A love letter to numbing and distractions

(Also known as shadow comforts and time monsters)

Shadow comforts are the things we do that don’t replenish us (often in the name of comfort) and time monsters are the choices that take us away from our dreams of what we really want to create or experience.

As I prepare the sampler class on this subject, I am, of course, paying close attention to my own patterns. One morning this week, feeling frustrated with myself for scarfing down nut crackers, I suddenly wondered, “What might happen if I was grateful for these habits?” I wondered: if I was grateful, what might shift or be revealed?

So in the spirit of love and gratitude I wrote this:

Dear sea salt and almond dark chocolate, gobbled two or three squares at a time while doing something else: thank you for teaching me to stop and savor the fullness of my life. Thank you for the chance to remember not to miss a thing. Thank you for reminding me to feel everything.

Dear nut crackers ripped from the package, crammed into my mouth, crunch after crunch: thank you for teaching me I can bite hard into life, I can trust myself to handle whatever life brings. Thanks for reminding me of my grit rather than my whine, and that grit makes the pearl, not the other way around.

Dear Facebook feed, Twitter stream, email, email, email: you so beautifully remind me that every time I search frantically for connection, it is already here. In the connection with myself. In the hummingbirds outside my window, in the fir tree and the Chinese maple, in the light in Bob’s eyes, the devotion in Luna’s, in my sweet daughter’s love waving hi across the inland sea. In the wind, the poems, the stories. I am always connected.

Dear busy tight flutter of anxious doing: thank you for reflecting back to me how much I love to help, to serve, and that my soul’s lesson is to serve myself, and to savor life, first. You are so very good at teaching me this again and again and again…

Dear chocolate again: thank you for reminding me to open the door to my true desires. I don’t often really want you. Thank you for reminding me to ask, “What do I really want?” and to remember this is my life to choose.

And if that choice is chocolate or email or that box of Amy’s gluten-free almond cookies? Then well done. For whatever the choice I make, I have learned to choose boldly and completely.

I thank you, my companions of food and distraction, for always welcoming me home. You will never stop appearing and now I see that is very good news. Because now, I know to welcome you, to bow to you, for relentlessly helping me awaken to this life.

May we each welcome what seeks to help us live our true lives.
(Click to Tweet)



As seen in “Daring Greatly”!


P.S. I think we might write love letters in the sampler class, so bring paper and pen January 9th, 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern. Try to attend live because you’ll be more likely to do the exercises and you’ll have the chance to win a seat in the upcoming Life Organizer Navigation Course. I’m so excited!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Paula - January 7, 2014

Wow! Thanks for continuing to turn things upside down to help us see what’s underneath. Saying “thank you” to my habits and distractions to find out what I’m really looking for helps me delete guilt while learning what I’m really after. Thanks, Jen!

    jenniferlouden - January 7, 2014

    you bet, thanks for reading Paula!

liz - January 7, 2014

“I am always connected.” Writing this onto my heart today. Thank you for this.

    jenniferlouden - January 7, 2014

    hoping to see you soon!!

Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef - January 7, 2014

I needed this today. Thank you, Jen.

    jenniferlouden - January 7, 2014

    any day I can be of use is a great day!

Tricia Bath - January 7, 2014

What a lovely, lovely thought to write a letter. Helps silence the judger and just allows observation. So beautiful.

    jenniferlouden - January 7, 2014

    come to class and we will do one together!

Idara E. Bassey - January 7, 2014

Thank you so very much for this post. Today I have been contending with continued consumption of raw pecans (all the while reassuring myself that they are in keeping with my raw vegan/vegan regimen and rationalizing that this choice beats diving into a truckload of chocolate), a frenzied search through my FB feed to find something to make me feel more alive, and more intuitive readings than I would prefer in hopes of securing some nurturing and kind positive words I have not been privy to as of late…I appreciate your gentle excavation of what needs lay beneath these habits and distractions until we are able and ready to find other ways of satisfying them. Best wishes.

    jenniferlouden - January 7, 2014

    oh good!! tell us how it goes!

Caitlin Van Essen - January 8, 2014

Loved this! Just loved it. Totally need to do this exercise myself. Many Blessings xx

    jenniferlouden - January 9, 2014

    good! We’re going to do it in the class today!

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