Live by desire, not mood

I read a wonderful post today by Jennifer Louden called, “Mood vs. Desire.”

She eloquently makes a case that we must “Learn the difference between mood and desire” if we want to feel more alive and fulfilled.

She states:

“You are always in a mood…. if you are in a light hearted mood, life seems easier. Tired or feeling put upon, you see your choices in a whole different light…. Desire, on the other hand, is life force running underneath everything. The Divine at play. A reflection of your deepest values. Desire is the most current flavor of your calling.

“We get mood and desire confused…. Mood is influenced by what you ate for breakfast, how your morning meeting went, if your partner and you are getting along, how you slept. We say ‘I’m not in the mood’ thinking that means we have no desire. No.  Mood covers desire. Desire runs under mood, sometimes deep under, but it is always there.”

This is a lesson that many creatives and sensitives (and Enneagram Fours in particular) are confronted with regularly.

So many of us want to wait to be in the right mood to create, write, work, or even to complete household chores.

In the case of writing, what we’re finding in my Writer’s Circle is that when we write on a daily basis, whether we’re “in the mood” or not, we’re much happier on the other side of it than when we don’t.

It’s all too easy to think that we’re too tired, too stressed, or too unhappy to reach for what we deeply want, but when we do it anyway, we answer our soul’s calling and say “Yes” to life.

Ignoring that deeper calling and acting only on mood is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, yet so easy to fall into. It requires will, discipline, and strength to make the hard choices, do the work, and prioritize our deepest desires. But it’s so worth it.

Your turn

Tell me what you think in the comments. You know I love to hear from you.




Coming Attractions

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing.

~> October 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. SOLD OUT.


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* There’s always more.

~> Sacred writing time. My schedule is in flux right now but I’m writing regularly nonetheless.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my son. We’re also watching Merlin, which he loves.


* Affiliate link





Making decisions that matter

I’ve got decision making on my mind. 

Last week I wrote about how there’s always something that will get in the way of our dreams — if we let it. I’ve been hearing from a number of people that they just don’t have time to take action on their dream, whether it’s a business or a creative venture. 

Another vein of excuses runs along the lines of not being ready, needing more training, or having to “get through” something first.

I’ve said all those things myself at one time or another.

The key to making a change is making a decision

A “Life Decision” as Dr. Phil calls it — a life changing, unalterable decision that you know you won’t go back on.

This is not the same as “trying.”

It’s not the same as “seeing how it goes.”

It means making an unequivocal decision to take a course of action because you are determined to make a change.

These aren’t decisions that come along frequently. They are LIFE decisions, after all.

Life decisions

Life decisions involve commitment to a way of being and a sense of identity, combined with taking powerful action.  

Two examples:

1. When I quit smoking (I can’t believe I used to smoke either) I made a decision that I would never, ever smoke a cigarette again. I had been through too many instances of quitting and learned first hand that it was such a slippery slope for me that the only way to guarantee that I wouldn’t backslide was to vow never to do it again. I could feel the strength of that decision in my bones the  moment I made it. That was in 1993. I haven’t smoked since and I never will.

2. When I founded my Writer’s Circle and made a decision to think of myself as a writer, I also made a life decision. It’s not that I hadn’t been writing before — but this time I made a conscious choice to pursue writing like my life depended on it. To that end, I write 6 days a week, and I refuse to stop.

The power of decisions

I’ve seen the power of decisions first hand, particularly with my Writer’s Circle participants. Decisions change their lives. Those that make a decision to write and to use the system succeed. Those that sign up, but don’t make that decision — that soul-level commitment, don’t. The system can help motivate you, but it can’t make the decision for you.

The same is true with any diet, program, or system, isn’t it? The decision to get something out of it — to be all in — it’s yours, isn’t it?

On the subject of decisions

Chris Guillebeau recently wrote a great post about decisions that I think you’ll like — and make sure you also read his article about how NOT to make decisions, while you’re at it.

Your turn

Tell me your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

And for those of you in the U.S. — Happy 4th of July!




