« Good Life Project

Jennifer Louden | Rediscovering Desire and Meaning

2020-04-23 | 🔗

Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the concept of self-care with her first bestseller, The Woman’s Comfort Book. Since then, she’s written seven additional books on well-being and whole living, including The Woman’ s Retreat Book and The Life Organizer, with close to a million copies of her books in print in nine languages. Jennifer has lead retreats and workshops internationally since 1992, written a national magazine column for a Martha Stewart magazine, and been profiled or quoted in dozens of major magazines; two of Brené Brown’s books, Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead; and appeared on hundreds of TV, radio shows and podcasts—even on Oprah. Her new book ,

Why Bother (https://amzn.to/2xfESk9), challenges you to choose what you devote yourself to in a more intentional way.

You can find Jennifer Louden at: Website: http://jenniferlouden.com/| Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenlouden.writer/


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
My guess is jennifer aloud and is a personal growth pioneer who can help launch the concept of self care with her best seller, the woman's comfort book. Since then, She has written seven additional books on well being whole living putting the woman's retreat book and life organizer with close, a million copies of books in print in nine languages shortly. Retreats and workshops internationally has written fur. Many different places, including Martha Stewart magazine, been profiled all over the place, included in you'd? Bernay browns books appeared in hundreds of tv and radio show he mount Oprah, which we talk. Because it's a really interesting and unexpected twist on that and now she is in this moment of her life, where the being called to re, examine who she is too
imagine the life that she wants to craft after some major disruptions and changes and ass The question at this point in life: why bother That, in fact, is the title of her new book. Why bother for the desire for what's next and we touch down on so many pivotal moment and awakenings in this wide, ranging and moving conversations cannot wait to share with you I'm jonathan fields, and this is good life project. How does a I even work? Weird? Is creativity? Come from? What's the secret to living longer, ted radio, our explores the biggest questions with some of the world's greatest thinkers. They will surprise challenge and even change you listen to, and pierre is ted radio. Our wherever you get your past.
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Did you have any sense for what let you up when you were younger? I always wanted to make stuff. I always right. I made films, ay plays, I was always making stuff, I doubt from a very early. So? Where? Were you aware of the fact that that was your damn from an early age? I don't think you know when I. Hard to go back as now. We think so much about. What's our person, you know what's Where did we come from, but I don't think there was every anything else for me. Then I I always wanted to create stuff, and I think it became toxic at some point for me as an adult kiss, it became about identity and being special, but as a kid it was just pure, creative Why are they so looking, in those early years as the maker gesture lake takes the lead. You have a memory of us or a story of like the coolest thing that you made. You know, I think one thing the minors I took,
romeo and juliet and seventh grade and wrote a rock and roll version of it with stairway to Heaven is seventy resolved and we performed in the bird reynolds dinner, theatre, regensburg, metals, owned, idiot, thinner, theatre in our town, and I think he came and saw the production of kidding it's my memory might not be true, though that is so. That's that's a great member and it also has a memory of early creative shame, because I also thought I wanted to be an actor and, I made everybody, including myself, audition for that, and I was so afraid I couldn't audition. And so I remember there being a feeling and making up play that was so pure and so me and so wallasey and also like, but I didn't do it a hundred percent. I didn't. I wasn't that you know
writer, director actor person that I wanted to be so I mean it also sounds like there's like perfectionism is touching down really early to me or or was it something different? Now I think for me, it was more about. Can talk about the enneagram a little bit of gram for wanting to be special wanting to be different, I'm not a perfect, as there are ok, I'm not. I got that's good enough. You can just look at my social media most for all the time. I thought my yet the number of responses we get to do. I love your writing, Somebody's gotta check people unsubscribe over the years. In my newsletter because of my typos, we finally got our regular copy. Editor they're, like you, can't call yourself a writer. It makes a difference, but you are also I mean you were dyslexic as a kid. I am dyslexic alright. How did that show up? Because it sounds like you are also writing really early too, and I don't think I could, have become a professional writer without computers, so can personal? Can
there's came about when I was it from school and ITALY loud me not only spell correction but it allowed me to move things around, and was huge. For me, the dyslexic diagnosis was the best thing. Come up with in the eighties. They said, there's something really weird about you, how you learn and how you spatially organise things, something really not regular here, we're gonna call you dyslexic, we don't know what else to call you got it so spelling airs for sure number jerk completely directional challenged spatially challenged. Very funny. I wanted to be a filmmaker, give it a try. that you I mean you're I congratulate the time you enter filmmaking, also, which was right around the time, because everything was still analogue tat. Oh my god, which actually for somebody who's dyslexic or demographic, probably makes it more accessible, nope. Ok, I would did a film and I would put-
the wrong way on the real god, I would have ended up being an editor. If I would have learned at two years later, I probably a gun into out even overriding cause? I could take things and move them around and put them together. I loved so when you're doing your rock and roll version with, still ready to this seventh grade how does that actually How does the creative process where, if you had a lines, come out? How do you actually get your mind? I organize it and make it all happen, because that's a lot of complexity and moving pieces, it's it. It has been always something technological, helped me. I don't remember that right now, Furthermore, something printing stuff out and cutting it up and moving in a round of editing someone else's work. I it's it's, but I get it. I mean can feel that tension in my body when you asked me it's almost like a panic like will I be able to do it again? Will I figure out that way to organise things? It's a challenge. Do you feel in any sense that the sort of
workarounds at you, ve had to create to thrive, sir, like with your learning style has in any way benefit. He and my curiosities because eventually have a number friends who are either much of our various learning challenges. Who are astonishingly accomplished in business and in the arts and sir shared with me that really really really hard when they were younger, but they were forced, kind of like see things differently come about things differently, way that almost gave them access to creative output, which was distinctness I'm curious whether youth experience at it off your ear, face a telling me night, oh no, no! No, I mean I wish it sounded like yes, I mean on mask, but away from me what it was. I was unemployable, so I had to make my own way, I got. I had a straight hub for a year of my life, I've been self employed ever since then, and
Yesterday we were running and she's like you're, just so amazingly risk taker and I'm thinkin. I had no choice right. I had Make my own way, because I mean I got fired I couldn't type. I couldn't spells things I know, so I think it really just forced me into learning to make my own business and make my own way desert push you into narrowly the weather, creativity, but entrepreneur, shareholders, rights like you, two earlier living who also at the same time, That was also you that wasn't as issues not can also rights. Does that did play a role once were like seeding that as a possible way to go about life. When I got that straight job out of college. I it was I have literary agency to be a literary assistant, thought it was the coolest thing ever I called my dad town, I got a job and there was dead silence and then the phony, and he said why did you do that yeah classic? He was like. I thought you wanted to be a writer.
