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inspiration & influence introversion intuition

Exploring magic as the heart of creative inspiration

January 22, 2018

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Roald Dahl

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: exploring magic!

Exploring magic

Theme for the week beginning 15 January

The theme for this week to guide our overall focus is from Lisa McLoughlin’s Life Design Cards. With their emphasis on ‘weave a different story’, these cards align so well with Quiet Writing’s focus on ‘creating your story’.

The theme and card for this week is 48Stay bewitched by your own consciousness

Exploring magic

This card immediately made me think of ‘introverted Intuiting’ – a cognitive function that tends to be the primary way of working for INTJ and INFJ Jung/Myers-Briggs personality types, but one that we all can access for perspective and meaning-making.

As neuroscientist, Dario Nardi, describes it in his book, ‘8 Keys to Self-Leadership’:

At the core of introverted Intuiting is a metaperspective – the highest level or the most flexible frame of mind or form of behaviour that each of us currently has access to. One metaperspective is our own mind’s workings: we can shut out the world, quiet our minds, and ask our unconscious to take us to a new level of awareness. (p73)

Key to introverted Intuiting is focusing on and working in the language of “symbols, archetypes, totems, and their abstractions, such as visual models.” (p 73).

This week calls us to work from inside ourselves, go deeply, find our own language and symbolism and play with creative inspiration, exploring magic.

As the guidebook for Life Design Cards suggests for this card: “Through meditation, observe your mind observing the world. Play out creative inspiration with art, pure fantasy and dreams.

So in terms of themes for this week, it’s a good time for exploring magic via collage, poetry, looking at symbols in our lives and businesses, making art and seeing where our intuition takes us for creative inspiration.

Tarot Narrative for the week beginning 22 January

Exploring magic

Tarot Narrative: Exploring the magic of creativity

You’re at the end of one part of your journey, completing key steps, signing off, finishing up. You’re also at the portal of a new adventure with opportunities opening up. At this time, root and ground yourself in the stillness of creative inspiration and the flow of your inner mind and intuition. You’re broadening out with confidence, initiating projects, capturing ideas from the fertile soil of within. Work boldly with intuition and discipline as your guides now.

Reading notes: Cards: Knight of Swords and King of Cups from the Sakki Sakki Tarot and #45 Time To Go from Wisdom of the Oracle.

Book notes:

…we do all this because it fulfills us and makes our hearts sing. But when we explore the deeper reasons behind this time and effort, there is something even more important than what these pursuits do for us, and that is our desire to shine a light in the world that others might need to take their own daring leaps.

Christine Mason Miller, Desire to Inspire: Using creative passion to transform the world (p10)

Are you finding ideas are coming to you easily lately like it’s a very fecund and fertile time? I  certainly am and the challenge is to catch these thoughts before they disappear or we forget them. It’s easy to think we will remember a key concept or intuitive connection, only to find we don’t later as our perspective shifts. So frustrating.

Only yesterday, I found myself capturing ideas for a Quiet Writing ecourse. This has been the plan for a while as a signature piece for Quiet Writing and it’s something I’ve worked on before over time. But it came together really clearly yesterday and I can see it as a whole. Importantly though, I had I had to stop and take the time to listen within and feel that ‘desire to inspire’.

Exploring magic

Exploring magic

I’ve had to realise too this is no longer just about me; it’s about how I can share my experience and help others shine. As I move on in my life to a new way of working as a career and creativity coach, I need to connect the dots of my experience and share what makes my heart sing to benefit others.

The word ‘magic’ keeps popping up too.

I need to be exploring magic in the heart of creative inspiration and believing in that magic, as Roald Dahl reminds us in the words above from his last story, ‘The Minpins’.

This is my favourite quote of all time because it captures the interplay between what we see and notice and connect. And then how we bring it to life in our quiet spaces and creative work to enrich the lives of others as well as ourselves. It is the heart of it all really, certainly the heart of Quiet Writing and the coaching and writing that sit within its focus.

So for this week, it’s a great time for digging deep into your introverted Intuiting perspective and seeing what surfaces in stillness or creative play. Taking that time to journal, work with visuals, mindmap, play with symbolism or write poetry can be a rich way to connect disparate themes into something new. And make sure you are balancing that internal, introspective work with a touch of Knight of Swords boldness and action!

I’d love to hear if you are feeling these introverted creative energies and possibilities too and what is coming up from within as magic you can share with others. What practices seem to be working for you for helping those pieces connect and shine in new forms?

All best wishes for this week for enjoying the pleasure of intuitive creativity and exploring magic. And let me know what you think of this post and the idea of weekly Tarot Narratives!

📷 by Lauren, Sol + Co

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You might also enjoy:

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

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

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

inspiration & influence intuition

How to write a new story in positive ways – Gemini Full Moon Tarot Reading

December 9, 2017

“The world needs a new story. Each of us needs a new story.”

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology


new story

“So find your tribe who shares your story and loves you for it! If you live out your story well, you will attract other people out of that dark, dead-end story into their own heart-stories.”

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology

The Gemini Full Moon encourages us to write the new story of our lives. This reading reflects on ways to tell this new story and step through any fear.

Here are some thoughts on this Full Moon in Gemini from Mystic Mamma to set the scene for the energies available to us:

With Mercury just having turned retrograde, there is much to reflect on. This is a healing time as well as a time of self-mastery where we have an opportunity to cleanse our perceptions and open up to a new way. Time to upgrade our thinking and remember that we are free to perceive our experience in what ever way we choose.

Those final words above speak so powerfully to me now: “that we are free to perceive our experience in what ever way we choose.” Sometimes we forget the role our perceptions play. We have the ability to choose to create our story. One of my favourite quotes of all time is Peter Drucker’s:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Gemini Full Moon energies

This Full Moon has powerful energies for writing and rewriting our story and creating our future. We can choose to connect with fear as our story. Or we can choose to see it as a story of love. It’s all about perspective, self-mastery, self-leadership and feeling like an active player in our lives instead of a passive recipient of circumstances. Whatever happens, we have choice in how we respond and how we find power and resourcefulness. And being our best or dream self can help create a more positive future – for us and others.

As Cathy Pagano reminds us in her post:

What have you discovered that can change your beliefs about yourself and the world? What new story comes to you as you shed your old story?…This is all about the stories we tell ourselves about life. Too often we gather facts that support our point of view so we don’t have to change our old story.

This made me think of Colette Baron-Reid’s fabulous definition of FEAR in her oracle cards as False Evidence Appearing Real.’

We can tell ourselves any narrative we like. But with these energies, it’s time to create powerful authentic stories of the heart. Through this, we can connect with our heart tribe and community and help others tell their stories.

This is what Wholehearted Stories is all about here at Quiet Writing: wholehearted self-leadership and authentic, heartfelt storytelling so we can create new more powerful stories. Writing out how we have seen and experienced can be a way to get to the heart of the story we really want to live. This might be the one appearing in our shadow careers or trying to write itself in the margins of our life. And this storytelling can help others to recognise, shape and tell their story.

The current energies help us to write a new personal story in more positive ways.

Gemini Full Moon connections

Working with tarot via Tarot Narrative each day helps me to align with my intuition and with that of others. I’m also working with the cycles of the moon and intentions in each cycle to support my creativity. I’m fascinated with how the messages connect up across these intuitive practices and with those of other people.

As I write, the Page of Fire (Wands) from The Good Tarot has turned up twice in two days, followed by the Page of Water (Cups) with messages around beginning new adventures. It is as if we need to rewrite the story or see it from a fresh perspective to take advantage of these energies right now.

Even if you have felt, like I have this year, that circumstances can be overwhelming, we can always choose how we respond. We can also choose when to respond. I love this quote from Pindar’s Odes in the front of Anne Deveson’s book ‘Resilience’ :

In time the wind sags, and we hoist new sails.

So it’s all about new stories, new sails and new adventures right now as we head into the end of 2017. It’s all about the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.

Gemini Full Moon tarot reading tools:

For my reading for the Gemini Full Moon, I worked with:

This Full Moon in Gemini tarot spread by Sam Roberts aka @escapingstars on Instagram:

Deck wise, I worked with the Sakki Sakki Tarot deck by Monicka Clio Sakki, my favourite tarot deck especially for questions about creativity.

