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Self-NurtureReview - Self-Nurture
Learning to Care for Yourself As Effectively As You Care for Everyone Else
by Alice D. Domar
Viking Press, 1999
Review by Margo McPhillips
Jan 31st 2000 (Volume 4, Issue 5)

I read a lot of self-help sorts of books and this seemed to me to be a "formula" book, dutifully broken into sections and sections into chapters. There are lists of principles and lists of ways to practice what is learned and work with targeted problem areas. Halfway through I grew weary and bored; there wasn't enough newness for me. I was thinking and wanting nurturing when I bought the book but received effectiveness instead.

This is a thorough book, with sections corresponding to the four seasons; "Winter: Primal Self-Care" covers basic self-nurture and nurturing of self in the family; "Spring: A Time for Renewal" covers the body, "from shame to celebration" and self-nurture as it relates to significant others; then there's "Summer: Free Time for the Soul" about creativity, friends and siblings; and, finally, "Fall: Auspicious Beginnings" about "Joy at Work" and "The Faith Factor". The information is all there and if one wants information, this is a good book.

Perhaps the fault is mine, for expecting a book on self-nurture to be nurturing, and to expect nurturing to mean what I define it to mean. But even the "stories" and examples seem dry, "I spent the hour on my porch, reading the paper and listening to the birds chirping. It was a blissful respite, and I picked up Sarah from day care in a much more relaxed state than I had been after my talk." That quote is from the chapter on creativity and leisure.

Henry Dreher is coauthor and a health writer and I suspect the problem is that he and Dr. Domar don't make a very interesting writing team. The book is primarily for and about women but I suspect it is Dr. Domar's experience as director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School and Mr. Dreher's writing about it that make up this book. Perhaps it would be better with a woman writer who has more of a "feel" for Dr. Domar's experience. But as I said, the information is all there and if one only wants or needs information, this is a good book. I just don't see "information" and "nurture" as belonging together in the same context.
 

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