Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor

Overview

In her first major book since Something More, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes readers to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life.


Organized as a saunter through the year, Romancing the Ordinary celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seasonally and monthly. Ban Breathnach believes that women are endowed not with five senses but with seven. In ...

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Overview

In her first major book since Something More, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes readers to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life.


Organized as a saunter through the year, Romancing the Ordinary celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seasonally and monthly. Ban Breathnach believes that women are endowed not with five senses but with seven. In addition to rediscovering sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch, readers will come to cherish their sense of "knowing" — a woman's intuitive sense — and "wonder," her sense of rapture and reverence.

Writing in the style so beloved by her millions of readers, and drawing on myth, literature, film, music, and drama, Ban Breathnach encourages each woman to discover what moves her to tears, makes her blood rush to her head, her heart skip a beat, and her soul sigh. Interwoven with the text are seasonal indulgences intended to restore weary feminine souls — recipes, rituals, decorating, fashion, and gardening hints. By encouraging her to delight in the often overlooked gifts of every day — from the aroma of simmering homemade spaghetti sauce to the sensation of freshly laundered linen against bare skin — Romancing the Ordinary is sure to help every woman fall in love with Life.

About the Author:
Sarah Ban Breathnach is the publisher of the Simple Abundance Press and founder of the Simple Abundance Charitable Fund. Her book Simple Abundance: A Yearbook of Comfort and Joy was one of the top ten bestselling books of thenineties. Her other books include Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions, A Man's Journey to Simple Abundance, Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self, The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude, and The Simple Abundance Companion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Women were created to experience, interpret, revel in, and unravel the mysteries of Life through their senses," declares Breathnach (Simple Abundance), insisting that women have two extra senses: those of "knowing" and "wonder." Breathnach then works her way through the calendar year, offering tips to women to free their "essensual" selves. Much of the advice (e.g., make your own scented sachets and foot lotions) is rote. At times, Breathnach herself criticizes the commercialization of the sensual. For example, the bath is a "waterfall of delight" that's being "snuffed out by the banality of the self-enhancement poseurs." Homemade is the best way to go, says Breathnach, and even the hours spent preparing various potions are a gift in themselves. On the other hand, she heartily endorses purchasing gourmet fruits, "essensual sets of underwear," silk sheets and other luxuries, since these items also pleasure the senses. Fortunately, the object of all this pampering isn't just to attract a mate. Breathnach urges women to stop focusing on finding a partner and to "learn the sacred soulcraft of self-nurture." While exhortations to "become your own courtesan" may seem narcissistic, the message will strike a welcome chord among women who've learned that sacrificing for others isn't always worth it. At times Breathnach is unintentionally funny she recommends taking Beckett plays to the laundromat to "try on for size being an intellectual." But her occasionally pretentious use of quotations and capitalized references to the Spirit and the Divinity shouldn't stop her fans from pampering their Inner Goddess. (Oct.) Forecast: An author tour and the success of Simple Abundance ensure hearty holiday sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In this program, Ban Breathnach offers a guide to seasonal indulgences that will help listeners enjoy time by themselves, to discover the essential self and its preferences. The ultimate goal is to remind women that the most satisfying and lifelong relationship they will have is with themselves. These essays are strongest when they remind the listener of basic pleasures such as setting aside "sacred" time for self-renewal: reading a book, listening to music, or simply sitting in the sun and watching nature. The advice falls flat in offering examples that seem to be written for the Martha Stewart devotee. Yet the underlying message-to notice and enjoy the gifts already in one's life-will resonate for many women. While those familiar with New Age thought will not be concerned about the author's recommendations, some ideas may seem shocking to some listeners. For instance, Ban Breathnach has a section on how certain personal rituals and thoughts may, to her way of thinking, be a way of casting benign spells. Unabashedly written to and for women (although many of the concepts apply to both sexes), this program is recommended for public libraries serving a predominantly female clientele who have, or want to carve out, time to treat themselves well.-Kathleen A. Sullivan, Phoenix P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641657344
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 10/29/2002
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 Hrs.
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 5.44 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

In her first major book since Something More, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes listeners to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life.

