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inspiration & influence

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

inspiration & influence intuition music & images

Lyrebird – spirit animal for Quiet Writing

February 16, 2017

This post is about the lyrebird, its meaning and why it is the spirit animal reflecting the heart of Quiet Writing.

lyrebird

Lyrebirds run across my path

Each day I drive through bush to the top of the hill through national park with rainforest pockets and waterfall rock faces. The road opens up at times to a cathedral of trees and sky. I sing to music or listen to podcasts on creativity and writing, finding minutes to express my self before a busy work day.

On many days I smile, as a lyrebird, tail down making a sleek black figure, darts across the road into leaves and bush. On some occasions, I’ve seen two lyrebirds in one trip. That’s when I feel especially blessed by lyrebird magic.

I wonder at its meaning. I don’t recall seeing the lyrebird in any spirit animal guides I’ve read, being an Australian bird. I’m sure it’s there somewhere. I know I will need to look into Aboriginal stories too. I commit to doing that silently. But when I get on the train for the commute to the city, I decide to start with an intuitive write of what the lyrebird might mean.

Intuitive thoughts on the lyrebird

This is what I write:

I think it means spirit, like a sprite, a visitor of wisdom saying “You are on the right track. I’m running across this road right now to tell you that.” Like the rainbows I’ve seen in the past that wrote whole narratives of my life in the sky for me to read, it’s so explicit and timely.

I think it’s a muse: a muse of Australia, a lyre, a stringed instrument, playing like a voice, saying: Tell your story, sing your song, be your voice, the sacred creative voice that you are and want too be. Tell the stories of those who did not have a voice, help those who want to have a voice to tell their stories. The suffering, the struggle, the resilience, the spirit there that teaches us.

I think it’s about hearing the voices of others, listening, absorbing and maybe sometimes referring, quoting, ‘mimicking’, singing and trying out others’ voices to find my own voice. Knowing that the uniqueness of my voice is from all these influences and experiences, my voice a conglomeration or filter, a series of lyrebird calls, the synthesis.

It was great to write out my intuitive feel of the lyrebird before seeing others’ thoughts on the lyrebird and its meaning.

About the lyrebird

The lyrebird is a ground-dwelling bird found on the south east coast of Australia. The male has a tail shaped like a ‘lyre’ or harp. The male combines the display of his beautiful tail with extensive songs and mimicry to lure the female. The female lyrebird is also skilful in being able to mimic.

lyrebird

The birds are capable of mimicking just about any sound including chainsaws, cameras, human voices and car sirens. However they usually focus on the sounds of other animals and birds. The voice of a lyrebird resounds through the damp, tree-ferned gullies and valleys where it mostly lives. You can often recognise its presence by a series of different types of bird calls in quick succession.

The lyrebird’s syrinx or voice box is the most complex and sophisticated of any song bird. It has three instead of the usual four voice box muscles which gives flexibility. The birds are shy in nature. They are an ancient bird, with the earliest fossil records from about 15 million years ago.

Check out this brief video from David Attenborough to see the lyrebird in action. I’ve included a few more links below because they are so interesting!

The lyrebird – what others say

I find that many have documented the lyrebird and its meaning including some Aboriginal Dreaming stories. Here are the key messages of the lyrebird honed from online sources integrated with my own thoughts:

1 Creating a unique song letting other voices move through you

The lyrebird encourages us to create our unique song, especially via other influences moving through us and making them our own. We are the unique collation of what we love and what we have experienced. Our ideas connect and integrate with the ideas of others in ways that only we can orchestrate.

Lyrebird reminds us that one of the reasons we are unique is because we can choose to create something new from the old. It is time to create our own unique song, if we do not have one, and it is time to strengthen it, if we do.

from: Animal Energies – Lyrebird by Ravenari 

Another way to think of this might be as ‘collage’ as Austin Kleon does:

Next time you’re stuck, think of your work as a collage. Steal two or more ideas from your favorite artists and start juxtaposing them. Voila.

The unique way we choose and combine ideas is in itself an act of creation.

2 Listening to the true meaning of ourselves and others

The shadow aspects of lyrebird are about letting our true voice out, being comfortable and facing our fears. Connecting with our feelings and influences will enable us to find our true voice. 

Lyrebird encourages us to really listen beneath the surface. Just as lyrebirds make calls that include car alarms and bird songs to attract their mate, the lyrebird teaches us to see behind words and actions to the real meaning.

I’m currently working on life coaching. Learning to truly listen actively and with curiosity so we can gauge what people are really saying is a critical skill. This relates to lyrebird spirit:

Lyrebird gives us this power to see the truth in what a person is saying, no matter how they are saying it.

from Animal Energies – Lyrebird by Ravenari

3 Listening to and channelling spirit

Linked to #1 above is the idea of the lyrebird symbolising letting spirit and ancestors flow through us. 

As Carl Jung reminds us:

Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The “newness” in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components.

Lyrebird also encourages channelling. It might be via mimicry and new combinations as in #1 above. Or it could be working with spirit guides, ancestors and animal energy to help us find truth and meaning. Lyrebird is a link to ancient and ancestral voices, with a voice beyond time.

Valuing quietness and encouraging peace

Finding sacred places and practices to enable this connection is something that lyrebird spirit encourages. We need to find quiet places so we can listen to the true meaning within. Lyrebird particularly encourages expression of what we find out loud in some way.

Just as the lyrebird’s habitat is often secretive and hidden, so we need to go within to find space to reflect and gather. This is valuable for introverts especially as they draw energy and insight this way.

