coaching personality and story planning & productivity

Creative and connected #12 The courage to show up

September 15, 2017

Courage starts by showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

show up

It’s Quiet Writing’s first blogiversary so I’m sharing thoughts on what I’ve enjoyed this week and over time on the courage to show up and be seen.

One year ago, on 13 September 2016, I hit the publish button with a welcome post on Quiet Writing. I’d been writing for six years before on my previous blog but it was time to step up. I wanted to refocus on my core values of being:

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected.

And this past year has been about weaving these values into everything I do. As I reach a one-year milestone at Quiet Writing, I’m thinking about what it means to show up here and elsewhere.

Showing up at Quiet Writing and elsewhere this year

The whole world changed this past year. Showing up for me has meant learning a new way to live. My primary role has been supporting and caring for my mother who is very unwell. That’s been a new experience of showing up, day in and day out, in ways I’ve never known before. It’s been emotional and has required digging deep.

At the same time, I’m working through a major life transition from leader and government employee of 30 years, to being a writer and life coach. I knew I needed to make this shift and then as I started, everything changed. This has involved all kinds of showing up – learning new skills, valuing my body of work, writing consistently and believing in myself in a new way. It’s taken place in an environment where I support my beautiful mother as the first priority.

In all this, I’ve had to focus on self-care too, learning how to be resilient and strong in this shifting landscape. I’ve had to learn to make time for myself – to rest, to swim, to plan a different future. And working with intuition has been important too even if it feels a vague thing to be doing at times.

I had one plan and circumstances delivered – and continue to deliver – a whole different scenario. It’s been a year of learning on all fronts – about myself and about what showing up and doing the work means. Certainly having the courage to be vulnerable and be seen has been a critical aspect of my learning and writing here. It’s also time to reflect on the need to be flexible in how we show up.

So with all this, here are some thoughts and resources on having the courage to show up and be seen.

Podcasts on what it means to show up

Scott Stabile on the Rawness of Real Life – on The Secret Library Podcast with Caroline Donahue

I love it that when I’m thinking about something like ‘showing up’ and writing about it, it pops up in my life in various ways. This podcast celebrates the release of Scott Stabile’s new book, ‘Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart‘.

It’s a fabulous conversation and around the 17-minute mark, there’s an exchange on showing up and fear that really spoke to me. Scott says:

…what I found was that every day showing up at the computer was an exercise in just moving forward with your fear.

He talks about how fear is always showing up as well and how we need to learn to work with it. He suggests the best way to put fear in its rightful place is through action:

Action assuages fear.

There was also a valuable takeaway on how showing up means different things for each of us. We all have our own unique ways of working. Doing the work and sitting down to write or create is central to it, but we all do this in different ways. We need to honour our own process and the ways of showing up that work for us. It might be working every day at a certain time or in a stretch of intense time. Perhaps we write in a cafe, at home, at night or while we’re commuting and it might be dictating to a machine, hand-writing, typing or speaking to someone else. But it’s all valid and our own rhythms and processes, so let’s celebrate and not be so damn hard on ourselves.

Thanks to Caroline and Scott for a fabulous chat and I look forward to reading Big Love!

Show up as if you’re already where you want to be – Jen Carrington, Make It Happen podcast

This short (8:41) podcast is a pep-talk from creative coach, Jen Carrington, on her mantra of “showing up as if you’re already where you want to be in your creative work and life”. It looks at how to honour this in your work by shifting mindset, changing practices and modifying the stories you tell yourself and others. Self-care is an important factor too in “fuelling your hustle”. It’s a powerful burst of inspiration to help you show up in your life and work.

Who gets to decide if you’re a legitimate artist – Mark Nepo with Elizabeth Gilbert, Magic Lessons

Ths podcast shifted my thinking enormously about external validation and who or what I am waiting for to feel valid. It’s a soulful conversation on how we can limit ourselves with this waiting. It illustrates that embracing and expressing our creativity is the best way to move forward. Again, fear of rejection emerges as a key factor to challenge!

show up

Books and reading notes: My reading week

In line with showing up with reading more productively and my accountability here, I’m reading a few books concurrently. I haven’t finished any lately though am making progress on all. I’m reading:

Getting my own ebook ’36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence’ out into the world has been a big and satisfying priority!

I also received a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday recently so I’m looking forward to reading more via this device. It’s so lovely to read on, managing the eyestrain and screen impacts. It also means having access to books at reasonable prices including those of indie authors! Plus it’s better for the environment, easier to carry and helps with managing space in my library.

Book and blog notes on the courage to show up

In How do you show up? Teresa Cooley, Executive Director of the Center for Courage and Renewal talks about showing up in the light of recent and current natural disasters. She says:

The only thing we can control in the face of nature is how we show up. This kind of courage usually doesn’t take thinking about. It’s simply what we do. And every small and large spontaneously brave action tells us something precious about what humanity is capable of. It is that knowledge that helps us get up to face another day, no matter what it brings.

In The Vitamin Cocktail of Courage, Jane Bolton looks at varieties and elements of courage. She provides practical tips for how we can “supplement our personal reservoirs of courage” through action.

It seems action is a consistent theme! My favourite books on showing up, doing the work and courage are:

Steven Pressfield: The War of Art, Turning Pro and Do the Work

Brené Brown: Daring Greatly, Rising Strong

Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic

Stephen King: On Writing

Some of these feature in my special ‘36 Books‘ list so you can read more there.

