My top books in 2022

I love reading. I didn't always feel this way. In school it was forced, anything that is forced I don't align with. I didn't absorb any of the wisdom of the books then but now, when I have discernment and freedom of choice, I love getting into a good book. As a diverse business owner who is also a Mum, Wife and home maker, I don't have a heap of time to invest in quiet days with nothing to do but read. I have a weird habit of reading 3 or 4 books at once:

  • I have an audio book (for the school runs back and forth -- about 25 minutes each way).

  • I have a car book; this lives in my carry basket so when I am waiting for an appointment or at a cafe, this is the book I read

  • I have a toilet book

  • I have a bedtime ebook

Strangely, reading books these ways I have found some parallels of learnings. Each book is entirely different yet I can connect the dots and really absorb the wisdom. I love to read mostly non-fiction but one of my favorite book series of all time is fiction (with so much research and wisdom it is almost non-fiction!)

When I look back on 2022 and where I was in January (physically, mentally, spiritually) I cannot believe the trajectory of growth from then until now. I feel like I have jumped into some space-time wormhole. The years 2020 and 2021 seem like distant memories and this year had so many dense experience clumped into 10 months. Its unreal. Anyone else notice this?

As many low moments and dense moments we have experienced collectively, there has been an incredible amount of growth and awareness gained. That is exciting!

My main Yin time practices are good books to pour over, art practice, cooking nourishing meals, spending time in nature and listening to music that suits my vibe in each moment. A good book is everything. I read them like textbooks, underlining and making notes in pencil (a bit frustrating when you are listening to an audiobook and want to highlight someone or make a note!)

So, without further ado, here are my top reads of 2022

Book 1: Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

You may be familiar with Liz from reading "Eat Pray Love" quite a few years ago now. This book landed in my awareness by chance. I had watched a few Brene Brown videos around this time, revisiting shame, and then this Big Magic landed with me. It was perfect timing and I have learned to trust the timing of all awareness - I don't question this anymore, I just follow the breadcrumbs.

What I appreciated about this book

It is a boldly inspiring book for anyone pursuing a creative life. I really dug deep within this wisdom to unshed limiting beliefs that society has indoctrinated us that you cannot live a successful life as a creative. I say hogwash.

If you are a creative, or want to answer the call of intuition to start creating, I highly recommend this book. Authors, poets, musicians, artists, creators, designers, tinkerers, hobbyists - whatever your flavour, this book is for you.

I also loved a notion she shared about idea's having consciousness. This was a big a ha moment for me because I was experiencing a dense challenge of someone using my idea. This got me out of scarcity and contraction and back into love and expansion. There are plenty of pieces to the pie and no one can do it quite like me (or you), so take the idea and run with it in your unique expression if you see something you'd like to try.

I listened to this book as a audiobook and I would like to get this book as a paperback so I can re read it and make notes - there are some beautiful anecdotes and quotes that she shares that spoke to me so clearly.

Book 2: Discover Your Dharma, Sahara Rose

I listened to this as an audiobook - I would actually recommend reading this on paperback as she has some exercises to do and would require note taking. I still got a lot out of this book.

This is a second awareness of Ayurveda (another breadcrumb) and it led me to purchase her Ayurveda book (another recommended book but I won't include it on here as it is a cookbook mostly and introduction to Ayurveda through the lens of a millennial and easy to understand). I also love her podcast, there are some incredible subjects and guests she hosts, so start there if you aren't sure about investing in her book.

What I appreciated about this book

I loved the reminded about deconditioning our minds - big magic (book 1) was a good place to start but this really sealed the deal and provided tools and resources to action. Once you start deconditioning your mind you will be mind-blown at how deep it goes (I am still doing this process). And once you have kids - watch your words and actions, are they conditioned or projections or are you speaking from integrity?

