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Gurus' Guide to Serenity: A Me-Time Menu of Celebrity Stress Reducers

Gurus' Guide to Serenity: A Me-Time Menu of Celebrity Stress Reducers

by Laurel House, Sharon House

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 An indispensable guide to creating "me time" in your life, revealed by celebrities' favorite gurus. For the first time here are the secrets behind the gurus' wisdom for happier, better living––from fitness to meditation to skin care.

The mid–life crisis, the family crisis, the career crisis, the relationship crisis––everything


 An indispensable guide to creating "me time" in your life, revealed by celebrities' favorite gurus. For the first time here are the secrets behind the gurus' wisdom for happier, better living––from fitness to meditation to skin care.

The mid–life crisis, the family crisis, the career crisis, the relationship crisis––everything nowadays seems to be a crisis. We are in a time of fast–paced overachieving, leaving us too overwhelmed, overstressed, and overextended to enjoy the simplest details that make us truly happy. Cooking, baths, facials, painting, planting, and deep breathing are overlooked, yet they may very well be the saviors of our sanity. Celebrities have the means to find these pleasures, though––Marisa Tomei has her yoga and her guru Sat Jivan and Salma Hayek is invigorated by regular reflexology massages. But what do you do to save your sanity? In this accessible, fully illustrated guide, you can learn the celebrities' secrets to finding "me time," told by the gurus who encourage them to take respite from the insanity of daily living. Learn about Susan Lucci's perfect bath remedy; Goldie Hawn's favorite way to meditate; Christie Brinkley's secrets to gardening; and Shannon Elizabeth's beautiful Feng Shui house. Instead of buying dozens of self help books and women's magazines, you can find anything and everything you need to help you de–stress – and feel like a celebrity – in The Gurus' Guide To Serenity.

Editorial Reviews

“Filled with stress-reducing ideas, [it] will leave you feeling refreshed for holiday fetes and photo ops.”
Arizona Republic
Marla Maples
“A wonderful collection of helpful ideas to discover ways to bring inner peace, balance, and creative fun...”
Kathy Kaehler
“Reading this book has helped me recognize the importance of creating time just for me.”
Jenna von Oy
“What a wonderful reminder that every woman’s soul needs a pick-me-up from time to time.”
Anna Getty
“The Gurus’ Guide to Serenity is a must read for piece of mind, body and soul.”
Parenting Magazine
“Instant relaxer. Feeling tense? Massage your eyebrows! It’ll relax your scrunched-up forehead and calm tension.”
Rita Trieger
“Laurel and Sharon have managed to turn self-nurturing into the art form it deserves to be!”
Melissa B. Williams
“A refreshing and much-needed read.”
Lisa Breckenridge
“As the mom of 3 month old twins…GURUS’ GUIDE is filled with great tips to help me relax!”
Lori Corbin
“Just say, ahhhh…If you want something cool and unusual to be one with the world, this book’s got it.”
Publishers Weekly
For everyday folks who don't know how to relax, here's a collection of suggestions from professional spa owners, therapists, chefs and others who provide services to Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Richie and other celebrities. The authors, a mother/daughter team of "Hollywood insiders" (Laurel's the West Coast editor of Fit magazine; Sharon is a publicist), examine how celebrities and their gurus transform their homes into the perfect places to soak in bathtubs, perform or receive spa treatments such as facials, practice yoga, meditate, cook healthy food, make art and crafts, knit, garden and exercise. Thankfully, readers need not own a Beverly Hills mansion (or boast a Tinseltown pocketbook) to follow their recommendations. For example, spa and pool designer Tag Galyean, who has created oases at some top American luxury spa resorts, contributes simple and inexpensive recipes for morning and nighttime baths requiring basic oils like rosemary and lavender. Manhattan's Glow Spa, where Ivana Trump is a regular, provides formulas for a Virgin Gorda Mango Body Polish and Chocolate Fondue Facial Mask. Readers seeking to hear celebrities' direct thoughts on stress-reducing techniques will be disappointed; the authors mainly just list stars who indulge in various relaxing practices. But the guru advice is so detailed and practical, it makes up for the lack of actual celebrity input. B&w photos. Agent, Matthew Guma. (On sale Dec. 14) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Daughter and mother Laurel and Sharon House, West Coast editor of Fit magazine and a partner at a Los Angeles PR firm, respectively, have collected the de-stressors of B-list celebs like Vanna White, Melissa Rivers, and Susan Lucci. Most are elementary and simple (e.g., scented candles, massage) and feel more often like product placements than advice. The book's raison d' tre-that American women lack "me-time"-is arguable, as is the notion that celebrities are "in desperate need of a little coddling." The biggest strength here is that most of the home spa treatments are described clearly and sound doable and fun (e.g., peeled, grated potato temporarily lightens those dark circles under the eyes), but these ideas can be found in more affordable and down-to-earth books like Laura DuPriest's Natural Beauty: Pamper Yourself with Salon Secrets at Home. Pass. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.64(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Gurus' Guide to Serenity
A Me-Time Menu of Celebrity Stress Reducers

Chapter One

Savor Your "Me-Time"

We are living in a time of fast-paced overachieving. Rushing through our days forces us to rush through our lives, and all too frequently we miss the most important, yet simplest details that make us truly happy. Baths, spa treatments, massage, yoga, meditation, cooking, art projects, gardening, knitting, sacred spaces, stretching, relaxing, and breathing deeply are often completely overlooked and undervalued.

