Browsing Tag

self-leadership

inspiration & influence planning & productivity

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

January 19, 2018

manifest energy

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

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

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

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

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

The unexamined life is not worth living.

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

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

Practices I’ve engaged in over time to manifest energy

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

Unravel Your Year – with Susannah Conway

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

As per the oft-repeated quote:

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

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

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

Manifest energy

Goddess of the Year

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

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

manifest energy

Word of the Year

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

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

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

Manifest energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

The courage to show up

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

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

Images by me except for:

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

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

inspiration & influence intuition

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

December 9, 2017

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

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology


new story

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

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon energies

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

As Cathy Pagano reminds us in her post:

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon connections

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon tarot reading tools:

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

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

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

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

new story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot reading – card by card:

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

1 What is pulling me in one direction? THE LOVERS

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

the desire and pursuit of the whole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Petit Senn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

new story

Ways to step into your new life story

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

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

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

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

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

Wisdom from the Nine of Swords

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

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

New story

 

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

Thought pieces

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

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

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

Keep in touch

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

I’ve just sent my November 2017 newsletter but I send one out each month as my ‘Beach Notes’ with the inside story and behind the scenes thoughts and tips.

If you’d like to receive ‘Beach Notes’, just pop your email in the box to the right or below and I’ll send the most recent one. PLUS, you will also receive ’36 Books’, my 94-page reflection on the books that have shaped my story. Find out which 36 books influenced me and why! And think about your book influences to inform the development of your story.

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:

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

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

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

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

transition wholehearted stories

Becoming who I really am – a wholehearted story

November 27, 2017

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

Carl Jung

Becoming

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

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

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

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

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

Beginning the conversation

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

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

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

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

Until two years ago.

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

Becoming

First steps

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

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

Discovering what matters

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

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

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

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

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

These words brought an awareness of what really matters.

Becoming

Gathering momentum

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

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

Becoming a wild writer

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

Yes!

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

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

Becoming

A shift in imagination

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

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

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

And the richest benefit, beautifully expressed by Stephanie:

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

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

Becoming

Following my heart

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

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

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

Becoming

Creating the new story

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

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

Becoming

On the path to becoming who I really am

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

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

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

About Colleen Reagon

Colleen Reagon

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

 

Read more Wholehearted Stories

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

Finding my home – a wholehearted story

My wild soul is calling – a wholehearted story

Our heart always knows the way – a wholehearted story

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

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!

planning & productivity writing

NaNoWriMo – 10 lessons on the value of writing each day

November 14, 2017

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

Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

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

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

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

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

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

The biggest discovery – creativity over the long-haul

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

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

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

Strategies for making NaNoWriMo part of a longer creative plan

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

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

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

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

Showing up and doing the writing

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

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

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

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

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

NaNoWriMo

10 lessons from NaNoWriMo and writing each day

1 It takes a village

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

2 Prepare the ground

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

3 Make a plan and have an outline

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

4 Structure and the big picture helps you be flexible

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

NaNoWriMo

5 Work with your intuition and its tools 

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

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

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

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

6 Connect with mentors and coaches

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

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

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

8 Keep it clear, practical and simple using metrics 

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

 

NaNoWriMo

9 Connect with supporters and be accountable

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

10 I am so grateful

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

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

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

Seth Godin, Dedicating the merit

 

NaNoWriMo

Thought pieces

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

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

Dr Ezzie Spencer – The Book Whispering Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

Practical tools to increase writing productivity

Creative and connected #12 – The courage to show up

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

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

inspiration & influence intuition

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

November 6, 2017

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

Robert Louis Stevenson


aspiring

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

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

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

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

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

Taurus Full Moon connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example, we might ask ourselves:

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

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

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

Taurus Full Moon tarot reading tools:

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

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

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

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

 

aspiring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot reading – card by card:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aspiring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to step into your aspiring life

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

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

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

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

Wisdom from the Three of Wands

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

aspiring

 

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

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 work life

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

October 27, 2017

This article is a roundup of recent Quiet Writing guest posts with a personality skills focus. This includes: how to be the best you can be as an introvert in recruitment; leadership and self-leadership; and introverted and extraverted intuition.

They all reflect the focus in Quiet Writing on wholehearted self-leadership and knowing our personality and how to work it.

personality skills

Learning about recruitment as an introvert

My guest post, This is How to Make the Most of the Right Recruitment Opportunities as an Introvert, is featured on WorkSearch.com. It explores the challenges and opportunities in presenting yourself strongly as an introvert in recruitment processes.

