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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
This is a much-needed book for people who have good relationships that they're eager to make even better. Here are some reasons why I like this book:
* It takes an unflinching look at the 'imperfections' in your partner (and yourself) and how you can learn to embrace them. This is not about the fairy-tale happily-ever-after, folks. It's about the day after Cinderella goes off into the sunset with Prince Charming when that surprise thing called reality hits 'em.
* It has a healthy dose of applied Eastern wisdom and Western science, including the work of John Gottman (who does the best science on what makes relationships work). I have a soft spot for ancient wisdom + modern science, so two thumbs up to that.
* It uses real-world case studies, most liberally from Arielle's own relationship and those of her friends. Arielle couldn't stand sports, and she married a jock who worshipped at the altar of basketball. How did she cope? She'll tell ya how she learned to LOVE basketball -- and it just may work for your situation, too.
* It's for both men AND women. Guys -- can't deal with having to go shopping with your woman? (I can hear the collective uuuunnngh in the background). She recounts how other guys spun that lead into gold by putting that dead time into very creative (and effective) use.
* It has real-world, practical techniques that totally work. The Heart Lock-In Technique alone may be worth the admission price -- and that's just Chapter 1.
* It's written by Arielle Ford. I firmly believe that you should learn from people who practice what they preach, and Arielle is the embodiment of her teachings. A brilliantly successful businesswoman (she launched the career of Deepak Chopra and countless others), she also has an empathy that shines through her person and her writing. In sum, she's the kind of person whose advice I would take.

The personal stories also make it fun to read. If you're interested in truly appreciating the partner you already have -- not as lip-service or a chore, but in a radical, real and deep way -- this is your roadmap.

-- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil, author of 'The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible', the highest-rated dating self-help book on Amazon (4.9/5.0 stars)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2012
My husband's most annoying character traits hold the secret to falling back in love with him? It took a bit of willingness on my part (luckily, I was willing), but the results have been unbelievable. I was on the verge of having an affair when a friend gave me this book. Now I feel like I'm having one with my own husband. I literally look at him through different eyes. I'm not sure if his behavior has improved or I'm just seeing him differently, and quite honestly, I don't care. I had never heard of "Wabi Sabi" or anything like it before. This concept, this book, is genuis. And in case you're wondering, it's not just a bunch of theory. Throughout the book are plenty of examples of couples who pitted themselves against "that one character flaw" in their partner, and ended up using it to create a closer, more passionate relationship. 10 stars.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
*****
Wabi Sabi Love is like a breath of fresh air for your marriage. It's a different kind of relationship book, one that is light and a very entertaining read yet at the same time profound. One of the author's previous books focuses on attracting an intimate partner; this one focuses on how to maintain the love once you have found it. It doesn't have all of the standard "marriage advice" but approaches committed relationships from a different perspective--that of imperfection.

The basic idea behind Wabi Sabi Love is that by embracing imperfection (from the Japanese term "wabi sabi") you can enhance your marriage. It sounds paradoxical, and so it is. But this book shows you how it is done, primarily via anecdotal stores of couples who have successfully accomplished this. The stories will each have aspects you can relate to and apply to your own relationship. At the end of the book, the author lists details about who the people are, and I was surprised that many of them are well known personalities who revealed much about their own marriages in order to inspire and help others. I think that the people who shared their stories were brave to admit their vulnerabilities and to share intimate details about how they overcame their problems and embraced the imperfection in each other.

The stories are followed with exercises that are light and fun, many of which can be done with your partner. They can also be saved for later and enjoyed, and the book just be read straight on through.

I found this book to be very inspirational in turning my attitude around to being one of love and gratitude for the very things that irritated me about my husband. For example, in one of the stories the wife is constantly irritated because her husband leaves a trail of poppy seeds from his daily morning poppy seed bagel. She has to get down on the floor every day on her hands and knees and clean them up. She struggles with this until she realizes what no more poppy seeds would mean in her marriage--that her husband would be gone. Now when she sees the poppy seeds (and cleans them up) she is extremely aware of her love for her husband and how much he means to her. The author really describes this much better, but I wanted to give you a taste of what the book holds. It is a huge impetus in transforming your attitude towards things you don't like in other people.

If you are still undecided, you can find out more about this approach by visiting the book's web site at wabisabilove.com. I can't imagine anyone not liking this book, except perhaps someone looking for something academic and heavy, which this book definitely isn't--it's written in a light and breezy style that is still full of substance. I'm tired of reading marriage books that feel like hard work--this one inspired me instead and gave me fresh and positive ideas, and I liked that. I know it will make a difference in all of my relationships; it has already made a difference in how I feel about them.

Highly recommended.
*****
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
In the past I have written blogs on the subject of Wabi Sabi. This strange-to-Western-ears
term comes from a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that deals with the concept of impermanence
and imperfection, and its relationship to the qualities/values of beauty or desirability.

The current Western world/society has certain standards relating to beauty. In truth, much
of this beauty perspective has a lot to do with `glamor', and nothing of substance pertaining to
an actual experience of viewed or encountered beauty.