We have been raised with the mantra that we can have and accomplish anything and everything, if we work hard enough. This concept, though common today, may still be a bit foreign to our mothers or grandmothers, many of who were raised to raise and born to breed. They were praised for their Bundt cakes, perfect children, and sparkling floors. They were ladies who lunched and kept themselves well groomed. They adored their husbands and cherished their children. In fact, they very well may have doted on their kids a little too much, maybe even to the point of imposing, because as the 1960s progressed, many young, blossoming women set themselves "free."

Being a housewife was suddenly "out," and free loving was "in." But when the realization took over that the hallucinogenic heydays were coming to an end, many women traded their tie-dyed shirts for suits. They quickly dismissed the role of the 1950s housewife and explored every crevice of political and economic freedoms that had for so long been denied to them. The feminist movement was birthed, and soon these women, briefcases in hand, invaded the predominantly male working world. For many, housekeepers were hired to facilitate the abandoned role of the mother, creating a new variable in the family unit -- the nonkindred caretaker.

Women today want to have it all. We, the "do everything" women of the twenty-first century, want to raise our own children while continuing to make a substantial financial contribution to the family, pleasing our spouses, maintaining friendships, and simultaneously being happy ourselves. Impossible? Maybe. But we certainly persist. For most of us, this equation of life can be a little daunting, with the ultimate result being an overextended, overwhelmed, ostensibly flaky woman. We end up spending so much time trying to do and be everything that we forget to be ourselves. We overlook the most important, though seemingly insignificant details, like nurturing our spirit and our soul. So where does this leave us? In a constant state of crisis.

Midlife crisis is no longer solely a term used to describe men in their fifties who suddenly realize that everything they have accomplished has not produced the happiness and fulfillment they had expected. Unfortunately, "do-everything" women are also experiencing midlife crises. Instead of running off and buying expensive cars, getting tattoos, or leaving their spouses for their secretaries, women are feeling emptiness and a longing for times past. Having spent a lifetime nurturing our children and pleasing our bosses, employees, and co-workers, we are in dire need of nurturing and bettering ourselves. Giving ourselves permission to take a "time-out" is an issue for many of us who have always catered to the needs of others. In our moment of crisis, we are realizing that we have spent our lives living to work and not enough time working to live.

But it is not just those of us in our fifties who are in a crisis situation. New terms have been created to describe the confusion, depression, and instability of children who have been caught in the crossfire. Those girls, turned women, are our friends, daughters, or maybe ourselves. We have graduated from college with the mantra ingrained in our heads that we can be anything and do everything. And many of us are shocked by the reality of life. We have new fears and doubts about relationships as our parents or friends' parents get divorced, a harsh reason that our own "happily ever after" often fails along the way. Some young women expect to find successful careers that pay enough money to purchase a house and a car immediately. We are all too often way too keen to be all grown up, which manifests in jump-started marriages that quickly crumble, careers that prove unsatisfying, and a sense of self that seems to be diminishing. We have fallen into the "quarter-life crisis."

While self-help books are fine, at the age of fifty or even twenty-five, we are tired of being preached to and promised to be "saved." We need more than to hear that stress is bad and finding time for ourselves is good. We need, instead, real-life tips, advice, and suggestions on what we ourselves can do and how we can do it to achieve a stressless, or at least less stressed life.

Celebrities are often the barometers for what is "hot." And though their lives are filled with glitz and glamour, even celebrities need a break, a moment's rest that is purely for themselves. It is personal time minus the Hollywood boyfriend, the manager, the agent, the makeup artist, the paparazzi, and even the fans. Celebrities work so hard to maintain their perfectly sculpted outward appearance, but sometimes, like us, they need a little inner nourishment as well. From yoga to knitting and the dependable bubble bath, celebrities somehow find ways to work alone time into their jam-packed schedules. Although some celebrities are able to conjure up calm on their own, most need a little guidance from their "gurus." From personal trainers to aestheticians, yoga experts to aromatherapists and herbalists, these purveyors of serenity offer celebrities spiritual and emotional health and well-being while helping them develop the creative outlets that nurture the soul ...

The Gurus' Guide to Serenity
A Me-Time Menu of Celebrity Stress Reducers
. Copyright © by Laurel House. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Co-writer Laurel House is the West Coast editor for Fit magazine and Fit Yoga magazine as well as a freelance writer for several health and wellness publications. She is the author of The Gurus' Guide to Serenity and lives in Los Angeles.

Sharon House (left) is a partner in a well-known public relations firm. Her clients have included such stars as Jane Fonda, fitness guru Kathy Kaehler, and Whole Foods Markets. She and her husband have three children and live in Los Angeles.

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