This article on personality skills in introversion and recruitment stems from my leadership experiences, observing and supporting others going through recruitment. It is shaped by my developing practice over time as an applicant and an introvert. And it’s informed by my professional understanding as a personality type practitioner.

There have been three key influences in shaping my practice and experience as an introvert in the recruitment space:

  1. Working with a coach and mentor over time – I worked on my skills over time in coaching and workshop contexts with executive coach, Nick Greenhalgh, from Career Innovations. In partnership, we developed skills in leadership and recruitment in staff members. This was so they could present themselves in their best light when applying for positions.
  2. Understanding quiet influence skills via Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference – This book, by author, speaker and executive coach, Jennifer Kahnweiler features in my 36 Books that Shaped my Story. Through it, I learnt to value and deploy the natural introvert skill-set for influence and impact. Importantly, I learnt how to apply it for maximum effect in recruitment situations and leadership roles.
  3. Developing my practice as a professional in Jung/Myers-Briggs personality type – It’s one thing to know you are an introvert and what that means. But I wanted to dive deeper and use my knowledge to help others. I knew the difference this self-knowledge made in my life, so I was keen to share this light with others. So I’ve trained in personality skills and type assessment, adding this to my professional leadership and self-leadership skill-set.

Sharing skills learned as an introvert in recruitment

Based on this input and background, in this article, I share my feelings and experiences about being an introvert in recruitment contexts. I have invested significant energy in my skills over time both as an applicant and leader. I share my learnings and key resources from this experience in personality skills to guide you.

Whilst this piece focuses on introverts in recruitment, the skills are valuable for all going through recruitment. You might be more extraverted in preference and so able to think quickly on your feet. But skills like thorough preparation, achievement mapping, knowing your case studies and writing well will only complement your natural strengths, making your claim for positions stronger.

I hope you enjoy this article honed from my personality skills knowledge, leadership and self-leadership skills. I’d love any feedback and thoughts on your experiences and on the article itself.

This Is How To Make The Most Of The Right Recruitment Opportunities As An Introvert

Leadership, self-leadership and solitude

You might also enjoy my other recent guest post on WorkSearch.com, How to Become the Heart of Successful Leadership: This is What You Need to Know. It was based on the 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 influenced my thoughts and reflections. Leadership especially as a quieter person and the value of solitude for all leaders are highlighted in this piece.

How To Become The Heart Of Successful Leadership: This Is What You Need To Know

Personality, wholeness and intuition

I naturally focus on introvert areas as an introvert and because I know the difference this knowledge made to me. Learning to work my introversion was a light-bulb moment for me and many of my coaching clients and Quiet Writing readers relate to this. But in my personality work, I’m interested in promoting balance, wholeness and acceptance of others, whatever our type. It’s great to understand our own personality type. It’s also valuable to learn from other preferences.

So, it was fascinating to deep dive into intuition from both an introverted and extraverted perspective in guest posts over on Life Reaction recently. If you haven’t already read them, you can find them here:

Introverted Intuition: Learning from its Mysteries

Extraverted Intuition: Imagining the Possibilities.

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

personality skills

Personality skills and wholehearted self-leadership

I hope you enjoyed this round-up of Quiet Writing guest posts on introverts, recruitment, leadership, personality and intuition.

These guest post pieces reflect the heart of Quiet Writing. Two key themes 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 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 how we strive for creative lives and careers
  • Personality assessment and exploration – to be able to explore our personality skills and stories through Jung/Myers-Briggs frameworks and other perspectives to help us in our quest for understanding, accepting and knowing ourselves.

I look forward to exploring these themes further at Quiet Writing and in writing, personality and coaching work.

And my sincere thanks to WorkSearch and Life Reaction for featuring my work on their platforms as part of a growing body of knowledge on personality skills, leadership and self-leadership.

personality skills

Keep in touch

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 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 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:

Shining a quiet light – working the gifts of introversion

How to know and honour your special creative influences

Being a vessel or working with introverted intuition

Overwhelm, intuition and thinking

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

All images except personality books via pexels.com and used with permission and thanks.

inspiration & influence intuition

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

October 8, 2017

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

Jessica Shepherd, from Mooncircles

  focused

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

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

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

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

Aries Full Moon connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aries Full Moon tarot reading tools:

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

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

authentic

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

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

 

authentic

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot reading – card by card:

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

1 What area do I need support in? THE FOOL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the student is ready, the master will appear.

