CREATOR | SPARKLY | RAWENTHUSIASM | FEARLESS | MAGICAL | CENTERED |
I have always loved books and since as far back as I can remember, I have had several books going all at the same time. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, school books, etc. I have also never felt bound to read books a certain way. Sometimes I finish them, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I start from the beginning, sometimes I start from the end. Even in fiction, I love reading the ending first so I can see the way the author builds the story up. Drives my husband crazy!
Clearly, I could not limit myself, as I selected 11 books and 6 series! What I loved about this process was spending the day at my bookshelf flipping through books. I also emailed my mom and my husband and asked them for their top books, and we discussed books all afternoon. Now I am inspired to dig into my Emmet Fox (my mom’s favorite, who I haven’t read in years) and Marcus Borg (my husband’s favorite, who we studied a long time ago in a newlywed bible study class). What I am sitting with now is the simplicity and universality of the messages of most, if not all of these books. It’s interesting how, as humans, we complicate life so much!
LORA CHEADLE is a fully recovered attorney turned Life Choreographer®, bestselling author, international speaker, and – wait for it – burlesque dancer. She believes that women deserve to be seen for who they are, not for what they do or who they are in relation to others. Her mission is to make every woman so clear and confident in herself and her worth that she is comfortable being and expressing who she is without pretense or cover. Which frees women from judgment, allows them to define and validate success on their own terms, and lets them feel satisfaction, joy, and enthusiasm for life right now – not when they lose fifteen pounds, finds love, or the kids leave home.
Integrating her unique skills as an attorney, hypnotherapist, and aficionado of all things dance and fitness-related, Lora coined the term Life Choreographer® to describe her methodology for teaching women how to reclaim their sovereignty and own their Naked Self-Worth®, which is the ability to value themselves for who they are, not for who they do.
She is the creator of Yogalesque™ and the author of FLAUNT! Drop Your Cover and Reveal Your Smart, Sexy and Spiritual Self. You can listen to her top-rated radio show and podcast, FLAUNT! Build Your Dreams, Live Your Sparkle at www.loracheadle.com.
[ED’s NOTE: In keeping with the rules, we are only publishing 10 of Lora’s books here, but we will discuss the eleventh on her episode of our Face to Face Live Video interview series.]
My 10 Best
You Can Heal Your Life
by Louise Hay
I have no idea when I first read this book. It seems like it’s been a part of my life forever, and it’s one I return to more often than any other book. It’s a simple listing of possible emotional reasons for physical ailments. Every time anyone I love has a physical problem; I look it up for them. Every time I have a physical problem, I look it up for me. Nine times out of ten it is spot on, and I’m able to use the affirmations to change my emotional state and heal my body. If you have a body, this is a must-own resource.
The Yoga of Jesus
by Paramahansa Yogananda
This book takes the gospels and explains them in terms of consciousness, and how to become Christlike and awaken your own Christ consciousness within. It’s a book I can never get through, (nor do I want to “be done” with it) instead I read “at” it, because I have to take time to digest its teachings and apply the gospels in a new and different way. I actually read a section every Christmas in honor of Christ and the true messages of love and self-empowerment that taught the world. For me it’s a great way to cut through dogma and clutter and misinterpretation and get down to the essence of Christ. For anyone frustrated or confused by religion, this is my top recommendation.
Conversations with God series
by Neale Donald Walsch
I could never get tired of these books! I love that Neale Donald Walsch is such a normal man who asks normal, relevant questions of God and that God answers back so normally, yet with profound wisdom. It’s like reading letters from a friend who is not afraid to confide their deepest parts and to hear the calm, reassuring response from God telling your friend (and you) that it’s all going to be OK. I used to keep these books in the car with me and I’d read them as I’d wait for my kids at soccer, piano practice, or to come out of school. I was able to engage instantly with the content, have a few aha! moments, and be able to put them down and move on without losing my place. Being a lawyer, I like resources, and I love that these books have an index. Concerned about climate change? Let me look it up and see what God has to say! Like Louise Hay, these books are resources.
Little Soul and the Sun – a children’s book
by Neale Donald Walsch
This book lives on my nightstand as a reminder that those who do evil in the world are Little Souls just like I am. It’s a simple story about two souls who are ready to come to earth. One soul agrees to do terrible things to the other soul so that soul can learn about forgiveness. The reframe, that it takes a strong soul to be able to come to earth and do something against its very nature in order to help another soul learn is powerful to me. I can’t even think about the book without crying. Seriously… And when I have been victimized or hurt in any way, this is the first book I go to. It was a staple in recovering from my husband’s infidelity. For anyone who has been victimized in any way, you must read (and ponder) this book.