And I think Scott Stabile’s ‘Big Love’ might join this list soon!

What are your favourite books and blog posts on the courage to show up and do the work?


Social media interactions

On Instagram, there’s been plenty of people showing up around Kim Manganelli aka @journeyofawriter and her #showup100 hashtag project. The idea is to show up for 100 days before the end of the year and share pics of how you are doing this. If you are looking for an online community focused on showing up creatively – this is the place for you!

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

On Quiet Writing, I’ve been thrilled to launch my free ebook: 36 Books that Shaped my Story into the world. It’s been so lovely to hear from readers engaging with my story! It’s a journey of creative influence and how books are ways that shape and flag what’s calling us.

My Tarot Narratives on Instagram continue to be a way to practice intuition at this time of change. There have been plenty of messages about going with the flow and trusting our journey. Gabrielle Bernstein in ‘Spirit Junkie’ reminds us of the role of intuition and connection with spirit in our work and life:

Since my primary focus was to stay connected to spirit, everything else flowed. Each outward action I took was backed by strong intuition and inspiration. All I needed to do was commit to the belief that with spirit as my guide, everything was possible.

Share your thoughts:

Would love to hear your favourite books, posts and thoughts on the courage to show up! And all about how you are showing up in your life!

Have a fabulous creative weekend.

show up

Creative and Connected is a regular post (most Fridays) and links to recent previous posts are below. Or you can find them all here. There are so many rich resources to inspire you and I hope you enjoy them. I would love any feedback via social media or comments and let me know what you are enjoying too.

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Keep in touch

Sign up + get your free ebook 36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence

Just pop your email in the box to the right or below and ’36 Books’ will be with you soon! It’s a 94-page reflection on the creative influence of what we read. It takes you on a journey through my own influences. Find out which 36 books influenced me and why!

You will also receive updates and opportunities from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes coaching, writing, creativity, and other connections to help you show up and express your unique voice in the world.

Quiet Writing is on Facebook – Please visit here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on tarot, intuition, influence, passion, creativity, productivity, writing, voice, introversion and personality type assessment.

If you enjoyed this post, please share via your preferred social media channel – links are below.

You might also enjoy:

Creative and Connected #11 – on the special value of self-leadership

Creative and Connected #8 – ways to honour your unique life blend

coaching personality and story

Creative and connected #11 – on the special value of self-leadership

August 25, 2017

 “Become a scientist of your own experience.”

Elizabeth Gilbert quoting her guru on The Good Life Project


Here’s a round-up of what I’ve enjoyed this week on self-leadership and how we work towards being wholehearted through taking personal action.

My guest post on How To Become The Heart Of Successful Leadership featured recently on It celebrates the art of self-leadership and knowing yourself as a leader. It was based on the recently published book, Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude by Raymond M Kethledge and Michael S Erwin. My personal experience as a leader, introvert, life-long learner and committed autodidact also influenced my thoughts and reflections.

Two key threads underlie Quiet Writing: one is being wholehearted and how we create our stories; the other is self-leadership and how we work towards being wholehearted through taking personal action. The key to taking action and knowing which actions to take are:

  • knowing ourselves and what we value and desire
  • learning to listen to our inner knowing
  • understanding our innate personality, including its strengths and what is challenging for us
  • seeking out, incorporating and acting on influence and inspiration from others.

My thoughts on wholehearted self-leadership stem from being a leader in the workplace and learning from this experience. The leadership of creativity and my impact on others’ ability to be innovative has been a key theme in my life’s work. I’m interested in how this lens can now be applied more broadly so that self-leadership is a way of promoting self-driven approaches to more holistic career and creativity.

The key aspects I have chosen to focus on in Quiet Writing are:

  • Life Coaching – for wholehearted self-leadership
  • Writing – to discover our wholehearted stories and in this how we strive for creative lives and careers
  • Personality assessment and exploration – to be able to explore our personality stories through Jung/Myers-Briggs frameworks and other perspectives to help us in our quest for understanding, accepting and knowing ourselves.

These three threads interweave throughout Quiet Writing. Today, let’s focus on the special value of self-leadership: what it means to me and what’s in the literature about this idea so that we can build on it together.

Podcasts on aspects of self-leadership

It was difficult to find podcasts specifically on this subject. This made me reflect on what self-leadership is and how my listening and reading choices and influences now and over the years are part of self-leadership. How I’ve decided to spend my time, who I’ve decided to engage with and listen to and read and who I’ve decided to learn from and study with – are all part of my self-leadership choices, especially as a self-directed learner.

I wrote many years ago about My Seven Stars and it’s amazing how these stars still influence me today. They have reappeared in critical podcasts this week, with themes that reappear over time. This week seemed to be all about these influences coming together in new ways.

Susannah Conway on Building a Heart-centred Business – on The Priestess Podcast with Julie Parker

This podcast felt like two parts of my world coming together – both centred around building a heart-centred business. Susannah Conway is one of my seven stars from my 2010 post, so I have been connected with her for a long time. I have done just about all of Susannah’s fabulous ecourses and each has been a critical part of my life, especially Blogging from the Heart. She has inspired my notions of building a heart-centred business.