With their ability to speak in other ‘languages’ or voices, lyrebirds also symbolise peacemakers. In an Aboriginal Dreaming story, Lyrebird is given the role of the peacemaker in the first great dispute between all creatures:

As a reward, the Spirits gave Lyrebird the ability to be the only animal able to communicate to all the other animals. The other animals were punished by losing this ability, and Frog, the cause of all the trouble, was given a croaky voice to replace his once beautiful voice.

From Native Symbols info

5 Keeping sacred spaces clean and decluttering

The lyrebird also encourages keeping our sacred spaces clean so that we can create a clear space for spirit, influence and voice. Lyrebirds are elegant and tidy, scraping leaf litter and dirt to create a beautiful space within the forest to attract a partner.

This can be seen as a metaphor for attracting energy and creativity in our lives. The decluttering, the scraping away, can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It’s essentially about getting clarity in our lives. This might be around issues of grieving and letting go of what no longer serves us and is weighing us down.

6 Being a teacher to help others to find voice and sing

Another Aboriginal Dreaming story links a few of the above strands together around teaching voice:

…there was a stream in which little bubbles contained spirits.  One spirit wanted to become real when he heard Lyrebird’s beautiful song.  While singing, Lyrebird noticed this bubble moving and dancing in rhythm with his voice.  The Great Spirit told Lyrebird to remain singing until the creature was born.  Finally, and it took Lyrebird time, effort and concentration, out popped a little green frog.  Lyrebird’s purpose was then to teach this creature to sing.

From Native Symbols info

The spirit of teaching others to find their voice is another message of the lyrebird. The Dreamtime story suggests that it is through singing our own song that we help others come to life. This might take ‘time, effort and concentration’ and it may feel like we are not getting anywhere. I think of blogging, and how we can feel like we are howling into the wind. Or how when we are creating larger pieces of work that need crafting over time, it feels like they will never be finished. When sent out into the world, our creativity can help others in ways we do not even realise.

7 Symbol of the bard

The lyrebird is also seen as a symbol of the bard and of our poetic souls. It has a long repertoire of different songs and uses auditory memory to learn these songs and string them together. The lyrebird is a symbol of poetry, song, auditory skills, a love of language and poetic inspiration in all of us.

Lyrebird and Quiet Writing

So for all these beautiful reasons including its appearance many times running across my path, I have chosen Lyrebird as my spirit animal for Quiet Writing. Or rather Lyrebird has chosen me.

The value and skills at its heart are:

  1. Creating a unique song and letting the voices of others move through you – acknowledging and working with our passions, influences and the voices of others to find our uniqueness.
  2. Listening to the true meaning of ourselves and others – working in a process oriented way to get to meaning and voice – through understanding the self, listening and writing.
  3. Listening to and channelling spirit – working intuitively to listen to and access spiritual energy including archetypes, symbolism, tarot, oracle and healing work.
  4. Valuing quietness and encouraging peace – knowing that quiet places and quietness within are sources of strength and peace to be valued, celebrated and cultivated. Introvert preferences and skills such as introverted intuition are especially vehicles of vision to be strengthened.
  5. Keeping sacred spaces clean and decluttering – working to clear space for the new by clearing out the old and unnecessary. There’s a spirit of being open and a work in progress where coaching, writing and other intuitive skills might clear energy and make way for the new.
  6. Being a teacher to help others to find voice and sing – Quiet Writing has at its heart the focus of helping people find their voice in the world. Whether it be career or creativity, the aim is to help people find expression to be able to sing their unique song, loud and clear.
  7. Symbol of the bard – Quiet Writing is fuelled by a poetic spirit, by words and a love of language as a form of expression. Writing – both process and product – is a tool to self-understanding and self-expression that helps us connect with ourselves and others.

So I am so glad I paid attention to the lyrebirds running across my path. I’m so happy too there were resources available to help me understand further including Aboriginal Dreaming stories. This combination of intuition, research and thinking is valuable.

I can summarise this manifesto of sorts now but it’s taken time to coalesce and is still evolving. That first piece was written on the train nearly 6 months ago now. I am grateful for lyrebird energy focusing my attention and pointing out the signposts so I could bring them together. This vision for Quiet Writing is something I likewise offer in focused attention to you as we move into the future.

Thought pieces and acknowledgements 

Austin Kleon’s 25 quotes to help you steal like an artist captures thoughts on collaging and coalescing influences. This includes the Jung quote above. I love this way of thinking about influence and uniqueness. We are our own curated version of our passions, experiences and ways of expressing. I believe though that we should acknowledge our influences and sources and make them explicit. This enables others to share in them and learn from them in their own way.

Lyrebird videos: Do watch some of them, so beautiful and fun, some wild and some captive birds, but all fascinating:

Lyrebird song – Stephen Powell Wildlife Artist

1963 CSIRO Superb Lyrebird footage

Lyrebird Song 

Lyrebird in Australia talking to an Englishman!

My thanks to these sites and books for their insights on the lyrebird to integrate with my own intuitive insights:

Animal Energies – Lyrebird

nativesymbols.info – Lyrebird

Lyrebird medicine – your spirit has a voice beyond time

Australia – Aboriginal Dreamtime

Readers’ Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds

Image acknowledgements:

Images used under Creative Commons licences with thanks to the creators:

Superb lyrebird photographs from CSIRO Science Image (awesome image bank!)

