The Danger of Triumph

I love that the world is full of stories of “I fell down, and down, and down, and then I got up and look at what is possible for you!” The famous video of Arthur healing himself through yoga is a heart soaring example. I think of that video, that man, all the time.

His story inspires you to be your best self, to believe that what you most want is possible no matter what.

and

Yet there are also narratives of triumph that chafe me, that feel oppressive, relentless, like chains pressing on my messy humanity.

I want to inspire by example but I do not DO NOT want to feed the madness of mono-dimensional triumph. It doesn’t leave any room for living. It’s so wound up, so rah-rah, it makes me want to swill tequila and watch Barbara Stanwyck movies.

Too much triumph exhausts me.

Narratives like “I had this disappointing /life-threatening/awful thing happen but hey, in hardly any time, using my own trademarked ideas / special meditation technique /green juice, I got back to wealth/enlightenment/health AND now I am even richer /more enlightened/ healthier. You can too!”

It is not my concern if these stories of triumph are genuine – most probably are! – nor to propose we don’t need these stories. We do!  My creeping feeling of ick is what happens to me if I focus on triumph: I lose life. Triumph happens after the fact. It’s summary, not lived sensory detail (to borrow a parallel idea from fiction writing). Arthur had experiences of triumph along the way, of course, but it’s a lived experience, coming and going, increasing and decreasing.

It’s also addicting and dis-empowering as if I can just find the right pill / technique / class I will be able to be as triumphant as ______.

And yes, I do know that I can contribute to this bellowing of victory wrestled from the jaws of my character flaws.  My relentless desire to frame what I learn in a way that is of service to you can creep into a feeling of tidy endings and lessons learned that I don’t like, and try to stay away from, but then I wonder… did I? Where is the line of authenticity and service? Stumbling around in the dark looking for it, that I am.

Here’s is my small point: if you feel less than triumphant 24/7 or if you have bought the program/ tried the meditation technique/ drank the green juice and you are still flailing about, come on over and we’ll hang out. It’s Friday, there may be tequila.

 

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  • http://amyoscar.com/ Amy Oscar

    Yes. Me too. I am determined, deep to the bottom of my toes, to tell the truth about my journey, which looks more like, “I fall down. I get up. I shine for a while. I stub my toe. It hurts. I put arnica on it. I learn something about toes. I shine for a while… ” and so on. It’s up and it’s down. But telling the truth about it – and sharing that truth with others has made the hills easier to scale and the valleys intriguingly rich – filled with hidden lessons. I love this post. :)

    • jenlouden

      Thank you Amy, laughed out loud at the arnica comment.

  • http://www.fallinginlovewithplace.blogspot.com/ Mary

    Oh, my darling Jen.  I love your honesty, your authenticity, AND I know you struggle to stay as honest and as authentic as you possibly can … perhaps as much as a human is able … and that is why you ARE of service.  You can’t help but be.  When I read this, I heard myself whispering “yes, yes, yes!”  I have been there … the there that you describe.  I am SO there.  I’ve taken the pills, done the course, drank the green juice hoping for the triumph.  I will continue to do some of it … take courses, drink green juice … stay away from the pills most likely, not to be triumphant but because so many of them … the quality ones … like YOUR courses and the green juices … help me be a better me.  Help me learn and grow, not necessarily triumph.   But for me, right now at this stage of my life, that is enough.

    • jenlouden

      Mary so well said. Grow yes, learn yes, triumph on occasion but mostly just savor the green juice! :)

  • http://www.susiesurteeslifedesigner.com/ Susie Surtees

    Loved this piece that’s typical of your return-to-reality candour, Jen. Too much triumph exhausts me too. The toast? To glorious flailing! If I lived closer I’d be calling to ask you to add another glass to the tray. 

    • jenlouden

      adding the glass in spirit!

  • Chriszydel

    Oh my goodness Jen but I so completely adore you …. as always. I, too, often feel like eating an entire box of Oreos and watching Buffy reruns forever when I read about some of those seamlessly, seemingly perfect, happy ending “success” stories. I used to think what I was feeling was envy because my life has never reached that fever pitch of perfection.  But I came to realize that they just made me feel tired and cranky because there was such a relentless monotone of only one state of being. I love the color and variation that comes from being truly alive. 
    Even if it is sometimes messy or painful. I really do love the whole kaleidoscope. And I value those people who can be real about that journey. Like you. (-:

    • jenlouden

      i adore you too! I never watched Buffy but have always wanted to. Truly the coolest thing in the world is to fall in love with the messiness of life. Truly truly.

