11 Self-Help Books That Completely Changed My Life

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Along my journey, I’ve had the privilege of coming across some pretty amazing literature. Some of these books have helped me accomplish many goals, including spiritual, emotional, financial, and relationship goals. Here, I share with you 11 of my favorite books that have had the greatest impact on my growth in many of the areas mentioned. In fact, I credit these books with having changed my life for the better. And I hope that you’ll explore them for yourself.

1. The Secret: I actually saw the documentary that the book was based on when I was a freshman in college. And I must have shared it with every single person I cared about. Sure, it’s been criticized for being a simplified approach to a more complex life principle. However, simplicity was the key for me to first: understand The Law of Attraction, second: recognized that I had practiced it unknowingly throughout my life, and third: to instantly put it to work, but this time with clearer intentions. I must say that because of its simple approach, I found it easier to focus on my goals and have them manifest one by one. From getting into my dream school, to getting jobs, and even getting the exact same car that I’d once glued a picture of on my very first vision board less than 1 year later. When I recognized how powerful my thoughts really are, it set me on a journey to exploring more about where some of my negative thought patterns come from, especially if they kept me from having the life that I always dreamed of.

2. You Can Heal Your Life: Another book that I’ve bought several copies of for friends and family in both print and audio versions.This book introduced me to the concept of having self-compassion (not sure if that’s a word) and empathy. It basically picks up where The Secret leaves off since it offers solutions for improving the quality of one’s thoughts, especially as it pertains to self-image. After all, we teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. We also attract people and things into our lives based on what we think we deserve. Paying attention to self-talk is the best way to assess what you really feel about yourself. It also helps in getting to the root cause of those negative thoughts and forgiving yourself and others so that you can truly heal your life. This book offers positive affirmations for reprogramming a negative mindset and touches on metaphysics and the effects your thoughts can have on your body’s health. Two words: Great stuff!

3. Think & Grow Rich: The title of the book is self-explanatory. But I will admit that brother Napoleon Hill had me second guessing everything I thought I knew about education and the role that it would play in my life. In fact, I wanted to drop out of school before I could even finish the book, but Sallie Mae already had my name on a few documents so I had to finish. This book is an earlier version of The Secret and You Can Heal Your Life, but it offers more strategies with a business approach. Most entrepreneurs tend to appreciate a book like this. In fact, many well-known businessmen have credited this book with being the reason why they became so successful. It’s definitely left a permanent impression on me.

4. Getting To I Do: This book isn’t quite what its title suggests, but it does offer up some tips for both men and women to incorporate into their single, dating, and married lives. It is a MUST READ for those who feel a bit insecure in how to date or interact with the opposite sex (including with parents, friends, etc.) in a way that is healthy and beneficial for both people. I  would say that it is heavy in psychology based principles of how men and women (masculine and feminine regardless of physical sex) interact with one another, and how we could interact with much more harmony if we understood our own individual nature. Based on this book alone, I have a completely different outlook on relationships and interacting with the opposite sex. In fact, I plan to do some relationship videos laced with some of the principles I’ve learned from this book to help others put things in perspective. And yes, all of my close girlfriends were gifted or recommended a copy of this book. It’s a GAME CHANGER!

5. The Alchemist: The dreamer and believer in me absolutely loves this book! It’s a novel about a shepherd boy who goes on a journey to discovering his “personal legend,” which is the equivalent of his life’s purpose. It’s laced with jewels of timeless wisdom on just about every page. And it will definitely have you inspired to take of advantage of your time on Earth and pursue your hearts desires while you have the chance to. It’s one of those books that you feel the need to read every few years just to see how much progress you’ve made towards what you say you hope to accomplish in life. Let’s just say it keeps me on my toes and gets me right back on track when life’s circumstances can be distracting.

6. A Return To Love: This book is nothing short of miraculous. When you read it, you can feel love pouring all over you in the form of understanding, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and just pure love. Marianne Williamson offers insight into life-lessons she’s learned based off A Course In Miracles, which is a Universal approach to Christian based principles. After reading this book, I felt so connected to everyone on the deepest levels of understanding. Not so much on the shallow tip, but you walk away with the understanding that we are more alike beneath the surface than we are different.