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

new story

This is another big and deep spread with eight cards like last month’s Taurus Full Moon reading. THE LOVERS was an interesting card to see arriving first up and had also recently appeared in my Tarot Narrative readings. This card speaks of choosing self-love in our relationship with ourselves. It also emphasises following our heart.

There are few swords appearing in the reading too, just as there have been many swords lately in my daily readings. In this reading, they are:

  • KING of SWORDS suggesting analytical creativity and focusing on how we use our mind
  • THREE of SWORDS reminding us about getting to the heart of things especially at challenging times.
  • NINE of SWORDS with thoughts around where we might be giving air-time to negative stories.

To balance this, there are also three RODS or WANDS in the reading:

  • QUEEN of RODS – emphasising how we actually live out our creative dreams
  • ACE of RODS – focusing on commencing action and rebooting
  • SEVEN of RODS – all about standing strong and standing up for ourselves and our story

Element-wise, it’s nearly all fire and air, fitting in with all the phoenix energy around lately as we rise from the ashes of negative stories and find new ways to live and focus.

There’s an absence of water and not a lot of earth, suggesting emotion is perhaps lacking or sitting beneath the surface of our days. There’s a clue there as to how to balance things a little more.

As always, a fabulous Tarot Narrative with these initial clues – so let’s dive into the fuller reading.

Tarot reading – card by card:

So here are some deeper thoughts, card by card, in relation to the questions. I worked intuitively with guidance from my own Tarot Journal as well as the Sakki Sakki tarot guidebook Playing with Symbols and Jessa Crispin’s fabulous book The Creative Tarot. Then connected back with the key energies highlighted for this Full Moon via the Mystic Mamma post and aligned posts. Messages from my daily readings are also always high in my mind.

1 What is pulling me in one direction? THE LOVERS

Yes, it’s my passions, my loves, my heart and saying yes to possibilities. It’s the desire for completion and the telling of new stories. In ‘Jung and Tarot’, Sallie Nicholls quotes Plato calling Eros:

the desire and pursuit of the whole.

She also says that “as with any archetype, to live out this instinctual force on the outside without assimilating its meaning can result in imbalance.”

This is what Quiet Writing is about – my own wholehearted story. It’s finding my tribe and connections around this, living out my story well to connect with others. And in this to support others to tell and live their story positively. It’s definitely heart and story work that I am working on here. But it needs to be balanced – both heart and mind.

2 What is pulling me in the other direction? KING of SWORDS

Well, yes, it’s my head, my mind, the intellectual side of the equation. This past year has had so much happening around ‘head vs heart’ and learning to work with both in a balanced way. This card here suggests there is still a lot of pull going on around this dynamic!

The King of Swords is a strong card of analytical intellect and creativity. It’s about working with words and clarity of thought. Above all, it’s about putting knowledge into practice. The challenge is blending the heart and mind together, managing this polarity into a more seamless way of working. I am much better at it but this reading suggests there is more work to do in this space now.

Just as we can go overboard with too much emotion or feeling, we can also go the other way with leading with the intellect and leaving the heart out of it. I know this is something I need to be aware of as an INTJ personality type where intellect and logical analysis often rule.

3 How can I best find the balance between the two? SEVEN of RODS

This card for this question speaks to me of needing to stand strong in myself and for what I believe in. It’s about backing myself and my Quiet Writing story, and our wholehearted stories.

It’s so easy to scope out our vision and then doubt it or question it. “Who am I to do this?” we can second guess ourselves. As Jessa Crispin says for this card: “Sometimes you have to fight yourself down, too.”

Combining what I love and am passionate about with putting it into action through words is the way to balance heart and mind now. Standing strong in my vision for myself and my new life, I write a new story I can step into, believe in and share with others.

4 Which facet of my life is not fitting with the others?   QUEEN OF RODS

This card flummoxed me a bit here. The Queen of Rods (Wands) is all about embodying passion and creativity. It’s about going after what we want and living our dreams, being the Queen of them.

On reflection, I think this card here is saying that I am holding back a little with my emotions and passions. Intellectually, I know where I want to go with my new story and Quiet Writing business. Possibly in line with my ice maiden, Virgo, INTJ personality, I can be and come across cooler than I feel. So maybe it’s saying to warm up, to embody passion and creativity more. “A woman of heart and mind”, as Joni Mitchell phrases it, sings to me of poetry and really expressing my heart more in how I work and communicate.

This balance of heart and mind possibly needs a bit more warmth in how it expresses itself in the world. My word of the year for 2017 is PASSION. There’s a clue as we wrap up this year. Perhaps time to reflect on how passion is playing out in my life and where I can express myself more. I do tend to hold back a little and can err on the side of understating my feelings. Time to write more heart into my story.

Can you relate to this balance between heart and mind and working out the right balance for you? Your story might be different but this push me/pull me feeling can be a strong one to work through but is valuable to learn from.

5 What illusions must I shatter before I go forward? TEN of COINS

The Ten of Coins (Pentacles) speaks brightly of prosperity and positivity. It suggests material success and how we are manifesting and attracting abundance. Further, it is about true riches in this such as community, connection and a sense of belonging.

This is suggesting I need to shatter some illusions about being comfortable with attracting abundance and being fulfilled in this new story. There’s been so much change in my life and I have been focusing so much on transition and building a new future. I need to remember to enjoy what is here now: new friends, community, connections so rich, the prosperity I have now. And also to be open to more of that abundance in every way as part of this new story.

As The Art of Life Tarot reminds us for this card:

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.”

John Petit Senn

6 What truths will emerge as the Moon rises? THREE of SWORDS 

Along with all this balance between heart and mind, it’s about getting to the heart of the matter. It’s about making sense of grief, loss, release and feeling your way to acknowledging pain. This card is always so visceral to me – like you can feel the pain of it. But the Three of Swords is about the meaning of pain and disappointment and how we overcome difficulties.

For me, this has been an ongoing journey this year in the battle of heart and mind and working more seamlessly or in a balanced way. Certainly a lot of the truths this year have been about accepting situations of loss and pain and learning from them. I welcome more wisdom in this area as I continue on this journey.

7 What beliefs trap me and how can I release them? ACE of RODS

We can make things seem very hard by over-stating how hard they are.

The importance of commencing action and just starting is important now and in this coming cycle. Part of the challenge is the negative stories we can tell ourselves making things harder than they need to be. NaNoWriMo taught me a lot about this in the past month. I learnt that I can write 1,667 words in under an hour. And that in an hour a day over a month, I can write 50,000 words.

So if my aim is to write, the best thing is to just start and work through that one hour each day as I write my story. Combining heart and mind, it’s about believing in our story and getting it down in practical terms as well. It’s the energy to start and ignite my passions as I imagine them. AND bring them together King of Swords style into real-life heart work in the world.

How often do we not start something because it seems so difficult? And then when we do start, we often find it’s not so hard at all.

8 What messages does the Universe have for this new phase? NINE of SWORDS

The Nine of Swords highlights where we are giving oxygen to fears especially through our thoughts. Again in that heart and mind balance, this is can be about turning certain thoughts off and focusing on how real our fears are. (Think FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.’).

To balance potential fear-mongering in our minds, look at the facts of the situation and what evidence there is. What is real and what is just fear? And how can we turn on the light of joy in the story of our lives more? Look at where you have worst-case scenario stuff churning in your head. See how you can rewrite this story into a more realistic and positive one.

new story

Ways to step into your new life story

So are your thoughts also on how to step into a new more positive life story?

Here are some practical questions prompted by the Gemini Full Moon and reflections on my reading. They build on the recent Taurus Full Moon reading and  Aries Full Moon reading around stepping up into our truth. The key focus now is on how we can write our new story in a positive light, leaving fear behind. We can also incorporate learnings from challenges to make meaning of loss, pain and disappointment. Working through this, we can share our experiences with others in a wholehearted way. From this, we create more positive stories and can help others on their journey as well.