I was like so like, but dad I'm really proud of myself, because I there was a part of me that wanted to be competent and fit it into the world, and you know, plus, of course I needed to make a living through that on the business side of things. I know you also talked about your mom as in incirlik. This really interesting sort of like dualistic way, hand, your sheriff, on the other hand, also living in this kind of like very typical, conservative nineteen fifty model where she wasn't ash, even cyrillic quote, allowed to work curious. How sort of seeing the way that she navigated the world, especially when you were young, are affected, your lands on how you might navigate the world and also. Your decision to effectively be in service of increase for women over the last three decades yeah I do no it until I spent four years and five hundred page. Is writing a memoir that completely failed as a
of literature, but it taught me so much it hot. It changed my life so profoundly to spend those years rain historian. Out of that. What leaped out over and over again is high I saw her stopped by her culture by her father by my dad and I think my entire work has been in support of not wanting that to happen. Two other women, but I didn't know it and I think that's fascinating. How often are we motivated by things, and we don't get it until we're in our fifties if we're lucky, I mean it was so obvious ones. I saw it on the page, the story, china get a scene trying to bring people into at high it just it hit me over the head as a few slapped me right now. Yeah. It is a really interesting when we reflect on things like this, because fuel we'd love to believe
that we are that we have so much freeway, so much agency, and we know especially when we feel like we ve spent some time do the world, we kind of know who we are and why we do or doing then you cross like over into this next precipice relic. I have now I know what's going on, I m doing anything any in others. Are there such surrendering kind of pleasure? And now I ll back at my younger self. Without she had it all figured out her motivation in a wet ever and now I'm just like. While I have no idea, I have no I do it's motivating may have no idea why making a choice by making a day I'll, try I'll try to hack this is still but we'll see that wisdom. And to some of those choices, so you, and have gone to usa, studying film was filmed something that was that kind of like a default or were you seriously thinking? I love film and I want to make this,
no I was seriously- I mean I had written I'd, love, literature, but I'll I mean I went to the movies every single weekend I made I spent, I think, has been a year and eighth grade making of superior film. I made some eight films at my first school leavers, florida transfer from there their democracy, and I mean I thought I want to be around creative people. I want to be around people who are really alive, who were doing this work at that was really bad as much as I told myself, and I got some kudos, a a university of florida as being making some movies that people like so at thought, and my film school teacher said you should go to film school and like okay. This is about as much as I gave it as a nineteen year old red, went up in usa when you went, but when you get though, is that when you get that first job working as it. Why not straight into the weather. Films are like doing their pierre working away up thing. That's a really good quest, I think that I was feeling pretty lost.
I know I know I know the have that that's for sure that was true. Icily lost, but I also started realizing that sentiment if in directing, which is where I thought I would go, we're not my talons, but writing was so. I started to write more inthem school. More again, you know you're doing a good job. For that and other things I thought it got. The reigning groot streamlining room, Alright and plus it gave me an identity. It gave me something to hold on to. It, gave me someone to be which was really important so the early days, then the focus was, I mean, were you actually coming out of school? Say I'm going to write movies there by the unknown, those three years that I was there. That was the I came in thinking make movies and quickly first of all women in eighteen. Eighty two ok when in twenty twenty. You know so I pretty much quickly figured out. This is going to be frustrating. I also realise that I didn't have the balls at that point, to tell people what to do. I was completely unequipped directive home
played around some cinematography, editing and again both found my learning disability getting in the way with that. But writing I am I I can do this. I can figure it out and I think I could be good about it. So that's where ended up You have a sense that you can make a living during this cause? That's always been one of the early now with the entire career of writing weather screen writing whether its novels, what this memoir, whether it's me a prescriptive that big curiosity and the begging illegal in the world. parents well, that's nice, you can do that on the side. Did you have a sense from the earliest days that you actually might be able to support yourself doing this. I never ever thought I wouldn't. I never occurred to me that I wouldn't I thought I mean Had I had colleagues, I had stooped friends that got out of school and this they sold stuff right away. Why wouldn't I in now, actually didn't serve me ass, because
Wasn't willing to take the time to learn my craft had a boyfriend who's got on. I won't name his name to be super sleepers, which was well and he was like taking us oh, that was started in tat television who actually done most of his work in college and he that wasn't produced anymore and studying it and taking apart and writing a sample script for a show he couldn't sell, and I thought he coral raises: he who wins to have a super, successful tv career in it I was too impatient, so I thought totally. I would be six as I felt it sells gwynplaine six month what happened and I got an agent I guy meetings they did all about, but I was thinking when I look back at that didn't know how to become and to be mentored I didn't know how to find a mentor. I didn't know how to study the craft didn't how to be patient. I did not take a meeting. And I didn't know how to build threat. build can mean a community air network and I got
really really depressed seriously deprive us our drinking too much, my boyfriend, and I who later became my first husband, we broke up. It was just a just. I went down pretty quickly because I was having the success that I thought I should become someone as as a what twenty three or all no buzz itemised polly twenty inside when his eyes look here with a single. No stupid I have in this, as in the milk, the spectrum of like that, you know the career, it's embarrassing! That story muttering, but I mean like it in the Duma. Get this question so often. I know I do some and I'm sure you do probably a lot more than me, which yeah like what would you tell your twentysomethings and so often I just think you like just let go
