The Life Organizer

The Life Organizer“What if there was a way to organize and guide your life that more closely resembled lying back on an inner tube as the current carried you along (with you occasionally adjusting your course because you want to smell a wild rose onshore or because you hit a bumpy stretch) rather than a furious, exhausting upstream paddle?”

That’s the premise of a book I just read called The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year by Jennifer Louden.  (It’s a great book for men too.)

I’ve read about living life this way, following the same metaphor of drifting down a river, but I’ve never believed it could be true.  I, like many of you, have been programmed that to be successful, I must do more, achieve more, be more efficient and never rest on my laurels.  The work is never done.

I’ve lived most of my life this way, taking on challenges just to see if I can do them (I always could).  I set goals and either achieve them or beat myself up for not doing so.

At the tender age of 46, I’ve finally figured out that this crazy story is a lie.  Life doesn’t have to be this way if you don’t want it to be.

After decades of pushing myself, always living with more stress than I would admit, my body is calling a time-out.  Although I eat well, exercise, drink lots of water, meditate and live a healthy lifestyle, my body is telling me that it’s not enough.  I need to approach life differently.

I asked the Universe for help in this area and one of the answers came in the form of a request to review The Life Organizer.

The Beginning of a New Story

My body has been screaming for me to find a different way of seeing the world.  My go-go, push-push, never enough beliefs/story are killing me.

The tools, exercises and stories in The Life Organizer are just what I ordered (yes, you’re always placing orders with the Universe and the Universe always delivers – usually in ways you wouldn’t expect).

The book isn’t about organizing in the way you normally organize your day.  It’s about looking at yourself as a whole person with needs, desires and dreams – not just a machine that checks things off a ‘to do’ list.

In this book, Jennifer holds your hand as you step into the territories your heart has wanted to explore but your mind wouldn’t allow.  She opens doors that you didn’t know existed.  And she reminds you that there’s no “right” way to do any of it – there’s only your way and that way is constantly changing and evolving.

She breaks the organizing process into five steps to practice when you’re planning any aspect of your day or life:

  1. Connect – Connect with your physical body and ask it what it needs in the moment.
  2. Feel – Connect with your heart.  Take a moment to notice how you feel.
  3. Inquire – Connect with your mind.  Ask your True Self empowering questions that can open the door to new worlds.
  4. Allow – Be open and allow whatever answers bubble up from the previous step.  No judgment.
  5. Apply – Apply the wisdom your True Self has given you as soon as possible, even if it seems crazy.

By applying these five steps in your daily decision making, you begin to live your life with intention.  You stop running on auto-pilot and start tuning into what makes your heart sing.  You stop following what you think others expect of you and start following what’s best for you.  You start to float down that beautiful river.

In addition to following these five steps, Jennifer introduces six concepts.  “Think of the five steps as your stitches and the six concepts as your pattern.  The pattern gives you a guideline and the stitches intimately bring to life – and therefore change – what the pattern has prescribed.”  The six concepts are:

  1. Intention – What you want from your life.
  2. Life Insights – Lessons you’ve learned from a lifetime of experience.
  3. Desire – Pure life force speaking to you (that you’ve ignored for too long).
  4. Shadow Comforts & Time Monsters – Things you do to cover up what you’re really feeling or to keep you distracted from what you really want to do but won’t allow yourself to do.
  5. Minimum Requirements for Self-Care – What you absolutely must have to stay in touch with your center.
  6. Story – What stories are you telling yourself about how to interpret your world?

The first third of the book describes these steps and concepts and explains them through examples and stories that I could totally relate to.

The rest of the book is a series of weekly “planners” with questions and concepts to ponder for the coming year.  Here are some examples:

  • What do I want to say no to this week? (In what situation could saying no enhance your happiness or lead to more time and energy for you?  Building your “no muscle” helps you increase self-trust.)
  • What might shift if I used the interruptions of my life this week to come into the present moment? (Interruptions are never going away.  What would shift if you accepted them as an opportunity to be aware of the flow of life, the moment, the gift of breath?)
  • What is my biggest source of stress, irritation or annoyance these days?
  • What story am I telling myself about this stressor?
  • What are the facts in what I just wrote?
  • Given these facts, what might I be open to doing or feeling today that I haven’t done or felt before?
  • I’m ready to receive…
  • What are the three or four things I think about the most?
  • Is this what I want to think about?
  • What do I want to receive into my life this week? What gifts offered to me by the bountiful universe am I ready to accept?
  • What part of my life, body or emotions wants my attention?  What do I wish to cherish and pay attention to?
  • I’m ready to let go of…

Life Organizing – Your Way

If you’re like me and have a hard time keeping a book or journal with you, you can go to Jennifer’s site and sign up for the weekly prompts (it’s free).  She’ll email questions to you each week with a gentle, non-judgmental nudge to give yourself the gift of time to consider them.