Journal, reflect or brainstorm around these questions to help write your new story at this time:

  • Where are you feeling pulled in one direction or another?
  • How can you balance the polarities – whether it be ‘head and heart’ or something else?
  • If feeling fear, is this helping you and how much of it is based on fact?
  • Where the fear is real, how can you act to minimise its impact?
  • What stories have you been telling yourself that are not serving you anymore?
  • Where would it be helpful to write a new story about your skills, knowledge, experience?
  • How can you cultivate joy in this storytelling?
  • What new story would you love to write in your life or in your art?
  • What beliefs or fears are stopping you from writing this story?

Another journalling activity that can be quite telling is to write about our life in fairy tale language. Just starting with the words, “Once upon a time,” is a powerful way to tell our story and rewrite it in new ways.

Wisdom from the Nine of Swords

The Nine of Swords is a fairly dark card but speaks to us of how we can make things darker than they really are. The Art of Life Tarot version of the card reminds us via Voltaire that:

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

New story

 

May you rewrite the story of your heart with balance and meaning so you can take action and connect with your tribe. And may your wholehearted self-leadership help you be of service to others!

Thought pieces

This is posted a little later than usual for the Full Moon reading but life is fairly challenging at present behind the scenes. I do write these posts and my daily Tarot Narratives based on my cards and intuitive guidance. And whilst a snapshot in time in line with energies and intuition, the messages, quotes and any wisdom therein is applicable to everyday life any day. Plus I find these Full Moon readings are a lovely marker of the energies in focus and I find they tell their own story as they unfold.

I hope you find some meaning and story for yourself in this post and my intuitive tarot work. It’s a touchstone for me every day and a way of making meaning in my story.

Feature image via shutterstock.com and used with permission and thanks.

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

You might also enjoy:

Aspiring to be what we are and can be – Taurus Full Moon Tarot reading

Authentic ways to act and be in the world – Aries Full Moon Tarot reading

How to step up into our power – Pisces Full Moon Tarot reading

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

transition wholehearted stories

Becoming who I really am – a wholehearted story

November 27, 2017

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.

Carl Jung

Becoming

This guest post from Colleen Reagon shows that becoming who we are is about connecting the narrative and listening to our heart.

This is the fourth guest post in our Wholehearted Stories series on Quiet Writing. I invited readers to consider submitting a guest post on their wholehearted story. You can read more here – and I’m still keen for more contributors! 

Quiet Writing celebrates self-leadership in wholehearted living and writing, career and creativity. This community of voices, with each of us telling our own story of what wholehearted living means, is a valuable and central part of this space. In this way, we can all feel connected on our various journeys and not feel so alone. Whilst there will always be unique differences, there are commonalities that we can all learn from and share to support each other.

I am honoured to have my dear friend, Colleen Reagon, as a ‘Wholehearted Stories’ contributor. Colleen is a long-term reader and supporter of Quiet Writing.  We’ve enjoyed regular connection over time via the creative community of Instagram and recently into the coaching realm, where Colleen was one of my first coaching clients. Colleen and I are kindred souls in many ways and I am so appreciative of her camaraderie on our creative journeys.

My sincere thanks to Colleen for the contribution of her story. I am grateful for the original images Colleen shares in this piece – her photography is such a delight. Colleen’s story is a journey around becoming and connecting knowing and doing. It highlights that whilst there are risks in making change and following through on our desires, it can result in us feeling much more aligned  – read on to find out more!

Beginning the conversation

Although the desire to live a wholehearted life has been with me for a long time, I’ve only
recently stepped onto the path to becoming who I really am.

My husband and I have spent a lifetime in Adelaide — bringing up children, renovating our
bungalow, running a business and pursuing a professional writing life.

About five years ago, the children grown and flown the nest, I found myself out of step with
life. I’d drifted out of working in our business and given up my corporate freelance writing
work, with plans to change direction. Creative non-fiction was luring me. I read books,
completed courses and wrote lists. But I was treading water in a stagnant pond with no way
out. Although I was unhappy with my lot, inertia and halfheartedness kept me company.

My husband and I talked many times about changing our lives. We made decisions, initiated
plans, then allowed our comfortable life to float along. We didn’t have the courage of our
convictions. The smallest obstacle was enough to thwart our plans. Life was too easy.  We
lived comfortably, our business moved along without much effort and we stayed in a rut with
our dreams blowing in the wind.

Until two years ago.

Life was brown — that stagnant pond colour. I felt isolated although I told myself that I
preferred solitude, that I worked well on my own. The trouble was that I wasn’t really
working. I was fiddling around the edges with no real plan and it turned out that my husband
was bored with the business. It was a habit which was weighing him down. We began a new
conversation about changing our life and realised that it was then or never. The change
required stamina and energy and if we left it much longer we might not have the energy.

Becoming

First steps

That summer we made a real plan. Sell our business and our house, find a parcel of land in
the country near the sea, build the dream house and live a more creative life. We pored over
real estate advertising, planned the dream house, and imagined how our lives were going to
look. The perfect life — just the right balance of leisure, engagement and creative endeavour.
But reality has a way of sneaking in. It wasn’t so easy to sell our business, the house needed
work before we could put it up for sale, the perfect parcel of land in the country was illusive,
and I still had no plan for my work life.

I was a writer but I felt a fraud. There were no clients. I finished my courses but hadn’t
submitted one article for publication. Heck, I wasn’t even showing up to the page regularly!
The more I thought about being a writer the more despondent I became.

Discovering what matters

2016 rolled around and summer turned to autumn. We were no closer to our dream of a sea-change. The business wasn’t sold, the house was still awaiting its repairs and my life continued to blow in the wind. The dream was starting to evaporate like all our previous plans.

Searching for direction, motivation, a guide to change, a spark, I was reading three books at once. Mark Nepo’s book, ‘The one life we’re given’, was a catalyst. He says that we are all born with a gift, we just need to find and nurture it. As I read, I felt wretched and guilty. There was no need to search for my gift, it was there. Had been there all along. A passion for words and writing — and I wasn’t nurturing it. He says,” The ultimate purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart into inhabiting its aliveness.” Not much exercising going on either!

Mark Nepo says, “Our dreams, goals and ambitions are all kindling, fuel for the heart to exercise its aliveness, to bring our gift into the world, to discover what matters.” Well, the kindling was piled up—enough to light a bonfire of epic proportions—but the spark was missing. I read on, looking for a simple solution, something to quick-start my heart into aliveness.

And there it was. The words scintillated from the page:

Aliveness shows itself in response to wholeheartedness, when we can say yes to life, work with what we’re given, and stay in relationship — to everything.

These words brought an awareness of what really matters.

Becoming

Gathering momentum

The changing season from summer to autumn marked the transition from inertia to action. It
was a busy season.  On our annual Italian journey, I gathered material for travel pieces I
planned to write. We cast our net wider and explored the south coast of New South Wales for
a piece of land, and resumed discussions about our dream plan. We began the work to prepare
our house for market, we put our business up for sale. And I said yes to showing up at my
desk.

We dared to make some decisions and our plan was finally gathering momentum.

Becoming a wild writer

Nurturing my gift of writing became my foremost intention. Paying attention to it consistently however, was difficult. I turned to books again. This time, Stephanie Dowrick’s Creative journal writing: the art and heart of reflection’ came to my aid. The title of the first chapter, “Writing a journal may change your life”, was written for me.

Yes!

Journal writing wasn’t new to me, I’d tried many times but didn’t keep it up. This time however, I felt a new purpose. It was a way to exercise my heart into aliveness.

I bought a beautiful journal, created a morning ritual and sat at my desk every day and wrote. The exercises in Stephanie’s book were liberating. I felt a new freedom to explore what mattered to me, to be creative not only with my writing, but in my thinking about the future. I managed to vanquish my obsession with perfectionism, a hangover from corporate writing and editing days. I became a wild writer. My daily wild writing led me through autumn, in step with our decluttering, repairing and real estate activities. I started a blog and recorded my thoughts as a way to be accountable. I became more present. And I found pleasure in my writing for the first time in years.