Coming Attractions

~> July 5th. Last day to register for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle. For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing.

~> July and August. It’s almost time for the next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. Are you interested in grabbing a spot before we sell out? Email my team and we’ll put you on the advanced notification list. Find out more at


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Mentoring with screenwriter Chris Soth and participating in ScreenwritingU’s Pro Rewrite class after finishing the ProSeries.* (They’re offering their free rewrite* class this month, which is great.)

~> September 18 to 20th. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU* event to meet with producers and agents.

~> September 21st to 22nd. Staying on in Hollywood for the InkTip Pitch Summit.

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Still reading Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix with my little boy and Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey on my own. Still in the movie queue: (500) Days of SummerAnother Earth, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Not watching a lot these days.


* Affiliate link

Commitment + Synchronicity = Magic

I’m re-reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron while I’m running my Artist’s Way Accountability and Support Group.

I’m reminded once again of Julia’s brilliance and insight about the power of committing ourselves to our Big Dreams, and how the Universe supports us through seemingly magical occurrences when we do so.

I, for one, am both continually astonished by how well this works and remarkably resistant to it at the same time. These massive doubts and fears always seem to come up when it comes to the question of commitment:

  • But how will I know if it’s the right thing?
  • And how can I even just pick one thing to focus on?
  • What if I get bored with it?
  • What if I don’t have anything new or valuable to say?
  • What if I can’t make any money doing it?
  • What if I suck at it?
  • What if no one likes it?
  • If I love it so much, why am I not taking action on it?
  • But how will I do it?
  • But I can’t decide!

I’ve learned to see these as no more than temporary obstacles, personality traits (I’m a scanner), hidden fears and shoulds, and stealthy inner critic messages. In other words, I try not to give them too much attention or take them too seriously.

I’ve also learned to prioritize and pick something to work on first, but not to worry if I put something down and come back to it later. Elaine tells me she likes to have at least 3 creative projects going at once so she can move from one to the next as she feels called.

Move the Universe With Your Commitment

Julia quotes this passage from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition by W. H. Murray:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (or creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.”

She separately quotes Goethe:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has magic, grace and power in it.”

(I’ve quoted both of these directly from The Artist’s Way. I’ve seen other variations.)

But How Will I?

Once you’ve committed, figuring out how really isn’t your job. Really.

Julia reminds me of this critical bit as well:

The Universe falls in with worthy plans and most especially with festive and expansive ones. I have seldom conceived of a delicious plan without being given the means to accomplish it. Understand that the what must come before the how. First choose what you will do. The how usually falls into place of itself.

Our inner critic and the fears that drive those anxious commitment questions make us think we have to answer the HOW question first. We do feasibility studies, shop our dreams around to our critical friends and enemies, and dismantle our cherished secret hopes before we ever give them a chance to take root, let alone blossom.

It makes me want to cry.

I want to cry when I think of all the beautiful, cherished, lovely dreams that will change the world, heal our broken systems and hearts, and help people grow and become better human beings, but that are being left unexplored, unexpressed, and undiscovered because we are more concerned with staying “safe” and not rocking the boat. These are just smokescreens, people. Smokescreens.

Let’s Be Honest With Each Other

Because really, deep down, “Anyone honest will tell you that possibility is far more frightening than impossibility, that freedom is far more terrifying than any prison.”

What Are You Willing To Allow?

The truly fascinating aspect of all this is the energetic flow of giving and receiving. Peter and Marcia taught me about the divine flow of Universal energy — the möbius of energy that moves out and returns back — an unending cycle of exchange. IF we allow it.

As Julia says, “The Universe is prodigal in its support. We are miserly in what we accept.”

We are miserly in what we accept.

Oh man.

She continues: “All gift horses are looked in the mouth and returned to sender. We say we are scared by failure, but what frightens us more is the possibility of success.”

What frightens us more is the possibility of success.

Could it be?

