WS:S2E1 – Answering ‘Why Bother?’ with Best-Selling Author Jennifer Louden (Episode Transcript)

The following is an unedited transcript for Season 2, Episode 1 of my podcast, Written, Spoken, provided to help all of my readers and listeners — especially those with hearing disabilities or for whom English is not a primary language — access and enjoy the content of each and every episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or other platforms here.

Answering the Question, “Why Bother?” with Best-Selling Author Jennifer Louden

[00:00:00] Dave Ursillo: Hey, everybody. I’m Dave Ursillo. Welcome back to Written, Spoken. Today, we’re marking a new chapter of the podcast by introducing you to a voice other than my own. I’m joined today for a live reading and interview with bestselling author Jennifer Louden, whose new book Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What’s Next is available now for major booksellers. You’re about to hear Jen reading from the opening pages of her book and its premise that the rhetorical turn of phrase why bother is actually a more literal inquiry than we often use it to mean. Our conversation spans her literary journey, what it’s like to have a book coach tell you as a bestselling author that your memoir doesn’t work, how to come back from creative failures and why this book is needed more than ever today. Enjoy our conversation and I’ll be back soon with more voices and interviews throughout Season 2. Happy listening.

[00:00:50] Jen Louden: Why bother, indeed. Asking why bother is inevitable. It’s baked into being human. And it’s time to notice, how are you asking the question? Why bother is a pseudo question already answered in the negative by resignation. The Why bother? many of us know all too well insists: “You can’t it’s been done, it’s far too late, and you don’t have what it takes.” It uses cynicism, “The planet’s dying, why bother?”, to bolster its case that nothing you can do really matters. It replays the good old days, followed by a chorus of “If onlys” and “everybody else can, but you.” It beats you up from wanting more, while at the same time it discourages you by insisting there isn’t any more to be had. And conveniently, “Why bother?” has political and corporate corruption, environmental disaster, economic injustice, and “the way your brain is wired” to bolster its case at every turn. “Why bother?” at most is a grubby bummer, defined by despair and punctuated by long sighs. It shows up as emptiness, blame, numbing out, coasting, complaining, starting something and then stopping. The desolate kind of way of all their means, looking only in the rearview mirror of your life, back at your story that no longer makes sense to you or has been taken from you.

[00:02:19] Jen Louden: Or if you’re younger, you may find yourself looking into the future and believing all the good stuff of life is either out of your reach or no longer exists. It’s letting grief over past losses and traumas devour your future. It’s giving up on believing there is more for you and more that can be a satisfying is enlivening, as meaningful, as beautiful as what has come before or what is yet to be. It’s choosing comfort and routine over aliveness and growth. It’s believing your story of what’s not possible more than embracing reality of taking action.

[00:02:56] You just heard the voice of Jennifer Louden, today’s guest author here on Written, Spoken. Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the concept of self care with her 1992 best selling debut book, The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of five additional books, including The Woman’s Retreat Book and her latest, Why Bother? With close to a million copies of her books in print in nine languages. She is a sought after speaker addressing audiences across the USA, Canada and Europe. She’s a former columnist for All Living, a Martha Stewart magazine, and has appeared on a number of TV shows, radio shows and podcasts, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her work has been featured in People, USA Today, CNN and in Brené Brown’s books, Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead. As an entrepreneur and educator she’s led women’s retreats for over twenty five years and her e-mail newsletter reaches 20,000 subscribers weekly. She lives in Boulder County, Colorado, with her husband, Bob, who I can attest makes a mean espresso.

[00:04:00] Dave Ursillo: Jen, welcome to Written, Spoken. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:04:04] Jen Louden: My pleasure. Dave, I love talking to you. You are fantastic.

[00:04:07] Dave Ursillo: Oh, and you are, too.

[00:04:09] Jen Louden: You’re such a gracious host.

