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planning & productivity

inspiration & influence planning & productivity

Blossoming on your own terms for long-term success

February 19, 2018

You are just getting started, so have patience with yourself and the process, and do not give up.

Aeracura, Blossoming

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards – Doreen Virtue

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A Quiet Writing deep-dive Tarot Narrative each Monday to share intuitive guidance, wisdom and insights from aligned books – for the week and anytime…

This week: blossoming on your own terms + patience for long-term success 

blossoming

Theme for the week beginning 19 February

The theme for this week to guide our overall focus is from Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards – Aeracura – Blossoming.

Blossoming

Anyone else feeling they want to burst out there with your work but knowing you need to be patient right now? This is a great week for realising those tensions and being patient, remembering where you are in your process. Advice from the Guidebook is:

In many ways, you are like a flower bud who is ripe and ready to open and grow. Don’t try to rush this process, as it’s part of your beautiful path.

This theme is key to Quiet Writing generally with a focus on process, not just product. The steps in getting there are just as important as the point of arrival. But it’s hard to remember this sometimes as we struggle to create all that is in our mind or vision. We need to be gentle with ourselves; keep focused, yes, but not overwhelm ourselves with action. Sometimes we need to integrate what we are learning, taking things in and working with them internally before the blossoming stage. To represent the energy of this phase, working with flowers in any way including with flower essences is highlighted for this time.

So the guidance this week is around moving forward but with gentleness and self-compassion, with an eye on the long-term creative blossoming process. And in this, understanding the true nature of any fears and working intuitively is a powerful help.

Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 19 February

blossoming

Tarot Narrative: On your own terms

You’re standing strong, clear and analytical with plans you can work with. You are gathering yourself, researching the options and content. You’re poised on the threshold of a time of self-sufficiency when it all culminates into joy and satisfaction. Have patience with the tenderness of it all and look to see what is real and what is masquerading as fear. You are blossoming and on your own terms now.

Reading notes

Cards: Father (King) of Swords and Nine of Cups from The Wild Unknown Tarot and #36 Come to the Edge in protection (reversed position) from Wisdom of the Oracle.

Book notes:

When we turn to face our fears, we discover that our fear is False Evidence Appearing Real – an illusion manufactured by our egos.

Debrena Jackson Gandy, All The Joy You Can Stand (p. 332)

This reading and narrative sends strong messages about being analytically clear and organised as we head towards blossoming and experiencing the fruit of our labours. The seeds of joy are real and we are so close to tasting them as they come to fruition. But we are encouraged to take time: to research, be patient, and to work with fear.

How we marshall our resources is key. This is a theme that popped up recently here (29 January reading) also with the King of Swords. This King is all about gathering, marshalling, making workable plans, putting emotion aside and getting on with it. He encourages us to put our knowledge into practice with swordy clarity and analytical skills. Conquering fear practically is also a way to move through these times.

Managing a sense of urgency

The Nine of Cups reminds us in this blossoming process that we are heading towards creative self-sufficiency. We are learning to be more self-sustaining, knowing when to listen to others and when to trust our own judgement. As Jessa Crispin reminds us in ‘The Creative Tarot’, this card is about “finding satisfaction all on your own.”

This rings so true for me as I head into the threshold of a new life. This week I will be finishing up in my work role of 30 plus years. I’ve been planning and working for this transition for the longest time. My goal is to establish a ‘self-sustaining creative life’. This means not working for someone else, working for myself, with creativity as the heart of what I do. Getting to this pivotal time, I feel a sense of urgency. I’ve been struggling with a feeling of pressure to get everything I have planned out into the world perfectly formed – and now!

I’ve had to learn that, though this time feels urgent like I want to burst out into full flower, I need to move steadily and take my time. I need to realise much is in the process of blossoming already. Taking a moment to get perspective and see how far I have come helps with feeling more joyful about my progress. I am still integrating everything I am learning and it’s a process to enjoy, not one to rush through. I’m reflecting too on my body of work over my life so far and how I am taking it forward into this new time.

Fear management + blossoming

Fear can be part of this wanting to rush forward too. As both the ‘Come to the Edge’ card and the quote above from ‘All the Joy you can Stand’ remind us,  Fear can be ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. Our job at these sensitive times of change is to work out what really is to be feared and what we have ourselves may have manufactured into fear. Facing our fears and identifying what is lowering our energy is important as we are working on blossoming into new times.

This week when you think about your plans, think of how any fear or impatience is manifesting. Sometimes it can be fear of being left behind, a kind of comparisonitis, as we see others write books, start businesses and come out of the blocks in places where we too want to shine. We can feel like we are never going to get our act together as we compare ourselves to others perhaps much further down the road than us. And in a way that will never be kind to ourselves.

Being creatively self-sufficient, knowing what you need to do in your own time and on your own terms, is powerful work this week. It might be rest, revisioning, stepping up, recasting, finishing a draft, starting a project, knowing what to do first. Perhaps it’s taking on board other’s feedback but knowing what to do with that feedback.

Sometimes fear can be a sign we are stepping up into a new phase as Tara Mohr reminds us in ‘Playing Big’. Tara explains that there are two kinds of fear concepts in biblical Hebrew: ‘pachad’, projected or illusory fear and ‘yirah’ – “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to.” Both are useful concepts to work with as we come to the edge of our blossoming – and learn which fear to play down and which to embrace.

blossoming

On your own terms

The Art of Life Tarot deck has a beautiful way of coalescing messages in art and quotes. For the  Nine of Cups, we are reminded via Marcus Amnaeous Seneca that:

A happy life is one in accordance with its own nature.

That is a key theme this week weaving through all of the cards. If we are to truly blossom as ourselves, we need to follow our own path. Creative influence is a wonderful thing but we need to take it on board and coalesce it our own way, finding our own path on our own terms. This week provides energies for doing just that, working with wisdom on our fears and frustrations.

This can show up in so many ways for us: Where are we feeling impatient? What plan have we put in place to make the work happen? Is the plan actually workable? How do we know? What research is there to help us define our creative way in the world? How can we use it?

This is a great week for blossoming on our own terms in our own time.

Look to see where you might be undercutting your own process with fear or comparisonitis. It’s not a race; it’s bringing ourselves wholeheartedly into the world and that takes time, patience and discovering our own unique ways of working.

Blossoming

 

Love to hear your thoughts!

I’d love to hear if you are feeling these energies around blossoming on your own terms, patience and fear now.

  • How might you bring blossoming forth more gently?
  • Where might you support growth with planning and action?
  • Which fears are helpful and which ones are not?
  • Where is there a valid reason for fear and what can you do about it?
  • What will help you create workable plans?
  • Where can you value and enjoy the process more?
  • How can you be more self-compassionate?
  • Where can analytical clarity help you make decisions and move through any blocks?

All best wishes for this week of being patient with blossoming and long-term plans and getting there on our own terms. It’s powerful work and not always easy, but I look forward to a week of moving through some threshold days in my own life.

May Aeracura also guide you with blossoming, with patience, and on your own terms. And let me know what you think of this post and this weekly Tarot Narrative!

blossoming

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

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How to align priorities with your directions and make a mark

February 12, 2018

Keep your unwavering thoughts, feelings, and actions focused on your target, and you will make your mark.

Diana, Focused Intention

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards – Doreen Virtue

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A Quiet Writing deep-dive Tarot Narrative each Monday to share intuitive guidance, wisdom and insights from aligned books – for the week and anytime…

This week: focused intention + restructuring to align priorities

align priorities

Theme for the week beginning 12 February

The theme for this week to guide our overall focus is from Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards – Diana – Focused Intention.

As the steely image in the card suggests, this is a great week to get clear about your targets and align your priorities with where you want to go. Advice from the Guidebook is:

Know what your priorities are and take action on them.

It is a theme that also came up for me in daily angel card readings, including this beautiful card from Kyle Gray’s Angel Prayers deck:

align priorities

So the guidance this week is around tackling any scattered and overwhelmed feelings with focus. We need to work out our intentions and the desired mark we want to make. Then we need to align priorities through actions to move towards this. “Unwavering” is a word that speaks strongly to me now as we work out how to move steadily towards our target.

It’s not about speed or time; it’s about persistence, focus and effort. I know my learning around last week’s message of Determine what’s going to help was realising what I need to do now. And surprise – it’s not everything! Determining what’s going to help includes identifying actions to do first to align priorities and this week’s guidance continues this theme.

