“Joining a writing retreat with Jennifer Louden was a gift: a nourishment to my creative self, to the words and the mystery on the page that was beckoning me, and to the story that I know needed to be told. One of the best parts of the experience was finally carving out enough generous space to do the writing I know I need to do in this world.
She is smart, wise, and truly an expert in not only storytelling, but in leading and guiding you through your own writer’s journey. She held the space and created a container for us to be open and honest and brave. I’m so grateful for her wisdom and skill at leading groups of people—she makes it seem easy (it’s so not!) and lets you step away from whatever life is beckoning you with to finally, for a moment, for a day, for a week: get to tell the stories that only you can tell.”
– Sarah K. Peck | Writer, Entrepreneur & Yoga Teacher | SarahKPeck.com
“Writing about who we are and what we might become is perilous. It’s all too easy to slip into cloying sentimentality, banal fable or predictable and glib truism. Jen, who is as wise and generous in person as she is in her writing, brings to her work in all forms a clarity and a humanity – lightness and complexity – that I admire and envy.”
– Michael Bungay Stanier
Author & Senior Partner at Box of Crayons
“I’m committed to seeing extraordinary people make an extraordinary difference in our world. And Jennifer Louden is one of the true change agents on the path. She has a huge, generous heart and an electric mind. I feel better about the planet knowing Jennifer’s on it and igniting souls. It was delightful to be interviewed by her for one of her retreats and I had the sense that this was a woman who had a great deal to teach us about self-love and creativity. And she teaches by being the glorious human being she is.”
– Tama Kieves, USA Today featured creative career catalyst and best-selling author of Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work! TamaKieves.com
“When I first discovered Jen’s work, I was caught in perfectionism, people pleasing, and overdoing. I knew how to push and strive and endure; I didn’t know how to be kind or nurturing or soft with myself.
Jen’s work—and her radical notion that I could find healing, not through self improvement, but through self acceptance, self kindness, and self care—was a 180 for me, a completely different way of living—and being. She helped me shift out of these painful patterns and soften my addictions to overeating, control and self improvement.
Simply put, Jen helped me wake up, shed what no longer served me, and come home. I feel so blessed by her work, and am grateful for her open, wise, and quirky heart.”
– Karly Randolph Pitman, author, speaker, and teacher, karlyrandolphpitman.com
“I imagine that Jen probably doesn’t even realize the influence she has had on my life and career.
Since 2002, I have run ArtellaLand.com, created hundreds of profitable eProducts, published a bestselling book, with a second book out this year. I’ve enjoyed the kind of professional flexibility that has sustained health challenges, childbirth, cross-global moves, soul searching, and many rounds of creative reinvention.
But way before all that, I was a wannabe writer, who wrote a lot but shoved it all in a drawer. Until I was in a Writers Coaching group led by Jen in 2001. Her coaching drew me out to name my purpose and propel me into action.
When I look back at the trajectory of my path, I see Jen’s warm, championing spirit at the starting line. It’s been over a decade since that coaching group, but I continue to be inspired by her work and life and the way in which she continues to pave the way for women on a path to savor and serve.”
– Marney Makridakis, ArtellaLand.com founder and author of Creating Time
“Jennifer Louden is the definition of authentic. Reading her books and blog through the years is the same as talking with her on my radio show. She is the real deal. Authentic in all arenas of her life. She has the ability to connect with you on the air or with her writings for you to know you are not alone and we are all in this together, moving forward in our lives.”
– Koren Motekaitis, howshereallydoesit.com, coach + radio host
Live & create with no holding back.
If you have trouble following through on your creative desires, ask yourself the 22 questions in this guide to help you find out where you’re getting stuck so you can move past it and finally finish that book or that course or that painting or whatever deliciousness you feel called to create.
“You’re a voice of sanity and sincerity in a time when value too often gets canned in the name of ambition. You’re the real deal, Louden, a true teacher, and we seekers get a whole lot of nourishment from your well of wisdom.”
– Danielle LaPorte, DanielleLaPorte.com, author of The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions
“I’ve read Jennifer Louden’s books and implemented her strategies for self-care for years. But recently I had the chance to hear Jennifer speak and was blown away. She’s as deep as she is welcoming. Insanely committed, ridiculously funny, and a true change agent.”
– Susan Hyatt, IdealLifedesign.com, master coach
“Jen is a purpose filled, intentional and generous writer, teacher and friend. I’m honored to know her, support her work and be taught by her. No one is able to put meaning to their words and bring them to life through their teaching and life like her. If you have a chance to work with her, do it…your world will thank you.”
– Erin Giles, eringiles.com, Business Philanthropy Consultant | Founder of End Sex Trafficking
“Jennifer Louden speaks to both ignite and invite the full engagement in our lives that can feel so elusive. She ignites the longing we feel to move beyond isolation and internal absorption by calling us to serve the world we savor. With compassion for our tender shared humanity and its embarrassing imperfections, she invites us to find our own way to contribute to that which we love.”
– Gail Larsen, Founder RealSpeaking.net
“Thank you for that you do to uplift and support the world. I sense in you a kind of Cheerleader Tour Guide, emerging from a struggle, you leap joyfully to your feet and call out, “Come on! It’s not that hard and once you get over this rickety bridge – boy, is it great!” You inspire me – but you also inspire things IN me: things like courage and plucky confidence and the willingness to let myself be real.
My favorite memory of you, which has stuck with me, was on the Creative Joy retreat, when you came joyfully and warmly to each table to greet us all – I sensed your nervousness but I saw, clearly, your willingness to be vulnerable, to be present with us just as you are. To let us see you. (And then you told us about your missing tooth – which cinched the deal. You were real. ”
– Amy Oscar, writer, teacher, soul caller, amyoscar.com
“Every now and then, life brings you a precious gift that keeps on giving. One of those gifts for me is Jennifer Louden.