Romancing the Ordinary celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seasonally and monthly. Ban Breathnach believes that women are endowed not with five senses but with seven. In addition to rediscovering sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch, listeners will come to cherish their sense of "knowing" -- a woman's intuitive sense -- and "wonder," her sense of rapture and reverence.

Drawing on myth, literature, film, music, and drama, Ban Breathnach encourages each woman to discover what moves her to tears, makes her blood rush to her head, her heart skip a beat, and her soul sigh. Interwoven with the text are seasonal indulgences intended to restore weary feminine souls -- rituals, decorating, fashion, and gardening hints. By encouraging her to delight in the often overlooked gifts of every day -- from the aroma of simmering homemade spaghetti sauce to the sensation of freshly laundered linen against bare skin -- Romancing the Ordinary is sure to help every woman fall in love with Life.

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Table of Contents

Upon Reading This Book


January

Truth or Dare
The Second Time Around
Sense Speak
A Spirituality of the Senses
Reawakening Your Essensual Self
Come to Your Senses: Sole Mates
The Essence of Sight
The Essence of Sound
The Essence of Scent
The Essence of Taste
The Essence of Touch
The Essence of Knowing
The Essence of Wonder
Eyes Wide Shut
The Scent of a Woman
Come to Your Senses: Mornings of Imperishable Bliss
They Can't Take That Away
Come to Your Senses: What Goes On Behind Closed Doors
Between the Lines: Tangerine Dreams
On Keeping Winter
Come to Your Senses: Sip, Sup, Savor, Sigh
Sensing Simple Splendors


February

The Great Romance
Beginning to See the Light
Paradise Found
What's in a Name?
Come to Your Senses: Name Thy God
The Soulcraft of Pampering
Come to Your Senses: Let the Night Retire
The Way You Look Today
Extra Scentual Perception
Live and Let Love
Lost and Found
Come to Your Senses: Falling in Love with Love
Game, Set, Match, Love
Come to Your Senses: Table for One
Becoming Your Own Courtesan
Awaiting Love
The Lost Arts of Love
Come to Your Senses: The Food of Love
Sin and Sensibility
Come to Your Senses: Divine Decadence
Chocolate Becomes You
Between the Lines: Sense-Drenched Spirituality


March

Between the Dreaming and the Coming True
Come to Your Senses: The Waiting Game
Wild Thing
Come to Your Senses: Wild Things to Do While Waiting
Letting Mother Nature Nurture
Rain Rapture
Come to YourSenses: Saving for a Rainy Day
Lady Luck
Every Breath You Take
Phantom of Delight
Inspired Breathing
The Breathing Home
Come to Your Senses: Why Scent Your Surroundings?
Coming into Balance
Who Could Ask for Anything More?
Savoring Your Day
Come to Your Senses: Stewing in Your Own Juices
Come to Your Senses: Yummy Kitchen
Ghost of a Chance
Weeding Out
Come to Your Senses: Going into the Closet
The Threads That Bind
Between the Lines: Sacred Duality


April

Enchanted April
Finding What You Never Lost
The Very Pink of Perfection
Come to Your Senses: Transcendent Flavors
Losing What You Never Had
Feeling Like a Motherless Child
Come to Your Senses: Springtime Spa
Do You Believe in Magic?
Nothing Conjured, Nothing Gained
What Is Magic?
Your Life Is Your Magic
Every Little Spell She Speaks
Come to Your Senses: The Magic Spell of Scent
The Magic of Glamour
Come to Your Senses: Springtime Saucery
The Listening Walk
Between the Lines: Basic Instincts
Come to Your Senses: Wake Up to Wonder


May

Sacred Partnerships
Changing Places
Just One Look
Being Home
So Nice to Come Home To
On Holy Ground
Come to Your Senses: Holy Homecoming Footbath
Good Vibrations
You Can Hide but You Cannot Run
Messy Girl
Come to Your Senses: When Mess Becomes More
A Home for the Soul
Chez Moi
Sacred Space
Sensuous Scrubbing
Come to Your Senses: Heaven Scent
Romancing the Home
Far-Flung Fantasies
Come to Your Senses: Spice Girl
Home Comforts
Unlikely Prayers
Come to Your Senses: The Caretaker's Cup of Cheer
Between the Lines: Honey, I'm Home