7. A Course In Miracles: As mentioned above, this is literally a life course. It’s like a companion to the Bible or whatever sacred book your faith is based on. Its pretty dense, but I promise everytime I read a page or practice a lesson, I become more open to life and I feel more grounded and loved than ever before. Let’s just say you’ll have to see for yourself.

8. The Four Agreements: Talk about getting to the root of almost all of the problems we face as human beings. This books offers four foundational principles that we should strive to live by, not for religion’s sake, but for our own sanity. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, it touches on limiting beliefs and how we can just about rid ourselves of unnecessary suffering and lead our lives with more love, abundance, and happiness.

9. Blink: This book touches on the power of intuition, or thinking without thinking. Everyday we make decisions, and some are made instinctively, while others are made after thorough investigation. Many times, the best choices are made with little to no explanation, all because something within allows us to make snap judgements that need no justification. Love it!

10. Science Of Mind: I’m currently reading this one and it’s like another companion to whatever your faith is already. It’s metaphysics at its finest and it really focuses on developing discipline to creating a more harmonious world through our individual thoughts. Its philosophy is based on Christian teachings, but it also draws from virtually every spiritual faith as it teaches readers to guide our thoughts intentionally towards a life of health, wealth, success, love, harmony, and peace. Another feel good read every time you pick it up. It’s enlightening and refreshing, and it gives you a sense of peace and personal power.

11. Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships: Marianne Williamson did it again with this one! For me, this one is so necessary for this generation as we have drifted further away from intimacy in our interactions with those in our lives. It’s a collection of personal essays, prayers, and self-reflection of interactions within relationships. It will have you open to acceptance and being accepted, forgiveness, love, intimacy, and attracting the right mate from the right space. It is ever enchanted and another must read.

There’s many more that I’d love to share with you. There’s also so many that I have yet to read. I want to know what books changed the game for you. Please leave a comment if you’ve read any of these books, and share some of your favorite reads below.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

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Today’s Wisdom: Education goes well beyond the classroom

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As an educator, this is what I came to know about the fundamentals of education around the world. Being educated is not confined to academia. In fact, some of the most educated minds had little to no schooling, yet they are full of information that resonates with the masses because they remain curious about life and tend to investigate beyond what the classroom would allow. While academia has its place, it cannot be a substitute for man’s own curiosity and imagination. One must use it as a tool to practice learning strategies, but then move beyond its limitations to discover the truth of life. This is the only path to true freedom, when one can learn the truth of who he is, the truth of life.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

When life calls you to be more, will you answer?

When I started this blog in 2011, I had no real expectations other than it serving as a source of inspiration for those who needed it. Little did I know, I’d be inspiring myself along the way. Although I don’t post as often as I did when I first started this site, the mere thought of abandoning it would sadden my soul… I know, you’re probably thinking,”Is it really that deep?” The truth of the matter is, it is THAT DEEP, and more.

What I know about life is that we all have gifts and talents. And at different phases of life, we are called to use those gifts and talents in ways that will enrich the lives of others and ultimately make us feel more fulfilled. It goes without saying that my gift and passion lies in counseling and inspiring people. These are the very gifts that I take with me everywhere I go, not matter where I go. In every job I’ve ever had, and every friendship I’ve ever invested in, I have always made it a point to bring more of what my spirit calls me to be to every situation. My goal at this phase of life however, is to become MORE of who I AM.

More recently, I have struggled with being at a job that I have zero desire to stay in. In fact, many mornings I feel anxiety at the mere thought of going to work. It’s not because I don’t like working. I happen to have an amazing work ethic, but I wouldn’t hesitate at the option of being a housewife for a few years. Just kidding (NOT! lol)… 😉 It’s just that nothing about my current job makes me light up inside. That thing that I do so well (inspire and counsel), doesn’t stand a chance to survive nor thrive so long as I remain in my current position. My spirit is calling for my return to those things that feed it. And so here we are.

