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creativity

creativity inspiration & influence reading notes

Influence, gratitude and choosing to shine – Danielle LaPorte

February 25, 2017

A combination of influences helps us shine and sing our unique song. It was a pleasure to meet one of my shining stars of influence, Danielle LaPorte.

Influence over time

I have been following Danielle for some time now. After my brother’s death in 2007, the world turned upside-down and I was searching for meaning in many places including online.

I came across Danielle LaPorte through her book, Style Statement co-authored with Carrie McCarthy. I worked through the book assiduously and explored Danielle’s online presence at her website then called White Hot Truth.

 

Danielle LaPorte books

Through this work, I learned to better understand my key style drivers, my passions, what makes me tick, why I like what I like, why it’s important and how to cut through the restrictive perceptions that hold me back.

The entrepreneurship product The Firestarter Sessions appeared not long after, a guide for soulful guide to creating success that I dived into. What inspiration: white hot truth, passions, success on your own terms, entrepreneurship.

For the Sacred Creative type that I found myself to be from working through ‘Style Statement’, this was exciting, revolutionary and passionate material.

Advice I love:

Here is some of the advice from Danielle that I have loved over the years:

About Going with the flow:

Going with the flow isn’t about being passive or lazy. It’s not about just letting things happen “to you”. It’s not aimless wandering. It’s a co-creative act.

“The flow” is the ocean of cosmic intelligence. It’s the substance that carries the whole shebang. The flow is life energy itself.

Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe.

When you go with the flow, you’re surfing Life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.

And from The suck factor of life balance, + passion as a cure to stress: one of my all-time favourite posts which questions the notion of work/life balance:

This is not a balanced life. But it works. And the more I pursue my passions, the more uncomplicated my life gets, actually. There’s not much in my life that I resent. And if resentment builds, I’m swift to get it off my plate. It’s not the imbalance-ness that stresses me, it’s doing meaningless things that aren’t taking me where I want to go.

Given passion is my word of the year – I need to be going back to this one and apply it. Perhaps stick the post on the wall or somewhere I can see it as a reminder! It’s all about the passion.

And this pure gem from Bag your Boundaries

You can protect yourself and be open-hearted.

Well yay to that! I so love that fresh, pure and direct thinking. I need to keep listening, going back to it and applying it like a salve.

The Desire Map and Core Desired Feelings

I’ve worked through the brilliance of The Desire Map and identified my Core Desired Feelings to help clarify my focus. It’s all about getting what you most want by defining how you want to feel as the roadmap.

I included my Core Desired Feelings in my Welcome to Quiet Writing as the summary of my passions and focus and how I want to feel:

Core Desired Feelings

And as I am writing this, I am realising more why passion is my word of the year. It underlies all of this and the clues as to how to get there: setting boundaries, being open, with working out how I want to feel as the guide. I need to be driven by passion not concepts of work life/balance and yes, I can both protect myself and be open-hearted. And not be afraid to be revolutionary in what I think and how I work.

Danielle comes to Sydney and I’m listening

So when I heard Danielle was coming to Sydney with the support of the Wake-Up Project, I signed up straight away for the opportunity to hear and see her live. Months went by and then the day came. Australian musician, Clare Bowditch, kicked off the night with her own brand of big-hearted music, creativity and fun with all of us soon singing and finding our collective voice.

Then Danielle stepped onto the stage to be her own kind of magic. That is what I love about her – she is her own person, unique, authentic, revolutionary and hard to define – and she encourages us to be the same.

The most amazing thing was how Danielle held the stage and the space with her presence and pure connection with the audience. After some initial thoughts, she encouraged us to give her a word, a thought and then would riff on that. It was like a musical experience, flowing, creative, focused and wise.

I was too busy listening and focusing to take lots of notes but here are some insights.

Key takeaways and riffing thoughts:

Setting boundaries vs barriers

Just as the quote above about openness and boundaries reminds us: it’s OK to set boundaries and they don’t need to be barriers. They are an act of self-compassion in a world where so much is being asked of our energy. To be there for others, we need to be looking after ourselves and setting clear boundaries is part of that. It’s saying things like: “This is OK, that is not OK.” “I’m making this space and time to do this writing/walking/xxxx.” “I’m not doing that/going there because it’s toxic/not working for me/is a waste of time.”

In setting boundaries, the mental fog goes away and we are rooted in self-love and self-compassion. And we can focus.

Memorable thought from the night:

Unbotherability is the fruit of the spirit.

Loving yourself may look unloving to others

Danielle talked about three key lies and from ‘Leaving the church of self-improvement‘ they are:

The Lie of Inadequacy: You were born not quite good enough.

The Lie of Authority: Outside authority validates your worth.

The Lie of Affiliation: Groupthink is good think.

Things we tell ourselves may run ourselves down. Things others tell us, the influences of church and state, may mean we act on what others may think, want or demand of us, if unspoken. Acting on our own truth and self-love may look unloving but it’s what we need to do for authenticity and to get our work done.

Self-compassion

Feel the pain and keep showing up. It’s about befriending pain and weakness, being kinder to ourselves and not letting that stop our work in the world. It’s being supportive of our own work and creativity and how it’s forming in us. Like thinking about what we say when we speak to ourselves looking in the mirror. And honouring the need to keep showing up – keeping blogging, writing that draft, working that intuition, connecting with others. And then showing up.

Having goals with soul and our Core Desired Feelings as an anchor

How we go about pursuing things really changes when we work from passion and what we really want.

Memorable thought from the night:

You can’t fight your way to peace.

Core Desired Feelings guide how we work as well as what we are aiming for, with the process and end result aligned.

Being present vs narcissism

Be present, generous with our time and listen. Have a beginner’s mind. Have a prodigal relationship with our own reality – get back to what really matters and counts.

Memorable thought from the night:

There’s an epidemic of women being boundaryless.

Narcissism is a disease of self-worth; being present and having a beginner’s mind is the opposite of narcissism.

Forgiveness

You can’t force forgiveness. It’s more about acknowledging the divine and the consciousness of the other person. That’s something I can work with. More thoughts on that here: What if forgiveness isn’t about forgiving.

