Instructions to Self on Becoming Supple

Give up all hope of ever getting it together

rinse & repeat 10000000 times a day without succumbing to despair and resignation

Claim my light and shadow back from where I have flung them – light, not just shadow

compare = despair

Give up my search for answers and hone instead strong questions, like metal detectors pinging for lost watches, quarters, love

take a blanket and pillow into the tangle of uncertainty, and make myself a nest there

Decide to love so much I am no longer willing to turn away from what is broken, stupid, unfair

then forgive myself when I do

Squirm but ask, “How much do I give? Do I buy a I-pad or save a girl’s life?”

Be curious when I buy the I-pad or save the girl’s life – what story did I tell myself this time?

Be pierced by the longing to do, to help, to serve and

take a long, hot bath, a writing retreat, a sabbatical

Let myself serve where my heart is breaking

until my heart loops back on itself

a supple infinity of savoring & serving





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Kim - May 9, 2011

You have no idea how much I needed to read this today….we women…always there when another needs us 🙂

    jenniferlouden - May 9, 2011


Elle B - May 10, 2011

Thank you for this a beautiful ode to uncertainty, imperfection and change! Your writing is becoming so luminous, Jen.

Anonymous - May 10, 2011

This is so beautiful! It totally reminds me of that Alanis Morissette song, “Incomplete”.

Royale Scuderi - May 10, 2011

Just lovely! I feel lighter and deeper all at the same time:)

Anonymous - May 10, 2011

Oh, Jen – this is so wonderful to read this morning! I am having an experience of suppleness today because yesterday I was angry. More than angry – in a fury! A RAGE. I was a column of fiery wind. And I didn’t squish it. And today I am feeling supple, and current.

It’s delicious.

PS Is iPad/save girls either/or? Because I save girls every day! Anyone can. But you don’t need a new iPad every day. So… goody: both!

Paula - May 10, 2011

My new mantra: “I am giving up on ever getting it together. I am forgiving myself for thinking I can.” Thank you so much.

Anonymous - May 10, 2011

yield to the muse when she comes; don’t bitch about her when she doesn’t

don’t tell the naysayers my plans, let ’em find out about it in the news

cry out loud, loudly, let it out, rinse and repeat

find laughing partners


Hiro Boga - May 10, 2011

discover that deep forward bend that brings you to your knees

and pays homage to the ground

bathe the arthritic heart in tenderness

we are born supple. suppleness breathes us in

and out

and O, we need such exquisite reminders…

Thank you, Jen! xo

Stephanie - May 10, 2011

This is BEAUTIFUL! I am printing it as well.

Walker Terrie - May 10, 2011

Wow, Jennifer, you are amazing me again. By the third reading I think I am getting it. My ego was fighting with my soul, not letting all of this tender loving message in. The ego knows these words will kill its power to destroy me. I would like permission to post this on my bathroom mirror.

    jenniferlouden - May 10, 2011

    oh Walker, please do. And your ego might not be fighting with your soul – it might be my writing. 🙂

Kathymmccurdy - May 10, 2011

So timely for me – your honest insights were much needed. Befriend that person in the mirror. Dance amidst the chaos, breathe, be the observer, love the observer.
“Today the planet is the only proper “in group.” Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. “Joseph Campbell

Char Brooks - May 10, 2011

Every time I read this, some other part of me says yes, yes, yes – I want to remember that – and it slips like sand through my fingers. Each piece of this is so precious.

Thanks Jen – you’re a miracle in my life.

Susan Gallacher-Turner - May 10, 2011

‘be pierced by the longing to do, to help, to serve AND take a long, hot bath, a writing retreat, a sabbatical’

Wise words, once again…that I need to repeat to myself over and over…serving others does not mean sacrificing myself, instead, just the opposite. I can do, help and serve best only when I am also doing, helping and caring for myself.

Yes….and no to guilt!

Anonymous - May 10, 2011

Find a bit of nature, even if it is just a star seen through a crack in the hospital’s heavy drapery; I know that the star may have died billions of years ago, yet the light remains. This gives me hope that something I create may live after I am gone.

Send a smoke signal to @5fe2951b08945cc6a19fcde0de980ae3:disqus because no matter how in need of becoming supple she is herself, she knows it is easier for us to to melt the permafrost when our two hearts are beating against the cold world together.

Tribe Love! : 05.13.11 | Roots of She - May 13, 2011

[…] up my search for answers and hone instead strong questions, like metal detectors pinging for lost watches, quarters, […]

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