exactly reynolds like a longer view where you have to see how much more time than I think you have just figure out who you are you care of exactly what I said my twenty five year old now. So what brings you out of this took place in your maternal ay? would have a small voice. That would say you need. This is god's. Are god's honest truth? You need to be kind here, so you need to take a break. You need to stop pushing yours. Also, harding you to stop beating yourself up, I was would sit. Those big original personal computers and putting that floppy do his skin. I would try to write the screen play that I haven't age and that was interested in and I would rewrite the same couple pages over and over again I was so stark and then I would drink too much and this voice. We keep saying this to me different ideas. I just take some time off. Go get a job at the bookstore. Go get a job at the plant store. I was really injured and gardening, and I,
so yea out when I saw the scream hip, which is insane now, but it felt like I was gonna die. If I quit writing, if I quit trying us hell. I was so envious of my friends that were selling things, and so I had one particular friend who had decided to be a writer like a year before and she had gotten a better agent and she'd sold the treatment, and I was so envious of her and when decided. I have to take a break from writing and I called her and I called her someone I was jealous of not good, not a good thing, but I did and told Romano take a break from writing and she was like whatever and I hung up phone- and I remember feeling like I was following such a moment of just the render of this identity that I had built up and myself, and at that moment I heard the title for what became my first book very, very clearly like someone cited in the room and in fact I think I remember looking over, I had em the that kind of front door. It opens. Has it
Really that's called the split diversion and I thought it was opened in my name. My my landlord lived above me had stuck her head and inside this title so wishes the woman's comfort book, and I remember thinking what what it's not like, a bathroom book like a book, you right, you know, No, no, and but it became this kind of rail to me. On my own. journey to learn to be kind start to learn to be kind to myself. I'm still learning I mean so interesting, so thee, the the tool title tat. Just color drops from the muse I now did. You have a sense for war. The thing around the title needed to be at that time, or did it sort of like reveal what it needed to be over time, as you start to move into, My memory and I sure wish I kept better wreckers because I would have a copy of this. Is that I some notes on a piece of noble paper about what the book would be and then forgot about it.
I had to go back to screenwriting? You know which is so much what we do right. We have something that leads us forward and then we try to go back to what is known or what is safe or what is our identity? This is what screw me up over and over again and my life that in many times in the future and and I finally wrote a book proposal for it, but I wrote it the way. I thought I should write it, so I called it my pseudo therapist, while my pseudo phd was it was such a bad book reports or oh, my god and everybody turned down, but two of the publishers harper who in publishing in- and I think it was- I forgot who else that would have been harper road and rail they just got by just became heartburn called out. I got they both this is a really interesting idea. What, if you did this and the game? Is ideas, and then I went back and found that piece of paper that had the original spark of the idea on it, and I felt it
now when you feel that original idea that you felt this for your books, if you ve ever lost track of what you're doing or this podcast or all the other things you ve, created jonathan rain, like. Why is the smelling dead or how did this get? You know why did they die where the original spark. I almost wonder these days, whether that's almost like a I'd, love to think if you just leap frog that he but on an almost anything I've created, I'm sure to sing with you in private anyone whose listening to those who has spent more than minutes and in a creative and never like. There's you do lose your way and it's it's actually. I don't think that's a bad thing I dont see them back. I don't either. I know, and I think you can. I don't think you can prevent it maybe you can shorten it, but I don't think you can prevent it. Some of it is the exploration of what do I really want to say here. What am I a stand for? What is this, about some of it? Is market testing if you're, making a product or a course
the remember when I was working on uncertainty- and here I am writing a book how people create extraordinary things by navigating high was of legal certainty, unlike halfway through injury people on their telling me the best, if only happens when you let go of the past. And I'm sitting there thinking, I'm literally backing off items in it in a fiercely detailed outline late, because at least this is what the book has to be and it dawned on me, I'm like, but everyone's telling me. I need to just completely let that go and just it's a waste at it. Slowly is revealing to me an but it's terrifying did it. It's terrifying. Its essential. I think it's the process that we, the lived through over and over again, not just in our creative work, but in our lives and when we fight it, which I totally agree with you, we do it's the way our brains are built, that's where we get stuck
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this download right and it's starting to reveal itself as your writing. This book, which interesting to is that you're, wait twenty at this point, you realize your cat got a book. I got a book deal How book deal from the major publisher Who is willing to trust me based in part on the title in part, on the idea that off figured out along the way, yet it was not. the title I had. One writing credit I had written a television show and not in from the two years so yeah I had what I had. No, I didn't. I don't think- published a magazine article. Those tools the title? Do you think happen now I don't know I mean look at a book like educated Just a huge content. I mean it's been over a year in the new york times by seller list in hard cover. Does that their first book. She had no idea how to write. She had no platform, so I think that there are ordered where the crowded saying
you know incredible- actually citizen kane, I'm quite sure sure, gangway by massive phenomenon- yeah I mean it's interesting, because I think a lot of people that is really the publishing industry these days stuff. Just doesn't happen anymore, because you need one person who has power within a bubble who is willing to basically trust in the idea in your ability to execute on it, but I do think is really rare, but but it can happen. I believe, if I listen to everybody who told me I couldn't in my life, especially with learning disabilities, if I mean I remember when the when I got the deal for the woman's comfort book. I remember this so clearly. I was with a girlfriend and her husband will boyfriend. I don't remember what it was at. The time was sitting on the couches. Like will really good for you. You got a publishing deal you know how hard it is to sell any. copies, I mean really, you know you're just and I just member think, and you just watch me. You just watch me and then I