Shining light

And then afterwards I got to meet Danielle. We smiled together. She signed my precious dog-eared, worked-through ‘Desire Map’ book. Feeling such a fan-girl, I said, “It’s such a pleasure to meet you!” She noted that my book was an old one and I had been around for a while.

That’s so true. There was so much more I wanted to say but being the introvert that I am, the words don’t always come straight away as I would like them, it’s usually later.

On Instagram afterwards, Danielle puts up an awesome post about people slipping her notes and cards after gigs that she reads them later, usually on a plane. That’s such a beautiful idea for an introvert like me who needs time to think and show gratitude in words, ideally by writing.

And she says:

And I cry. The notes from mothers telling me about their daughters reading my stuff (and how the mom had never heard of me before), those notes slay me. I’m really truly deeply grateful for the gratitude. ▪️ And, my perspective: someone making a change because of something I said/wrote…has microscopically little to do with me and epically everything to do with them. It’s all timing and choice. And courage. It’s all you, babe. All you.

So now, with a little more time, I say:

Thanks Danielle for the clarity, over and over, about myself and my soul goals. You’ve helped me work through them and keep in touch with them over a tough time when I struggled to know myself and my path. And you practically help me to focus each day with my core desired feelings especially now as I transition to a new business and life.

You’ve given me that strategy for passion that a Queen of Swords, INTJ type of girl needs. Though I think anyone really can work better from their passion and authenticity if they really understand it. And that’s become my passion now as I make a new start: working with others to understand their influence and voice their passion and authenticity in the world. And you are so right – it is all about timing, choice, courage, boundaries and self-compassion. This is the time. So thank you for your light to shine the way so I can choose to shine. Terri xx

And some final reflective takeaways

You can be an introvert + express feelings and gratitude.

Find ways to express it that work for you: being more prepared, thinking ahead, notes, cards, blog posts, personal messages.

I need to thank others more for their influence and light to shine my own.

Try and write shorter snappier blog posts – at least sometimes 🙂

Danielle LaPorte and me

Keep in touch

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

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 and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world. New opportunities coming soon!

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

You might also enjoy:

Passion: 17 inspiring quotes on doing what you love

Overwhelm, intuition and thinking

Lyrebird: spirit animal for Quiet Writing

blogging creativity planning & productivity

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

January 30, 2017

writing productivity

Getting organised to write and create

Writing productivity techniques are the best practical strategies for directing creative overwhelm into output. This post explores some options including Scrivener, the Pomodoro technique and other tools for breaking through.

It follows on from a previous post, Overwhelm, Intuition and Thinking on creative overwhelm and initial strategies to turn inspiration into action, especially for intuitive types. This post focuses on the practical, doable tasks to make organised creative work happen in an environment of self-care.

Scrivener – the writer’s friend

First up, and the centrepiece of a writer’s toolkit, is the Scrivener software writing program. Scrivener is a content-generation tool for writers that combines writing and project management. Being project-based, you can have multiple writing projects on the go. This means you can be gathering research information, capturing ideas, drafting and revising your work all in the one application across multiple projects. It’s especially good for managing long-form work such as novels or non-fiction work, both in the production and the preparation stages for publication.

No wonder it’s so popular! Designed by writers for writers, it’s fabulous for all aspects of writing: researching, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. It’s a writing tool used by many bloggers and authors, notably two of my key influencers Joanna Penn and Susannah Conway, as well as many other successful creatives for whom writing is a key focus.

Scrivener has long been high on my list for getting organised with my writing. I purchased the Scrivener program a couple of years ago along with the Learn Scrivener Fast program which provides a great introduction to how to work with Scrivener. I went through many of the well-structured lessons but being busy with work and not applying it directly, I had forgotten it all over time.

So recently, I went back to relearn. I’ve found it’s best to work through the Learn Scrivener Fast lessons and apply the learning straight away, organising your projects as you go. After a solid effort, I’m using Scrivener as planned including while writing this post. It’s been quite easy to set up various projects and get moving, learning the finer points as I go.

The key writing projects I have set up include:

  • blog posts
  • articles
  • poetry
  • tarot study and readings
  • various larger works such as novel ideas and non-fiction works

As I said in the last post, I have no shortage of creative inspiration at present! Scrivener makes it easy to have these multiple project pieces where I can add research information and write wherever I wish to focus on any particular day. This process reflects what I have been doing on paper but is oh so better organised and easier to work with. Plus you feel like you are making real progress which is encouraging.

Further reading and viewing on Scrivener:

This article, ‘8 Ways Scrivener will help you become a proficient writer overnight’ by Joseph Michael, creator of ‘Learn Scrivener Fast’, is an excellent overview of the benefits of Scrivener.

Writing Tips from Joanna Penn is really valuable viewing on all aspects of writing fiction and non-fiction books and focuses on the practical use of Scrivener.

Scrivener project

The Pomodoro Technique

I was lucky enough to win some coaching sessions with the fabulous Rae Ritchie late last year. I won’t go into all the confidential aspects of our first wonderful conversation recently. However, one thing we touched on was the Pomodoro Technique as a way of working in more concentrated bursts to get writing done.

This conversation sparked something I was aware of but had not acted on. So this week, I applied the Pomodoro technique to my writing and learning activities. I downloaded a fantastic app called the Tide Focus Timer to help manage the ‘pomodoro’ times and worked with the approach. The app is great as it has different options for background music and sounds to help you concentrate.

Pomodoro helps you focus and is a really valuable self-care aid when writing and sitting for long periods. The technique and app remind you to get up after the 25 minute ‘pomodoro’ period to move and stretch.

It’s interesting that the Pomodoro Technique has popped up for me on two podcast conversations in the last few months in relation to self-care:

  • In an excellent Creative Penn podcast interview, Joanna Penn talks with Ellen Bard on ‘Self Care and Productivity for Authors’. This wide-ranging discussion includes tips on morning pages and the Pomodoro Technique as well as encouraging an attitude of self-compassion as we create.
  • In a recent Secret Library podcast, Caroline Donahue interviews Amy Kuretsky about being a healthy writer. The discussion emphasises self-care as being more than just care of the body. The Pomodoro Technique is one of a number of practical tips recommended for writers in honouring our body, mind and spirit in the process of creativity.

My experiences this week have shown me that I can gain much from working with this technique, both in terms of output and feeling better whilst writing.