This week’s focus is on making decisions, knowing our intentions and keeping focused. Strategic action is key. It’s about stepping away from indecision, lack of clarity and trying to attempt everything at once. In there also is a piece around taking our own road and making our own mark as we align our priorities.

Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 12 February

align priorities

Tarot Narrative: Realigning priorities

Restructure your priorities to focus clearly on your target direction now. You might be wavering and indecisive. Watch that this is not a form of resistance or procrastination. Make decisions on the path that is right for you. And align your actions, straight as an arrow towards that mark. Keep persevering and aiming, shaking off distractions with refinement, choice and focus as allies.

Reading notes

Cards: Two of Swords and Five of Rods (Wands) from the Sakki Sakki Tarot and #10 Unfinished Symphony in protection (reversed position) from Wisdom of the Oracle.

Book notes:

No words can be said, no teaching can be taught that will relieve spiritual travellers from the necessity of picking their own ways, working out with effort and anxiety their own paths through the unique circumstances of their own lives toward the identification of their individual selves with God.

M Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled (p. 332)

In our various ways of expressing ourselves in the world, our spiritual and creative growth is about something greater than ourselves. Whether you call it God or something else, in this week’s guidance there is also a key message of finding our own path. Making decisions can be about taking a road that is less travelled or picking our own way. Though hard, in this, we carve out a strategy and choose what we want to do, how we want to be, the work we do, what we create, how we live, what is important.

How we allocate our time and align our priorities is key.

Sometimes we find we are not making choices, wavering and unsure of what to do first. When we have this mindset, we often try and do everything and do it now. This results in overwhelm and can become a subtle form of procrastination and self-sabotage.

Another strategy is to focus the mind, ask for help from spiritual guides and supporters, open ourselves up and identify where we are heading. Even if we are not ready now to do all we aspire to, working towards that target will keep us on track, unwavering and focused.

An example for me has been getting my book draft written. It has been a goal for some years and I’ve had a few different options – fiction and non-fiction – in mind. Once I became clear on my target: to write my non-fiction book, “Wholehearted” first, it was much easier to be in action. I chose coaches to help me get there and I brainstormed, outlined and started drafting. Finding the right support, strategies and actually starting (yes!) made it easier to do NaNoWriMo in November last year. Now I have a nearly finished 72,000-word first draft.

Align priorities

As the Two of Swords reminds us, indecision can have its own form of anguish. There might be competing priorities and everything looks good and doable. Sometimes too we can see things as purely one way or another, blind to innovative options or a third way. Jessa Crispin reminds us about the power of two’s in ‘The Creative Tarot’:

A two card can show you how two different influences or demands can be brought together to form something completely new.

This week when you think about your target or plan, think about how you might bring two seemingly opposed options together. Restrategise, align priorities differently to get clear on your target and see how you can step through any blindness or procrastination.

Just making a key decision will help immensely this week. Think too about what’s been flummoxing you and whether you are making it more complicated than it needs to be.

The Sakki Sakki Five of Rods (Wands) card echoes this by showing a chaotic scene with lots of action. The Rider-Waite version of this card (below) is so good too. Anyone else’s mind, priority list or desk feeling a bit like this now, like a team with all the players moving in different directions? Any unfinished business weaving its shadow through everything so you can’t find a clear way?

align priorities

Making your mark

Another beautiful version of the Five of Wands from the Art of Life Tarot deck reminds us via Euripides that:

The wisest men follow their own direction.

One of the challenges in making decisions and aligning priorities is to know your own path.

This can show up in so many ways for us: What is the essence of our brand? Where do we want to focus our creative energies? What do we stand for? Where do we want to be at the end of the year? What do we want to produce?

I’ve just worked through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year 2018 workbook. This is an annual practice I have done since 2014. It’s helped me to know where I want to make my mark in 2018. Knowing this, I can align priorities and actions accordingly.

This is a great week for stepping back to align priorities with our path in life. Working out our mark, road, unique offering or brand and how we want to make a difference is key.

Looking to see where we can focus our unwavering attention and effort over time in line with our direction is highlighted. 

align priorities

 

Love to hear your thoughts!

I’d love to hear if you are feeling these energies around competing priorities, making decisions, aligning priorities, setting direction, making choices and being in action over time.

  • How might you identify what your mark or target is this year?
  • What actions will help you get there?
  • Which strategic choices are you holding off for whatever reason?
  • How can you review the choices to see if there is another way?
  • What will help you focus your attention on your goals?
  • Where are you feeling warring internal factions and how can you get them aligned?
  • How can you set a steady course over time and stop rushing now?

All best wishes for this week of realigning priorities and getting clear on our targets. I look forward to a week of gaining clarity on where I want to make a mark and how I can get there with these energies. May Diana also guide you with focused intention. And let me know what you think of this post and this weekly Tarot Narrative!

align priorities

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Secret superpowers for creative energy and inspiration

Creating essential intent and making the right choices

Self-leadership, feedback and marshalling resources for the best week

Creative practices in my tool-kit to make the most of this year’s energies

How I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention to make the most of this year

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

personality and story planning & productivity

Creating essential intent and making the right choices

February 5, 2018

Creating an essential intent is hard. It takes courage, insight, and foresight to see which activities and efforts will add up to your single highest point of contribution.

Greg McKeown, in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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A Quiet Writing deep-dive Tarot Narrative each Monday to share intuitive guidance, wisdom and insights from aligned books – for the week and anytime…

This week: creating essential intent + determining what will help

essential intent

Theme for the week beginning 5 February

The theme for this week to guide our overall focus is from Lisa McLoughlin’s Life Design Cards – 2. Determine what’s going to help.

essential intent

As the image in the card suggests, this is a great week to focus on what will be the ladder and support to help you step up. It’s worthwhile, always and especially this week, to think about the essential intent or purpose of your work. And in this, to decide what’s the best support, tool, use of time or person to work with you to help further that intent.

I have a huge list of actions as I start this week and focus on my new business and way of living as a life coach and writer. It’s exciting but easily overwhelming. Stepping back to see my ‘essential intent’, as Greg McKeown calls it in ‘Essentialism’ is a really valuable step we often forget as we dive into the minutiae of it all.

It’s a good time this week to take that step back and get clear on the big picture of where you are going so you can take the action that will help most.

Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 5 February

Tarot Narrative: Discernment, seeing differently

You might be feeling overwhelmed at this time of transition with an enormous list of tasks and not knowing what to do first. See what will make the biggest difference and help to get you where you want to go. What will move you on the most? Who can help you see differently or lighten the load? How can it be easier? Small adjustments, reaching out, going back to what works for you, simplifying – will all help you move on and through now.

Reading notes: Cards: Ten of Rods (Wands) and Eight of Swords from the Sakki Sakki Tarot and #3 Between Worlds in protection (reversed position) from Wisdom of the Oracle.

Book notes:

An essential intent…is both inspirational and concrete, both meaningful and measurable. Done right, an essential intent is one decision that settles one thousand later decisions.

Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (p. 126)

I had heard about the book ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown from both a coach I worked with and a client I worked with as a life coach. Both amazing women who found this book inspiring, I was intrigued and so purchased it and there it sat, waiting for me. Until December last year, when I spent most of the month in a palliative care ward with my mother in her final days. I chose this book to listen to as an audiobook as I went back and forward from the hospital, day after day.

There’s nothing like being in a palliative care hospital heading into Christmas time to focus the mind and heart on what is essential in life. It was as if everything was stripped back to love and family and all the trappings of Christmas shopping and events all fell away. A time for reflecting on essential intent in life generally, Greg McKeown’s book was a piece of crystal clear thinking to help me as I navigated this time.

I recommend it however you listen to it for getting to clarity and focus – but it worked well as an audiobook first up. And I know there is much to be gleaned and applied from a further closer reading of the text with more active highlighting and noting.

Creating essential intent and making it harder 

As the Ten of Rods (Wands) reminds us, we can get very busy carrying heavy loads. We can forget why we are choosing to do so much. Caught in the detail of action, we can neglect the need to step back and reflect on why we are doing all of these things. We can focus on small aspects, like the right wording, when we really need to work out is what the message is in the first place.

The Eight of Swords suggests that we might be self-imposing limitations or blinding ourselves in some way. We might reflect on how we have it made it harder than it could be. Or which old limiting beliefs we’ve picked up along the way that we might be still carrying around with us as extra baggage.