Living Your Yoga
by Judith Lasater
This is a book that can be read many times because its wisdom is applicable in a different way at different times in your life. It’s filled with simple stories about how she applies the wisdom of the yoga sutras to her own life. Like Conversations with God, it’s done in normal, everyday language. One doesn’t have to feel like they are unworthy for asking such “dumb” questions or for messing up and acting like a jerk in life, even when one knows better. It’s a simple, understandable study of how to take esoteric concepts and apply them to your everyday.
I first read this book when I started yoga and did my teacher training. It was a great way to take the concepts of the sutras and actually apply them, instead of being stuck in my head or all high and philosophical about things.
The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle
I am not my mind. The whole book can be summarized in these five words. Again, as a former lawyer, I love to think and cultivate my mind. Yet, I am not my mind. I am that which observes my mind. Whoa… It’s like when you are a kid and you can’t seem to grasp the idea of eternity. Actually, I still have a hard time grasping it! This is yet another book to return to time and again when you feel like life is moving along too quickly and that you are only along for the ride, not directing the ride. Ironically, I have never actually finished this book. Or A New Earth. I literally read sections that apply to me at the moment and I have a huge aha! moment and then walk away until the next time I feel out of control. The book was recommended to me by my day-care lady who saw how exhausted I was, always chasing the next moment, trying to get ahead of always being late and behind, yet never succeeding. Anyone who feels out of control needs this book!
Same Soul, Many Bodies, Many Lives,
Many Masters by Brian Weiss
Apparently, I like series, because Brian Weiss is another author whose work I have read extensively. Why I chose these books is because of the continuity of life. I loved the curiosity aspect that we, as souls, have over our past lives and lessons and experiences, and how we can carry things with us—both positive and negative—from one life to the next, and the ease with which we can access the wisdom and experiences from each lifetime if we just open up to that wisdom. It made me less attached to this life, which has made me live a better and more rewarding life. Not like, “Oh boy! You get a do-over!” but in terms of allowing myself the opportunity to experience the now, now. In conjunction with The Power of Now, this is powerful stuff.
This book fostered my interest in hypnotherapy as legitimate science and was the impetus for becoming a certified hypnotherapist. I felt like only accessing our current mind limited us so much and I never wanted to be that limited again!
The Law of Attraction Series
by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Wow, wow, wow! I love all of their books! I had many of these books for years, but quite honestly, I never really understood them or got into it. It seemed so simple and kind of silly. Then, when I was trying to recover from, and make sense of, my husband’s infidelity, a friend told me to read these books and to listen to Esther on YouTube. WOW, did it click in! Suddenly every word, and the discussion of the emotions and how we can use our emotions to determine if we are going in the right direction, made sense! I understood my husband’s emotional state, and how his emotional state made him make the choices he made. I saw my emotional state and how my emotional state made he and I mirrors of each other’s behavior, and that even though there was nothing in me that caused his cheating, how I was a vibrational match for that experience to come to me. Holy cow! So powerful and so profound that I could take responsibility for my own vibration and that what he did or did not do was not mine to worry about. I also loved the focus on feeling good. As an overachiever I had been trained to believe that sacrifice was noble, and that feeling good was sloth-like. Wrong-o! I recommend listening to some YouTube videos to really understand how this material is applied. In book form alone, I don’t think it’s as impactful unless you have heard or seen it in action.
Seat of the Soul
by Gary Zukav
Like so many of the books I’ve mentioned, I started this book years ago, and came back to it last year in a book club. I was in the process of writing my own book at the time, with many deadlines from my publisher and with a lot of fear around my own worthiness. I loved how the book grounds you to yourself. Similar to the Law of Attraction books, it is about creating your own reality, but it is done so in a more intellectual way. I think it takes it deeper because of the examples of how you do it as opposed to that you do it. It was perfect to read during my final book writing process because it gave me the big-picture focus of what I was creating, which was not just a book, but a movement. If you saw or read The Secret, this book is almost like going behind the scenes to show you how and why it all works.
Traveling Mercies &
Bird by Bird Anne Lamott
I read these books when my kids were in elementary school and my husband was traveling non-stop. There was always so much to do, and I could never seem to do it all. To make matters worse, I was so mired in survival that I wasn’t able to express myself creatively, which was very difficult for me because I am a prolific creator. And I’m a perfectionist! As a chronic overachiever, I was used to creating amazing things, and I was at a phase in my life where I couldn’t even complete dinner or cleaning the kitchen without being interrupted. Both of these books brought me so much grace, allowed me to let go of any idea of perfection, and to relish my messiness. And just the concept of how do you get the entire report on birds done? You get it done bird by bird., Was soul-shifting for me. I could get the dishes done or the diapers done, one at a time, and feel satisfaction in the process, not the conclusion. To this day, when there is a task that seems monumental, I tell myself, “Bird by bird, Lora, bird by bird.”