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Believe Bunnies Coaching Energy Purpose Rescue Teacher Life

I’m Not Busy

Don’t get me wrong—there’s lots of activity happening at headquarters but I do not feel busy.

Last week, a dear friend posted a graphic on Facebook, prompting scrollers to describe her life using only GIFs. I have a GIF obsession, so of course I was into this. For this friend, I posted a Green Acres GIF (don’t be surprised that those are sparse) because she’s a Glamazon who lives on a farm.

Several dozens of us reposted the graphic for ourselves. I was having a Valerie Cherish moment, so I picked GIFs from The Comeback for most. Then I waited for mine to roll in.

Of course, most featured rabbits (side note: that overly populated “rabbit island” in Japan isn’t cute to me—those poor rabbits have no care, no food and no shelter. But I know your intention in posting that one wasn’t bad!) and some others featured a theme of Zen, rainbows, unicorns and yoga mats. Then, there were the ones that got me: the ones that looked or even said chaos or chaotic.

Radical honesty: my life does not feel chaotic from the inside. And I sincerely hope I don’t portray that it is chaotic or unmanageable.

I used to feel tired all the time. I used to feel like I had no time for anything, like I was always busy, like there wasn’t enough time in a week to do what I had to do in a day. Ironically, that was when I was working one job, living with my family and not volunteering. I perceived my daily life as one of overwhelm and exhaustion. It didn’t help that I was hanging around with a lot of people who spun that same story in their lives, doing little more than just getting by, complaining the whole way through.

Now, I don’t feel busy because I am clear on what I am doing, why I am doing it and I am faithfully judicious with my time. Time hasn’t changed. I’ve learned to manage my activities. My Green Acres Glamazon is the one who taught me that you can’t manage time but you can manage activity. But even before I knew it in those terms, I was making it happen. The key, for me, is routine and consistency. It’s setting up systems to make it all work with efficacy and ease. I now work that same job, run two businesses, volunteer daily, co-manage a household and sleep 8+ hours a night. I don’t say this to impress you; I say this to impress upon you that you can feel at ease and get it all done. Manage the activity. The time is going to flow on its own.

A typical weekday looks like this for me:

4:30 am: Meditate, write, reflect, sometimes yoga

5:15 am: Get ready for work

6:45 am -2:30 pm: Work the day job

3:30 pm: Reflect, regroup, straighten up the house

4:30 – 7:30 pm: Volunteer work, business work

8:00 pm: Sweet dreams, babies.

 

With routine, I can get everything done and feel a flow, feel at ease. There are days that vary from the quick list above, for sure. Things come up but since I have a solid routine that works for me (my way is not for everyone!) I’m able to manage special events, the unexpected or whatever else life can throw at us.

I know many of you, dear readers, are still retching at the thought of getting up at a time that begins with a 4, unless it’s to catch an early flight somewhere. You don’t have to follow my way! This is what works for me. I am far less effective at anything I attempt to do, particularly writing and “brain work” in the evening. Remember there’s nothing wrong or weird about being a night owl or an early bird. Know thyself and soar.

I promise that there’s little chaos, and when it does creep in, I know how to breathe, step away and manage it. You too can feel at ease and feel like you’re getting it all done, whether you do one thing or all the things. Overwhelm and exhaustion does not have to be your story any longer.

 

Ready to set up your routine? I’m here.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Rescue Vision

Sometimes I think, “everybody wants to help until it’s time to help” but it’s time to stop that way of thinking. That is blocking the help from showing up. In rescue, it’s always time to help.

There has not been one day in my 7+ years volunteering when no help was needed. Time to apply what I teach and coach. How often we neglect to practice what we preach and teach…

My ultimate vision is that rescue doesn’t have to exist, a world in which domestic rabbits are fully safe and protected. Yes, I want us to go out of business.

But in the meantime, I’ll cast this vision:

-Our veterinary bills are paid in full.

-Requests for transports are filled promptly and consistently.

-Our foster rabbits are happy and active. They are supplied with an abundance of soft-rugged indoor space and enriching toys.

-People make informed choices before adding a rabbit, or any being, to their families.

-Our volunteer squad is rich with motivated, compassionate, dedicated, loyal and kind people. We have so much help that we have to create tasks to satiate their desire help!