Productive Flourishing – productivity tools

Another area that is critical for writing productivity is scheduling, prioritising and capturing any ideas and actions that come to us. I recommend Charlie Gilkey’s Productive Flourishing Planners to help with this.

There are various planners and tools including Momentum Planners (monthly weekly, daily) and Blog Post Planners. One of my favourites is the Action Item Catcher which is a single sheet to capture thoughts that arise or actions from meetings. It helps to corral these to-do items and stops the distraction of moving away from focused activities like writing. It can be combined with the Pomodoro Technique to capture things that pop up as you concentrate on the priority work at hand.

I hope these practical ideas are useful to help concentrate your writing effort where it can be most effective – that is, getting the words and ideas on the page and out into the world!

I would love to hear about any productivity tools and experiences you might have found useful. Please share in the comments below or on the Quiet Writing Facebook page.

Keep in touch

Quiet Writing is now on Facebook so please visit here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on creativity, productivity, writing, voice, intuition, introversion, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), tarot and yes, passion!

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 – including MBTI developments 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.

creativity inspiration & influence work life

Passion – 17 inspiring quotes on doing what you love

January 12, 2017

 passion beach

PASSION is my word for the year for 2017. Here are 17 quotes about passion and doing what you love sparking me into action as I step into this year. I hope they inspire you too.

“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” – Terri Guillemets 

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek 

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

“Absorbed in this world, you’ve made it your burden. Rise above this world. There is another vision.” – Rumi

“When you catch a glimpse of your potential, that’s when passion is born.” – Zig Ziglar

“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl

“If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” – Les Brown

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

“What makes you different and weird, that’s your strength.” – Meryl Streep

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Create the life you can’t wait to wake up to.” – Josie Spinardi

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” – E M Forster

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

“I have no special talents. I am just passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” – Rumi 

“Take your broken heart and make it into art.” – Carrie Fisher

“By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” – Satsuki Shibuya 

Share your thoughts

Which is your favourite quote from these ones? Or do you have another quote or thought on passion that inspires you? Would love to hear – share your thoughts in the comments!

I’ve also included a few quotes below you can tweet to share the inspiration and love:

Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night. Click To Tweet

When you catch a glimpse of your potential, that's when passion is born. Click To Tweet

Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Click To Tweet

By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others. Click To Tweet

Keep in touch

Quiet Writing is now on Facebook so please visit here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. There are regular posts on creativity, productivity, writing, voice, intuition, introversion, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), tarot and yes, passion!

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 – including MBTI developments 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.

passion flower

Images from Pixabay with thanks.

creativity intuition

Intuition, new moon and a new year

January 5, 2017

intuition new moon

Intuition and the narrative of tarot

Happy New Year! It’s a time of newness all round including learning to use my intuition when working with tarot and oracle cards. I’ve been moving from the narrative of ‘I’m still learning tarot’ to ‘I’m writing the narrative of tarot and what it means in my life.’

I’ve been working on New Moon and Full Moon tarot readings for a while now in an intuitive way. After posting one such spread on Instagram recently, someone asked, “What does it mean?” So I thought I would take some time at this new year to focus on intuition, tarot and new starts here at Quiet Writing.

In particular, I’ll focus on a New Moon in Capricorn reading from the end of 2016 and preparing for 2017.

Tarot and oracle cards are like reading an ongoing narrative of your life. As with any narrative, there is a protagonist, an immediate setting and a broader context. The protagonist is the subject of the reading, in this case, me but could also relate to you as the reader here. The setting is the individual circumstances so what is going on around me. The broader context is the lunar and astrological conditions in which the reading takes place and the energy around it.

New moon preparations

The first things I do are identify the time of the new moon (or full moon) where I am in the world.  I like to understand the moon energy context in which I am reading the cards. I find the following two astrological reports to be fabulous for this context:

Mystic Mamma – there’s always an excellent curated summary of key trends for each lunar event at Mystic Mamma. Here’s the one for the Capricorn New Moon with the overall message of stepping back to reflect and release in preparation for 2017.

KV at Aquarius Nation – there’s an abundance of rich material available at Aquarius Nation too with a focus on customised intuitive guidance including by sign. You can subscribe for regular and very detailed lunar updates which are valuable.

New moon spread

Next step is to work out the reading you wish to do and an appropriate spread for the lunar happenings. I really love the moon spreads prepared by Sam Robertson aka @escapingstars on Instagram. Each New Moon and Full Moon, Sam prepares a specially tailored spread and posts it on IG. Below is the spread for the recent Capricorn New Moon that came to us in Sydney at 5:53pm on 29 December 2016:

Personal preparations

In terms of getting ready, key things are:

  • making space and time around the energy of the moon – it’s so easy to get side-tracked and miss the important times!
  • preparing personally and spiritually with whatever helps your energy – crystals, candles, intentions, words that help to call in guidance from spirits, guides and ancestors
  • making sure you have practical things like water, a notebook and something to write with, your camera if you wish to records the cards and any key tarot reference books on hand to support your intuitive work.

Using your intuition

I’ve been trying to use my intuition more for a while now and not go straight to tarot books. So many of the teachers and leaders in this space encourage this. But as an INTJ Myers Briggs type, my intuition and intellect are always jostling a little to step in first.

It’s so tempting to go straight to the book and not allow your intuition to have the first go. I’m just beginning to get comfortable with relying on my intuition first and foremost. In fact, this reading was the first I managed that felt right without referring to tarot books first. I was very pleased and excited by that!

I did check in afterwards with a few reference books for any further perspectives to add to my intuitive read. I find that this is a great way to develop my burgeoning tarot knowledge.

I’ve just started Susannah Conway’s 78 Mirrors e-course too which has been on my list for a while now and am loving an intuitive deep dive and more learning about tarot for the next six weeks.

My New Moon in Capricorn reading:

Below is my New Moon in Capricorn reading for December 29 2016 in line with the @escapingstars spread and using the Sakki Sakki Tarot deck:

Here’s my reading and intuitive interpretation, plus any key perspectives from tarot reference books.

1 What thoughts or behaviours do I need to purge before the New Year?

Card: DEATH

I know the Death card can bring on an intake of breath but it’s really all about approaches to change.