  • Paula

    Thank you for saying this. If I still lived in Bellingham I would call you and come over for the tequila (and interesting discussion!). I have subscribed to and then unsubscribed from many “inspiring” or “coaching” feeds over the last couple of years because what I read turns from “here is my experience, what do you think and what`s going on with you?” to “this is THE solution, you just have to do THIS or add THIS to your goals and you will be cured/saved/loved…”. In the second case, the writer of the feed almost always offers a product or course that will bring you up to speed so you can share in the triumph.

    I too support these folks’ progress and enjoy their success stories, but when their message turns from sharing experience, knowledge and wisdom to promoting a product or adding something to my to-do list, I stop listening. Thanks in part to reading your writing, I know I need to protect myself from the notion that if I just do one more thing or correct one more habit, everything will be perfect and people will love me. There’s a fine line between straight up sharing and whatever it is that makes learning about others’ successes discomforting. I’m not sure what the line consists of, but I do know when it’s been crossed. Maybe it has to do with the reasons for sharing the triumph or success. 

    I’m glad it’s still safe to hang out here!

    • jenlouden

      i so want to just be honest AND of service, you know? I have unsubscribed too.. and then there is the tone of rah rah rah how great is my life. I am writing this in my bathrobe without having brushed my teeth with a back ache. FACT! :)

  • http://www.myrecipeforlife.com/ daniellemmiller

    ahh Jen…I truly love this post.  I think when we live authentically and true we can be sources of inspiration and encouragement, but also recognzing that everyone’s journey is unique to them.  One of the phrases that always has me grinding my teeth is “If I can do it, so can you”.  So if I can’t do it, I’m not as good as you?  I like to think of triumph as putting a little more “umph” in the try every day :)

    xo
    Danielle

    PS I have limes…lotsa limes ;)

    • jenlouden

      thank you Danielle and those words, “If I can you can” can be comforting or shaming… depending how they are used.

  • jenlouden

    exactly Maribeth! I feel shamed too. And if I’m really honest, I leave myself and my own way of being, and start scrambling for “the answer.” ugh!

  • Jan

    I think YES, Jennifer!  You’ve brought to the surface an underlying truth I’ve been feeling for YEARS!  Drawn to the self-help genre, because I knew I needed help to feel free and joyous, I’ve found instead more feelings of failure (and THAT I didn’t need) because I could never attain the triumph described by the authors.  At best, a fleeting sense of “maybe … if I concentrate and focus … forever …”  Your writing, on the other hand, almost always makes me smile and think, “Yes! I’ve experienced that less-than-honorable feeling and I’ve experienced that longing for serenity and I’ve experienced those aha moments!  So – I’m on the right path.” :) I thank you, my soul thanks you, for being real and sharing your deep discoveries of the good, the bad and the icky with me.  Your honesty’s the thing … … …

    • jenlouden

      oh Jan thank you so much.

  • http://www.kristinnoelle.com/ Kristin Noelle

    I love and relate to this so much. I feel triumph fatigue almost every time I read launch copy for courses/workshops/ebooks/etc. But, like you say so well, simultaneously know that murky search for authentic service.

    • jenlouden

      i feel it writing launch copy!

    • http://www.firstourselves.org/ Karly

       Kristin,

      I feel that, too, and which is why I stopped reading other people’s launch copy – and why I struggle with writing it myself. Thank you for normalizing this for me.

    • http://www.kristinnoelle.com/ Kristin Noelle

       Yes, Jen and Karly – in the writing of it, too!

      • jenlouden

         i have to really watch writing sales copy from the triumph place

  • Suzy Giraud Wowieekazowiee

    T hanks so much Jen or expressing the larger content and context of what is going on in the world of self esteem work…..If we can be inspired to stay true to our hearts calling and being who we are and radiating from that source we are truly amazing!

    • jenlouden

      well said! Suzy

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159746274 Lizzie Loud Larock

    I’ll bring salt & a lemon (and guacamole!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159746274 Lizzie Loud Larock

     PS I love your line in the comments because this totally sums up where I am.  And I’m learning to love the messiness that is my living room too – complete with a fort out of bed sheets smack dab in the middle of it right now.