I love this since it interrupts my “get it done” mindset that has me plowing through my emails each day (yes, this is one of my Time Monsters that I’ve been battling with for years).  Her emails get me to pause, take a deep breath and consider what’s in my best interest at that moment.

She also offers a couple ways to record your answers, in addition to whatever creative ways you decide to express yourself (journals, paintings, drawings, song, etc.).  There’s a private section of her website where you can create your own journal that only you can see.  She also offers an app for your phone so you can record your thoughts at any time.  Both of these resources are free.

As much as my mind likes to keep my head down and stay busy, these resources remind me of what’s really important throughout my day (and life).

All of these tools help you live your life from the inside out.  Admit it.  You’ve probably been living mostly from the outside in which your mind said was the thing to do but your heart has always known better.

It’s time to do things differently, make choices differently and live your life differently – in ways that give you energy and joy almost every day.

If you’re too busy to listen to your heart, your True Self, read this book.  If you’re tired of living with that uneasy feeling that something isn’t right in your life but you can’t put your finger on it, read this book.  If you feel like you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do to be happy but happiness continues to elude you, read this book.  If you’re not dead yet, read this book.

It will change your life, if you let it.

I have two copies of The Life Organizer to gift to you if you leave a comment below with reasons why you need this information.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

Update: Two lucky winners were awarded copies of the Life Organizer.  You can click here:  The Life Organizer to order your copy on Amazon.


Jennifer LoudenAbout the Author

Jennifer Louden is the author of The Life Organizer and The Woman’s Comfort Book. A personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement, she’s written five additional books on well-being and whole living that have inspired women all over the world. Visit for a life organizer app & other useful freebies.






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30 Responses to The Life Organizer

    Natascha van der Linden
    Commented:  06/23/2014 at 1:00 pm

    I would love to get a copy. Not only would it be helpfull for myself but also for the people in my classes. If i want to be the best teacher for them i must set an example and work on my self all the time. And then i can teach them this to integrete in their life too, so that they to have less stress and feel in harmony.
    warm regards,
    the Netherlands
    Natascha van der Linden recently posted..Hoe Ga Jij Om Met Tegen Slagen?My Profile

    Commented:  05/06/2014 at 2:54 am

    There are times when I’m overwhelmed with the sheer volume of my task. Looks like a great book to help me get myself organized. Though, I’m a bit hesitant because I’m probably not the target audience haha.

    Suzie Cheel
    Commented:  03/31/2014 at 2:31 pm

    This book sounds awesome and something that reading and acting on would be empowering , maybe even life changing. Being organised and following through and doing what i say I will do is one of my daily challenges.

    I like the questions that are presented here. Your comment if you don’t have time to listen to your heart! So important . I find a great way to start the day is to get very still and ask my heart what it wants for me today, just have to trust more
    Thanks for sharing Jen’s book
    Suzie Cheel recently posted..Do You Find It Easy To Forgive Yourself?My Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/31/2014 at 5:09 pm

      Exactly Suzie! It’s so wise of you to consult with your heart first thing. It always knows what’s best.

      I agree that this book can be life changing. Big changes happen in baby steps and this book holds your hand while you take those baby steps – looking more closely and why you do and think what you do and asking if that’s right for you. It’s the subtle changes in how you make little choices throughout your days that ends up creating an amazing new life.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Pick Your Yoga PracticeMy Profile

    Commented:  03/31/2014 at 1:55 pm

    For the last several years I’ve been embarking on a self discovery voyage and believe this book would catapult the changes I need to make in my life to remain sane exponentially. I’ve searched high and low for the right guidance to create an organized life and am exceptionally excited about the nuggets captured in this life organization bible of sorts. If I were to receive a copy of the book I would be a phenomenal build board for its success as I would immediately begin implementing the words of wisdom. Thanks

    Commented:  03/31/2014 at 12:46 pm

    I think this book may be just what I need. Life is fine, but joy seems so elusive lately. I often feel like I’m on autopilot, just going through the motions of the day and that’s it. I could use a little inspiration!

    Commented:  03/31/2014 at 10:24 am

    Hi Paige – living with intent speaks so loudly to me and I’m definitely going to check out Jennifer’s book. Immersing myself in supportive ideas on a daily basis keeps me in a healthier life balance and this sounds like a wonderful tool to add to my support system.

