Browsing Tag


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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

How 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

transition wholehearted stories work life

Embracing a creative life – a wholehearted story

December 30, 2017

creative life

This guest post from Jade Herriman is all about embracing a multipassionate, creative life as the key to more wholehearted living.

This is the fifth 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 Jade Herriman as a ‘Wholehearted Stories’ contributor. My sincere thanks to Jade for the contribution of her story and the photographs she shares from her work. Jade combines the creativity of art therapy with coaching to help people see themselves and their situation in new ways. Her wholehearted story tells of how she came to embrace the multiple dimensions of a creative life. It is a really valuable reflection piece as we end a busy year and many consider changes in their life for 2018. Read on to find out more!

Building and leaving a career

This is a story of building and leaving a career. It is the story of tasting burnout, choosing healing and moving toward a softer more creative life. Most importantly this story is not finished, it’s still being written.

These days I love the mystery and watching it unfold, without a firm and clear plan but rather trusting intuition and the accumulation of small choices to lead me somewhere new.

Over 15 years I worked hard in various jobs related to environmental management and sustainability. I had been keen on science and environmental issues since I was a kid and wanted to get in there and make a difference. From starting out after uni with no clue about how to apply for work and very little useful work experience to ending up in a senior role in a research organization managing large projects, I had a steady job with long-term career prospects. On the face of it, I was achieving what I had set out to do – so why was it feeling so hollow?

After a while, I began to feel sick of the professional mask required to work in these roles, the way that people came together to speak about work issues but often not what was in their hearts. I felt like the workshops I was running with professionals from different industries were sitting at a very surface level, all about the mind, but rarely about what mattered most to people. I longed to help facilitate more meaningful connection. I wanted to create spaces where people could be honest and share their hopes and fears as well as their competency and their ideas for work.

Over time I started to have a yearning to do something more creative. Our work was deeply creative in a sense – we were always designing and innovating, but I yearned to do something that involved the visual arts and making things. I started studying art therapy, part-time, on my weekends and days off, just in case one day I might find a way to use it.

creative life

Burnout helped me take the leap  

I had always been quite competent but not very confident, terrified on the inside of all that was required of me, but reliable and seemingly calm. I liked doing well and getting lots done but at times the burden of what I was carrying felt too much, and I would eventually buckle under the weight of the stress.

Burnout was a hard teacher. Finally, I learnt that my body had limits and that I could not be in stress mode indefinitely without it affecting my ability to continue. Burnout taught me that downtime is important to balance the busy periods. It taught me that constant worry about the future is not helpful. It also taught me that I still exist without work, without a title, without ‘outputs’.

In art therapy, we often talk about the hero’s journey and the descent into the ‘nadir’. This is the challenging place at our lowest where we feel that part of us is dying a symbolic death – before our ascent back into the ordinary world refreshed, wiser and more enriched by the journey. Burnout was this for me – the worst fear realized and endured – the catalyst that helped me leave my job and past career and take baby steps in a new field.

Feeling my way as an art therapist and coach

When I decided to start my own business, I gave myself permission to try things to see what I liked. In some ways work for me had always been doing ‘what was needed’ or ‘what I had been asked to do’. This was a chance to ‘feel’ my way through life – what actually felt satisfying, enjoyable and absorbing. Without stress fuelling my actions, with time and space to do and not do, I was able to observe what tasks I was able to do joyfully without much effort.

I had to adjust my pace through the first year especially, as my body was still quite exhausted and recovering its energy. I dialled back my expectations and allowed myself to have days that weren’t very productive. More and more I listened to the quiet voice of my body and less to the fear-driven voice of my ego. It felt like Persephone, a popular archetype for the wounded healer, spending time periodically in the underworld before returning to the productive harvest of summer aboveground. I embraced yin and yang, light and dark, productivity and rest.

Starting again wasn’t always comfortable. It was a brand new area of work and rather than being an experienced practitioner, I was a beginner all over again. I had to adjust to no longer having big and fancy projects to talk about or other trappings that made my ego feel secure. I had to sit with grief, loss, self-doubt and feelings of failure that came up sometimes. A book that resonated with me especially at this time was Wild Creative by Tami Lynn Kent, a love song to a life lived intuitively and in tune with our physical selves.

creative life

Bringing together my passions and loves

What my new work brings me is a chance to sit with people in honesty and create a space where all feelings are welcome. In art therapy groups, we speak about all aspects of life – and there is often a bittersweet tone to the conversations, about loneliness, about challenges, about grief, loss, trauma and mental illness. But there is also joy, sweet playfulness, and heartfelt connection between participants. There are shifts and development for individuals on the most humble of levels that are also quite profound – as they stretch their windows of tolerance, as they develop confidence in themselves as a creative person, as they practice speaking and being listened to with respect. In coaching, clients navigate self-doubt as a step forward towards long-held dreams.