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

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

authentic

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

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

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

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

Ways to step into our authentic truth

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

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

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

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

Wisdom from the Five of Pentacles

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

authentic

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

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

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

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

Keep in touch

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

36 Books that Shaped my Story – Reading as Creative Influence

The unique voice of what we love

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

coaching personality and story planning & productivity

Creative and connected #12 The courage to show up

September 15, 2017

Courage starts by showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

show up

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

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

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected.

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

Showing up at Quiet Writing and elsewhere this year

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

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

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

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

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

Podcasts on what it means to show up

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

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

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

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

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

Action assuages fear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

show up

Books and reading notes: My reading week

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

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

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

Book and blog notes on the courage to show up

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

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

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

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

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

Brené Brown: Daring Greatly, Rising Strong

Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic

Stephen King: On Writing

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

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

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

courage

Social media interactions

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

On Quiet Writing and Tarot Narratives

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

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

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

Share your thoughts:

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

Have a fabulous creative weekend.

show up

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

Feature image and desktop pic via pexels.com

Keep in touch

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

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

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

creativity inspiration & influence

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

September 8, 2017

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Now, feel just how you would choose to have your life feel and infuse it with light and power.

Pat Liles, from The Power Path

  Full Moon in Pisces

The Pisces Full Moon invites to step up into our power. This tarot reading reflects on how we can maximise our self-leadership at this time.

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

Assimilating into the now, we welcome a watery *FULL MOON* in Pisces. She reminds us to go within and listen to the deep pulsing of our hearts.

Can we hear our unique beat? Can we find our way back to our place of self-recognition, our exhale into ourselves, into our fullness, into the moment as it is? Exactly as it is?

This Full Moon has powerful energies for shifting into our creative heart. It provides opportunities to break old habits and ways of thinking. It’s time to get back to what is important, sacred and wholehearted for each of us now.

Special Pisces Full Moon connections

I felt a special connection with this Full Moon. Being in the Sun sign of Virgo and on my birthday, it flagged particular personal significance. It also connects with the focus of Quiet Writing about being wholehearted and, in this, being of service.

Cathy Pagano highlights the Virgo aspects of this Full Moon period:

At this first Full Moon after the Leo Eclipse…we’re going to dive deep in the Collective Unconscious (Pisces Moon) to see those aspects of life which we’ve neglected and abandoned in favor of our patriarchal need to ‘get ahead’.

As we deal with our shadows, we can figure out how we can be of service (Virgo Sun) to our world.

But before we can be of service, we have to integrate our own body, soul and spirit.

That’s Virgo’s purpose: to integrate all of who we are so we can offer our talents and gifts to the world…

I felt shivers as I read this.

These words sum up my purpose here at Quiet Writing; that is it: “to integrate all of who we are so we can offer our talents and gifts to the world.

My focus here is on wholehearted self-leadership and these energies give us a special time to reflect on and step into our personal power. This includes an emphasis on how we can be of service to others in our work in the world.

This dramatic, transformational energy has been accumulating for a while now. But now we can step it up, with the combination of watery, creative Pisces and practical, efficient Virgo. It’s a perfect time to hone the passions of our true heart. A key part of this is leaving behind what no longer serves us, especially any negative habits of how we think about ourselves.

Pisces Full Moon tarot reading tools:

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

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

Full Moon Pisces

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

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

Full Moon in Pisces tarot

I smiled as the TWO OF SWORDS arrived first up around “What’s bubbling to the surface from the shadowy depths?” It also popped up for my New Moon in Leo/Solar Eclipse reading two weeks ago around what’s blocking me from growing. This card for me is all about thought and feeling, how they come together and feed each other. So I sensed that this reading is all about being at a crossroads and an opportunity to move through.

THE WORLD turning up around how I can better connect emotionally with the world was a lovely synergy. Expansion and how being wholehearted relates to service jumps out as key themes.

There are three Swords cards in all so a big focus on cut-through and words as thoughts, tools, and weapons. And I love that both the first and last cards feature blindfolds, being trapped in some way, possibly of our own doing. This suggests it’s time to break free and the KNIGHT OF SWORDS hints at this energy of riding, moving and being less risk-averse.

