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Embracing a creative life – a wholehearted story

December 30, 2017

creative life

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

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

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

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

Building and leaving a career

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

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

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

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

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

creative life

Burnout helped me take the leap  

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

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

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

Feeling my way as an art therapist and coach

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

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

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

creative life

Bringing together my passions and loves

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

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

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

creative life

Embracing my scanner self and a meandering path

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

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

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

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

creative life

What is wholehearted to me?

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

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

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

About Jade Herriman

Jade Herriman

 

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

 

Read more Wholehearted Stories

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

Becoming who I really am – a wholehearted story

Finding my home – a wholehearted story

My wild soul is calling – a wholehearted story

Our heart always knows the way – a wholehearted story

How knowing your authentic heart can make you shine

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

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

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

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

inspiration & influence intuition

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

December 9, 2017

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

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology


new story

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

Cathy Pagano, Wisdom of Astrology

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon energies

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

As Cathy Pagano reminds us in her post:

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon connections

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

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

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

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

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

Gemini Full Moon tarot reading tools:

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

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

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

Tarot reading: 

So here’s the reading:

new story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarot reading – card by card:

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

1 What is pulling me in one direction? THE LOVERS

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

the desire and pursuit of the whole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Petit Senn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

new story

Ways to step into your new life story

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

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

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

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

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

Wisdom from the Nine of Swords

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

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

New story

 

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

Thought pieces

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

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

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

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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

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

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