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Moving Forward

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I found an old email file this last weekend.

Okay, truth: I found several. I’m not saying how many.

These were email files filled with advice and instructions from coaches and consultants I hired in the past.

As I read some of these emails, I blushed.

There were so many things they’d suggested that I never actually tried.


Truth: it would have been too much work. I hired them secretly hoping for an easy magic pill. I didn’t want to be patient, build things, split test.

My impatience, which once upon a time helped me write a book no one thought I could write, had became a liability.

Doing the work that we are burning to do takes titanic patience. Grit. Slowing down so you can speed up later. That’s never been easy – read almost any young artist’s letters bemoaning how long her work is taking – but now, in our hyper-instant go-viral-or-go-home times, patience seems wrongheaded. Bad business. There has to be a way to make it happen this week, or by the end of the summer, or before you turn 40/50/60.

There just has to be!

Truth: looking for shortcuts has cost me. Cost not only time, energy, and money, but most painfully, my impatience battered my deepest desires.

Impatience made me believe the lie that I could not _____. (I could fill in that blank with so many things so let’s just leave it blank.)

I’m not claiming I’ve become the patient one. If I did that, Bob & Lillian would write you a blog post consisting of one humongous snort.

All I’m claiming is I’ve been watching this pattern with a loving eagle eye and I’m asking others to help me see it. I’m putting in the hours writing something I care about. I’m practicing yoga every day. I’m limiting email and social media (speeds me up & I fall into draining comparisons). I’m reminding myself what I’m devoted to: creating deeply and truly, and praying that my work is of service.

How about you? Is impatience holding you back? Or maybe you’re too patient, in which case, let’s do a switcheroo? I’ll swap you a container ship of slapdash zip for one of loving small daily steps. A win-win!



About the Author

Jen Louden is a writer and personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She's the author of 5 additional books on well-being and whole living, including The Woman's Retreat Book, which landed her on Oprah, and her newest The Life Organizer.

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