I loved the archetype and I resonated with many of them, it helped me understand my identity a little more and why I am the way I am. The biggest appreciation is the Dharma Circle. This is how the Aligned Feminine was born. I dreamed of creating a community of aligned feminine's who could support each other, share knowledge and brainstorm while celebrating success stories, be there for bad weather season's and opportunities for collaboration. This chapter was really inspired action!

Book 3: Untamed, Glennon Doyle

This book came into my awareness from a recommended read on Audible. I looked it up as an ebook instead as I was feeling the need to start writing notes in books and the last two were audiobooks.

This is not something I would normally read, it looked a bit too much like a self-help woman power book but it was actually really inspiring. I had some more work to do around people pleasing and this was a huge lesson to decondition. As a woman, we are indoctrined from a very young age (in the womb even) to be people pleasers. It actually made me really angry when I realized how deep it went. This is part of the voice behind The Aligned Feminine. If you are a Woman Business Owner you would have felt isolated by friends or families or other women who don't own their own business, at some point. It isn't their fault that they don't show support (do we even need their support? no, actually - it is just validation we are seeking because that is part of the systemic indoctrination of what it 'means' to be a woman and the system runs deep). This is one reason why I have started this collective gathering of women entrepreneurs, because many voices are louder than one voice and we grow together. What I appreciated about this book

I stopped fearing about not being 'good' and instead just be. In each moment, I gave myself permission this year to do what I want, when I want and how I want. Communication with my husband has never been better, a role model for my daughter I am, and for my community. This change is only going to grow as each ripple of awareness integration increases and how awesome is that! I also appreciated her chapter on racism. It made me realize that I am in fact racist, because I am part of a systemic indoctrination of privilege. Most of you reading this will also be racists. She was really real with her own awareness of this and is uncovering some pretty nasty truths and making waves of change in her community. This has activated me in wanting to decondition my own mind on my systemic indoctrination on racism and take inspired action each day. It is a slow process and I will make mistakes along the way but I am keen to contribute to changing the status quo and being an ally where its needed.

Book 4: The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children) Series, Jean M. Auel

I was first introduced to this book many years ago by my grandmother. I think I was a child. I don't remember reading it until I was a teen though. I think this was her sex ed lesson for me -hahaha. Among other lessons because there is so much beautiful wisdom in these books. The subject of sex was of course very uncomfortable for someone born in her generation so this was her way of showing me the way. There are 6-7 books in total I think, and I read all 7 of them as an ebook this year. These are books you can't put down. I didn't really enjoy the last book, it was repetitive and felt rushed in other parts but the whole story is amazing and she did a phenomenal amount of field research when writing these books. You can almost think they were non-fiction.

What I appreciated about these books

The book is based approximately 30,000 years ago, so for starters, that is pretty intriguing. The dawn of evolution between Neanderthal and Homo Sapien and the main character was spent time with both. She becomes a healer who is very skilled with herbs and there is a lot of notes about herbalism that I loved.

It is a beautiful love story with some heartache, new tribes of people and cultures to learn about, the author paints a beautiful story of a passage through time. The main character is unapologetically herself, even in the face of 'should do, shouldn't do' culture. It inspires you to be your unique weirdo too.

Book 5: Women who run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I came across this book in a beautiful little bookshop in Paddington (A suburb of Brisbane).

The Author explores intercultural myths, fairytales and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Again, it revisits a common theme of deconditioning your mind in many areas. There is so much wisdom in oral history. What I appreciated about this book:

It allowed me to look into my own beliefs as well as societies. I had a really good look at how I was raised as a child and how I am raising my own. It inspired change and I have changed the way I parent. I read this book like a textbook - so many notes so I can revisit some time later with new understandings.

Book 6: Plant Intelligence and The Imaginary Realms: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth , By: Stephen Harrod Buhner

I found this book in a little shop called Happy Herb Co. in West End. They have a wonderful curated book section with herbalism, shamanism, seasonal rhythms and all kinds of earth magic.