Becoming

A shift in imagination

Autumn moved slowly into winter. I observed my nectarine tree from my desk each morning, the leaves changing colour and slowly dropping to the ground and still some clinging stubbornly to the branches. Then one day, the breeze brought the last of the leaves down, a golden-hued carpet covering the ground. And like my tree suddenly surrendering to what is, I too felt a shift. A shift in imagination. Thoughts which had been cluttering my mind suddenly drifted away and I found myself writing a few simple questions in my journal — the most salient of all: “What if?”.

Asking “What if?” opened the door to new possibilities, and the space created in my mind allowed me to begin to write a new vision for my life.

Writing a journal is an adventure in self-discovery and more: clarity, insight, truth, developing my authentic voice and most importantly, focus, are gifts I have acquired along the way.

And the richest benefit, beautifully expressed by Stephanie:

Writing a journal is a way of honoring your own life, taking it seriously even as you open to the energy and spaciousness that creativity brings.

Mark Nepo was the catalyst for exercising my heart into aliveness. He shone a light on what it meant to be wholehearted. Stephanie Dowrick gave me permission to explore who I wanted to become.

Becoming

Following my heart

It was another year before our house was sold, the business as well, and a further three months before we made the trek to the south coast of New South Wales. It was twelve months of stressful activity, uncertainty and at times, doubt about our decision to pack up and close down our life. Adelaide was our home for 25 years and to take a leap into the unknown with just a dream and some fragile plans in our pockets was a scary thought if we allowed ourselves to think too deeply on it.

During that time I continued my journal writing — gaining new insights and developing my intuition. I felt a new freedom to extend my creativity. I took more photographs. I started to draw, a desire since childhood which I thought I didn’t have the talent for. It turns out that anyone can draw if taught some basic techniques. It’s like anything you want to master, all you need is the desire and the commitment to practice regularly.

I followed my heart through my journal writing, coming to the conclusion that this new chapter of my life required me to create a new story. One which honours all aspects of my life — freelance writing, travelling and communication professional. It was time to weave all these strands together into an authentic foundation for the person I was becoming.

Becoming

Creating the new story

I needed help to create my new story and serendipitously another alliance was formed. This time not through books, but in person. Terri Connellan had been busy working on her own major life transition from government employee to coach and writer. As part of her learning, she offered the opportunity of six sessions of career coaching. I believe it was a gift as the result of, as Stephanie Dowrick says, “being open to the energy and spaciousness that creativity brings” — a benefit from writing a journal.

It’s been an invaluable experience having someone to collaborate with, talk over ideas and support me in my quest to find the essence of my new story. I’m weaving the strands of my work life, my travels and my professional writing into this story. It is a strong foundation. When I took the first steps along this path, I was all too ready to discard what came before. Through my journal writing, my reading and my work throughout the coaching sessions, I’ve come to value these rich layers in my life’s story. The process of writing my journal especially, has been fundamental in revealing what matters most to me and has helped me to find a fresh approach to bring these aspects into my new narrative.

Becoming

On the path to becoming who I really am

Winter has turned to spring, a time of renewal and growth. A perfect season for new beginnings. Our life in Adelaide is a finished chapter. We have moved to our temporary home in New South Wales with its green rolling hills, pristine beaches and clear running rivers. Our transition has been fraught with challenges, anxiety and apprehension. However, our dreams are in place and our plans are spread out before us.

I hold dear many memories of my life in Adelaide — our home with its beautiful garden, children growing up, significant occasions celebrated, the orchard whose abundant harvest I will miss this summer and the rich cultural activities which I probably took for granted. But our new life here has begun. There are summer vegetables planted, we are exploring the treasures this region has to offer and the path ahead is illuminated by our purpose.

My wholehearted story is being created every day as I put one step in front of the other, one word and then another on the page. I’m holding onto quiet hopes of celebrations of dreams big and small. I’m walking the path, becoming who I really am.

About Colleen Reagon

Colleen Reagon

Colleen is a freelance writer and editor who loves words and how we use them. A communication professional for 25 years, she helps clients—especially small business—communicate effectively. She recently moved to the south coast of New South Wales to further her quest to live a passionate life. She has bibliophilic leanings, believes she was Italian in a past life and is often found with a camera in hand. You can find Colleen’s personal stories at A passionate life and photos of things that give her joy on Instagram

 

Read more Wholehearted Stories

If you enjoyed this wholehearted story, please share it with others to inspire their journey. You might enjoy these stories too:

Finding my home – a wholehearted story

My wild soul is calling – a wholehearted story

Our heart always knows the way – a wholehearted story

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

Keep in touch + free ebook ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’

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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’

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You might also enjoy:

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

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

inspiration & influence intuition

Aspiring to be what we are and can be – Taurus Full Moon Tarot Reading

November 6, 2017

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

Robert Louis Stevenson


aspiring

The Taurus Full Moon encourages us in aspiring to be what we are. This tarot reading reflects on ways we can step up and empower ourselves at this time.

Here are some thoughts on this Full Moon in Taurus from Mystic Mamma to set the scene for the energies available to us:

She reminds us to ground into who we are and to remember how important our presence is in the continuum of our lives as we savor the moments that flow by at ever increasing speeds.

This Full Moon has powerful energies for connecting with our true purpose and being present. It encourages us to connect with anything true to ourselves that we might have left behind. This might be because it became undervalued or lost as circumstances unfolded in your life. There are messages too about going into the deeper elements of our transformation – areas that may have a darker side or places that are not our natural preferences or functions.

It is an opportunity to ground ourselves into what we truly value and what makes us come alive – as quirky and unusual as some of that might be. Realising our true nature means looking beneath all the layers of others’ opinions and in areas where we might have hidden away our passions because of others’ thoughts. Dusting off these layers and seeing afresh with new eyes is an opportunity at this time to light the way forward.

Taurus Full Moon connections

Working with tarot via Tarot Narrative each day helps me to align with my intuition and with that of others. I’m also working with the cycles of the moon and intentions in each cycle to support my creativity. I’m fascinated with how the messages connect up across these intuitive practices and with those of other people.

Today’s Tarot Narrative was about what’s ‘real and possible’ and tapping into the unfolding narrative of our life in an unstinting way. That message is a central focus for this Full Moon period and beyond.

Cathy Pagano via Mystic Mamma highlights aspects of being true to ourselves in this Full Moon period:

With Samhain falling on this Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon, we have a chance to bring through the veils a part of our soul that can help us on this next stage of our journey….

…Ceres, the ancient Mother Goddess, squares (90*) this Full Moon from Leo, forcing us to look at where we ignore our creative voice and abandon ourselves in the face of opposition, rather than descending into the underworld and allowing ourselves to ‘not know’ for awhile.

There’s a strong message in this Full Moon about getting back to any original plans we might have had for our lives that we left behind. Or any aspect of our voice that we have quietened because we have worried about what others will think. The opportunity is there for a reality check of what is worth pursuing. We can make an action plan for dreams we feel are worthy of aspiring to. And we can let go anything that’s draining our energy and holding us back.

There’s also the possibility that some of this might be shadow work of some kind. Making practical plans and keeping in movement is helpful as we identify what is stopping us from being in flow or communicating ourselves creatively.

For example, we might ask ourselves:

  • What is stopping us from doing the creative work we aspire to?
  • How can we embody right now what we are aspiring to become?
  • What kind of self-care will support us to break through to what we are aspiring to do and be?
  • How do we balance crafting with patience and being in action now, given both are needed?

My focus here at Quiet Writing is on wholehearted self-leadership. These energies provide a special time to reflect on and step into the power of our wholeness. This includes an emphasis on shadow and light, embracing what we fear with courage and self-compassion. Or letting go of any fears or outdated ways of operating instead of letting them override our aspiring plans.

This dramatic, transformational energy has been accumulating and evolving for a while now. There are different emphases in each moon cycle to work with as we transform. As Cathy Pagano explains this Taurus/Scorpio combination: “Taurus’ energy builds a container for Scorpio’s emotional depths, enabling us to really look at what’s in there…” There is an honesty and depth to this time that offers the opportunity to look at what we really want to become.

