Books for the Mind, Body and Spirit – Part Two

This was meant to be a short and sweet book round-up, but I obviously had some words on the subject of spirituality. Part one here.


You guys, my craving for soul-searching books just can’t be stopped. It’s borderline obsessive – I try with all my might to engage myself in a fictional piece of work, but I just can’t make it happen right now. I’ve become fascinated with different types of thinking and practices when it comes to the mind/body connection, and most recently, energy work and healing. Can’t stop won’t stop…but it wouldn’t be SO horrible if my brain could just get through The Goldfinch, is all I’m sayin’…

(I know some of you are wondering what is up with me/this blog. Vague mentions of health and hard times, but in actuality, great things are blossoming from the shitty. (As they usually do.) I’ve been steered down some new and eye-opening paths over the past year. I feel like a lot of ideas and concepts have revealed themselves to me, and I’m just trying to figure out how to make it work here at the blog. I mean, don’t you want to hear about spirituality, my 180-degree lifestyle change, meditation, EFT, and energy work? I MEAN, IT IS SO INTERESTING. (To me.) Really, though. It’s mind-blowingly awesome. (To me.))) <– I lost track of the parentheses in this paragraph.

Lots of things have changed, but hey! Lots of things have stayed the same. I still love cream blush and dry shampoo and pointy flats too. However, if you want to talk about your root chakra being blocked, I’m here for you as well. Peace be with you.

(Is this what happens when you turn 40?)

Anyway! Books! Of which I love the most!

The Untethered Soul – Hands down, the best book I’ve read in a loooong time. The owner of my yoga studio (an Ennegram 3, like yours truly) recommended it to me , and it set me on an entirely new path. So grateful for this book.

E2 – 9 Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments – I have so much to say about this book. The proof is in the pudding – by doing these experiments you will clearly see that there is an energy force present around us, and that you draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations. Whatever you focus on expands.

Here’s the deal – a few months ago (after reading The Untethered Soul, actually), I started to really wonder about mindfulness, consciousness, and the energy around us. I was reading a lot and my mind was opening, but there came a point when I considered backing off. I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it just be easier to go about my daily life without spending days/months/years/my lifetime delving into these subjects that could radically alter the way I truly view myself and the world around me? I mean, maybe I should browse the shoes Shopbop.” Hmm.

And then one evening, I remembered reading a comment about this book, and decided what the hell, I would buy it and try some of the experiments. What happened as a result of Experiment #1 was so astonishing that I knew I couldn’t turn back. I had to forge forward. This universal energy (or God or power or light or whatever you choose to call it) made itself known to me through that experiment, and it’s something I think about every. day. since. It put me squarely on the path of finding spiritual enlightenment. To be honest, I didn’t even finish the majority of the experiments in the book after that experience. My eyes were open.

(So, uh, hi there! Welcome to what’s been going on with me lately! Wait. Are you running away? We can still talk about Juan Pablo!)

The Power of Now – Blew my mind. Tolle beautifully explains how living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. (Now, actually doing that is the great challenge.)

Miracles NowGabrielle Bernstein is one of the new generation of spiritual thought leaders (see her with Oprah here), and what I adore about her is that she’s a girly girl who loves her lip gloss and shoes and shopping, but is a smart and savvy spiritual powerhouse. Being spiritual and willing to open yourself up to infinite possibilities doesn’t have to be achieved while wearing no makeup and listening to New Age music. Actually, Gabrielle says it better than I ever could in the first minute of this video. Take a look.

Also, for those of you in the LA area, you should come to her Miracles Now workshop this April! I’m counting the days…

Kitchen Table Wisdom – Touching short stories by Rachel Naomi Remen about hope and healing.

The three remaining books are on my to-read list thanks to Oprah. (I’ll never quit you, O!) In the April issue of O Magazine, these three books were included in her Super Soulful Seven.

The Seat of the Soul

The Book of Awakening

The Seeker’s Guide

Have you read any of these? I can’t wait to dive in.

After I finish The Goldfinch, of course.