 

We continue to save more lives than ever, to complete and  enrich more families than before, to make a positive difference for the most grateful little furry ones.

And it’s an honor to live out my life’s purpose alongside such a remarkable team.

“The whispers fade. The impact of your purpose stays.” -Melissa Poepping

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Reiki Rescue

Throwback: Why Rabbits?

I came across this gem that I wrote in October of 2016… and I love how every word is still true (or truer) today. Enjoy this throwback.

I’ve been asked the question “Why rabbits?” in a variety of contexts over the five years that I’ve been a bunny-mom and subsequently a rescuer.  I typically blink thrice and answer something along the lines of “uh, because… they are awesome.”  I’m sure I’ve given some more constructive answers when the asker is deserving of a quality response.  You, my darling readers, are deserving of a response, although many of you have your own “why” when it comes to our cotton-bottom babies.

Why rabbits…

  • Because the bunny-daddy and I live for our boys. They are the light of our lives.  Even when they are posing as bunstruction workers, Peanut and Tater Tot are the center of our world.    They turn 5 years old this month!

  • Because rabbits are the third most popular pet in America.

  • Because rabbits are the third most abandoned, neglected and abused animal in America.

  • Because, whether the day is sunshiny or downright dreadful, rabbits can always make you smile.

  • Because I can be their voice. As much as they understand us, they still can’t speak back with words.  With nose bonks, snuggles and sometimes grunts, they can though!

  • Because, and this “why” is highly personal, I’ve never felt more alive doing anything in my personal or professional life as I do when I’m giving a rabbit Reiki session, tending to chores at one of our foster homes or just lying on the floor with one of our boys.

  • Because it’s empowering to make a difference… and we are making a beautiful difference in the lives of these bunnies.

That’s how Rescue and Reiki have come together so gloriously for me.  There are tangible tasks, like catching a stray or cleaning a litter box, and there is energy work that heals, comforts and connects.  Put it all together and that’s why.  Why rabbits?  I can’t give you a point of peripety.  There wasn’t just one moment where time stopped and I was showered in golden light (well, now that I write that, there have been a number of moments like that… but we’ll save that topic for another day).  But it is rabbits.  Unequivocally.  I work for them, on the front lines, in the back office and in my energetic field all day, every day.  This hop cannot be stopped.  And I’d love to hear “Why rabbits” for you—please share in the comments!  Much love.

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angels Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Spirit Junkie Live: The Afternoon

In August, I shared with you three takeaways from the morning portion of Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Live. As we are just a smidge over a week away from the release of Gabby’s new book Super Attractor, today I am sharing with you my three favorite takeaways from the afternoon session of that beautiful day.

  1. When you’re “blocked,” you’re feeling unworthy of love.

You can blame it on outside circumstances. You can blame it on the government, the economy, the attitude of your partner… heck, you can even blame it on the rain (great, now you’re singing…) but the blocks you are experiencing are rooted in feelings of unworthiness. Most likely, these feelings are subconscious and those subconscious feelings and beliefs are the ones that put up the most intensely rooted blocks. Feeling unworthy is a separation of love.

Reprogramming time: This is not the time to beat ourselves up even more. This is a time for awareness. Recognize those feelings of unworthiness when they show up. Instead of just writing off another week of skipping the gym or of putting everyone else first as just how you are and how things will be, take a moment today to get quiet and dig deep. It is likely (I’m learning for me that it’s definite but I have to let you unfold your own journey) that your blocks are an absence of love and an absence of faith in yourself. Just get aware today. When you’re ready to release the blocks, I’m here.

  1. Trust that you don’t have to do it all.

Controlling is a block. The need to do it all for yourself, for everyone, the need to make it all happen… when Gabby was talking about this, I felt like my spirit was on fire. This is my story! How did she know?! I don’t need you. I don’t anyone but my parents and my uncles. Those last two sentences are programmed so deeply in my subconscious. And I completely honor and love that I have those four people who never let me down and taught me to never let myself down. But, darn… doing it all is a lot of pressure…

Reprogramming time: Let your support in. This is my biggest block, so we can work on reprogramming this together. Gather around, superwomen who do it all. Just for this moment: give it all up. Surrender. Trust that you don’t have to do it all. Trust the universe. Trust that there are other people who will support you… you just have to learn how to pick ‘em. And, yes, I have some guidance on that too, when you’re ready. But for now, just take the next moments to let tasks go undone, to let someone help you, to exhale with an audible sigh and say “Universe, I let your support in.” Repeat as needed… and watch the magic happen.