As I write this post, I am filled with gratitude for this job. Yes, I am grateful for it because it is forcing me to be more of myself. How, you ask? Well, because the more I realize how much this line of work is not for me, the clearer I get about what IS. The more I realize what I’m not great at, the clearer I become about what I do so very well.

Oftentimes it is our greatest failures that push us towards our greatest accomplishments. In this moment, I choose to answer the call of my soul to do more of what feeds it. I choose to honor my soul by not allowing what I do not want to overshadow my deepest desires. I choose to allow the light of my soul to shine brighter by being more of who and what I AM without apology, guilt, nor fear. I am answering life’s call to be more of ME, and it is my hope and prayer that you will be inspired to be more of YOU.

When life whispers, speaks, screams and shouts, will you answer?

@BCSTARKS

Manifesting Dreams (Thoughts Become Things)

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The most valuable skill or talent that you could ever develop is that of directing your thoughts toward what you want. –Abraham and Esther Hicks

Today is a day that I will demonstrate what it means to manifest dreams at its core. With a few major moves in the works in my personal life, as well as my career, I am believing in my visions of greatness for myself, and I’m owning the idea that I deserve every bit of it.

As of late, I’ve been on a roll with making my dreams come true. I’m starting to adopt the idea that I am a “MANIFESTATION MASTER”. What I mean by this is that I have long ago discovered my own formula for allowing my dreams to come true. And more recently, I have begun to master this formula, and I’ve pretty much gotten it down to a science. What I’ve discovered along the way is that my personal formula is something that can work for anyone else, aside from a little tweaking to remedy one’s own obstacles to success. Once you discover what it is that keeps you from pursuing your dreams, then you can come up with solutions that could ultimately counteract those thoughts and set you on the path to living your dreams.

A good example of this from my own experience has been my fear of not having enough money. This has been a long held fear as I grew up in a single parent home, where although my family was always well kept and provided for, my mother would often have the hardest time keeping a steady flow of income coming in as an entrepreneur. When I was a child, I was always intensely aware of what was going on emotionally within the people around me. I guess its where I developed a strong sense of empathy for others as I was always able to put myself in their shoes since I could always somehow tap into their energy space. The feeling was even more intense when it came to those I love. As I watched my mother worry about how things would get done and how bills would get paid, I developed that same sense of fear within myself that there just wasn’t enough money to feel safe to do anything outside of surviving. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the concept of the “Law of Attraction” as a teenager that I began to realize how infectious and paralyzing this “lackful” mindset was, and how it had subconsciously kept me from being my best self.

But with any belief system, its not something that just changes overnight. Beliefs are just practiced thoughts that become true for a person over time with enough repetition. I realized that in order to live the life I dreamed of living, I would have to rid myself of those crippling thoughts of “not enough.” I began to address these thoughts by introducing new ones through affirmations, such as, “All of my needs are met,” “I am safe where ever I go,” and “The solutions to my problems always show up on time.” With each new thought introduced, I would find ways to support those thoughts with action whose results would help solidify them as true in my experience. The more I practiced this new way of thinking and supported action, the more confident I became that life was much less scary then I once envisioned it to be. And with this exact concept, you can do the same… WITH ANY CRIPPLING THOUGHT!

It’s still an ongoing process. However, after years of practice, I’ve managed to find myself in a space where I’m able to catch those kinds of thoughts in their infancy stage and completely discredit every aspect of it before I allow it to affect my decision making… Pretty cool huh?! I know, but you can do it too!

I find that through this process, I am able to walk the Earth with confidence and declare that all that I desire can and will be mine with enough courage, work, will, faith, and fight.

And this my friends is how I manage to get out of my own way and manifest my dreams. There are a few more aspects that I can address later, but I hope something here resonates with you. If so, drop me a line below or shoot me an email at bcstarkspr@gmail.com.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

P.S.- K. M., see you soon! 😉 #ItsMine

Words of Wisdom

Fear is a question: What are you afraid of and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them…

-Marilyn Ferguson

Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can!! and I will!!

