Holy Selfishness

What is calling to you, what is yours to do in the world, is calling to you clearly.


What is calling to you to do is not one inch to the left or right, it’s not over there behind the potato chips – it’s exactly in front of you.

Yes, that flash, that gut pow, that “oh my god” you felt before you started to second guess… before a “better” idea called to you…. before you found yourself checking Twitter or organizing your FoxFire bookmarks —

that is IT.

What is calling to you is that which is so alive, so urgent, so blissful, you must shield your eyes from it.

It is that which you may think you do not deserve and certainly are not capable of giving birth to.

God is calling to you through THAT idea, that joy, that urgency.

Do whatever you want with the God word.

It’s so very tempting to get distracted, to hold yourself back, to apply the brakes and believe the thoughts that say, “It’s really complicated.You don’t understand. There are things to do first.”

Oh yes, darling, I do so understand those ever heavier temptations.

Think of Jesus in the desert, I’ll bet you the Devil said stuff like,

Look, the savior thing, cool, great idea, but you’re not quite ready yet. Another course, another year, another degree, then sure. Why not start a sandal company in the meantime?”

Do not start a sandal company.

And no, I’m not suggesting you need to be a savior of anything.

Jesus had a calling.

You have a calling.

And we all get tempted away from our callings.

Sometimes for days, sometimes for months, sometimes for our entire lives.

So here’s an idea, just for today:

Do not listen to your ego/lizard brain/ghost of your father who interrupts you with anything from a “better” idea to a mean voice to the importance of learning all about geckos. (I know, your son/daughter/neighbor just got one and it will die if you don’t research ideal gecko care right now and it’s all on your shoulders… really, I’ve heard this one before.)

Instead, breath, right here, right now.

Yes, now, not later.

A real soft belly breath.

In and out of your precious right here right now belly.

It’s okay to want what you want.

It’s how the Divine speaks to you – not through wanting the buttery leather boots or the second bowl of chocolate chip mint ice cream, but through wanting the “holy shit you can’t mean me” longings, ideas, and projects.

Breath and pick up your sword and cut through everything else that does not give voice and action to that longing.

Just for today, do not start a sandal company.

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Tweets that mention Holy Selfishness » Comfort Queen -- Topsy.com - November 18, 2010

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jennifer Louden, Jennifer Louden, HiroBoga, Claire Chapman, Julie Jordan Scott and others. Julie Jordan Scott said: Love this! @jenlouden: Holy Selfishness: What is calling to you, what is yours to do in the world … http://goo.gl/fb/T4OL4 […]

Sandy Dempsey - November 18, 2010

Wonderful post.

This line really got me…”It’s okay to want what you want.”

I immediately saw what I wanted, the same thing I’ve been telling myself is too big.

I think I’m going to out this on a small laminated card and carry it with me.

Thank you, Jen!

Peace and blessings,

Julie - November 18, 2010

Gutsy. Real. with a garnish of holy humor. Looks good with the purple shoes, for sure. Now, I gotta find my own purple shoes.

Rupa - November 18, 2010

I really appreciate your boldness. Your post spoke to me. Thank you.

Tracy - November 18, 2010

Interesting how the universe works… in the last 24 hours I’ve had a series of ‘aha, yes, I HEAR YOU, universe!’ moments, where I know that ‘coincidence’ is really more than happenstance. I’ve been dragging my feet on getting out there (a.k.a. putting myself out there) and finding a good satisfying job. I’ve been home and working with my husband for the last 7 years, so the prospect of it all has been daunting, to say the least.

Will someone want me to work with/for them?

Will my skills be relevant?

Will I be relevant?

Answers to all those questions have been answered with pretty clear signs that I’m on the right path, and even if I don’t get the job that looks perfect to me right now, it gets me out there!

And then there you are with your post, Jen. {its been a long time since I’ve posted on your blog} Like another clear sign that YES, I need to focus. I need to clear out the distractions. I need to get my ass in gear and get over myself.

Its funny once you feel like you are on the right path, how something that once felt so scary can now feel SO exciting! {And RIGHT!}

thank U

Lorian Gray - November 19, 2010

What The World Needs Now, Is Love, Sweet Love. No, Not Just For Some But For Everyone…

Nicola - November 19, 2010

Oh yes, I know that calling! I finally listened this year and my life has been transformed. In ways I hoped it would be and in ways I could never have imagined. I believe, too, that we are in the midst of a cosmic shift and more and more people will be experiencing their calling. The question is, will they take up the sword and follow their calling? I hope so because this is what the world needs.

Marianne - November 19, 2010

This is coming to me from every direction lately, and – most importantly – from the quiet but assured voice within me. It is okay to want what I want. Yes, it really is.
Thank you. x

Shannon - November 19, 2010

Amen! I needed a reminder today. Great kick in the a$$ right before the wekeend. TY!

Ronna - November 19, 2010

Potent. On-point. Perfect.

Thanks, Jen.

Heather Plett - November 19, 2010

Love, love, LOVE this! It’s why I started Sophia Leadership. That darn Sophia just wouldn’t LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE! 😉

Liz - November 19, 2010

How did you know I was just about to research geckos??

I’ve been dodging the ‘holy shit- really?” things for a while now. And it’s exhausting.

If only answering the call weren’t quite so terrifying!

Ty Barbary - November 19, 2010

These two lines in particular stood out to me:

Breath and pick up your sword and cut through everything else that does not give voice and action to that longing.

Just for today, do not start a sandal company.

Mostly the first because of its clarity and strength, and the second because it made me laugh outloud.

