Book Review: Home in Harmony: Designing an Inspired Life by Christa O’Leary

October 29, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 2

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Home in Harmony: Designing an Inspired Life by Christa O’LearyHome in Harmony by Christa O'Leary
Published by Hay House Incorporated on 2014-11-03
Genres: General, Motivational & Inspirational, Personal Growth, Self-Help
Pages: 777
Source: NetGalley
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

We all deserve a calm, well-ordered, pleasingly designed refuge where we can relax and enjoy our families. Having had four children in a little more than five years while running a thriving design business, with the body of a fit runner who does yoga and meditates, Christa O'Leary has become the guardian at the gate of our sanctuaries-our homes. She teaches us to be aware of the toxins found in both our food and furnishings; the detrimental effects of our unhealthy habits; and society's frantic need to have the latest gadgets, to get ahead, and to be forever on the go. As a designer, therapist, and eco-friendly expert, she's often asked how she makes her hockey-mom life and peaceful, beautiful, healthy home look so effortless. Well, the hunt for hersecret is over!       Christa makes it possible for all of us to feel inspired, energized, and in love with our lives and our safe havens-our homes. Many books address the components found in Home in Harmony Lifestyle, including design, color, feng shui, psychology, clean eating, detoxification, meditation, and finding our soul's purpose. However, this is the first book that puts it all together in a fun-to-read, easy-to-implement format. This is the formula for living an extraordinary life, and it's now available to everyone.

My ThoughtsWhat I love:

As the book progresses and the reader learns there are little exercises or what Christa O’Leary calls: Harmony in Action. Each of these are 7 days long. I really enjoyed doing most of the exercises and I can understand why she incorporated them throughout the book. After a concept is explained you can then put it into practice. Of course I tend to rush through books like these and I noticed that I had to slow down in order to achieve the most from the book. Don’t let the exercises scare you though! They aren’t tough at all. Just small daily reminders of the previous chapters you’ve read.

I really liked the portion on creating a vision board. I utilized this technique a long time ago but for completely different reasons so when I read this chapter I knew I would enjoy it. In this case I’m creating a vision board for what I want my life to look like. I also really like these because they are a positive, daily reminder of what you’re achieving. When I used a vision board before I was trying to lose weight and I looked at my vision board multiple times a day! I had so many positive messages on there and I really think it helped to get me through the slumps of exercising. I wound up losing 50 pounds!

 Not so much:

There is a lot in here about toxins. I didn’t even realize we were surrounded with so many!!! This totally freaked me out. There’s a story about how she shared the idea of toxins being in children’s juice and how the lady just refused to listen and gave the juice box to her kid anyway. Now, I have to say I completely agree that we need to know what goes into our bodies but they way it’s introduced in this is overwhelming! There are toxins EVERYWHERE. I thought I was doing halfway decent keeping my environment clean and researching what I do put into my body, but wow. No. Not even close. SADLY, like the woman above I just wanted to run away screaming. There is SO MUCH information in this that it made me want to put the book down and never pick it up again.

After I got over my little tizzy I went back and read in bits and spurts. It really is a huge portion of the book. Sadly for me it completely took the Harmony out of reading this. That said though, I completely appreciate that she put all of it in but I think a more subtle approach may work for the layman’s that are just reading this because having your home in harmony is awesome, being attacked mentally for allowing toxins INVADE your food, house, car, pets, bed, and children is a lot to deal with. It added a lot to the book but it also took away from the book. At least until I could get my head around it.

So, I feel like that whole section which is a huge portion of the book, took a lot out of the read for me. Even saying that though, in the back she has a list of ingredients that are healthy and free of toxins which I thought was wonderful! Otherwise I’d have to be chained to my desk trying to figure out which toothpaste to buy and if my toothbrush was truly made of organic materials. Don’t even get me started about the portion on paint and mattresses!

In short: This is an intense read that yes, does wind up giving great information about living in harmony just beware of the scary toxin chapters and get ready to feel bombarded.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

2 Responses to “Book Review: Home in Harmony: Designing an Inspired Life by Christa O’Leary”

  1. Rita @ My Home of Books

    The basic premise of this book sounds very interesting and worth reading. However I have not jumped on that extreme-clean and beware the toxins bandwagon (oh, I’m not ignorant, I know there is bad stuff out there everywhere in our man-made cleaners and decorations but I choose to not concentrate on it or I’d freak all the time!)
    I like the vision board idea! I saw in O magazine once that Oprah had a vision board for something, and if she did, what with all her money and power, it shows that everyone is vulnerable and could use motivation.
    Thanks for sharing this. I won’t be reading it unless I see it in the library and can skim through to the chapters I’m interested in.
    Rita @ My Home of Books recently posted…My Part in Holiday Readathon & Black Friday Giveaway!My Profile

    • Christina

      I was really sad about the toxins portion. Actually, more miffed really. I understand her passion but at the same time I was hoping for a more harmonic approach! It took so much away. Plus I live near FOUR plants that make all sorts of chemicals. There is no way I can do anything about whatever crazy stuff they are putting into the soil and into the air. Louisiana is a state with one of the highest rates of cancer, and no wonder! But wow… Yeah. It was too much. Vision board, however, is being done! 😀