June

Stilled Life
A Life Less Ordinary
What Lies Beneath
She Who Should Be Obeyed
The Other Side of Silence
Perfect to a Fault
Just the Way You Are
Romancing the Flaws
Backward, O Backward...
Come to Your Senses: Peculiarly Personal
Queen of Denial
Come to Your Senses: A Little Dab
The Fusing Grace
Speaking of Unmentionables
Come to Your Senses: Rosebud
Allure à la Mode
The Supporting Cast
Come to Your Senses: Midsummer Magic
Through a Glass Darkly
Come to Your Senses: Chantilly Lace
Between the Lines: Pas Mal...


July

The Being and the Knowing
Too Wonderful for Words
Sins of Omission
Sensing What's Good for You
Bliss Blockers
An Education in Yourself
You've Got It
A School for the Senses
Come to Your Senses: The Glamour of the Grill
The Moveable Feast
Come to Your Senses: Romancing the Salad
Love Like Breakfast
Come to Your Senses: Basking in Bliss
Gift from the Sea
Beauty and the Beach
Come to Your Senses: Ode to Salt
Between the Lines: Becoming Self-Centered


August

In Good Company
Playmates
Jumping into Each Day's Deep End
The Call of the Wild
Love Between the Lines
Shady Nooks and Racy Books
Come to Your Senses: Unsuitable Ladies
Hat Tales
Come to Your Senses: Here Comes the Sun
The Adventure of Accomplishment
Past Forgetting
Come to Your Senses: Soda Fountain Sojourns
Travels of an Independent Woman
Distance Lends Enchantment
Vacationing at Home
Come to Your Senses: Memories Are Made of This
Between the Lines: Running Away to Serenity


September

The Season of Relinquishment
Taking Stock of Your Losses
Getting Defensive
Bring On the Night
Come to Your Senses: Rest Assured
Sensuous Sulking
Come to Your Senses: Your Fondest Bedtime Companion
A Good Cry
The Soul Remembers When
Come to Your Senses: Tender Mercies
Getting Through Getting over It
Mythical Woman
The One Story Worth Telling
The Essensuality of Desire
Come to Your Senses: Lead Her into Temptation
Between the Lines: All About Eve


October

Making Other Plans
Getting out of Your Own Way
Entre Nous
The Pause That Refreshes
In the Nick of Time
She Wears It Well
Come to Your Senses: Every Woman's Gem
The Familiar Revisited
Come to Your Senses: Backwoods Babe
A Sunday Kind of Love
Come to Your Senses: The Passionate Flea
Tea Will Tell
Between the Lines: Finders Keepers
All That Is Hidden Should Be Revealed
Come to Your Senses: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered


November

You Were Meant for Me
Come to Your Senses: Just One
The Secret Marriage
Night Vision
Come to Your Senses: This Delicious Day
How Do You Keep the Music Playing?
Come to Your Senses: A Plea to Stop Whining
Lovespeak
Come to Your Senses: Dearest and Best
Cold Comfort Charms
Come to Your Senses: Romancing the Cold
Come to Your Senses: Pajama Food
Come to Your Senses: A Winter's Tale or Two
Going Back to Your Roots
Come to Your Senses: Vegetable Love
We'll Take Romance
Between the Lines: Love After Love


December

Marvelous Truth
Romancing the Season
On Your Marks, Get Set
The Ghosts of Christmas Past
Come to Your Senses: A Season to Remember
All You Really Want from Santa, Baby
Come to Your Senses: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Christmastide at Newton's Chapel
Come to Your Senses: Newton's Chapel Cup of Cheer
Better Than Christmas
Come to Your Senses: It's a Wrap
Out and About
Between the Lines: The Believer
Come to Your Senses: Trees Telling Tales
O Holy Night
Come to Your Senses: Blooming Change
Going One-on-One
Once More with Feeling


Upon Finishing This Book

Selected Bibliography
With Thanks and Appreciation
Index
Photograph Credits and Permissions
About Sarah Ban Breathnach

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