    “Truly the coolest thing in the world is to fall in love with the messiness of life. Truly truly.”–Jen Louden

    • jenlouden

       thanks Lizzie!!

  • Kema

    YES.  And the thing about the Arthur video is that HE did it.  It wasn’t done by a pill or a system… well, yoga was his tool, but you could see him doing it himself, one step, one asana at a time.

    Over time.  In the meantime, we have to live with now.  What I’ve learned is that we’re amazing not because of having triumphed over stuff, not even in spite of all the stuff we haven’t triumphed over, but we’re amazing just even with, even including all the stuff we haven’t triumphed over.

    And that we have to make the life we love now, without waiting for the triumph.  I’m feeling so untriumphant today, struggling to set up a web site when I don’t know half enough, dealing with Chronic Fatigue, all that Stuff.  Jen, everything you write speaks to me, and hangin’ out with you all has made my day.

    • jenlouden

      that is what I love about the video – it’s messy and slow and just him doing the work day by day.  I’m glad I made your day Kema, you made mine!

  • http://www.firstourselves.org/ Karly

    Oh, dear, dear Jen,

    You expressed exactly what has been on my heart and mind. Thank you for sharing this and for being so open and honest. I wrote a book about how I overcame my sugar addiction, and the questions you raise are ones my heart wrestles with regularly. Especially since I went back to eating sugar after writing it!

    How to honestly share the journey – and the triumphs along the way – is something I reflect on often.

    What has helped me is looking at my challenges less as something to overcome (or control) and more as something to care for.

    In the case of sugar sensitivity, I care for it everyday.  It is the care, not overcoming, that helps me honor my body’s need to stay off sugar. I care for it with the best of my ability by not eating sugar (which means doing lots of other things to care for myself so I don’t eat it – not eating sugar is really the last step in a long line of nurturing things like eating regular meals, resting, caring for my precious, highly sensitive body, and more…) I am not perfect and yet I am intentional. And that is okay, and enough, and what has brought about the healing.

    I find the daily care – rather than a moment of overcoming – an invitation to love myself. It’s filled with humility, which opens my heart to myself and to others, and grows my compassion. And yet….my mind would love to just be “overcome!” To be on the other side – where I’m a perfectly together human being who never hurts again; who has THE answer.

    My heart does not want the answer. What my heart wants is love – to love even this, and this, and this – and that includes all my precious, tender human messiness.

    Lately, this notion of overcoming has been coming up for me with anxiety and depression, two things I’ve been challenged by since I was a teenager.

    For years, I thought if I did enough yoga, meditated enough, did enough spiritual practice, ate the right foods (and on and on and on…..) I could heal the depression and anxiety on my own. I spent nearly two decades in this space, until I finally reached a place of surrender. I accepted my anxious/depressive tendencies and got more help. For me, this was medication.

    This is another opportunity for me to practice care, acceptance, and opening to life on its own terms. Not “give up it’s all going to pot” acceptance, but a deep acceptance of what is – me, with my mixed bag of grace and beauty and challenge. When I drop the shoulds of how I should be, I just find love – so much love for my precious being. 

    When I am kind to myself not to overcome something, not to fix anything, but kind simply because being kind to myself is a very, very loving thing to do – I come home. I find rest. I feel at peace. I am able to rest even in the midst of challenges like depression, or anxiety, or a sugar sensitive body.

    That is my daily journey. Not how do I overcome. But how much can I love; how much can I care. How much can I love no matter where I find myself – in body, mind or spirit – today.

    In love and gratitude, Karly

    • jenlouden

      Karly your wisdom and kindness always always expands my heart and my self-kindness. you are a brilliant teacher!

    • Claire P

      Karly, this perspective and insight is just what I have been trying to clarify recently.

      So now, I will be cured!!   ;-P

      But your words are elegant and clear. Thank you! Namaste.

