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The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year Hardcover – Feb 1 2007
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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
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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)
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.