Could it be that what keeps me paralyzed from taking action on key Big Dreams is not that I’m too busy, have too much email, need a break, or just have to “get through this one thing,” but that I am simply: 1) unwilling to accept the limitless possibilities and gifts of the Universe and 2) terrified that I might actually succeed?

Holy shit, Batman. The jig is up.

I’m reminded of what Sonia always says: “How good can you stand it?”


Need help finding, claiming, and committing to your Big Dream? Come to my Voice Your Vision retreat in Berkeley on April 29th and 30th. You can find out all the details here.


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> March 26th, 2011. First broadcast of my brand new Radio Lightworker radio show “Dreamification.” Find out more and submit your questions. Listen from anywhere in the world to this Internet radio show. Listening details available soon!

~> March 29th, 2011. My Artist’s Way Accountability & Support Group continues. Details.

~> April 29th & 30th, 2011. My next Voice Your Vision retreat will be held in Berkeley, California. Early registration is now available through March 31st at midnight Eastern Time. Special savings if you’ve already had your hands analyzed. Contact my assistant Jamie to schedule a private one-to-one chat with me to find out if this program is right for you.

Commit to Your Big Dream

Because Dreaming Big is the best place to start…

My Big Dream (in addition to making a Big Difference in the world for others) is to be a writer — a Sci Fi writer no less, though most likely also a self-help writer Revolutionary Philosopher as well.

About a week ago I wrote my very first sci fi screenplay, under the gun of a competition deadline no less (big yikes). It may not be my best work ever, and it may not win the round I was competing in, but I DID IT. That’s what counts to me.

Since then, as I’ve been crafting and clarifying my next Big Direction for my coaching business (seems like everything is getting Big around here all of a sudden; I like it!), I realized that I need to make a much Bigger :) commitment to my own Big Dream.

… And does even better with a commitment

So, I just cleared space in my calendar every workday (that’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) for one hour of writing time. And during that time, I will NOT be writing ezines, or blog posts, or articles, or web copy. Oh no.

What I WILL be doing is writing my feature length screenplay, come hell or high water. I will allow other Big writing projects during that time, e.g. writing my book, “Hey Folks, We’re Doing It All Wrong,” if I’m overcome with a massive inspiration. But it has to be Big Writing to qualify for that time block.

… And follow through

I intend to let you know how it’s going on the blog as a weekly accountability deal.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll handle it when I’m away or facilitating retreats quite yet (probably I’ll have to do a little schedule rearranging), but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

(I’m also sure my organizing coach will have some suggestions, and she’s the only one allowed to comment on this matter (see my request below). :) )

Drum roll, please, for the Big Invitation

This is where you come in: I’d like to invite you to join me. What’s your Big Dream? How have you committed to making it happen? I want to help you get your art, your message, or your movement to your audience, too.

Take a moment to think about your Big Dream and share what it is in the comments section below. Then tell us, how are you committing to making that happen?


In the spirit of Havi Brooks’ “Comment Zen,” I have this request:

Since I am exploring how to be more transparent, raw, vulnerable, and in my full, messy delicious creative energy in my posts, here’s what I would love to hear:

  • How you personally are doing whatever I’m writing about for yourself.
  • How my writing sparks something for you.
  • About your own stories, ideas, musings, and wonderings.

And I would love to skip:

  • You feeling like you need to take care of me, give me useful suggestions, or other well-meaning but unsolicited advice.

Thank you!


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> January 21st & 22nd, 2011. Voice Your Vision Mastermind Retreat. In-Person Workshop in Berkeley, California. Clarify your unique vision to implement your Life Purpose in a specific, step-by-step plan. Details:

~> January 27th & 28th, 2011. Powerful Strategies to Slay Your Inner Critic Demons So You Can Leap Into the Creative Spotlight.” Appearing as a guest expert at Baeth Davis’s “Claim Your Spotlight” program in Los Angeles, California.

~> NEW DATE: February 22, 2011. Virtual Workshop: Claim Your Calling: 5 Steps To Get You Back On Track With What You Were Put Here To Do. Details. Early registration ends January 27th.