The ‘Between Worlds’ card in protection position backs this up by reminding us to be aware of expectations including of ourselves. I am focusing on “done is better than perfect” at the minute as a way of breaking through and being in action. It doesn’t all have to be perfect; progress is better. There’s an Instagram challenge on this for the month of February that I am doing and finding is a great focus at this time.

essential intent

Creating essential intent and strategic choices

Greg McKeown reminds us in ‘Essentialism’ that:

One strategic choice eliminates a universe of other options and maps a course for the next five, ten, or even twenty years of your life. Once the big decision is made, all subsequent decisions come into better focus.

As an example, on my big list of actions this week is work on the Quiet Writing brand essence in partnership with Stephey Baker at Marked by the Muse. We are working together on clearly defining my brand essence through the words and images that sum up Quiet Writing’s heart.

Having checked through my list this morning, I exercised essential intent by making this the #1 activity for today and this week (after sharing this reading and post!) Everything else flows from that. Once I can get my brand essence right and really crystal clear, in words and visually via my logo and other imagery, I know that the other pieces and tasks can easily align. Even if they feel more insistent or urgent right now.

Creating essential intent and what will help

Another theme that popped up for this week, alongside strategic choice, is determining what is actually going to help. It’s a valuable time to think about where we have taken on too much, where things can wait, who can help and where we can delegate or get support in line with our essential intent.

If, for example, one of our goals is to set up a website or blog or refresh the current one, who can we ask to help us and how can we get support? Is life coaching an option to help us focus and be in action, set goals and frameworks to have the job done? Or is it finding a professional we can work with and brief and to whom we can hand over the majority of this task? Or is it working in strategic partnership where we can share the work based on our mutual skills and strengths?

Whatever it is in our life, this is a great week for stepping back to recognise our strategy and essential intent and then seeing how we can carry it through into action.

Looking to see where we can lighten our load in line with our essential intent is also highlighted. 

Love to hear your thoughts!

I’d love to hear if you are feeling these energies around creating essential intent, making strategic choices, working out what will help and then asking for that help.

  • How might you practice creating essential intent?
  • What is going to help you achieve that?
  • Which strategic choices can you make that will help the other parts come into focus?
  • Who could you ask to help you?
  • What shape might that support take?
  • What will lighten your load and reduce overwhelm?
  • Where are you carrying extra baggage such as self-limiting beliefs weighing you down?

All best wishes for this week of creating essential intent and getting clear on your purpose as well as lightening your load. Hooray for that possibility! I look forward to a week of easing creative overwhelm with these energies. And let me know what you think of this post and this weekly Tarot Narrative!

essential intent

📷 of me above by Lauren, Sol + Co

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Self-leadership, feedback and marshalling resources for the best week

Creative practices in my tool-kit to make the most of this year’s energies

How I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention to make the most of this year

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

The Empress: vision, creativity and patience

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Self-leadership, feedback and marshalling resources for the best week

January 29, 2018

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Reverend Howard Thurman, in Dario Nardi’s ‘8 Keys to Self-Leadership’

___________________________________

A Quiet Writing deep-dive Tarot Narrative each Monday to share intuitive guidance, wisdom and insights from aligned books – for the week and anytime…

This week: self-leadership + marshalling resources

self-leadership

Theme for the week beginning 29 January

The theme for this week to guide our overall focus is from Lisa McLoughlin’s Life Design Cards – 16Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

self-leadership

This is a lovely self-leadership card and reminds us to practice listening to our bodies, intuition and others. And then to input that into the cycle of what we are doing. Especially when negotiating challenging times, it’s important to notice when our body is telling us to rest or letting us know what it needs more or less of. It’s also about the wider environment and people in our world and what they are telling us.

When I read ‘feedback’, I immediately thought of negative feedback and listening to where I need to improve or change. This is valuable but as Lisa McLoughlin reminds us via the Life Designs Cards Guidebook for this card:

Consider that feedback is also about appreciation as well as what needs changing.

Keeping open and modulating, adjusting our sails, taking on board new perceptions and realising when we have it right or our ideas resonate – all are supportive ways to move through this week as positively and productively as we can.

It’s a good time for self-leadership and self-regulation, tuning in with our bodies and personality. Being aware of what others are saying can help to feed into the loop of our growth at this time.

Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 29 January

self-leadership

Tarot Narrative: Marshalling your resources

It’s a time for marshalling your resources and taking action. You’ve gathered skills, knowledge and resources over time. You’ve worked at pulling together the golden threads of you. Value this resource, this currency, this way of being and working. Make it work for you now, but also for others. Share generously, choose your focus, listen to feedback, make a difference.

Reading notes: Cards: King of Swords and Six of Coins from the Sakki Sakki Tarot and #38 To Be Fair in protection (reversed position) from Wisdom of the Oracle.

Book notes:

Our lead process remains the captain of our ship no matter how much developing we do. We use it in the background even when using other processes. Lead and supporting processes develop first, and each experience we have of nonpreferred process is cause for celebration and a doorway to change.

Dario Nardi, 8 Keys to Self-Leadership (p22)

As part of my personality type work, I had the pleasure of attending two training workshops with neuroscientist Dr Dario Nardi last year. Using EEG technology, his work shows how Jungian insights about personality type and cognitive functions are supported by physical evidence.

You can actually observe the brain lighting up as it works on something that it loves (or doesn’t like) in line with patterns identified in Jungian/Myers-Briggs personality type preferences. Here is a picture of me in a workshop with Dario Nardi with the activity of my brain being mapped and regions lighting up as I do various cognitive activities.

Self-leadership

Self-leadership and personality

This work reminds us that the self-leadership journey begins with knowing ourselves and the lead cognitive functions that are our natural way of being. From this, we can extend into less natural preferences to open our potential. Each time we venture into our weaker or less preferred domains, we open the doorways of change and potential. And we should acknowledge this in our self-leadership and cheer ourselves along!

Our lead cognitive preference is always directing traffic as we use it in the background. So marshalling our resources is about knowing our personality and our best ways of working. The King of Swords is a card that reminds us about being the master of our thought, knowledge and logic, achieving success through plans that can move us ahead. Our ability to marshal our own resources and loves is highlighted so we can act to create and put thoughts into action.

As an example, as an INTJ personality type, my preferred cognitive function is introverted Intuiting. I’ve learnt over time to value this as the lead to bring the pieces together – via work such as envisioning, strategising, tarot and oracle and intuitive writing. I can use these preferences as the lead and marshall the resources I have to help bring the pieces together across the gamut of my personality. Everyone can do this – although the lead will differ depending on personality type preference – and awareness is key.

self-leadership

Self-leadership and giving back

Another theme that popped up in this reading alongside self-leadership and knowing ourselves is generosity and giving back. When we are experiencing the harvest from our work and others, we often focus on our value and what we bring forth. We need to learn from that feedback, but we also need to be generous in how we share this work.

In our self-regulation and self-leadership, it’s a good time for thinking about how we are giving back. It might be to causes or others, making a difference for the highest good of all and not just for ourselves. This is especially the case if we have experienced good fortune or are receiving from others. It’s a time to think about how can we accept this and turn it back into the world in new ways.

So for this week, it’s a great time for recognising your strengths, knowing yourself and exercising self-leadership as you marshal your resources.

Listening to feedback – both positive and instructive – is highlighted. As is recognising when we are benefiting from a time of fruition, so we can put back to benefit others.

Notice when people say good things about the work that you do and see where it can take you! What clues does this provide you?

Love to hear your thoughts!

I’d love to hear if you are feeling these energies around self-leadership, feedback, marshalling resources and generosity.

  • How might you practice self-leadership and self-regulation?
  • What resources are you marshalling?
  • What are the good things people are saying about you and the work that you do?
  • What does this tell you? Where could you take it further?
  • What are you feeling or hearing about what is not working for you?
  • What can you do step up your self-leadership in the coming week?

All best wishes for this week of exercising self-leadership and marshalling resources including giving back. And let me know what you think of this post and the idea of weekly Tarot Narratives!

self-leadership

📷 of me (top + bottom) by Lauren, Sol + Co

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

On the special value of self-leadership

Creative practices in my tool-kit to make the most of this year’s energies

Personality, story and Introverted Intuition

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

creativity inspiration & influence planning & productivity

Creative practices in my toolkit to make the most of this year’s energies

January 26, 2018

creative tool-kit

The creative practices in my tool-kit I plan to use to manifest energy and intention to make the most of this year – part 2.

We all need a magic tool-kit of practical tools, workbooks, teachers, coaches, connections and community. This helps us make the most of our desires, plans and intentions.

First, we need to reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve learnt. Then we need to plan and set intentions. And then we need to make them happen with practical action steps.