Photographer : John Manger

Lyrebird as Totem by artist Ravenari via Deviantart

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 creativity, productivity, writing, voice, intuition, introversion, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), tarot, influence and 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. This includes 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.

inspiration & influence introversion intuition poetry

Being a vessel or working with introverted intuition

February 10, 2017


Practising introverted intuition

Introverted Intuition is my dominant preference as an INTJ Myers-Briggs Type. I’ve been working recently at how to tap more into this strength more. It’s a creative gift and I am focusing on how to translate this into words.

Learning to be aware of and capture my night thoughts has been a crucial part of this. This post outlines how I’m working with my introverted intuition to inspire my creativity and direction. I hope it may also inspire yours.

What is introverted intuition?

Introverted intuition is one of the eight psychological types developed by Carl Jung and described in his work, ‘Psychological Types‘ first published in 1921. Jung saw these different personality types as gifts. Introverted Intuition can be seen as having the gift of visionary insight. Angelina Bennet in The Shadows of Type, describes Introverted Intuition this way:

Introverted Intuitive types quickly see the connections between things and use these to create new concepts. They enjoy theory, innovative ideas and making connections. They are motivated by implementing original ideas and value inspiration and originality.

So true! Another phrase to describe the Introverted Intuitive is ‘The Seer’. Gary and Margaret Hartzler in their book, Functions of Type, describe the hallmarks of Introverted Intuiting skills, including:

  • insights that seem to come out of thin air and learning to rely on them
  • the ability to see intrinsic patterns and working with them from different perspectives, and
  • being energised by and making meaningful connections using visions, images and symbols.

From this you can see why an Introverted Intuitive like me loves poetry, imagery, writing, strategising, big picture visioning and imagining what might be. Balance can be provided by realising that some things are just as they are and by focusing on the senses more. This rounding out tends to develop more fully later in life. As Hartzler & Hartzler put it:

This leads the individual to being much stronger, both ethereal and real.

What a fantastic combination to strive for! This post describes and explores the experience of working with introverted intuition to make it both ethereal and real.

Listening to introverted intuition

On this occasion, I wake in the night with a word clearly in my mind. It happens quite often. This time, the word is ‘vessel’. I note the word down, knowing that, as clear as it is, it can be forgotten by the morning. When day breaks, I reflect on this word that spoke to me from my inner voice in the night.

I start with definitions and check in with Google and dictionary.com and come up with:
• a ship or large boat
• a hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask
• a duct or canal holding or conveying blood or other fluid.
• person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, especially something nonmaterial: e.g. a vessel of grace; a vessel of wrath.

In essence, I see it’s about being a receptacle or conduit, especially in relation to liquids or transportation, and apparently derives from the Latin word ‘vascellum’, meaning ‘vase’ and also ‘ship’.

Being a vessel

I think of what ‘vessel’ might mean at this time: being a conduit, a channel, surrendering a bit more, allowing things to move through me as blood moves, intuition, ideas, finding my purpose, what others might need, with me as a channel. Maybe it’s about a quieter way of being, without the ego chattering away.

I wouldn’t want to be an empty vessel making the most noise. I would hope that I could be a vessel that can conduct things of value, like: life, blood, music, words, something created out of silence and flowing, moving through to keep things, me, other people, alive. A receptacle: receptive, open, transporting, watery, fluid, flowing.

Then I remember I have written a poem called ‘Vessel’ many moons ago.

Only yesterday, I went through all my poetry files and created a receptacle for them, something I have been trying to get to for too long.

The placeholder, entitled ‘Poetry Working Files’, is now set up in the Scrivener writing software space, ready to be filled. Elsewhere, I have all the files organised in alphabetical order by poem. It’s a small but powerful thing now to transfer them in as a body of work. From there, I can conduct magic with them. I know where they are, where they’ve been, how I can combine them, coalesce, revise, add to, edit and seek to publish them, if I so choose.

It’s a receptacle now, an empty vessel right now, but one easily filled with the richness of years. Receptacle, coming from the Latin – ‘recipere’ – to give back, receive, be receptive. I now have a place to receive, and give back. I have a place for poetry’s heart; even if it’s only on my computer, it’s a start.

Vessel – the poem

‘Vessel’ is actually a poem I love, previously published in a writing anthology, Writers at the Raglan. I don’t know where the title came from. The titles of my poems are often a word or phrase that just arrives capturing something more than I know. Sometimes arriving in the dead of night.

 

Vessel

Your hands are all encompassing
in their imminence,
but maybe you are simply
too large.

And I, the virgin field
of your imagining,
dressed in white
for your uncovering,
feel the widening flaws
expose the cotton armour
of my longing.

Will the hard rubbing
of your words
make me shine
above the clouds
I manufacture
in silence
without you.

The poem captures the feeling of being an empty vessel, waiting for another’s blessing, being alone and feeling vulnerable. There’s abrasion, exposure, a waiting to be filled.

It’s from a long time ago when I used to spend a lot of time waiting for others, waiting to be blessed, ordained, consecrated, to be made pure, to be approved of. It’s not a practice I engage in so much now, if at all, but it’s good to be reminded of the risks through these words penned from another time.

Preparing for transition

So I am now preparing this vessel again, this space to fill with words, receptive and ready to transport and be transported. I think of the imagery of the Six of Swords, the journey across the open water into the unknown and the card I used to symbolise the start of the Quiet Writing journey. It’s a message of surrender, but a soulful surrender, creating a vacancy for the new, for what is to come.

six of swords fountain tarot

 

It’s a watery journey, and there’s spirit involved, fire as well – all the elements coming into play, as I ground myself as a channel for what comes next. The destination is open-ended with an out-stretched sky, but a faint horizon to anchor me, there in the distance.

