The best books for self-help and spiritual growth

The Books I Picked & Why

How to Use the Power of Prayer

By Dr. Joseph Murphy

Book cover of How to Use the Power of Prayer

Why this book?

This book is a “granddaddy” of the New Thought movement. Murphy writes clearly and concisely, with principles in easy-to-follow steps for many issues. Examples: self-healing, fulfilling one’s desires, and happy marriage. I love this book and return to it repeatedly because of its clarity and many pertinent examples with “regular” people Murphy helped. The anecdotes help encourage the reader to do the steps Murphy recommends. The book teaches me that often the simplest prayer or affirmation is enough and the immense value of constancy. Most recently, this book helped me strengthen my prayer practice in healing a leg injury and gave me renewed confidence in spiritual healing. 


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You Can Heal Your Life

By Louise Hay

Book cover of You Can Heal Your Life

Why this book?

Louise Hay was a pioneer in twentieth-century New Thought, and her publishing company, Hay House, continues to flourish. This book is based on her philosophy that we are “each 100% responsible for all of our experiences.” A hard one to swallow, but it means, I’ve learned, we are in control of our lives and can direct our experiences positively with the right thinking. She instructs how to change our thoughts and discusses major aspects of our lives—relationships, work, success, prosperity, the body. Each chapter ends with an inspired and inspiring prayer/affirmation. Hay also includes her chart of illnesses, their probable mental/emotional causes, and spiritual remedies. These have helped me countless times to discover the negative root thoughts of various maladies and have facilitated wonderful healings of body and mind.


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

By Julia Cameron

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

Why this book?

This book was the only thing that broke my longstanding writers’ block, and I have returned to it repeatedly for Cameron’s wisdom and exercises. In a twelve-week “course,” Cameron describes many exercises to aid us in eliciting creativity and breaking through self-imposed emotional barriers. Most helpful is her three daily “Morning Pages”—three handwritten pages you scribble about anything. With these, you declutter your mind of the negatives. Amazingly for me, the morning pages have led to many ideas that became published articles and, more importantly, bolstered my confidence in my writing. Firmly grounded in spirituality, Cameron shares ten “Basic Principles,” for example, “Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source.” These continue to ground me, and I unreservedly recommend this book to everyone desiring to commit to and soar with their creativity. 


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Trust in the Goodness of God

By Mary L. Kupferle

Book cover of Trust in the Goodness of God

Why this book?

This book is a series of short essays, each of which can be a prayer or affirmation itself. They read like perfect affirmations: “Let the Goodness of God Take Over,” “God’s Abundance Is Yours Now!” “Choose to Believe the Best,” “There Is Nothing to Fear!” Several months ago, I was feeling extremely lonely. At random, I opened to Kupferle’s essay “God’s Abundance is Yours Now!” and read, “God is the infinite source of your supply.” I kept repeating this affirmation. Two weeks later in the gym, another woman greeted me, reminding me that we’d met in the gym many months earlier. We quickly discovered much in common, as well as a wonderful mutual admiration. Since then, we’ve gotten together many times and continue to enjoy and help each other. Kuperfle works!


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The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

By Wayne W. Dr Dyer

Book cover of The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

Why this book?

Wayne Dyer was an inspired and lucid teacher of metaphysical principles and applications. This book instructs us in further creating our experiences with the concept of intention. Dyer’s definition expands my understanding of my power to create my experiences. From Carlos Castaneda, intention is “a force that exists in the universe.” As I have opened to the existence of this force and yielded to it, I accomplish what I want and need to. Many times, before I begin or continue a piece I am writing or a client assignment (coaching and editing doctoral candidates’ dissertations), I write out my intentions: “This work goes perfectly smoothly. I am guided in exactly what to do. After this session, I feel satisfied, knowing I did my best.” And I always have this experience.


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