    Thanks for the introduction Paige – I so appreciate it…and you. 🙂
    Elle recently posted..6 Signs It’s Time To Make A ChangeMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/31/2014 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks so much Elle! I love the questions and prompts in the book and from her weekly emails (just put an inspiring new activity on my calendar for this week from her latest email). Many times I feel like she’s calling out the pink elephant in the middle of the room that we don’t want to admit is there – and she does it in such a fun and loving way.

      Thank YOU for always posting just the message I need to hear so often.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..4 Simple Questions That Can Make You Rich and HappyMy Profile

    Jennifer Louden
    Commented:  03/31/2014 at 10:21 am

    Paige thank you so much for sharing about my book! I truly appreciate the shout out. Much love, Jen
    Jennifer Louden recently posted..Please Look in the MirrorMy Profile

    David Stevens
    Commented:  03/30/2014 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Paige,
    I’ve come across some of Jen’s blog posts before & there’s always been quality advice attached. I’m confident this offering will be in the same vein. Thank You for sharing.

    Be good to yourself
    David Stevens recently posted..How to have a Life that is Big in every wayMy Profile

    Katie Godfrey
    Commented:  03/30/2014 at 9:54 am

    I am suffering from huge daily overwhelm, so much so I have lost track of where or how to begin. And have health needs to consider too. Reading all the above I feel this is just the book I need to help me move forwards, and find a more balanced calmer life.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/30/2014 at 4:10 pm

      Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to deal with overwhelm. When there’s just too much going on, mindfulness reminds you that there’s only here and now and a million things can’t exist in the present moment. Only one thing can. In each moment, focus on that one thing until it’s done. Then move onto the next thing. It’s speeding up by slowing down. It’s maintaining your sanity while (almost) everything gets done. It’s acceptance of yourself and the fact that you’re doing the best you can.

      The Life Organizer is great at reminding you that everything won’t get done. If you’re pursuing your passion, you’ll have to let the dishes and laundry go for a bit. Find and focus on YOUR priorities first. Everyone else’s can wait.

      Thanks so much for sharing Katie!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Finding Balance Amidst the ChaosMy Profile

        Katie Godfrey
        Commented:  04/13/2014 at 3:40 pm

        Thank you Paige, it helps to hear this, very reassuring I feel I am, and can only, do my best.

    Commented:  03/30/2014 at 9:26 am


    I am 60 years old and have always wanted to live to the age of 100, but I am really concerned about those next 40 years. I have been cut out of a daughter’s life, I rarely see the families of my 2 sons, and have become obsolete in my job. I went on a spiritual retreat last September and came back with a renewed energy and hope for the future. Then within a month, my husband became ill. I tried to get him to go to the doctor and he was stubborn and waited. Then in February of this year, he had to have emergency surgery on his rectum; and I can’t explain how horrible the entire process was for him, but also for me when I became his caregiver. He was in his own business and now we have no income. Our beautiful home is for sale, I have done all the packing, moving to storage, cleaning, and pretty much everything by myself (or with my 81 year old father who has terminal cancer). I retain my faith and positive attitude, but there are days when I really feel duped and wonder where my life is leading, besides downhill. Life Organizer couldn’t be a better fit….

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/30/2014 at 4:04 pm

      That’s great that you can maintain your positive attitude with all you’re dealing with, Debbie. Since you felt a sense of renewed energy from your spiritual retreat, what, from that retreat, can you incorporate into your daily life to help you maintain those feelings?

      Know that you’re not a victim of your life. You’re the creator of your life. When life seems to be slapping me in the face, the first questions I ask myself are: What can I learn from this? How am I attracting this into my life? How can I think, act, feel differently to attract more of what I do want? And I focus on what I do want without dwelling on what is. Basically – LIfe sucks now, so what am I going to do about it?

      What do you want the next 40 years of your life to look like? Who do want to be in the world? How do you want to live each day? The next 40 years starts right now. Start living, thinking and being like that now. If not now, then when?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..4 Simple Questions That Can Make You Rich and HappyMy Profile

    Commented:  03/29/2014 at 4:00 pm

    What a delightful concise book about how to become ever more real and connected in a world that needs us to be present. I would like a copy of this book to share with the wonderful women who attend the HeartStrong group that I started last year. These women have each suffered enormous trauma yet each demonstrates great love, compassion and humour through their bittersweet life stories. Thank you for sharing…