No, so there's always someone who's going to say it's not passementerie might not be, but that's not the point. The point is something's, calling you something. bringing you alive and we get. So caught up in these instagram times that it has to have six, some immediately, you know we're all my twenty five year old self. Fallen, do it do don't earlier tolerably butler do yeah that continues to follow us for a long time. I writing this block There is an interesting moment also where I guess Maybe the book is down. The manage gap is accepted. Public Their tells you harbour tells you hey working your. Fifty thousand print Which is insane anybody at any time, but then kind of backpedals Way from us what happened? They said
Read the manuscript had too many candles in what we thought it was to new age, which is really funny cause. I mean it was such a head. it's time to actually right on time when it was published book, and now we have entire candle industry vehicles of only I would have now, so they thought to too many those two too soft, and so they pulled out- and what they said they and No, I mean this was nineteen. Ninety wine, the book I suppose night in it, so. There was no social media. I'm in the I didn't know. The internet existed so I sat down and somehow I got hold of a story of what wayne Dire did with less fertile legendary station wagon. Unlike a minute, so. My parents gave me therefore tourist station wagon, the wobbly wagon, and I bought a mailing list from like adult educator edgy
and they had a mailing, listen man kansas member, and then I got all these and I would I mailed off proposals and I made a little book tour on giving workshops than I filled it in with books, signings and book talks, and I spent three months driving around the country and the wily wagon, and then word of mouth started to happen and harbour gave me media support and I started getting national media lots and you know- and this is when newspapers still existed and radio shows and then it became aware If the seller and that becomes not just the best seller but truly phenomenon. I mean that book because huge. To this day, I believe is still rallied round sells a couple hundred copies a year right and there is little royalty reaches an amazing. What and when you think about it, and really, sir, like is the flag in the sand that matches career into the one, the barrel knapsack. So did you have any sense at that point? because it doesn't just launched the birth but, as you said, to many candles, writing this
idea of voting energy to take care of yourself specially for women as much is it it is completely does like I said I it really exist in a meaningful way before that it did not exist outside of recovery movements, especially from sexual abuse and eating disorders, there was not popular back on it, there was not open we're still jerry springer. I mean it was just a really different time and when I would go and give talks are king, its or workshops people ability to germany If I get my nails done. While this is a way bigger idea. I'm trying to get across here aren't away bigger idea, it's really I realized it was my feminist manifesto, which was if you're not in your life. This is not your life. What do you remember that? If, if self care is getting your nails down or taking a bath instead of living the life
you wanna wealth year, this we're we're missing the point entirely? there's so much bigger than taking a bath or getting yeah whatever it looks like now. so it's that it certainly positing the idea of self care, not just as appointments at you make to do x y hazy, but your will There's two actually explorer and express the essence of who you are and know that you have not only that you have the right that that the that you can click the if you dont claiming agency to do that. No one's ever gonna give it to you and I think, that's what more common now but still say my daughter struggle with it a little bit still. It is a different struggle to dublin different struggle. It I had, and in all this when I think about my mom. She didn't have the agency to say This is how I want to create my life, I'm not that its ever gonna be all about. You would be horrible and not in its ever really get to do
at all? But if you don't have that deep sense of he had? This is who I am, and this is what it looks like to live. My life. then all the baths and massages in the world or just there? I can do any good. I feel like we're in this really interesting moment now on them. In so many different ways beyond me too, and what's happening there in terms, that willingness to say this is who I am deal with it and people who are stepping up to solely become the voices next generation that makes certain lobbies like little. Oh yeah right. I mean it's fascinating to see who she is an and how people are rallying round her and her sense of identity and full expression annesley world. This is and this is all about me and that is amazing, so take believe it. I really dont care It's so beautiful. You said that when I follow her aunt instagram, I quoted her in the new back, I mean it would
know who she was. If it wasn't for my daughter right, I just one told would not returned. Cooler than I am I like. That is the best exactly what I met with that. But that is exactly what I was trying to get out and you are living in an it and and thank god right- and I think, that's part of doing something really early on it at some point you have to let go of it and go there. not my band cat cherry anymore. This is got a million times better than I could ever talk about it and lived and by example, she what she's doing for other women, people so to that one, but it comes out The two launches you into a career in writing and also, it's kind of like a maybe not entirely in name but a bit of a franchise around the idea right so like cover for a couple levels, overflight near agony eventually led you to write a book on on women's retreat, and that is the body that
of creating this really interesting scenario. For you, where you get the dream, that book land you on Oprah back in the day when Oprah was like you this massive massive audience. Everyone was turning into her and Harry anyone who wrote a book who ends up on the show is meant for life. As an author, you had a very an experienced both being on the shell and in the aftermath tommy little bit about that here: we're gonna homer shames tomorrow. Thank you. Thank you. So I very much by in two. I think the thing that's important step back is because the first book was successful. I felt very much Indeed, the narrative can't I have to keep getting chosen. I got You know I had no sense, I mean I know irony, let's just ring the irony bell no sense of my own agency
