Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peace and Plenty

Peace and Plenty, Sarah Ban Breathnach's new book out last December is a favorite of mine. Loaded with stories of women's finances gone bad, including hers, Sarah is trying to steer women in the right direction with lessons learned from her fall from millionairess to homeless.

Have a read, you may find something to inspire you. I did.

Here is a critique from Book Page:
A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR FINDING PEACE

Fifteen years after the phenomenal success of Simple Abundance, which spent a year at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, author Sarah Ban Breathnach admits, “All the money’s gone.” Her new book, Peace and Plenty, explains how she hit bottom and offers an approach perfectly timed for the new year: “a fresh start for all of us: living well, spending less, and appreciating more.”

Ban Breathnach’s writing is therapy on a page as she copes with her monumental losses: multiple homes, nine assistants, extravagant purchases (Isaac Newton’s prayer chapel in England, Marilyn Monroe’s furs) and a thieving husband. In dealing with the aftermath, she uncovers the emotionally volatile relationship women have with money.

Instead of writing another dry investing how-to, Ban Breathnach gives women a guide to finding spiritual and emotional peace after financial loss. Anyone who has suffered financial catastrophe—losing a home to foreclosure, losing a job to the recession, losing it all in a messy divorce—will find reassurance and compassion. With gentle advice, Peace and Plenty helps readers face their guilt about past money mistakes and move forward.

Ban Breathnach brings her Victorian sensibilities to plain-Jane finance; her budget includes a Christmas Club, her cash system creates a pin money stash. Readers rediscover the “thrill of thrift” by cleaning out purses and closets for a fresh start, and pampering themselves with poetry and early bedtime routines.

Ban Breathnach, who popularized the Gratitude Journal, now recommends several more tools for inexpensive self-reflection. The Journal of Well-Spent Moments, the Contentment Chest and the Comfort Companion all focus on finding the positive without spending much money.

Advice and anecdotes from famous women who’ve dealt with their own reversals of fortune are included throughout, but Ban Breathnach is at her best when sharing the deeply personal stories of her own financial foibles. And perhaps her greatest lesson came from the treachery of her English husband: Protect yourself first, she advises.

Sharing tears, laughter and many cups of tea with Ban Breathnach, readers will come away with a new perspective for finding peace.

—Stephanie Gerber

Bon dimanche,

Stella

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