  1. Quotable moments

I leave you with some quotes from Gabby, sans Denise-commentary. Drink them in. I want you to feel these words without my interpretation.

“You will be taught what you’re meant to teach”

“You don’t have to have pain to have purpose”

“In that imperfection, you have more to teach”

 

Local loves: The spiritual/personal development book club that I co-host will be reading Gabby’s new book Super Attractor over the next 2 months. We’d love to have you join us! Message me for information.

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Believe Energy

Keeping it Light

I was on the phone with my dear friend D the other night and she passed a comment marveling about how much television I manage to watch, all while working a full-time job, managing a non-profit, running two businesses and sleeping 8-12 hours a night.

I laughed… but it’s true. The secret is that I rarely sit and just watch TV. There’s just always a television show, radio show, podcast or music playing in the background of all I do. The background noise keeps me focused. It’s not a technique I recommend for anyone—in fact it would be incredible distracting and counterproductive for most people.

The only time it’s silent in our house is when I’m writing (like right now), when I’m reading or when I’m not home. Even the musician in the family can handle silence better than I can. I only need or even want silence when I’m focusing or channeling. Otherwise, I’ve conditioned myself to need to tune out the background. Ironic because I grew up in a house with only 2 other people (my parents) and even my dorm life in college wasn’t the rockin’ scene of an 80’s movie, set on a big campus.

In honor of keeping it light… and hey, sometimes a distraction is welcome… I’ll share with you today what’s making all the noise around here!

Music: I’m in love with the new Slipknot album. And then I’ll spin some disco classics. Is eclectic the correct term… or just random?

Radio/Podcasts: I’m an avid listener of The Jason Ellis Show on Sirius but PLEASE… it’s not for everyone and definitely not rated PG. Just skip it. If you like this blog, you probably won’t like Ellis. Podcast-wise, I cannot get enough of What’s the Tee? with RuPaul and Michelle Visage and The Tully Show.

Television: Ahhhh the guiltiest pleasure, the greatest source of distraction for humankind until the advent of multiplayer video games and social media… The Office and Schitt’s Creek are basically on a loop in this house, like Sex and the City and My So-Called Life were back in my dorm room. I’m also background-watching classic Dynasty (although it was hard to get through some of the early episodes for me; the Stephen/Blake dynamic broke my heart), The Good Place and Cougar Town. I wasn’t kidding that I keep it light. Oh… and that’s an Amazon Prime, a Netflix and a Hulu. Look at me keeping it balanced!

 

But seriously, go read a book, outside if you can. It’s so much better for you. Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Spirit Junkie Live, Part 1

I had the blessing to work with one of my greatest teachers Gabby Bernstein earlier this month. I got that blessing by saying yes to what my heart and mind called for, rather than make excuses or sit on the curb, eating a plant-based sandwich, watching opportunity cruise on by.

You gotta go for it, my friends. Buy the ticket. Get on the train. Sign up for the course. Just go for it. The resources are there. They’re wherever they are now… and they are on their way to you, if you truly align with your desire (and if you’re already lost, it’s time to set up a call with me!).

To sit in the audience and be led by Gabby is nothing short of magic. Loyal readers know I’ve written about this several times (and expect more because we have VIP tickets to Gabby’s Super Attractor book tour in NYC next month). So, dear ones, here are my three bestest takeaways from the morning session of Spirit Junkie Live.

  1. Confidence comes from my ability to rely on a power greater than me.

Gabby opened up the morning with an anecdote about confidence, weaving the tale to define confidence as I’ve noted above. Often we mistake dominance or showing off for confidence. The loudest person in the room isn’t the most confident. We know this logically, but emotionally or subconsciously, we sometimes find ourselves playing small or leaving the situation entirely when the loud one starts up.

Reprogramming time: Let them do their thing and you do yours with your quiet, humble, calm confidence. You got this… and you don’t need to scream or overshare about it.