My first intuitive thoughts were that I need to purge the thoughts or behaviours that stop me from getting to where I want to go. That’s really anything leading to atrophy and dullness. This means any self-defeating and excessive behaviours like: eating too much, drinking too much, protecting others too much, taking on things for others and comparing myself to others. A key message coming through is to go on my journey and allow others their journey. I need to move into change without fear.

Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom adds this insight which resonates:

Contrary to what many people believe the card of Death does not actually refer to transformation. Rather, it shows us the precise moment at which we give up the old masks and allow the transformation to take place.

2 Where do I need to draw healing energies into myself in order to dig into my power?

Card: TWO of RODS (WANDS)

The Two of Rods is saying that I need to open co-operative energies around working with others. Rather than getting stuck in ‘comparisonitis’, I need to be creatively open to others, their gifts and their work and in this way, open myself to my own gifts.

Playing with Symbols, which is a companion to the Sakki Sakki deck, reinforces:

This is a time to set goals, define a course of action and see what else or whom else to include in your plans. The need for collaboration does not take away your independence – it only opens new possibilities.

3 What intentions would bring me in harmony with my most genuine Self?

Card: EIGHT of CUPS

This card has been appearing consistently over the past year with a strong message. This message is about making peace with the past and moving on. It’s about turning my back on my previous success in one sphere and shifting to a new body of work and journey. It’s also about realising that the heart of my work continues over time – that is, the cups are full and it’s my choice. All of this contributes to self, spirit and skill and a richness that I can share with others from my experiences. 

The booklet accompanying the Robin Wood tarot deck succinctly sums up:

Enough of this!

Meaning: Abandonment of this phase of life, rejection of material things and a turning towards spiritual things…A search for new paths.

4 How can I stay grounded with all the plans and intentions flying around me?

Card: KNIGHT of CUPS

The Knight of Cups is reminding me to stay grounded by balancing dreams with action. It’s also suggesting that I need to focus on my gifts and strengths and what I have to give to others. I’m also being encouraged to be open to the gifts of others, as suggested by the Two of Rods in this reading.

Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom says about this card:

The Knight has not learned that the true imagination feeds on action rather than fantasy. By this I mean that if we do nothing with our dreams they remain vague and unrelated to the rest of our lives.

Ouch. So definitely a resonating point here to focus on action in relation to gifts and strengths. I need to keep moving, connecting the pieces together.

5 How can I best tend to my inner needs?

Card: FOUR of COINS (PENTACLES)

My intuitive thoughts with this card are that I need to go deep, nurture, nourish and hold close what I value. I need to develop my own knowledge and frames of understanding for the areas I wish to explore further. They are my passions and the intersection of them is what I want to share and communicate with the world.

As above, connecting the pieces in my unique way is the best way to tend to my inner needs.

As Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom explains:

Finally, on a very deep level, the Four of Pentacles symbolizes the way in which the human mind gives structure and meaning to the chaos of the material universe.

6 How can I use the energies of the New Moon to plan and guide the upcoming year?

Card: EIGHT of SWORDS

This card speaks to me of reflecting on what’s holding me back, the limitations and the blindfolds. It’s important to realise that this is the end of a cycle with a universal 1 year in 2017. This card suggests the best use of the new moon energies is to acknowledge any restrictions, especially those I put on myself, and to basically let them go, step up and let it rip in 2017.

As Playing with Symbols states:

The Eight of Swords is calling you to break out of restricting habits and thoughts, and to initiate your own well-being and advancement by heightening your awareness of your abilities and options.

This echoes the messages of the Death card (purging what no longer serves), Eight of Cups (realising abilities) and the Four of Coins (creating meaning).

Using intuitive gifts

One of the areas I have been exploring and will be working further on in 2017 is Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It’s been so valuable to me to understand my personality type and orientation. I’m looking forward to working to help others understand their type and unique gifts to the world.

This is one of the key creative pieces I am connecting as I move forward in 2017.

As an INTJ, my dominant gift is Introverted Intuition. I’ve mainly exercised this in the work sphere until recently. Tarot and oracle cards are helping me to connect and exercise my natural intuitive gifts in other spheres of my life.

It’s a powerful experience to trust your intuition to read the cards and their symbols naturally without first consulting texts and books. But it does take a leap of faith and a stepping into the unknown in some ways. It’s scary at first but exciting and I look forward to richer intuitive work as I go deeper in 2017.

And I look forward to sharing this with you.

Would love to hear about your experiences:

Where have you been working more intuitively in your life? How has it helped you?

Please leave a comment below as I would love to hear more about how intuition is playing out for you in your life.

Please share and keep in touch:

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

Quiet Writing is now on Facebook and each post is featured there, so please visit the page here and ‘Like’ to keep in touch and interact.

And do subscribe via email ( see the link at the top and below) to make sure you receive updates on developments in 2017 including MBTI and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

creativity planning & productivity

Planning for a productive 2017

December 27, 2016

planning productive 2017

2016 and the Six of Swords

Like many people, I’m reflecting on 2016 and planning for a more productive year in 2017.

This year has not been the easiest of years. It’s been something of a threshold year, a year of transition as the Six of Swords has continued to pop its head up to remind me. There’s been a series of shocks, wake up calls and disappointments. There’s also been some very proud moments and shining lights pointing the way ahead. And recent times have been full of quiet intuitive work that is laying deep foundations for a different future.

The Six of Swords image of traversing water with a whole bunch of cargo in tow speaks volumes. As Monicka Clio Sakki explains in Playing with Symbols:

The Six of Swords can also mean that you will go through a period of evaluating your past, putting aside any stress, anger, resentment and pain you may have experienced. You will come to realize that because of those painful experiences you can now advance. Gather what is most important to you, and make the choice to flow into the passage that is now in front of you. The wind is in your favour, and original thinking will take you far.

six of swords

A different future

The phrase ‘a different future’ keeps coming to mind suggesting that I need to make change to get the outcomes I am seeking. For too long, I keep doing the same thing and expecting that things will change. It’s clear that the work needs to start from deep within. Another card that keeps stopping by is the beautiful Sacred Pool from The Enchanted Map deck. It seems to often arrive reversed, in what Colette Baron-Reid calls ‘the protection position’, reminding me:

Dimming your light serves no one. Turning away from the truth that is reflected in the stillness of the Sacred Pool keeps you in denial, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

sacred pool

There’s no denying there’s been a sameness to my goals year after year for a while now. However 2016 has been a year of finally breaking through and beginning the crossing that is taking me to a different place. This heralds an exciting year in 2017 where real change takes place and that original thinking bears fruit.