There’s receiving and giving – being open-hearted, flowing, dressed in white perhaps but not feeling quite so vulnerable. My own skin is now something I am much more used to and happy to be sitting within. The lifeblood of poetry is coursing through again and taking me to new places with the heart of the old whispering guidance.

I’ve learnt you need to listen and watch for signposts that quietly show the path: like two white feathers and a shy rainbow one day recently. And words that arrive in the night. Like the single word ‘vessel’ that started this piece and the train of connection to form a message winging its way through the dark to inspire a circle of light.

Thought pieces

For more on Introverted Intuition, one of the eight personality functions, this article is a great introduction. A key thought:

The powerful means by which Introverted Intuition reveals its solution are associated with a gut sense of conviction and certainty. INJs “know” at a deep intuitive level that it is correct. But they cannot stop there. Once they have received the intuition, they must work to flesh it out. They must articulate and illustrate it in order to render it accessible and useful to others.

Hence this article!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Introverted Intuition and creativity. Jung has described the Introverted Intuitive as one of the most difficult of the types to understand, one that has elements of mystery.

So I encourage your comments on this as we explore writing with spirit here. 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.

inspiration & influence reading notes

Reading Australian women writers in 2017

February 6, 2017

Working out what to read next is always a challenge. But books by Australian women writers are always on my mind and that’s in no small measure due to the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

It’s the sixth year of the Australian Women Writers Challenge and it has done much to change the face of how Australian women’s writing is seen and celebrated.  The challenge is part of a world-wide movement to raise awareness of excellent writing by women, helping readers to “challenge the subconscious stereotypes that govern our choice of books to read.”

The challenge was started in 2012 by Elizabeth Lhuede in response to gender imbalance in books reviewed, in reading preferences and choices and in award representation. It has created a groundswell of readers, reviewers and bloggers making a conscious choice to read, review, recommend and celebrate books written by Australian women.

Promoting Australian women’s writing

I participate to help promote Australian women’s writing. The challenge overall has resulted in thousands of Australian women writers’ books being read and reviewed. It’s led to increased national and international recognition of the initiative’s achievements, built slowly over time. 

The challenge has made me keep my antenna up about Australian women writers’ successes, awards and commendations. The Australian Women Writers Challenge connects with other movements aiming to raise awareness of writing by women – VIDA Women in Literary ArtsThe Stella Prize and #readwomen on twitter celebrating women’s writing. I’m proud to be a Stella Sparks supporter, this year highlighting the impact of nonfiction writing by women on Australian culture and society.

It’s always so fabulous to see Australian women writers succeeding locally and on the world stage including seeing their stories made into movies. Think ‘The Light Between Oceans’ and ‘The Dressmaker’ in recent times.

My experience with the challenge

It was natural for me to want to engage with this challenge from the start.  I have a great love of Australian women’s writing. My Australian literature bookshelf is about 80% women writers. This passion developed naturally during my university literature studies and has endured. It’s my history and lineage.  They are not the only writers I enjoy, but they are the writers closest to my experience with all the local references, influences and language especially as it relates to women.

I also want to contribute to the legacy of writing by Australian women into the future. The challenge has kept my writing heart alive and is an inspiration as I read. It’s a message too that I am also able to write and create, express my stories and find space for my narratives in whatever form. As my heritage, it’s where I can find linkage, possibilities and a springboard for creating.

What’s in it for participants?

I’ve signed up again in 2017 because it’s now an integral part of my reading choices. I continue to be inspired and excited by Australian women’s writing. There are so many Australian women writers’ works I simply would not have noticed or enjoyed if not for the challenge.

Many of these books were picked up because I was looking for Australian women writers in libraries, bookshops and online. I possibly would not have read ‘The Light Between Oceans’, ‘Poet’s Cottage’, ‘The Longing’ or ‘Claustrophobia’ if not for the challenge. These have become some of my favourite reading experiences over the years.

I have deliberately read across genres and the challenge has contributed to my enjoyment of the beautifully science fiction inspired, ‘When We Have Wings’, the Celtic fantasy world of ‘Sea Hearts’ and the weaving medieval narrative of ‘The Scrivener’s Tale’.

I’ve been more aware and excited when Australian women writers have been nominated, short-listed and won awards for their books. And I’ve sought out the books to see why they were celebrated in their achievements, especially ‘Questions of Travel’, ‘Burial Rites’, ‘Mateship with Birds’, ‘All the Birds, Singing’ and ‘The Natural Way of Things.’

How I’ve participated and what I’ve read over the years

In terms of participation, my reading lists are not enormous – around 6 to 7 books a year. (Some participants would have read this many books already this year – at least!) I’ve engaged with the AWW community via social media, tweeting and blogging and contributing in that way. I’ve made some great online connections with Australian women writers and readers. This has enriched my reading life and extended beyond it.

Last year, my reading attention was elsewhere and my AWW focus was a bit light on, so I am keen to engage more in 2017.  I also hope to do better with the reviewing side this year.

Here’s my reading list so far over the past 5 years of the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge:

2012:
Searching for the Secret River: A Writing Memoir – Kate Grenville
Sarah Thornhill – Kate Grenville
When We Have Wings – Claire Corbett
The Light Between Oceans – M L Stedman
Poet’s Cottage – Josephine Pennicott
The Engagement – Chloe Hooper
Disquiet – Julia Leigh

2013:
Fishing for Tigers – Emily Maguire
Sea Hearts – Margo Lanagan
Sydney – Delia Falconer
The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton
The Scrivener’s Tale – Fiona McIntosh
The Longing – Candice Bruce

2014:
Questions of Travel – Michelle de Kretser
Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
Mateship with Birds – Carrie Tiffany
Currawong Manor – Josephine Pennicott
The Fictional Woman – Tara Moss
Claustrophobia – Tracy Ryan
All the Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld

2015:
The Golden Age – Joan London
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka – Clare Wright
Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty
A Short History of Richard Kline – Amanda Lohrey
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
The Lake House – Kate Morton

2016:
One Life – Kate Grenville
The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood

It’s been a rich journey and I encourage you to seek out the voices of women writers that excite and sustain you wherever they may be.