  1. Sometimes you have to show up broken.

Real talk. No filter. Zero Fs. All of these colloquialisms we use… and then we hide our reality in shame. We only post perfectly staged pictures. We back out of commitments if we aren’t at perfection. We hide our tough times, even from our inner circle. Gabby said, “Don’t be ashamed of your difficult times. It’s a disservice to the world when we allow our shame to keep us silent.”

Reprogramming time: Get real with yourself first, then release and share when you are ready. Let go of the need to call yourself stupid and feel embarrassed if you took your receipt but left your purchases on the counter at Staples on Thursday (me). Now, I know that’s not technically a broken moment… but I felt ashamed when that happened. I’m the one who teaches people to pay more mindful attention to their lives and I was so distracted that I left my construction paper and markers (I swear I teach high school) on the counter. I felt so dumb that I almost didn’t go back for the stuff. I seriously contemplated leaving it, even knowing in my conscious mind that no one in Staples knows or cares who I am and that leaving something behind is not a big deal. At all. But the thought of going back triggered my need to appear a certain kind of put-together.

I used my coaching skills on myself, talked it out with my best friend and ultimately went back to the store. The action of picking up the purchase was nothing— the broken was in the mind-mess that cropped up. I’m certainly not “fixed” now, but I feel like a piece was put into place by the mind work that happened around this moment.

  1. Scarcity of any commodity is an illusion.

This gem of wisdom came from Gabby’s coach Rha Goddess. We are abundant, people! Stop feigning like you don’t have time, like you can’t sleep, like there isn’t enough money. When you rock that mindset, more scarcity comes to you. We are programmed to be busy, tired and broke… but Rha said that’s all an illusion and if you’ve ever heard Rha speak, you know that her words are truth.

Reprogramming time: Pick one area where you feel lack or scarcity. Take an honest look at what you have in that area and if it really needs change for you to feel better and function better. Start with affirmations. Then, maybe you’ll incorporate habit changes and formation. Like everything else, this starts in the mind, in believing you can. Rolling your eyes? Feeling defeated? Then it’s definitely time to schedule that call with me.

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More from Spirit Junkie Live soon. Much love.

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Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Purpose Rescue

Why I Stopped Eating Meat…

and why I’ll never bug you to do the same.

You know those memories that are like movies in your head? This is one for me.

I was standing at the counter of the kitchen/living room/bunny room combo in our first house, sometimes referred to as The Little House. I was cutting a packaged chicken breast and I stopped. I looked over my right shoulder at our boy Tater Tot, our first born. The thought flashed through my mind: Why am I spending all of my free time saving one and now I’m slicing and eating another?

Taking meat out of my diet never, I mean never, occurred to me. Paradigm, our mental programming, has meat as a part of our diets. That’s just what we eat, right? I never thought about it beyond flavor and enjoyment before. It never had a face before.

At the time, I was volunteering for maybe a year or two with the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group. At this point, I was spending 7 or more hours per week volunteering, between answering emails and phone calls, covering shifts at foster homes and other various tasks. In addition to working full-time, 7 hours is a big chunk of “free time”—that’s more time than I was watching shows on Bravo in a week! So, there I was at the counter, one hand on the chicken breast, one hand on the knife, one heart and one mind at a turning point.

From that day, I gradually removed animal products from my diet. First went the white meat, anything remotely resembling the little loves we rescue. Then, everything else started to go. I just didn’t want it anymore—just didn’t make sense for me anymore. I could no longer make a value distinction between a dog and a cow, between a rabbit and a chicken, between a cat and a pig. I value them all the same now.

And that’s just the thing. I value them… my values. And my values do not have to be yours. I will never bug you to eat the way I do. I would have never made this change and definitely would not have stuck with it so faithfully if I didn’t have a meaningful reason, a true “why” behind it all. Please, do what feels right for you. Eat foods and make choices that take you to the best version of you, that make you feel happy and energized. If you are eating something that causes you physical pain afterward, it might be time to put that down and make a different choice. And that applies to what it is and to quantity!