When I made a plan to pursue Life Coaching as a new wholehearted career, I was naturally looking for a program aligned to my goals of being heart-centred. It was such a thrill to find Julie Parker and the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. I have just finished this life-changing program and am now a Beautiful You Life Coach working with clients. To hear Susannah and Julie talk together on this podcast – their first chat together – about building a heart-centred business was amazing. It’s a fabulous example of self-leadership in action as they follow their hearts in business. And it’s not with a business plan, but with a passion and desire to make a difference and connect authentically with people.

Curiosity and the Passion Fallacy – Elizabeth Gilbert on Jonathan Fields’ The Good Life Project

Jonathan Fields is another person I’ve followed for many years. He is a big fan of the examined life and what makes a good life. Elizabeth Gilbert is another major influence on writing and creativity and especially how we can give ourselves permission and take charge. This conversation was full of gems about self-leadership in life and creativity and especially the role of curiosity and learning. I love the quote that heads this post that Elizabeth cites as advice from her guru: “Become a scientist of your own experience.” I love that thought of having self-compassion as we learn and not beating ourselves up too much as we try new things on our journey. I need to listen to this one again with a notebook in hand.

Feels like the first time – on Personality Hacker with Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge

Knowing our personality type and its strengths and challenges is a key part of Quiet Writing. That’s why I’ve gained certification in personality assessment given the impact that knowing more about my personality type had on me. It was another life-changing step on my self-leadership journey. On the Personality Hacker podcast, Joel and Antonia talk about their recent experience of learning more about their personality and how, even as experts in this space, it felt like the first time. They talk about how we can resist integrating parts of our personality and that it may take time to absorb the information, especially for the more challenging aspects. This podcast highlights how learning about yourself is an ongoing and open-ended adventure which can be so enlightening.

How to be a writer: traditional publishing to indie and hybrid – with John Birmingham on The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn is another of my seven stars and not a week goes by when I don’t learn something from her! So much of being an indie author is about self-leadership and self-learning. This chat with Australian author, John Birmingham, was a fantastic insight into the publishing industry. It shows how, even for experienced full-time writers, indie publishing offers a self-directed alternative that puts control and resources back in the author’s hands. It’s an honest and fascinating account of how John Birmingham took himself through this shift to being hybrid for practical reasons. Great to hear an Aussie voice on the show too!


Lead Yourself First

Books and reading notes

My reading week

In line with my recent post on reading more productively and the accountability here, I’ve been reading a few books concurrently. I’m reading Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging in hard copy and also Spitting Blood: The History of Tuberculosis by Helen Bynum as an ebook. Both very different reads, but fascinating in their own way.

I’ve also been listening to Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No Luck Required Guide to Self-publishing Success) by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant with David Wright, as an audiobook. The authors make their living as full-time indie authors and tell you how they did it and make money from it. And yes, there’s a lot of self-developed knowledge and self-leadership in there – including a heap of mistakes they’ve learnt from. There’s a lot of swearing and honest fun in this practical book based on years of experience.

I’ve also been really hard at work reading my own ebook ’36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence’ as I prepare to send it out into the world to Quiet Writing subscribers! There’s been so many practical stumbling blocks and so much learning as I go through my own first self-publishing journey. My plan is to launch on 3 September so make sure you sign up to Quiet Writing so you can receive it!

Book and blog notes on this week’s theme of self-leadership

First mention goes to the fabulous ‘Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude‘ by Raymond M Kethledge and Michael S Erwin. Reading this book intensively over a weekend as for the guest post, How to Become the Heart of Successful Leadership, was a deep, immersive read on the aspects of self-leadership at the heart of being a successful leader. This was something I had long known and felt myself, as the post explains. This book really helped to understand these aspects of self-leadership in a new and thorough way.

Based on case-studies of leaders and interviews with contemporary leaders, it is full of grounded advice on managing the self as the first step in leading others. It’s about how people need solitude to be clear and in touch with themselves as they lead. And it’s not just about introverts; the case study examples show that extraverts also need to check in with themselves through solitude especially in challenging leadership circumstances. I highly recommend this excellent book. More in my guest post – so hop over to and have a read!

To be honest, the idea of self-leadership has been with me for quite a while. It was there before I read ‘Lead Yourself First’ and before I found anything online about it. It emerged from my own thinking and experiences, especially ‘wholehearted self-leadership’ as a central focus of Quiet Writing.

It’s been interesting to see what is already out there about self-leadership. So here’s a snapshot of some information.

Self Leadership International which provides the definition:

Self-leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviors on the way to getting there.

The article What is self-leadership reinforces the central role of self-leadership in leadership and making a difference. The article postulates that self-leadership begins with self-awareness and self-management then shifts to awareness and management of others.

Derek Lauber provides 8 principles in The zen of self-leadership, based on the premise that:

Self-leadership is your ability to masterfully lead yourself so you can create the success you want for yourself, your family, your business and your life.

In Self-leadership and success, Brett Steenbarger’s thoughts are most in line with what I am thinking about. He says:

Think of your life as a diversified organization. You are in the business of living….

When you think about it, you are the CEO of a rather diversified enterprise. Any such business requires capable leadership.

His key message is that:

Self-leadership begins when we stop prioritizing tasks and start prioritizing the elevated state in which we are most productive.

This is very valuable advice! I see our personal productivity as a key piece in being positive self-leaders.


