12 Books to Help Navigate Change

Crystal Jackson

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There are times in our lives when change finds us. We may not want it. We may, in fact, actively avoid it. Still, it comes. Our lives are upended, and it becomes time to sink or swim. Maybe we think that we’ll sink, and yet we find ourselves floating, or at least treading water. We find ourselves changing. Whether our awakening comes to us slowly or develops over time, we may look for guidance to get through the upheaval that has become our daily lives.

I have been in this place so many times in my life. From career changes to the end of relationships, my life has evolved so many times. Luckily, my change game is strong- even when I wish that it didn’t have to be. During these times, like any self-respecting bookworm, I’ve taken solace in reading about awakening and transformation. It always helped reinforce my own changes, assuring me that I can and will survive whatever comes.

Here’s my recommended reading list for awakening and change. You can find these at the Morgan County Library. If they aren't in stock, request yours from interlibrary loan.

12 Books to Help Navigate Change

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

This book is not just for artists or aspiring artists. It's for everyone. This book is a great resource to learn more about ourselves and ways we can incorporate creativity into our lives. The questions and homework assignments in the book help us address blocks to living our dreams.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

This book explores the idea of social convention and whether or not we live according to our own inner compass or the dictates of society. While this book is fictional, the story is still relevant. I highly recommend it to anyone going through their own awakening.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Contrary to popular belief, feminism isn't just for women. It's for all of us. While I recommend this for gender-related awakenings, I sincerely believe we should all read this book. If we don’t identify as feminists, it’s a great way to explore our own belief systems and to learn how patriarchal structures negatively impact the lives of all genders, not just women.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book should be on any reading list on transformation. Gilbert takes us along on her journey to three countries, but she also leads us to understand the personal and spiritual changes that happen along the way.

Books by Brene Brown

I couldn’t recommend just one. Brown explains the role of strength, vulnerability, and resilience in so many aspects of our lives. Any awakening can be helped along with her straightforward and yet entertaining books.

The Bliss Principle by Kellye Davis

I chanced across this one years ago. I briefly met the author at a book signing at my local bookstore. I purchased the book out of curiosity but quickly added this to my must-read list. Davis gives us 5 simple ways to reduce stress and increase bliss in our lives. Going through a transformation can be enormously stressful. These self-care strategies can help us manage the very real stress we’re likely experiencing.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Another fictional pick, The Alchemist explores what it takes to follow a dream. This simple yet beautifully written book reminds us that the Universe guides our journey when we begin to follow our dreams. There's encouragement for when we encounter setbacks and a reminder that the journey is worth it.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

Stark and heart-breaking, Frankl explores what gives life meaning from the perspective of his time in a concentration camp. When experiencing change and searching for meaning, Frankl gave us hope. This is a powerful book for anyone experiencing an existential crisis or simply searching for more meaning in their lives.

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

This is particularly apt for spiritual awakenings. It explores the questions we have for a higher power- and how we might already have the answers we’re seeking. A non-conventional spiritual book, Conversations with God can help us explore our belief systems.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

When we’re making our transition, Chodron helps us transform our obstacles into opportunities for joy. This is recommended for anyone experiencing a difficult time in their life.

The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama

I’ve heard the Dalai Lama speak, and I will recommend anything that he has to say. With gentleness and humor, the Dalai Lama helps us find “Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.”

The She Book by Tanya Markul

We can follow Thug Unicorn’s Tanya Markul on her journey of transformation and awakening while we experience our own. This beautiful book also has a sequel.

Our awakenings may vary, but it’s nice to have guideposts along the way assuring us that we’re headed in the right direction. This reading list can help make a difficult experience even more richly rewarding.

What books would you add to this list? Which helped you in your transformation? Comment to add your suggestions to this list!

Don't forget to show your support for the Morgan County Library by joining the Friends of the Morgan County Library, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that directly supports the library. Look for these and other books on the library shelves and at the annual book sale in October. You can also visit the library to see the brand new Maker Space on August 12th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA

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