And the magic web that surrounds all of this is the company we keep, the books we read and the tools we choose to help manifest energy and intention in the best way possible.

So here’s part 2 of my tool-kit for how I plan to manifest energy and intention to make the most of this year. This focuses on the creative practices in my tool-kit. I hope it inspires you to better recognise or build your own creative resources for this year. You can read part 1 here.

Becoming a life coach

Becoming a life coach through the fabulous Beautiful You Coaching Academy was a big focus in 2017 as I moved through a major life transition. I’m shifting from a 30+ year career in the government sector to a more self-driven creative business focus. It’s been an exciting shift, moving little by little in a challenging couple of years. But I’m ready now to launch more fully into my life coaching business focused on creativity and career coaching. And I can’t wait.

Becoming a life coach builds on my body of work over many years as a teacher, adult educator, leader in vocational education, online learning specialist and strategic policy adviser. In all of these roles, I focused on making a difference, creativity, innovation, mentoring others, leadership and self-leadership. I bring all of this experience into my coaching work to help women create a more fully-rounded, whole-hearted story and life, just as I have done.

You can work with me in 2018 – just send me an email at terri@quietwriting.com and I’ll send you further information.

Being coached yourself

Becoming a life coach also means working on yourself and your own development in an ongoing way. I’ve experienced the value of coaching myself over the past two years as I’ve made this transition. I realised I could no longer stay where I was. It was no longer serving me and my creative heart was calling me. Life coaching helped me make the plan for a new creative path.

creative tool-kit

Learning the value of being coached and putting it into practice has been a key platform of my creative living toolkit in the past few years. It helps keep the focus on your authentic desires, front and centre.

So to help me in this year, I’ve joined up with Caroline Donahue’s group coaching program, the Coffee Shop Writers Group, to make sure my writing gets done as the authentic heart of Quiet Writing. I can talk about writing all day but unless I am doing it, it’s all pretty hollow! Working with fellow writers in the context of an online, international support team and with an inspiring writing coach as our lead is a perfect way to get my priority work done. Sometimes we need to carve out the time and prioritise support for ourselves in this way. And life coaching in some way shape or form is always a fabulous investment in yourself, with an excellent return on that investment in so many ways.

Writing, writing, writing

Did I mention writing? Linked to the above, writing is the heart of Quiet Writing – my creative practice. It’s how I start my days via Morning Pages, writing to settle into the day, reflect and make plans. Then there’s blogging here regularly, guest blogging including at WorkSearch and Life Reaction, as well as drafting books, with one well on the way at 70K words at this point. I am so looking forward to taking my writing into the editing and self-publishing phase this year.

Personality type work

A key part of Quiet Writing is understanding yourself and your personality type and how it works as a guide to wholehearted self-leadership. Understanding my Jung/Myers-Briggs INTJ personality was a critical step for me in my life. Working through this with a certified personality type practitioner and coach enabled me to proceed with fuller self-knowledge. I embraced my strengths instead of seeing them as weaknesses and learnt to work them. It also helped me understand where I can be more well-rounded by working on my less preferred cognitive functions.

Because all of this made such a difference for me, I’ve skilled up in the area of personality type to become a certified practitioner and share this insight with others.

This knowledge of personality type as part of my creative practices tool-kit weaves its way into everything I do. I will be offering personality type assessment in a standalone offering with one hour’s intensive 1:1 coaching, as well as the option to work through personality type as a lead into a 6 session coaching series for a deeper dive. As with coaching, personality work is an ongoing journey of understanding yourself. I look forward to sharing my knowledge in this exciting area in creative and new ways this year.

Energy healing, channelling and spirituality

Activating my energy, healing and spirituality was a priority last year and continues into this year – and let’s face it, why not forever! I’ve been working with Amber Adrian, storyteller, writer, channeller and energy healer for nearly two years now. It’s the quiet backbone of my life as I seek a deeper spirituality and engage with guides, the sacred creative and energy healing.

It’s hard to describe the power of this connection in supporting me and unleashing magic and creativity. As Amber says in recent communication about magic:

Magic simply flows in, once you’ve given spirit (god, the universe, your angels, your higher self) a doorway. A window. Even a crack. Give them a bit of room and they’re on it.

Open up a new highway for them and they’ll work astonishing miracles with you and your life and your dreams. Because they want you to have everything you desire – everything you want to do, be, create, have, and experience in your life here.

You just need to give magic room to step in.

So part of my creative practices tool-kit is making space for magic. Because as I said in my last post via Roald Dahl:

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

creative practices

Being in rhythm and working with lunar cycles

Another key part of my creative practices tool-kit is working with the cycles of the moon. Dr Ezzie Spencer’s fabulous Lunar Abundance website and book ‘An Abundant Life’ provided rich input last year. It helped me be more aware of the cycles of the moon as part of my creative practices. I also worked with Ezzie as part of her group coaching Book Whispering project in 2017 to better connect with rhythms and cycles for creativity. This helped me get my book draft well underway as a lead into NaNoWriMo where I eventually wrote 50K words in one month.

Working with lunar cycles and the yin and yang phases is now a central part of my creative practices helping me to set and realise powerful intentions. I connect it with tarot for a fabulous intuitive deep dive at key times like the New Moon and Full Moon.

Working with intuition via tarot and oracle

Working with tarot and oracle cards as an intuitive tool for tapping into wisdom and insight is one of Quiet Writing’s core creative practices. I learnt about these areas more, developed my daily practice and then shared it publicly from June to December last year on Instagram. This was an excellent support and intuitive learning process that people valued. I learnt so much from it including about visual elements of my creative practices and social media work, but it was very time-consuming. And if I am going to get my business up, life-coaching sessions happening regularly, and write my book and see it published, I needed to work out a more sustainable way to approach this.

So I am sharing weekly Tarot Narrative readings on Quiet Writing here and also via Instagram and Facebook. This creative practice helps me focus my intentions and work with manifesting energies. And as with my daily readings, it’s a way of sharing intuitive guidance with others including key books, quotes and thoughts to support your creative practices. This week’s reading is about exploring magic.

I’m planning to gather up all my Tarot Narrative readings from 2017 into an ebook for each month for reference for readers. Even though they are an intuitive reading at a point in time, the thoughts and references are timeless and given the work and hours spent, it makes sense to share in this form. They will be part of the soon to come Wholehearted Inspiration Library and free to Quiet Writing subscribers. So do sign up to Quiet Writing (pop your email in the box to the right or below) so you will know when the free library is live – as well as other opportunities. Plus you’ll get my free 95-page ebook on the 36 Books that Shaped my Story – so lots of inspiration for your creative practices tool-kit.

 

creative practices

 

So that’s part 2 of my creative practices tool-kit and how I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention this year. Next week, I’ll tell you about three special superpowers I’ll be tapping into this year for extra focus and input.

I’d love to hear what’s in your creative practices tool-kit! Share your tips and plans in the comments or via social media.

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

How I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention to make the most of this year’s energies

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

The courage to show up

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

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

Images by me except for:

Feature image of me by the fabulous Lauren at Sol + Co

inspiration & influence planning & productivity

How I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention to make the most of this year

January 19, 2018

manifest energy

This is part 1 of my toolkit for how I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention to make the most of this year!

We all need a magic tool-kit of practical tools, workbooks, teachers, coaches, connections and community. This helps us make the most of our desires, plans and intentions.

First, we need to reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve learnt. Then we need to plan and set intentions. And then we need to make them happen with practical action steps.

And the magic web that surrounds all of this is the company we keep and the tools we choose to help manifest energy and intention in the best way possible.

I like to think of it as ‘the examined life’. Perhaps it’s my INTJ personality that loves this deep dive into both intuition and structure, but as Socrates wisely said,

The unexamined life is not worth living.

In contrast, I choose an examined life that helps me have creative courage to move in small steps within a plan and vision that gives me direction.

So here’s part 1 of my tool-kit for how I plan to manifest energy and intention to make the most of this year.

Practices I’ve engaged in over time to manifest energy

My manifesting tool-kit for negotiating the beginning of the year has evolved over time. There are some practices I’ve engaged in over a few years that have become key tools for reviewing and setting energies and intention. And making magic! These are all by powerful, creative women sharing their energy to help me manifest mine. I share them with you so we can all manifest our unique energy into the opportunities of this year or any cycle.