Blog/Twitter/Instagram posts and interactions:

A favourite blog read this week was Nicole Cody’s post on healing stones and their energies, something I am exploring more. I sought out a few key stones this week that were calling me: amethyst, citrine, black tourmaline, amazonite and carnelian.

On Instagram, there’s been plenty of activity around Susannah Conway’s The August Break focused around noticing, community and inspiration. My photo for ‘silver’ this week featured the shimmering waters of the beach beckoning me. I haven’t been there as much as I would like and need to get back after being unwell. One thing I’ve learnt about self-leadership is that self-care and exercise is a huge part of it! I need to honour this.


On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

On Quiet Writing, it was busy behind the scenes as I worked on my 36 Books ebook. I also prepared for our next ‘Wholehearted Stories’ post on Monday in partnership with the author. I can’t wait to share this beautiful story with you from a very special guest blogger.

My Tarot Narratives on Instagram have continued to be a rich source of inspiration and insight for my journey. Thanks for all the creative interactions. It was so lovely to celebrate the arrival of Lisa McLoughlin’s Life Design Cards along with my healing stones this week. It’s a deck focused on tools and practices for self-leadership and ‘weaving a different story’. It was lovely when #28 ‘Enjoy the lush and flourishing’, popped up to say hello with the message:

Through the simplest of pleasures, be more present to the warmth, colourfulness and juiciness of life. What is holding you back from making pleasure a priority?”

Indeed. It’s a good time for getting unstuck in many ways.

Have a fabulous creative weekend!

Life Design Cards

Creative and Connected is a regular post each Friday and the previous posts are below. I hope you enjoy it. I would love any feedback via social media or comments and let me know what you are enjoying too.

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Keep in touch

Subscribe via email (see the link at the top) to make sure you receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions in 2017. This includes MBTI developments, coaching, creativity and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world. My free e-book on the books that have shaped my story is coming soon – so sign up to receive it!

Quiet Writing is on Facebook – Please visit here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on intuition, influence, creativity, productivity, writing, voice, introversion and personality including Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

If you enjoyed this post, please share via your preferred social media channel – links are below.

You might also enjoy:

Creative and Connected #9 – on the art and love of reading

Creative and Connected #8 – ways to honour your unique life blend

coaching creativity planning & productivity work life

Creative and Connected #7 – how to craft a successful life on your own terms

July 28, 2017

Once we trust that we are giving it 100%, then we can trust that every day 100% looks really different.

Jen Carrington

successful life

Inspiring resources to keep you creative and connected – this week with a focus on how to craft a successful life on your own terms.

Here’s a round-up of what I’ve enjoyed and shared this week on various social platforms on crafting a successful life on your own terms. This includes looking at how we structure our working week and how we define our success.

Imagining a different lifestyle

I started a transition plan for a new career and working life one year ago now. I worked with a coach and identified my professional development goals including Life Coaching. Shortly after, I shifted to a part-time work program. My beautiful mum was diagnosed with a serious illness just as I started on this journey. It’s been challenging time as I negotiate a life transition and provide important care and support.

A key part of this journey has been imagining a different lifestyle. This involves balancing self-care and care for others. It also means learning how to craft a successful life on my own terms through:

  • working on what I love, centred around my passions of writing and creativity;
  • enabling a self-sustaining creative lifestyle;
  • making a difference via teaching and Life Coaching, inspiring and sharing resources and learnings from my whole life, not just my work life;
  • having writing and Life Coaching as the twin hearts of a creative, flexible working week; and
  • changing my definitions of success.

I’ve just completed my Life Coaching training this week and am now a Beautiful You Coaching Academy Life Coach. This was the key centrepiece of my year plan. I’m working with pro bono clients at present and hope to start working with paying clients later this year. I also see writing as a stream of income into the future.

My learning over the past year has been about crafting a successful creative lifestyle. In fact, I’ve been preparing for a long time on how to be a creative entrepreneur.

In this post, I dive deeper into this theme of crafting a successful, self-sustaining creative lifestyle. A key focus is how we manage our time and structure our working week and how we might define success differently.

Podcasts on crafting a successful life on your own terms 

Creating your ideal working week, with Jen Carrington on Sara Tasker’s Hashtag Authentic

This podcast is a fabulous conversation between Sara Tasker and Jen Carrington, coach for big-hearted creative business owners. I recommended this podcast in 6 Inspiring Podcasts for Creatives and Book Lovers post and I listened to it again today. It’s such inspiring listening.

It covers:

  • the intuitive work week – learning to work differently as a creative, self-employed person;
  • self-care as self-employed creatives;
  • working in ‘ebb and flow’ and in seasons, of hustle, rest and struggle, knowing we can’t always be ‘on’ all the time;
  • learning how to define success in different ways from the traditional work ethic model and managing what Jen calls ‘work week baggage’; and
  • women as self-employed, creative breadwinners.

Both Sara and Jen are successful creative entrepreneurs and their learning is based on experience. It’s so heartening for me to hear young women having conversations about living a successful, creative life on your own terms.

You can also listen to Jen’s podcast episode Redefining your work week, which explores the intuitive work week and scheduling an ‘impactful, joyful and productive work week’. It encourages self-employed, creative people to look at current schedules and how to get in the flow and be more productive. The concept of ‘work week baggage’ and the stories we tell ourselves about work is also discussed.

