I have been saying for the last however many years now that I am ready for some major life transformations. I have gone through life for a long time feeling very scattered and disconnected and overwhelmed by life. I hate that I don't really have a handle on what it is I need to do to feel grounded, secure and happy. So every year I sit down and try to figure out how to put together a plan that will allow me to make the changes I want to make without compromising who I really am. Up until now, I have had very little success using this method. It wasn't until I received a book titled The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year that I started to understand why I continue to have this struggle in my life.
Written by author Jennifer Louden, who is called the "Comfort Queen" by many of her students and fans, The Life Organizer explores a more feminine, heart-centered and spirit-directed approach to life planning. In the first part of the book, Jennifer teaches us what Life Organizing is and how to use it to gain insights to help us live more mindfully. She introduces and explains 5 effective steps that help us hold ourselves accountable while we seek to "define the story we want to live."
- Connect: Acknowledge and engage with your own life force
- Feel: Tune into your heart, which knows what your next step is and gives you information your head cannot
- Inquire: Ask mindful questions in order to discover possibilities you couldn't see before.
- Allow: Open to your next step, allowing love, allowing inspiration, allowing your body and heart to inform and direct you.
- Apply: Take action. It is the ultimate goal.
I like that Louden takes the time to break down what the steps are and are not. They are not meant to be restrictive or confining or time consuming and they can be done in any order, at any time of the day or night. The fact that there is no rigid standard that must be followed for these tools to work makes me feel like I can experience some success in trying to create a life plan that actually makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
The other thing I love about The Life Organizer is the Life Planner that makes up the bulk of the book. The Life Planner is 52 Weeks of Mindful Living that uses thought provoking prompts, quotes, stories and exercises to help the reader stay on course as she works out the details of living a life filled with purpose and satisfaction. the pages are beautifully designed and have small spaces to make notes. I just wish they had incorporated more writing space or blank pages into this section!
As I have not yet started using the 52 week planner, (I just received the book and just wrapped up reading and understanding the 5 steps) I'm looking forward to putting this more intuitive approach for goal setting and life planning into practice. I don't do well with check lists and calendars where every minute of every day is filled with appointments and must-do's, etc. I am excited to see how shifting my planning from filling in boxes of time to giving myself permission to plan around my feelings and dreams will change my perspective about how to create the happy life flow I've been seeking.
With all that being said, I can see that there are going to be certain personality types that will not do well with this kind of "intuitive" approach to organizing or planning their days and lives. Some people are much more matter-of-fact and structured when it comes to creating their life plan. And that's okay if that kind of linear approach is effective for you! Louden herself acknowledges the role that calendars and time management tools play in our lives:
"Let me be clear: I would be lost without Google Calendar. But calendars and traditional time management is only half of the picture. The Life Organizer brings in the other half: our values, our hearts, our intuition and mindfulness. We need our to-do lists, but there's another whole part of us that withers if we're not making time to listen and tune in."I guess I'm part of the group that needs to take time to listen and tune in, which is why The Life Organizer is the perfect life planning tool to help me find a flow that works for me and my family.
If you are struggling to feel like you are living a purposeful life or you do not feel like you are honoring who you are through your daily routine and actions then The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to Mindful Living might be what you need. It has helped me understand that there is more than one way to chart my course and stay focused in the midst of chaos and uncertainty and that listening to my heart and spirit is an important part of setting goals and achieving them.
The Life Organizer is currently available on Amazon.
About Jennifer Louden
Jennifer Louden is the author of The Life Organizer and the Women's Comfort Book. She is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement and has written 4 other books on well-being and whole living that have inspired more than a million women all over the world. Jennifer has spoken around the world on self-care, written a national magazine column, had a radio show on Martha Stewart’s Sirius network and was a guest on Oprah talking about the power of retreats. Jen believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all.
You can find her here: