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Sunday, February 28, 2010

READ THIS: THE NINE ROOMS OF HAPPINESS: Loving Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections By Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf, M.D.

Last week, we met Lucy and Catherine at The Monkey Bar and they were fabulously gracious:

Now after reading their book we know they are infinitely wise as well!

Not to be overly dramatic, but our whole country just is getting over one of life's little imperfections since we just lost to Canada in the Olympic hockey game's overtime, although Zach Parise's goal towards the end of the third period was phenomenal. It was probably the most viewed hockey game ever.  We don't think this is what the authors were referring to as life's little imperfections, but it is on our minds now.  Back to real life!

We have recommended over 100 books now in our Read This column, but we'd have to say this would be in the Top 20.  In The Nine Rooms of Happiness, Lucy and Catherine present a new way of looking at life that is beneficial to everyone that actually faces their problems, and if you don't have problems we know you are in denial!  

Think back to when you may have had a dollhouse...wasn't it nice to have everything in its place?  Wouldn't it be nice to have everything in it's place in real life?  Unlikely!  But with the A+B=C equation, we learn that we cannot change some things around us, we can only change our reaction to it and we believe in rising to the occasion at Whom You Know.  The cream rises to the top, n'est pas?  By telling us we are the architects of our own emotional destiny, Danziger and Birndorf both inspire and add perspective to your life and outlook using everything from Venn diagrams to real life examples.  We are not huge fans of psychology at Whom You Know generally, but think this book has valuable insight for everyone because there is no other book out there like it, and that is a complement.  It contains practical advice for regular people with normal issues.

Your emotional house contains:
The bedroom
The bathroom
The family room
The basement
The living room
The kitchen
The child's room
The office 
The attic
Plus one more

Now are you intrigued?  We are not going to delve into each-we want you to read the book.  They don't even want us to have 9 tidy have to keep the rooms straight and separate however and you need to be OK with the conflict.  

Best of all are the pearls of wisdom interspersed throughout the book.  Collect them all and you will have a necklace that leads you to smarter thoughts.  Maximize your assets.  Relate to others and connect.  Remember it is not all about you.  It's more important to be close than to win (Peachy: unless it's hockey.)  Find your authentic self.  Purpose is key!

Do you have a Caveman?  Or a Prince Charming?  Or both?  Or Facebook Man?  Does it even matter?  You complete you.  Embrace your reality!

We hope you read this book and find your mouse hole!  Whom You Know Highly Recommends THE NINE ROOMS OF HAPPINESS: Loving Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections By Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf, M.D.


Ask a woman how she’s feeling.  Maybe she just landed a major new account, but she’s stressing about the inaccurate charts in her presentation.  Maybe she’s floating home from a fantastic first date, but an analytical play-by-play grounds her.  

All too often, women fear their momentary mistakes rather than reveling in their episodes of excellence.  The number of mistakes adds up, gathering mass and force to shake the foundations of even the happiest life.  Unfortunately, this is the way many women think about everything—their love lives, their bank accounts, their family life, their career, and their body image 

Lucy Danziger, editor in chief of Self, and Catherine Birndorf, a psychiatrist and expert on women’s mental health issues, have teamed up to figure out why it’s all too common for women to be thrown off balance if things are going well in all areas of life except for one.  In their new book, THE NINE ROOMS OF HAPPINESS: Loving Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections (Voice; March 2, 2010; $24.99), they use the simple metaphor of a house to illustrate the central problem: when women should be grateful for what they have in their lives in the room at hand, they are either seeing the room’s imperfections or, worse, worrying about another room.  The book takes women through different parts of their lives (homes), helps them understand their patterns, and gives them new ways of thinking to solve their own problems.  
Each room represents a facet of a woman’s life:
    - the bedroom is about issues with intimacy—sex, love, desire, and the connection to a partner;
      - the bathroom is about issues of health, vanity, body image, weight, and aging;
    - the kitchen is about food, nourishment, and cooking; it is also the place to discuss household chores and the division of labor;
      - the office/study is about work, career, money, and financial security;
    - the living room is about social connections: friendships, neighbors, and social experiences;
    - the family room is about family ties, siblings, parents, and other nearest-and-dearest;
    - the basement is about memories—childhood, college years, and important life experiences;
    - the kid’s room is about parenting issues, including the question of whether or not to have children.
    - the attic is about family expectations, the desire to create one’s own legacy, and other emotional heirlooms; and 
Danziger and Birndorf evaluated problems that came up in hundreds of interviews with women to find out why a woman’s jubilation or even just self-satisfaction tends to be fleeting, and why the extended periods between those joyful moments are plagued by the inability to appreciate all the good around her.  

Does anyone really have it all?  Are new ways of communicating and social media changing habits?  And how can women learn to live with conflict or let go of their own unrealistic expectations that everything has to be perfect at once, and just be happy in the space they’re in? 

It’s a universal reality that women are feeling stressed out even when most things in their lives are great. Many women look in the mirror and compare themselves to friends who look ten years younger.  Some feel like failures even though they’re happy with their career and husband, but are having a friend issue. Others feel crazed all the time but always want to do more. How can a woman have it all—the family and the job, time for herself and time for others—without feeling like she’s shortchanging herself in any of those areas?   

Filled with testimonials from women, THE NINE ROOMS OF HAPPINESS addresses issues relating to women’s sex lives, money issues, in-laws, siblings, friendships, career pressures, and body hang-ups andprovides prescriptive advice so readers can tackle their own anxieties, find fulfillment in their lives, and avoid potential pitfalls in the future.  The stories are riveting, the advice accessible, and the pearls of wisdom memorable and useful. 

This book offers insight and strategies for dealing with issues that chip away happiness—and gives women new ways of thinking to break their old self-destructive patterns. With this book, readers will learn not only how to be happier in every emotional room, but also how to live in the moment and enjoy each room—joyfully accepting, improving and appreciating themselves and their lives.

Lucy Danziger has been editor in chief of Self magazine for over eight years and has grown the circulation to over 6 million monthly readers.   
Catherine Birndorf, M.D., is a psychiatrist and the founding director of the Payne Whitney Women’s Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.  Both women live in New York City.

Check out for author blogs, videos, interviews, and more Happiness advice. 
Loving Yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections
Published by Voice
Publication date: March 2, 2010
Hardcover: $24.99 • Page count: 288
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2335-6

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