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Reading is the number one activity I recommend to people just starting out on the journey of blossoming into their best, truest selves. In fact, I’ve even listed it as the first activity on 30 Days of Blossoming because I truly believe it is the most accessible place to start.
You probably already own at least one book (or a dozen!) you haven’t read yet. And to be honest, it really doesn’t matter what book you read. You may think you have to pick a certain type of book, like a personal development book, in order to blossom, but that is just not the case. Any book, whether fiction or non-fiction, can help you blossom and here are three reasons why:
1.) Reading Promotes Imagination
When we read about other lives and other worlds, we begin to imagine new possibilities for our own lives and our own world. We begin to unearth parts of ourselves that we’ve forgotten or hidden away, and we begin to see how those parts of ourselves can be the hope we’ve been waiting for.
The power to make a change, personally or at-large, already lies within you, but you have to learn to access that power. And books can help you do just that!
2.) Reading Promotes Knowledge
Many of us gave up on reading after graduation – as if we had nothing more to learn. But learning is a lifelong pursuit and an absolute must on the journey of blossoming. You cannot read a book without learning something new about yourself or the world.
The more you know about you, the more grounded you become in the perfectly imperfect being that you are. The more you know about the world, the more connected you become to the other perfectly imperfect beings on this planet. And the more grounded and connected you become, the more your innermost self can take root and bloom.
3.) Reading Promotes Relaxation
Self-care is essential to blossoming. A tired, stressed, anxious busy-body cannot blossom anymore than a flower deprived of sunlight and water. If we want to experience growth in our lives, we have to take the time to nourish our bodies and minds. And the good new is, reading is an excellent tool.
Reading relaxes our bodies by forcing us to stop, sit and soak in the words; and it relieves the stress of our minds by transporting us away from the troubles of the day. One study even showed reading to be more effective at reducing stress than activities like listening to music, drinking tea or taking a walk. How’s that for a reason to read!
Honestly, reading books has changed my life for the better. Books are my inspiration for writing and my source for soul-care. They are the gentle nudge reminding me to keep doing my work in the world and the kick-in-the-pants when the gentle nudge isn’t enough. Books are my personal battle between light and darkness fleshed out on a page and my constant assurance of which one is winning. (The light, of course!)
But, most importantly, reading books is one of the reasons I know myself. And that is ultimately what blossoming is all about – knowing yourself oh so well.
If you are looking for some book recommendations, check out my 2018 Book Shop. There you’ll find a list of books I’ve been reading with topics ranging from business (like Mel Robbins’ The 5 Second Rule) to spirituality (like Peter Rollins’ The Orthodox Heretic) and everything in-between!