[00:04:10] Dave Ursillo: I had the pleasure of spending time with Jen and her husband Bob and her dogs. What was that about, oh, I guess it was almost two years ago now, out in Colorado. And at the time, Jen, you were talking you had a work in progress that eventually went on to become this book. Why bother? My first question for you is coming from the deepest nerdiest place in as I as a writer and a lover of language communication. I, too. It sounds like you do can sometimes be fixate on different quips and common sayings and things that we colloquially share in our in our shared lexicon. Right. These different phrases that we use to mean different things or that mean things that sometimes we don’t even understand the full power of what these stories are. And so here a question, why bother? This is something that you’ve taken this phrase and you really pulled it apart in the course of this book and looking at it from all these different angles. And also how, as you say in the excerpt you just read for us, this is a pseudo question. It’s not actually something that we’re worth inquiring about. It’s something that’s already answered, as you said, in the negative and by resignation. So, Jan, tell me about your relationship. So these two words and you know, if you had to kind of put a maybe like a date on that or a moment in time. Was there a particular reason or story behind how this phrase in particular caught your attention in the ways that it has?

[00:05:40] Jen Louden: It’s a great question, Dave. I think there’s two ways to answer it. One, probably from a very young age, I have been fascinated and needled and angry and excited by the fact that people give up, that people get cynical, that people turn their back on something that they want on that they tell they turn their back on more or whatever that more might be, more success, more creativity, more connection, more vitality, more health. Since I was really little. That’s just like astonished me and I’ve wanted to do something about it.

[00:06:21] Jen Louden: And so I think that when I think about where the book started, I would go all the way back to that and where I became fascinated with these different things that we say, whether it’s why bother or what’s the point or who cares? And then the very moment for this book came, I spent four years and five hundred pages writing a memoir that failed completely as a work of literature. And sometimes people take umbrage when I say it failed, you know, how can you say it failed? You change so much. And out of the ashes of that memoir, Rose’s book. But I wanted to write. I wanted to write my version of my wild ride. I wanted to write a book that you just devoured. And you had this experience and you went on this narrative journey with me. And I spent a lot of time in a lot of work. And I gave it to a great book coach, Jenny Nash. I paid her to read it. We’re friends. And she got way more than she bargained for. And she told me later that she after she scanned it for she pretty much figured out pretty soon it wasn’t working.

[00:07:23] Jen Louden: She took three days to get up the courage to tell me that my work. The book didn’t work because you knew how long and hard I’d worked on it. And then we coached around what could come out of that. And ah, my first book idea, which was actually Jenny’s idea, I wrote it. I wrote a book proposal for it. My agent turned it down. Her whole agency turned it down. And I worked on a little bit more and realized it was Jenny’s idea outright. It was a good idea, but it wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t coming from my heart. And I told her that. And she said, well, what is coming from your heart? And that’s when the phrase, why bother came. And I said, I just really want to help people answer this question. Why bother? And it was one of those moments that I think we all get in our creative lives, tiny ones and big ones where something just resonates like like you become the bell and someone has struck you or your imagination or, you know, God has struck you with a big old gong. And you’re like, okay, that’s it. That’s it.

[00:08:24] Dave Ursillo: Yeah. I find that so fascinating, Jennifer, because you know, anyone who’s listening to this. The premise of my podcast, as you know, is about bringing to life the written word is the writers who wrote them. And so we have a lot of people who are, you know, creatively curious or they are writers or they say that they aspire to write. They have the creative impulse, the creative urge. And I think if someone was listening to this is just meeting you for the first time and they hear your extensive resume, I mean, you’ve been writing professionally for almost 30 years. Right. And you’ve been on Oprah Winfrey’s show. I think your your your bio is something that a writer who’s someone who’s who’s an aspiring writer would say, like, I could only dream of accomplishing that much. What did it feel like for you, though? You know, despite the bio to hear from somebody who you hired and respected to say like this that you’ve been working on for years and 500 pages doesn’t work, like, what is that? It would be it’s like, you know, something that we can all relate to and empathize with it and feel it’s a crushing blow. I’m sure for at some point in your career, maybe it maybe it did. What did that feel like for you, given your creative professional history to have that kind of moment happen?