I love that my work involves art now – helping other people make friends with art, playing with art materials, attending client exhibitions, making art myself, facilitating spaces where people make art together and reflect on the insights it has for their lives.

It also involves design and creativity in terms of thinking of new workshops, new programs, new writing that might be helpful for my clients. I love problem-solving and brainstorming with my coaching clients. I love the way that each session draws on all that I have to offer and there is a requirement to be in the moment, fully absorbed and focused with that person, responding to the mood, situation, communication styles, needs and more of each client.

creative life

Embracing my scanner self and a meandering path

Another big part of the journey towards a more wholehearted life has been embracing the part of my personality that is enchanted with learning and novelty. After discovering Barbara Sher’s work on scanners (multipotentialites, multipassionates, renaissance folk), and especially her book Refuse to Choose, I have found it easier to be kind to myself about my moving passions. Beyond just kind, I also approach my multiple interests with more respect and curiosity. I look for underlying patterns between the things I am interested in and know that to be happy I must do what I love.

How wonderful when we can give ourselves permission to do what we love, and not be wracked with guilt about being ‘selfish’ because we realize that people doing what they love benefits us all.

I went on to train to become a coach with Barbara Sher. This was face-to-face training over five modules all held in Germany! Geez, that was a lesson in following my instincts to do what I love even if it ‘makes no sense’. Since then I have been honoured to work with amazing multipassionate people around the world as they take steps to bring their dream projects into being.

What this insight into my personality has mostly given me is lightness in holding onto whatever it is I’m working on now. So for example, while my creative life at the moment looks like being an art therapist and coach, I no longer define myself entirely by my roles. Instead, I give myself permission to always be learning about how I can contribute my skills in the world, and what configuration of work feels good to me. I know that this will change over time, and I am less attached to having a CV that ‘makes sense’ to others than I am committed to listening to my inner voice, my curiosity and my fascination to see what might be the next thing for me.

creative life

What is wholehearted to me?

Becoming more wholehearted has been about embracing my softer side, my fearful side, the side that needs rest and can’t always ‘produce’, my intuitive and heart connected side.

It has been about living through and beyond perfectionism, overwork and burnout. It has been about creating a more gentle and caring way of working that plays to my gifts not just my skills.

In some ways, it has been about letting go of control and being okay with not knowing how the river of my work and life will meander. As a keen gardener, I like to imagine my life as a creative garden, which might be replanted frequently and feature a different mix in the years to come. In part, being more wholehearted has also been about stepping back from work, and having it take up a smaller part of my life, and unhooking myself from the wheel of achievement as a primary driver.

About Jade Herriman

Jade Herriman


Jade Herriman (Dip TAT, BSc and MSocSci) is a creative business owner, art therapist, artist and certified Barbara Sher life coach based in the Inner West of Sydney. She loves using art therapy and coaching to help people see themselves and their situations in new ways, and helping others create, connect and work towards their dreams. For more information, go to


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:

Becoming who I really am – a wholehearted story

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’

You might also enjoy my free 95-page ebook ’36 Books that Shaped my Story’ – all about wholehearted self-leadership, reading as creative influence and books to inspire your own journey.

Just pop your email address in the box to the right or below You will receive the ebook straight away as well as updates and inspiring resources from Quiet Writing on personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot, productivity and ways to express your unique voice in the world.

Quiet Writing is on Facebook and Instagram – keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. Look forward to connecting with you and inspiring your wholehearted story!

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


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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’

You might enjoy my free 95-page ebook 36 Books that Shaped my Story – all about wholehearted self-leadership, reading as creative influence and books to inspire your own journey.

Just pop your email address in the box to the right or below You will receive the ebook straight away as well as updates and inspiring resources from Quiet Writing on personality type, coaching, creativity, writing, tarot, productivity and ways to express your unique voice in the world.

Quiet Writing is on Facebook and Instagram – keep in touch and interact with the growing Quiet Writing community. Look forward to connecting with you and inspiring your wholehearted story!

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


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:



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.


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.



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!

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. This includes coaching, creativity and other connections to help express your unique voice in the world.

36 books

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

personality and story wholehearted stories

Finding my home – a wholehearted story

October 30, 2017

Finding my home

This guest post from Natalie Gaul reminds us that experiences of compassion and empathy – and conscious self-acceptance – can help us find our home and a more wholehearted life.

This is the third 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 if you are interested. 

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 special friend, Natalie Gaul, as a ‘Wholehearted Stories’ contributor. Natalie and I met as fellow trainees, now graduates, of the Beautiful You Coaching Academy life coaching program. We made an instant and intuitive heartfelt connection, recognising in each other a deep focus on the practice of being whole, working to embrace all aspects of our personality.