Taurus Full Moon tarot reading tools:

For my reading for the Taurus Full Moon, I worked with:

This Full Moon in Taurus tarot spread by Sam Roberts aka @escapingstars on Instagram:

aspiringDeck wise, I worked with the Sakki Sakki Tarot deck by Monicka Clio Sakki, my favourite tarot deck especially for questions about creativity.

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

 

aspiring

This is a big spread with eight cards so there are layers of complexity in the reading. THE DEVIL was an interesting card to see arriving straight up. Especially as I had been writing in my Tarot Narrative in the morning about my love of ghost stories and embracing the dark side. This is something I’ve been reflecting on over the past week or so. So this card suggests embracing or at least looking into areas of fear and darkness.

A few favourite and recurring cards appeared for this reading too:

  • SIX of SWORDS suggesting aspects of movement and journey.
  • The HIGH PRIESTESS reminding us about intuition and the wisdom of listening within.

These two cards turned up together only a few days ago in a narrative around soul work and inner and outer resources.

The NINE of CUPS and KING Of CUPS set the tone of dealing with emotion and feelings as challenges we need to relinquish or flow with.

The EIGHT of COINS reminds us of patience in the mastery of skills. The SUN tells us to shine our light anyway while we are learning and not feel like we have to be perfect.

And finally, the THREE of RODS (WANDS) encourages us to start a new plan and approach our aspiring goals with confidence.

This reading, with three Major Arcana cards – The DEVIL up front, along with The HIGH PRIESTESS and The SUN – has strong, archetypal tones. This is fleshed out with cards from each of the suits or elements, providing valuable clues to how to negotiate this time.

As always, a fabulous Tarot Narrative with these initial clues – so let’s dive into the fuller reading.

Tarot reading – card by card:

So here are some deeper thoughts, card by card, in relation to the questions. I worked intuitively with guidance from the Sakki Sakki tarot guidebook Playing with Symbols and Jessa Crispin’s fabulous book The Creative Tarot. Then connected back with the key energies highlighted for this Full Moon via the Mystic Mamma post and aligned posts.

1 What areas in my life do I need to be more grateful for? THE DEVIL

Well, this was an interesting response to the question: be grateful for the Devil! But my intuitive reflections led me to realise it’s about appreciating the extremes in my life. We can easily gloss over fears, hidden desires, emotional depth and even things we love that might feel wrong.

This Full Moon energy invites us to review these areas and see what’s valuable for us to return to and be grateful for. And what might need the heave-ho in our work with ourselves. It’s about working with our fears and seeing what is real and useful and what is not.

Tara Mohr describes two concepts of fear in ‘Playing Big’, based on the biblical Hebrew meanings:

  • Pachad – “projected or imagined fear,” the “fear whose objects are imagined.”
  • Yirah – “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we feel when we are on sacred ground.”

You can learn more here. It’s a useful concept as we seek to clarify what we are aspiring to. Being able to identify what is real fear, what is imagined and what is a kind of healthy fear or sense of awe of what we are stepping into are valuable skills. So we need to be grateful for our fears now and understand more about what they can teach us.

2 What do I need to relinquish control over? NINE OF CUPS

This card in this position speaks to me of getting back to the heart of what we want and why. We need to worry less about external validation. It’s a time to get back in touch with what makes us feel fulfilled and true to ourselves. What do we really wish for when all of the unhelpful fear is taken out of it? And what do we really want once we take material issues out of the picture?

The Nine of Cups is often called ‘the wish card’ so it’s useful to contemplate and act on what makes us feel truly happy and fulfilled. And to relinquish control over what everybody else thinks and its influence.

For me, this plays out, for example, in truly embracing my love of tarot as a guiding force in my life and not feeling it’s something I need to hide or keep separate. I need to relinquish control over what people think of it and be fully grateful for its influence in my life.

3 To move forward, what fears and doubts must be released? KING OF CUPS

My personality knowledge came into play for this piece. The King of Cups here is talking to me about not being afraid of my less preferred preferences such as my emotional and sensing side. My Jung/Myers-Briggs personality type is INTJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging and my dominant cognitive process is Introverted Intuition. My weakest and inferior functions are Introverted Feeling (Fi) and Extraverted Sensing (Se).

So the King of Cups is encouraging me here to develop mastery over all my functions and cognitive processes not just my preferred ones. So working from Dario Nardi’s book, ‘8 Keys to Self-Leadership’, I need to release fear and doubt around:

  • Staying true to who I really am (Fi)
  • Immersing in the present context (Se)

So working to ground myself in the here and now is important as well as remaining authentic to what I am aspiring to.

For example, this is playing out as I write my book on ‘Wholehearted Self-leadership’ as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) right now. It’s really pushing my boundaries to write 1667 words on average a day. But I’m finding balance is key. Like staying true to myself and believing in my message, which is helping my confidence as I pound the keys each day. If I’m tapping into Extraverted Sensing as a balance in this process, I’m taking more risks, finding it easier to do many activities at the same time and enjoy more of life’s pleasures. Like getting out the door to walk, swim and be with friends and family and not getting stuck inside.

Whatever your personality type, there’s balance in working with your less preferred functions especially as a way of dealing with fear and doubt.

aspiring

4 Where in my life can I stand to be more patient?   EIGHT OF COINS (PENTACLES)

The Eight of Coins is a card about craftsmanship, mastery and the development of skill over time. So this card is all about being patient as you develop whatever skills you are working on. We are encouraged to enjoy the process of developing competence, honing our skills and finding mastery.

We might feel like it’s been a hard slog and the odds and conditions are stacked against us. If this is so, then perhaps we should appreciate even more the level of mastery we are attaining. Whatever we are aspiring to – writing a book, making a new life, transitioning to what we desire, learning a pivotal skill, completing a course – we can be patient in the learning and change process. We’re building on our body of work in a new way and this is not always easy. So let’s be compassionate with ourselves and realise it takes time and there’s no rush. And enjoy the process of gaining mastery along the way.

5 What is the best act of self-care that I can do for myself? The HIGH PRIESTESS

The High Priestess counsels working with intuition and the unconscious and remembering that the answers lie within. We are encouraged in our self-care to listen to ourselves, our bodies, and to access our inner wisdom.

Self-care can take many forms; it’s not just about rest and exercise though these are important. It’s also about doing what lights you up and being in tune with that.

So self-care at this time could be working with your intuition and unconscious as well as tuning into it. It’s a good time for accessing inner wisdom in forms like visual collage, through tarot and oracle, through intuitive writing and via following your heart. The key co-ordinating theme across all these areas is listening to your inner wisdom as a form of self-care.

6 What guidance does the universe hold for allowing me to feel secure in my life? The SUN

Even though you might feel like you’re still learning in developing skills, we are encouraged to step up and shine. No-one expects or wants us to be perfect. In fact, the opportunity to watch us develop our skills and share our journey through its steps and ups and downs can be a great gift to others. We can be secure in our authentic and heart-felt aspiring and our learning to be.

So share your light and shine it far and wide. Enjoy the process, as the Eight of Coins reminds us, and be playful and not so serious. As you embrace your aspiring spirit, you encourage others to do the same. And you also develop mastery in the process of doing.

7 How can I best reconnect with the Earth and its energies? SIX of SWORDS

The Six of Swords is a card of journeying, transition and movement. It encourages us here to get some perspective, exercise detachment and release old beliefs and fears that no longer serve us. This message connects strongly with the messages from the NINE and KING of CUPS.

In getting some distance from fear and old thought processes, it might be valuable to move. This is both literally, in moving away from anything that triggers you as well as valuing movement as a way of grounding into yourself, the Earth and nature. So walking, swimming, getting out in nature and moving are all valuable practices now. Those Extraverted Sensing skills of “Immersing in the present context”, being here now in nature, in meditation, being present to ourselves, our emerging skills and our potential are all highlighted now.

8 What can I do to Empower myself? THREE OF RODS (WANDS)

The Three of Rods (Wands) suggests that focused effort and action is the best way to empower yourself now and into this next cycle. It’s like you need to honour what you’ve already done at this stage and get into action. You have skills and tools – and you know where you want to go, so it’s an opportunity to take these aspiring resources and be in action.