Making the change to a plant-based diet was far less difficult than the paradigm will have you believe. And I’m happy I made my transition before this influx of processed “vegan junk food” hitting the mainstream shelves now. Delicious, sure… but not necessarily nutritious. My label-reading-ninja skills come into play with food as much as they do with personal care and household products.

Living my life my way… and always respecting your choice to live your life your way. That’s really all it is. That’s simply why I’ll never bug you to stop eating meat, to foster an animal, to do anything that you’re not necessarily interested in doing. Trust, I am nothing but delighted when I hear that someone is making a choice that honors the life of a living thing, but I know darn well that if anyone tried to force this way of eating and thinking on to me, it would have been repulsive. To paraphrase my coach Melissa, people don’t dislike change but people do not like to be changed. And to quote the guru James Hetfield, “Life is ours… we live it our way.”

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose Teacher Life Young Living

Eternal Summer

A teacher friend once said to me that July is like a month of Saturdays and August is like a month of Sundays. Now, that way of thinking only fits if you subscribe to the paradigm that Sundays are days that should be part relaxation and part dread for Monday and the week to come. I get it. I don’t completely relate but I get it. It’s easy to slip into the anxiety of watching the summer days dwindle off of the calendar, pressuring yourself to make the days count, having your own version of Costanza’s “Summer of George” (I can’t remember how that turned out for him, but judging by most of those Seinfeld follies, it was probably a fail and thus a poor example… but you get me).

Behold: 3 Ways to Convert your August into an Eternal Summer

  1. Get outside

Duh… sounds so basic but you know you’re not doing it enough! Depending on your climate, summer is the traditional time of beautiful weather and more sunshine. Science tells us that sunshine makes us happy! If you don’t believe science, try it for yourself. Get off of the couch. Leave the phone on the couch. Get outside. Walk around the block. Sit outside. Fine… take your phone with you and make your calls from outside. Take every chance you can to get out there and change up the same places you do your “stuff.”

If you’re objecting because of bugs or other outdoor annoyances, I have you covered. Go ahead… click this.

  1. Slow down

Stop trying to cram in so many errands, appointments, social events, family things, friend things… stop. Just stop. You know you can’t do it all in any other season—why are you putting this kind of stress on Summer You?! Make a list; then Triple D that list: Do it. Ditch it. Delegate it.

Commit to doing less so you can enjoy and be present with what you are doing. I catch myself often leaving the present to think about all of the stuff I should be, could be, need to be doing… and I miss out on so much of this precious season with that stinkin’ thinkin’!

Take one thing off of the calendar. Schedule some of those appointments for September or October (yes, schedule it now so it’s done and off of your mind—but don’t force yourself to do it all in August). And remember it’s okay to do nothing… just try to do nothing outside if you can!

  1. Do what you loved as a kid in summer!

You were a kid once. I might not have known you then, but I know you were. Close those beautiful eyes for a moment and think back to what brought you the most joy as kid in the summer. Watch those movies of Summer Little You play in your head. Let the emotions flow, if they come up. Feel the feelings of doing those treasured summertime things. Feel the warm breeze. Hear the giggles. Taste the treats.

Now flutter those gorgeous lashes open and smile. This week, or at least before August is over, recreate that beautiful memory! Maybe you can’t go to the exact place. Maybe the same people aren’t around anymore. But you absolutely can get into that spirit.

If you have human children, make them a part of it. Don’t get sad or frustrated if they don’t love whatever it is in the same way that you did as a child. Even if they aren’t into it, they will catch the spirit from you. They will, either now or in the future, appreciate the moment, the joy they see from you.

Yes… you can run through a sprinkler. I don’t care how old you are. If you don’t have a sprinkler, you better pull the car over next time you drive past sprinklers that are turned on. Toss a towel in the car today, just in case the opportunity arises.

 

Summertime vibes are a feeling, like all vibes are. Feeling, vibration, frequency is accessible to us wherever, whenever. Make August eternal… if that’s what you’d like. If you get outside, slow down and revisit at least the mindset if not the activity of something that made summer special to you in the past, you will reap the benefits of the sunny season long after the calendar changes.

Much love.