My sincere thanks to Natalie for the contribution of her deeply felt personal story, including the stunning images she has created especially for this piece. Natalie’s story is a journey through the shadow and light of personality. It highlights the sheer relief of finding solutions and experiences that enable self-compassion and taking personal responsibility – read on to find out more!

The weight of my world

For as long as I can remember, I felt an unease deep inside of me. Like I was living in a body that didn’t quite fit my bones and there was a pulling… to where and what, I had no idea, but it was always there.

I was the little girl who was desperate for approval, constantly wondering and whispering, “please don’t be angry with me”, “I’m sorry if I’ve done something wrong”, “I hope you still love me”. I was the classic over-achiever, the “good girl”, you know the type. The one who never questions anything, the one who does as she’s told, the one who could be pulled into line by a glance or the slightest change in the tone of your voice. I was the little girl who entered this world completely and utterly terrified of it, and most of all, of everyone in it.

I was the teenager who never quite fitted in. Who, upon just witnessing an unkind word being said to another felt it on a level so deep that it kept me awake at night, wishing I could take it and make it happen to me instead. I was the teenager who couldn’t rest or sleep. I was the teenager who still felt that pulling and I wanted it to go away.

I was the young woman in her 20’s, clinically diagnosed with a major depressive illness… or maybe it was bipolar? One thing was for sure, I was far too emotional. I didn’t quite fit into any box, under any label and even in my sadness, I didn’t fit in. And still, that pulling was there, getting stronger and stronger and I pushed back at it harder and harder… I wanted it gone.

I was the woman who met her 30’s with the divine gift of a loving husband and two beautiful children. Children I had fought for with my life, as my own body let me down. A life on paper that was picturesque, but in my internal reality, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Falling into the darkness

It was at this time, everything I had ever thought about myself manifested into words from the outside world … you are so ungrateful, you should help yourself, you are so selfish, there are so many people in worse situations, what do you have to be unhappy about? And so… I stopped fighting. I stopped pushing against the life-long pull and went with it. The pull I had felt for so long was into my own darkness. A place built on generations of extreme pain, hate and hurt. Finally, I was at the place I thought I belonged. Finally, I reached the place I thought was my home.

Words can’t really describe the depths of pain I experienced. I was used to pain, it was my normal but this was at a whole new level. To many, I was still a high functioning woman, a loving wife, and beautiful mother but inside, there was a war at play and it was dark and dangerous.

It was the culmination of 32 years of pretence and now finally I gave myself permission to treat myself how I always felt I deserved. The physical and mental self-abuse was violent and cruel but somehow it was satisfying. I was home, I was right where I thought I should be. I sat in the darkness, welcoming it, letting it consume me, all the while the emotional turmoil increasing in its intensity until finally, I was at my end. I couldn’t live like this anymore, I had to make a choice. I asked and pleaded for help, from whoever created me simultaneously cursing them for making me so broken and abandoning me. What followed, some may label as coincidence. However, on reflection, I know it was the outstretched arms of the universe, waiting for me to ask for a light out of this darkness, all along.

Finding my home

A glimmer of hope

I stumbled across Cathartic Breathwork, having no idea what it was but trusting that deep calling inside of me to find out more. I enquired about an up-coming live-in retreat and to my surprise, I wasn’t made wrong for how I was feeling but rather met with compassion, empathy, and kindness. That was a completely new experience! I left my family six days later, consciously deciding, if I could not find any peace or relief by the end of the program, I would find it with my maker and I wasn’t coming home.

You hear people say experiences change their life. That week not only changed mine but saved it. For what may have been the first time in my life, I actually had hope that I could survive in this body, I could survive on this planet. I subsequently committed to 3 years of intense breathwork facilitation and training. My learning curve was vast and steep and my eyes were opened to a whole new world. I was guided and held in process after process, allowing me to unequivocally and unapologetically be me. As my self-relationship deepened, I started to understand how to relate and work with my physical, emotional and energetic body.

An insatiable hunger for this knowledge grew, intrinsically knowing it was the key to unlocking and unpacking my truth. To say it was challenging is an understatement. It was one of the most difficult times of my life but yet, somehow nothing on the pain of before. Taking personal responsibility for my life empowered me beyond belief as now, rather than being a victim of circumstance, I had choice. I was in the driving seat of my own life.

I was experiencing pure emotions for the first time. My own emotions, my own truth. I finally came to the understanding that doing this conscious work wasn’t about becoming somebody else, but rather being able to stand and hold myself with love, exactly as I am. To find true acceptance of me as a whole.

Finding my home

Stepping into my purpose

The natural progression was starting my own breathwork business. This was a monumental leap of trust and faith, however, I struggled with the concept of it for many years. Who was I to think I could hold space for others? After all, I was still on my own healing journey and I didn’t have all of my own answers. I pushed against this for years. The self-doubt, the lack of self-worth, the slipping into relating to myself with unkindness. Yet each time I pulled away, I somehow ended up coming back. This service and space I was holding was bigger than my thoughts, it was bigger than me. It was my purpose.