Planning for a productive 2017

I’ve been preparing for a while now but the next period into early January offer a perfect opportunity to reflect on 2016 and to plan for 2017. Mercury Retrograde currently also favours this period of reflection. I’m keen to learn from the past to create this different future, gathering together the critical pieces to take forward. The spirit of Quiet Writing and its various aspects of writing, introvert strengths, process, connection and intuition is the heartbeat of the future. It is the summary of my passions and Core Desired Feelings I wish to share from my corner of the world to yours:

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected

My ways of planning a productive 2017 will focus on 4 key interlinked tools and strategies:

1 Reflecting on 2016 learnings and mapping the landscape for 2017

There’s great power in reviewing the learnings from the past and working out what to take forward. We can easily forget some key happenings and focus on the negatives. We need to step back and look at what we have learnt over the experience of the whole year, not just more recent events. Taking a special day or a few hours to dive deep, reflect and consider future plans is exceptionally valuable as we transit the line between years.

I highly recommend Unravel your Year 2017, a free annual workbook, developed by Susannah Conway that guides you through reflections on 2016 and planning for 2017. This will be my fourth year of working through this process. So it will be great to see where I have made progress and where I am setting the same goals over time and not getting anywhere (cf above Sacred Pool). Time for some breakthroughs this year I believe.

planning

2 Setting a Word for the Year

There’s also positive and quite enigmatic energy to be drawn from setting a ‘Word for the Year’. Again, this will be my fourth year in finding a word that acts as an intention for the year’s focus. This year’s word was WRITE and here I am writing now and focusing on writing, my life’s passion, as a central tenet of the way forward.

I’m still reflecting on my word for 2017 though I have an inkling of what it might be – more on that and reflections of my previous words’ impacts in a future post. Finding a guiding word for 2017 is covered in part in the above workbook. I also recommend Find Your Word for 2017 – also developed by Susannah Conway – as a way to work through this. It comes via a free 5 day email class you can do at your own pace with excellent resources. There’s also a private Facebook group where you can connect with others working through their word-finding processes. There’s fabulous energy engaging with others on their word journeys.

3 Seeking a Goddess to guide you in 2017

Having a goddess to guide you through the year is also a powerful experience. Amy Palko is offering 2017 My Word Goddess Readings for the 6th year running. This is the second year I’ve chosen to work intuitively with an accompanying goddess. My first year has been full of insights and connections to word of the year and overall planning around theme and intention.

Amy creates the goddess readings through a special intuitive reading also helping to choose possible words as a touchstone for the year.  The goddess guiding me in 2016 has been the Lady of Beasts with a focus on what I want to nurture in my life. Creativity, writing, introvert strengths – these have all risen to the fore as productive areas to invest time and energy. This is all in line with my word of the year and plans.

My guiding goddess for 2017 is Pele – Goddess of Irrepressible Passion and Hawaiian volcano goddess of fire, so watch out! I’ll be looking for a bit more fire, energy and action in 2017 and my word of the year and plans will reflect this. I’ll be excited to dive into this exploration and reflection in more detail in the coming days. Amy’s goddess readings are available until January 31st (Cost 25 GBP) at the above link.

4 Intuitive Tarot and Oracle work

And there will definitely be some intuitive tarot and oracle work over the next days to usher in the new year as positively and wisely as possible! The Ace of Wands has been making striking appearances already, echoing that sense of beginnings, initiation, ignition and creation.

The next posts will feature reflections on 2016, plans for 2017, my word of the year and goddess and oracle/tarot work as it unfolds and how it all fits together into an exciting and productive year ahead for Quiet Writing. And of course there’s a year-long journey of opportunity ahead to weave word, spirit and intention together.

Would love to hear about any special ways you are reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017 or any plans you already have underway! Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Thought pieces

The labyrinth symbol: I was drawn to this labyrinth symbol, chosen at random from a page of planning images. I’ve always loved a labyrinth symbol but it was great to cross check to find that it is the perfect image for this planning journey:

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. (from Crystallinks.com)

This spiralling into our centre and then channelling this light forward into our work in the world in new ways is the essence of planning. I like that it is ‘a meandering and purposeful path’ not necessarily a straight line.

Labyrinth photo via rzwo via Visual Hunt

start up

 

creativity writing

Weaving spirit into words

November 22, 2016

There’s spirit to be woven into words and creativity to be channelled naturally. It’s time to listen, feel and write.

natural creativity

I’ve realised recently that my writing and creativity practice is a natural one, weaving spirit into words. It came to my attention via the gorgeous ‘natural creativity’ card (above) from the Plant Ally Cards deck created by Lisa McLoughlin. I’d long been wanting this deck. When Lisa put out a call recently to say there were only a few precious ones left, I made the leap. And so did this card, jumping out and calling out for my attention with my first touch of the deck.

With its plant connection being Hogweed (or heracleum), the message of this card is:

Living in the moment allows the gift for personal expression and exploration.

Take the time to manifest your own natural creative path.

These words and thoughts are so welcome and calming at this time. I especially love the encouragement to live in the moment and to take time.

The concept of ‘natural creativity’  has made me realise afresh just how organic this work really is.

It’s about weaving spirit into words. It’s intuitive and poetic, a textual knitting of thoughts and influences into something I can wear into the world. It’s listening to lines that arrive in the night and nudge me. It’s hearing gentle voices narrating an auditory headline as I walk by the ocean. It’s sitting and staring out under a tree, my feet in the sand, writing down what comes like I’m channelling something as natural as the breeze. It’s knowing that my practice of drawing an oracle or tarot card and reflecting on it is a way of tapping into something higher to guide me. Even though it still feels like a strange thing to do sometimes.

Working intuitively with the symbolism of cards has become core and is surprisingly natural to me. I’m finding that my daily cards link to become a narrative that supports me in my associative way of looking at the world. And it’s also helping to anchor me as I process my changing identity and roles when they were so completely different only a few months ago. One of the few consistent variables in all this is my natural creativity and it’s a touchstone in a swirling time of uncertainty.