Unravel Your Year – with Susannah Conway

I’ve been unravelling with Susannah Conway for a long time and working through her free annual ‘Unravel Your Year‘ workbook for at least five years! The process and workbook take you through reflections on the previous year and works with awareness and intentions to set a magical path for the new year. One of the best aspects of doing this work on an annual basis is that you can see where previous years have taken you. Or where you keep setting the same intentions in line with your dreams but not being in action to achieve them.

As per the oft-repeated quote:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results…

…I found over time that I was setting similar intentions year after year and not achieving them.

Work was the overwhelming priority. I found myself setting the same goals about a creative life and writing, expressing the same desires each year and not hitting them. It wasn’t until I made real change, making space and plans for shifting to part-time work in 2016, that I started to make traction towards my desires. The ‘Unravel Your Year’ workbook and process helps you identify over time how your plans and actions can align to best manifest energy.

Manifest energy

Goddess of the Year

For a few years now, I’ve worked with Amy Palko’s fabulous My Word Goddess Readings. Available until 31 January 2018 for this year, they are a deep and spiritual insight into guiding Goddess energies for the year. It’s a way of learning about Goddesses and their energy too. I’ve just engaged in two inspiring events as part of the amazing Goddess Roadtrip when it came to Sydney. So I am feeling so energised about how Goddesses energy and divine feminine guides can be pivotal in our lives, creativity and businesses.

Last year I worked with Pele, Goddess of Irrepressible Passion, and it was all about getting back to being wholehearted and what I love as the driving force for my life. And encouraging others to honour this same journey. This year, I’m working with the crone energy of Hecate, the Goddess of the Crossroads and Compassionate Witnessing. Goodness knows this is a year of crossroads as my I face redundancy and finally embark on the creative professional career I have been desiring and shaping for so long. My new creativity and career coaching business is fuelled by a spirit of compassionate witnessing. So I look forward to working with Hecate this year in my life coaching and writing work in the world and with you here.

manifest energy

Word of the Year

Setting a word for the year is another valuable practice that helps manifest energy and intention. Susannah Conway has a Find Your Word for 2018! workbook that can support you in this process. The practice is also included in Amy Palko’s Goddess work above, in line with the manifest energy of specific guiding goddesses. Or your word might be something that evolves naturally out of your experiences – something you are searching for or that is searching for you.

My word for 2018 is JOY. After the most challenging of years in 2017 supporting my mother in her tough battle with metastatic breast cancer and with her sad passing away on Christmas Day, joy has been so hard to come by. I just gave Christmas spirit generally a pretty wide berth last year. Balancing even the thought of joy with grief is hard to countenance at present. But I know that finding deeper joy, playfulness, fun, laughter and happiness again are all central to this year’s journey.

This wasn’t a hard choice this year despite the contradictions. I didn’t need to work through a workbook or think too much. My daughter gave me this gorgeous card, made from hand-painted Egyptian papyrus at Christmas so that sealed the deal in the most lovely of synchronous ways. This beautiful card sits above me as I write here at my desk as a reminder of my focus for this year in everything I do.

Manifest energy

So that’s part 1 of how I plan to manifest energy, joy and intention this year. I look forward to sharing more practical tips in my post next week about my toolkit and plan to manifest energy in 2018. This will include coaching, writing, intuitive tools, exercise and the planner I will use – and many other practical resources for making the most of this year’s potential.

I’d love to hear about your Word of the year, Goddess of the year or other supports for how you plan to manifest energy in 2018! Share your tips and plans in the comments or via social media.

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

The courage to show up

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

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

Images by me except for:

Feature image of me planning by the fabulous Lauren at Sol + Co

Image of me at the Goddess Roadtrip initiatory sacred circle honouring the Goddess Isis by the wonderful Priestess and Beautiful You Coaching Academy founder, Julie Parker (so honoured)

planning & productivity writing

NaNoWriMo – 10 lessons on the value of writing each day

November 14, 2017

We now structure our hours not to flee from fear, but to confront it and overcome it. We plan our activities in order to accomplish an aim. And we bring our will to bear so that we stick to this resolution.

Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

I’m doing NaNoWriMo and committing to writing 50,000 words in one month. Here are some lessons on the value of writing each day.

This year I’m doing NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and committing to writing 50,000 words in one month. I’m writing a non-fiction book rather than a novel because I want to write that first up. It’s the practice, accountability and discipline that this activity is all about. I’m finally stepping up into doing the writing I’ve wanted to do for so long.

And it’s working a treat. It’s day 13 as I write this post and I’ve written 22,937 words so far this month, an average of 1,764 words a day. I’ve written 36,736 words in total now on the first draft of my book. Who’s counting? Me – and with great enthusiasm!

UPDATE as at 30 November: 50,274 words this month and 69,346 words on the first draft of my book! I’m a NaNoWriMo winner 🙂

The working title of my book is ‘Wholehearted’ and it’s about wholehearted self-leadership for women in transition. Sound familiar? Yes, there’s certainly an element of memoir and personal narrative in there. I know from my experiences with leadership, self-leadership and learning as a Life Coach and Jung/Myers-Briggs Personality Type practitioner and intuitive tarot reader, that I have a lot to share. And as I write my draft, I realise just how much. Like any writing, my message and learning deepens as I write and I’m discovering more about what I know.

The biggest discovery – creativity over the long-haul

I feel like I sort of tricked myself into NaNoWriMo this year. You see, I wasn’t planning to do it this year except vaguely. In other years, I made it a big thing in my head and then didn’t make much progress. But, this year was different. And I realise, in truth, there has been plenty of creativity, planning and preparing going on for the longest time, so I shouldn’t sell myself short.

Not making a big deal out of it up front helped immensely to take the pressure off and just focus on getting to work. But it turns out I was in a great position to do the writing because of all the time invested in preparation and long-haul creativity. When I stop and reflect, I realise these strategies have been comprehensive, intuitive and practical.

Here’s a list of some of these strategies – and then I’ll take you through my learnings from this to inform your own writing and self-leadership plans.

Strategies for making NaNoWriMo part of a longer creative plan

NaNoWriMo is a focus for one month of the year. It’s a fabulous learning experience and community. Most importantly, it’s a way of focusing our attention on getting writing done and what it feels like. And this is priceless for the breakthrough value.

But it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, nor is it the only time of the year you can write like this. So a real discovery for me this year as I’m working on NaNoWriMo is that I’ve been building this opportunity for a long time.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve worked on in the past year to prepare the ground:

  • Working with a writing coach, Caroline Donahue aka The Book Dr, to work out where my writing sat in relation to my evolving coaching business. I realised it is central, the raison d’être of Quiet Writing and if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be feeling authentic!
  • Preparing an outline for the book which I did in February 2017 and worked on over time on paper and then put into the writing software, Scrivener, adding to it as I went.
  • Having the structure set up in Scrivener so I can write wherever I feel drawn to write but knowing the overall plan (as an INTJ Jung/Myers-Briggs type – I need to see the big picture!)
  • Making a start so I had 10K words written in my draft when I started NaNoWriMo.
  • Working with Dr Ezzie Spencer through her Book Whispering Project on getting my book written in simple and practical terms. This was based on her own experience of writing her book, ‘An Abundant Life‘ in a joyous, clear and productive approach, clear on her whys and attracting abundance into her life and writing, including getting published.
  • Writing my free ebook 36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence. This helped me limber up, work out the practicalities, feel like a writer and also understand my literacy lineage and the way I really wanted to write and tell my story
  • Becoming a Life Coach and Jung/Myers-Briggs Personality Type practitioner and learning the intuitive art of tarot – three key learning goals in my transition journey over the past year
  • Reading tarot each day in my Tarot Narrative journey and sharing it through social media.
  • Reading the key books I needed to read to support my transition journey from teacher and leader in a government organisation to successful Writer, Life Coach and Personality Type practitioner and creative entrepreneur.
  • Connecting with my writing mentor, Sage Cohen, via her book Fierce on the Page. Sage is also doing NaNoWriMo this year and put out a shout out for anyone else doing it so we could support each other on Facebook each day as we write.

Showing up and doing the writing

So yes, I sort of tricked myself by starting without fanfare, but I’ve really been creating a wholehearted plan for self-leadership of my writing for some time. This has made it possible to do the writing.

And through this, I’ve learnt how to show up each day as a priority. This is another thing I’ve been working towards. As I wrote in this piece on showing up, it becomes a practice all of its own. As Steven Pressfield exhorts us in his books, The War of Art and Turning Pro, we have to counter our resistance and make a start. In the end, you just have to turn the corner, change your mindset and put it into practice.

