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The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year Hardcover – Feb 1 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; 1 edition (Feb. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577315545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577315544
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Product Description

About the Author

Jennifer Louden helped start the self-care movement with her first book, The Woman's Comfort Book. She has written five more books, created vibrant online communities, led hundreds of retreats and online courses, and spoken around the world, all in service to helping women create gorgeous lives they love. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is full of opportunities for contemplation, self-reflection and creative ways to re-examine your life. It isn't about the hows and have-tos of getting organized, it's about reconnecting with your true self, allowing your life to unfold more fully. There are no rules, no strategies, only weekly guided questions and thoughts, interspersed with reflections from others and thoughts about how to tackle difficult times. It is set up to be used weekly in some ways, but you can do a question a day, or a question a week and take as little or as long as you need, skip questions, spend more time on them etc. whatever resonates with you. It is like a warm blanket and a soothing drink, reminding you that you are worth a few moments of thought and rest.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book that sets aside the traditional 'to do list' in favour of a more creative, intuitive mindfulness. Surrendering your 'must dos' and 'should dos' in favour of the flow is a practice, and Louden's book is full of inspiration and prompts to help us embrace the idea that we can accomplish so much more when we listen to the small, sweet voice guiding us to 'what now'?
There are many opportunities to get clear on the priorities that will fill you up, and, as I have been using her '5 steps' for organizing life, I find that I am more productive, and more fulfilled, because I am able to allow my intuition and apply it's wisdom in the moment.
The weekly questions are open enough that they require honesty, and self reflection, but not necessarily a lot of time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9da1bd44) out of 5 stars 74 reviews
191 of 195 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de97c3c) out of 5 stars A Miracle Waiting To Happen Feb. 20 2007
By M. E. Sumner-Wichmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For years, twenty-six to be exact, I have longed to return to the life of my heart's desire, theatre. Instead, I cared for aging parents, moved to the country to raise our daughter and tried to substitute other creative endeavours for my lost love. As my daughter nears college age, this desire began looming again, creating no end of frustration and self-bashing for wanting something that was impossible.

Then I ordered The Life Organizer, being a great fan of Jennifer's work. I took some time for myself and began reading the first chapter and when I reached the line "Desire is the flow of life we yearn to swim in, the urge to be one with Spirit, and the way to stay in touch with this flow is through knowing what we want without insisting that we get it", my world blew apart.

It was like a huge weight falling off my shoulders. I felt free at last to let my desire flow, to stop blocking it with shoulds and impossibilities. Within days, my whole life had turned around. Now, instead of sitting here, falling into depression when my daughter leaves for university, my husband and I will be moving temporarily so that I can get my MFA in costume design. Everything fell into place, from finding the perfect place to apply, to renewing my old theatre contacts and finding more than enough recommendations to accompany my application.

Now, I will be using this delightful book week to week, to help me stay in touch with who I really am, while still carrying on as a member of this wonderful family with whom I am so fortunate to share my life.

Not everyone will have such explosive results, but I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As with all of Jennifer's work, it is truly a creation of the heart.
108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de5e744) out of 5 stars Beautiful book and psychic anchor June 27 2007
By woman of heart and mind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
At a low point in my life, I am groping for ways to anchor myself. Books on decluttering, novels detailing spiritual odyssey, and poems have all intrigued, and been at least partially helpful. Just not on point, exactly. Louden's book distills and clarifies profound questions I didn't previously know I had. I find I mark something on virtually every page, as my instincts cry, "Yes, exactly"--or, "Think more about this; it matters." This book is both beautiful and nonlinear (yet not chaotic or cluttered--qualities unnerving to anyone with incipient ADD tencences! Visually as well as linguistically, it's a serene book). If you are not exactly depressed but moping/groping through midlife ennui, I heartily recommend it. Oh, by the way, I virtually never write book reviews, but this time it felt mandatory.
113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcd3edc) out of 5 stars Like No Other Feb. 28 2007
By Meg Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This very unusual book is not linear and takes some getting used to, but it's a powerful tool. Jennifer Louden has put a lot of years into studying what women need to do to sustain and nurture their own best selves. This book invites women to create a Life Plan, and shows intriguing examples of plans created by other women. This book can be used in so many ways: pick it up at random and you'll find a pithy quote you can ruminate on for hours. Try some of the more formal exercises, such as following the guidelines week by week. The Life Organizer isn't about making your closets neater: it's about penetrating more deeply into who you are every day, embracing what that is, and taking yourself to whatever is the next level for YOU. Jennifer, you just keep getting better!
192 of 206 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcd363c) out of 5 stars A Life Preserver for Exhausted Women Feb. 26 2007
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"I had to create a new way of dealing with the overwhelm after trying to squash my life into organizing systems that didn't fit and didn't help." - Jennifer Louden