    Commented:  03/29/2014 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Paige. It’s not a coincidence that your email arrived just now. Even though I think I am an organised person, that’s my external life, not my internal life. I seem to be forever searching, subscribing, saving then moving on to the next thing. I am forever reading in the hope of …what??? I need to take action and whereas I have been doing that of late I too easily slip back into old habits because something happens in my external life to push me down again, and I’m allowing it to. I need one resource to focus on and commit to but I fear my addiction has taken hold 🙂

    My head rules at the moment and I think I know what’s best but it’s not familiar territory yet to go with the heart more often. I just want to push everything off my desk and every other place I have “stuff” sitting, ready for me to read or progress with and start again. I’ve wasted so much time getting to where I think I want to be. I have ideas all the time, then just sit and subscribe to something else or read something and low and behold, there’s my idea up on the screen for others to enjoy and I start beating myself up all over again for not taking action. Maybe I should just bitch slap myself !!!

    I love what Jennifer is offering, especially the one stop shop approach with the APP and personal journalling. I’m sick of forgetting where I’ve saved or written “important” information. I also love that Jennifer has provided a basic resource that doesn’t cost the earth to print out (something I had recently considered with the things I am putting together – that may never see the light of day I might add). I love colour and quirky but realistically, for me it’s the work to be done that’s important, not how the pages are glorified.

    Anyway, enough of that. Good morning from Australia 🙂

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/30/2014 at 3:50 pm

      And good day to you Deborah! I know exactly what you’re talking about – the “getting ready to get ready” syndrome. I’ve dealt with it for far too many years. As you mentioned, it’s commitment to one thing that makes all the difference. When I learned the magic of commitment, it changed everything. Life got easier and happier. Commitment means cutting the cord and letting all the other options fall away. This gives you the mental and emotional energy to stick with the one thing you’ve committed yourself to. It makes looking for something else to read, subscribe to and get distracted by a waste of precious time that is to be spent on your chosen area of focus.

      Commitment doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind later. When it becomes blatantly obvious that things aren’t going well, it may be time to commit to something new. But commit to one thing at a time until you know you’ve reached the end. Don’t drive with your other foot on the brake, rubber-necking for something that might be better while you fool yourself that you’ve committed to something. It’s all or nothing with blinders on.

      Getting clear on your top values can help immensely with staying on course and not letting your external life drag you around. Focusing on your values as you make decisions allows you to choose for yourself instead of choosing to allow the world drag you around.

      All the best to you Deborah!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Creating a New Life By ChoosingMy Profile

    Carol Malone
    Commented:  03/29/2014 at 10:03 am

    My life is so out of balance right now. I just published a book. I’m facing a mountain of marketing, I’m trying to finish another book for publication. I’m made too many promises to people to read their work. I’m taking several workshops to improve my writing skills. I have health issues. It’s just one thing after the other until I just walk away from everything and do nothing but watch the Food Network & HGTV on the TV and waste the entire day. In 2008 I lost 104 pounds, but allowed it to slowly creep back on. I don’t feel organized and therefore, allow distractions to put things off. I need help to put my life on track. Your book sounds like the solution for me. Thanks for your article.

      Pam Cichocki
      Commented:  03/29/2014 at 10:18 am

      Because I am ready to live more from my heart then my head. It truly is simply such!!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/29/2014 at 2:14 pm

      Wow! That’s a lot to take on Carol!

      Given all that you’ve said ‘yes’ to, I would disagree that spending one day in front of the TV is “wasting” time. We all need time to power down and just chill out in our own ways to recharge and have the health and stamina to do everything else. You’re not a machine. You’re an amazing human being who needs time and focus to recharge.

      From your weight, health and busyness issues (I’m speaking from personal experience here), I’m picking up on a heavy case of “not enough-ness,” something I’ve worked with most of my life. Learning to love and accept yourself just as you are, without judgment or conditions, is a critical first step in healing and creating a happier life for yourself. Yes, this book can help in that area. I would also encourage you to seek out a variety of resources and make time with yourself on a very regular basis (book a ‘must keep’ appointment with yourself) to journal, draw or whatever works for you to work through this fear.

      You’re amazing just as you are.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Finding Balance Amidst the ChaosMy Profile

    Barb Suiter
    Commented:  03/29/2014 at 9:50 am

    This sounds intriguing! My life changed dramatically several years ago due to medical situations with both my husband (very serious) and myself (less serious). I have had to learn to “let go” of my obsessive need to have the future all planned out, and “go with the flow” on a daily basis. However, I think that I have maybe gone too far in letting our day-to-day circumstances dictate to me, and need to find a middle ground where I can be flexible as needed but still be proactive and seek out the opportunities to take better care of myself and my needs when my time is truly “mine.”


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