With writing, you can work up to it as I have done by writing each day in other ways. I got back to a practice of Morning Pages this year and it’s made the world of difference to start the day with writing each day. And I committed to my Tarot Narrative practice of reading tarot and oracle and working intuitively and then sharing it. This act of writing and organising myself to tell a story of insight each day based on an intuitive reading has been so powerful. It’s given me the confidence and self-belief to trust my story and intuition. Moreover, it’s been a keystone of my self-leadership. And weaving this into books and quotes has helped to connect with my literary legacy, creative influences and remind me of key thoughts. Sometimes, it’s become the message of the day’s NaNoWriMo writing, intuitively delivered.

In fact, the whole weave of these practices is making the book drafting process possible and real. It’s not something I could have done and realised without the act of writing to realise it.

So here are 10 learnings I’ve gathered from my experiences of writing each day via NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo

10 lessons from NaNoWriMo and writing each day

1 It takes a village

The first thought about what I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo is ‘it takes a village’. You might feel like you are sitting there writing all by yourself and you are at the moment of writing. But behind you and around you, there are all of your influences: your family, friends, experiences, coaches, mentors, all the books you’ve read that helped you, the people who cheer you on, the friends who’ve read your work and given feedback, the ones you could call on at the last minute to say, “help!”. And the people that support you and give you the space and peace to write each day now. Then there are all the podcasts you’ve listened to about how to write and self-publish there supporting you too. For me, for example, this is just about all of the 347 Creative Penn podcasts with the fabulous and inspiring Joanna Penn. I’ve been connecting and building my knowledge and creative community and skills over time through others. It’s true, writing can be a lonely trek. But when you are feeling alone writing, remember the village and community and all the mentors that helped you get there and whose spirit is helping you to write now.

2 Prepare the ground

NaNoWriMo happens in November each year. For me, the trick was to prepare the ground in many ways so it was a natural thing to write steadily each day for this month. This means knowing your topic and focus and the shape of your work. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo before and started with a novel but I had a lot of trouble. I don’t think it was the right piece for me at that time. Prepare the ground by knowing what you are writing and why. Some preliminary research will help to make the most of your writing time invested. And know it doesn’t have to be a novel. Whilst NaNoWriMo does focus on getting novels written and this is great, you can still use the framework and sense of urgency to make progress on other works. These might be memoir, personal narrative and non-fiction. I hope to write a novel next time around from these learnings.

3 Make a plan and have an outline

You could dive in cold without a plan and that might work best as a preference for some. There’s always that dichotomy between plotters and pantsers (who fly by the seat of same). But I think for most people some form of planning helps. I knew what I was going to write and where I was going this month.  I’ve had an outline for this piece of work for a while, adding to it as I thought of new angles and connections. I had an outline on paper in a mind map form and knew the main chapters and key points I wanted to cover. It was easy to transfer that outline to Scrivener as pieces of the plan to focus on. Having worked with Scrivener for my ’36 Books’ work, I had a basic working knowledge of how to make a plan that used this software to its potential.

4 Structure and the big picture helps you be flexible

Having that outline and the big picture helps me know the overall map and where I’m going. With it all there in Scrivener as a detailed plan of content, I can write whichever part feels right to me for that day. Each part is a chunk of approximately 1667 words I write whenever it feels right. I can draw on books I’m reading and my intuitive tarot work, podcasts I’m listening to, what’s in my head and feelings, to focus in on the piece that is calling my heart today. And you could do this with fiction or non-fiction. The structure and process help you be flexible and write according to your heart rather than having to be linear in your approach.

NaNoWriMo

5 Work with your intuition and its tools 

Whilst structure is great, working with your intuition is fabulous too. So a balance between yin and yang, between flowing and structuring works very well. In my work with tarot and oracle each morning, I am tapping intuitively into the guidance beneath the surface of my attention. This can help me with zeroing in on where to write.

For example, yesterday’s Tarot Narrative was about structure and order but being non-attached to outcomes. I was drawn to a quote from Danielle LaPorte in ‘White Hot Truth’:

Desire. Let go. Expect. Trust. All in, and unattached. It’s the paradox of manifestation.

As a result, my writing for yesterday for my book and NaNoWriMo then focused on being nonattached to outcomes in our work in self-leadership. So going with the flow of our intuition, with whatever tools we use, can be valuable inspiration pointing the way.

6 Connect with mentors and coaches

A key part of my strategy for preparing the ground was seeking out coaches and mentors. This helps you with your writing and also working out its place and processes. For example, as part of my Beautiful You certification as a Life Coach, I needed to undergo coaching myself with a certified Beautiful You Life Coach. So I chose to work with a Life Coach who specialises in getting writing done, Caroline Donahue. Caroline is also a Life Coach and Writer, so this was really valuable for working out where these pieces fit and how they guide each other. I reaffirmed that writing is the authentic heart of my business. This earlier connection with a coach helped lay the foundation for my work now. Plus I’ve built up my connection with writing mentors and coaches over time through reading, podcasts, ecourses and online linkage. (see #1 the village!)

7 Skill up via self-learning (find out what you need to know and do it)

As well as coaching, I’ve identified the skills I need to be the writer I want to be. This list of skills is always evolving but I know right now getting my book written and out there is key. And keeping it simple. So I signed up to work with Dr Ezzie Spencer in The Book Whispering Project. This has been pivotal in gaining focus and clarity on my book project. Over the longer term, I’ve worked on my Scrivener skills for a few years now via Learn Scrivener Fast and through practice. Over time and every week, I’ve invested too in learning about writing, creativity, technical aspects of creation, sales and self-publishing via podcasts and books including audiobooks. I’ve been building a knowledge base over time I can put into practice now and into the future.

8 Keep it clear, practical and simple using metrics 

Through NaNoWriMo, I’ve learned the value of keeping things simple, and using tools like daily metrics and graphs to keep on track. I now know I can write 1667 words in under an hour direct into Scrivener. This makes it seem so much more attainable – just finding one hour a day to write. If the day is busy, it’s manageable to see it as two half-hour spots to find somewhere. I use the Pomodoro Tide App to keep time and help me focus. I love this App! Most days I can get the 1667 minimum words down in under two Pomodoro 25 minute cycles. This metric keeps me focused and it feels doable. After I’ve finished writing, I back up my files and add the day’s count to my NaNoWriMo graph so I can feel like I’ve achieved. There are badges to help me celebrate progress and I can record my achievement in practical terms. I can see that this focus on metrics is a practice you can use all year round to write much more regularly.

 

NaNoWriMo

9 Connect with supporters and be accountable

Working with The Book Whispering Project also emphasised accountability. I was encouraged to be clear about what I was doing and why and how many words I planned to do by when. One of my fellow learners was also planning to do NaNoWriMo so we’ve linked up and had quiet email chats on the way through. And at the same time my long time writing mentor, Sage Cohen, put out a call for anyone in her community wanting to jump off the NanoWriMo bridge together for support. That has been so awesome for encouragement and connection with other NaNoWriMo writers via a private Facebook book. Plus NaNoWriMo has its own accountability and support processes. Connecting with others on the same road has been an excellent way to share and celebrate process and progress. Being accountable in both public and private ways helps boost our commitment to getting the work done.

10 I am so grateful

And a central piece in all of this is that I am so grateful. I might be a woman who loves writing, sitting there on my own writing quietly. But I am surrounded by the love, support, friendship, influence and wisdom of all my teachers, mentors, coaches, friends, fellow creatives and supporters. For this, I am extremely grateful and I look forward to sharing my learning and writing shaped from all of these experiences. The book I am writing is about self-leadership. A key component of this is acknowledging our influences and being grateful for them. Taking our influences forward in wholehearted ways is a spiralling adventure we can all engage in to help others.

So thank you to everyone reading for your support – I am so grateful. I hope these insights have been useful for you in making your voice heard in the world. I’ll let you know how I can get on for the rest of the month but I’m feeling positive. Remember too that these practices can be part of your practice any day or month of the year. The learnings from NaNoWriMo can be instructive for writing all year round. And I hope to write that novel next. So let’s spiral up in our creativity together!

When you start creating for and in honor of those that have made a difference to you, your work changes.

Seth Godin, Dedicating the merit

 

NaNoWriMo

Thought pieces

Here are some links to key influences mentioned in this piece and some great NaNo inspiration:

NatNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – there’s plenty of inspiration and resources – and you can follow my word count here

Dr Ezzie Spencer – The Book Whispering Project

Caroline Donahue, Life Coach  – Secret Library podcast episode – Crushing NaNoWriMo

Joanna Penn – Want to win NaNoWriMo this year? 7 Tips on Writing and Productivity – some excellent tips on NaNo from Joanna who went from one month of writing her novel in 2009 via NaNoWriMo to having 15 novels and many other books published. Plus there’s a great writing bundle available for this month.