My study and exploration of the human mind, body, and spirit continued and my relationship with myself deepened. I learned that I am an Empath (oh my goodness! – how this freed and allowed me an understanding of why I feel everything so much). I learned of energy and intuition and what that “ping” in my body is when something doesn’t feel quite right. I learned to work with it and trust it. I studied massage therapy to acquire a greater understanding the physical body. I worked and continue to work with a Core Energetic, Mind and Body Psychotherapist, developing and expanding my relationship with my inner child. I became drawn to investigating my shadow side. Experiencing, that upon allowing myself to bring light to this shadow, there was gold to be found. It was another key to true self-love and acceptance. I studied life coaching and grounded my knowledge of the power of intention and action.

Every snippet I would uncover and integrate had a flow-on effect, not only in my own life, but that of family, friends, and clients. I was creating an ever-deepening space of empathy, compassion, and understanding. I discovered what resonated with me and what didn’t, I realised that I was actually trusting myself and feeling a level of safety like never before. I was becoming aware and confident of my boundaries and I wasn’t trying to please everybody else at my own expense… I was actually becoming clear and stepping into my truth.

Finding my homeI am home

So here I am now, in my 42nd year on this planet – a concept that ten years ago seemed utterly impossible. I am a woman who reflects on the years I have lived with a sense of gratitude, knowing in my heart that everything I experienced has been for a higher purpose, even if in my head I don’t understand it. I am a woman who, when asked how I work with people and their feelings all of the time, can honestly answer that it is the place I feel most energised and comfortable because masks are left as the door, defences are down and one’s truth is uncovered. It is real and true.  I am a woman who is committed to working with my inner child, growing and deepening and healing my relationship with her. I am a woman who, in my personal and business life has unwavering fundamental pillars of personal truth and integrity.

I am a woman who craves, honest and true human connection but acknowledges that it is still one of the things I fear. I am a woman who is saying “yes!” to my god and universe and flowing with the plan for me with the least amount of resistance. I am a woman who is learning to accept my humanness and meet these parts of me with love and compassion. I am a woman who views my vulnerability as my greatest gift to this world as it provides a permission and space for others to do the same. I am a woman who now knows that I am the perfect person to hold space for others seeking self-connection as I have what cannot be learned in any book – empathy and a lifetime of experience. I am a woman who is quirky, disorganised, insanely witty, emotionally messy and imperfectly perfect in all of it.

I am a 41-year-old woman who finally feels like I am meant to be in this world and this actually is my home.

About Natalie Gaul

Natalie Gaul


Natalie is a Conscious Life + Shadow Coach, Breathworker, Creative Artist, Group Facilitator, Writer and Published Author and Artist. She is living a quiet, conscious, and connected life with her family on the New South Wales Central Coast, in Australia, beautifully balancing her client work with her creative artwork. You can find Natalie online at or on Facebook and Instagram as @natalie.gaul

 Thought pieces

Ask for help, talk to others

Pieces like this are not easy to write and I thank Natalie for her courage and honesty. They need to be written as there is too much silence. And they highlight the importance of connecting with others. I am aware it may not have been easy to read for some people. If anything in this post triggers anything for you, I encourage you to reach out to others for support. Talk to a trusted family member or friend. Or contact organisations set up especially to provide support. In Australia, key organisations for support are Beyond Blue and Lifeline. International support organisations can all be found here.

Keep in touch

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

coaching personality and story

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

August 25, 2017

 “Become a scientist of your own experience.”

Elizabeth Gilbert quoting her guru on The Good Life Project


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts on aspects of self-leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lead Yourself First

Books and reading notes

My reading week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self Leadership International which provides the definition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His key message is that:

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

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


Blog/Twitter/Instagram posts and interactions:

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

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


On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

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

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

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

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

Have a fabulous creative weekend!

Life Design Cards

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

Feature image via

Keep in touch

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

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

coaching creativity planning & productivity work life

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

July 28, 2017

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

Jen Carrington

successful life

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

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

Imagining a different lifestyle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts on crafting a successful life on your own terms 

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

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

It covers:

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

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

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

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

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

Books and reading notes

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

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

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

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

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

successful life

Blog/Twitter/Instagram posts and interactions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

successful life

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

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

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

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

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

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

Have a fabulous creative weekend!

successful life

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

Feature image via

Keep in touch

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

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

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

creativity inspiration & influence personality and story

Creative and Connected #4 – the wholehearted edition

July 7, 2017



Inspiring resources to keep you creative and connected and an exciting wholehearted Quiet Writing guest posting opportunity!

Here’s a round up of what I’ve enjoyed and shared this week on various social platforms with a focus this week on being wholehearted in life and creativity.

One of the core concepts behind Quiet Writing is being wholehearted and having the self-leadership to connect with others and feel integrated within ourselves to achieve our creative goals.