that's also ridiculous. I did I mean I was self employed. I was taking care of my family. I was making stuff happens, but like deep inside, I didn't believe that I was the one that had a business that could make stuff and I I kept wanting someone to choose me and that really became a scenario of Oprah Oprah, Oprah choosy and even though all evidence how Sarah was part of the fact that you did have the right to do whatever I wanted. I think there was such a part of me that thought if I could get her to love me, I would finally feel like enough. If I could get to annoy me? I would finally feel like enough- and I also was feeling like hey. I was here first with this idea and other people are getting attention That's not fair pictures again, super embarrassing doing that to admit, and so on did get invited. They invited me to be a guest on the show to talk about a subject that they wanted me to talk about. That is not the same thing and there is a big
my brain, that new at, but I was so like this at this is so then, when I did the show. I felt faults I felt out of alignment, I felt I'm sure I just remember just being whom I got out of my body and when I walked off that sad, I didn't what I wanted, which is for her to tell me she loved me, and that I was good enough and love, sent me into a pretty profound depression for a while in a real sense of what the hell am. I doing and why bother to do it, yeah sort? go from there. I mean how do you, because, still had to make a living. You know your marriage mom you're a new year provided for the family out. So I had had you function. How do you surely navigate that that season wow. I remember
Remember feeling so stock and so lost. I had an idea for a new kind of planner which ended up becoming the life organizer book. I spent a lot of time on that trying to figure out how to start a company around that that didn't anywhere. I wrote forty pages of whining memoir that didn't go anywhere, but sort of started tick. Those two things came together into the actually before the life. Organizer comfort, wings, guide the life. So I think, for two years I just pretty much tried thing and I dont remember how I'm I'm sure I was still doing speaking stuff, a lotta briand stuff, then brands would call me they would look up. They would. Google comfort was before Google and they find me and they were hire me for a lot of money. I didn't endorsed stuff, but I will come and talk about self care and then I would be next to like their brand or on their stage, or so I know that I'm
There was one time when I was like how am I gonna pay the bills and I got a call and it was a forty thousand dollar gig. So I think I got bailed out a few times that way there will I mean they'll doubt that also bailed out, because you have spent years building into this play railing. That's not how I thought about it. I have been through solely put this on the matter I like, when you're in the mill, Lorraine, that's it you're, looking at it. That way like just while that was quote lucky in really became a story for four long time and I would leave it and I would come back to it that I had felt that I had really failed and then hat and that I had this incredible opportunity not over, but the whole thing and I hadn't leverage to been Jonathan fields with Hatton Ben. Whoever I would put up on a pedestal by them and like recoiling, whereas I like it so much. I like how much idiotic I walked away from our criterion summit has, but I think that is
yet within me I'll be right over your router projector letter. You end up your part. I guess that's all this also the season where these are teaching a lot more I was sort sorta like after that was that was part of the emergence from it. You know that was really part of the emergence I became like. I was called and asked to do a keynote really early on and I remember going with to kino- and I remember like oh my god, I I I think I memorized the whole thing I was so nervous. I did such a good job and then I have been asked to do retreats and workshops, and I had started doing workshops on my own, but I started ass from from outside sources, but I hits I struggled so tremendously with teaching. Speaking and again, I look at that young woman, and I think, oh, my god, honey- part of it was, I thought anytime. I they give a speech, everybody in the audience is life should be changed or I failed right. It was
enough to provide someone with a little laugh or an idea that might take heart it wasn't enough to say I have no idea what's happening. It's not my job is to show up and the same thing with workshops, so I every time I would speaker or teach I wouldn't say that I'm never doing it again then again he's. I guess. I don't know that I changed everybody's life. I mean oh you know, is, if you could see, it's very easy is giving me break the horizon in his eyes and happy because so many of us, I think, hold ourselves to this standard, is so impossible and and the fact that maybe we try something once and we don't hit. It makes us away from doing this thing that but the fact that we held ourselves up to this insane almost impossible to meet standard. We could have. How much join our lives and affect so many people potentially as well, but we don't do it because we're not. instantly
always at the absolute top and yelling and and also per se, currently hitting impossible hung over, and you know I had idea how to break down on becoming a good teacher or good speaker again as a long time ago, there was no resources for that. I had no idea how do I get better at it. I had no idea how to judge myself, I mean I got great feedback but, like how do they know, is really changing people's lives and others. and so important to me too, that my work, isn't. It a grouping and is really helping became a noose around my neck, so that is part of I had to start to undue and it took on a problem didn't undo it until well into the two thousand Was there? Was it a gradual on doing or was there something that happened to ready for timor? I renew our palms. I created a course. It's no longer available is cut, was called teach now and it was to take
when I knew for non traditional teachers and help them figure out how to be more effective and enjoy the process more and in doing now. I might oh, my god, look what I ve been do the myself and look what I do now and look what I have learned so just by putting it together course on other under no fiery times I like it, totally changed everything. For me. I think the other fear Jonathan is that goes back to that identity. I want to be a reader with a capital w. I don't want to be a date chair and might have said to me a few months ago. He said you know you may be a better teacher than you are a writer outline online guy. It took everything I had no you're sleeping in the. U s rooms What is it about the identity of being capital, w writer versus capital teacher that was like so
through its national, its creative, it's different in its hard her and I there is such a pardon me. I will probably have this for my dad, but what matters is what's hard? Not what comes easily tell me more about that well into poverty, went to work, or to borrowed money. Afterward spent twenty five years building company working seven days a week, you know when I born he was successful. So it was always the origin story of you should a great life the tower. I worked never like holding an over our heads or anything, but just like anything it took in like you're in something it's gonna. It's gonna take it out of here, that what's easy or delightful, doesn't it doesn't count? I don't think that anymore, but yeah, I think that's part of it.
