Lent, which is a time of prayer, penance, and preparation for Easter Sunday, begins on Wednesday, the 17th. Some people choose to give up something during those 40ish days – when I was younger, I used to give up French fries and gum (two of my favorite things). Others prefer to do something instead, like give more to charity, donate time, or reflect in prayer. Personally, I think the latter is a better option. Looking back it seems a little silly to give up gum for a month, only to get a complete back fix on Easter. The things we do to compete with friends in elementary school!
Anyway, you don’t have to be Catholic, Christian, or even religious to carve out some time to reflect on your life, your goals, and everything else that’s important to you. It’s always a good time to make time for YOU. Here are a few of my favorite books to connect with yourself, your family, and (if you so choose) your Higher Power.
Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson is a 40-day guided prayer challenge that’s perfect when you’re craving more of a spiritual connection with your Higher Power. My nanny and I read and discussed this together a few years ago and it definitely brought us closer as a family. I like this book because it’s engaging – the author is a masterful storyteller – and there aren’t any exercises you have to do at the end of each daily lesson. This would be your best option if your time is limited – you’ll need approximately 10-15 minutes for each daily reading. Of course, if you have some extra time, you may want to journal through your experience.
The Magic by Rhonda Byrne is a 28-day gratitude challenge that includes options to extend the exercises into an everyday practice. You may have heard of Rhonda’s first (and more popular) book – The Secret. This one builds off of the idea of saying “thank you” and provides actionable steps to bring magic and manifestation into your life. Prepare to spend 30+ minutes a day working through the daily readings and magical practices.
May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein is a 6-week guidebook where you’ll pray, meditate, and journal your way to happiness. You’ll learn to connect with yourself, others, your Higher Power, and start manifesting the life of your dreams. There are morning reflections and evening exercises to complete each day. While it might seem like a lot, I’d recommend setting aside at least an hour each day to work through this challenge. You won’t want to rush through any of the material – especially the recommended meditations. Before diving in, you might want to read the first 25 pages to see if the content is right for you.
Starting Wednesday, I’ll be re-reading Draw the Circle. What do you have planned? Do you have any books that have helped you spiritually?