I bought this book about a month back, in a time of my life when I was feeling somewhat dissatisfied by the state of my house, the cleaning routine, the cooking plans, etc. I was feeling the call towards becoming a domestic goddess and was unhappy with the way I ran things in my home, and so I decided to check this book out.
I gravitated towards this book in the series in particular for the reasons I just exposed. I’m seven months pregnant (I was six months at the time) and I think this has to do with the urge to get things in my house under control before the baby arrives… It’s called the nesting syndrome and it’s totally natural for moms-to-be to feel this way.
The great thing about the book, when I started reading it, was that the author described how bad she was once feeling about her own household and routine, like I currently was. She found fault with everything and complained about everything, which is sort of what I was doing with my own life. Then she realized that a change of attitude, first and foremost, was needed in order to make things better. This illuminated things for me, as simple as it might sound.
A change from complaint to gratitude shifted the way I saw things in my own house. It allowed me to focus on the good things I had, rather than on all the things I wanted to change. And coming from this place of gratitude allowed me to tackle the things that did need to change from a more positive perspective, with the intention to make things more beautiful and smooth rather than from a place of frustration and dissappointment.
The author also spoke a-lot about the importance of making routine a ritual. To realize that everything you do, from cooking dinner to washing the dishes to cleaning up the house to taking care of yourself, should be considered a “meditation in beauty”. I found this fascinating and started to implement it in my own life, and started getting a-lot more pleasure out of normal household routines when I viewed things this way.
I thought the beginnig and the ending of the book, where the author gets more inspired, were the best parts. During the middle of the book she delves into suggestions for dinner party entertainment and the like, which I didn’t find that useful. But I did appreciate her detailed beauty routines, which I did find useful and am also looking forward to implement in my own life.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“You can be chic. You can have a beautiful, productive, and passionate life. You can flow gracefully through your day and look good while doing it. You can find happiness in your life, even if everything isn’t exactly how you pictured it.”
“After you form an initial organization plan and a routine that becomes second nature, your home will run more smoothly, and you will learn to enjoy and enhance your routine. This peace will follow you wherever you go for the rest of the day, no matter how far you venture from home. Your home is a microcosm of the real world. The more you practice living well at home, the more natural it will feel to carry this practice out into the real world.”
“Having inner peace should always be our goal. Then we can get through our day no matter what happens around us.”
“People who are bien dans leur peau do not have inner turmoil and constant neuroses ruling their lives. They are not always worrying if they’ve said or done the right thing. They aren’t constantly trying to please people and be everything to everybody. They are comfortable being who they are. They enjoy themselves. They value themselves. This too is inner peace.”
“To start you need two things: curiosity and enthusiasm. And then you need to become a connoisseur of your own life.”
I recommend this book to anyone interested in changing their perspective regarding home life, or anyone looking to establish some order in their daily domestic routine, and doing it with grace, gratitude and poise.