yeah, so interesting how that gets wired into smart people, not that it doesn't count, but don't trusted or don't put. You know it's going to be hard I mean he's right it it's a hooker, but there's something about the way I hold it. Now that the pleasure is more frightened centre. I love the way you frame. That is it's not about only taking a pathway. Comes easily it's about acknowledging that it's hard but hard, isn't necessarily wrong and we can make the experience of hard how much more suffering that actually, rather rather say, let's hard. Actually it's ok, and its leading to some really powerful amazing, and when you say that, like I know, I can feel the difference in my party, like the body that armors up and like up come my here's to my shoulders and my breathing gets- and this is why I get pain when I run they run this. Why sometimes- and you know- and then, like the body that says man on what's, let's be,
here for this. Let's trust ourselves, trusting yourselves doesn't mean it's gonna work, owl, trusting, those doesn't mean this is gonna, be great interview. I recorded with you trust him myself. Like I hear my speech, may truth on my breathing. Am I love myself, cool. Okay, then what it can be what it needs. Yeah and, of course you want a good outcome. You're always going to want to get outcome yeah, but it is not always possible. And a beer, it sounds like really you continued right. Yet there is this one, strong and an extended caesar where teaching becomes Jeanne leading retreats it becomes a centre of a lot of what your contribution to solving the world and people's lives are and during that her like season as well, especially last decade or so I'm just on a personal level and is travelling tremendous ass. You, like a marriage of of decades. Long from that person, you taught me he knocked about noon. Unfilled school comes to
and after he survived cancer and yelling wanted to live a definite if you're also raising a kid daughter, his coming into adulthood and your parents, are: are reaching the time in their lives. Were there your mom and struggling with men, John alzheimer's, your parents, passion and in the this also, if you are, To figure out. Ok how do I figure, which weighs up? How do I continue to be this person that I am an amount during this whole window. You're also grappling with this sense of density. Only this is your wife's or like told the world. I am, I being challenged to be that person way like I've never been before, like hideaway navigate this whole oh god so much so, and especially because parliament eddie was on the successful person. I write books, I published books, my butt,
so a copies, and I had booked after book after book. Follow parliament, and I would email, my agent, oh my god, look at the best idea, all that's a fabulous idea and the needs a downright it. I could write it or I wrote the member and totally failed. So There was all of the personal stuff happening, which I dont think was unique me we all go through, especially in mid life. There was a few periods and not one. It was very joe by the eye what was so hard as I wasn't having creative six off my business was doing well, I was making of money someone's making a lot of money, but that deep sense of I'm I'm doing what I need one to do like it was. I often not out of alignment biggest some of if the word is not quite right. wait. Wait I don't. I still don't have the words for it. How did that
feeling show up, for you: do shop psychologically physically had at manifest for you. You know interesting again, I only about just, see this until I wrote about it. I had a back issue all in all four said then years the new when could figure out and what was it my muscles twisted sewed, almost like I had scully uses, and it was. And so we it's here and I kind of put together all started of the things I'd learned, writing the memoir. That became the book that that I wrote that my back just never bothered me again. I'm never bother me again It's a great physical therapist in boulder, but I want to say I didn't get some help, but he is like he solved it in three weeks. Yeah neither way the body tells us, and when I get some point is just getting
with layering on symptoms? Until you will listen at some point, I carefully take year. How thick I can be, how thick that's all of us here so. You mentioned, as you ended up cartoons yell area for years and years and years fairly recently like six seven years ago, two colorado by that five years ago. Was behind that because he said ignore them in your life. Was there your daughter sell their husbands I guess you're steps are still there why why does really giant shift in geography my husband's work? He works in large scale conservation and he's worked in the great plains area and he's worked all over the but his his work and that being here, so we need to move here. Ass was very present, but incredibly fat, fabulous for us The vote, as I know, for love sort of people who were there because he's really like strongly created professional ritual, enriching can be critically important to worry about,
to sort of like easily recreate watch he needed, in colorado just really continue to operate creatively at the same or maybe even different, but on a higher level. I needed start. I discovered so much about how I was collaborating with my own stuck ness, and so it was such a grace that we moved will remove lily. Had graduated from college aden was gone. The college, so we, leaving them like in high school we ve known, say we moved and we left the kids are fine, their eleven. You know they can make eggs cutting avatar, just why there's uber, and so it was a really great it's hard to away from them, but it was incredibly good for me because I realise how many things that I was into myself that were caused by my own suffering and I could see them so clearly in the last year so that we were in the seattle area,
moving here. I just was determined to do it so differently and I think it really helped with my regeneration and rebirth. so it seems like along with it. The geographic move was recommend to not just changing location, but also really making us more substantial changes, drippings name it goes? I wonder sometimes whether a lot of us feel stocker unhappy on the street a miserable and we kind of look too crossed the ocean or move across the country or somewhere else, because once were there, everything will be different. not realising location matters, but we're still the same person. There you go wherever you go, there is. Are you were very the fact, the fact that it wasn't? You actually had to make some substantial Small ships and I started to make them before point I mean in the last year and a half, I made a lie
the changes that I realize from writing not failed. Memoir were how I was collaborating with my own unhappiness and stuck nelson there you're new book. Why bother you ve been here about five years. It sounds like that book has also had its own very low. one life. I know that and took years and different shapes in different formats it to eventually land where it isn't curious about the the sort of like that early journey and how and why you've landed on what it is now and what it actually is. It started how, probably six years ago, seven years ago, I gave a keynote and took that haiku? We all know so well Barnes burned down now I can see the moon and I used it to organise these stories of those those years when so much was falling apart and it ended wealth. in my now, husband and thinking? Oh, my
well, that's it. I've been good. I've learned my lessons and now I get the great guy and then realizing. Oh no. This brings a whole nother set of challenges which is actually letting someone love me and see me and I got the station. Somebody was the husband of another state? was like. Oh, my god, you know I work in brain stories. I was an incredible gino. You need to write those stories down. They were ok, and so I started work Not a book about it, I thought it would be a memoir and adjusts again well now, four years later didn't work, but I was committed to writing. Diamond for so long. I felt that there's a book that firms need to write that haven't written yet the book that I need to write that I haven't written the book be so proud of, and I know that's terrible to say when you have seven other babies and you're like I love you, but there's something else, and I thought this was that the being more literary that writing a literary memoir was gonna, be it, but the story didn't lend itself to that, but the journey of writing. It taught me what I needed to know so I'll be forever grateful for that, but when that