  • http://katiemcclain.com/ Katie McClain

    Thank you for this. I think this expresses part of why I am in such a funk these days. I want to be in a great place so I can be helpful in some small way to my people – but I sure don’t feel that way. And I think – I must use my own tools so I can prove they work. But they don’t always work, sometimes I’m supposed to be in a funk. I just don’t know how to help others when I am there. And that makes me feel like a failure. Everyone wants to be “fixed” so I question if I can help at all if I am not fixed myself. I know there is no fixed – it’s not the point. I try to communicate this in my own way – but it may be that I still do want to reach the “triumph” that others talk about, and that’s my work to understand that my triumphs are mine own alone. It’s an interesting dilemma. Thank you for your words.

    • jenlouden

       A conversation about this Katie is what made me write this post. I think the way out is to be in relationship with our work, instead of demanding it make us or our clients perfect, done, fixed. That way it is a dialogue and a give and take, l ike any relationship.

      • AnneGregson

        WHOA! There’s a much better lens to peer through – be in a relationship with my work! Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/carryitforward Christa Gallopoulos

    I’m here.  And Arnica is key.  Along with tequila.  Thanks for writing this, Jen – you are so not alone…

  • http://marketingforhippies.com Tad Hargrave

    I think the big rub with stories of triumph is that it creates the illusion that ‘post triumph’ everything is perfect. It’s like, ‘my whole life was shit and then i did _____ and now everything is okay’ and so then people try it and things improve – but not entirely. not everything is okay. and so then we feel like failures when comparing ourselves to the illusion we’ve been presented. there’s so much posturing than can happen where people feel like, ‘in order to seem successful/together/powerful etc. then i need to pretend’ and then we come across as very confident and that can seduce people in – especially the ones who are most desperate, most needing some reassurance in their life – the ones who most want to believe. But then, ultimately . . . heartbreak and disappointment. the world is a bit worse off for our broken promises. under promise and over deliver. in all things.

    • http://twitter.com/MagnoliasWest Sue Kearney

      Yes! Authenticity. Lifting our skirts, parting the curtains (how many images am I gonna throw at this?) enough to bare our frailty, our humanness. 

      That’s where I’m drawn, that’s what I resonate with, and that’s what I bring in my own work, more and more, as I peel the protective layers.

      Thanks, Tad!

    • jenlouden

       Exactly Tad, thank you for saying that that is part of what makes me so squirmy about this!

  • Sherold

    Jen – I am writing my talk at WDS right now.  I love that you wrote this post as it’s super timely for me.  I am getting down being vulnerable and sharing of the walk through the valley of the shadow of death twice in the last 7 years.  I hope to talk about the meaning I took from this and only to inspire.  Gail Larsen is helping me and I know you’ve worked with her.  Would love feedback from you if you are coming to hear Ishita and me;)

    • jenlouden

       totally send me what you have and I will give you whatever feedback I can. Love to!

  • Mariejoseeparent

    That search to reach something out there somewhere … That journey. I think more and more of here. That’s enough. I can do it with what is here. Do my best. Beginning to name, claim and be satisfied. That’s a good start point. Feels good, better. Thank you for your kind words, really soft and caring. That’s a nice way to be with our lives. Kind.

    • jenlouden

       ahhh yes yes yes!

  • Michelleroyle

    A show stopper for me is hearing someone say:  “There is no Do in Try”….I feel quite violent when I hear that – to me it says that achieving the goal successfully is all that matters – but we don’t really ‘triumph’ life – …which last time I heard only really happens when we die…and that’s a big mystery anyway. When I’m ‘trying’ – I’m likely using a strategy to work towards something that’s bigger and more important – Green Juicing is one strategy towards more health…towards honouring the gift of my life, my body.  Running is one way towards health – and if I walk I’m still after my Health. I love to hear and read about people being energized, moving towards something bigger, being explorers.  What I really appreciate learning about are the unexpected lessons, learning, the ‘internal’ gains – how in the quest for being more fully human, knowing ourselves, being more able and willing to bring all of who we are to the ‘table’, allows us to stand in our authenticity – that’s inspirational to me.  That’s a game worth playing!  The struggle, how people were surprised by their weakness, their strength, how now they are different…they are in essence Freer.  That’s what I look for inside stories of Triumph…what did that person let go of, what were then they now more able to embrace – the core of their integrity is revealed to them – that’s the gift in other people’s sharing.  That’s the Triumph I look for.  

