Top Ten (10) Books to Read For Spiritual Health and Fitness in 2009

Spirituality is a global, cultural (and sometimes religious) phenomenon. People have various beliefs concerning how best to receive and participate in it. Must one have a priest, minister, pope, or other intermediary, or can one have a direct, independent relationship to experience spiritual bliss and health?There is something for everyone in this list of Top Ten (10) Books to Read for Spiritual Health and Fitness in 2009. Some have sold millions of copies worldwide, while others are not as well-known because they are not mainstream or do not have a publish date as of this article publication. Whether their format is non-fiction or fiction, the following books are on this list because they challenge and inspire people to visit spiritual beliefs and behaviors in our challenging and remarkable world.1. The Bible (and related texts)There are so many translations or versions of the bible. Why limit yourself to just one version? The version with which most people are familiar is the King James book. Theologians know there are multiple texts available for the serious student of Judeo-Christian theology, some more controversial than others like the “Gnostic Gospels of Jesus.” Interested in women? There’s “Women in the Bible,” by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Become re-acquainted (or newly acquainted) and perhaps discover something new about your own spirituality in the process.2. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Spiritual Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams (Deepak Chopra)Deepak Chopra wrote “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” in 1994. They are a guide to living a healthy spiritual life from an eastern perspective that on the surface looks fairly easy to follow; putting them into practice in daily life takes significant attention and commitment. Each person who attempts to follow them will discover which are relatively easy and which are more difficult. Try living this one on a daily basis: ”In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it” (The Law of Detachment).3. The Four Agreements A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Don Miguel Ruiz)The author is Mexican and a master in the Toltec Wisdom spiritual tradition. He shares this wisdom for spiritual living in his book as four main principles. Just like in “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” some are more challenging than others. “Do not take anything personally,” is similar to the Law of Detachment in Chopra’s book. It’s interesting to learn how universal spiritual principles are despite the different cultures and geographical locations from which they are born. This guy is so open-minded; he even suggests that we regularly question what others, he, or we believe as the truth.4. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous)The “Twelve and Twelve” as they are commonly known in anonymous program fellowships were created to help people recover from a variety of addiction diseases. They are used as spiritual medicine and treatment for self-change and healthy relationships with “God, ourselves, and others.” The principles are so powerful, it’s a shame they are not used more widely by others outside the program: surrender to what you can’t control in your life, gain hope that you can change with the help of a power greater than yourself, turn your will and life over to a loving, caring power, and these are just the foundation principles.5. The Alchemist:A Fable about Following Your Dream (Paulo Coelho)”The Alchemist” is a simple story about a boy on a journey to find a treasure. What occurs along the way in this fable is engaging, thought-provoking, and utterly enjoyable. By the end of the story, you’ll find that the boy isn’t the only one who reaps rewards and riches: miraculously, so do many readers.6. Chocolat (Joanne Harris)”Chocolat” invites you into the world of a small village in France, where the inhabitants lead lives that appear frozen and uneventful centered in the guidance of a priest. A woman and her little girl (“foreigners”) come to town. They set up a chocolate café. Somehow, the café owner knows each person’s chocolate preference, and what will suit them best in their lives. A battle begins between the priest and the woman for the soul of the town. “Chocolat” takes an honest look at the positive and negative potential affect of religious and spiritual extremes.7. Standing Naked in Rose Petals (Eleanora Amendolara)What’s most precious to most human beings? Is it to know and love your Creator, yourself, and others? “Standing Naked in Rose Petals” is the true story of a woman valued as an extraordinary human being, healer, and teacher by people whose lives she has touched. This book is an account of a gifted woman in search of her place in existence with her eyes, heart, mind, and soul becoming wide open. Email the author, join the mailing list, and be notified when the book is published. (Link to the book project: What They Want You to Know: Messages from beyond the grave (Carter Shepard & Carolyn Cummings)For all you Fox Mulders out there . . . What does Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, or John Kennedy, Jr., think about United States politics today? When Leonardo DiVinci painted The Last Supper, who did he paint as the figure to the left of Jesus? Is it a male or female disciple? Read conversations with some VIP political, scientific, and arts personalities who are now in the spiritual realm, who want to share wisdom to help us lead loving, positive, spiritual lives. The authors have used their communication and channeling abilities to create this unique book, and hope readers will keep an open mind. It’s a fascinating read whatever your beliefs.9. Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small (Ted Andrews)”Animal Speak” is a comprehensive dictionary on the spiritual properties of mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles as believed and understood by Native Americans and other indigenous cultures. Have you ever felt heavily drawn to a particular animal, or wondered why a certain one tends to cross your path regularly or is in your dreams? This book identifies the particular characteristics and energies animals have to guide, inspire, or help people. Animals are crucial in many religious and spiritual traditions (e.g. Saint Francis in Christianity). Discover what it means to have Wolf or Raven medicine.10. Harold & the Purple Crayon, 50th Anniversary Edition, 2005 (Crockett Johnson)”Harold & the Purple Crayon is a story about a boy and his purple crayon. Originally published in 1955, it’s been read by millions of children worldwide for years. It’s a simple, and yet, profound book about imagination, manifestation and creation. There are eight books in the “Harold” series. Read up on the spiritual properties of color for more insight into the color purple.These are a few of the food for the spirit resources currently available in book stores and libraries, or scheduled for 2009 publication. Since the body and mind are connected to the spirit, reading these books will increase one’s fitness and wellness overall.

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