Elevated Existence December 2016 Spiritual/Self-Help Book Picks

Each month, a ton of new spiritual and self-help books hit the market. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or miss out on some new releases.

We created Elevated Existence Monthly Book Picks to help our readers narrow down their search, and make sure they don’t miss some great options!

The books for this month were chosen by our editor’s as their picks for December 2016. They are listed below in alphabetical order. Click on each title to go directly to Amazon and find out more about the book.


curvy-and-confident“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident — 101 Stories about Loving Yourself and Your Body,” by Amy Newmark, Emme and Natasha Stoynoff
This new collection of 101 stories celebrated different body types women have and how to be curvy and confident. Supermodel EMME, the world’s first curvy supermodel shares her story and introduces other women who have learned to be fit, happy and confident about their bodies.


the-intuitive-dance-small“The Intuitive Dance: Building, Protecting and Clearing Your Energy,” by Atherton Drenth
Offering practical exercises and easy-to-follow techniques, this book is aimed at helping you dance with your ego and find inner calm. Atherton Drenth, a certified medical intuitive and holistic energy practitioner will share how to determine your intuitive type, center and ground your energy, rest fully when you sleep, cut energy cords and more.


jump-by-steve-harvey“Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance,” by Steve Harvey
Bestselling Steve Harvey’s message is simple: You need to Jump like your life depends on it — because it does if you truly want a life of peace and abundance. He shares seven vulnerable seasons of his own life including being homeless and living out of his car, flunking out of college, a second failed marriage and owing the IRS $20 million. He teaches his core principles, including identifying the lesson and blessing in all life brings your way; placing past mistakes in the rearview mirror and creating a fresh life story; letting go of people weighting us down and more.


kindness-challenge-small“The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship,” by Shaunti Feldhahn
Do you want to improve one of your relationships in the next 30 days? Author Shaunti Feldhahn shows you how based on years of research into the power of kindness. Learn three simple acts to make all the difference in any relationship, the seven ways you may be unkind and not realize it, eight types of kindness, 10 obstacles that get in the way of giving praise, and more to transform your relationships in only one month.


life-on-earth-mike-dooley-small“Life on Earth: Understanding Who We Are, How We Got Here, and What May Lie Ahead,” by Mike Dooley
Taking the form of a journal, author Mike Dooley asks questions about life that are on his mind and let’s the answers come from his higher self. He takes on topics, including why and how to see through the “illusions” of life on earth; how to make sense of natural disasters and manmade tragedies, wealth, relationships and past lives; and the ultimate reason for life on earth and elsewhere.


making-life-easy-small“Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life,” by Christiane Northrup M.D.
Bestselling author Dr. Christiane Northrup explores the essential truth that has guided her ever since medical school — our minds, bodies and souls are profoundly intertwined. In this book, you will earn to untie the knots of blame and guilt that harm your health; use sexual energy consciously to increase vitality; balance your microbiome through healthy eating; communicate directly with the Divine and more.


manifesting-made-easy-jen-mazur-small“Manifesting Made Easy: How to Harness the Law of Attraction to Get What You Want,” by Jen Mazer
Many of us have hidden stumbling blocks preventing us from achieving the abundance we deserve. Known as the Queen of Manifestation, transformation coach and author Jen Mazer takes you through a step-by-step approach to manifesting the things you desire, from understanding what you want to mapping out ways to make it a reality. It incudes exercises prompts, success stories and more.


mind-body-baby-small“Mind Body Baby: How to Overcome Stress and Enhance your Fertility with CBT, Mindfulness and Good Nutrition,” by Ann Bracken
Top fertility specialist Ann Bracken offers proven, successful guidance on how to enhance and improve the outcome of fertility, using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, and step-by-step exercises to improve the chance of conceiving. It also includes a chapter on nutrition from renowned nutritionist Dr. Marilyn Glenville.


the-mindful-twentysomething-small“The Mindful Twenty-Something: Life Skills to Handle Stress . . . and Everything Else,” by Holly Rogers
Co-founder of the extremely popular Koru Mindfulness program developed at Duke University offers a unique and evidence-based approach to help make decisions with more clarity and confidence. The mindfulness program — in use at numerous college campuses, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton, show significant benefits for sleep, perceived stress and self-compassion, and Holly Rogers shares this to help all young adults deal with stress.


the-science-of-positivity-small“The Science of Positivity: Stop Negative Thought Patterns by Changing Your Brain Chemistry,” by Loretta Graziano Breuning
Learn how cynical thought habits are formed and how to rewire yourself to go beyond them from neurochemical expert Loretta Graziano Breuning. This includes simple, practical actions you can take to shift your thinking to a new way, causing your brain to reward optimism with the release of happy chemicals. In just minutes a day for six-weeks, you will build new pathways to see the world in new ways.


wake-up-to-the-joy-of-you-small“Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life,” by Agapi Stassinopoulos
Make 2017 your year of self-discovery as Agapi Stassinopoulos walks you 52 weeks of meditations to let go of what isn’t working and open up to what does. Learn about self-care, including meditation, health and making time for yourself, and confront roadblocks, such as pouring your energy into other people or living in denial. It addresses relationships, money, self-esteem, anxiety and your childhood, and helps to connect to the spirit inside of you.


year-of-yes-journal-small“The Year of Yes Journal,” by Shonda Rhimes
A companion to Shonda Rhimes’ success book “The Year of Yes,” this journal allos you to chronicle your own year of “yes” and is broken out by month and day, with each month offering a theme, such as “Yes to Help,” and “Yes to Doing.” It’s bound with a gold-foiled stamped, blue case, and includes prompts for reflection and a six-month mark check-in, as well as one at the end of the year.