This week, Creative and Connected explores this theme:

What is wholehearted? Why is it important? What are the factors in having a great life? How can we bring our whole selves to our careers and creative practices?

And there’s a special opportunity for you to share Your Wholehearted Story’ on Quiet Writing! Yes, I’m putting out a call for for guest bloggers – I’m looking for some special people to write for Quiet Writing about what being wholehearted means to you. More on this below but I’m very excited to be opening Quiet Writing up to our collective voices so we can share the living of a whole, creative and connected life in support of each other.

Podcasts on wholehearted living

The 3 Most Important Factors for Having a Great Life with Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields is a leader in helping people create meaningful, connected and happy lives. In this interview on Melyssa Griffin’s Pursuit with Purpose podcast, he shares his work across different careers including shifting from law into different directions that were more in line with his heart and what he wanted in life.

Key points for me were:

  • Jonathan’s core set of questions and metrics to consider when making a life change
  • The three areas of your life that determine whether or not you’ll have a fulfilled, happy life: connection, contribution and vitality – and suggestions for how to achieve these.

Elizabeth Dialto on The Wild Soul Woman

This fabulous podcast chat between Julie Parker and Elizabeth Dialto on The Priestess Podcast was so much fun. Elizabeth is the founder of Wild Soul Movement, author of Untame Yourself, and host of the popular Untame The Wild Soul Woman podcast.

This conversation is about how the Divine Feminine can mean all manner of things for women in being untamed including embracing less traditionally female archetypes. The podcast also explores some of the traditional roles that women play that can keep us in people pleasing mode and not embracing our fuller, wilder, more assertive soul within. Super enjoyable and an invitation to wholehearted divine feminine living!

Books and reading notes

Reading wise this week I started Tracy Chevalier’s At the Edge of the Orchard about a dysfunctional family of apple-growers in 19th century America.

Tracy Chevalier is a favourite author of mine. Her specialty is historical fiction and she has a wonderful way of taking a historical story and building on it with a fictional narrative. She is especially strong on creating a sense of place. ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ is probably her most famous book but my favourite is ‘Remarkable Creatures’ set in Lyme Regis in Dorset and based on the real life story of pioneering fossil hunter, Mary Anning.

Tracy Chevalier announced on Twitter this week that Remarkable Creatures is currently being made into a movie.

This is so exciting! When I read Remarkable Creatures it just begged to be made into a movie – it’s so evocative and visual and such a fabulous story. Plus if you love Lyme Regis, Dorset and fossils as I do, it’s just pure heaven. It’s a story of discovery, self-belief and strength, especially of female strength and courage, in the face of opposition.

Blog/Twitter/Instagram posts and interactions:

There have been some interesting blog posts on wholehearted living, being clear, moving through and understanding your personality type and its influence recently:

The only 3 things you need to live a good life explains Jonathan Field’s concept of how the joy of living can be seen in terms of three simple buckets: connection, contribution, and vitality. It’s easy to focus on and check in with, clear and remarkably helpful.

In Why your introversion doesn’t dictate your career path over on The Introvert Effect, Rebecca McFarland explains how being an introvert doesn’t limit you with your career paths and ways of working. You just need to learn to work it differently. Rebecca shares some fabulous tips for managing career and roles outside your comfortable energy zone.

In a great post on The Leadership Styles of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type, Susan Storm explores each MBTI type around the strengths and weaknesses of its unique leadership style. The key message?

Any type can be a leader, but every type is going to do it a little bit differently.

Insightful, thorough and grounded in practical experience, it’s a valuable reference for understanding leadership and personality type.

A post that spoke to me deeply this week was Nicole Cody’s Small Steps and a Pep Talk for Hard Days. It seems I’m not alone in finding this year to be a challenging one. Sometimes it’s hard to see that we are making progress. This post is a great reminder to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come. This is also a theme that popped up for me this week in my Tarot Narrative intuitive messages.

My own post on 10 Amazing Life Lessons from Swimming in the Sea was also really positively received in all sorts of ways which was so heartening. I loved writing this post on the many things that swimming in the sea has taught me this year. It’s been such a valuable learning experience in exercise, connection with community and feeling more whole through vitality and being coached by inspirational fit women buddies, Jeanette Buchanan and Samantha Wheatley.

sea swimming

An invitation to guest post on Quiet Writing on ‘My Wholehearted Story’

And now to an exciting opportunity to guest post on Quiet Writing!

Quiet Writing celebrates wholehearted living and writing, career and creativity.

But what does wholehearted mean to me – and you?

It’s a word I found coming out of my mouth in a negative sense firstly. About a year ago, I found myself saying, “I am just not feeling wholehearted any more.” And this sense started a deep search and a time of transition to a more wholehearted way of creating and living that is expressing itself in many ways. This is through Quiet Writing here, in my writing, in learning to be a Life Coach, in becoming certified in personality type assessment and in working more with intuitive tools such as tarot and oracle. And it’s also expressed in my developing work in coaching to support others who want to feel more creative and connected. And I am so loving all of this!