Jen’s The Intuitive Workweek course is an awesome resource and e-course for deeper personal work on this theme.

Money, Writing and Life – with Jane Friedman, on The Creative Penn, also explores creativity as a ‘proper job’, and specifically, business models for writers and being an author entrepreneur. This is a way of living a successful life on your own terms as a writer.

Books and reading notes

I’ve continued reading David Whyte’s Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity on work and identity. I’m savouring this book in a slow, delicious read. In the flip side (or precursor!) to some of the creative business models above, David talks about ‘the haunted house of insignificant success’:

The house I had built from my work was busy, but in the way a haunted mansion is busy, full of wails and rattling chains. All the time, I refused to acknowledge my core work, I was turning into a ghost on the surface. (p126-7)

We’ll be exploring this book next week on Quiet Writing, so stay tuned!

I finished the audiobook of Joanna Penn’s Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur. It is a comprehensive overview of how to be successful as an author. It’s recommended reading for learning more about operating as an author and business person. It also shows how living life on your own terms as a writer is possible through self-publishing.

I also started reading The Writer’s Guide to Training Your Dragon, by Scott Baker as an audiobook as part of my self-development and sustainability as a creative entrepreneur. I so love writing by hand and especially with my fountain pens and Japanese inks. But being able to write more and without pain is definitely a long-term goal I’m investing time in.

successful life

Blog/Twitter/Instagram posts and interactions:

In Defining your own success, Sara Tasker discusses success and how women are defining new ways of working based on creativity, community and connection. She announces that her husband is leaving a secure job to become a member of Sara’s team. In reflecting on this, Sara says:

So I guess that is what success means to me: the freedom to choose, and to keep choosing, and to craft whatever kind of life we want. To be so blissfully contented in those choices that we don’t even care what anyone else is measuring us by, or give it a second thought.

In How I intentionally schedule my week as a creative business owner, Jen Carrington provides an update on learnings from her experiences. These include:

  • working outside the home more
  • making client days more fun
  • personal development as a daily habit

Successful entrepreneurs are more likely to have these two personality traits highlights the role of intuition in entrepreneurship. This is a theme I have found weaving through so many of these podcasts and reads. Intuition is a personality trait I rely on more as I work to live a successful life on my own terms.

I wish to give a huge and grateful shout-out to the awesome Beautiful You Coaching Academy as I successfully completed my Life Coaching training this week. Beautiful You is dedicated to training heart-centred life coaches who can build the unique business of their dreams. The number of highly successful businesses that the Academy has spawned is testament to the excellent quality of the program and the inspirational leadership of Julie Parker, the CEO, founder and lead trainer. Julie is a shining example of how to craft a successful life on your own terms.

successful life

I will write more soon about my experience in the course and what it has taught me. Beautiful You has fabulous resources for creative business owners interested in living a successful life on their own terms. And really, life coaching is all about encouraging and supporting people to do exactly that! For example, How to breakthrough negative core beliefs and build the business of your dreams focuses on building a Life Coaching business. The advice is transferable to anyone looking to build a self-sustaining, creative business and focuses on mindset.

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

My post on Quiet Writing, How to make the best of introverted strengths in an extraverted world, explores ways to work and influence as an introvert to make the best of natural strengths.

My Tarot Narratives on Instagram have continued to be a rich source of inspiration and insight for my creative journey. Thanks for all the creative interactions. On crafting a successful life, in a recent post, Eleanor Roosevelt in ‘You Learn by Living’ reminds us:

Maturity also means that you have set your values, that you know what you really want out of life. What are the things that give you great satisfaction?…To be mature you have to realise what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them” (p72)

And here’s the beautiful orchids continuing to come out in my garden. We’ve been blessed with a bumper crop through no great effort for which I am grateful.

Have a fabulous creative weekend!

successful life

Creative and Connected is a regular post each Friday and the previous posts are below. I hope you enjoy it. I would love any feedback via social media or comments and let me know what you are enjoying too.

Feature image via

Keep in touch

Subscribe via email (see the link at the top and below) to make sure you receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions in 2017. This includes MBTI developments, coaching, creativity and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world. My free e-book on the books that have shaped my story is coming soon for subscribers only – so sign up to be the first to receive it!

Quiet Writing is on Facebook – Please visit here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on intuition, influence, creativity, productivity, writing, voice, introversion and personality including Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

If you enjoyed this post, please share via your preferred social media channel – links are below.

You might also enjoy:

Creative and Connected #6 – how to be a creative entrepreneur

How to make the best of introvert strengths in an extraverted world

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

Creative and Connected #5 – being accountable to ourselves and others

coaching intuition personality and story

Personality, story and Introverted Intuition

June 19, 2017

Knowing your personality type is a way to explore your deeper story. Here’s a brief overview of personality and Introverted Intuition as a starting point.


As an INTJ Jung/Myers-Briggs type, Introverted Intuition is my dominant function and preference. I wrote about this function recently on a guest post on Life Reaction.

It’s certainly a mysterious one though and it’s taken me time to really trust and learn from it. Becoming certified in personality type assessment via the Majors Personality Type InventoryTM  based on Jung/Myers-Briggs theory has enabled me to dive more deeply into the way it works. 