Jack Canfield’s Secret to Achieving Goals Faster

Setting goals is the first key to attaining them. In addition to writing goals for every area of our life, including career, relationships, finances and health, Canfield recommends choosing a “breakthrough goal,” which is something that would provide a quantum leap and change our life dramatically. It could be writing a bestselling book, tripling our income or losing 50 pounds.

Once we have it set, we can apply what he calls the “Rule of 5,” meaning we commit to doing five things each day to move us closer to that goal. This not only allows us to focus on the goal, but also to take action steps.

“It gives you a multiple approach to any problem. By doing five things a day, you have a much better shot at getting any goal you want to achieve,” Canfield explains in the September 2013 issue cover story, using the example of losing weight. “A lot of people just follow a diet, but what if they applied the ‘rule of 5?’”

As an example, here are five things someone could do each day to achieve weight loss, according to Canfield:

1. Cut back on carbs in the diet
2. Drink 10 glasses of water each day to help detox and flush out toxins
3. Deep breathing exercises to raise your metabolism
4. Take a walk each night after dinner
5. Read something inspirational about weight loss

He also shared what he calls his “Big 5,” which he created for his daily business life:

1. Write for at least one hour
2. Read for at least one hour
3. Appreciate at least five people on his staff every day
4. File anything that comes across his desk, or delete it if it’s an email so he doesn’t have clutter building up
5. Manage his staff by walking around and checking in to see how their work is going, and if they need anything such as resources or help

At home, he has a list of five personal actions to do each day. These include:

1. Exercise
2. Meditate
3. Visualizations and affirmations
4. A gratitude exercise
5. Perform a daily review at the end of every day

“The daily review is for whatever I’m working on improving. So if I’m working on having more patience, I will close my eyes and ask myself where I could have been more patient during the day,” he says. “Invariably one, two or three events will come up, and what I do is visualize how they would have gone if I had been more patient.”

Whether we are working on patience, perseverance, assertiveness, being more effective or even a discipline of returning phone calls, we can use this visualization exercise to “lay a blueprint for the next day in the subconscious mind,” and we will see it improve over time, he says.

Additionally, to bring more gratitude into his daily life, he now spends at least five minutes writing in a journal to list all of the things he is grateful for in his life – from the carpet in the house and the person who wove it, to the plants in his office and his wife for watering them.

“Rarely do we actually stop and express that gratitude to God, source energy or the universe,” he notes. “There is so much we have because of other people’s efforts. Just the fact that the sun came up and we didn’t have an earthquake in California today. The more I have done this, the more magical life seems to get.”

For more from Canfield, see the September 2013 issue cover story, where you will learn:

—  The spirituality and synchronicity behind much of his success, including Kundalini yoga and meditation

—  4 techniques for overcoming fear and limiting beliefs

—  Book recommendations from his personal reading list

—  The 30-Day Principle to creating lasting change


The Original “Chicken Soup for the Soul” 20th Anniversary Book Released With 20 Bonus Stories by Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz and More

Open Road Media and Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing are releasing a 20th Anniversary ebook edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, with 20 bonus stories from today’s thought leaders, including Deepak Chopra; surgeon, author and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz; small-business expert Tory Johnson, and happiness expert Robert Holden. The book features 101 stories in total.

Dr. Oz talks about relying on faith as well as science to save the life of a depressed patient; nationally-recognized leader in human-development training Anthony Robbins, tells of how he handled the terrifying moment when his father-in-law almost died in his arms; and Deepak Chopra, MD, shares his moving thoughts on the power of love.

Other incredible contributors include Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Cancer; don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements; and author and filmmaker M. K. Asante. These uplifting additions to the original will connect the book to a new generation of readers while flowing seamlessly with the classic stories that millions know and love.

As public relations influencer and entrepreneur Heidi Krupp writes in the foreword: “Chicken soup is more than a food—it’s what your mom feeds you when you’re sick, it’s what you eat when you need the ultimate comfort food, it’s recommended by doctors for the body and for the mind.”

To order the paperback version click here: Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years

To order the kindle edition, click here: Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years


Jack Canfield’s Advice on Manifesting

In a recent teleseminar held by Steve Harrison of Reporter Connection, Jack Canfield spoke about how he managed to make a household name of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books after he was rejected by 144 publishers. And even when he did convince someone to publish it, it still took 18 months before it hit the best-sellers list!

He shared his mission statement, “To inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy,” and spoke about how often we hold ourselves back because we don’t think its “spiritual” to sell our product, service, etc., or to market ourselves with the intention of selling.

“You have to believe in the work your doing and believe what you have is extremely valuable, and that you are depriving them by not letting them know about it,” Canfield explained, advising we come from the approach of “I have a solution to the problem you have,” even if it’s just an entertaining book that will take their mind of off things for a while.

Here are some of his tips for getting ourselves into the mindset of success, and helping to remove some of the resistance that may be holding us back:

1. He took the New York Bestseller’s List and put white out on the name of the No. 1 book. In a similar font, he typed in “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” to remind him and his co-author to close their eyes throughout the day and visualize themselves as No. 1. “I visualized us a No. 1 and having sold 150,000 books. I saw the store window filed with our books, and would spend eight or nine minutes a day, every morning visualizing at least 10 different images like that,” he said.

2. When he was writing the book, he always referred to it as “best-selling,” and actually told people he was in the middle of writing a best-selling book.

3. Dream big. Canfield said it doesn’t take any more time to dream a big dream than to dream a small one, so aim high.

4. Canfield currently uses a vision board as his screen saver, and has images running by to represent all of his current goals.

5. “If you are going to be successful, you have to be a giver,” he said, explaining he often designates a charity to receive a portion of his book sales.

Canfield’s newest book is being released this Friday called “The Golden Motorcycle Gang,” based on a vision he had early in his career on why he is a teacher in this lifetime.