held, I then tried to write another book based out of that, and my don't turn that down and then That is how conversation with someone like what I wish I had, accorded it. What's that what was the moment, but I was actually thinking about a friend who had always die everything she thought she should do her whole life. And then in her late fifties, woke up really She didn't want to be married to her husband, anymore, realized. She didn't know what she had. She had nothing that was hers and I had been talking to her ally about that and I had said to her at one point: you just have to fight for your life and I realized I wanted a book about that idea? How do you fight for that, whether it's your dear you ve, given up your life, that other people or you ve, done all the right things and you ve been successful and now you're like shit? What's next or whether you ve been too scared to do it or whether to one part of your life you know, a friend of mine, been trying to write, read the book, and she had to confess to me yesterday that its bringing up too much stuff for her cause she's will
she wants to keep coasting around our work, the rest, a real, his great, but her work is nonsense. Financially, I'm just not ready, I'm not make a change, I'm my own. I hope everyone doesn't have that reaction to fifty it's interesting, because when you hear something like that in a way is now also validation. Now that you did what you came to you, lots of money has been spent re, let I'm you know this disturbing you in a good way, because I think the thing that we're here for is to live as fully as we can. I don't think life gives up and I know I gave up my life over and over again in those years I push life away. I pushed that sense of being excited and engaged. I put conditions on it and I wanna be a stand for. Let's not do that workers is a number of different things, but one of the things that really stood out to me as it feels like this. really fascinate meditation on desire both
existence- and it's not resistance and to sir ten normalizing, both tell me more while, oh, when are you tell me more mass? I learned to do this because a sort of like says like there's so the vote the question we asking is, why bother right, which which to me fundamentally underneath add, is like how do you how do you navigate desire and meaning, and this sense of like what is worth investing myself, an whom and also understanding that it's not always I'll be there? What do you mean and that and that that's ok or maybe you're, not always gonna, be aware. Oh, you are, or were, or actual right your day to day life right yeah. I think one of the sons I wrote the button that jumped out,
may have been re reading it. What did I say you know you get from creative amnesia? What did I write in those three hundred pages? Is that in retransmission big and small there's a loss of desire now. It may not be gone for long, but we ve lost sight of it or touch with it, and I think the thing that's missing in what we talk about when we talk about transition is desire that we don't have that sir, and there we go? Ok, what the field of want, whereas there mission and in me to want things so much of the work I've done what people around this around desire for so many years, they are so afraid of. One thing it's not just the I used to think you're, just a female thing or people who identify female, but I see it in my husband. I see it in men that I know as well that that we feel it gonna be selfish or become monsters, or we have been told his children that it's impossible? Who and you are that was gained. We too want things, so I think they're. So
much in there to unravel little by little so that we can feel that flow of life again and let it had made us dimensions, and also because that is. from what I understand I haven't been on retreat with you may be wondering who often, but isn't that also one of the central questions that you constantly surface in every retreat that on which, as I too just say, with this idea of what it that I want come easily. Don't walk away from it right, you're, exactly right and even on my writing- retreats, because in the last few years, I've done primarily writing retreats that help you in the final circle. What many of you What will say was the most profound thing they'll be like. I got a lot of work done. I got around my fear of this or whatever, but they'll be like I kept asking myself. What do I want and I'll be like you you, have to come to the afternoon sessions you're not here. For me, you're like what do. I want your on your way in the door and you like, I want to know where I go look up in the mountains. Are the hats
following that and then its paying attention to how does it feel what Is it tell me you, or we will always have these amazing or face breads right and every as I can, that is going to have to have something of everything? Would you wasn't? What do you want and its huge for people fast every no matter how many years I've done. As I always fascinated by Are there Imagine every person's answers can be in some way, unique to their circumstance, a life that history whatever brought them. To that moment small number of common themes at just keep it. In over and over and over an answer, as that was, I would say, rest is: up to now I'm too just nap rest b to not be connected to a device tonight.
be connected here to do less there's one woman is coming to my retreats or a number of years. She has a profoundly disable daughter who has been damaged repeatedly through malpractice on top of her birth issues and so on. My life is really hard. She has support, she hasn't monies, you know it's but its she's than pregnant caregiver and for her it's always there. sense of returning to the fact that you can hear my own mind my own ideas manner. I get to be with my own ideas, I could explore them. I get a rest, I it'll, so that's, I think the number one I think. The second thing that support is permission, which so our care my mom story by. I think because of the way our brains are wired and the way the world works right now we have so much since a productivity. Shame
if I'm not producing, if I'm not getting ahead of how about taking care of someone else, and it just becomes our default. I know it can happen for me and then friday comes around and I'm like. Oh my god, who am I, I am a little husk of a person. what happened, what a y Y raising my hand more regular occurrence and yet so interesting, this themes- and I guess I guess, but probably not- entirely surprising, also, surely given the way that we are in the peace that I think life has taken on for so many people. These days yeah. I think the other one that comes up alone is creating for creating sake. Is that that pleasure, in king, something whatever it is and how the fine that joy again and not have an immediate. We have to be something that you do something worth you so so. and why bother is kind of interesting to me? Also cause you, sir saying I can't it's about these inflection points of like ok, I'm at a moment s life where it's time. make some decisions tat took like figure out. What am I going to substantially say yes to
as a sort of step into a new season, and and and who plays an agency and co created with the universe people, whoever it is and what do I say no to like? Why bother actually saying yes to this? What is it underneath that he or she lay out six steps are sure, like you gave a process and we can kind of like just touch on like those elements briefly, but there's something bigger that I thought was really curious too, which is that you we have defined processing. You have clearly thought so deeply about this. met in your own life and an unseen and unfold in the lives of so many others the same time. You also share that europe. My intention with a book is not prescription. Companionship. Tell me more about this. I don't think prescription works. moment I'd. None of my books are prescriptive that I've written hum. I think what we was profoundly need- and I see this when I teach is to know someone wants us and some one sees us and it might become.