Feature image of me is via David Kennedy Photography and the map and computer images are from pexels.com. All used with permission and thanks.

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free ebook on the 36 Books that Shaped my Storyjust sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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Creative and connected #12 – The courage to show up

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

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

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Doing the work: 21 valuable quotes to help you show up

September 26, 2017

doing the work

As I was working on my post, 20 Practical Ways of Showing Up and Being Brave (and Helpful), I went back to my collection of quotes to consider different angles of showing up and doing the work. This was such a valuable exercise in itself, so I thought I’d share the quotes that popped up.

They tell a story about the different dimensions of doing your work. As a collection, they highlight values such as courage, action, uncertainty, mindfulness, prioritising, soulfulness, mystery and trust. I flag these many dimensions of doing your work here too to inspire you from all these angles.

Which one resonates with you the most right now?

1 INFLUENCE

Don’t underestimate the extraordinary effect you have every single time you show up to a situation with an open, loving heart.

Scott Stabile, in Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart

2 MINDFULNESS

Let’s pay attention only to where we are.
There’s only enough beauty in being here and not somewhere else.

Fernando Pessoa, in A Little Larger than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems

3 COURAGE

So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?

Elizabeth Gilbert, in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

4 ACTION SPEAKS

You are what you’ll do, not what you’ll say you’ll do.

Carl Jung

5 UNIQUENESS

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art – Inspirational Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts

6 BE YOURSELF

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

7 FOCUS ON ESSENTIALS

I can’t think of anything else necessary to a writer except a story and the will and ability to tell it.

John Steinbeck, Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters

8 LISTEN WITHIN

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address

9 HARD WORK

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Stephen King, from an interview in the London Independent (March 10, 1996)

10 SOULFULNESS

The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.

Caroline Myss

11 UNPLUG

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Anne Lamott, TED Talk

12 BE SEEN

Courage starts by showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

13 DO IT NOW

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

14 PRIORITISE

What’s important is the work. That’s the game I have to suit up for. That’s the field on which I have to leave everything I’ve got.

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

15 CONSISTENCY

I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.

Somerset Maugham (as quoted in The War of Art – see #16).

16 FACE RESISTANCE

In terms of Resistance, Maugham was saying, “I despise Resistance; I will not let it faze me; I will sit down and do my work.”

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

17 TRUST MYSTERY

The professional trusts the mystery, He knows that the Muse always delivers. She may surprise us. She may give us something we never expected.

Steve Pressfield, Turning Pro

18 INTENTION

…that practice must be focused. It must possess intention. Our intention as artists is to get better, go deeper, to work closer and closer to the bone.

Steve Pressfield, Turning Pro

19 DO THE BASICS

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcuts.

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

20 UNCERTAINTY

Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.

Bob Goff

21 PRACTICE

Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.

Martha Graham

Which quote sings to you? Or share your own special quote!

I’d love to know which words sing to you the loudest right now!

Or share your own special quotes that motivate you in showing up and doing the work, day in and day out.

Let’s create a whole army of inspiration to help us (or make us) do the work.

Share your story in the comments below or on Instagram or Facebook!

Feature image from pexels.com

Below pic features my desk inspiration with card #42 The Word Wants to be Written from the Sacred Rebels Oracle Deck.

Note also: the nearly empty bottle of ink – work has been done!!

doing the work

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You might also enjoy:

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

Creative and connected #12 – the courage to show up

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

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

inspiration & influence planning & productivity

20 practical ways of showing up and being brave (and helpful)

September 19, 2017

You are what you do, not what you’ll say you’ll do.

Carl Jung

showing up

Showing up and being brave

This is all about practical ways to show up and be brave. Because it needs to be talked about so we can all show up more, be brave, share our experiences and celebrate them.

Each time we show up – personally, creatively and in support of others – it gets easier to do it again, more often and in a deeper way. Every time, one of us shows up and is vulnerable, it helps and encourages others to do the same. And it involves action at its heart.

Tara Mohr says that her frustration is:

Brilliant women playing small. Women like you, with dreams they want to pursue and ideas they want to share.

Brené Brown says:

You have to make a choice: am I going to show up and be seen?

So here are 20 practical ways of showing up and being seen. Because each time we act, it makes it easier for ourselves and others to do the same.

I hope that it inspires you to show up and be a little braver each time in all that you are doing. Know too that it’s not a selfish act. It’s a way of helping others, showing the way and opening the door.

showing up

20 practical ways of showing up 

1 Support others who are not well or who are struggling

  • Supporting others and learning with them on the journey has to be one of the biggest and most important ways of showing up.
  • It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives, but reach out, do what you can, make time, pick up the phone, send a note or a book. Support people practically and let them know you are thinking of them.

2 Hold space for others

  • Simply holding space for others – listening, witnessing, being there, asking questions – is so powerful.
  • It’s something I’ve learned through caring for my mother and through my coaching program this past year.
  • Having space held for me and holding it for others has been a huge support and source of growth, teaching me so much.

3 Make time for self-care 

  • Showing up for both yourself and others involves an investment in self-care.
  • It might be regular practices like yoga or meditation, exercise, knowing when to rest or making time for what lights you up.
  • Make time for practices that energise you in line with your personality. It could be finding time to read alone if you are a more introverted person. If you are more extraverted, self-care might mean connecting with friends and going out.
  • A huge learning for me this year has been about how self-care is a critical part of caring for others. Just like the adage of putting your own oxygen mask on first, we need to feed our own wellbeing to be helpful to others.

4 Set learning goals and achieve them

  • Identify learning goals that will help you reach your long-term goals and commit to them.
  • You can set smaller goals, like spending 30 minutes each day on an online program you’ve invested in or working through a book to learn new skills.
  • Set your learning goals and work towards them incrementally, knowing the direction.

5 Gain certification or qualifications to strengthen your knowledge and help others

  • Linked to the above, another way of showing up is to study to gain certification or qualifications.
  • This requires commitment and working week by week over time, making sacrifices and putting in the effort, but it’s so satisfying!
  • This past year I completed my Beautiful You Coaching Academy Life Coaching program. A key part of my life transition plan, I’m now a very proud Beautiful You Life Coach.
  • Whatever it is you need to know and develop, look at options to gain the skills you need. They can be in formal or less formal ways; both are important options.

6 Honour your personality and deepen your gifts

  • Honour your special natural attributes and skills, by recognising them, paying attention to them and investing in them.
  • Find out more about your personality and how to work your strengths. Personality wise, it could be introversion or extraversion; sensing or intuition; thinking or feeling. Talent wise, it might be writing, photography, sewing or art.
  • This past year, I learned more about Tarot as a way of honouring my personality and deepening my gift of Introverted Intuition.
  • Susannah Conway’s 78 Mirrors course helped me deepen my knowledge of tarot as an intuitive tool.

7 Develop your gifts and talents by practicing them consistently

  • Once you’ve identified your strengths and talents, one of the best ways to show up is to practice them.
  • Tarot and oracle have become deep personal practices that I work with regularly, flexing my intuition. I share my Tarot Narratives each day on Instagram, linked to books and quotes.
  • If you are working on writing, show up by writing each day. It might be morning pages, a set number of words, an amount of time, or a unit that makes sense to you. But whatever it is, put it into practice.
  • As Stephen King reminds us:

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

8 Connect on social media as a way of showing up and practice 

  • Social media gets a bad rap as a time waster. And it’s true, you can waste a lot of time there if it’s unfocused. But connecting on social media can be a beautiful way to show up for yourself and your creativity. It can also be powerful in supporting and helping others.
  • I’ve shown up on social media – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter mostly – over time because I value it immensely as a way of connecting with kindred creatives, growing the Quiet Writing community and learning from my connections.
  • Whether it’s sharing creative practices, books, tarot readings, the detail around you, the landscapes or streetscapes of your environment – it’s all a way of expressing you.
  • The community I connect with on Instagram has been such a creative and emotional support for years now. I likewise offer this support to them. Many of us have become close friends even though we’ve never met. Some of us have had the great pleasure of meeting in real life!