Wabi Sabi has always appealed to me since my first discovery of its charming, serene-based
reflective principles. What some classify as "ravages of time" upon a person or object, those with
a more astute grasp of attractiveness appeal and loveliness, see time-composed imperfections as
a desirable maturing process that illuminates uniqueness and character. In some instances, the
attraction of natural or simple design.

We see Wabi Sabi in everyday life when we come upon a beautiful piece of weathered wood,
or admire a fountain or statue that has succumbed to the elements, creating a wonderful patina
of originality. The quality is found too in people we love - that favorite grandmother whose
care, kindness and affection makes her the most beautiful person in the world. Our mates hold
the "impermanence factor" as well, as time fades one attraction, and creates another feature facet
as fascinating as the previous. When the physical transition is subjective to our adoration and
love, the faults/imperfections, minute or vast, become an exquisitely sculpted appreciation that
wears and shows the character and warmth of their heart.

In Wabi Sabi Love, Arielle Ford applies the Wabi Sabi wisdom to the personal relationship
field. She says Wabi Sabi love is a practice of "exploring, embracing, and cherishing the quirks,
irritations, and limitations that make you and your partner unique," as well as forms the basic
backbone of a couple's relational history.

I especially liked the chapter entitled Growing a Generous Heart. There is a beginning
quoteby Buddha that says, "Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech,
and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity." She encourages
couples to communicate and share their deepest thoughts and dreams, as well as the imperfections
and fears that intrude upon a marriage or committed partnership. A healthy amount of acceptance
and appreciation comes from this, as partners open-heartedly agree to respect differences and
non-perfect aspects of the other's personality. These dissimilarities then become accepted
as idiosyncrasies instead of "problems." She writes that "The Wabi Sabi solution is to embrace
the tastes, opinions, preferences, and unique viewpoints" that makes each person an individual,
instead of trying to eliminate them.

There is a mention of The Heartmath Institute, (which I first heard referenced by Gregg
Braden), and an exercise from them that helps connect you to a different kind of heartuculture*.
She explains the 5 minute Heart Lock-in technique promoted by Heartmath, that helps people
"grow your heart", by learning to love and support those not-so-fond-of likes of their partner.

She speaks of the priority of having shared commitment to making choices best for the united
relationship, and not selfishly base it on individual wants, if this generates a conflict. Mindful
awareness of our lover is suggested, to notice new ways and growth that has changed our partner.
Humility and compassion also factor in as a balance to the yin and yang of the relationship.

The insight of the book was a tremendous sharing that could help every couple cultivate
greater intimacy, and a long lasting understanding of the deeper beauty of their mat. The
author's relational advice is a generous tool for "keeping love alive" in our modern day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
This is a VERY, VERY readable, enjoyable self help book. Lots of laughs and some ahhaaa.... moments. It came at the perfect time for me when I had deliberately manifested an improvement in my relationship with my husband.

Applying Wabi Sabi to my relationship is such a simple concept but it made and continues to make profound changes.

But biggest of all, after reading it, I found myself making those changes WITHOUT EVEN THINKNG ABOUT IT! Wow!!
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68 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
The book is based on the adulteration of a concept that the author has little comprehension of. She has rewritten a secondhand understanding of a Japanese esthetic concept into jargon that is packaged with anecdotal stories about how to have a happy relationship.

Take a peak inside the book and compare her definition of Wabi-Sabi with any reasonable source online and you will find great discrepancies.

Wabi-Sabi is not an art form in itself but is a concept of beauty found in minimalism, austerity, and balance without symmetry. It often involves embracing that which is old or flawed as part of the whole, but not embracing that thing because it is flawed or old. These concepts are almost completely missed by Mrs. Ford.

The book is not without its merits but you could probably find equally useful advice in six of the 19 other books she has written. This is just adding another title to a list that is rather Gaudy. Having more literary pulp but not much more Asian authenticity than a box of fortune cookies made in L.A. this book is anything but Wabi-Sabi.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
I was able to see difficulties in relationships in a whole new light after reading this book. It was really eye opening to be reminded that none of us are perfect and we need to extend the same need for acceptance to others that we want for ourselves.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
My name is Lara Fernandez (writing on my husband's account).... My husband and I have been together in a loving and committed soulmate relationship for almost 12 years now. We help single women do the inner reflection and transformation to attract their soulmate. We have many successful clients and this book, Wabi Sabi Love is now our wedding gift to our clients! Wabi Sabi is the best foundation to start any marriage off, in my opinion.
And if you've been in relationship for awhile and are finding that you need to "get the dust off" your relationship and make it shiny again... this book will help you do that. Not with any tips and tricks or manipulation, but coming from a genuine and loving and authentic place of compassion.
I read this book in a week. I devoured it... the stories made me cry (in a good way), and the exercises helped me dig deeper (didn't think THAT was possible, after all of the self-inquiry I've done for the last 20 years!) into the love I feel for my beloved husband. Thank you, Arielle, for writing such a timely book. I believe that we all need more compassion for each other, and that the world will be better because of it.
Blessings!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I very much enjoyed Arielle's journey through Wabi Sabi Love. In an interesting way, she teaches how to look at our daily situations through a different eye. Her writing is from her heart. Her concepts are easy to grasp as she demonstrates each through interesting and easy to follow real life examples.