[00:09:49] Jen Louden: Well, you know, I I was bummed, but I actually started almost immediately feeling super light and I started walking around singing Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead. And there’s a bunch of background to that. And part of that is in in the four years of writing that book, I became a different person.

[00:10:16] Jen Louden: And I had already known that and acknowledged that and seen that. And so I knew that it was not wasted time. I had rewritten my personal story by taking my history and trying to it and turning it into a narrative for someone else. I think there’s something about that process when we write our personal stories and we’re not just journaling it. I journal a lot of things. Journaling is fantastic. You have great journaling prompts, for example. But there was something about trying to turn it into literature or trying to turn it into something that when I work with writers, I say you stretch to connect. You have to bring people into the story. Why should they care? And in that process, I understood and learned so much about myself, some of which, of course, became the basis for the why bother book. Not all of it. But some of it. So I felt like at peace with the benefits. I didn’t feel like I had failed in that. And I also learned so much about writing and part of my business, not the whole part of my not my whole business, but a part of the business for a long time has been working with writers. And so I really learned how to be a better book coach and writing coach. And so I also knew that had benefit. But I also think that there was a heaviness to trying to make this story work that I had been denying to myself for a long time. I think I. Knew on some level that it wasn’t a narrative arc, that I hadn’t done what I taught other people to do in memoir, and so I felt a great freedom in letting that go. Now. I also, because of all the work I’ve done in that story and then the work that I started to do in my life, I felt super resilient and I was able to bounce right back and start another book proposal. And when that one failed.

[00:11:59] Jen Louden: I was really I mean, it sounds weird, but I was able to bounce right back out of that and start this book, so I don’t.

[00:12:08] Jen Louden: This is this. And this is the thing, though. This is the thing I’ve said to everybody. All of this was eleven years in the making. I have not written a new book in eleven years. And this is my eighth book. So I wrote book after book after book. And in the last eleven years, my last publisher brought out a paperback version of one of my books to keep it alive, which was great and sweet.

[00:12:31] Jen Louden: And I did an assignment for National Geographic for a book which was not you know, it was more like a journal. It took me three weeks to write. It is a journal so doesn’t really count. Right. And so this is. But this so this I had been through so much, which is what the book is about, so much in my life, so much loss, so much beating myself up, so many years of wondering in the dark and being lost and doubting myself creatively. That this I’d come out of it. Right. And I was like, if I don’t ever write another book again, that’s not who I am anymore. And when I was eleven years ago, I was so much more identified with my work.

[00:13:15] Jen Louden: I was so much more identified. I mean, I still am. I mean, this book is coming out. I wanted to become a bestseller. It’s highly unlikely. Right. The signs are definitely not lining up for it to become a big bestseller. I have definitely had my moments of chagrin and sadness and crawled into bed and go for me. But at the same time, I’m like, OK. But I did my best with the book and I’ll continue to do my best to get the word out.

[00:13:38] Dave Ursillo: Absolutely. And I think that that’s what I think what you’re describing is one of these paradoxes of the what the creative professional experiences and what any creative person experiences. And it’s it’s being in these two worlds. Right. One of which is the material, the pragmatic, the physical business. And to put one foot into that space of, like you said, doing everything you can to get the word out, to promote it and to, you know, take a big swing. And because you wanted to be successful and you want to be as successful as possible. So it’s not like you’re it’s not like you just hit publish on Amazon and Kindle and just go, OK. Good luck. Yeah. But but you do the work on the one hand. And on the other hand, it sounds like you’re also being governed by this sense of detachment and also like a profound understanding for how the work it’s been done in the pages of this book are almost that mean there’s there’s significance like reading this. It’s absolutely beautiful. I think people are going to absolutely love the book itself. But in the scope of your journey, it sounds like there is almost a smallness to them in the sense that you have a perspective of appreciation for how, you know, the first attempts at writing the memoir that you were writing was therapeutic for you and how it also helps you to practice what you’ve been preaching when you work with writers and creating more writers for so long. So it sounds like there’s been just so much living in the course of the creation of what has become. Why bother? And I think that’s one of those things that I wish every writer and creative could have the experience of understanding, because in our society and our culture, we often look at things as successes or failures like me as well as we would looking at someone’s bio. Right. Like I said about them, about your career history in that paragraph. But really there’s there’s so much more to be experience valued, appreciated and reaped from the journey of what is a creative process. And still you can do all the work to try to get it out there as many people as possible.