This training has helped me to understand that personality is a story, a life story, that can help us to weave and find our way in the world. It provides a framework that helps us understand our dominant preferences or gifts, why we love what we love and how we can work these gifts to shine brighter.

As well, it can provide an insight into the less developed aspects of our personality that we might illuminate to feel more whole. It can also help us to understand individual differences in orientations and why other people such as our partners and work colleagues may operate so differently to us in some ways. 

The landscape of personality

So where does ‘Introverted Intuition’ fit into the landscape of personality?

It’s a deep and complex topic but here’s a brief overview. I look forward to continuing to explore these areas of personality in future posts here and elsewhere including in my coaching interactions.

For context, The Myers and Briggs Foundation provides the following key advice:

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives.  The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Carl Jung’s theory of personality identified eight functions – four are Perceiving functions and four are Judging functions. The functions are used differently depending on whether they are expressed in the internal world or the external world.

The summary overview below is based on Mary McGuiness’s excellent book ’You’ve Got Personality’ including her keywords for the functions.

The four Perceiving functions are:

Extraverted Sensing – abbreviated as Se – Sensory Experience

Introverted Sensing – Si – Sensory Memory

Extraverted Intuition – Ne – Exploring possibilities

Introverted Intuition – Ni – Visionary insight

The four Judging functions are:

Extraverted Thinking – Te – Logical outcomes

Introverted Thinking – Ti – Internal analysis

Extraverted Feeling – Fe – Harmonizing people

Introverted Feeling – Fi – Universal values

Further work by Isabel Myers and her mother Katharine Briggs based on Jung’s work added the fourth dimension into the picture – Judging and Perceiving. From this work, the four pairs of preferences were developed that form the basis of the 16 x four letter MBTI® type references we know today:

Extraversion vs Introversion (E/I)

Sensing vs Intuition (S/N)

Thinking vs Feeling (T/F)

Judging vs Perceiving (J/P)

Each type has a Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary and Inferior function and these are dynamic frameworks within which our personality plays out and which we can use as points of orientation.

For my type, INTJ (Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Judging), for example, Intuition is introverted and Thinking is extraverted. As I and other people of my type prefer introversion (I), Intuition is the Dominant function and Thinking is the Auxiliary function. INTJ types typically use Intuition to make sense of the world from an inner, reflective and symbolic perspective and use Thinking (logic) in the outer world to organise, frame and structure things.

In terms of the eight Jungian functions, people are able to develop all but some are more instinctive for each type than others. Understanding your type and your preferred functions helps you make sense of the way you perceive and organise the world, internally and externally.

You can read more personality basics here.

Personality types and functions

So what does all this mean for understanding Introverted Intuition and whether it applies to you?

As I say in the Life Reaction article:

If you identify as an INTJ or INFJ (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) personality type, Introverted Intuition is typically your dominant function; if you identify as an ENTJ or ENFJ, it’s your auxiliary function; for ISFP and ISTP types, it’s the tertiary function and for ESFP and ESTP types, it’s the inferior function. It plays out in a lesser way for other types. You can read more here. And if you don’t know your type, it’s not a huge issue; if the words ‘Introverted Intuition’ speak to you, chances are they are natural preferences for you or areas on your radar for development.

So if you don’t know about personality types or know your type, trust your intuition and if it feels like something you’d like to know more about, read the article!

If you do know your personality type and you’re not sure how the functions work in terms of your type, Angelina Bennet has a fabulous analogy in ‘Shadows of Type’. She describes them in terms of a car analogy: the dominant function is the driver of the car; the auxiliary function is the passenger in the front helping with navigation; the tertiary function is the teenager in the back; and the inferior function is like the baby in the car seat occasionally screaming for attention especially from the driver!

So Introverted Intuition, for example, could be playing out in all sort of ways in your personality and life even if it’s not the dominant piece, just as all functions in your particular type have the potential to do.

A deeper dive into your personality type with a coach or person with certification in the area can help you work through the rich detail. This helps you know how to apply this valuable knowledge in a practical way.

Personality, story and life coaching

I’m loving exploring personality and story in the context of life coaching. Working with pro bono clients now, it’s amazing how personality type weaves its way into the conversation implicitly or explicitly.

With my training and professional background, it’s something I can bring to life coaching quietly or overtly. I love the framework for personal growth it provides.

Understanding our personality is a key to gaining insight into our story and working with our gifts. It’s a way of knowing what we can develop to be more wholehearted, calling on our less developed preferences.

Knowing your personality type is a way to find your deeper story.  It’s a fascinating journey to go deeper into its threads and mysteries.

And as Isabel Briggs Myers has said:

It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.

So personality is a story you write with the natural preferences you have been given.

I’m developing my personality offerings including identifying your type via the Majors Personality InventoryTM, and linking them with my Life Coaching offerings, so sign up to Quiet Writing via email to keep informed.

But for starters, head on over to Life Reaction and read about how Introverted Intuition has helped me pull the threads together and write my personality story.

Happy reading and welcome any questions and thoughts on personality, story and Introverted Intuition.


