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Her Muse Gave Her a Stethoscope

The other morning, I led a doctor through my Meet Your Muse exercise to help her access her inner guidance about which book to write first—the one for other doctors or the one for patients.

Her muse was clear—the one for patients. Before she left the scene, I invited her to ask whether her muse wanted her to know anything else.


“I see a stethoscope. I thought I’d create health education for people and leave my medical practice over time because the system is so broken. But I suppose my muse says I will keep a private practice.”

I’m careful not to project onto other people’s imagery, so I said, “If this were a daydream of mine, the stethoscope might symbolize the message to listen to my heart. Does that resonate at all?”

She smiled broadly and laughed. “Of course. That feels right.” She felt delighted by this personal and apropos symbol from her muse. She continued, “I recently stopped taking two major types of insurance because what they pay me cannot sustain me and my team—my assistant, the office, the billing service. But my colleagues look at my actions and think I’m crazy. They say, ‘You have a successful practice; how can you limit it so much? How will you survive?”

On Looking Crazy from the Outside

The doctor added, “I always think outside the box—with my patients and practice. I see a broken system and can’t just do things that way.”

book coach Lisa Tener

I smiled and shared with her that when you’re a visionary with a mission to offer leadership in an industry, what you do will likely look crazy initially, but it will suddenly look normal in twenty years. You’re just ahead of the pack.

I know that many of my readers are like this doctor. You’re doing things differently. You’re breaking new ground, seeing new opportunities and ways of doing things that others can’t see yet. It may feel lonely and weird and scary. You may even believe people saying, “You’re crazy.”

But know that as a visionary, the world will look different to you. And your purpose will require you to do stuff that doesn’t make sense from the outside. People may judge you, call you names, and invite you to question yourself.

Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Maybe your muse has a stethoscope for you.

And write that book! Your way. Help the world catch up to your vision, wisdom, and gifts.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Marie says

    Each time I hear from someone like you I ache at not being able to write a book I want to write. Maybe someday I’ll have the courage to.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Try the “Meet Your Muse” exercise and see how it goes! Ask your muse if it’s time to start your book and ask it to help you get unstuck. Ask for your first step. Or, “Show me my readers,” or whatever else you neeed to know.

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