-Napoleon Hill

If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for correction and it’s not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic

-C. S. Lewis

Are You A Prisoner Of Fear?

The topic of fear has been one that I’ve visited often on the blog. Mostly because it’s the main source of many things that keep us separate from our truths. I still struggle with my own fears as I try to figure out my path and challenge old beliefs that no longer serve me. And man is it difficult to shatter learned paradigms!

Let’s be honest, we all know what it feels like to have hopes and dreams. But most of us know more about just wishing than we do the sweet taste of victory that accomplishing goals can bring. That’s because all too often we are so quick to talk ourselves right off the path of achieving them because we fear that we aren’t good enough, don’t have enough time or money, or resources, etc…

How then, do we ever expect things to change if we’re not willing to meet GOD halfway? After all, we are 100% responsible for our 50% part in co-creation with HIM. Dreams don’t just fall in one’s lap. You have to do more than just pray, you have to take bold and swift action.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead”- James 2:20 KJV

When you’ve done all that you can do with the spirit of excellence, God will match your effort with miraculous results. Sounds like something that you already know intellectually, right? Me too! Lol But that’s where this notion of fearful imprisonment comes in.

Being a prisoner of fear means playing small and shying away from your highest expression of self. It’s that thing you do instead of going after your dreams, or letting your voice be heard on things that matter most to you. Being a prisoner of fear means procrastination, because it’s much scarier to begin a thing, than it is to avoid it. Being a prisoner of fear means running away from the very things that you’ve always yearned for because to run towards it would almost make it too good to be true. As if you don’t deserve it… !!! Being a prisoner of fear means staying stuck in a cycle that just won’t let things get better for you.

Why we put ourselves through such agony and misery at times is one of humanities most sought after mysteries. So much so that religions have been formed around the very idea of either reasoning fear, easing fear or creating more of it.

Being a prisoner of fear is not what God intended for us, yet its the source of overcoming for many people’s journey. Often seen as a great protector, fear only means imprisonment when we keep ourselves separate from the expansion of spirit, and the new-found awareness to do and be more in life.  The result is we avoid honoring our callings, talents, visions, desires all because it scares us far more to face the fear than to overcome it.

Are you a prisoner fear? If, so I’d like to know how you came to realize it and what you aspire to do to overcome it. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email and your testimony can be featured on the blog!

Until next time,

❤ @BCSTARKS

Here’s Why Every Relationship We Ever Have Is SO Important!

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My hope is that I’ve captured this photo large enough for you to read the script on the page. I read this lesson on the importance of relationships last night in my latest favorite book, “A Return to Love” by Merrianne Williamson and it knocked my socks off! Talk about a gut check…

Its always so easy to play victim or to feel like life is happening to us that we tend to forget that when it comes to interactions, it takes two. The energy that you put out, is the very thing that you will get in any interaction. I love this passage b/c it reminds us to focus on love instead of fear, because its the only thing that truly exists; everything else is just an illusion to distract us from the face, goodness, and mercy of God. And those are the things that seperate us from our “Christ-like” ways. A Course In Miracles teaches us that we, like Jesus, were created in God’s likeness (even our thoughts mirror His when we focus on love). The only difference is that we learned to be fearful, which takes on so many negative expressions in life that we often choose wrong. To “sin” merely means to “miss the mark” or to “choose fear over love” and nothing more. In any instance we can choose to be a force of Love or a force of fear. God does not punish us for choosing wrong; for when we choose fear, we are choosing to be in pain. When we choose Love, we choose to heal and be of God’s light. God is not a punishing God despite the teachings of some religions! Instead, he’s always there waiting for us to realize how much he Loves us, and how much he needs us to love ourselves and each other in order to do his will. Thank God for His mercy on us that everyday that we awaken, we have the ability to choose again… we have the chance to choose Love and have evidence of it show up in the form of our relationships and our overall lives on Earth. Amen!

Love this book people! Go get it already and be blessed!,

@BCSTARKS