Thought pieces

As well as my Life Reaction piece, you can read more about the fascinating world of Introverted Intuition here:

Introverted Intuition (Ni) – Dr A J Drenth (Personality Junkie)

The Magic and Mystery of Introverted Intuition – Susan Storm (Psychology Junkie)

Introverted Intuiting (Ni) Explained – Michael T Robinson (Career Planner)

Keep in touch

Subscribe via email (see the link at the top and below) to make sure you receive updates from Quiet Writing and whole-hearted self-leadership. This includes personality skills, Jung/Myers-Briggs personality type developments, coaching, creativity, writing and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world. You will also receive my free 95-page ebook 36 Books that Shaped my Story – so sign up now to receive it!

Quiet Writing is on Facebook and Instagram – keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community.

If you enjoyed this post, please share via your preferred social media channel – links are below.

You might also enjoy:

Personality skills including how you can be the best you can be as an introvert in recruitment

Introverted and Extraverted Intuition – how to make intuition a strong practice

Being a vessel or working with introverted intuition

Overwhelm, intuition and thinking

Intuition, writing and work: eight ways intuition can guide your creativity

6 Inspiring Podcasts for Creatives and Book Lovers

coaching creativity inspiration & influence

Pro Bono Life Coaching – an opportunity to shine!

May 18, 2017

At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

Lao Tzu

Beautiful You coaching

UPDATE at 21 May, 2017: Pro Bono Life Coaching opportunities are now fully subscribed – thanks to those who have expressed interest. But do still read ahead about the launch of Quiet Writing Coaching!

I’m so excited today to be officially launching Quiet Writing Coaching with a limited number of pro bono life coaching opportunities for women!

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly four months since I started the Beautiful You Coaching Academy Life Coaching course and received my learning resources with the most gorgeous, handwritten welcome note from our lead trainer and CEO of Beautiful You, Julie Parker.

Since that time, I’ve been studying and practicing coaching and I’m now ready to commence offering pro bono life coaching. This marks the official commencement of my coaching practice in the world – something I have been planning now for over a year. And I’m very excited!

In this post I will share my journey to this point, explain what life coaching is and what this pro bono coaching opportunity offers. I also want to share what I bring to coaching and who I see myself best supporting.

My journey to coaching

My decision to gain skills and experience in coaching is linked to writing. Writing and coaching are twin skills that I want to weave together to form a new path in my life. Writing is my creative focus and raison d’être, an area of my life where I would like to do so much more. But teaching and supporting people to reach their potential, especially creatively, has also been an area I have engaged in deeply through-out my working life.

I’ve worked with coaches in the workplace especially in partnership as a leader to help support the growth of my teams. I’ve been a mentor and I’ve been mentored in my work roles. When I decided I need to start making a transition to a new way of living and working last year, I reached out to a coach to support me at a critical time. And this has made all the difference in shaping this time. Thanks to my desire to change and thanks to my wonderful coach.

And as part of my coaching journey through Beautiful You, I’ve been working with a buddy coach where we have shared powerful learning and coaching experiences mutually as we embark on this adventure. It’s challenging times as a I work on this journey; my beautiful mum is very unwell and I am supporting her which is an emotional journey. I don’t write so much about this here as it’s private. But I’ve worked on my self-care and wellbeing as I move through this time so I can be strong and well especially for my mum but also for myself and others in my life. I am now so much healthier and stronger after this short time – swimming in the ocean a few times a week and back to yoga classes twice a week. Thanks to my commitment to change and thanks to my wonderful coach. Here is a picture of me on the left with my gorgeous and inspiring coach buddy, Jeanette.

BYCA Coach buddy pic

Photo credit to Emma Louise Newby @emmalouisenewby

What is life coaching?

So as you can see life coaching can be an incredible support as we move through times of change and make a path to those goals that are in our heart. Especially those long term goals we have held very close.

Life coaching provides a structured and goal oriented framework to help you achieve what you want in life. It draws from a variety of disciplines including psychology, sociology, personal development and social development. Life coaching helps you move from where you are to where you want to be through supported and guided goal-setting and action. Importantly, it’s not the same as therapy or counselling; it’s more future focused and action focused.

People who choose to work with life coaches come from a range of backgrounds and work on goals as diverse as:

  • making a positive career transition to a more fulfilling job or way of working
  • driving creative projects such as writing a book or starting a blog
  • becoming healthier, fitter and stronger
  • having positive and meaningful relationships
  • improving self-confidence and self-belief
  • creating energising and nourishing self-care routines
  • living an inspired and balanced life.

Life coaching can take place in person or via technology such as over the phone or via Skype or Zoom. It can take place with individuals, in groups or in workplaces.

What I bring to coaching and where I want to focus

I’m choosing to focus on career and creativity coaching and I bring to that: extensive experience in adult and vocational education; certification in MBTI/personality type assessment; and a passion for creativity, writing and books that drives everything I do.

You can learn more about me here.

With my experience in leadership and creativity, I am interested in how coaching can be a form of self-leadership. Just as we can lead others and take the lead in situations, the most important form of orchestrating leadership is how we take ourselves forward and bring the pieces of our lives together.

My introvert qualities help me work from writing as a strength and I believe everyone can shine in their own way. We just need to find the threads that pull our unique story together. That’s what I am keen to do with my coaching and writing work at Quiet Writing – to support people to find the threads of their story and shine.

