|Reviews of The
Lilypad List: 7 steps to the simple life by Marian Van Eyk
"A book of profound insights, at once inspiring and practical. It shows an elegant way out of the consumerist lifestyle of the modern world"
- Satish Kumar, editor, Resurgence Magazine
"Using the ecology of her own back garden as a metaphor for simplicity, Marian Van Eyk McCain draws on her varied life experience in creating a prescription for simple living. This book is profound, deeply moving -- and extremely useful for anyone wanting a simpler life."
- Nona Wright, editor, 'Living Green', magazine of the Life Style Movement
"The author writes with the quiet authority of someone who has, through a lifetime of experience, really achieved a simple life, both externally and more importantly, internally. She uses the metaphor of her garden frog pond throughout to delightfully reinforce the natural rhythms and cycles of life that are key to understanding how to live more lightly on the earth, yet feel more satisfied. It is as much about breaking habits as it is about chopping wood, as much about taking delight in small things, as about taking your cans for recycling, and can be achieved just as well in the city centre as in the depths of the countryside. Anyone who is regularly over-worked, stressed and "coping by consuming" would do well to read this."
England - Pilgrims Mind Body Spirit Magazine
"This book is about the rediscovery of delight, an emotion which has somehow got lost in the cynical, over-satiated, bored modern world. Delight in simple things: how can we truly experience the excitement of strawberries and cream in summer if we can get strawberries all year round? Constant availability hasn't meant constant joy; it's merely deadened our sensibilities as we move rapidly from one jaded pleasure to the next. Marian Van Eyk McCain sees our salvation not in ever-more-sophisticated distractions, but in the delight that true simplicity brings. But as she says, change has to come from within ourselves, not from without. And with this book, she seeks to show us one way of doing it.
The frog, often associated with purity and transformation, is used by the author here as a fitting metaphor for the changes she describes. Written in the current vogue for 'list' books (tapping into our familiarity with bullet-pointed instruction manuals, perhaps), the book guides us in a friendly, accessible manner through the seven stages of achieving simplicity, illustrated not only by episodes from McCain's own odyssey, but also with beautiful line drawings by Iris Hill.
This book is a delight and one I strongly recommend you to buy. But in the spirit of its message, I do so with the proviso that you let go of two things you no longer need."
England - Avalon Magazine
|"In The Lilypad List: Seven Steps To
Simple Life, author, psychologist, and personal
expert Marian Van Eyk McCain focuses on the inner aspects of
simplifying our daily lives to reveal how our inner feelings about life
will guide us to decisive and effective actions. Rather than listing
general prescriptions, The Lilypad List offers readers a working
self-help model to assist them in discovering their own unique paths to
a simpler and more fulfilling life. Written in a jargon-free, intimate,
and conversational style, The Lilypad List is one of the most
accessible, applicable, and down-to-earth advice books available to
non-specialist general readers with an interest in adapting their
lifestyles to simpler rhythms, less intrusive demands, and more
USA - Midwest Book Review
"Marian Van Eyk McCain’s The Lilypad List aims to help people simplify their lives and environments. As frogs fit in with their lilypads, people also can return to a lifestyle in which they fit with the natural environment. McCain has a seven-point plan to help people actualize a simpler way of living, starting with quitting the blame game —
blaming others and blaming themselves. She encourages people to reflect deeply on the kind of life they want, to live mindfully in the present moment, and to give themselves time, space, and silence. McCain makes plain the importance of paring down busy, loud lives to achieve greater holistic balance — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
McCain writes in a manner consistent with the teachings in her book: simply. The Lilypad List is an enjoyable read that will leave people reflecting upon their ways of being in a new light. The book helps readers ease away from many of the stresses of modern-day life. Although McCain does not bombard readers with details about the
erosion of the ecosystem, environmentally conscious customers will find the book especially appealing."
conveys her insights in an inspiring and highly readable way, on how to
go about shedding the burden of 'stuff' that most of us seem to
She paints a picture of a life with "more time to think, dream and ponder".
Yet this is no pipe dream - Marian insists that 'the quest for a simpler life ... has to do with reflecting deeply on who we are and what sort of life we would actually like for ourselves'. At the same time, both the process and the outcome are intended to be pleasurable, for, as Marian says: 'Simplicity is not - and never should be - a hair shirt. It is merely the embrace of a new kind of joy.'
By the time you've pondered Marian's 'seven steps to the simple life' and worked through the exercises in the book, you'll be well-prepared to launch into your sea-change, if that still seems appropriate after you've digested Marian's great wisdom.
I absolutely love this book and my guess is that you will also find it highly motivating."
Australia - Living Now Magazine
"What a delightful read, full of insights and inspiration to follow her example in the simplicity of living a simple life and cutting down on our daily stresses. She uses her own garden's ecology as an extended metaphor and gives exercises on how to quit 'the blame game' and many more of the things that hold us back from being the beautiful people we are. Highly recommended. "
South Africa - Odyssey Magazine
... and here's a link to another, very comprehensive review from Suite 101.
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