This is the blogpost referring to my podcast episode 013: Great Minds Read Great Books, Vol. 1.

You find all the direct links to the books mentioned here and in my podcast. These are affiliate links you can also purchase them anywhere else. It is merely a suggestion.)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” 

My all time favorite. I remember 13 years ago when I was going through a very painful and dramatic time in my life, a time of depression and grief, I couldn’t get out of bed.  Sleeping became my favorite thing, I didn’t have any energy, I had lost over 10 kg and my joy for life was vanishing. It was simply horrible. My heart was grieving and mourning and it was broken, so much so that I felt I was dying from this miserable pain. 

My former housemate was very concerned about my situation, so she gave me two books, both by Paulo Coelho. The first one was “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept“ and the other one was “The Alchemist“. I started reading them because for some reason they have called me. And yes, it was a calling. 

Both books became my personal bible. I was weeping, bursting into tears and I suddenly felt this core inside me coming back to life, feeling a sense of hope and faith again. “The Alchemist“ was the book that reminded me of the magic that we are, of the magic that we encounter when we come to this earth.  I felt my passion and joy for life being reignited and slowly I was able to move away from my bed and back into (social) life. I started journaling again and making plans, setting goals, and searching for my treasure. 

I don’t know how many times I have read “The Alchemist“, but I would go to this book every single time I hit rock bottom. This book is a game changer and a perfect reminder in so many ways and I am deeply grateful for it (and for all the other amazing books Paulo Coelho has gifted this world, I read and loved them all.)

The Monk Who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma – “You truly cannot afford the luxury of even one negative thought. A worrisome thought is like an embryo: it starts off small but grows and grows. Soon it takes on a life of its own. Stop feeding what doesn’t serve you.”

Another pivotal point in my life… and this book came right on time. It was in 2011 when I was searching for more meaning. By that time I have been consciously on my spiritual journey for several years, I had started energy healing, and read the most amazing books in the self-help, spiritual-development section, but I came to realize that the life I have lived didn’t fulfill me. I had to make an honest inventory of my life.

When I began to read this book I was fascinated right away and I couldn’t stop reading. I have joined the 5 a.m. club, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the book just yet, Robin Sharma encourages everyone to get up at 5 a.m. to join the magic that lies with every morning. So I literally fell out of bed in to mediation no matter how hard it was, no matter how tired I was, how comfortable it was in my warm bed, it didnt matter – I made that commitment to myself. And after meditating I was devoted to journal, then goal set each morning, and within 7 days I felt like a total new person. I began buying flowers for myself, meditating over a rose daily – every morning and every night, I started exercising on a regular basis and I felt better than ever before. 

While reading and working with the book I had a kundalini awakening. I remember when I was on the subway on my way to uni -very early in the morning – I have felt an out of this world experience of love for everyone. And by the way it was a very grey Monday morning in Berlin – usually not anyone’s favorite. But there I was being on that train, watching the people minding their business and all I felt was this huge, indescribable love for them, for me, for everything. I saw everything so crystal clear and everything was just grace. 

Conversations with God 1-3 Neale Donald Walsch – “Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doin’ great. So relax. And love yourself today.” 

Oh my goodness, I remember years ago on a Sunday, it was in 2012 and I felt the urge to start reading the first book of the Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. And I started reading and couldn’t stop. I started reading at noon and was done some 8 hours later. I felt like my mind and everything of me was expanding simultaneously and I was literally flying. 

A day later I went to the book shop and got myself book 2 and 3 and couldn’t stop until I was done. Similar to Harry Potter in a way, these books are simply dope.

During that time I made profound changes in my life by starting listening more to my inner voice, seeing through the lens of God in a way, so compassionately and joyful. 

I have cried tears of forgiveness with these books, the healing was so deep. “You got all wrong.“

Dying to be me  – Anita Moorjani – “Everything that seemingly happens externally is occurring in order to trigger something within us, to expand us and take us back to who we truly are.” 

This book is simply magic and a must read for everyone. Anita Moorjani describes her journey from  stage 4 cancer to complete health after having a Near Death Experience. 

This book is eye opening and life changing in so many ways. I was moved to tears and it felt as if I was with her on this entire journey. 

What is cancer? Where does cancer come from? Why do some people heal and so many people die from it? I have asked myself these questions for a long time. I saw family members die from cancer, I saw friends die from cancer, I heard of so many people dying from cancer. Why? 