This sweet book is going to become part of my gift giving for newly married couples as I believe this writing will help couples keep their love alive. Far too often, men forget "why they asked" and women forget "why they said yes." Wabi Sabi Love can help us remember why we are a couple in the first place and how important it is to look at life's situations from a different perspective.

In 1998 I became single after being married for 24 years. To say my life took a serious U-turn would be an understatement. At first, I told all my girlfriends I would never date again. That phase lasted about 6 months.

I spent the next 12 years doing research into the entire dating process for "women of a certain age". I learned so much and enjoyed my research and my new foray into dating. However, I went home alone each night and knew that my heart yearned to share my life with a Forever Love.

I went happily about my life. I had started a toy manufacturing company in the early 1980's and my work was extremely satisfying and kept me busy.

I also found that the longer I was single, the more "single" I became mentally. I became very used to having my life "my way". Many women I talk to also experience this very self reliant confidence. Sharing our lives, our homes, our friends and families with a new man becomes more and more challenging. We seem to be less and less willing to compromise.

However, deep down under all the success-driven confidence, I knew I still wanted to have a strong, loving, generous, thoughtful man in my life. I did know, without question, that I was not willing to settle for less than all I had written on my Wish List in calling my Forever Love into my life.

On September 6, 2007, in the most unusual place, in the most unexpected way I met the man who was to become my Forever Love and my husband. I have written a book, Secrets of the Marriage Mouse, which details our wonderful meeting as well as the results of my research and the proven and money-back guaranteed method each of you can use to also find your Forever Love.

During and since the writing of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse, I continue to study relationships and read everything I can get my hands on so I can offer my readers the best and newest thought on the never-ending quest for finding Forever Love.

My search for the latest and greatest led me to Wabi Sabi Love, written by Arielle Ford. This sweet little book has been waiting on the upper corner of my desk for me to find the time to read it. Well, that time came about 3 weeks ago. I took this book with me to Pura Vida, my health club, and started to read it on the treadmill every day. I had a pencil tucked behind my ear so I could mark sections that were particularly resonating with me. Can you even imagine the visual...this driven lady on a treadmill with her pencil at the ready and a book in front of her as she is walking/jogging her exercise routine??

And did I ever find a book full of treasures!! I truly did love Arielle's writing. As I read this book, I knew it was a perfect follow up to my book. My book helps "women of a certain" age find their Forever Love, and Wabi Sabi Love will help those women maintain, grow, deepen, and truly melt into a love to last a life time. I knew right then, Wabi Sabi Love would be a Christmas gift I would give my married children and my close, treasured, married friends.

I had my first Wabi Sabi love experience with Ted last night as we were relaxing and watching some TV. He was switching between two channels - not too fast - but just when the mood struck him. There was a segment I was interested in and just as it was getting good...yep...he flipped the channel to something else. For a moment, I was going to say something and then Arielle's writing came into my head and my heart.

In that instant, I was grateful to have Ted in my life, sitting beside me, cuddling up, being together. In that moment, it no longer mattered what was on TV. For 15 years I watched TV by myself and always wanted a Forever Love by my side. And now he is here with me each and every day.

Suddenly, I didn't care what was on television. I was lost in my thoughts of how precious, loving, generous, funny, sexy, Ted is. Wabi Sabi Love.

Thank you for such a generous book, Arielle. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Today and every day, I'm grateful for so much - it' can't be contained in one email. Each and every night when we go to bed, Ted and I tell each other several things for which we are grateful. It's always fun to hear what the other will say and this little ritual keeps us up-to-day with what our partner is experiencing in their lives.

I'm so grateful for the new friends my book launch has brought into my life; friends like Arielle Ford. Each one of you, in your own special way, open my eyes, my mind, and my heart to new possibilities. Life is such a wonderful revolving door. I'm glad I'm on the ride with you.

I'd love to hear back from any of you after you read Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and Wabi Sabi Love. They are powerful books and they can make a difference in your lives...the difference you seek.

Arielle, your writing switched my thinking in an instant today and isn't that what we hope our books accomplish?

Have a gratefully blessed day,

Marcia Reece

Author #1 Bestselling Secrets of the Marriage Mouse
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
I honestly can't recommend this book enough! Even if you're in a great relationship, there are amazingly inspiring stories about how to make the less-than-perfect parts of your relationship into something wonderful. I'd highly, highly, highly recommend it, too, for anyone unsure about their relationship in any way. This is the stuff every couple experiences, but so few people openly discuss. Hearing these stories, and absorbing the wisdom in this book really will change how you experience your everyday. This is one of those books I'll read and re-read over and over again. Really, really good.
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