The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
~ Dr. Zeuss
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. Another amazing quote by Dr. Zeuss. And it’s true. Words are powerful. My childhood reading experience was pretty colorful. From school textbooks, to story books to the Bible, reading was a sweet source of entertainment for me back then. There was no television in my home. My grandfather thought it was too distracting and a waste of money. Perhaps the fact that he could not read or write had something to do with his mindset.
And then the summer of my 11th year rolled in, and I went to live with my mother, who was also an avid reader. She had a wardrobe with books, which she kept locked. Intrigue set in. I thought to myself, “Why were those books locked away? They must be really special.”…..and oh, my mother had a television.
One day after my mom left for work, my sister and I took a large safety pin – a trick I definitely learned from watching the television – and to our amazement, we managed to pick the padlock on the wardrobe. And there they were, books from top to bottom, thick, musty smelling books with handsome men and busty women adorning the covers.
To say I was curious was an understatement. I opened to a random page, and what I read changed me forever: Salacious, sexy, and rated R content was what kept that door under lock and key. From that point on, I’d steal into the wardrobe, read books and put them back. My mother didn’t have a clue. No matter what, I’d always find time between my Biology, Chemistry and other studies to sit and marinate over the drama on the pages of the historical romance novels. Long story short, I began to crave for what I was reading. It’s not that what I was reading was wrong.
But soon I began to crave what I was reading: love, romance, gallantry, happy ever after, etc. And long story short, I became a mother at 19. The moral of this story is, what we read we crave and what we crave we ultimately seek out and find.
Reading the romance novels ended even before motherhood, and shortly after the onset of motherhood, my reading again, involved, chemistry, biology, and lots of other textbooks. Education became my focus, my desire was to earn a degree that would allow me to find a great job to help provide for my new child and family the way I dreamed of. And yes, I yearned for and got my degrees.
Though I managed to get a few books read here and there during my teaching career, I didn’t read a whole lot for myself. Most of my time was spent knee deep in science textbooks in order to master the curriculum for teaching. And that held until a transition began in my late 30’s and the desire for self-improvement, and self-care became overwhelming.
This reading beauty was at it again, and I began to gobble up self-help books galore. As you can imagine, the more self-improvement and self-help books I digested, the greater the desire became to improve and care for myself. And so, I kept reading, and doing, and then doing and sharing and then sharing and teaching. I suspect this is how it will be for the rest of my life.
These days I read physical books and listen to audible on the go. I read about four or five per month. So, in no particular order, here are four books I wish I’d read earlier in my life, but nonetheless, they are books that changed the way I show up in life.
The Year Of Yes: Shonda Rhimes
The Four Agreements: Don Miguel Ruiz
The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho
Rising Strong: Brené Brown
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com