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angels Believe Bunnies Rescue

Some Rabbit Stories

I feel like I haven’t told you a rabbit story in a while…

That’s probably because I don’t feel like I own the stories as much as I used to. I feel very behind-the-scenes in Rescue… and I am NOT complaining. In fact, I prayed for this. I set very clear intentions with the Universe that the core group of volunteers, who were doing everything when I started helping out, would be matched by a team equal in passion, dedication and purpose and bigger in size.

Dreams come true. Intentions, with consistent work behind them, manifest.

Wednesday night, I sat in front of the computer screen, broadcasting to our group of volunteers and supporters about the various events of the day. I’m a fan of sharing as much of what’s going on as possible—clear communication is the foundation of making it work!

On Wednesday, on top of the day-to-day business of feeding and caring for foster rabbits, veterinary appointments and the like, we had a particularly active day. All at once:

-an adopter who lives well over an hour from the vet’s office needed a ride to said vet’s office, as her rabbit stopped eating. She doesn’t drive. Within minutes of asking for help, a volunteer arranged to drive her to and from an emergency appointment.

-we rescued a bunny who had been living outside for 3 years!! Outside for even 3 minutes in our climate/environment is dangerous. This rabbit had, of late, become the chew toy of the family’s new dog when the dog went outside to poop or play. That’s the short version of the story, as you can imagine. The rabbit is safe now.

-a rabbit who has been in our foster care for a bit over a year was diagnosed with cancer. Angel’s foster mother noticed that she hasn’t been finishing her food and hasn’t been very active. A volunteer took Angel in for a checkup and the doctor diagnosed Angel with cancer. X-rays show that it has metastasized in her chest. Now, we do everything we can to keep her comfortable… and dream of some angel of a person to show up and give her a forever home for whatever time she has left.

-a team of volunteers went out to rescue what was reported as two abandoned rabbits in a residential neighborhood in Suffolk County. Upon arrival, our team found out that these rabbits belonged to someone on the block who was not caring for them and letting them run in the street. The “owner” grabbed both rabbits in one hand and tossed them to our volunteers. Our group is unable to accept owner surrenders… but this wasn’t a typical surrender. These two rabbits, both male, are in rough shape, underweight, covered in bite marks and dirt. Their foster family is caring for them, teaching them to trust and making sure they have lots of delicious greens and hay to eat.

Those four situations, on top of the everyday operations, made for an energetically overwhelming day. But we’ve curated such a phenomenal team of volunteers and supporters… everything worked out the best it possibly could. I was able to focus and “call the plays,” capitalizing on my innate organizational skills. The team was able to execute and do the best we could for the greatest good. Then, I got to hop onto a Facebook Live and recap the day to our group of volunteers and supporters.

I am honored and humbled to work alongside such loving and dedicated people. Much love!

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Now Read This!

My dream life, which I live from time to time and will live full-time some day, consists of coffee, quiet, sunshine and reading. I’m often asked for book recommendations and am known to ask people what they are reading.

“What are you reading?” will be a standard question on the talk show I’ll have some day.

As Summer Denise gets extra time to turn the page, I thought this is the perfect time to share three must-reads from my mental list of approximately 6 million books that I think everyone should read!

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Have I gifted you a copy? If we are close in real life, I probably have. This little book is such a life-changer. The content, the agreements, are so straightforward that you almost feel like you must be missing something when you first read it. You are not missing anything—these truly are four simple agreements that, when you hold them with yourself, your life just feels lighter and better. The people around you will notice it too.

If you’re not super-spiritual, fret not. I think of this book as entry-level spirituality. And I’ll be surprised if you only read it once.

  1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Loyal readers, you knew Gabby would make an appearance on this list. She’s my teacher, my friend-in-my-head… I have the honor of working with her in person again next month and I’m beyond inspired. Her work has set me on this beautiful path of living in my authenticity and becoming one of the happiest people I know.

Recently, someone asked me how I first “found” Gabby and, while I pride myself on having an exceptional memory, this I cannot remember. I guess the universe just put her work in my path. I’m glad I listened.

  1. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

I had to get a work of fiction on here and this is one that has both literary merit and accessibility to the non-English major. It is also the only work for which I can say without hesitation that the movie is as good as the book. For real. So treat yourself to both.

 

Once you get through those three, let me know; I have 5,000,097 more books to recommend to you. Oh, and while I have you… what are you reading?

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