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The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year Paperback – January 14, 2014
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Brené Brown, PhD, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Daring Greatly
Jennifer Louden gets’ what it takes to live our beautifully messy human lives centered in our hearts and watered by the wellspring of Soul desires. Here is a book that helps us remember and love the questions that matter.”
Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation
Jennifer Louden's daily prompts and strategies bring our attention back, again and again, to what really matters to us and help us to infuse our daily lives with the wisdom of our own hearts. This is a clear-eyed and warmhearted guidebook.”
Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness
If time-management checklists and calendar boxes don’t work for you, have hope. Jen Louden offers a colorful, intuitive way to shape your life’s days with reverence and soul. With The Life Organizer at your side, you can make your days holy, feeling by feeling, question by question, intention by intention. (And it works for men, too.)”
Jeffrey Davis, author of The Journey from the Center to the Page
As a busy creative entrepreneur and mom, I find it tempting to be run by my to-do list. If I’m not careful, I wind up feeling stressed and I don’t get to fully enjoy the process of all that I’m doing. Seeing The Life Organizer on my desk gently reminds me there is another way, a way to live with joy and productivity. I love this book!”
Karen Salmansohn, bestselling author of Prince Harming Syndrome
From the Back Cover
"This wonderful book is a tribute to the sacred and very practical aspects of time management. If you want a more soulful, clear life, follow Jennifer Louden's advice."
-- Judith Orloff, MD, author of Positive Energy
"You are not holding in your hands a book. Instead, imagine a set of sacred nesting dolls that you open, one by one, each delighting you more than the last. As you get to the precious one in the center, you find your own heart. It whispers, `welcome home.'"
-- Dawna Markova, author of I Will Not Die an Unlived Life and cocreator of Random Acts of Kindness --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Life Organizer" invites you to take a closer look at your life. With a collection of weekly soul-searching questions, you will explore your deepest needs and desires. Gently and gradually, you will find out who you are, and how to create a life that is not only functional, but one you truly love.
This book is the perfect addition to any woman's library, from high school or college graduates just starting out to women who have years of experience behind them. It's never too soon or too late to start living authentically.
Muse Review Mark: Highly Recommended
Reviewer: Alice Berger, Muse Reviews
One of our helpers is Jennifer Louden, also known as "The Comfort Queen." Louden is the author of several books including the bestselling The Women's Comfort Book and is devoted to nurturing women to express their "true creative power." I love books and look to them for inspiration and, frequently, affirmations of what I already know. This one is a heart-based, spirit-directed approach to listening to ourselves.
The Life Organizer is glossy, full of color and original artwork, and is written in Louden's warm, over-the-back-fence, casual style. She doesn't offer advice, but rather, "a collection of possibilities to inspire you in creating your way of participating with life and with your gifts."
Those possibilities are ways to stop and "tune in to what you really want and what you really know." She notes five main steps that make up the life-organizing process: connect, feel, inquire, allow and apply. Louden cautions readers not to focus on the five steps, but rather on your own life experiences, posing questions to assist you in getting in touch with your life experiences.
Besides the main steps to help you "create your optimum life day by day, moment by moment," Louden offers six "life-planning concepts." All of these suggestions grew out of Louden's busy life experiences and the intuitive planner she created for herself, which she shared with her coaching clients and those who attended her workshops and retreats. The results, and the stories of several of those women, are included.
"Shadow Comforts and Time Monsters" is one of Louden's life-planning concepts and refers to those comforts that masquerade as self-care techniques, but in fact drain your energy. For example, chatting on a message board may be energizing, or it may be a tactic to avoid talking to your partner. Among the women Louden has coached are those "whose lives consisted almost entirely of time monsters, because they were too afraid to do what they really wanted to do." Watching TV, spending a month cooking for the holidays, and spending a week decorating your child's classroom may be among your "time monsters." Some discerning questions are helpful to consider. We so often say we don't have time, but if we look at what we're really doing with our time, a light may go on.
I particularly like the chapter on "Creating Your Life Planner." I'm a fan of journals so that's why I probably enjoyed the various approaches women have taken to crafting their own Life Planners. You may write in Louden's book, but if you need more room, a spiral notebook will work just fine. Then you need to place your life planner where you have easy access to it, by your bed, or alongside your date book. One woman constructed her own card deck using the questions throughout the book. She uses the cards as her own divination system, drawing a question card or two on which to reflect. She has decorated them with her own images so she can stare at those images and see what they spark in her.
Thirteen elegantly designed planning sections that include four weeks worth of theme-based questions also include "Stories Along the Way," true stories of women who have used Life Organizing to improve their lives.
Each week, on a two-page spread, there is space for writing your intention. Three circles provide space for completing these phrases: "let go of", "have to" and "could do." Questions, and some possible answers, give impetus to a creative and intentional week.
Although this book is full of possibilities, at the core is its intent is to bring you back to yourself, eliminating what no longer serves the life that you, in your heart of hearts, desire. It looks very organized, but in fact you can approach it in your own non-organized, non-linear way. Using it as a divinatory tool seems a good idea to me. Just open the book and see what tips and stories appear for you today.
Jennifer Louden is a bestselling author, personal coach, radio show contributor, columnist for "Body & Soul Magazine" and creator of learning events and retreats. Louden is married to cinematographer Christopher Mosio, living in a small house on an island in the Pacific Northwest, along with their daughter, Lillian.
You can share a cup of virtual tea with Jen at [...] and [...]
by Mary Ann Moore
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
It took me about 3 tries to get out of 1st gear with the book and get into a groove writing. What helped was I finally decided I did not need to write every day on a Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri type of schedule. That I could write when I wanted to to. Also what helped was writing into my own journal and not into the book.
Now for the book itself. Once you get past the getting started mode it is quite helpful at allowing one to reflect on Should Do, Could Do, and Can do's of life. The reflective questions go beyond the traditional questions you'd expect. The notion of an intention for each week is powerful. The reflective question that asks you to go back over your previous reflections is also quite powerful. The quotes from notable figures was exciting and very inspirational.
The book helped me immensely with seeing myself clearier and understanding what I can tolerate, and what I will not tolerate and what I can do about it.
Because the book has an open/make it yours kind of style this can be disconcerting to those who are used to a more traditional style of guided journaling, but in the end this style works as well. Give it a try.
There are weekly "assignments", if you will, intended to nudge or pry or push you (the overbusy, overworked, overwhelmed woman who already has too much on her plate) out of the discontented place you may have found yourself. This book reminds me very much of the year's worth of suggestions made by another author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, in her 1996 book, Simple Abundance-A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.
It seems to me that there must be some kind of middle ground between the extremes of obsessive self-inquiry during our already busy lives, and giving ourselves the gift of a spa retreat with bodywork, meditation, yoga practice and healthful vegetarian cuisine. For after all, isn't that what we are looking for when we pick up this kind of book, some guided Wisdom about finding and recognizing that peaceful place of balance and harmony where we already live?