have shifted for the time being to that of books about writing, memoirs, and creative non-fiction interwoven with spirituality.

The first book that began this path was “The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron. The reading list for this topic is years long. That’s okay though as I plan on writing and reading for the rest of my days here …. xoxo

Your Life is a Book –

In the past I have stayed away from books like this, choosing instead to read deeply spiritual, mystical, and inner exploration type books. Recently, while pulling holds at the library, I was drawn to this book and others like it. Although I checked it out, the book sat for weeks while I read other books.

I’m grateful that there are times when I listen to the inner knowing and do things without question …and really, don’t even know that’s what I’m doing. HA! This book was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. And, surprisingly was also deeply spiritual. Imagine that!!

Silence –

I get incredibly much from all of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. Of all I’ve read, they carry the similar thread of mindfulness and experiencing silence.

I really enjoy the stories he shares throughout this book and all of his books. Reading this now is what reminded me of the concept of mindful walking and breathing that he puts forth … taking one step for each in breath and one step for each out breath.

After being reminded of it in this book, I incorporated it into my walks.

Big Magic –

I read this when it was first published 3 years ago. Just read it again. Perfect timing as I read it at the same time as “Right to Write”.

If one is in the space for it, this is a powerful book. It held a completely different and more intense meaning this time around. Reading this inspired me to create a writing vow and a blog post titled “The Alchemy of Writing” …. xoxo

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire –

This has been in my collection for years and I just now got around to reading it. It is crystal clear to me why I just now read this book. And is absolutely NO coincidence. And not a coincidence that it is about coincidences.

This one dives deeper into the coincidences we experience. The content is deeply aligned with my heart and I feel it to be quite powerful.

I haven’t had time to write a post about my 2018 main theme word and two supporting theme words. Yet, the main word is Jump (interchangeable with Leap) and the two supporting words are Listen and Trust. This book is full to the brim of the use of jump, leap, listen, and trust.

Here’s just one example, “These leaps of imagination are constantly evolving into what we see as the universe.” … Yes, Big Yes! I loved this one!! xoxo

What’s interesting for me is that when I’m reading his books, I “hear” the words spoken in his voice rather than mine. Almost like he’s reading to me! HA!

Peace to All Beings – Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul –

I initially put this book on hold thinking it was an easy and short children’s book that we could read before bed. When it came in, I saw that’s not what it was at all. I asked Thomas if he wanted to read it. After looking at it, he left it on the kitchen table.

One day last week, I sat at the table and was moved to pick up the book, turn to a random page and read. I did not put the book down until I had nearly read to the end of the book (from where I had randomly opened it). After that, I began at the beginning of the book.

I am a vegetarian so obviously this book speaks to me. It wasn’t only that, though. It seemed to be speaking directly to other areas of my life as well. I’m not even sure how to describe this one. So, I will pull a quote or two from it with a few more of my own words added.

“Every thought is a prayer,
Therefore, let us
Think compassion
Think love
Think peace
For all beings everywhere.
Every act is a prayer.
Therefore, let us
Be compassion
Be love
Be peace
For all beings everywhere.”

This is a powerful book about peace, compassion, and reverence for life; with references to St. Francis, Jesus, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others of similar persuasion. The overall theme of the book is Ahimsa.

“Each object in the world is not merely itself, but involves every other object and, in fact, is everything else.” -Avatamsaka Sutra

The words and concepts in this book spoke to my soul so deeply and powerfully. To say I loved and enjoyed it is an understatement!

Beyond Civilization –

The foundation of this book is that there is no one right way to live. The author discusses how the majority of us are convinced that there must be only one right way to live, and we are living it.

I was deeply moved reading about how he defines civilization and tribes and taking a look into history at past civilizations and tribes. I’m inspired to learn about and see ideas from a different perspective. Great book!

Honorable Mention

What kind of Mom would I be if I didn’t mention my 17 year old daughter’s debut book??!!

Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories –

Welcome to the radiant imagination of Lillian Darnell, a wonderful and unique human being, the kind who comes around only once in every 56,000 births, as she is missing the short arm of her 18th chromosome.