Uniqueness of voice and vision are critical for me and something of a personal battleground at present. With so many influences, it’s sometimes hard to see your own vision and hear your own voice.

I need to find my footing, my grounded sense of creativity, my own song and weaving of influences. I need to not pine for the past, for what I haven’t done creatively. I need to do what I can, here and now in the flow of the moment and ink on the page.

The sense is also not to rush, just to take the time to listen, to be instinctive and intuitive, manifesting my voice and path in the way that only I can.

The other words that also landed the same day and in the same way as ‘natural creativity’ from the Sacred Rebels Oracle deck were:

What you want, wants you.

There’s an aligning of symbols I need to notice more. There’s energy to be conducted like a lightning rod connected between earth and sky. There’s spirit to be woven into words and creativity to be channelled naturally. It’s time to listen, feel and write.

what-you-want-wants-you

Thought pieces

Plant Ally Cards – At the time of writing, there are still a few of these fabulous decks left at Lisa McLoughlin’s Etsy shop Whimsy of Nature. My thanks to Lisa for creating such an inspiring resource for connecting with nature and creativity.

Daily Divine e-course – I recommend Victoria Smith’s The Daily Divine e-course  if you are interested in developing knowledge of oracle cards and your intuitive practice. This course on oracle cards was a great complement to my burgeoning knowledge of tarot cards. It set me off on an adventure of connecting with intuition more deeply via oracle and tarot. It has especially encouraged what has become a daily practice of reflection and journalling based on card wisdom.

Natural creativity quote – from current read, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte:

The sudden and intuitive capacity to feel deep emotion, what the romantic poets called sensibility, is the power of appreciation for things as they are.

 

weaving spirit into words

 

creativity writing

Creativity and connection via Instagram

November 9, 2016

stretch-marks-soul

Instagram is an excellent source of creativity, inspiration and connection with kindred community. One of the key ways people link up is via daily prompts. The beauty and benefits of such prompt journeys are myriad but the main ones are creativity and connection.

Stretching your creativity

Firstly, creativity: you are given a word or phrase to make with what you will. It can be just noticing details in your everyday routine or remembering something from a past time. It can encourage you to dig out material that you wish to refocus on. You can recognise new patterns as the word triggers associations that relate to current experiences. And you can also bounce off others for your own creative boost enjoying their related journeys.

As Instagram is primarily a visual medium, you have the challenge of representing the word associations visually. Or you can start with an image and connect the word, visual and thoughts together. Each day is different.

Practically, I keep an eye on next day’s prompt or at least check on it early in the day. I sometimes respond quickly if there’s something immediate that comes to mind. Other times, it’s a slow touchpoint I come back to, thinking of it as I go about my day.

On some occasions, there’s a bit more brain racking and research. The prompt ‘unicorn’ from Susannah Conway’s August Break this year had me going through cupboards and pulling books off the shelves looking for unicorns. The prompts that resulted were fantastic and sometimes hilarious as people found or rediscovered unicorns in their environment.(I eventually uncovered them in ‘The Book of Symbols’ – I knew they were around somewhere!) People also improvised, including the memorable ‘be your own unicorn’ from the fabulous Kylie McDonnell.

And some prompts lead to a deep reflection and engagement. Experience October 2016 led by Rae Ritchie inspired my last post, connecting the word for the day, ‘sapphire’, with a poem I wrote many years ago and finally put out there into the light. Navigating through November led by India Ross aka @ofearthandstars has inspired new thoughts via the prompt, ‘stretch’ and I share the writing from this below: ‘Stretch marks on the soul.’

Fostering connection and community

Many in my Instagram sphere have connected over time via Susannah Conway’s brilliant community prompt initiatives The August Break and April Love. Clearly there is a need for continuing connection in this way. It takes people to step up, lead and put in the work to create online communities whether it be for the long or the short term. And it takes a creative community to keep the momentum going.

The current round of prompts mentioned above builds on links from these initiatives. Another key one has been #taleswithfriends, led by the wonderful Tori, ‘curatrix of the everyday’ aka @unfoldtheday.  I have been a keen and appreciative participant of these various initiatives and help to spread the word and build connection.

The kindred creative connection established via Instagram, and these prompt quests especially, runs very deep. As an INTJ, with an emphasis on the introvert and writing and reading as my ways to engage with the world, the camaraderie and connection of my IG friends has become core to my day and world. Last year, I was away from home working for eight months and on my own most of the time. My IG buddies kept me connected, inspired and supported each day, alongside my family, friends and local networks. And this continues. There’s support there when you are feeling low or on your own and also when there’s good news to share. There’s cheering, encouragement and practical suggestions like what to read and how to ignite joy and celebrate life in the every day.

And you can enjoy the balance of day and night and the seasons as they inversely change across the hemispheres. It’s been lovely watching the first snow elsewhere in the world as our days warm up and we have our first swims of the season here.

The thread of creativity helps me to get up and walk and take photographs, to really notice the flowers in the gardens around me and to share what I am reading and thinking about. Likewise the celebration of quiet and the beautiful place where I live has been a mainstay of my IG experiences. Seeing it through others’ eyes has made me remember just how special it is. You can forget this at times, being so close.

A word, a rock, a thought

So in the end ~ a word, a rock, a thought ~ are what it took to create the piece below. That and walking and sitting down to connect it together whilst at the beach feeling it all. I share that creative connection with you here. And I thank those who support this journey via IG and other valued creative communities. We are all in this together: noticing, witnessing, sharing and quietly writing.

Stretch marks on the soul

Look back on your life and you find times when the universe expanded you. Maybe there was violence, maybe love, maybe conflict, disagreement, passion, disappointment, blood, elation, surprise.

Sometimes these are large public events, traumas witnessed, flowers sent, cards received, phone calls made, heads bowed. 

Other times, these are silent events, perhaps recorded in journals as cries for help, little cuts of disappointment, pieces of our hopes and souls shredded. Sometimes no one else even knows.

If you stopped and thought, you could perhaps count the stretch marks on your soul, the events that changed you forever – the birth, the rejection, the letter, the phone call, the knock on the door, the ring, the travel to be with someone, the news on the television, the sudden something that lurched you out of the everyday or changed your dreams. Or made ordinary life extraordinary or a twilight zone for a while.