    • jenlouden

      so wise Michelle, thank you. You articulate so well the difference between “done” and sharing a moment in the quest. thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/allthatmel Mel Hunt

    Flailing madly about. As a new teacher, I flail much more than I triumph. Not only is it attractive to wrap everything up in a shiny, meaningful, “you can too” bow – particularly when I’m having tiny triumphs; I feel the expectation from students, studio owners, other teachers as well. My subject matter is about the self, it’s psychology, it’s a process – and *I* still want the damn shortcut sometimes!! How am I supposed to convince anyone of the worth of this sometimes super hard, sometimes very not fun work (that I am also SO VERY passionate about)?! The contradictions kill me.

    Wherever that line between service & authenticity lies – maybe asking the question at all is why you seem to walk it so well (thank you for sharing how it FEELS to try to walk it – in this case, like it requires a drink!) Recognizing that any triumph is not a static, happily ever after state no matter how much I want it to be, seems necessary. For me, this is where the ick factor comes in with the “you can too” stories – it’s the suggestion or implication that when we reach the designated finish line we’ll be ok – finally, forever and ever amen/om. I can’t present that in good conscience. I need the stories and the inspiration too – but I also need a dose of humanity in my teachers. I sure hope there are other students out there who need that too – or I’m SOL. Thank you for your honesty & your humanity, and for recognizing that these are not easy distinctions. 

    • jenlouden

       Mel that is so important to me, making distinctions, searching for ways to make it clear without getting so far down in the weeds it makes no sense. I so hear you about wanting the damn shortcut even when your entire being knows it is bullshit.Me too!

  • Pamela B oydston

    Wow Jen! I work with Veterans!  This is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.firstourselves.org/ Karly

    I just want to say *thank you* to everyone here for your comments – for being so honest, for sharing your feelings and experience here. How I appreciate this dialogue! You have normalized so much of what I’ve felt but have only expressed aloud to a few souls, things I have wept over and struggled with.

    Thank you for helping me realize that I’m not alone.

    This discussion made me think of one of my favorite quotes from Mary Anne Radmacher – “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ”
     
    In love, Karly

  • http://twitter.com/MagnoliasWest Sue Kearney

    Ugh. My iPad ate my comment. Okay then, I’ll write another one!

    Jen, thank you for this! As one who keeps trying everything that seems right to me to grow my business and improve my health, I get it (over and over and over again!) that it’s not linear, and that nothing’s guaranteed, dammit!

    I just get to show up, and show up some more, and stay connected to love the best I can. And if sometimes I just need to watch chickens running around in the chicken yard, or pet the chicks, or listen to my favorite music, or take a nap, then that’s what it’s about.

    And then I breathe, plant my feet, and take the next right action.

    And there’s kombucha! I get deliciousness even if my tequila days are over.

    You are a light in my life, keep bringing the truth, sister!

    Love and light,Sue

    • jenlouden

      clinking the kombucha with you! Sue, love learning with you, too.

  • AnneGregson

    With marguerita in hand I say, “BRAVO!”  I’m nudging my life coach business forward, collaborated with a yoga teacher, writer & chef to run an uber successful retreat in January. We were so excited, in April/May we designed 3 day workshops at a rather expensive location. No one came. (We had to pay for the place anyway.) Meanwhile, two coaching barters that seemed like golden gateways fizzled. (I don’t think they were mentally in a place to be coached, actually, but one put me on YouTube and the other was going to document her experience, with a following of over 700 folks!) I have 1 client, pro bono.  Sooooo, this spring has felt like I’m moving through 3 feet of sludge and mud. At least I’m moving, eh? Taking lots of free classes, forums, Andrea Lee’s class in Feb., etc., hired a marketing chick (I live way in the middle of not many people). My June  newsletter has stalled in my mind – time to share the pain and I DON’T have the happy ending. Yet. As my coach says, do I think Wayne Bwyer or Deepak had anyone at their first workshop? What do you think – bare it all and how I keep moving forward? Share my imagined happy ending?

    • jenlouden

      Anne, may the next nudges bear beautiful fruit for you!