Leave this reality behind and enter enchanted lands awash in mysteries, happy endings, adventures, and inspiration. Come within and discover heartwarming and beautiful tales, woven with love and magic, brought forth from the imagination of a young woman with a different perspective. Lose yourself in wondrous adventures as you follow courageous, enchanting characters, kind animals and plant life, and graceful Mother Nature.

The delightful tales, legends, and poems within these pages were written by Lillian Darnell between the ages of four and fifteen. The stories and poems are mostly edited for spelling and grammar, yet the bulk of the stories remain as she originally wrote and published them to include a few grammatical errors and made up words.

Will a girls dream of becoming a princess come true?
How can sad, mischievous, fearful animals help humans feel emotions?
How did the world come to have color?

“You can’t help but feel happy and be inspired while reading this book. Lillian’s stories jump straight out of her heart and onto the pages in an authentic, innocent, and loving way. The world needs more positivity and happiness and her stories are bursting with both. Thank you Lillian!” -G. Brian Benson – Award-winning and best-selling author, actor and TEDx speaker.

“Let your imagination be taken away with Lillian Darnell’s writings and allow yourself to be transported to places where anything is possible with love, joy and a touch of inspiration. This collection is born from a young woman with a unique perspective on how our world could be – immerse yourself and come, see the world through Lillian’s eyes.” -Dr Veronica Wain – Award winning filmmaker, Academic, Author, Disability Advocate

“Although all of us who love fairies understand that children, with their vivid imaginations, are closer to magic than any of us, we all yearn to retain that childlike sense of wonder. Lillian Darnell’s writings are a welcome reminder of what is possible when you dream big, and accept no limitations.” – Grace Nuth, Senior Editor – Faerie Magazine

P.S. – There are amazon affiliate links in this post. This simply means that if you click through to read more about a movie and you make a purchase on Amazon, I earn a few cents and it does not increase the amount you pay. Thank you for your support. xoxo

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Fantastic: D iz for Different Amazon Review

(D.J. and Diana with their copies of D iz for Different)

★★★★★ Get ready to change your mind! D iz for Different not only addresses how to accept the things you cannot change, but how to become aware of and embrace the joy and beauty every day and in everyone. Oh…if you can’t find it…Camilla will show you how to create it!

Camilla continues to take each day as it comes and make the most of it and everyone she meets. Read her journey and tips…her life was not always this way. Everyone can benefit. I recommend this book highly. – Diana Michelotti, May 25, 2013

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.

Inspiring and Thought Provoking: D iz for Different Amazon Review

★★★★★ Camilla Downs has really written an exceptional book. She opens up about her own life so that she might truly help others find some insight into their own. I have had the privilege of belonging to a support group with her for children with chromosome 18 disorders and have found her posts there to be wonderfully supportive and hopeful and when I found out she wrote a book, I couldn’t wait to read it.

It was everything I thought it would be. As a mother to a four year old with special needs, it’ made me really think about my own life and relationship with my daughter. The one thing I have to say I took away from this book was the prevailing message throughout the book about “living in the moment’. Not letting outside distractions take away from what you’re doing or experiencing with your child or anyone else for that matter. It really hit home for me. How many times was I reading a book to my daughter and thinking about all kinds of other things or perhaps the tv was on in the background. I was reading the words but I wasn’t in the moment. I have become very conscious of that because of this book. I have had a tough time as of late with a lot of worries. I have a lot on my plate, but I now find myself sitting with my daughter and putting it all aside to really engage with her and with what we’re doing in that moment and it has made a huge impact. Learning to put aside all these distractions has made me more aware of her and even more in awe of what’s she’s learning and doing every day that I was before.

Thank you Camilla Downs for helping me to open my eyes. You have made an impact on my life and I’m sure the lives of many others. I am in the process of getting my degree in child development and I have now decided to focus on working with special needs families. You have inspired me to look into being certified as a special needs life coach. That is my ultimate goal. I would love to talk to you more about that sometime when I get closer to actually pursuing my certification. Thanks for all you do. You are an amazing woman, mother and spokesperson for so many. I wish you a long and prosperous career doing what you love. –Katelyn’s Mom – June 1, 2013

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.