The FIVE OF COINS (PENTACLES) and SIX OF RODS (WANDS) are also cards I connect with strongly. They are indicators around how we choose to see the world and what we do with all our experiences, including the challenging ones.

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 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 connections.

1 What is bubbling to the surface from the shadowy depths? TWO OF SWORDS

The key message for me with this card in this spot is about the ability to choose between options. This is especially about what we choose to think and feel. When it came up for the New Moon, my thoughts were about “how being guarded comes at a cost” (Sakki Sakki Guidebook p139). This theme continues for this reading.

It could be taking the blindfold off to be able to see more clearly. Or it could be choosing to keep it on to zone out from what’s distracting us, just as we might wear noise-cancelling headphones to concentrate. But having the strength to choose and stop second guessing all the time is important now. How much energy do we chew up about what we can’t change? What effort goes into worrying about what we are unable to influence?

So what’s bubbling up as a force is being more certain and less trapped in our thinking patterns. It signals being more in tune with our feelings.

2 How can I protect myself while still letting down my walls in order to FULLY feel? FIVE OF COINS (PENTACLES)

The FIVE OF COINS exactly captures that feeling of being unprotected. As Jessa Crispin puts it in The Creative Tarot:

You’ve been cast out. Excommunicated. That’s how this card feels, like you’re some kind of leper, and the people around you can’t wait to stick you on an island somewhere and forget about you. You feel lost and unprotected. (p161)

My sense of this card is around choosing to see the positives in any given situation. As the Sakki Sakki guidebook puts it: “Start seeing the full half of the glass, what you do have; and never underestimate your caring relationships and friendships.” (p158)

It is so easy when we have been cut adrift to feel the whole world is a loveless and lonely place. You might be making your own way, especially creatively, and independence has its virtues. But access the help of friends and supporters as you make your way. New connections and those special friends who’ve been there for you over time are of immense value now.  They are ways to protect yourself at this time of vulnerability and forging new roads.

3 What plans do I need to take risks on in order to release any blockages in my way? KNIGHT of SWORDS

The Knight of Swords arrives, brandishing his sword in a somewhat swashbuckling way, to remind me to just get on with it. He reminds me to be less risk-averse in my vulnerability and creativity. I need to follow through with my planned thoughts and actions.

Especially, I need to not fear being innovative and making new connections.

If you’re making a new way in a new world, what ideas are you coalescing? How are you bringing together those unique combinations only you can create? In what ways are you expressing your unique life blend, your onlyness?

Jessa Crispin reminds us:

Swords are words and thoughts, and the Knight of Swords knows how to use his words as weapons…It’s about using your ability to put thoughts and words into action, to sway others, and to encourge dissent. (p241)

It’s a good reminder to review how we are using our words in the context of being of service to others. How are we encouraging, offering support, also being that special friend to others? Where can we use our influence in the world for good and for positive outcomes, to make a difference?

4 What can I incorporate into my life in order to better connect emotionally with the world around me?   The WORLD

I like that THE WORLD came up for this one – a beautifully expansive perspective! In this context, this card speaks of having a sense of completion and mastery. It’s time to realise those lessons learned and take them forward. Gathering all the pieces, steps and parts together, it’s a moment to step up and contribute.

We can stay focused, FIVE OF COINS style, on what we lack, what we’re missing, how we’ve been shut out. Or we can take a look at how far we’ve come in this past year and realise the hard won victories and efforts. And we can celebrate them and see how we can take them forward to help others now.

So the way to better connect emotionally is through a heightened sense of contribution – yours and mine. What can we do with all this learning, this mastery, this completion? How can we apply it to benefit others?

Spring

5 What wisdom and guidance is emerging from my old wounds? SIX OF RODS (WANDS)

The SIX OF RODS (WANDS) speaks of rising up especially against obstacles. Your new life is taking shape. All that learning from events and people that wounded or disappointed you is being transformed into wisdom. All that rich experience is being absorbed into the fabric of you, especially the grief-stricken and painful times.

As Jessa Crispin focuses our attention:

That’s the goal here: to use failures, near-misses, and lessons learned in battle, and focus on breaking through to something larger and bolder. (p172)

My favourite words about this card are from The Wild Unknown:

Where will you go with your new set of wings?

six of wands

6 In what ways will awareness of my Self manifest during this Full Moon? EIGHT of SWORDS

Ouch – the EIGHT of SWORDS! All of these swords at the end of the number sequence (8, 9, 10!) don’t always feel so great to receive. But there’s a powerful message here.