[00:15:53] Jen Louden: Yeah, absolutely. When the Coronavirus was, it was dawning on us, which now seems like, you know, lifetime ago. But this was two weeks ago when it was dawning on all of us that we were all together, a group of our friends. And we’re like, wow, this is probably the last time we’re all going to be together. One of our friends is a neat, immunocompromised. So we knew she was going to go into isolation now. And then a week later, the rest of us followed her. You know, not completely, but as much as we possibly can. And, you know, I’ve got a book tour planned and we haven’t quite canceled. We haven’t canceled Gap. But worth looking like she’s got to go ahead and cancel it. And I was so. Harmed. And so sad. And we’ve put so much work and all these things that are just kind of falling away. And we were at the table in my one of my friends assaulted me and said. But we love you. And I just. It was like in that moment I needed someone outside of demeanor make me realize I’m not my book sales.

[00:16:51] Jen Louden: Right. Because that’s that’s the place. It’s so easy for me to go. It’s not I don’t think that happens every writer. But it’s not uncommon for sure to to feel that competitiveness. It always reminds me of that story from Sue Bender’s book, Everyday Sacred. And she wrote that in the in the maybe the late 90s. And it was after her first book became a surprise bestseller, which was, oh, I’m looking down my book shelves. Why I can’t remember the name of it. I’ll think of it in a second. But she tells the story in the second book of the success of our first book. And she’s. She lives in Berkeley and she’s in the grocery store. And she sees neighbor and she goes, oh, my gosh, you’ll never believe what happened. My book became a New York Times bestseller. She’s not a writer. She’s a ceramicist. You had this experience with the omeish that she writes about, and she’s so she’s completely evicts innocent in it and the whole experience and just delighted and her friends, etc. And she goes, what? No. What number on the list and Sue Bender tells the story of like, oh, my God. I realized in that moment there’s like, there’s not there’s not enough right there. There’s there’s always gonna be somebody who says but more. But but what about this? And you didn’t do that and you didn’t reach that height.

[00:18:07] Jen Louden: And I remember many years ago, my first agent who became my first my first editor who became my first agent, excuse me. And she said to me very seriously, this was probably on book two or three. What? It’s going to be enough for you. Is it gonna be The New York Times? How many days? I mean, how many weeks on The New York Times is it gonna be, etc.? And I went, Oh, right. Good question. Really good question.

[00:18:34] Dave Ursillo: It’s really when you really get when you really drill down into it like that. You know, I think we all generally, as people said, our aspirations around what we think will give us like joy, pleasure or satisfaction, fulfillment or enough money to like not give a shit anymore. We’re all like we’re all trying to motivate ourselves to do to varying degrees on a given day. But when somebody prompts you, you know, would it be enough to. It’s almost like splitting hairs or getting into minutia. But, you know, is it enough to just hit the bestseller list? Do you want to be number one? Do you want to be on it for a long time and start asking yourself that question? JM To turn this back towards the book, why bother really starts to get you to prompt yourself or well, what is it that I want and why and why bother itself has a lot to do with getting in touch with desire and embracing desire as a guiding force in our lives. And there’s a lot to that, right? Would we have a I think our especially the world in which you and I live this kind of like personal development, T-Online world of desire is a big buzzword. And I think we have a better relationship, generally speaking, to desire now more than ever. But it’s still a very complex word and a complex emotion. And so I’m curious about your relationship to desire personally and professionally. So maybe we’ll steer it back towards, you know, the content of the book itself. Ms. Answering the question of why bother through desire? So tell me about what’s your relationship like to desire? Has it always been clear and defined or been back ever in battles like when someone prompts you about, you know, do you want to hit the bestseller list?