I knew that any dis-ease is coming from our unhealed inner wounds and traumas that we carry around unrecognized. I knew our body wants to help us heal, it doesn’t want to attack us. But how do we do this when we are in the midst of if, when there seems to be no way out? 

Anita’s experience gave me many answers to my search, and I have learnt so much from it. 

This book needs to be read by anyone and should be part of the school curriculum.

Thank you, Anita. 

The Prophet – Khalil Gibran  “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” 

This book brought me to my knees and my soul felt every single word. It is timeless: it is  the most wonderful poetry, it is wisdom and truth. 

I was reading it a long time ago, I first heard of it in 2004 I guess by my former teacher for German literature and linguistics. And some years later I grabbed myself a copy and couldn’t stop reading. Ever since then it was my go to book when seeking answers. The edition that I got myself had beautiful calligraphies illustrated by Hassan Massoudy which were simply fascinating. And one of them was so beautiful that I tattooed it on my right forearm. I wear the illustration of this following part of the poem:

“Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Eat Pray love by Elizabeth Gilbert – “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” 

Oh yes, no book list without Liz Gilbert on it! I simply love her. 

This book was my best friend when I was In Kenya for six months in 2013. I got it from one of my wonderful friends I met in Kenya. She herself an expat from South Africa understood how lost and often times sad I felt during my stay, she understood that I was on a very deep soul search. While I was reading this book I felt a passion reigniting, a passion for soulful connections and living my creativity. I knew that I was not in the right place for that. I love Kenya’s nature and beauty – don’t get me wrong – but it is simply not my place to be and to live who I truly am.

I remember when I was on a very long drive back from Nairobi to Nakuru – the city I have stayed in – in this packed matatu, a tiny bus, very common in Kenya, driving way too fast on this freaking highway: I was reading the part where Liz Gilbert describes her stay in Italy and the food that she had eaten there – everything so graphic that my mouth was watering. I missed Europe and I wanted to go back. This book gave me so much comfort during that time and so many answers to many questions, and a calling for something I haven’t yet explored within me. I knew was playing small and I knew I had to change it. Perspectives!

This thing called you – Ernest Holmes, The desire you have to be something, to do something, is a mental echo in your mind of the Spirit which already exists within you.

Hands down, this book is simply magic. When you are committed to your self growth and spiritual expansion then this book is simply a must read. I cannot tell you how often this book has saved me from downward spiraling. Or let me rephrase it how I saved myself from downward spiraling with the help of this book.

Every single time I am blocked in my mind and I am assailed by self doubts I would grab this book and randomly open a page and read the message it holds for me, and it always reminds me of the power and strength that I have to overcome these thoughts of illusion and reconnect with my true self. 

It contains many beautiful meditations and prayers that are profoundly powerful. If you want to rewire your brain – then this is the book! Praise to Ernest Holmes. And here is one more quote:

“You rob no person when you discover your own good. You limit no person when you express a greater degree of livingness. You harm no one by being happy. You steal from no one by being prosperous. You hinder no person’s evolution when you consciously enter into the kingdom of your good and possess it today.“ Breathe that in. 

The Mastery of Love – by  Don Miguel Ruiz. 

“In order to protect our emotional wounds, and because of our fear of being hurt, humans create something very sophisticated in the mind: a big denial system. In that denial system we become the perfect liars. We lie so perfectly that we lie to ourselves and we even believe our own lies. We don’t notice we are lying, and sometimes even when we know we are lying, we justify the lie and excuse the lie to protect ourselves from the pain of our wounds. The denial system is like a wall of fog in front of our eyes that blinds us from seeing the truth. We wear a social mask because it’s too painful to see ourselves or to let others see us as we really are. And the denial system lets us pretend that everyone believes what we want them to believe about us. We put up these barriers for protection, to keep other people away,” 

What a gem, in fact I recommend all of his books. As fate would have it, this book came to me years ago after a breakup and it was truly healing and empowering. I actually got it from my ex-partner after we broke up, which was pretty lovely and as I said: very healing. 

Relationships are our greatest teachers. We are here to evolve through them, try and learn, grow and expand as we are mastering our relationships. It calls us to soften and be tender, to look into each others mirrors without walling up our hearts and making connection impossible. 

Yes, relationships are “heart“ work and they’ll trigger the shit out of us, so we can heal and rise into who we truly are.