6 Books To Inspire Your Next Leap

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

6 Books To Inspire Your Next Leap

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

~Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

I was recently asked to recommend some books and resources that inspired me to take the leap to follow my heart and gut, and move to Boulder to attend Naropa University.  The question inspired me to reflect on what moved me at that time, and I thought that the materials may be of service.  Enjoy!


Unknown1. The Way Of The Happy Woman, by Sara Avant Stover.  As a woman, connecting with the cycles of nature has been the best healing I’ve experiences.  Avant Stover blends modern science and ancient wisdom in this guide that affirmed what I already intuitively knew in my body.  I re-read this book every time the seasons change, to help me connect with the gifts of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  This book always reminds me to trust my instincts, to honor my body, and to do what I know is true.

Unknown52. Letters to A Young Poet, by Ranier Maria Rilke.  It’s not always, or often, easy to get support and encouragement to take a risk and follow a dream, “Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.”  Letters reminded me to trust my instincts, but also that support can be out there in the most unlikely relationships.


Unknown23. The Alchemist, by Paolo Cuelho. The simplicity and poignancy of this story is what captured my imagination and brought me to questions like: what is my unique gift in the world?  What is my giant adventure?  Who is my true love?  What is my treasure?  These questions inspired me to follow my dreams, and to trust the process and the journey along the way, even when I’ve gotten off course.

Unknown44. The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard.  I love Annie Dillard so much, I named my puppy after her.  I was first introduced to her first novel, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, during a creative nonfiction class, and I fell in love with creative writing, the natural world, and Dillard.  I picked up this book during a time when I knew what I wanted to do in life, but habit and convention were holding me back.  Dillard reminded me that living, like writing, is an act of courage and creation.

Unknown35. Breakfast with Buddha, by Roland Merullo.  My cousin handed this book to me as I was passing through my road trip tour on the way to Boulder.  At the time, I didn’t know exactly where I was going to land, but I had applied to graduate school at a contemplative Buddhist university.  As a reluctant skeptic, I was tickled by how much this fun read applied to me.  I just love a good dive into fiction and good literary tension.

Unknown6. The Accidental Buddhist, by Dinty Moore.  Moore is actually a professor at the college where I earned my degree in English Literature, and I always enjoy meeting him.  I’ve now read about half of his written works.  He is also a leader in the field of creative non-fiction, and this book exemplifies the way that reading, like writing and research and living, is an act of discovery, curiosity, frustration, and honesty.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

~Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

What inspired you to take risks and leaps?  What books have fallen into your life at just the right time, with the message you needed to hear?  I’d love to know your favorite books and stories in the comments below!

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