The best books on endings and beginnings

The Books I Picked & Why

Shunned: A Survival Guide

By Bonnie Zieman

Shunned: A Survival Guide

Why this book?

This is the handbook I wished I’d had when I left my religion and was shunned 25 years ago. The author is a skilled therapist who also left the Jehovah’s Witnesses. She brings a lot of empathy to her step-by-step guidance on how to cope with the tyranny of being cast out by friends and family.


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A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

By Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell

A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

Why this book?

I come back to these short essays again and again. The author provides a very powerful way to look at ‘reality’ and question our assumptions about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and what we (or others) ‘should’ do.


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The Way Of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments

By William Bridges

The Way Of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments

Why this book?

This is a poignant and beautifully written book filled with the wisdom and lived experience of the author. Major life transitions (like leaving a religion, job loss, or ending a relationship) throw us into the ‘neutral zone’ that can only be navigated with time and care.


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A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

By Jack Kornfield

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Why this book?

This book by the revered Buddhist teacher was a balm to my soul at a time when I’d left all my previous religious beliefs behind and was searching for ways to think about good and bad, right and wrong. I did not become a Buddhist but here I discovered practical techniques, guided meditations, stories, and other gems of wisdom that eased my journey through the world.


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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

By Julia Cameron

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Why this book?

This perennial guide to creativity is a must-read for anyone wishing to create a life that has heart and meaning. She links creativity to spirituality by showing in nondenominational terms how to tap into the higher power that connects human creativity with the creative energies all around us. This comprehensive 12-week program addresses creative blocks like limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other forces that impede our naturally creative expression.


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