  1. Tiera

    March 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

    It’s so funny how things come into alignment. I came to your site today to look for the part one post to pick one of the books you had recommended and you had posted this part two. I’m going to try The Untethered Soul.
    I think I wrote on the last post about Eckhart Tolle and recommended his other book as well. If you liked The Power of Now then definitely try A New Earth. Also a chapter by chapter podcast on Oprahs Spirit Channel that she did with him in ’09 I think for all the O lovers. But it is really nice to break it down as there are a lot of ideas and concepts in it.

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Yes! It’s exactly what Gabrielle speaks of in the above Oprah link. These types of things unfold right in front of you, and you need to be open and willing to receive!

      Let me know how you enjoy The Untethered Soul.

      • Tiera

        March 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        I finished the Untethered Soul this weekend and I really liked it. Time to put it to work though, I get the concepts and they totally make sense but I need to learn to catch myself in the moment and take a step back and just notice and be witness to the thoughts without getting caught up in them. I think it’s the kind of book you read twice, once quickly and twice to practice.

  2. J.Mill

    March 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

    ugh, yes. why is the goldfinch such a bore?! I’ve been in the middle of it for months with no headway.

  3. Lindsay

    March 13, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and may I say, I think I have a new online fav pit-stop?!?! I SO RELATE. “A New Earth” absolutely changed my life. I read The Untethered Soul recently, too! Anyway, I LOVE that you still can blog about beauty and fun girly things, while getting in sync with Spirit. As Tolle says, the other ideas and thoughts are fine, as long as they are serving us…and we don’t be come SERVANTS to our thoughts. YOU ROCK and you have a new follower (although I’m sure that means nothing to you since you have so many!!!!). Thank you, thank you!

    PS, Are you as in to Super Soul Sunday on the OWN network as I am?? All those authors in one place, talking soul-to-soul! Church!!!

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Actually, your comment means everything! This is new territory when it comes to this blog, and I didn’t know how most would react. Makes me so happy to know someone enjoys these posts. Thank you!

  4. Tiera

    March 13, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I forgot to mention this book, It’s a story about spiritual awakening. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

  5. Betsy

    March 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I’m curious, did the health issues resolve when you started exploring the mind/body/energy/spirituality connection? I have found for me, they often do, but then I haven’t evolved enough to not have thoughts still get in the way of the reality of the health issues being real health issues and not just mindfulness issues…if that makes any sense at all. But, all the new ways of thinking, being, eating, are never harmful, so I embrace it all. So, still curious, did your original slump lead you to a new, improved better than ever state of mind/body/ being?

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Oh, trust me, my fearful thoughts and perceptions of my health situation are still around – I mean, we’re all human, right? It’s something to strive for, though, and I do feel like my understanding of the mind/body connection has blossomed, which has led to a better mental and physical state overall.

      I’m still in the midst of my illness, though, so I’m not at the finish line yet. But when I think back to my overall mindset when I was diagnosed last summer and my mindset now…I feel like a different person. A better person. A wiser person, even.

      The greatest challenge (with the greatest rewards) is to embrace the path you are on, no matter how hard- knowing that it is ultimately leading you to a greater knowledge of yourself and the world around you. To quiet your fearful thoughts because they truly don’t serve any purpose to you.

      Does that makes sense at all? I think I need to write a post about this!

      • Betsy

        March 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        This makes great sense and is comforting because it has been my experience also. I feel better when I’m in a more accepting or “believing” mind frame…Yes, to embracing the path you are on, less doubt, more faith. Also, I’m sure there is part of me that isn’t receiving the intended message of books about the way we can shape our experiences with our minds/energy, but sometimes it actually makes me feel responsible in a guilty way rather than an empowering way, if that is possible to articulate in the way I mean it. Like wow, am I responsible for creating that which I feared, maybe, right? Bummer…

        • whoorl

          March 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm

          Oh yes, I hear you. I have that same guilt too – like, if I am solely able to create a life of acceptance and faith, then why do I choose to see the negative/live in fear? I think “What’s wrong with me?”…and then the self-sabotaging begins again. Quite a struggle, and unfortunately, pretty much the human condition.