And I’ve done the work. I’m finding the threads of my story and weaving them together too:

  • I’ve sat in cafes and on trains before work, writing and studying poetry, to tap into that source and learn more.
  • I’ve walked into work and felt like I’m leaving large parts of myself behind, the most important parts, and felt so sad about it. So I’m taking that feeling forward to plan a different future.
  • I’ve woven creativity into my day job as much as I could, especially as a leader of innovative practice. I’ve learnt from this but there’s still so much more I want to be doing.
  • I’ve listened to so many podcasts and read so many books! That will always be the way as I love learning. But it’s time for me to take these influences forward into my unique brand of coaching and writing work and live the life I want.

I’ve studied and worked and read and I’m keen to bring all these pieces together and find the gold threads and from there to make a new creatively based lifestyle.

It’s time for me to be more whole-hearted and coaching and writing are the keys to that. So I’m working through it all and I’m on the journey. And I’m keen to support you also on your journey to work on goals that bring more heart to what you do and what you want to do.

So how about you?

So if any of these thoughts and experiences about creativity and career, about self-leadership and feeling more whole-hearted, about doing the work, are resonating with you, I’d love to work with you.

I feel especially called to work with women who:

  • want to be more whole-hearted about the work they do; by this I mean, feeling more whole – like all of your important and valued parts are in play and activated, not left at the door or buried somewhere;
  • are trying to find their unique voice and space in their career and creative world;
  • have skills and experience they wish to take as a foundation and recast into a new vision and path;
  • want to take the steps to create the life they want and to shine.

I’d love to have a chat with you if you’d like to feel more satisfied with your life and make more informed choices about how to be creative and make a living. Or if you’re keen on getting your creative projects moving and are trying to work out how to combine creativity and career more effectively. These are areas I care so much about and can support you in.


My pro bono life coaching offering

So, I am so excited to be offering my first pro bono life coaching opportunities right now to a small number of women as I step into my future as a coach and a writer.

As a coach in training, my plan is to start with a number of limited pro bono opportunities now and focus on them for the next few months.

What I am offering now is:

  • the opportunity to work with me as your coach for a coaching series of 6 sessions over a 3 month period on areas that are important to you and your life path;
  • a 30 minute consultation upfront to start the process to ensure we are a positive fit and to identify areas of possible focus to ensure maximum value from our sessions. You will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire prior to this first discussion.

In return, and in lieu of any monetary exchange for this pro bono coaching series offering, you need to provide:

  • a (glowing) testimonial with a photo within one week of your coaching series finishing and
  • a shout out where you can about the great experience you have had with me as your coach.

Once we have the 30 minute consultation, we will identify the dates and schedule for our sessions so we can make them a priority once an hour each fortnight.

In practical terms, I’m in Australia but you can be anywhere in the world. We would work via technology based services like Skype for our sessions.

As you can see, it’s all about my learning, the benefit to you of a fabulous and productive coaching series with me and the opportunity for me to launch my coaching work as positively as I can, building on my current experience and yours. A super win-win!

Where to contact me:

So I hope you are excited by what this might mean for you!

If you are interested in being considered for this coaching opportunity, noting that they are small in number and only available for a limited time, please contact me:

  • via email:
  • or via direct message on social media – via Facebook or Instagram if we are already connected

I would love to work with you now or into the future in Quiet Writing Coaching!

Please feel free to share with anyone who you think might benefit from this opportunity.

Thought pieces

I usually finish my blog posts with thought pieces – related thoughts, symbols, references – being an intuitive with an associative mind, connections pop up and I like to include them here.

For today, it’s a tarot card – the beautiful Three of Earth – also known as the Three of Pentacles (Coins) from the recently released ‘The Good Tarot’ by Colette Baron-Reid.

I start my day with a tarot and oracle reading for guidance and sometimes I hesitate to do that first and feel I should get on with my work. Then I get the most helpful insights and the reminder from the cards that this is my work. The intuitive wisdom feeds deeply into my day and visions and what I can then share with others to inspire them.

Today’s question was about coaching, this pro bono coaching offer and how it fits with my vision and with yours.

So here is the beautiful Three of Earth:

Three of earth

How gorgeous are her butterfly glasses – transformative and seeing far into the future, grounded in the here and now, but lifting her gaze. Here are Colette Baron-Reid’s words on this card:

Teamwork, building on solid foundations, group efforts, dedicated collaboration

What I am building is grounded in a solid foundation, so I know I can trust it will not slip away suddenly. I am joined by others in coordinated efforts to bring forth what we have chosen to co-create. The architecture of my dreams is becoming tangible, taking shape before me, and I share my joy and pride with my partners and supporters. Teachers and students, we are all learning, growing, and building collaboratively.

It really is all about co-creation. My future and yours. Thank you for your support – it’s such a pleasure to learn, grow and build collaboratively with you. Let’s put on our butterfly glasses together and see our vision and shine!

Keep in touch

Quiet Writing is on Facebook – Please visit here and ‘Liketo keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on coaching, books, tarot, intuition, influence, passion, creativity, productivity, writing, voice, introversion and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Subscribe via email (see the link at the top and below) to make sure you receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions in 2017. This includes tarot, MBTI developments, life coaching and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

If you enjoyed this post, please share via your preferred social media channel – links are below.

You might also enjoy:

Shining a quiet light: working the gifts of introversion

Intuition, writing and work: eight ways intuition can guide your creativity

Healing with words of gold: The Empress, Kintsugi and alchemy

Practical tools to increase writing productivity