You can feel as you remember: the stares at a wall seeking answers; the hair falling from your head into your fingers; the look on a loved one’s face as they arrive to tell you the terrible news you don’t as yet know; the peace of sleep after the journey of giving birth through the night.

The beautiful or agonising stretch marks on your soul. 

You can just witness them, know they are there but mostly ignore them. Or you can tend them, rub oil in, to promote healing so those stretch marks blend a little more into your being, your body and mind absorbing them.

These marks are signs of birth, and sadly also sometimes scars from the death of things longed for: love, connection, family, people to stay alive longer or forever, something to not stop or wanting that so desired and cherished thing to just finally happen.

These stigmata, these talismans, these shields, these signs: I bear them with grace, bending to their lessons, looking skyward through the leaves of spring for answers. I wrap their wisdom round me as I head for home.

fig-leaves

You can connect with me on Instagram as @writingquietly

creativity love, loss & longing poetry

Poetry into the light: Sapphire

October 25, 2016
sapphire_garie

Sapphire

Letting go the lovely images
I watch them slide
out to this sapphire stretch
of water, your eyes riding
sometimes between the waves,
grass catching in the dark
lines of your hair,
silver turning into grey,
translucent with the sun’s
invitation upon your warm skin.

Can you feel your body
superimposed here
upon the landscape,
your face,
the varied impressions
I study?

Sometimes between the sound
of the waves curling
and the calls
of birds catching in the wind,
I can almost hear your voice
inflecting the most
commonplace words,
marking my stare
as the blue of the ocean
intensifies.

Thought pieces:

Experience October 2016:

This post had its genesis in Experience October 2016, initiated by Rae Ritchie and mostly taking place on Instagram. Sapphire was the prompt for day 12. Some prompts take you to a moment in time on a given day; some take you much deeper as this one did, back to this poem written many years ago. It’s been good to brush it off and bring it into the light. Thanks Rae for a thought-provoking and inspiring October and for this creative nudge especially. You can go to #experienceoctober2016 on Instagram for more creative inspiration and connection.

Poetry into the Light:

A key focus in Quiet Writing is bringing poetry into the light: the writing of it, the celebration of it, the reading of it, the sharing of it. Poetry is often the quietest writing of all – unseen, unheard, but the lifeblood of so many of us especially at difficult and threshold times.  You can read more about my thoughts on this here: Poetry into the Light. I’m still working out how to do all that here but have shared quite a few of my poems here along the way. I am less inclined towards chasing the submission/rejection and formal publication process at present and leaning more to sharing here and self-publishing. With social media and online creative links, I think poetry has the opportunity to reach more people that way. I look forward to sharing more here and connecting with other poetry writers and lovers.

Recommended poetry blog:

On that note, I recommend Claireylove: a Poetry Shaped Life – the beautiful blog by my online creative buddy, Claireylove.  I love how she is sharing her poetic works and creative endeavours. Here’s a quote from Claireylove’s blog to round off our thoughts here:

Poetry is about connections and their ambiguity: how meaning, sounds and images create associations and how these associations are interpreted. Writing poetry can help us to make connections about the events and patterns in our lives. It strengthens our intuition and satisfies our souls’ deep need for spiritual meaning.

I so agree that poetry is about connections, intuition and spiritual meaning. One of my Core Desired Feelings  is ‘connected’; others are ‘poetic’ and ‘intuitive’…..all such lovely words that coalesce so well.

So do please connect here and tell me your thoughts about poetry and bringing it into the light, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

creativity writing

The subtle art of not writing

September 27, 2016

pexels-photo_writing

It’s a subtle art, the art of not writing. I have not written now through many years, filling and part-filling many journals and notebooks, drafting hundreds of poems and compiling numerous blog posts over more than six years. I’ve not written in the workplace for over 30 years – including writing for and editing publications, writing a handbook of research and influencing many business outcomes with my writing skills. I’ve not written my way to publication in a few cases, so much so that the Australian National Library, a number of literary journals and the AustLit database of Australian literature know about me. And there’s so much not writing paraphernalia around me here as I sit, that I can hardly move.

It seems I am a master of not writing, spinning a myth about myself over the years that to this day can see me looking achingly at writing texts and courses as the cure to this ailment. It’s true, their balms and solutions may help me to move through this impasse. But to allow them to make me feel that I am a complete novice in this art and space, with no track record or prior experience, is all my own work.

It seems that just as I have tricked myself into the subtle art of not writing, I could just as easily trick myself into the art of writing. They seem to be transferable, almost the same skills, that could be shifted in focus. Perhaps I need to chunk it more, break it down into parts I can think of as projects, to make it easier to manage. Calling one focus something like ‘The Poetry Project’ would help make the work all the more tangible and achievable. Now I come to think of it, this blog is a little like that.

With a wry smile and a sense of humour, and by some gentle stealth, I could set a time-limited practice and tease a set number of pages or words from each day to get started and call it part of the subtle art of not writing.

I could get the best poems I have written over the years and put them into a small volume that is not really a publication, but just a collection of pieces of my heart in language I have shaped, uniquely my voice. I could craft these small multi-faceted jewels over time and work out how they can best be worn and integrated into a personal style I can step out in.

And I could turn this desire to write into something real that heartens each day, a deft trick of time that makes the minutes count. I could further inscribe the journey already started through miles of lines of ink into artefacts that might light the way ahead, little by little, much as novelist E L Doctorow reminds us:

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

That delicious journey, and then actually sitting down to (not) write.

Thought pieces:

Writing this piece made me think a whole raft of things: resistance, getting out of our own way, making things manageable, shifting our contexts, small tweaks, tricking ourselves, recognising our body of work over time and self-belief.

In related thoughts and connections:

Courteney E Martin’s article, Writing the Stepping Stone: why you haven’t written your book yet, has some excellent practical suggestions for getting your book written including: recognising that it might not actually be a book but something else; dealing with distractions such as the internet; and realising that the work you are doing actually might be a stepping stone. I love these final words about, yes, getting out of our own way:

If you have a book inside of you dying to come out, close this browser. Close this computer, or turn off this phone. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write a letter to someone you know personally about the topic. The directness of the form will get you out of your own way and on your way to doing what you are meant to do.

