The best books for personal growth

Elisa Di Napoli Author Of Dare to Be Seen - From Stage Fright to Stage Presence: Ten Easy Steps to Turn your Performance Anxiety into Authentic Power with Transformational Hypn
By Elisa Di Napoli

The Books I Picked & Why

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

By Norman Doidge

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Why this book?

I love this book because it explains neuroplasticity in a way that anyone without a medical degree can understand. Reading this book helped me put words to what I already experienced in my private practice and made it easier for me to help my clients achieve the results they wanted. The human brain is fascinating but I find most books written by academics on the subject too abstruse. This book clarifies how the brain works and how it changes itself. It is empowering to know that our mental processes can change our brain as well as the other way round. 


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The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams

By Deborah Ford

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams

Why this book?

I picked this book up because I wanted to understand the concept of the Jungian Shadow more fully. Not only do I understand now how pivotal to wellbeing it is to work with my own and other people’s shadow but I found out how to do this work using simple yet powerful exercises. This book helped me reconcile with the parts of myself that I had been shoving away into darkness and to find acceptance and healing within myself. Working with the shadow is essential not just for artists who want to create more authentically but for anyone who doesn’t want to be unconsciously controlled by the parts of themselves they have unwittingly rejected. 


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The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work

By Terrence Real

The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work

Why this book?

I absolutely worship the ground this groundbreaking therapist walks on. Terrence Real is the go-to guy not only for anyone whose relationship is in trouble but for anyone who wants to have a better relationship. I have always struggled with relationships and I wish I had known about Terrence Real’s relational therapy model twenty years ago. Perhaps my first marriage wouldn’t have broken down! I am passionate about couple’s therapy exactly because relationships breakdowns can be one of the most painful experiences we as humans have to go through. Learning how to relate in a healthy way to others is essential to human happiness. 


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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

By Marshall B. Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

Why this book?

Learning to communicate in a way that creates a win-win situation for everyone is a skill. Often we get what we want to the detriment of others or the other way round. Nobody wins and the ultimate consequence is nobody is happy. I really like how practical this book is and how it taught me to speak in a different way entirely! It’s all well and good to know the theory of how negative language can destroy relationships but knowing how to communicate differently is what really matters. I like books with exercises I can put into practice as well as the theory that underpins them. This is what gets me to pick this book up and go through it again twenty years after I first bought it.  


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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

By Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Why this book?

Eckart Tolle is one of my heroes. There is no ego in his writing. It is pure wisdom with no agenda. I first read his books in my twenties and got a lot out of understanding the concept of the ‘pain body’ which, if left unchallenged, can wreak havoc on our lives. I also understood what ‘enlightenment' really is, how to be truly mindful and live in the present, and what truly matters in this life. I know these are big claims but this is possibly the most important book I own and I am truly grateful for the only living spiritual master I can say I truly trust and respect today.  


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