In the early stages of this transition journey, I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast “Who gets to decide if you’re a legitimate artist?‘ with poet, teacher, storyteller and artist, Mark Nepo. In discussing how to help Cecilia, a poet who has become marooned with writing because of not feeling good enough, being rejected and not being able to get into an MFA program, Mark offers her the word ‘wholehearted’ as advice and reads his beautiful poem:

Breaking Surface

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.

Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.

You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

I listened to Mark reading this poem on the podcast again today and cried (again). It touches me so deeply and is what Quiet Writing is all about: letting no one keep us from our journey and being the creative explorer of our hearts.

So I’ve decided it’s time to hear more voices around wholehearted living and what it means to us here at Quiet Writing.

I am offering you the opportunity to consider guest posting here at Quiet Writing on ‘My Wholehearted Story’. Initially, I have six places on offer for 2017 – one per month to be featured here so that we can learn from each others’ journeys of the heart in this space.

I am hoping that we can also consider a regular or one-off publication or online magazine as well. I feel that there is a wealth of wholehearted stories to tap into to support us all, as source that we can add to and connect with over time.


What is ‘My Wholehearted Story’?

So here’s a summary of what I am thinking and what I am looking for:

What is wholehearted?

  • bringing your whole self to career and creative practice
  • not leaving parts of you, especially the creative, poetic, spiritual aspects, at the door, any door
  • being whole, being authentic, being light, being present
  • self-care and care of and connection with others
  • yin and yang, dark and light, strength and weakness, shadow explorations
  • living our unique passions, gifts and influences
  • being our body of work in the world

How does it connect with Quiet Writing?

Quiet Writing focuses on the core values of being

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected

It’s about the strength that comes from working steadily without fanfare in writing and other spheres to coalesce, create, influence and connect. And it’s about honouring the process as much as the product; the being, becoming and journey, as much as the arrival. It’s about the artistry behind closed doors and how it merges and weaves into that of everyday life.

This beautiful quote, from Irene Claremont de Castillejo, in the frontispiece to The Heart Aroused by David Whyte captures the feeling for me around this more soulful kind of living:

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

What might you write about?

I’m interested in the ways that you have strived to build all or any of these values – creative, flowing, intuitive, poetic and connected – into living more wholeheartedly. And how you have worked and written and created quietly to make this happen, behind the scenes, as a form of the art of the living.

I’m interested in guest blog posts and writing around these types of questions:

  • What makes you feel wholehearted and what does it mean to you?
  • What have your learnings been about being whole in heart and mind?
  • What tools, tips, practices, do you have for others?
  • Which intuitive tools, exercise, learning, skills or courses have made a significant difference for you?
  • How have you worked your strengths and weaknesses to blend and find wholeness?
  • What have been the challenges, the shadow journeys and how have you overcome them?
  • What fears have you faced and wrangled on the way and what have you learnt from this?
  • Which passions and loves come together to make you feel whole?
  • What have been the features of connecting to feeling more whole: rhythms, women’s voices, cycles, the journeys of others?
  • What have been your key influences: which book or other inspiration helped make sense of all this for you?
  • What aspects of your identity or personality journey have you worked through eg introversion, extraversion, understanding of your personality/MBTI type, your artistic or poetic self?
  • Which critical learnings about an aspect of your personality made all the difference in feeling whole and comfortable in your uniqueness?
  • What symbols, archetypes or natural cycles work for you and how do you work with them?
  • How have you practised self-leadership to feel more wholehearted?

As you can see, there are so many ways of looking at this concept of wholeheartedness and what makes us sing and be able to do our unique work in the world. I’d love to hear your story!

You would need to contribute:

  • a 2000 word (maximum) blog post draft to me a week in advance of an agreed date for publication
  • any suggested accompanying images and photos that you would like to include
  • a bio and accompanying photo

What are the benefits?

The benefits for you are:

  • being featured as a creative and connected voice in the Quiet Writing community
  • the opportunity to share your work, business, writing and learning
  • the opportunity to flex your writing muscles in new ways
  • the chance to reflect on your journey and experience in being wholehearted and share this
  • increased connection with like-minded others
  • the possibility of inclusion in a regular or one-off online publication if there is sufficient interest

The benefits for the Quiet Writing community are:

  • our voices coming together to celebrate being creative, flowing, intuitive, poetic and connected
  • sharing journeys to living more wholeheartedly so we can help each other to shine
  • feeling more connected with a community of like-minded people around creative living and blending this with career and other aspects of life
  • the opportunity for publishing as a collective of voices to help inspire others in wholehearted creative living

If you’re interested?