[00:20:18] Jen Louden: Oh, yes. Yes, totally. There still is. I mean, I’m you know, I’ve just revealed that, I don’t know, two or three times that our conversation so far. I think for me, the way I define desire in the book is it feels to me like life force flowing in it. And it it it comes in the form of one thing. And how we have a healthy relationship to that to me seems like one of the most essential life skills we can develop, but it’s one that’s shrouded and twisted and sold to us. And it’s got it’s got a lot of layers of fear and confusion around it. And I’m right there with everybody. And definitely it’s better that relation to that personal relationship than it’s ever been. But I have a street team right now of people who are readers and follow my work. And they’re going to help me get the word out about the books that they’re reading, an early digital copy of the book and one of them in the face. We have a private Facebook group to talk about what we’re doing. And one of them said, oh, my God, I’m loving the book and probably on this page. And then I said, oh, thank you so much. Last night I was laying in bed like my work doesn’t matter at all. I was in a very dark place and I couldn’t go to sleep. And then she she said, OK. This is the book you need to read. It’s called Why Bother with the pages you need to read. I’m like, exactly. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me. My husband probably tells me that once a week, and I really do. I mean, I have read, read, read my own work.

[00:21:49] Jen Louden: I have a paper copy on my desk over and over again since it’s come out and trying to remember that in the crash of the old patterns in my brain and my psyche that I write about in the book, about wanting someone outside of me to validate my work versus validating it myself. And so absolutely, I’m in a push pull with that. It’s been interesting because we started planning the launch for this book long ago and I felt like we were so on top of it and so far ahead and suddenly we’re behind and we dropped the ball on stuff and a lot of it has to do with the virus. But I’ve also been really frozen because that happens to me when I’m really stressed. I freeze some people, you know, fight or fight. Mean, there’s different things that we do, different combinations. But when I’m really, really stressed, I I freeze. And so I’ve been going. I’ve been like knocking off at three o’clock every afternoon. I’ve been taking a lot of naps. I’ve been. And I’m just being really gentle with myself because. Now, my desire is. To take care of myself and I’m trying to privilege that and not and put that forward and not freak out that I don’t really even know what the book launch looks like right now. And I’m like, how did that happen? How did everything get so hazy and falling apart? I’m like, I’m in a trust. It’s going to come together. I’m going to trust that some pieces are together and an action that I’m not really remembering. I mean, I trust my team. I’m going to trust that this is a long haul. I never thought the book would launch big. I always thought it would be a slow burn, that it’s going to be word of mouth. So, yes, of a lot. That’s a long, convoluted answer to. Oh, my God. I still struggle with it.

[00:23:33] Dave Ursillo: Yeah. And I think I mean, anyone who’s being honest still struggles with any of these like questions of like, how do we be the best version of ourselves. Right. And how do we fully live our lives and fully express ourselves and getting in touch with something we desire as esoteric as a concept as it is, also really becomes really pragmatic. Right. Kind of hearkens back to the conversation we were having about having one foot in like doing everything you can to publish the book but also being hatched from it. That kind of reminds me of some things that you say in why bother general around how there’s like there are two kinds of why bother questions. Right. And there’s like a bright side to asking why bother. It’s not that asking why bother as a as is only ever a signal of giving up as we as it typically is and we say, you know, oh, well, we’re only going to be here. Each of us for another hundred, whatever. One hundred years, 80 years, 50 years, 30 years, if we’re lucky. So why bother with climate change or why bother with explains a big daunting questions that we say why bother to as a signal of surrender giving up? There’s also an upside to asking the question of why bother? Right. And so what is that?