How to Write a Novel in Thirty Minutes per day has many strategies for: getting into the habit of writing; controlling or removing interferences and distractions like the internet (including ‘put your mobile on aeroplane mode’ – there’s a thought!); building accountability; and promoting good practice planning, productivity and resilience. It’s a great roadmap for ‘driving at night in the fog’.

Sage Cohen in the wonderful Fierce on the Page (book review coming up here soon!) has a few tips on little shifts in attitude for overcoming resistance. In the chapter, ‘Change your context to regain your appetite’. Sage prompts us:

What if you found a new way to approach an old struggle or stuck place? How could you come at it sideways to find a new perspective? What if you were to make a small shift in attitude or practice – and then another – until you felt a bit more space or ease or fun?

And so many of Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast interviews touch on this theme of getting out of our own way with our creative ventures, realising we are actually already doing the work, not being so hard on ourselves and just getting on with it. Dive into any of these podcast pleasures but I have a special soft spot for the one with poets Cecilia and Mark Nepo, Who Gets to Decide Whether You’re a Legitimate Artist? It’s about who gets to decide who is a good poet and the value and legacy of poetry. Listening to this one was life changing for me!

Share your thought pieces:

I’d love to hear how you are breaking through any resistance with tricks or shifts in attitude. How are you getting out of your own way or valuing your creative work?

creativity writing

Step by step: a narrative

September 24, 2016

I’m at the beach at my favourite spot looking out from the shade to the bluest and clearest of spring September days. It’s Monday, a day I’m normally at work but I recently started a job share arrangement. This means I work three days a week to free me up to work creatively, get some balance, be me and have ‘an actual life’ as my friend Will described it so accurately.

From the fig tree

On this day that I’m writing, it’s the first day of this new sense of freedom and the waves are lapping quite loudly and incessantly, a restlessness and churning that I feel matched with. As I’ve shifted to this transition time, I’ve had a chest infection and asthma and I’ve been on steroids to open up my airways. The excitement of this time of transition and its opportunities, along with the medication, has made for some idea-filled attempts at sleep.

The ideas are so deep and complex and I keep a notebook beside the bed at night. I want to capture these thoughts; they are defining, connective and empowering. I know that if I let them float into sleep and try to remember their unique associations in the morning, it won’t happen. I need to capture them like precious butterflies and hold them gently with all their beauty before they fly away. They are the gateway to so much, gifts from another place, and to contemplate them, weave them and enact them is the richest of experiences. I work to coalesce them into a body of work I can take forward and lead to support and enrich my life and the lives of others. The dots are connecting and the planets are aligning and calling.

And to write. Writing here – the coolness of the sand against my feet, the cold brick wall behind my back – is like meditation. It’s my life’s breath over the years that I need to breathe deeper into and exhale through, finding and expressing the voice that is uniquely mine. I’m breathing so deeply now as my airwaves clear. My senses are coming alive: I’m seeing so sharply, noticing;  I catch the scent of salt and jasmine; and the waves are crashing like loud applause.

My beach walks always seem to have some form of narrative, thoughts shaping into a structure as I wander. Today’s is ‘step by step’.

As I walk on the hard sand, I feel the calm of each step, one grounded thing at a time, and the mindfulness of the moment. I’m wary and watchful of the pitfalls and traps as I step: the moss on the tidal rocks that can slip me up; the larger waves that can catch me unawares and wash me down.

I feel a stillness in each step. I’m walking tall, feeling the ground beneath, scanning the terrain and savouring being at home here on the beach and in myself, looking out.

It’s hard to believe it’s here – this opened out opportunity like this clear blue sky and all this water reaching out to the horizon. Everything is so sharp and clear though that it must be real and I’m breathing in its quiet strength, one breath at a time, one grounded step at a time.

 

gunyah-5sept

Thought pieces:

My mind is an associative one so I as I post, I plan to add some thought pieces, some creative connections, influences and resources.

For this post, ‘Step by Step: a narrative’, I offer the following thought pieces:

Beach walks as narratives:

I’ve written before about beach walks as narratives; here is a poem about that in a previous post, Poetry into the Light. There is nothing like walking on the beach to restore your mind and soul, ground you and help make connections. For me, there is something like a narrative that builds as I walk and I intend to capture my narratives more consciously as I move through this time.

Tarot card for the day and the times: Nine of Cups

The card that I drew on the first day of being at home at the start of these new work arrangements was the Nine of Cups. It’s a card I’ve also drawn again since so clearly a card for the times.

9-of-cups

The above Nine of Cups image is from the Sakki Sakki Tarot Deck.

And the message?

From Rachel Pollack’s Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom:

At times, especially after troubles or a period of long, hard work, nothing can serve us better than a simple good time.

And Brigit Esselmont (of Biddy Tarot) in The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings has chosen this quote by Theodore I Rubin (Psychiatrist and Author) to illustrate the key meaning:

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes from the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.

It has certainly been a time of both troubles and hard work for a long while so the pleasure of  ‘a simple good time’ and ‘the afterglow of satisfaction’ are especially savoured and sweet.

The book of the moment: ‘The Heart Aroused’ by David Whyte

One of the simple pleasures of being at home during the week is being able to do everyday things like go to the post office. On my first day home, this gorgeous book arrived in the post and I had the pleasure of sitting to open it over a coffee in the local cafe.

the-heart-aroused3

I’ve had a number of David Whyte’s books sitting in my ‘thinking about it’ wish list for a while. After connecting with a lovely new friend Katherine recently, she wisely reminded me of David Whyte and how his work is potentially an important piece of this transition time. I ordered his books and these words in the frontispiece of ‘The Heart Aroused’ just sang to me as I opened it, :

Only a few achieve the colossal task of holding together, without being split asunder, the clarity of their vision alongside an ability to take their place in a materialistic world. They are the modern heroes…Artists at least have a form within which they can hold their own conflicting opposites together. But there are some who have no recognised art form to serve this purpose, they are the artists of the living. To my mind these last are the supreme heroes in our soulless society.

Irene Claremont de Castillejo

Here’s to ‘the artists of the living’ and the clarity of their vision.