Jen’s exuberant spirit, disarming vulnerability and eloquent pen (keyboard) make up a powerful and effervescent surprise in every blog post, book page and speech. A stellar human with a great big heart, any moment with Jen and her words is a golden treasure.”
– Laura Berman Fortgang, www.laurabermanfortgang.com
Author, Speaker, Performer, Pioneer of Personal Coaching
“Jen is so accessible and generous, and she’s not afraid to be vulnerable. That makes it really safe to just say, “I’m having a problem with this.”
She can handle the deep stuff, she can hold the space and make you feel like you’re not a nutjob. She holds the safety, the sanctuary for you. Not very many people can do that skillfully, but she can handle it all, and that’s a big thing.”
– Joy Agcongay, joyagcongaymarketing.com
“I learn something from you every time I read your work. Your talk was warm, humble, funny, smart and full of fantastic ideas! I wish I had been following your career path from the get-go.”
– Victoria Foster Harrison, Encaustic Prints, Bainbridge Island, WA
“I am writing. I’m 17,000 words into a new novel, and I’m writing lots of poetry. Ever since Taos, Jen, ever since Taos… I do not quite understand it rationally, but my experience at the retreat ushered in the most creative and productive period of my life–and you will always be the good angel of that ushering.”
– Anne Corey
“Why work with Jen? Because she’s fantastic, that’s why. And she’ll help you find your most fantastic self, too. She’s open and authentic and playful and fun. She teaches like she writes – from a place of service and genuine caring, knowing this work is important not only for our individual growth and healing but also to make a positive dent in the corners of the world we inhabit as well.
Time spent with Jen is a true gift to yourself. I recommend her offerings wholeheartedly. You will laugh, you may cry, and at the end of it – I promise – something inside will have shifted, and you’ll know you’ve been transformed for the better.”
– Marci Hannewald, attorney, gypsy spirit, and storyteller, marcihannewald.com
“The work you do is so valuable, so fine, so life changing for so many women. I personally know dozens of women who have you to thank for landmark changes they have made.”
– Pixie Campbell, pixiecampbell.com
“I had Jen as a guest on the Unmistakable creative podcast. She unlocked so many insights about the writing process for me that it ultimately led to me writing and self publishing two books in one year. My conversation with her was a significant catalyst for my growth.”
– Srinivas Rao, CEO, Unmistakable Media
Host & Creator of the The Unmistakable Creative podcast
“Jen Louden knows intimately that the way of the teacher and the path of the learner are intertwined. She is a teacher and speaker with a deep grace that opens space for others to join her in a learning journey rather than sit idly by.
Jen has a generosity of spirit as both a teacher and speaker that allows her audience to be generous with themselves, and give themselves both the gift of grace and the courage to learn.”
– Patti Digh, author of Life is a Verb and the forthcoming Geography of Loss (Jan 2016)
“My weekend with Jen was my first foray into an honest-to-goodness writing retreat. I was slightly terrified going in, but Jen’s warmth and welcoming spirit immediately put me at ease. I loved that she took each of us seriously as writers, no matter why we had dedicated ourselves to the retreat. She graciously answered even the most personal of questions about her business, her writing process, and her own fears. I was fascinated by the breakdown of her writing process and took to heart her thoughts on blogging for business. Not only was I inspired, but I also left with actionable technique.
And though writing all weekend may sound tedious to some, it was magical to be supported in that way. We wrote, read, danced, discussed and dined — and I know it wouldn’t have been as useful or fun without Jen leading us!”
– Molly Mahar, Stratejoy
“Jennifer Louden has the clarity to see through the smoke screens we use to avoid the true challenges of our lives and our age, the courage to face those challenges herself, and the compassion to help us all face them with her – as a teacher, a guide and a friend. I’ve learned so much from Jen about the essential connection between creativity and change, between savoring and serving.”
– Marianne Elliott, http://marianne-elliott.com/
“I’m really good at finding wonderful “vacation” spots and then combining those visits with some kind of brain-filling experience. I’m NOT very good at being still and seeing what shows up when I stop all the ideas that run rampant in my head and simply PAUSE.
Last summer I took a different approach. Instead of the usual business/pleasure “retreat,” I decided to do a little research and really give myself the gift of radical self-care.
But it couldn’t be just any retreat. No, I had to find the person who “wrote the book” on retreats.
And that’s where I met Jen. She’s funny. She’s witty. She’s real. She embodies the very essence of creative joy and she has a remarkable way of infusing that joy into everything she teaches. Jen has an extraordinary gift for wrapping her arms around you with words that leave you changed. Forever.”
– Sue Ann Gleason, SueAnnGleason.com
“Truly, I can’t thank you enough, Jennifer. Our coaching conversation and your suggestions have transformed the way I move through my life. And, as long as I’m able to keep coming back to them, they’ll transform my life.
Thank you, and thank you for checking on me. And I’ll be printing out the blog post you sent out a couple of days ago. I don’t know whether you had me in mind when you wrote it, but it was 100% dead-on fit for me, full of great reminders and so much love and compassion I cried while reading.”
– Julie A. Fleming, JD ACC, author and business development expert for lawyers, LifeAtTheBar.com
“Joseph Campbell asked, ‘Where is your bliss station?’ — where you can step outside of practical life and enter the country of your soul. You return with gifts of magic and meaning. Jennifer Louden’s work is a Bliss Station.”
– Justine Musk, Author