[00:24:45] Jen Louden: Well, I think that when why bother? What’s the point? Who cares? Shows up. It is a clarion call to pause and find your desire again. But what happens is built into the question is this resignation? We think we already know the answer. We think we’ve somehow screwed up or the world isn’t fair or we can’t recover from a loss or grief. We think that the future is being determined by the past or the present. And that’s the moment when we have to get super curious because something has ended or been taken from us or lost its joy or its meaning, when we’re asking what’s the point? Who cares? We really need to ask. But when we usually ask, we’re not asking. We’re saying, I know there’s no point, right. Who cares? Who cares about climate change? It’s too big. I don’t know what to do. I’m just one person. I ride my bike to work or who cares if my marriage is coasting because the kids are gone? You know, we’re comfortable. I mean, really, who wants to have sex anymore anyway? We’re in our 50s. You or who cares if I write? I mean, there’s so many writers out there. It’s so noisy. Then why should I add my voice to what do I have to offer? Oh, my gosh. We think we know the answer in how we’re asking in our in our very. If we could probably take a picture of ourselves and see what our posture looks like, what our breathing looks like. Right. And what I’m insisting in the book is this is natural and inevitable. It’s based in the being human.

[00:26:24] Jen Louden: And the way we ask that question can drag us down and make us settle and shut down and do nothing. Or it can actually bring us back to that desire. It is, you know, all of us all the time. They can animate us in a lot and and live in us. And eventually, maybe in days or weeks or months. Who knows? For me, it took years to what’s next. But it’s all in how we ask. And if we don’t wake up to how we’re asking and we’re going to have to wake up to it over and over again. Right. Because it’s just so baked into our culture. Our culture can be so cynical if we don’t keep being able to face into our disappointment and our grief and our weaknesses and our shadow and all the things that we know to say. But I know there’s more for me. I don’t know what that more is going to feel like, but let me open a channel to it by letting myself feel desire again.

[00:27:25] Dave Ursillo: So asking the question, why bother? It sounds like, Jen, from my point of view, when we say that we when we use that that kind of like crutch phrase, which is a signal of giving up, it’s actually admitting it sounds like what you’ve said you don’t know and maybe should answer it for yourself. So the question is actually we ask it as if it’s rhetorical because we assume it’s been answered, but it’s actually a literal question. Why bother? I don’t know. I don’t know why we should bother, which is a fascinating, fascinating thing, too.

[00:27:56] Dave Ursillo: I’ve never thought of it that way.

[00:27:58] Jen Louden: Yeah. It’s just like, whoa. I mean, it’s just what your first question was, right? It’s it’s totally geeking out on how we’re using the words and we can. And again, everybody, you listening. You may never say why bother? You may say, what’s the point? Or nobody cares. Or you start to listen to what is your language, what are your language signs that you’re falling into what I call the grubby bummer side of why bother, right? Like it’s answered. It’s rhetorical. Who cares? The whatever answer you have is going to be bad. And that’s the moment that we start to pause and bring in all the different ideas and skills that I share in the book. More than you will ever need. Some of appealed to you. Some of them won’t.

[00:28:38] Jen Louden: Some of them you’ll change and mold to be other things that serve you, too. Exactly. Actually, ask the question, why do I care about writing? Why do I care who does care about my voice? Where are they? Am I willing to reach them? What do I need to do to link to to build my skills? Where are my crapping out on myself? They’re very scary and vulnerable question. They are, they are, but you’re setting up, you’re sitting up Archer and your eyes are a little bit open. So it sure is great right now. Yeah, it’s like you said, you said open to it and feel.

[00:29:20] Dave Ursillo: And that’s that’s always I feel what we do. You know, again, using the royal we what we as humans typically shut ourselves down. So what is that unknown, uncertain future? And literally, you do have to bear like you’re joking about like posture and sitting upright, but leading with your heart expanding but having a broader chest, you know, like leading in a sense of is proud and determined to go forward into the unknown. Not just being metaphorical here, but but quite literally is the essence of what it is to follow our desire or our curiosity and the sense of play and joy, which I think it sounds like to you, Jim, are some of the emotional keys that help us to unlock what it is that we want. It sounds like we we actually have to risk the discomfort and to try in order to know rather than maybe knowing it all in advance or thinking that we can lay out a perfectly strategic plan, because sometimes things happen if a plan is to go out the window anyway, if not those, oh, there is no strategic plan.