9 Commit to blogging, reading or other accountability practices regularly 

  • If you’re a creative, you can show up via commitment to a pattern of accountable, regular practice.
  • Showing up has an aspect of accountability. It might be books read on Goodreads, blog posts on your blog, social media over time or working quietly with an accountability group behind the scenes.
  • I’ve blogged for 7 years now but always struggled with consistency. This year, I’ve posted 1-2 times each week. It’s been a challenge but I’ve committed to it and talked about it.
  • Reading can also be an exercise in accountability and productivity practice.
  • Try to find a practice and metric that works for you and be accountable.

10 Write about your story

  • Be authentic and write your story. This helps others feel less alone and encourages them to do the same.
  • I’ve written about my journey of becoming more wholehearted this year on Quiet Writing, encouraging others to do so too.
  • From that, I’ve encouraged other women to share their wholehearted stories with 12 women coming forward to guest post on Quiet Writing in 2017-18. We will create an e-book together on our wholehearted stories to help others discover and share their own.
  • Each story opens the door for others. It might be a blog post, a novel, a poem or a memoir. Telling your story will help you work out so much – just as it will help others to read your experiences.

showing up

11 Write for others, guest post and stretch your audiences

  • Embrace your ability to draw on your experiences and knowledge to write for others such as via guest posting.
  • It’s a way of showing up for yourself because you have to ask yourself: What do I know? What have I experienced? What can I share? How can I help others?
  • It pushes your boundaries, stretches you and helps makes connections across your areas of knowledge and experience.
  • Powerful stuff, it makes you more visible and builds your audience as well. Here’s a guest post I wrote on a subject dear to my heart: leadership, self-leadership, and solitude.

12 Write and publish or self-publish

  • Write with a view to publishing whether it be on your blog, for a publisher or self-publishing.
  • It’s all valid and more than that, it’s a path to ways of earning income, developing your voice and getting your work out there.
  • Over time, I wrote 36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence, a personal narrative of the books that have impacted my story. It’s 25,000 words and is available free for Quiet Writing readers. It’s a gift but I also learned so much from it.
  • Self-publishing is not just vanity publishing anymore; it’s a very real way to be read, build business and skill, and seek further publishing options.
  • As Joanna Penn says on your publishing options:

The publishing world is exploding with opportunity right now…and many authors are finding new ways to build a career with self-publishing, traditional publishing or a hybrid combination of the two.

13 Communicate and connect with others especially kindred creatives

  • Connect with special kindred souls whether it be via your newsletter, in your social media exchanges or through sharing posts and books.
  • Create ways people can communicate with you and be accessible if your aim is visibility.
  • People want to communicate with you as a creative human being however you can make that work for you and others.
  • If you do find someone who you connect with as a kindred creative, reach out to them in some way. It can feel vulnerable, but it’s worth the risk. You never know what might evolve from showing up in this way. Some of my best collaborations and connections have developed from one of us doing exactly that!

14 Commit to working on energy healing and spiritual areas

  • Working on energy healing and spiritual development is integral to personal growth and self-care.
  • I’ve committed to working on my intuitive skills as well as healing and working with guides to support my growth and creativity. I work with the magical energetic healer Amber Adrian.
  • Find what works for you in energy and spiritual realms. Whether it’s prayer, angels, crystals, tarot, oracle, channeling, church or working with the cycles of the moon – working with these connections is supportive in managing our energy, healing, breaking through barriers and being authentic.
  • And it’s time to shed any concerns about what people think about this. As Ruby Warrington says in Material Girl, Mystical World, it’s time to come out of the spiritual closet.

15 Work through a life coaching series 

  • Working through a life coaching series is a fabulous way to show up for yourself and others.
  • Coaching is goal-driven and action-oriented. You’re in the driver’s seat and are responsible for showing up and doing the actions.
  • You can have an excellent coach, but unless you do the work, there won’t be much personal progress.
  • As part of the Beautiful You program, I’ve worked hard on coaching goals of balancing self-care with the care of others and of juggling writing and coaching as twin goals in Quiet Writing.
  • I’ve learned so much too from the experiences of my Pro Bono Life Coaching clients as they have learned through a life coaching series with me.

16 Connect with family members including through family history research

  • Making time for family and ancestry is a way of showing up for yourself and others you are connected with over time.
  • My family and family history is important. I’m committed to understanding the stories of the people who came before me.
  • This helps to keep family, family history research and ancestral connections alive and can teach you so much about yourself and your heritage.

17 Work with or for other people in line with your values

  • Whether it’s paid, pro bono, volunteer, in the home or outside, how are you working with or for other people?
  • How do the experiences and outcomes validate you and show that you are on the right path and have much to give?
  • If it’s not feeling right, how else could you work with and for other people to grow in a different direction?
  • Think about how you are aligned or how you can be better aligned so you can show up for what is of value to you.

18 Work through the practicalities of health and well-being issues

  • Our health is an evolving and changing issue and one we need to honour and show up around, whether it’s in public or private ways. There’s no point putting your head in the sand about your health – physical, emotional and mental health.
  • You don’t have to share what’s not comfortable but on the flip side, if we all stay quiet, what is the impact of this?
  • Consider: How are you showing up on the health issues in your life and how are you addressing them? How are you taking responsibility for any changes and understanding them? What actions are you taking? What support is there? How can you connect with others and with information on health issues? Are you reaching out for help if you need it? How are you showing up for others?
  • As well as caring for my mum who is unwell, I’ve been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, this year as well as osteoarthritis. I’m asthmatic and the flu hit me twice quite badly. I’m usually well so it’s been a challenge all round!
  • Working through the practicalities of all this with tests, learning, treatments, and reading, I’ve aimed to understand the meaning of these changes in my life.
  • I’m not saying I have it all sorted by any stretch, but being authentic, honest and open about these issues will help me a lot more than pretending they don’t exist.

19 Identify your body of work in the world

  • Whether it’s the job you are in now or the job you are heading to or if you are self-employed or working for others, identify your skills and body of work in the world.
  • Consider: How have you shown up over time in roles and with skills that matter? How have you made a difference? What are the special skills you bring to the world?
  • Think about how you can develop and take this body of work forward to help others.

20 Identify the core themes in your business or life’s work

  • I’ve worked on my new Quiet Writing business and its core concepts – its focus, key tenets, proposed offerings, how I can serve people.
  • I know its focus is ‘wholehearted self-leadership’ based on my own experiences.
  • Being connected, creative, flowing, intuitive and poetic are core values of my brand.
  • Consider: What are the core themes in your business or life’s work? What are the threads that tie this story together? How can you serve others from all that you have learned?
  • Think about how you can show up in your business or creativity to help others.

showing up

Showing up is not just about us

It’s not just about us and our own experiences. Self-leadership is where it starts but each of these actions impacts and enables others. We can never know our full influence. A key part of showing up is trusting that our work makes a difference to others. Whether it’s what we write, our intuitive work, tarot readings shared, social media inspiration, communicating with and caring for loved ones or holding space.

My Tarot Narrative work started as a practice just for me but as I was doing the work, I thought I might as well share it. Each day I receive messages of how my intuitive work helps others. This means so much to me and deepens my commitment and practice.

It starts with each one of us but it’s not all about us. It’s about being of service to others and inspiring others as well.

So share your story…

How are you showing up in the world?

  • Where have you stretched a little this past year to show up, hold space, reach out, learn, put your creative work into the world?
  • When you have showed up and been vulnerable, how did it help others?
  • How could you be a little braver?
  • Where would it be of benefit to show up more?
  • How could your showing up more be helpful to others?

Share your story in the comments below or on IG or Facebook!

Feature image and open door image from pexels.com

Clivias are in my garden and the flowers were from my mum x

Keep in touch & free ebook on the ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

You can download my free 95-page ebook on th36 Books that Shaped my Story – just sign up with your email address in the box to the right or below You will also receive updates from Quiet Writing and its passions. This includes personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

The courage to show up

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

How to write a blog post when you have almost no time

coaching personality and story planning & productivity

Creative and connected #12 The courage to show up

September 15, 2017

Courage starts by showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

show up

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

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

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected.

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

Showing up at Quiet Writing and elsewhere this year

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts on what it means to show up

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

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

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

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

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

Action assuages fear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

show up

Books and reading notes: My reading week

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

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

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

Book and blog notes on the courage to show up

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

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

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

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

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

Brené Brown: Daring Greatly, Rising Strong

Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic

Stephen King: On Writing

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

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

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

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Social media interactions

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

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

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

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

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

Share your thoughts:

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

Have a fabulous creative weekend.

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

Feature image and desktop pic via pexels.com

Keep in touch

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You might also enjoy:

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

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

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