What am I planning to read (and review) in 2017?

My list so far for 2017 includes:

The Good People – Hannah Kent
Indelible Ink – Fiona McGregor
Speaking Out – Tara Moss
The Wife Drought – Annabel Crabb
Resilience – Anne Deveson

This year has a special focus on classics and forgotten Australian women writers. Readers are encouraged to review one or two classics, including books “that might once have been popular but which have now fallen out of favour.”  A classics Bingo card will soon be released to encourage people to read books from various decades.

This post, ‘100 Years of Australian Women’s writing online’, outlines the significant efforts to collate digital archives and documents to support the challenge. Elizabeth Lhuede is compiling a list of digital archives and downloads, finding many more classic and forgotten books online than anticipated. So much richness is to be found there!

To find out more about the challenge:

If you want to know about the background to the challenge, you can read about it hereAnd you can sign up for 2017 hereYou can participate to whatever level you can manage and there’s no ‘failing’, just doing what you can (as I do!).

The AWW reading and writing community is generous, diverse and inspiring. You can connect via the blog, through twitter @AusWomenWriters or hashtag #AWW2017, via the vibrant Facebook community or through Goodreads. There are readers, writers and reviewers from all walks of life reading so diversely and widely. The consolidated reviews are excellent and highlight the work of AWW readers and writers across all genres. 

The pleasures and learning are immense, raising awareness of reading choices and celebrating narratives and works by Australian women. It inspires women to find their voice through reading the voices of others. It’s no light-weight endeavour. These are the voices of creative possibilities and I treasure them.

I look forward to another year of reading books by Australian women writers. I hope you’ll join the challenge and connect with the community to inform your reading choices. And a special thanks to Elizabeth Lhuede for initiating the challenge and continuing the leadership of its evolution in 2017. I, for one, am so appreciative.

Thought pieces:

This Stella Prize podcast ‘Winning Women’ features a conversation between Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Eimear McBride and 2016 Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood. It’s a riveting and rich discussion on the work of both writers and gender in writing.

Via the Sydney Writers’ Festival Instagram account and Charlotte Wood, last year’s Stella Prize winner, some inspiring words to finish:

Upon receiving the 2016 Stella Prize, #CharlotteWood recited her five reasons to keep #writing, penned when she considered quitting.
1. To make something beautiful. Beauty does not have to mean prettiness, but can emerge from the scope of one’s imagination, the precision of one’s words, the steadiness and honesty of one’s gaze.
2. To make something truthful.
3. To make use of what you have and who you are. Even a limited talent brings an obligation to explore it, develop it, exercise it, be grateful for it.
4. To make, at all. To create is to defy emptiness. It is generous, it affirms. To make is to add to the world, not subtract from it. It enlarges, does not diminish.
5. Because as Iris Murdoch said, paying attention is a moral act. To write truthfully is to honour the luck and the intricate detail of being alive.

Keep in touch

Quiet Writing is now on Facebook so please visit here and ‘Liketo 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 books.

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.

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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.

inspiration & influence transcending

Courage to ride the Wheel of Fortune

December 19, 2016

.wheel of fortune

Image via Pexels.com

The Wheel of Fortune

The ‘Wheel of Fortune’ tarot card has been popping up for me for a while now raising questions about courage in the face of uncertainty.

It first arrived in April this year via a personalised reading by the fabulous Marianne aka @twosidestarot and featuring the dynamic Sakki Sakki tarot deck.

At that time, ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ was intersecting closely with the ‘The Moon’ in a broader reading that generally indicated change was afoot. An attitude of surrender and also of ‘throwing my hat into the ring’ was encouraged. As Marianne’s beautifully worded reading explained:

The best way to approach The Wheel is to surrender our attachment to the outcome and take a risk anyway. It is a super bold move, it takes a lot of courage and strength, but I think it’s a good hand to have up your sleeve as you navigate this period.

This initial introduction and the events that have ensued have indeed shown me firsthand that ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ can be a very wild and spontaneous ride, with much of it outside my control. Events have also reinforced that trust, courage, risk-taking and actually learning to enjoy the ride despite the uncertainty are part of the challenge.

Embracing uncertainty

It’s made me think about my own relationship with carnival rides over the years. When I was younger, I wasn’t naturally keen on wild rides like roller-coasters. Over time, I taught myself to enjoy the speed, the excitement and the wind in my hair. As I got older, I became more afraid again and more reticent to take the risk to enjoy the moment. And later in life, that side of me that enjoys a bit of wildness and uncertainty has reappeared.

In one instance, I was the only one in my family wanting to go on a roller coaster ride. I consequently found myself sitting with a ride-savvy nine year old who had great pleasure in hinting about the approaching terrors. It was great to feel the acceleration and speed of the turns and again embrace uncertainty.