Thank you for this post – it’s a great one. 🙂

Kelly Salasin - November 19, 2010

Here’s a quote (that actually terrifies me), but it echoes the sentiment above…

“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends & meals & journeys for years on end. . But I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous . .more extravagant & bright. We are . . raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.”
— Annie Dillard

Ingrid - November 19, 2010

Just beautiful Jen. You are an angel, a cheerleader, and one of the ways God is speaking to us all. (you can do what you want with the God word…)
Joy to you, Ingrid

wilson usman - November 19, 2010

Awww, yummy post!
Your words just seem to flow naturally, you probably didn’t even edit this post at least it seems like, which is amazing!

Anyway for the first time being on this blog you sold me, I’m not going to start that damn sandal company, instead I’ll go with….naaaaaa never mind.

J.D. Meier - November 22, 2010

My calling slaps me upside the head and gets me going each day.

Susan Gallacher-Turner - November 23, 2010

“It’s ok to want what you want”
Thanks, I needed to that…

As far as answering the call…I’d love to but lately all I hear is silence. It’s nice. I need silence, believe me.

Your powerful post makes me feel it’s possible for me, too.

Kate - November 24, 2010

What if what you want doesn’t save the world even a tiny bit? Is that ok? Is it still the thing?

What if what you want doesn’t make any money, it just takes money? Is it ok to start a sandal company then, in the hopes of getting some money to do the thing you really want?

What if there are lots of things you want?

Nona - December 15, 2010

Dearest Jen, This is Exactly what I need in this moment Now. (Not back in November when you wrote it.)
I have been desperate to see my Calling. I still don’t understand what it is. But to know it’s right in front of me is such a blessing!
Thank you and thank you!
I am breathing, now, knowing my Calling is exactly in front of me.
And I bless Orly for posting this link on FB today, in my moment of need.

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Virginia Ellenson - February 17, 2011

I love your new Savor & Serve experiment and it’s THIS post holding MY attention currently for it resonates with my morning Labyrinth Journal entries and with today’s message from TUT which reads as follows:
“Just curious, Virginia, but when was the last time you relied upon me? You know, consciously realized you weren’t alone as you went about your daily affairs, choosing a path, finding a parking space, or a new friend, or a great idea… and expected, at least, a little something?
Well, let’s just say we do it more often.”
The Universe

Thank YOU, Jen for listening within, taking action boldly, and encouraging us to do likewise.
Hugs and blessings,

Claire P - March 1, 2011

Here I am Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.

Yes. YES.

Monica Englander, lcsw - March 9, 2011

Oh dear. I WAS thinking about starting a sandal company….



What’s that you say, Jen? Time to fish, or cut bait, but oh wait, no, no more bait cutting — more than enough bait lying around now for several thousand life-times of preparedness to fish?

Okay. Sigh. Ya got me. I confess, and I’m turning myself in. Time to fish.

I’ll let you know in about a month or two or so if I reel back in my own personal Rainbow-
Trout-of-the-soul, or… old boots and tin cans? 🙂

Thanks for the invitation to join this dance of life and fulfillment of our core purpose …. your unfailing inspiration and guts are an enriching and nurturing tonic to me — you always remind me not to leave myself on the bus!

Thanks for encouraging me to “jump in” —


Monica Englander

    jenniferlouden - March 12, 2011

    how is the jumping today?

      Englandermsw - April 19, 2011

      Dearest Jen, I did jump, and now, I am up to my rear in the water:

      ~~~~~ wwwwwater! ~~~~~

      But….. actually….. it’s not as cold as I thought it would be….. and I can touch bottom, at least with one toe….. and oh, hey – is that a Dolphin??? Hmmm. This might be okay…..

      Sorry I did not reply sooner: it took me a month of standing on the shore, looking at the water, but imagining just how WONDERFUL that sandal company was going to be, and how very, very bad I was for wanting to go fishing instead. Then, a couple of days ago, life just put its very warm and firm hand on the small of my back, and gently said, “IN you go, my dear”, and with that, gave me a fast and decisive shove.

      And: here I am! Will let you know how the fishing goes. 🙂

      Meanwhile……….So far, so good…… 😉

      Big hugs,
      Monica 🙂

        jenniferlouden - April 26, 2011

        how is the water now?

Doretta - March 23, 2011

I’m finally taking steps to answer my yearnings.I have always wanted created workshop to women who have struggled with moving forward.I have so far,given two.I dream of speaking to millions of women and creating retreats to help them as well.I have a voice and a message.I have a tale to share.To inspire.Finally I’m taking the action to do this.Not listening to the mean voice that says I don’t speak perfectly,my grammar is not that good for my blog…..I just do take the “simple next step” Thank you Jen for all you do.You are such an inspiration to me.

    jenniferlouden - March 26, 2011

    simple next steps – one after another – that is all it takes!

      Nina Vucetic - September 28, 2013

      love that. just one step, that’s all.

Jen - June 6, 2011

Jennifer, thank you for being in this world and being brave enough to NOT start a sandal company- and instead to inspire and serve as you do. I am full of gratitude for your contributions!

Nina Vucetic - September 28, 2013

Wow, I swear I pretty much word for word hear this “It’s really complicated.You don’t understand. There are things to do first.”
Even an hour ago it started – and gives me so much relief!
And I would convince everyone that it was true. “get away with it”.
I get it now, thank you Jen.
Just for today I’m not buying into it.


Make time to be – grethacronje - January 22, 2016

[…] I will listen to you…’.The one that you keep busy in order to distract from it. According to Jennifer Louden a calling is:‘That which is so alive, so urgent, so blissful, you must shield your eyes from […]

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