Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle
By: Christine Eisner
Publisher: Lifestyle Design
Publication Date: November 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 1, 2009
More and more people these days are trying to escape their former obsession with "keeping up with the Joneses" and are trying to simplify their lifestyles and bring comfort into their homes. This book in part, brings to mind Feng Shui, yet is different in that the reader is the one who sets the parameters of comfort means to them and is much less restrictive. Each person has a vision of what they would like their home to look like. The author states that "our surroundings have the power to shape and reflect what matters to us." Some of the dwellings pictured in this book may not in any way, shape, or form reflect your own, but will assist you in creating a vision of what comfort you would like your home to reflect.
This book reflects an aura of peace and I totally agreed with the premise that you can "make your house more of a home." Although this is essentially an eight-week personal journey, I decided that I would experiment and act like a princess for a few weeks to achieve a balance in a couple critical areas in my home, especially the dining room. I took a close look at which things were becoming obstacles and "tuned in" on those I considered treasures. Exercises helped me to determine the "look" I wanted to have to make rooms comfortable and pleasant. I made time on a daily basis to getting rid of obstacles, and started to "streamline." For example, if I messed it up it was cleaned up . . . by ME. I also focused on packing up clothing and treasures I no longer needed and carted them off to Goodwill (I really did!). I sold one item. Get the picture?
Not to say this book will be the cure for clutter, but through its simplicity and gentle push I got the message. There are places to make notations in the book, but as a notebook type of person I got to work writing my own progress notes. I think we all are, to some extent, possessed by our possessions and little vignettes like "by making a commitment to your surroundings, you will be richly rewarded with reduced stress and more time for what you enjoy most." My favorite part of the book discussed "campfires," or creating those little spaces that just call out to you to stop, visit for a bit and "be drawn into their energy and luxuriate in the energy they create."
There is a lot packed into this short, but fascinating book, but does it or will it work? YES, but this is a book that is asking the reader to make or create a lifestyle change. I think the time frame of eight weeks may be a bit on the shy side of what it will actually take to achieve balance in one's life, but so far I'm satisfied with my own progress. It spurred me into action by demanding I at least take fifteen minutes a day to reflect upon what I want in my home and what I don't want there. My door and mind are open to these changes and I can envision them in the future, however, it will be difficult with someone else in the house who has a different idea of what comfort means. This problem was not addressed in the book.
Quill says: I loved the book, but Christine . . . you're not touching my desk!