[00:30:31] Jen Louden: Can we just like own up to that when we see how much the world has changed in a matter of weeks? There is no strategic plan. And if you’re in the why bother place and you try to make a strategic plan before you do anything, you are just going to keep cycling back into what’s the point? Absolutely. What we have to do is first begin to let Wunder open the door to desire. I wonder I wonder when I went for lunch today, I wonder if I can go for a walk and see things on that same walk that I’ve never seen before. I tell a story in the book about wonder and how I’m like, my life is so boring. I still live on an island and I’ve walked this walk so many times. I’m going to go for a walk and look for new things. I won’t see anything. Maybe I’ll see some mushrooms. That’s all I’ll see. And then I go. I’m walking along and I look and there is a water tower that I have never seen before. And I so clearly remember standing on that path and the way it’s going. Could that be a new water tower? But it’s got graffiti on it, moss. And I’m like, I don’t think that water tower is new. I managed to walk this path two, three, four times a week for years and not see that water tower. And now that might sound like what the hell has that gonna help me love life again? How’s that? Help me get my desire and figure out what’s next. But that’s what we do. What we do that keeps us stuck is we keep jumping ahead to wanting to know to certainty, which is exactly how our brains are built. We have to overcome it little by little. We have to get wonder and desire flowing. Our wonder helps get desire flowing so that we can have the energy to start trying things. And we put the cart in front of the horse. We’re like, What am I going to do? What’s it gonna look like? I’m going to figure it out and then I’ll try it. That doesn’t work. I promise. I tried. Absolutely.

[00:32:29] Dave Ursillo: And there’s so much of what you just said, Jen, beautifully articulated, because it really is. It is profound and really simple that we have to just kind of look around a little bit more and make different choices, conscious choices in a way that feels like pedantic or a way that feels like it gets overly. It becomes like too simplistic. Some like yoga rooms or self-help books. Right. Where it just gets dumbed down or drilled into it so much that we start to tune it down because it just doesn’t seem to actually have roots in reality. On the one hand, or it doesn’t seem it seems so esoteric and like pseudo spiritual, then it doesn’t feel applicable. But when you say something like as you did, that wonder is what gets desire flowing? Woz what that tells me is, oh, like really, if I am feeling stuck and I’m like, I don’t have a good sense of direction, you know, or a lot of motivation. And I start asking myself something like, why bother? What’s the point? To instead ask myself, why has he said no? Why? Why really bother? And in other words, what am I actually curious about? What do I want to answer? What is. What are the questions that are nagging at me that I want to even explore and learn about before I even answer them? So it sounds like this inherent curiosity in asking questions and being led by being led by the unknowing rather than stopped by it is perhaps the way forward into desire.

[00:34:00] Jen Louden: That’s a beautiful way to say it. And I also think that part of what I try to explain, elucidate, explore in the book is that I think we’ve been missing a piece of the natural transitions that we go through in life. Big and small. And I really want to say that why bother can come through for an hour. It can come through for a week. It can come through for five years. Right. It can come from one area of your life, your marriage or intimate relationship, your creativity, your health. And it can be you can totally know why you bother in other areas of your life. So, you know, it’s a shifting thing to shifting feeling state mood. I don’t know. Question but. What I feel like was missing has been missing that I tried to talk about in the book and make clear is that we something NS was taken from us or loses its meaning. And the next thing isn’t clear yet or not ready to own it yet because we’re too scared or were you know, we’re shying away from what’s going to change too much about our lives and we’re in the in-between place. And that’s what I’m trying to give people guidance on. How do we weather that in-between place in a way that reawakens our desire? So whatever does get chosen next, whatever we do decide to do. Again, small or big has its roots in in really in in knowing ourselves and having the energy and desire to make good choices, to make choices that we can really live with.

[00:35:38] Dave Ursillo: Jen, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your work and your story and your voice with us on Written, Spoken. It’s been a pleasure.

[00:35:47] Jen Louden: Totally! Thank you so much. Great questions, Dave.

[00:36:50] Dave Ursillo: I’m Dave Ursillo, and this is Written, Spoken. Bye for now.

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