Personal development books make life better. If you’ve ever read this genre, it’s like having a mentor in your living room with you. Someone who’s ‘been there, done that’ sitting on the couch cheering you on. Only rather than sit there, literally in your home, their words have been lovingly place on pages inside a book… ready for you to soak in. That’s what I experienced ten years ago.
In 2008 I decided to try something new. I’d been doing a lot of soul searching since 2000, and a big source of my searching was in books. I remember standing at a very tall shelf at a local bookstore wondering how on earth I could choose which I should read. But somehow, I guess you could say, the book chose me – off the shelves it seemed to land in my hands saying ‘you need me’. After reading the back cover and skimming through the first couple chapters, I was sure it was the perfect book for me at that time in my life.
That first book was followed by countless others, each landing in my life intuitively. Inspiring authors with powerful messages soon became my new best friends. I’d read one book – stopping frequently to underline, make a note in the margin, or simply pause while I let the words sink into my heart – then I’d be on to the next ‘teacher’ – a new author with a different lesson for me to learn.
After a year or so of that, I’d built up quite a library of personal development books. One day I had an idea to see if there were other people who’d want to join me in this journey of growing through reading – so I decided to start a local book group that focused on personal growth.[In case you’re curious, I’ll add my list of favorite authors at the bottom of this post] x
I named the book group ROOTed. It was fabulous, and it grew so that I had many groups meeting in different places from my office and a book story to a yoga studio and a friend’s home. I’d assign a book we’d all read one month, then we’d meet the following month so I could teach ways to apply what the book had taught. It was a fun few years with many amazing authors!
Last summer, I bumped into a couple members of ROOTed who said they still missed the group. When I asked them why they missed it, I was excited to hear that what they’d learned from the books and my lessons had stayed with them all these years.
Here’s how they grew from being in the book group.
- more myself/real/authentic
- grounded and stable
- a meditator (and I still meditate each day!)
- more mindful
- a better communicator
- more aware – of myself, of others, of the world around me
- less sensitive to how others treated me and more conscientious of how I treat myself
- freed from some bad stuff from my past
- open to spirituality and personal growth
- a lover of this book genre – I didn’t realize how many cool authors there are!
- someone who has continued seeking and growing
And here’s why they loved the book group:
- “I loved the connection with other people who wanted to grow personally.”
- “The books you chose were amazing – I’d never have found them on my own.”
- “I knew I wanted to become happier and more grounded, but I didn’t realize how much I could through books and discussing them with you!”
- “The way you taught was fun and engaging – the perfect amount of reading and doing so that I could apply what the author taught in my own life.”
- “I just liked it :) It was a fun part of every month that I really looked forward to.”
- “All the things I learned about myself were so powerful. Honestly, it surprised me that so much could be taken just from talking about books we’d read.”
All their feedback got me thinking, especially as I felt the same and agreed with everything they’d said. That’s why I decided to start the book group again but with a few changes and a new name: the Green Heart book club.
I’ve made this book club virtual so anyone around the world could join us, and I wanted to have our monthly gatherings in a way that we could see each other face-to-face.
I also wanted to do a bit more than read and teach. I decided to create a Preface to help readers prepare for each book, and I decided to have a Green Heart Book Guru award each month. This would be someone who got really into the book, and their prize would be a collection of treats sent right to their doorstep!
If you’re someone looking to learn, grow, and become happier… and you enjoy discussing books – I’d love to have you join us!
For a few days, I’m offering a Black-Cyber deal – I figure better late than never :)
You can try the book club for a few months + bring a friend along for free. That’s only $15/mo each, and if you don’t love it, you can drop out with no questions asked.
My favorite personal development authors whose books have made my life better:
don Miguel Ruiz
Thich Nhat Hanh
Neal Donald Walsch
Clarissa Pinkola Estes