  • clairem

    Jen, thank you so much for this post.  Exactly what I needed to hear right now.  Please add another virtual glass to the table, and I’ll bring some snacks, because I have a feeling this could be a long discussion, and sounds like you’ve got quite a few people joining you.  I’ll be turning up in my sweat pants (I was going to say pjs, but I decided a little effort was required, if you’re going to provide the tequila!), no make-up (unheard of where I live to leave the house dressed like this), and, if possible, no shoes, and I’d like a comfy soft place to curl up while drinking and soul sharing and laughing loudly (be warned, I laugh loud, I’ve learned not to care that my neighbours may hear me), because I’ve had a big week and my body aches from head to toe.  To be honest, I’ve not been able to bring myself to watch the Arthur video as I’ve been sent it by approx. 3 million friends/family members who keep saying (coming from a place of love and care, which I appreciate), “look what this guy did, have you tried yoga, maybe that will work for you and your illness, if it worked for him, surely it would work for you?”.  Oh boy.  All I feel is shame shame shame.  Why don’t I have a story of triumph which starts with the magic pill or the one great remedy or the daily yoga routine or the self discipline to eat/exercise right and ends with the *and I just cured myself* or *made myself rich with a lifelong passive income* or *materialized the man of my dreams* blah blah blah.  Why don’t I have that story?  Perhaps because I’m actually loving the raw and truthful reality of the one I’m living a hell of a lot more.  It’s got lots of love, and joy, and tremendous luck and privilege and a lot of pain and heartache and damn hard work and boring-not-well-enough-to-perform-at-my-best-but-not-sick-enough-to-be-totally-bedridden-ordinariness, and quite a bit of too busy for my own good, mixed with quite a bit of self care (but could always do with more) … and a hell of a lot of life lessons learned already and even more still to come, and many instances of personal growth I feel compelled to share as a way of helping others, but not as a neatly packaged “and then we all lived happily ever after” story, but rather, in a real, lovingly-honest, it’s OK when life doesn’t all feel like a bed of roses because the fun–the real fun–the times when your heart really learns to soar, is when you feel all of it, and you know you haven’t stopped feeling any of it and there are more triumphs *and* challenges still ahead.  How boring would life be if all we had to offer others were the stories of our triumphs (or only those of our failures or challenges)?  Pour me another drink, please?

    • jenlouden

      Oh claire, it is hard to be sick, I have dealt with chronic stuff too and yes, everyone has an opinion. I love your feisty true spirit!

    • Azsmistygirl

      Oh how I loved reading your post Claire and how’d I’d love to one of those drinks with you!  Keep on keeping on!

  • DianneT

    and I thought I had just become cynical!!!
    yep tried a few and felt like a loser because it didn’t work for me (and yes got told that I was one of the rare few that it happens to – yeah really…)
    Even though it is Sunday over here, I’ll join you for a tequila, a chat and a good old fashion laugh (at my self mostly LOL)

    • jenlouden

      let’s not let each other become cynical okay? we can be here for our steps forward, and backward, and sideways, especially the sideways!

  • owlsdaughter

    Yes! Here’s to glorious flailing and loving the messiness! {{ Clink!}} 

    • jenlouden

      yes!

  • http://www.thesoulstudio.co.uk/ Samantha Jenkins

    I soooooooo hear ya! I’ve had mini meltdowns and severe comparisonitus because of these relentless stories of triumph …and often it’s not just mini-triumphs but mega stuff ! Life changing stuff. The bizarre thing is is that part of me is quite cynical about the seeming transparency of such amazingness, but still I’m sucked in!!!
    I’ve been working hard on my self-development, on changing my approach to my self and my life, on trying to grow brokenly whole and yet, after all this, the triumph just kind of eludes me. 
    It’s so easy then for me to fall into ‘what’s wrong with me’ and ‘why doesn’t the Universe/ God/ life not love me like that?’. Ha ha! 
    I’d perceive you to have many triumphs …you do great work, run great courses (I’ve took them) and support and encourage loads of people …so, perhaps we’re always personally flailing at some level ….but perhaps only some of us are prepared to share that bit too.

    • jenlouden

      Samantha your kind words were so lovely to read this weekend. I love that we are all personally flailing that is so true!

      • http://www.thesoulstudio.co.uk/ Samantha Jenkins

        Kind perhaps, true yes.

    • Claire P

      Comparisonitis!  That’s the EXACT right word!! Thank you!