The image of the EIGHT of SWORDS shows a woman blindfolded (like the TWO OF SWORDS). She seems to be in a trap of her own making. It’s all in the mind it seems. This card here speaks to me of realising how my thoughts stop me from moving forward. What stories am I telling myself? How are feeling and thought interacting and where I am trapped in old habits of thinking?

The Sakki Sakki guidebook tells us directly:

The Eight of Swords is calling you to break out of restricting habits and thoughts, and to initiate your own well-being and advancement by heightening your awareness of your abilities and options. (p145)

So I need to stop waiting to be rescued and for someone to tell me what to do. In line with the TWO of SWORDS up front, I need to make decisions, be clear and cease the second-guessing. Be informed about options and act on them.

Moreover, it’s a message to save yourself and be self-sufficient, noting the support of others as per the FIVE OF COINS. Trust your judgement, listen within and pay attention to what you are telling yourself. Are you being kind and self-compassionate now as you make huge changes? Are you celebrating being more wholehearted?

Combine that KNIGHT OF SWORDS and SIX of SWORDS energy too. Find ways to create yourself anew and to be in service to others based on your learning.

Ways to step into our personal power

So are your thoughts also around how to step into our personal power, with a balance between self and service?

Here are some practical questions prompted by the Pisces Full Moon and reflections on my reading. They build on the recent Capricorn Full Moon reading around stepping up into our power, shedding what doesn’t help us. They also focus on how we can take our learning forward to support others.

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

  • Where do you need to take the blindfolds off?
  • Alternatively, where is it helpful to turn a blind eye?
  • Where does being indecisive cause you grief and hold you back?
  • What is the reason for this indecision?
  • Where can you focus on seeing the glass half-full right now?
  • How are you honouring and calling on the special supporters in your life?
  • Where have you developed mastery and how can you share that?
  • What wounds or disappointments have you moved on from?
  • How can you celebrate and share the wisdom from this learning?
  • Where are your thoughts keeping you trapped? How can you change them?
  • What habits of thought need to be shaken now?
  • What are the underlying feelings keeping you stuck?
  • How can you acknowledge the feelings and move through?
  • Where are you waiting to be rescued or saved? Why?
  • Who is going to rescue you?
  • What can you do to be more self-sufficient at this time?

Special resources for this time:

Two special resources are waving their hands at this time.

Firstly, Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching 101, which I featured in Tarot Narratives on Instagram recently, is stepping forward. This book is a great self-help guide to how our thoughts and feelings interact and cause us difficulty. It’s especially good for breaking old thinking/feeling cycles.

Secondly, I listened to the podcast, How to Stop Playing Small, on Hashtag Authentic yesterday. It’s Sara Tasker chatting with author and coach, Tara Mohr, of Playing Big fame. Here’s a key quote from the show notes:

A lot of us have some sort of sinking, subtle awareness that we’re playing small – even if we don’t know exactly what we mean by that. We have this feeling – I’m hiding, I’m holding back, I’m not using my gifts, I’m not really trusting my ideas.

It was such an awesome chat about how we second-guess and doubt ourselves, especially with language. As I wrote here today, I was much more aware of how I used words like, “I think…” “I guess…” and “It’s probably…”, undercutting my message. I then stopped myself and found another way. It was scary how many times this happened. Time to step up and stop that!

I’ve heard a lot about Tara’s book and I must read it. It’s clearly a book for now and for taking those blindfolds off and being more self-trusting.

Wisdom from the Six of Wands

And here is some final wisdom from The Six of Wands via the Art of Life Tarot because it made me laugh and focus on what we need right now!

Six of wands

Enthusiasm, seeing the glass half-full, being supported by our special new and old friends, playing our cards strongly in the world and trusting our visions. It sounds such a positive way forward and all this Full Moon energy is helping to make these big steps.

May you enjoy the unfolding of this time and may your wholehearted self-leadership help you be of service to others!

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

Keep in touch

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

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

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

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

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

You might also enjoy:

36 Books that Shaped my Story – Reading as Creative Influence

The unique voice of what we love

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

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

self-leadership

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 WorkSearch.com. 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 WorkSearch.com 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.

ferry

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.

self-leadership

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 pexels.com

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

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