I'm used to reading books cover to cover, so The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden threw me for a loop. Decidedly non-utilitarian, I found the book disconnected and disorienting--at first. I set it aside in mild frustration.

But amid the dozens of books, audios, DVDs and decks strewn about my house waiting to be read/heard/viewed/reviewed, The Life Organizer kept calling out to me. I just HAD to pick it up...more than once.

Apparently, I didn't take the author seriously when she wrote:

"This is not a typical self-help book--it's not meant to be read cover to cover. It's not offering you advice and it doesn't contain a single idea about how to make yourself better than or different from how you already are. Rather, it's an interactive guidebook, a collection of possibilities to inspire you in creating your way of participating with life and with your gifts."

Ahhhhh...something different. An approach from the right brain--a place of intuition and heart-centered, body-honoring knowing, instead of the usual left-brain "do this or else" analytical approach.

Louden acknowledges that living from the inside out may feel like "we're making it up as we go along"--and this is perfectly normal. In fact, her method of life organizing is "fluid and flexible improvisation"--it is "always evolving and is unique to you."

So I delved right in to the Life Organizer--randomly and frequently--and wouldn't you know it...I found exactly what I was looking for every time! It was uncanny how I stumbled on relevant anecdotes, observations, or questions for contemplation.

For example, I turned to page 9 and my eyes fell on "Without action, without decision, you remain in possibility, which is safe and beautiful but eventually enervating and boring." Holy endless possibilities, Batman! This hit me exactly where I was at the time. Although I'm a highly productive writer/reviewer, I sometimes (more than I'd care to admit) languish in the glorious fog of pure potential. And it DOES drive me nuts after awhile! I decided to DECIDE...and just do what I set out to do, even if I take baby steps.

Another time, I turned to "Amy's Three Questions", one of the "Stories Along the Way", and I so much appreciated this entire section which spoke about assessing our relationship with our feelings, with Spirit, and with OURSELF. (Whoever you are, Amy...BLESS YOU. I've randomly turned to your section several times and get something new each reading!) Amy's three questions boiled down to exploring inner nooks and crannies and choosing life--instead of "thrashing around bemoaning stuckness or perceived flaws."

Although The Life Organizer may seem a bit higgledy piggledy, premium common sense and perennial wisdom grace the elegant, glossy pages of this book. I was thrilled to see echoes of The Work by Byron Katie (a technique of asking "Is this true? Can you know that it's true? How would you feel without that stressful thought?"), as well as the crucial notion of challenging the personal stories that limit us.

For example, Ms. Loudon felt discomfort around her knee and made up a very painful, fatalistic story about her pain. After seeing a friend in the healthcare profession who told her it was merely "wear and tear", she literally experienced a shift in perception and action. Truly, our assumptions can torment us and limit us in ways we cannot imagine.

Filled with true stories by women, insightful quotes, spaces for journaling, and questions for contemplating, The Life Organizer is an undated "planner" that leads us by the hand--back to the body, heart and spirit of our unique self. It is a life preserver for those caught in the net of perfectionism, shoulds, and over-striving--as well as those mired in the quagmire of "shadow comforts", "time monsters", or pervasive ennui.

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)
66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcd1af8) out of 5 stars My Reflection on Completing all 52 Weeks Jan. 12 2009
By Cnotta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a hard book to get started with because while it is guided, its not your traditional guided journal/reflection book.

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.