Five books that are crucial to Viola Davis’ journey

five books viola davis

Oprah Daily

Viola Davis has spent years building a dazzling career, first distancing herself from a past of poverty and trauma and eventually reconciling with that past. The actress’ artistic performance as the first African-American to achieve the triple acting crown, with an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony to her name, was intriguing at first, but she eventually realized that the past still haunted her. She decided to stop running and question her story to understand her present and embrace her own story.

Davis embarked on a hero’s journey of self-discovery as described in The hero with a thousand faces, as she referred to in her interview with Oprah and said: “When you go down this path of transformation where you are really trying to become your ideal self, you will meet the part of yourself that you do not want to be. You come to to see all your faults; you will see all the things that cause you pain. You will not see God; you will see yourself. And then you hope that when you meet the I, you will no longer be “You have two choices at the moment: You can just stay there and be swallowed, or you can move on. I choose to move on. I did not want to be swallowed.”

Here are five books that inspired her on her journey. What they share is the importance of looking inward, as Brené Brown says – identifying your feelings and returning to core values ​​through the discovery of one’s true, authentic self.

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Atlas of the heartby Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s groundbreaking latest book is based on her more than 20 years of groundbreaking research to explore and expand the vocabulary of emotions. Brown says emotions are multilayered and consist of biology, biography, behavior, and background history. Through the revelation of these feelings, it is necessary to create a meaningful human connection based on your values.


The color Purpleby Alice Walker

It’s almost 40 years since Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was published. Oprah called it one of the “national anthems of women’s empowerment.” In it, Celie is separated from her sister Nettie and suffers under the hands of her husband in rural Georgia. The women in The color Purple, among them Sofia and Shug Avery, fight against misogyny and racism; through their friendships and support, the women are resilient and triumphant. In this American classic, Walker portrayed women who were complicated, tragic, violent, and inspiring.


To defy the wildernessby Brené Brown

Brown emphasizes the key practices of “true belonging,” she says, that we can reconnect to who we really are by standing alone and strong in the midst of an increasingly distracting, perfectionist world. A key factor? Embraces nature.


The hero with a thousand facesby Joseph Campbell

Inspires many, including filmmaker George Lucas, The hero with a thousand faces was first published in 1949. In it, Joseph Campbell introduces the “monomy myth”, which focuses on the idea that every myth follows the same structure. He refers to the archetypal hero who appears in most mythologies, basic stories and religions. Through separation, the person leaves his familiar state to embark on the hero’s journey. During the introduction, the hero discovers new experiences and trials, and must locate their inner strength to get through. By returning, the hero is transformed and serves others through the dissemination of knowledge and sometimes sacrifice. Individually, we need to take a spiritual journey, leave what is comfortable, and challenge ourselves to discover our true potential.


The power of the nightby Eckhart Tolle

Tolle teaches what most therapists embrace, and that is to be fully present in the now. He writes that giving the past unnecessary weight can paralyze and hinder your way forward. The same goes for living in the future and not acknowledging your current situation. By recognizing and then satisfying our thoughts and fears and not letting our egos derail us, we can find the path to true fulfillment.

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