Initially, I have six guest blogging spots available for each remaining month of 2017. But I’m hoping that the response will be such that we can consider an ongoing ‘My Wholehearted Story’ feature each month or more regularly as well other ways to showcase our stories together.

If you are interested in one of these initial guest blogging spots, please contact me as soon as possible at with your immediate thoughts on what you would like to focus on for your piece.

I’ll provide more details on specifics following this but I’d love your initial thoughts and a sense of response.

Or feel free to provide any thoughts on the concept of ‘My Wholehearted Story’ in the comments or via email. I’d love to hear your thoughts and can’t wait to receive your responses!


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

Have a fabulous creative weekend!

Underwater swimming image via

Keep in touch

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

6 Inspiring Podcasts for Creatives and Book Lovers

Creative and Connected #3 – on self-care

Creative and Connected #2

Creative and Connected #1

Personality, story and Introverted Intuition

Shining a quiet light – working the gifts of introversion

inspiration & influence personality and story transcending

10 amazing life lessons from swimming in the sea

July 4, 2017

sea swimming

This year I started swimming in the sea. I swim two or three times a week, about a kilometre each time. It’s coming into winter in Sydney and I’m still swimming.

The greatest surprise is how much I love it. Getting stronger and fitter was a goal I set to work on with two coaches this year as part of my coaching training and development. I’m supporting my mum who is not well as my primary life focus at present. Ensuring I balance this priority with my own self-care, well-being and fitness at this time is an important goal.

The other big surprise is how much I’ve learned from it. Like walking, swimming is a meditative practice and swimming in the sea adds other dimensions of weather conditions, sea creatures and a natural underwater world to explore as you exercise. There’s time to reflect on life  as you stroke and watch the sand patterns, the fish moving and the seaweed swaying.

So here’s some learning I’ve gathered from my experiences of swimming in the sea.

10 amazing life lessons from swimming in the sea

1 You don’t have to see clearly to keep moving

Some days the water is cloudy and you can’t see well. Sure, it’s a bit off-putting but you can still exercise, keep moving and achieve the same goals. Not being able to see clearly can be challenging but it’s also something to work through and learn from. You could give up on account of not being able to see clearly but knowing where you’re eventually heading is enough to keep you moving forward. And you can develop resilience in managing the not-so-perfect conditions as well. Let’s face it – everything’s not always going to be crystal clear.

2 You can adjust your stroke to the conditions

Each day is different but you can adjust, mixing up the strokes so that you can manage the environment. When it gets choppy, breaststroke is a gentler way to ride the waves. If you need to get through some challenging currents, you might need to switch to freestyle and stroke more strongly, digging deeper. That ability to mix up your responses, dialling up and down, emphasising and de-emphasising helps you stay the distance.You can modulate your stroke, powering up and powering down, depending on the conditions. That way you can still make headway without losing too much energy in the process.

3 Breathing deeply and rhythmically is the best solution to feeling challenged

Sometimes the water’s choppy, other times your equipment proves challenging and you take in water; other times, something’s just worrying you and you feel rattled and you don’t move as smoothly through the water. But you can stop and sort the issues out, then restart, breathing deeply and rhythmically. It’s so calming and soon you’re stroking and moving with grace again. It seems that deep, rhythmic breathing is potentially the best and simplest way to tackle most situations that are troubling.

4 Getting all your equipment right helps immensely

You set out all positive but sometimes your equipment lets you down. A leaky swim mask can be so frustrating and you have to keep stopping. Without the right wetsuit, you’ll find swimming in cold water very difficult. You learn from others and from experience and the days you get all the equipment right, you swim so much better and so much more comfortably. It’s partly preparation and partly experience, but it makes all the difference when you get all the aspects working together. It’s a good reminder about the value of setting out in an organised fashion, putting in the research and listening to and learning from others.

5 Learning the names of things (like sea creatures) enriches our experience

Sage Cohen in her book, ‘Fierce on the Page‘, talks about poet Galway Kinnell’s advice to younger poets: “Learn the names of things.” Sage goes on to explain:

When we learn the vocabulary of any topic – insects, dinosaurs, solar systems, or bath towels, for example – we transcend time, space, and form, and we get to experience particular realms through the specificity of language. The names of things are the keys that unlock such raptures. (page 98)

So I’m identifying and learning the names of what I’m seeing as I swim like: magpie morwong, shovel nose ray, catfish, whiting, nudibranch, flathead, bream and sting ray. I research afterwards so I know what I’ve seen. It helps me really look at the fish and the other creatures carefully. Staying curious and learning the details provides so many resources you can use in other contexts, like writing, plus it’s so much fun.