We can sometimes be held back in fear from wanting to be perfect and having everything just so. But it’s fine for us to be patiently developing and honing skill whilst also being in action. In fact, the best way to learn is to practice. And we will keep gathering resources and learning new skills along the way.

So trust your instincts and yourself. The time to realise your long-term goals and aspirations has come, so start a new plan. Set yourself up for movement and action. As the Sakki Sakki Tarot Guidebook, ‘Playing with Symbols’, tells us for the Three of Rods:

Approach your goals with confidence, because you’ve already done the homework. Let your vision be your map, become the ultimate leader, and feed off your achievements.

Ways to step into your aspiring life

So are your thoughts also on how to step into an aspiring life and what we are capable of becoming?

Here are some practical questions prompted by the Taurus Full Moon and reflections on my reading. They build on the recent Aries Full Moon reading and Capricorn Full Moon reading around stepping up into our power and truth. The key focus now is on how we can work with our fears and the pieces we have downplayed or left behind. That way, we can shine in all our authentic and aspiring power.

Journal, reflect or brainstorm around these questions to help maximise your personal self-leadership at this time:

  • Where do you need to be bolder about working with your fears?
  • What have you left behind or downplayed because of what other people thought?
  • Where can you see healthy fear in your life where you are in awe? How can you honour this?
  • Where can you practice getting out of your comfort zone and embrace your less preferred ways of operating?
  • In what areas of your life can you be more patient?
  • What’s the rush you are feeling all about?
  • How can you cultivate joy in the learning process?
  • What’s your inner wisdom saying to you about your current self-care practices?
  • What changes could you make to improve this from listening within and to your body?
  • What’s stopping you from shining your light now?
  • Are you feeling radiant? If not, how can you feel this more?
  • How can you keep in movement to reconnect and ground yourself?
  • Where can you set an action plan in place that serves your aspiring self?
  • How can you power up the tools and resources you have in support of your aspirations?

Wisdom from the Three of Wands

I started with this quote because it’s so apt but here it is in its full glory in the context of the Art of Life Tarot.

aspiring

 

May you live the life you are aspiring to, enjoying the process of becoming and not waiting until you feel perfect to shine. And may your wholehearted self-leadership help you be of service to others!

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You might also enjoy:

36 Books that Shaped my Story – Reading as Creative Influence

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How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

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Honor Your Lineage by Sage Cohen – from Fierce on the Page

October 19, 2017

This guest post, Honor Your Lineage, by Sage Cohen, is from her book Fierce on the Page which helps you become the writer you were meant to be. I am indebted to Sage for this piece that led to the creation of my free ebook, 36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence. I’m so grateful to Sage for being able to share this inspirational essay in full here. Sage is a writing mentor and support to me and many aspiring and practicing writers. Fierce on the Page and Writing the Life Poetic feature in my 36 influential books. Enjoy reading and I hope this piece inspires rich reflections on your literary lineage, as it has done for me.

Fierce on the Page

I have always been magnetically drawn to the books I need as teachers. Recently I cleared a shelf and, with great reverence, placed on it the books I most love—the ones that have shaped me in the way that water shapes stones, almost imperceptibly over time.

Whenever I scan their proud spines all lined up in a row, I think of how this shelf reflects my literary lineage. These are the poets and writers whose work whispers directly into my ear to penetrate my being and reveal what I need to know about being a person and a writer. These are my literary ancestors and immediate family.

I consider each book with gratitude: Sharon Olds’s The Dead and the Living, the dog-eared, tear-stained poetry collection that I have been returning to since my early twenties when I so desperately wanted to write a collection of its caliber that I considered giving up poetry altogether; Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water: A Memoir, which sings through me as if its narrative were a plucked string of the sitar calling forth my own story in accompaniment; Kim Rosen’s Saved By a Poem, affirming my lifelong practice of poetry as sacred medicine; When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chódrón, which has instructed me how to make the crossing from resistance to acceptance in my darkest moments.

This small literary collection, along with the rest of the books on my “lineage shelf” is a funhouse mirror reflection of who I am, what I love, and from where I have come. I imagine the little serif font letters swimming through my cells. The words that come through me now have breathed the amniotic suspended dreams of every word I have admired, allowed in, and sent back into the world. These titles are a bouquet harvested of my desire to enter the universal human experience through poem and story.

Here, in the authority and stability of its literary family, the title of my next project presents itself. It is shy, wobbly, unsure of whether to trust my hand. We sit together, and I listen. Take a few notes. A large fluff of dandelion seed drifts by my open window as the peas in the garden bed below nod in the wind.

By taking the time to name and appreciate my literary lineage, the next step on my path reveals itself to me. I wonder if that’s really all our writing asks of us: to know what we love, to listen, and to give ourselves over to what presents itself.

Be Fierce

I invite you to honor the books you love most by giving them their own shelf (or even their own pile). Then sit with them and appreciate how they have informed your vision, your craft, or your sense of direction in your writing life. Is something inside you lingering on the peripheries, wanting to come through? What work of yours belongs on this shelf, in this company? What knowledge have you gained from these books that now informs your own literary legacy?

* * * * *

Sage Cohen

 

 

Sage Cohen is the author of Fierce on the Page from Writer’s Digest Books and three other books. Her agency Sage Cohen Global crafts communication, education, and empowerment solutions that help people and businesses change the conversation. She serves writers at sagecohen.com and divorcing parents at radicaldivorce.com.

 

 

 

Read about the 36 books that shaped my story

This essay inspired a fabulous journey of revisiting the books that influenced my writing and life story. You can download my free ebook on my literary lineage and the 36 books that have 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 developments, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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Being ‘Fierce on the Page’ – a book review

36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence

How to know and honour your special creative influences

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intuition personality and story

Introverted and extraverted intuition – how to make intuition a strong practice

October 13, 2017

Intuition is a powerful tool and a strong practice from both an introverted and extraverted perspective. Read more to understand how to work your intuition.

intuition practice

In my personality work, I’m interested in promoting balance, wholeness and acceptance of others. It’s great to understand our own type. It’s also valuable to learn from other preferences to be more well-rounded and respect other ways of operating.

In terms of cognitive processing, there is both Introverted and extraverted intuition. Both modes can help make intuition a strong practice. But understanding and deploying the strengths of both can provide access to new ways of working and interacting.

Intuitive is one of the five Core Desired Feelings that underpin Quiet Writing and its focus. The five feelings are:

connected, creative, flowing, intuitive, poetic

Intuition is a way of absorbing information and accessing wisdom I value immensely. I’ve worked on it over the years and especially this past year through tarot and oracle work on a daily basis.  So it’s fascinating to deep dive into Intuition from both an Introverted and Extraverted point of view and learn more about the strengths of both.

Personality as story

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

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

As an INTJ Jung/Myers-Briggs type, Introverted Intuition is my dominant cognitive processing preference. So the more introverted ways of interacting with intuition and the world are very familiar to me. But I wanted to understand this way of operating more. It’s certainly taken me time to really trust and learn from it. Becoming certified in personality type assessment based on Jung/Myers-Briggs theory has enabled me to dive more deeply into the way it works. I’ve also been interested to learn about other ways of working with intuition such as those who rely on Extraverted Intuition as a preference.

Jung/Myers-Briggs personality frameworks

Where does Intuition fit into the landscape of personality? Here’s a snapshot view of Jung/Myers-Briggs personality frameworks. Carl Jung’s theory of personality identifies eight functions – four Perceiving functions and four Judging functions. The functions are used differently depending on whether they are expressed in the internal world or the external world.

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

The four Perceiving functions are:

Extraverted Sensing – abbreviated as Se – Sensory Experience

Introverted Sensing – Si – Sensory Memory

Extraverted Intuition – Ne – Exploring possibilities

Introverted Intuition – Ni – Visionary insight

The four Judging functions are:

Extraverted Thinking – Te – Logical outcomes

Introverted Thinking – Ti – Internal analysis

Extraverted Feeling – Fe – Harmonizing people

Introverted Feeling – Fi – Universal values

Further work by Isabel Myers and her mother Katharine Briggs based on Jung’s work added the fourth dimension – Judging and Perceiving. From this, the four pairs of preferences were developed that are the basis of the 16 x four-letter type references such as INTP, ESFJ. They are the preferences from the pairs of:

Extraversion vs Introversion (E/I)

Sensing vs Intuition (S/N)

Thinking vs Feeling (T/F)

Judging vs Perceiving (J/P)

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

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

Introverted and Extraverted Intuition

The personality types that rely on intuition as a strong suit are:

Introverted Intuition: INTJ & INFJ (dominant), ENTJ & ENFJ (auxiliary)

Extraverted Intuition: ENTP & ENFP (dominant), INFP & INTP (auxiliary)

In a video interview, Jung defines Introverted Intuition as “a perception by ways or means of the unconscious.”