  • Martha

    A shot of Patron Silver is dressed and ready for you - 

    • jenlouden

      cue sound of clinking

  • Marianne

    And this is exactly why I’m honoured to be teaching yoga alongside you this summer. I haven’t experienced and won’t teach or pretend to have experienced yoga as the path to triumph. I’ve experienced, and continue to experience yoga as a way to be awake, and aware. Somedays that feels like triumph, some days it feels like shit. What I’m joyous about is that I’m getting better at actually feeling it, staying with it, trusting it.  

    • jenlouden

      “What I’m joyous about is that I’m getting better at actually feeling it, staying with it, trusting it. ” me too dear friend that’s it, exactly. I wrote that my intention for June is “relationship” to my body, my Bob, my novel, it all!

  • jenlouden

    love that image/feeling of too much triumph getting caught in your throat, exactly it!

  • Rainyinashland

    Well I get tired just hearing the word ‘determined”.  the older I get the more I don’t really think working hard at anything is the way to go.  And Jen I’d love to hang out with you but I think I’ll bring gin and tonic mixings.  Here’s to summer, ethol of choice on the deck and laughing with friends!

    • jenlouden

       my dad loved a gin and tonic in the summer. and yes, that is part of it, isn’t not working so damn hard!

  • jenlouden

    thanks Karthyn. I just want to live. Be here, feel it, experience it, sometimes write about it. I hope that is of use.

    • jenlouden

      and sorry for mis spelling your name!

  • Mark_Silver

    Holy bajoli, Jen, my heart is saying “YES!” so right on. You rock!

    • jenlouden

      thanks friend

  • Terrie

    Yes, and not only that but we lose track of what a little triumph means in relation to where we are.  Where we are is where the battle is raged.
    The main epitaph on my obit may be;She managed to get up without falling right away, and even smiled to hear birdsong.Many a day triumph is something I forget to acknowledge to mine own self, because it isn’t meaningful or publishable for others.  Goodness, have a good head of steam going now.  Don’t need the tequila, yet…

    • jenlouden

       “Even smiled to hear the bird song” so perfectly said. Ahhh…

  • jenlouden

     god you are always so brilliant. thank you for being in the world. and I feel so busted btw.

  • jenlouden

     thanks Jason!

  • jenlouden

     I agree Catvirzi that safety can come through being authentic because we have nothing to hide – here I  am, I see me, I accept me, let’s talk.

  • Sharon Knight

    Yes! Just, yes.

  • http://www.ConnectGD.com/blog Stacey Sargent

    Wow, what a great read!  My inner gong is resonating with you……..or is that a mariachi band?  Gawd, I feel that space between wanting to help others and all the while living within my messiness – who the hell am I to try and blog/coach/write/speak about all this?  It’s good to know we’re in a tribe of tequila- drinking-trying-our-best-goodness!   Cheers!

  • Shayla

    Jen, your article reminds me and many of us that we are spoiled by the idea of instant gratification!  I even wish it for my 17 yr old daughter!  Seeing her suffer at the hands of her own wish for solutions on the spot, has me grasping for a technique, glass of juice, the perfect question to ask her that will snap her out of it.  Out of what? Out of her own process, out of mine?  
    It is summer and I will hug her more.  There’s a program to buy into!

  • Lucie D’Alessandro

    Hallelujah, thank you for articulating all that I couldn’t, Jen.

    I’m healing, with a few personal triumphs preceded by epic messes. I have a huge case of comparisonitus [excellent term, pilfered from a comment below], and because others in similar situations either haven’t shared the full extent of their color, the messiness as it’s so lovingly called below, or just didn’t experience the, uh, fluctuations that I have, it makes me feel like a total loser to share mine. Because it’s a wild frigging ride that I’m on. I’ll still share, but will feel peeled open. That’s good, I keep telling myself…

  • Ljincolo

    Wow… Fancy finding this in my inbox. I was just talki… Er, ranting actually, to my BFF about this very idea. We read so much about the “magic moment” when IT all happened and life became perfect (the IT may be the perfect job, partner, pair of sexy red shoes, whatever). I am on the sidewalk shouting “but talk about the self-doubt, the long road, the empty savings account, the PAIN that comes with stretching…” But the flyer says “and for just the cost of the book/program/workshop, you too can experience instant joy!”
    Thank you for talking about the need for “real”. Stretching hurts, but it also feels good. Sometimes. Tequila helps.