Playing a role in change

Just as I have had a changing relationship with rides over the years, so our own relationship with change can be a factor. ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ card has continued to arrive reminding me about the big picture and the need to ‘expect the unexpected’. Most recently, it appeared via Dame Darcy’s Mermaid tarot, this time with the image of the Wheel of Fortune as a ship’s wheel:

wheel of fortune 4

As Wikipedia tells us:

A ship’s wheel or boat’s wheel is a device used aboard a water vessel to change that vessel’s course.

I like the imagery of this card suggesting that while life changes around us, we can play a role in changing course and influencing outcomes by taking risks, perhaps also with a little research and navigating.

For me, this latest journey is about shifting more into the realm of inner life and spirit. So whilst I can play an active role to some extent, some of this landscape is unfamiliar and the horizon is uncertain. I can see that the journey is ultimately about self-transformation, spiritual growth and expansiveness. Looking for opportunities for learning and growth as I traverse this time is critical.

As Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom reminds me:

The Wheel spins our fate. We can ride it – or gamble with it. Life is a game of chance and the Big Wheel symbolises the joy of playing the game.

It’s important to look beyond the current situation to see the broader map, the tides, the whole pattern and my reaction within that context.

‘Courage is not just the absence of fear’

This has also made me think about courage at this time. As Colette Baron-Reid wisely explains with reference to her oracle card ‘Sacred Pool’ in The Enchanted Map deck (in the protection position):

Remember that you have a responsibility not just to yourself but to the Divine spark within you. Courage is not just the absence of fear. Accept the discomfort of seeing with clear eyes and you’ll soon find that wondrous adventures are awaiting for you. Step into your magical life. Take the leap of faith.

Those words – ‘discomfort’ and ‘leap of faith’ echo the sentiment that it’s not always to effect change especially in unfamiliar terrain. Sometimes you have to sacrifice certainty for progress, feeling secure for being challenged and being comfortable for seeing things from a new and deeper perspective.

Around that same time, Lisa McLoughlin’s Plant Ally card ‘Courage’ also made an appearance asking very directly:

What brave steps can you take to move forward?

courage

Trusting intuition

Ironically, I think the bravest steps are actually the vaguest: trusting my intuition and embracing it.

I am an INTJ Myers-Briggs personality type so introverted intuition is my dominant gift. Whilst it’s an orientation that is naturally strong, I need to value and activate it more in my life now as a guiding light. Courage is indeed a step beyond just not being afraid. It’s about actively taking on this uncertain journey where the word ‘spirit’ is making an ever increasing appearance.

It’s about embracing these intuitive powers as a gift rather than something I secretly rely on and don’t really understand. It is about learning about this power, communicating it and using it to connect with others, with spirit and with my calling which is finding its way forward.

So the courage to ride ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ and navigate its surprises is essentially within, spirited by deep connection and collective identity:

But enlightenment is a deeply personal experience. It cannot be studied or even pondered but only lived. The series of outer lessons culminate in the Wheel of Fortune which shows us a vision of the world and ourselves which must be answered.

Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack (p71)

So I’m bravely stepping into uncertainty, going on that ride, turning that wheel and surveying the landscape. Must say, despite the strangeness, it’s riveting and I hope to share more of this with you as I venture forth into this new terrain.

I’d love to hear from you: Where in your life are you riding on The Wheel of Fortune and finding the courage to leap?

wheel of fortune

Thought pieces

Uncharted – by Colette Baron-Reid is my current read. It’s an excellent guide for navigating the uncharted waters of intuition and spirit.

Two Sides Tarot has Daily Weather reports on Instagram, essential reading for me every morning. It’s great to be learning about tarot each day as well as checking the weather for the day. Marianne’s tarot readings are beautifully written and insightful. Plus there are tarot decks for sale with free postage for those in Australia.

Let’s support those living and writing intuitively!

inspiration & influence writing

Sharing spirit of place to connect

December 10, 2016

spirit of place

I spent a lot of time away from home last year. Being home this year has focused my attention on the spirit of this place where I live. It’s a source of inspiration, grounding and strength. I love to walk to soak up this energy.

These walks develop a narrative of their own if I am listening. Every walk has its own realisations through the rhythm of my thoughts as I step on the sand, into the edge of the sea and commune with the elements of the day. The clouds, conditions, tides and the configuration of the beach combine to craft a unique train of thought.

And the shells and stones I notice and want to pick up on any particular day are also signposts. I am not always sure which way they are pointing or why I am drawn to them, but there’s a synergy I recognise. As M-L Von Franz says in Carl Jung’s Man and his Symbols:

Perhaps crystals and stones are especially apt symbols of the Self because of the “just-so-ness” of their nature. Many people cannot refrain from picking up stones of a slightly unusual colour or shape and keeping them, without knowing why they do this. It is as if the stones held a living mystery that fascinates them.

I am one of these people, gathering the distinctive shells and stones of the moment, as if holding onto them can help me to understand the language of that specific day.

beauty of place shell

The narrative of this particular walk is that I want to share this place and the stories that come from its energy. Surrounded by beaches on one side and bush on the other, it’s an oasis and a sanctuary. It’s the lungs of the city, the breathing space for many. On this particular day, it’s a time of easing away from the world of work and shifting into a different life. The weather is sublime. I feel like I’m in heaven as I begin cutting the tie from work, catching up with myself and breathing in and out with awareness. I look for those shells I recognise at the water’s edge, talismans of salty wisdom to hold onto.

I think about the quiet radiance of this place, how its water caresses me, how walking on its sand grounds me and how its rocks solidify my intentions. It’s a place where time is told by ferry crossings, where tides shape your passage and where dreams come true in an incremental way you hardly realise.

beauty-of-this-place-4

I know that part of my work is sharing the treasure that is the spirit of this place, the solitude and sanctuary it represents and how this might be a positive influence for others. It’s through words and images and the narratives of these walks that reflections are generated. These ideas are then reworked and massaged with new associations that I sometimes share and through that, connect with others.

