Caring for Our Homes

Homemaking as a Social Art

Creating a Home for Body, Soul and Spirit

Veronika van Duin


Add a review

I longed for a book like this when I was a young mother and wife. I felt so alone in my desire to create a home in which my entire family could thrive. I also felt rather lost and uncertain in the face of the enormous responsibility that entails - I often simply did not know how to go about things, what to do. Such a book, of course, didn't exist 20 years ago - fortunately for all, it does exist now.

Veronika van Duin was trained as a nurse and lived for many years in a community with people with special needs, her own family and, later, teenage boarders. She and her husband live with young children with special needs. Her own children are now grown. Needless to say, she has had ample experience in making a home for diverse personalities with extremely different needs. She shares her experience and insights in Homemaking as a Social Art.

Her perspective is that the task of homemaking is at the center of our social existence - a role that creates the heart of society and is nothing less than an art. She never claims that there is a blueprint for creating the perfect home, but rather offers principles and observations based on a study of what she calls the seven "life processes" and how they affect us. She addresses the significance of rhythm, relationships, artistic environment, caring, self-development, and much more besides.

This is a welcome and supportive work - one which I believe will be embraced with gratitude by those who read it. Highly recommended.

Veronika van Duin is also the author of A Rainbow over the River - Experiences of life, death and other worlds.

Homemaking and Personal Development

Meditative Practice for Homemakers

Veronika van Duin



Add a review

Veronika van Duin has made it her life's work to help others create homes that can contribute to the creation of a healthy society.  Her first book, Homemaking as a Social Art, remains a beloved companion and source of inspiration to homemakers throughout the world.  It is generally the first book we recommend to anyone seeking support and direction to their task of creating and keeping a home.

In Homemaking and Personal Development, Veronika explores the need of homemakers to find personal balance amid the delights and disappointments of daily life.  Truly, there are few tasks in this world that are as "real" as homemaking, and the opportunities for arriving at exhaustion, depression, self- and other-blame and more are legion.  Veronika is able to help because she has 'been there and done that' as a homemaker of more than 40 years experience.  Happily for all of us, she has found multiple pathways to joy and balance that are realistic for homemakers in the course of their busy days.

We very highly recommend this book:  There is truly something in it for every stage of homemaking and for every homemaker.  Out of Veronika's experience, you can find exercises that can be "sandwiched" in between diaper changes and meals, imaginations and awarenesses you can hold to restore your balance and warm your soul when sleep-deprived, deeper meditations you can undertake to strengthen your soul and spirit when your life gives you that sort of time.  Most especially, Veronika is there to support your homemaking by supporting your inner life in every way she knows how.

Thank you, Veronika, for a book that is truly a seed for a better future.

The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant


Add a review

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant helped organize the first-ever Conference for Homemakers at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. This book presents the three lectures he delivered at this gathering which drew thousands from all over the world (instead of the hundreds that were expected), eager to come together to consider a fundamental aspect of human life that has become everywhere neglected.

I am so grateful that he honored homemaking as the life-giving art that it is - especially when I consider that even now, at a time when I would have thought we'd all "know better," such honor is rarely bestowed upon those who truly rock the cradle of the world. I find his lectures fascinating in their connections of daily life with cosmic reality. I also deeply appreciate the practicality of his answers in the question session at the end and his emphasis on understanding as the foundation for creating today's homes.

This is a wonderful antidote to our modern, pedestrian view of homemaking ("Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver.") - an invitation to crown our homes with grace and gratitude.

Making a Family Home

Shannon Honeybloom

Photographs by Skip Hunt



Add a review

Making a Family Home is a book of real beauty, one both personal and universal. In describing her home and family life, Shannon Honeybloom shows how she made—and how we can make—a house into a real home as she shares her own efforts, hopes, and lessons in making a safe and healthy home that provides warmth and intimacy for the whole family.

One small cautionary note from my own life: the author's home is beautiful and warm. It is also large and requires a level of prosperity that not all of us have when raising our children. I raised my children in homes that ranged from tiny houses to apartments (also tiny) to rental houses and at that time I might well have looked at the author's home and decided that her suggestions were beyond my means.

I'd like to say clearly that although not everyone can live in such a house, we can all make such a home. It is not at all beyond the means of most parents to use whatever space they have in ways that nurture their children and their family life - and it is here that the author's suggestions coupled with the beautiful photographs can be a real help. If you look to the detail and the spirit of what is being said, what emerges are hundreds of ways we can do little things that have large, heartwarming results. And believe me, your children will thrive in the midst of it.

I very highly recommend and applaud Shannon Honeybloom's contribution to the health of families everywhere.

The Naturally Clean Home

150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning

Karyn Siegel-Maier



Add a review

This is simply the best, easiest to use and most practical book we've found on the subject. Karyn Siegel-Maier has put together an amazing arsenal of cleaning recipes made with things that are easily found and fabulously non-toxic. Not to mention that they really work, and work well. Your home will be clean as can be and smell like fresh air and sunshine. In my case, tasks that I usually avoid have become activities I now look forward to. For any home with children, pets, plants or just plain folk, these are safe, wonderful suggestions. Happy cleaning!


Clearing the Junk: A Buddhist Perspective




Add a review

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by junk? Is your house full of stuff you don't know what to do with? Do you eat too much unhealthy food? Are you involved in destructive relationships? Do you find yourself surrounded by trivialities or engaged in meaningless conversation? Do you feel there's little of value in your life?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then you'll want to read Authenticity. Clearly and compassionately, Ven. Yifa explores junk in all its ramifications: junk food, junk stuff, junk relationships, junk communication, and junk thoughts and feelings. She shows how our obsession with materialism, convenience, and the fast-paced nature of our society is diminishing our ability to connect wholeheartedly with others and making it harder for us to lead authentic lives. Through consciously separating out what is junk from what is genuine, she says, and through practicing right-mindedness, we can gain equanimity, clarity of purpose, true friendship, and the ultimate realization of our Buddha-nature.

Clear the Clutter

Make Space for Your Life

Inge van der Ploeg



Add a review

This is the most unified course on clearing clutter that I have seen - and the only one that creates a setting for conscious self-development as you go. I strongly recommend reading it and working with it -- the outcomes are like a fresh spring breeze!

Inge van der Ploeg is a master at creating space in ways that enable human beings to really live. She has worked with clients both public and private for many years in Holland, and both her experience and her study have deepened her own awareness of the significance of how we arrange our surroundings.

There are several things that make her book a unique and powerful contribution to what I will loosely call the burgeoning field of clutter clearing.

First, she has incorporated, considered and really understood many other authors on the subject, including Karen Kingston who I consider to be among the most valuable.

She has also studied what Rudolf Steiner had to say about the nature of the human being and brings this to bear when discussing how we create our surroundings out of ourselves and how our surroundings can impact our physical, mental and emotional health.

Finally, she has devised a unique set of exercises designed to awaken us and strengthen our capacity to take action in our own homes and offices.

Very highly recommended!