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Kat Von D, a well-known entrepreneur, TV personality and passionate animal rights activist, was once asked what inspired her to live a vegan lifestyle.

“Veganism changed me”, Kat told Mercy for Animals. “It taught me to look past myself, to consider how my choices affect others – the animals, the people around me, and the planet we live on. To me, veganism is consciousness.”

What is consciousness, then? While it may not be the easiest concept to grasp at first, let’s try and define it in simpler terms: consciousness is having a higher level of self-awareness and, as a result, leading a more present, mindful and happier life.

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Writers who have explored the topic believe that we spend a lot of our lives in ‘autopilot’, without being fully aware of ourselves and our surroundings. We often make automatic choices or ‘drift through life’, instead of making conscious decisions.

Many teachings of consciousness claim that once you learn to learn to be more conscious, your life also shifts to becoming more compassionate – higher self-awareness leads to becoming more aware of the suffering of others.

So how can we bring more consciousness into our lives? Books can be a good start! Here are our 5 favourite books that inspire more conscious and mindful living. Read on, and learn to live a more conscious and compassionate life.

5 Books to Inspire a More Conscious Life


1. “Calm” by Michael Acton Smith.

Filled with tips, prompts and inspiration on how to live a happier, more mindful life, this is the book to keep on your bedside table (make it the last thing you look at before sleep). From five minute mindfulness meditation guides, to exercises like making a mental list of 10 people who make you feel the happiest every day, ‘Calm’ inspires feelings of gratitude and compassion.

Find it on Amazon 

2. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

“The Power of Now” is focused on spiritual enlightenment, which is another concept that can take a little while to get your head around. We had to read some parts of the book a couple of times to let it sink in – but it is an eye-opening read. Written in a quirky FAQ fashion, it reveals to the reader that the only way to live a happy life is to always be ‘in the now’ – the present moment. It urges you to free yourself from ‘being stuck in your head’ and teaches to look within yourself to find happiness and fulfilment, rather than through external factors.

Find it on Amazon

3. “Mindfulness for Compassionate Living” by Dr. Patrizia Collard

This book explores the idea of self-compassion and uses various exercises to teach you how to bring more empathy into your life. To ultimately lead a more compassionate life, you first need to learn to be more empathetic with yourself, Collard believes. Only when you have learned to truly be kind to yourself, you can apply the learnings to your relationships with others.

Find it on Amazon

4. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The author once said that this is a book for those who ‘don’t like to be told what to do, but are curious about mindfulness’. The book makes mindfulness accessible to everyone – and provides more information about the scientific effect of practicing mindfulness meditation (research has shown that it can actually change the brain!). The book also gives tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into everyday situations, making it a very practical read.

Find it on Amazon

5. “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life” by Joseph Bailey and Richard Carlson

The book we’re currently reading (and loving)! It’s perfect for those who catch themselves running around, trying to do a million things at once, only to realize that they are running out of breath and not getting a single thing done. It opens your eyes to the fact that multitasking is a myth – we don’t need to be efficient multitaskers in life, but need to learn to slow down and get things done efficiently, one by one. The authors share tips on how to slow down and live a more peaceful, simpler life – in an easy to understand manner.

Find it on Amazon

We hope that you enjoy these books and that they help you bring more consciousness into your daily life.