It’s so important in our work to co-create with each other, including sharing spirit of place, the sources of our wisdom and the connection it provides. As Colette Baron-Reid says in Uncharted: The Journey Through Uncertainty to Infinite Possibility:

None of us is meant to be an island, isolating and hoarding resources. When we share our wisdom and support and resources with others, we immediately dispel the illusion of scarcity. We remember that the matrix of connection sustains us regardless of what we want to create or what form our creativity takes.

So I’d like to share this landscape with you. If I could just take a taste of this day and put it on your tongue, it’s an elixir that would sparkle your being with the essence of calm. I offer it in words and images here to connect with your heart. And there’s so much I want to offer and co-create with you.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh says in Gift from the Sea:

The waves echo behind me. Patience – Faith – Openness, is what the sea has to teach. Simplicity – Solitude – Intermittency…..But there are other beaches to explore. There are more shells to find. This is only a beginning.

It’s true, there are new narratives each day and this is only a beginning. I head home, settling this unique day’s story into my being and shifting into a quieter, wiser place. And I share these thoughts and feelings with you. I’d love to hear about your spirit of place and what narratives it inspires in you.

beauty of this place 1

inspiration & influence love, loss & longing

The unique voice of what we love

November 30, 2016

A way forward is to find the unique voice of what we love, whether it be through journals, poems, speeches, blog posts, conversations, novels or any scribbled piece of the heart.

Recently I drew the ‘Bone Collector’ card from Colette Baron-Reid’s The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards.

bone-collector

I don’t know about you but this image evokes lots of different reactions in me. It sounds a little grim and the bones hanging about are a bit confronting but there’s smiling and a sense of richness. My initial  feeling – there’s much to work through with this card.

The overall message of the card is positive and reminds us:

You are whole and have everything you need within.

However, there is a dark side about what is buried and casting shadows. The Bone Collector particularly focuses on life experiences when young and how we can become wounded and feel less than, damaged in some way. The wounds can dive deep beneath the surface. We may not talk about them or even be aware we are acting a certain way because of them. We may feel essentially flawed. There’s a message about the Bone Collector as an inner resource to help us to “reclaim lost or stolen power”.

Speaking up to let love live

Not long after, I was working with Alana Fairchild’s Sacred Rebels Oracle Deck, when this card came to light, developing that same theme:

release the dark wound

This card reminds us:

You are being asked to honour the path of your own love – what inspires you, what feels exciting, joyful and perhaps even rather different? Let that live! Release the dark wounding of false belief.

And a key way this ‘false belief’ plays out is as a tendency to perfectionism where our ideas and thoughts wither on the vine and do not even make it to formation or light. The dark wound especially “demands perfection and denies process”.

What a tragedy of spirit this is.

A way forward is to find the unique voice of what we love, whether it be through journals, poems, speeches, blog posts, conversations, novels or any scribbled piece of the heart. Every word, every piece, should be a fight back, a healing process, a spiritual journey to uncover our possibilities and potential.

And part of this is knowing it is all already within us if we can only be kinder and more trusting with ourselves and let our ideas live.

Discovering our unique voice

The New Moon in Sagittarius is gently beaming energy into these dark places too right now. Mystic Mamma has a fabulous New Moon post which brings together key messages about the moon energy and how to work with it.

The words that spoke to me, reflecting the spirit of Quiet Writing, are from Patricia Liles:

It may also be pushing you to take care of yourself in ways you never were able to see before. Speaking up for those parts of your self that have not had a voice before.

There’s a whole raft of reasons why these parts of ourselves have not had a voice before: time, distractions, pain, fear and dominant discourses where these voices just don’t seem to fit or be heard.

But as Colette Baron-Reid reminds us (via The Enchanted Map #47 Sacred Pool – reversed):

Dimming your light serves no-one

We need to value process and not silence ourselves with concerns about product and outcomes. We need to challenge that perfectionist part of us that won’t let ourselves shine and or even turn the light on in the first place. We need to quiet those voices that stem from ‘comparisonitis’ and feeling envious, less than or better than. You can easily see there is nothing to be gained from going there and there are no winners in this intellectual warfare. So why is it so compelling that we go there, allowing it to deny our unique abilities so savagely?

Time to collect the bones

It’s time to collect the bones and honour them. It’s time to release the dark wound, like returning a fish to water to enable it to swim, upstream if necessary, into the sacred pool where we accept what we love and find a voice for it.

With my natural creativity to guide me at this time, I’m digging deep into wounds and possibilities, knowing that I have so much to give, as we all do. This collecting of the bones is about not being afraid to go there and being able to speak out and not worry about what other people think. There’s been too much silence.

And a key part of this digging is hearing my voice now weaving spirit into words – finding the broken pieces to heal them, holding on to words like fins that can propel me and linking with other kindred souls also now speaking up.

The advice from the Bone Collector is:

Act as if you have what you need and you’ll find you have it after all. Anything is possible.

Even the strength and ability to collect those bones, to honour those wounds and to speak up and in doing so, find that unique voice that others may recognise.

unique voice of what you love

This image is from pexels

Thought pieces:

Reviving the Ancient Sisterhood is an excellent article that came to me via the sisterhood at The Mojo Lab’s Inner Circle. The article focuses on feminine wounding, women’s collaboration and community as a healing force, archetypes, traditions and sacred aspects of women’s connections including equality and mastery of expression.

