Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Jennifer Louden: Why Bother? (Episode 216)

Jennifer Louden: Why Bother? (Episode 216)

Topics We Explored:

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

About Jennifer Louden:

For 28 years and counting, best-selling author and teacher Jennifer Louden has been a leading voice on self-care and creative transformation. She has appeared on platforms like The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her insights on wellness, mindfulness, creativity, and leading a meaningful life have reached millions of people. She helped launch the concept of self-care with her 1992 bestselling debut book The Woman's Comfort Book.

She is the five other books, including The Woman's Retreat Book, The Life Organizer and Why Bother? With close to a million copies of her books in print in nine languages, Jennifer is a sought-after speaker and passionate educator. Her work has been featured in People, USA Today, CNN, and Brené Brown's books Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead.

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Episode Timestamps

[2:15] - Jen talks about her publishing journey, and what aspects of the book make “Why Bother?” her best work yet. This book came from a very different place than her previous work.

[6:05] - One of the major conversations in this book is around desire. It can be a hard word for us, but we all ask the question we think we know the answer to - what are we bothering about? We don’t always have the desire to make a change in regards to a job, relationship, or health.

[9:40] - Sometimes we aren’t saturated with the life or desire to make a decision in the first place. It’s not always a lack of desire for a specific thing, but a general lack of internal desire that prevents change from happening.

[12:45] - Charlie and Jen talk about our complacency during difficult times, like a worldwide pandemic, and how it’s almost more important to give ourselves permission to “get our bother on” even during these times. They talk about some of the struggles creatives may be facing, and ways they can pivot to keep creating.

[17:20] - We have to move our energy and let desire flow through our bodies. If you are having trouble focusing, try quick and short projects rather than some of your more involved projects.

[18:50] - In the book, Jen talks about the two ways we grapple with the question “why bother?” The first is asking like we already know the answer. The other side of the question is genuinely getting curious so you can move forward.

[23:25] - Jen has done some grappling of her own around the release of her book during this pandemic, and reflects on how it can feel when you put something out that’s a huge part of you, and the conditions of the environment aren’t right. She shares some ideas that have brought her comfort. 

[29:40] - In the book, Jen shares her model of six different steps to help people take the first step to finding their desire. The first is to leave behind - what are you still holding on to? The second is to ease in - claim your agency again.

[33:30] - The third step is to settle down. We recognize that there can be desire, ambivalence, and difficulties side by side. It’s important to keep things in perspective here, and focus on the small things that accumulate from desire, to wonder, to thriving. The fourth step is desire. 

[37:07] - The fifth step is become by doing. The sixth step, being seen, is the one that is most difficult for Jen. She talks about struggling with letting herself be seen, through her books, with her close circle of friends. 

[40:15] - We also need to be aware of behaviors that might be enabling our “not bothered” state. Once behaviors are identified, we can also create pivot points to get ourselves out. Having accountability partners in our communities can also be helpful to call us out.

[45:15] - Jen talks about the idea of always beginning again. When we fall off the horse, we can always get back on.

[47:55] - The invitation for listeners is to discover how you can be companioned - so you know you’re not broken, and can dig deeper into what it is that you really desire. Find ways to open yourself and companion yourself so that life can flow again.

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.