This book is my car book, I can only read 3-4 pages at once because it is a lot of sciency information at one time but each new chapter or section is mind-blowing. What I appreciated about this book:

I saw many parallels in this book with the pandemic and the control of the governments, media and society judgements. I loved learning about perception gating and the effect it has on censorship and psychology, and how you can train it to be more open, simply by being in nature. Something I felt and understood unconsciously so it was great to be demonstrated through a scientific explanation. We can find more meaning to living things by understanding metaphysical science, the interconnection of all living things on this planet. The continued focus on interpreting meaning on just shape or material, we reduce the capacity to find meaning - at all. The reductionist and mechanistic viewpoints of scholars and our education system is so outdated and people are starting to wake up to this thankfully.

This is why taxonomists know so very little about plants and why physicians are so often terrible doctors. To fully understand, we need to feel. This is metaphysical understanding. A holistic approach.

Book 7: The Beauty Load, Nicole Mathieson

I came across this book by fate. I was in a Kundalini Yoga Class and there was just one other woman. It was Nicole. She was having a book launch that weekend and of course this was a loud and clear breadcrumb of fate so I booked in and it was such a wonderful book launch. Supported by friends, family and new fans (myself included!). With my fair share of dense beauty load in my life, this book was a very good read. Even though I have curtailed most of the beauty conditioning, you are never truly free of it.

Reading this equipped me to be a role model parent to my young daughter and I will revisit it, like a textbook, in future.

What I appreciated about this book:

Everything that Nicole writes about is a copy and paste of my experience, perhaps mine a little more dense and acute as I was bullied quite badly for my physical appearance by boys and girls alike in mid-primary school.

I like how she provides prompts for journaling and reflection at nearly every chapter.

I love how she identifies the timeline of what is considered beautiful and how it has changed drastically -- and contradictory -- throughout our history within the last 400 years.

Book 8: Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimerer

My sister in law suggested this book to me. When I looked it up and saw it was woven with Indigenous Wisdom, Science and plant wisdom - it was bumped up on my must read list.

I read this book as an ebook - I can still utilize it like a textbook as I highlighted and book marked heaps of pages and passages, however I will buy this as a paperback for my home library.

What I appreciated about this book:

I loved the way she weave's storytelling of her family life and the origins of her Indigenous wisdom, and how she became indoctrinated by western science and then come full circle to say that Western science has a place in society, however she dreams of a world guided by a lens of stories rooted in the revelations of science and framed with an indigenous worldview -- stories in which matter and spirit are both given voice. And I agree wholeheartedly. If both systems speak to each other, we can heal generations, our planet and our psyches.

I love the wisdom of practicing gratitude for everything we receive; lessons, food, plant medicine. It is such a simple reciprocity practice to give thanks to our Earth Mother, yet so many of us don't, because we are on auto-pilot programming or simply don't care.

I loved learning about the Haudenosaunee thanksgiving address. Such beautiful wisdom.

I loved learning about the era's of life with the metaphors of Fire from the Anishinaabe people, referring to the places they lived and the events and the teachings surrounding them with their ancient oral histories. They speak of the seventh fire prophecy of which we are in now in our current timeline, a fork in the road or a crossroads is happening and we need to set it up correctly so our children and our children's children can be bearers of the eighth and final fire.

I love how she identifies us as Humans as having a unique gift as a species and that we DO have a responsibility to sustain this earth. We can do this through language. Language is our gift and our responsibility and her words are just part of the weave.

I loved her explanation of Windigo mentality and the stories her people have with Windigo scarcity/ hungry / greed season and the parallels she draws with our current societal climate of corporate and government greed. The solution isn't clear but it starts with gratitude. Mother Earth gives so freely and we have taken advantage of this; all she asks is that we are grateful and that we are stewards of the land for sustainability. Gratitude is the seed of abundance. Dance with the abundance all around us and we all start to heal collectively, in turn healing our planet.

Collectively, we are awakening to a wider ecological consciousness, with this awareness comes responsibility which requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.

So many chapters, words and passages that she writes that speak so clearly to me, I highly recommend this book if you love earth, science and wisdom.

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