Psychoanalyst Karen Horney wrote extensively on these issues many years ago including the impact of such dynamics on women’s sense of self. Marcia Westkott’s The Feminist Legacy of Karen Horney offers an analysis of this work:

In breaking through the inner fear, in embracing what she has dreaded, the female hero shatters the internal form of her victimization. External shoulds are driven from their internal stronghold, and conscious choice rather than fearful compliance informs her actions. She experiences, finally the extraordinary power of her ordinary real self.

 

spirit-into-words-wings

creativity inspiration & influence introversion

A sense of home

August 3, 2015

 

I’ve been working away from home and travelling a lot as part of this work role. This past week, I was in a different town pretty well each night. So it was with much pleasure that I arrived home on Friday night with a few days in my blessed and special home and village.

It’s hard to describe what makes a sense of home but loved ones being there or close by is a central ingredient. For my home and village, it’s the sunshine, the water, the birds that visit that like the kookaburra above who joined me for my breakfast on my return, my personal library of favourite books, the feel of familiar carpet and river slate tiles under my feet, my own bed, a warm bath and trees outside every window rustling in an early August breeze. And it’s all blissful.

I’m lucky. I live in a special place, a village I choose to call home that is surrounded by beach and bush. As an introvert who works hard with many people interactions in my day job, both my village and house are places of retreat and recharge. A place to rest, walk, feel the sand under my feet and the water flowing over them; a place to read, write, reflect; a place of solace and replenishment; of good food, words and wine; and a place to be myself with people who love me.

IMG_3641Being away so much and coming back, it’s easy to focus on what is not right: the weeds in the garden beds; the renovations still not finished after months of weekend work; the stuff that’s not tidy or finished; the clutter here and there. But this weekend has been about focusing on what is right and perfect now in this house, this village, my life: a loved and loving partner; a gorgeous independent daughter with so many skills, passions and opportunities; my gentle beautiful mother; the view, the trees, the beaches and bush, the books, the creative inspirations and connections and my independence to explore it all.

I’ve gone back to a couple of my favourite authors too in coming home: May Sarton and Marion Milner, both of whom wrote journals and explored a sense of home and happiness. Their words are thoughtful and reflective identifying the passions and the hopes in being and coming home:

My daydreams are nearly all of country cottages, of little gardens, of ‘settling down’ with flowers in vases and coloured curtains. I don’t think of backaches, dish washing.

I want to live amongst things that grow, not amongst machines. To live in a regular rhythm with sun and rain and wind and fresh air and the coming and going of the seasons I want a few friends that I may learn to know and understand and talk to without embarrassment or doubt.

I want to write books, to see them printed and bound. And to get clearer ideas on this great tangle of human behaviour.

To simplify my environment so that a vacillating will is kept in the ways that I love. Instead of pulled this way and that in response to the suggestion of the crowd and the line of least resistance

From “A Life of One’s Own”, Joanna Field (Marion Milner), Virago Press, p 51

I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my ‘real’ life again at last. That is what is strange – that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here and ‘the house and I resume old conversations’

From ‘Journal of a Solitude‘ by May Sarton, Norton, p 11

I also remember that the book I am currently reading is ‘Coming Home’ by Rosamunde Pilcher. Home and the significance of its sense of place in the midst of coming and going and change is clearly on my mind and I am seeking its comfort in both a physical and spiritual sense. I take these reflections with me as I head into a new week and new month full of opportunity.

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inspiration & influence writing

Novels: lost, found and unwritten

March 22, 2015


The recent announcement of the lost novel from Harper Lee, the unpublished unknown predecessor of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, written before, that tells us the next step in the story, raised many questions.

Firstly it seems incredulous that this could be so. That such an archetypal novel had an earlier sister and that it took the events further was a surprise. How could we have not known all this time? Where was this novel? Why was it not published before?

Then later that some day, the announcement of a new novel by Milan Kundera, author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, again such an archetypal novel and one that had a profound effect on me in the late 80s, accompanied by an amazing film. Now another novel by this great author is to come after a significant silence of more than a decade.

It set me thinking about the ‘inevitability’ of novels, about the novels that get lost (see this article on delayed and lost novels – especially one that got lost in the post!), the novels that are found, the ones that get delayed for a long time. And the ones that risk not being written at all.

It brought to mind ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society‘, “a first novel from a 70 year old former librarian, Mary Ann Shaffer”. According to the book’s bio, Mary Ann first became interested in Guernsey in 1976; then many years later was goaded into writing a book and revisited her thoughts about Guernsey. Mary Ann died in 2008 without seeing her book in print and knowing the fame it enjoyed and the pleasure it kindled in others.

It made me go back to some loved works on resistance and silence and to reflect on some words in this space:

From ‘The War of Art‘ – Stephen Pressfield

“Creative work is not a selfish act or bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got”.

From ‘Silences‘ – Tillie Olsen

“Literary history and the present are dark with silences: some the silences for years by our acknowledged greats; some silences hidden; some the ceasing to publish after one work appears; some the never coming to book form at all.”

And wise words from Maya Angelou:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Milan Kundera states in a 1983 Paris Review interview:

“A novel is a meditation on existence, seen through imaginary characters. The form is unlimited freedom. Throughout its history, the novel has never known how to take advantage of its endless possibilities. It missed its chance.”

So many endless possibilities, so many chances.

What untold stories ask to be written and how can we make sure they come to light and don’t get lost or forgotten?

Let’s not miss the chance.

Novel pics (2)