In his 1921 book, Psychological Types, Jung explains the main characteristics of the Extraverted Intuitive function as:

…always present where possibilities exist…his eye is constantly ranging for new possibilities…

The Introverted Intuitive focus is visionary and insightful. Extraverted Intuitive cognitive processes focus on what could be, especially from an improvement perspective. The main difference is how interaction with the world occurs as a source of intuition. The Introverted Intuitive works via the inner world or unconscious in visionary and symbolic ways. The Extraverted Intuitive prefers interaction and a wide scope of external sources to maximise input.

It’s fascinating to deep dive into Intuition from both an Introverted and Extraverted point of view as quite different ways of interacting around intuition. There is much you can learn from your less natural preferences to make intuition a strong practice in your life.

You might rely on sensing and what’s right in front of you more, so intuition is a great way to take in information differently especially around seeing beyond what is. If you’re extraverted, you could try to learn from or observe more introverted intuition strategies. Where you are mainly introverted in orientation, practice more extraverted intuitive approaches to open up avenues of input from interaction and wider sources.

They may not be comfortable options initially. But taking ourselves outside our comfort zones can mean we are stretching and growing in new ways. Knowing more about the different cognitive processes means you can better understand how you and others operate.

Learn more about Introverted and Extraverted Intuition

To learn more about Introverted and Extraverted Intuition, here are two posts I have written on Intuition as a guest blogger for Life Reaction recently. One focuses on Introverted Intuition and the other on Extraverted Intuition:

Introverted Intuition: Learning from its Mysteries

Extraverted Intuition: Imagining the Possibilities.

To make intuition a strong practice, it’s worthwhile to review the different modes of cognitive processing. I hope you enjoy reading and comparing these two different ways in which intuition plays out in the world.

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

Personality, story and life coaching

I’m loving exploring personality and story in the context of life coaching. Working with pro bono clients now, it’s amazing how personality type weaves its way into the conversation. With my training and professional background, it’s something bring to life coaching quietly or overtly. I love the framework for personal growth it provides.

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

As Isabel Briggs Myers has said:

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

Personality is a story you write with the natural preferences you have.

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

Plus you will immediately receive my free 94 page ‘36 Books’ ebook on the books that shaped my story and reading as creative influence. Or you can send an email to terri@quietwriting.com to be put on the priority list for 2018 life and personality coaching opportunities.

But for starters, head on over to Life Reaction and read my most recent post on Extraverted Intuition or my previous post on Introverted Intuition. The posts taken together can help you make intuition a strong practice from an introverted and extraverted perspective. I hope these posts can help pull the threads together so you can more strongly write your personality story.

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

persona

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

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

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You might also enjoy:

Being a vessel or working with introverted intuition

Overwhelm, intuition and thinking

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

Music, intuition and messages of songs

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Authentic ways to act and be in the world – Aries Full Moon Tarot Reading

October 8, 2017

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Now is not the time for gilding the truth, or avoiding it, but for strategizing the best, most compassionate, way for you to stay aligned.

Jessica Shepherd, from Mooncircles

  focused

The Aries Full Moon invites to step into the power of our truth. This tarot reading reflects on authentic ways we can act and be in the world at this time.

Here are some thoughts on this Full Moon in Aries from Mystic Mamma to set the scene for the energies available to us:

Now is the time to bring forth our truth in a way that can heartfully express, assert and realign that which is out of balance. With the Sun in Libra, we can learn to do this in a way that is compassionate and cooperative so that it can illuminate, purify and transform. 

This Full Moon has powerful energies for finding our authentic heart. It reminds us to not be afraid of our own power and who we are. There are messages too around aligning and realigning where we may have got out of kilter. It’s an opportunity to reflect on where we are lacking in compassion for ourselves and others. Small, simple adjustments in attitude and actions are helpful now to self-correct and steer a more positive path.

Aries Full Moon connections

Working with tarot via Tarot Narrative each day helps me to align with my intuition and with that of others. I’m also working with the cycles of the moon and intentions in each cycle to support my creativity. I’m fascinated with how the messages connect up across these intuitive practices and with those of other people.

Today’s Tarot Narrative was about ‘keeping it real’. That message is a central focus for this Full Moon period and beyond.

Jessica Shepherd via Mystic Mamma highlights aspects of being true to ourselves in this Full Moon period. Spinning off thoughts from watching the new documentary on Lady Gaga, Gaga: Five Foot Two, she talks about the vulnerability of being who we are.

And this fear of being perceived as too messy, imperfect or emotionally vulnerable struck me as a woman’s issue: All this focus on who we are to others (Libra) versus who we are (Aries).

How often we censor our true, raw experience because we think it makes us weak, crazy, too emotional, when it’s actually refusing the whole truth of our real experience that weakens us…We aren’t born afraid to be our selves. We aren’t born fearing what other people will do or say in response to us, what their reaction will be. It is learned behavior. It can be scary to be ourselves–so real, so aligned, so honest–because it pushes other people’s buttons.

Because real-ness is scary to those who can’t be real in their own lives.

There’s a very strong message in this Full Moon about finding ways to be authentic but balanced. This might be through our choices, our ways of working and our collaborations. We need to negotiate ways of combining self-expression with collaborating with others. Whilst we are focused on our truths, it’s about learning to live them in a compassionate and wise way. For example:

  • If we can see a better way of doing something, how do we communicate that – forcefully or with love and respect?
  • There might be a myriad of choices open to you, but what’s the self-compassionate way to work?
  • How are we aligning with our core values in our actions?
  • Where can we gather the courage to act with the support of others?

My focus here at Quiet Writing is on wholehearted self-leadership. These energies provide a special time to reflect on and step into the power of our truth. This includes an emphasis on how we can be true to ourselves whilst we also align with others in our work in the world.

This dramatic, transformational energy has been accumulating and evolving for a while now. The combination of fiery, assertive Aries and Libran balance, focuses us on our authenticity and how it relates to others.

Aries Full Moon tarot reading tools:

For my reading for the Aries Full Moon, I worked with:

This Full Moon in Aries tarot spread by Sam Roberts aka @escapingstars on Instagram:

authentic

Deck wise, I worked with the Sakki Sakki Tarot deck by Monicka Clio Sakki, my favourite tarot deck especially for questions around creativity.

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

 

authentic

THE FOOL was a fabulous card to see arriving straight up, setting the tone for the reading. I have had many messages recently about being at the end of a cycle. So this card suggests we are off on a new adventure with courage, truth and leaps of faith involved. A few favourite and recurring cards appeared for this reading too:

  • SEVEN of CUPS suggesting we are looking at the choices available to us.
  • FIVE of COINS (PENTACLES) reminding us about what we are leaving behind. We need to think about what to leave behind and what to take with us from our past as we move on.
  • PAGE of SWORDS symbolising our core values and new ways to work with them practically.
  • EIGHT OF RODS (WANDS) providing a sense of opportunity and action. There’s the courage to work differently in multiple areas; also to take on others’ viewpoints.

THE MAGICIAN turned up recently in my daily Tarot Narrative to remind me that our work is about combining the four elements in new and unique ways. We need a balance of fire, air, water and earth in how we work as we modulate and tune ourselves.

This reading with THE FOOL up front, followed by one card from each of the suits or elements, provides valuable clues to how to negotiate this time.

As always, a fabulous Tarot Narrative with these initial clues – so let’s dive into the fuller reading.