  6. JJ

    March 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I love exploring and living this life, and I research and learn, but the amount of time, to read and watch and explore it all, have you also had some quality time to live it in action and notice the transformations? Time and Money…I wish they weren’t the common constraints even for a spiritual, health, diet, medical transformation, but in my experience they actually have been. Or is it my approach? Then, I think enough to know that most of the mindsets of the book say what you energetically feel constrained by will constrain you, but the initial output, it does seem to be a reality. Then, I think okay don’t see it as an investment of time or money…but yoga classes, juice cleanses, alternative medicine, classes they do cost money, right? Or am I totally incorrect?

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      This is such a great comment, and one that I promise to write a post about because YES to time and money. Opening your mind to spiritual enlightenment is not a trivial pursuit! It’s a lifelong journey, takes lots of time, and seeking answers or new ways of practicing and thinking involve people and classes. (Money.) I personally think books are such a great way of opening the mind, as well as being relatively easy on the wallet. HOWEVER, that leads me to my next point.

      Something that has become painfully clear to me is that intellectual understanding must work in synergy with actual practice. I could read 46 books on meditation – have such an in depth understanding of the subject that I could converse with anyone about it – but if I don’t practice it? It means NOTHING. It’s not serving me at all. I remember reading a passage about riding a bicycle – you could read and intellectually understand how to ride a bike (balance, pedaling, etc), but that knowledge probably isn’t going to do much when someone throws you on a bike and sends you careening down a hill. A devoted practice is key. Just like anything, really. You want to run a 10K? You practice. Sign a fine rendition of your favorite song? You practice.

      Everyone has their own modality for personal healing, but the one thing that makes it work for all of us is a devoted practice, which could cost $$$ (yoga classes, spiritual advisors) or no money at all (meditation, energy exercises, etc.)

      Oh my goodness, did this help at all?

  7. Lainie

    March 13, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I’m also currently reading Goldfinch AND E2 :)

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Great minds. ;)

  8. Laura

    March 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I agree- never giving up on O! Need to read those books too and enjoying her online class with Dr. Brene Brown.
    Would love to hear more of your journey!

  9. Jen F

    March 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Count me among those who love yoga AND lipgloss!

  10. Christy

    March 13, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I find your recent journey mirrors the last year of my life. Forge ahead, we all need hair tips and info about EFT :)

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      See…that’s what I was thinking, ladies! Thanks for the encouragement.

  11. Maureen

    March 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Since I too have read and loved many of these books, I’ll share my favorite – Sylvia Boorstein. Particularly, “Happiness is an Inside Job” and “Pay Attention, for Goodness Sake.” Her explanations of Buddhist teachings are so accessible, gentle, and lighthearted. You can also listen to many of her talks on the Dharma Seeds app.

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you! I’d love to listen to talks as a nice change of pace – looking into the Dharma Seeds app right now.

  12. Mari

    March 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Sarah, Have you read The Power of Positive Thinking? It is really beautiful. As ar Richard Rohr’s teachings about the “false self.” I cheer you on from one enlightenment lover to another!

    • whoorl

      March 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Added to my list, thank you!

  13. aneke

    March 14, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Hi there, a reader from South Africa here – I’ve been following for a couple of months, and LOVE the new slant your blog is taking. I’ve been on the same path of discovery for a while now (quite a journey, as a reformed coming-from-a-christian-fundamentalist background type person). I know its hard to put yourself out there with this stuff, so thank you.

    You might be interested in this:


    It’s a FASCINATING read if nothing else, got me interested on the path of Biogeometry.

    • aneke

      March 14, 2014 at 2:56 am

      PS. Specifically Part Three, a breakthrough in modern Egypt

  14. estelle

    March 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I hear ya, lady. I’ve always been a bit of a spiritual seeker, but turning 40 just kicked it all into high gear for me. EFT is rocking my world, big time. Love it when you post about this stuff. Keep it up, if it feels right. Also, just discovered YIN yoga and it’s amazing. Combining that with a weekly restorative class and some regular vinyasa and it’s been pretty transformative.

  15. Sizzle

    March 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Mark Nepo is my guru. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet and hug him and thank him for his words that have inspired and soothed and enlightened me for years. I’ve been talking about him on my blog for ages. Before Oprah! ;-)