6 Facing our fears is often as simple as just moving and doing it

Once I would never go beyond my depths in water because of a fear of things, like, well, deep water. But I was missing out on so much and the fear was out of proportion to the risk. Now I swim in deep water and I swim with tiny baby Port Jackson sharks sitting on the bottom of the sand. They’ve come into the bay to grow and I swim over them looking in wonder at their beautiful colours. So now I swim comfortably in deeper waters between boats anchored and I look down at baby sharks and it’s so empowering. It’s true, just doing what we fear can be the best way to face our fears, assessing and managing any risks but watching our tendency to overstate them.

7 Solitary activities can be more fun with the support of a friendly team

There’s no way I would do this by myself. Even though swimming is mostly a solitary activity, I swim with a group. Different locals turn up each time; there’s a core of people and we swim together. We share experiences and tips and laugh together about how crazy we are to swim in winter. We support each other and have coffee together after when it’s freezing. It makes it so much easier and more enjoyable and I learn from them. It’s a reminder that even doing solitary activities, like coaching and writing, can be so more fun when we’re supported by a friendly community. Finding ways to form groups around independent working, creativity or exercising is so valuable and will help keep us going for the long haul.

8 You can zig-zag and still get to your destination so don’t be too hard on yourself

Swimming in the sea is different to other swimming I’ve done. There’s no chlorine (yay!) and you need to learn to work with different currents and waves each day. And sometimes it gets all so interesting looking at everything under the water, you lose your direction. But it’s okay to zig-zag a bit. Over time, you get better at navigating via the tracks in the sand and keeping your line. So don’t be too hard on yourself for not swimming perfectly straight occasionally. It’s all fine – you’ll still get there and maybe learn or see something new in the process.

sea swimming

9 Exercise can be the best kind of meditation (Swimming with fish is the best!)

We start and end our swim near a reef with beautiful fish. Most days you can see hundreds of fish of so many different varieties. You can swim through them and above them – tiny silver fleeting fish, black and white and yellow magpie morwongs, little bright blue fish, zebra striped ones. And there’s seaweed and rocks for them to move amongst. It’s a backdrop of waving beauty and there’s light making stunning rainbow patterns on the deep sandy bottom.

To start and end the swim this way is a kind of meditative asana, like the beginning and close of a yoga class. The body begins to exercise, the mind begins to still, and then comes to rest at the end as you climb out of the water feeling like a different being. It’s important to remember that exercise can be a form of meditation – walking, yoga, swimming – and this kind of break in your week is so very needed.

10 You can be meditative, mindful and let thoughts go as you crystallise new perspectives

These ten lessons I’ve learned from swimming in the sea I gathered together whilst swimming in the sea. And like any meditative exercise, it’s a combination of being mindful and letting thoughts go as well as crystallising significant reflections. Just as you coalesce thoughts as you step out on a walk, you can gather random intuitive pieces and frame them into new shapes. For example, a blog post to share with others. Meditative exercise can help us rest the mind and also help thoughts come together into new realisations. These perspectives can be so valuable in gathering our thoughts, managing uncertainty and being resilient. And with this strength, we can be of assistance to others.

Thought pieces

This post is dedicated to two amazing, fit women who are life coaches trained by the Beautiful You Coaching AcademySamantha Jayne Wheatley and Jeanette Buchanan. I have had the pleasure of being coached gently by both these inspirational women. They have taught me by example and through their coaching, about the power of being healthy, of getting out and moving. And of the value of self-love and self-care in this activity and how it can be of benefit to others.

I am so grateful. Love you both xx

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

sea swimming

Feature and fish image from and used with permission and thanks.

Bottom image from a beautiful local swimming day recently.

Keep in touch & free ebook on the books that shaped my story

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Moving, stillness and navigating challenging times

Creative and connected – on self-care

36 Books that Shaped my Story: Reading as Creative Influence

coaching intuition personality and story

Personality, story and Introverted Intuition

June 19, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

The landscape of personality

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

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

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

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

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

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

The four Perceiving functions are:

Extraverted Sensing – abbreviated as Se – Sensory Experience

Introverted Sensing – Si – Sensory Memory

Extraverted Intuition – Ne – Exploring possibilities

Introverted Intuition – Ni – Visionary insight

The four Judging functions are:

Extraverted Thinking – Te – Logical outcomes

Introverted Thinking – Ti – Internal analysis

Extraverted Feeling – Fe – Harmonizing people

Introverted Feeling – Fi – Universal values

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

Extraversion vs Introversion (E/I)

Sensing vs Intuition (S/N)

Thinking vs Feeling (T/F)

Judging vs Perceiving (J/P)

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

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

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

You can read more personality basics here.

Personality types and functions

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

As I say in the Life Reaction article:

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

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

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

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

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

Personality, story and life coaching

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

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

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

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

And as Isabel Briggs Myers has said:

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

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

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

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

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


Thought pieces

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

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

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

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

Keep in touch

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

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

Being a vessel or working with introverted intuition

Overwhelm, intuition and thinking

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

6 Inspiring Podcasts for Creatives and Book Lovers

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