Tarot reading – card by card:

So here are some deeper thoughts, card by card, in relation to the questions. I worked intuitively with guidance from the Sakki Sakki tarot guidebook Playing with Symbols, Susannah Conway’s 78 Mirrors e-course notes, The Good Tarot Guidebook and Jessa Crispin’s fabulous book The Creative Tarot. Then connected back with the key energies highlighted for this Full Moon via the Mystic Mamma post and aligned posts.

1 What area do I need support in? THE FOOL

THE FOOL always makes you smile when it surfaces. Focusing in on new beginnings, the start of a cycle and new journeys, it’s all about time to take a fresh look. It’s interesting that this card has popped up around the question of where I need support.

As anyone following me for a while would know, I am going through a major transition time. Any transition time is about identity. As we shape a new way of being or moving in the world, we are also dealing with our identity. It might be getting back to our authentic heart. Perhaps it’s learning to collaborate with others in new ways. It involves working out what to leave behind, what to take forward and where to focus.

We have to work out what’s in our bag of tricks as we go forward: which skills, truths and messages are central? So this card in this space is suggesting it might be a good time to seek support as we hone this.

This aligns with my current work and focus. I can do a certain amount myself. But I am a fool if I think I can do it all myself. I’ve had to work out where a beginner’s mind is useful and where I need to work with others to complement my skills. I’ve been seeking out partnership with creative others right now: photographers, graphic designers, web specialists and other creative souls who can support me and travel with me on this journey.

So what’s right up front is a focus on our journey but seeking support to be able to live its truths. Jessa Crispin reminds us that “silencing the inner critic” is also part of this practice. I’ve just finished Tara Mohr’s Playing Big and she talks about the value of an inner mentor as opposed to an inner critic. That internal supportive practice would be really valuable to dive into at this time.

2 What do I need to devote my energy to during this moon cycle? SEVEN OF CUPS

I love the SEVEN of CUPS! It spells opportunity, choice and richness. But it reminds us that too much choice, being scattered and over-indulging are not helpful. So this time is about working out ways to have a diversity of input and output, but also recognising when too much is too much.

In line with the theme of being real, Jessa Crispin reminds us:

If you pull the Seven of Cups, you have to ask yourself whether your idea of where you want to end up is fantasy or if it’s imagination. And the only way to tell the difference is to see how much real work you’re putting into your development. (p183)

So clarity is a key piece in seeing where to devote energy at this time. Working out which strategies are effective and seeing whether the way you allocate time reflects your aims are valuable practices now.

It’s easy to get seduced by activities that feel safe and go nowhere. In ‘Playing Big’, Tara Mohr talks about ‘hiding strategies’ – things like doing more research, getting more qualifications and consulting more widely to feel ready and able. It’s a good time to cross-check whether your actions and strategies are in alignment with your goals or are just holding patterns. Choose wisely to get your authentic work done efficiently. Devote your energy to what brings fruition, fulfilment and nourishment.

3 What in my past do I need to make peace with to become more balanced and stable to welcome the future? FIVE OF COINS (PENTACLES)

The FIVE of COINS (PENTACLES) is a card that always speaks strongly to me. It’s been arriving frequently of late including in last months’ Pisces Full Moon reading. This was on the question: What plans do I need to take risks on in order to release any blockages in my way? So it’s popping up in a similar way in this reading.

This card is about feeling out in the cold in some way. It represents a combination of moving on, leaving behind what wastes your time, and working out what to take forward from those experiences. It’s not without pain and feeling rejected, that’s for sure. But the trick with this card is to work out what is of value to take with you as you move ahead.

For example, I have many skills, honed over time, to take on this new journey. They include leadership skills, self-leadership learning and a deep ability to teach and facilitate that I can apply to writing and life coaching, especially group coaching and online learning.

Feeling outcast in some way can make you want to shut the door and leave it all behind you, key parts of yourself included. This card is a reminder to hold the deep authentic truths of ourselves close as we move on. You can take forward what’s quintessentially you and turn it into something golden, unique and special. All your new skills are able to merge with the old, applied in a new way.

4 How can I best use the Full Moon to align with my core values?   PAGE OF SWORDS

This card takes us to the heart of the reading. The Art of Life Tarot quote for this card is the Buddhist proverb:

When the student is ready, the master will appear.

There’s a sense of finally being ready to make big steps. This might be ‘turning pro’ or more professional in approaches to creativity and writing. It could be making your most authentic goals the centrepiece, instead of them languishing on the periphery of your life. There is a sense of readiness and having the right guidance and support for the journey now.

It’s all about knowledge and logic, shaping experiences and ideas into something that can take root and grow in a grounded way. The trick though is about wielding the sword of mastery into something tangible – a book, a course, a new life.

authentic

5 Where in my life do I need to gather courage and leap into action? EIGHT OF RODS (WANDS)

For cards of action, the EIGHT OF RODS (WANDS) is right up there. Like the SEVEN of CUPS, it suggests multiple options, multi-tasking and choices to be made. But above all, this card is about the energy of taking action in many ways.

It signifies rapid communications, doing several things at once that interconnect and hitting the mark with your efforts as they interweave. There’s power here, though we need to stay focused and calm, not get too carried away with all the options.

Collaborating with others, integrating their ideas and insights is valuable at this time. We don’t have to juggle all the pieces by ourselves. If we are going to get our authentic work done, we need collaborators, advisors, teachers and experts. Just as THE FOOL reminds us in arriving up front, we are all beginners in some respects, no matter what our background. Learn to seek support and gentle guidance now. Don’t be too proud and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable or of asking for help. Maximise the opportunities of this energy by working with and listening to others.

Ways to step into our authentic truth

So are your thoughts also around how to step into our authentic truth, with a balance between independence and collaboration?

Here are some practical questions prompted by the Aries Full Moon and reflections on my reading. They build on the recent Capricorn Full Moon reading and Pisces Full Moon reading around stepping up into our power and truth. The key focus is on how we can work with others on the new aspects of this journey. That way, we can be of service as we get our work out there in a more efficient and aligned way.

Journal, reflect or brainstorm around these questions to help maximise your personal self-leadership at this time:

  • Where do you need support as you go on your journey?
  • What is new to you and where can you seek help where you feel out of your depth?
  • What’s holding you back from getting your work out there?
  • How can you work more efficiently with the support of others?
  • Where are you afraid to ask for help? Why is this?
  • How do you know the choices you are making about priorities are the right ones?
  • What evidence is there to reflect the return on effort?
  • How can you use this information to make better decisions about how you work?
  • Where can you simplify, rework, take small steps, to make the biggest difference?
  • What thoughts and habits are no longer serving you?
  • How can you replace them with more effective strategies?
  • Where are you wasting time?
  • What’s your most authentic desired passion, outcome or project?
  • How much time are you spending on this?
  • Are you doing what makes you happy?
  • If not, what changes can you put in place to do what’s more authentic for you?

Wisdom from the Five of Pentacles

And here is some final wisdom from the Five of Pentacles via the Art of Life Tarot on the heart of being authentic.

authentic

How unhappy we can be when we are not living an authentic life!

On the flip side, how wonderful is it when we start living the way we’ve always wanted to live, steeped in our passions? Working from what we love, collaborating with others and sharing our learning in new ways to help others on their journey is the greatest joy. It’s time to bring this joy to life as much as we can in simple steps of alignment. This Full Moon energy is helping to make these small but powerful steps.

May you enjoy living your authentic life in small and big ways, stepping into it more fully and freely. And may your wholehearted self-leadership help you be of service to others!

Apple feature image from pexels.com and used with permission and thanks.

Keep in touch

Sign up + get your copy of ’36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence’

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

You will also receive updates and opportunities from Quiet Writing and its passions in 2017. This includes coaching, creativity and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

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

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

You might also enjoy:

36 Books that Shaped my Story – Reading as Creative Influence

The unique voice of what we love

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Creative and connected #12 – the courage to show up

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

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?

courage

Social media interactions

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

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

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

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

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

Share your thoughts:

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

Have a fabulous creative weekend.

show up

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

Feature image and desktop pic via pexels.com

Keep in touch

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

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

Keep in touch – sign up to receive your free e-book: ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’ + Quiet Writing Beach Notes, opportunities & inspirational resources!