could be to say. How can I say I love you and I don't know you, but I can. I know that love you. I know, I love your humanity. I know I love your essential goodness. I I trust you and your your kindness and when I wanted the book to be, I wanted it to be what I didn't have, which is the someone to say this is really normal. This is really natural. This can really be a good thing. Everybody needs to ask this question. It comes to all of us. Let me just walk with you and were were lonely? You know I was so lonely in those years, even with a family, and so that's what I wanted to pull my hand and say you don't know me, and I don't mean to be creepy, but really I'm right here with you. I don't mean to be one of those facebook as it follows you around, and it is interesting that you offer that cancer. Somebody like I love you not really knowing them a whole lot? It immediately brought me that automatic, seeing the choice
my emails with a hollow, loving, read. I love and I was, sometimes pause and think about, should I just make this with a whole lot of gratitude for certain people and, like you know what It is something to like. I may not know you well at all, but there's, like you said you and being listen breeze on the planet. I want to believe that person to try the women now place the same thing. I don't have an automatic signature line, but I usually rate love and incentives, legal, always at weird re on. Maybe I should just setting out you can lose this relationship or something I formally in this regard, regard someone like regards what does that mean? I never figured that one out yet I mean I had a dear friend of mine cynthia morris years ago, told me that was like what is your purpose and she's like it to be love? Oh and I'm like yeah? Well, If that is fundamentally who you are, then it's not really
to say, like I love your to say yes to give a signature that says, love or whether we variation of it it actually in it makes it just about a state that you want to exist in rather than the other person yeah it's so true, one of my favorite method. Actions is from wronged ass now our late brothers, and I am loving awareness. I am living awareness in tow. Just second feel it when I say it than the relaxing of that place. In that that's the intention, then I wanted in the world and also you know. Yes, I lay out stages, and I did that because to readers, told me- and these were these are highly well known, accomplished people who revealed to me without me knowing it when I and then the work, I'm in my own my bother time and I need to know, what's going to be okay and I need to know It me some kind of road map. I mean that was in the book, but it wasn't super clear and the second draft, and so I made it clear in the third draft and without again
to be prescriptive cause I just think we're all too old for that this sophisticated. At least, well, who I work, where they are not going to be taken and by and do this and everything will be, and you will totally get your bother on there as sort of just things to think Things have been said earlier and brings the crime in their their practical things in the book to try their thirst tools. I mean that sort of bacon smoothly through their very quickly. I dare you talk about, leaving behind, and I think even just the names that you use. People cannot get what you're talking about without going to deep into it, leaving behind and eating and settling desire become by doing and that eventually so much of what we ve been talking about, which is being seen by being so in this next evolution of of not who you're.
at the change that year, but but really just like what part of you like? How do you want to show up in this season of life is what what's deeply meaningful, and how do you want to be rarely witnessed for that? What's calling you, you know the difference between someone who I remembered years ago, this woman, who became a repeat, student, a dear friend, she came to our tree and I just never forget her body arms crossed. Eggs, cross foot, though in a mile a minute and by the end in a a completely open now and she said she didn't. I anybody in a family where she was going and the few people ask her. She said I'm, while I'm going to financial offer swiftly so that it may it's fine. If they dont tell the people, you can trust, but if we can't be seen in claiming our desires, and I at least some one that we trusted it's very hard working for rain than the way were wired is as human animals to believe in and ourselves. I have a
student right now who has a famous writing friend, and she is finally going to tell this famous writing friend that she's working on a memoir this week and, like I told you yet why that matters its huge, I have a friend who's reading the book right now an advance copy, and I he was the person I was most nervous about reading the book because I think of him. He was such intellectual and he was gonna, think my ideas or silly and he's loving in it. Just like the fact that he's a reading an irene, oh my god, it makes me feel but really exposed naked verdicts, exe It too so wished it. It still continues. As my point it continues, the irony is not lost on me, like, as research touch wanted, that this very conversation ratio, a t shirt for the parish review.
if the bastion of literary writing late for generations, generations like that aspiration, is still like, there's something that you still want to present to the world. Desperate experts put it on and then I'm like, really where you are now. Oh yeah. I want to be cool, I want be. I want to be literary I'll, never going to be a literary This was great that a good place for us to come full circle as well so hanging out here in this container with the good life project. If I offer up the phrase to live a good life, what comes up to be here for it all, not my intention and I try to remember it everyday meditation. I try to remember it Wendy. your hard. I try to remember it as my mom was dying from alzheimer's. They tried to. How can I be sure, for how can they be If that's the only thing, I don't want our grand when I'm laying their dying. If I'm lucky enough to be conscious,
Thank you. Thank you. So much for listening and thanks also to our fantastic sponsored, who help make this show possible. You can check them out in the links we have included in today, show notes and while you're at it, if you ve ever ask yourself what shall I do with my life, we have created a really cool online assessment that will help you discover the source code for the work that you're here to do. You can find it add, spark a type dot com, that's s, p, r, K e t, why p dot com or just click the link in the shutters and, of course, if you haven't already done so, be sure to click on the subscribe button in your listening abso, you never miss it up his own and then share share the love. If there's something that you heard this at the so that you would love to turn into a conversation, shirt with people and have that conversation, because when ideas become conversations that lead to action, that's when real change takes hold see an extra.
Transcript generated on 2023-06-24.