This is a nice little tale I hope you’ll enjoy. You might have noticed a few weeks back an I Quit Sugar social media call out looking for a mural artist who’d like to get expressive with the big blank wall on the deck of our new office (which we move into today!).

Tamara with her mural at IQS HQ

I have made it a policy since I began this whole “sugar quitting e-xperience to e-business” journey to recruit within our crew. I generally find the right answer (to most things) is always closer to hand than you think. I like to keep things close. As this tale illustrates.

We had hundreds of applications for the gig. But one entry jumped out. Both Jo and I agreed straight away: “We like Tamara”. Yep, we just liked her and her application. We couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. But it didn’t matter; we just knew.

And so Gold Coast artist, mum and part-time teacher Tamara Armstrong got charged with our blank wall. And this is how it unfolded.

Tamara's design mock up
Tamara’s design mock up

Tamara sent in her design. We couldn’t fault it. It was perfect. The colours were perfect. We’d been umming and aghhing (read: consulting Feng Shui expert Lizzie Wiggins) about the right colours for the space. Suddenly we had our colour palate right here – closer to hand than we thought – with Tamara’s mock-up.

Tamara flew down with her husband Matt and three month old baby Thea and got to work. It was done! dusted! in a few days. We still couldn’t fault it. And didn’t. We knew.

It was the same with the ridiculously impressive Richie Northcott – the Fresh Prince – who offered to build a hanging garden and vegetable garden on our new deck. He’s all about “fresh” – his goal is to get people growing their own food – and his self-watering planter boxes are designed to make this a reality. He knew he could contribute. We knew he had something special about him. He and Tamara united and created.

Here's Richie installing our wall garden succulents.
Here’s Richie installing our wall garden succulents into Tamara’s mural.

At the end of the project I took Tamara out for a martini down the road and it was only then she shared that she’d quit sugar a year ago. She and Matt had been trying to get pregnant…for several years. She quit sugar; she got pregnant. Two months later.

Then, a few weeks back she announced to her husband Matt that she needed to combine things – her art and her wellness story. She really wanted to find a way to connect with myself and the IQS team but dismissed it as a silly idea. But whattayaknow, a few days later, she sees our social media call out. Tamara says “I knew I had to make it happen and I told Matt ‘This wall is mine!’.”


She tells me she knew she had to get the gig. She knew. So much so Matt took long-service leave immediately, before hearing from us, so that he could travel to Sydney and look after Thea while Tamara brushed her stuff.

I’ve been thinking about this tale since Tamara shared it. She knew. But more than this, she backed her knowing. She really knew. She knew like she meant it. And then trusted from there. I see this happen so often. I don’t speak in “manifesting” terms so much. Instead I see that time and time again energy flows toward certainty. Life likes solidity, stableness, groundedness. It naturally ebbs towards committed knowing.

I’m also reminded of something marketer Seth Godin once told me: “Creating art [by which he means any kind of creation] is about leaning forward into life, like an aerial skier who leans to go further.”

When you feel you know, back it. Lean forward into it. And go further. Nice.

Thank you Tamara and Richie for showing how life and art is done well.

To book Tamara or Richie for any work, follow these links to their websites.
Richie: Fresh Prince


Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Brooke Alexander

    Love this tale Sarah & Co. Knowing is everything it’s the learning to trust that takes time.

  • mw

    Great Story ! Feel like I need to Bookmark this. Wonderful that your endeavours are providing opportunities for others to grow into themselves. All the Best for the new workspace !

  • Brooke

    another fantastic post – such an amazing story. the new space looks amazing….enjoy!

  • Rachel Smith

    Imagine if everyone lived their life this way, with “less doubt and more courage” imagine what an awesome place the world would be. Thank you for sharing. It’s inspiring to hear these happy stories.

  • Lucinda

    Hi Sarah,
    I have never before commented on anything in an online capacity, but felt that I had to break my silence in order to thank you for your commitment to your cause and the impact it has had on my life. I have been a health- and fitness-nerd for some years now, but despite frequent month-long cleansing (mainly of the macrobiotic variety), I could never find my balance. By this I mean that being tall and naturally slim and a frequent excersizer, I found that detoxing always left me feeling underweight and under-nourished, and due to my over-feasting on fruit during those times, left me with worse sugar-cravings than when I started. My skin was continually problematic and despite not eating any artificial or processed foods, or refined sugar, I felt utterly out of control of my cravings and my feelings towards food, and very often felt socially excluded by my dietary habits. I always thought that feeling deprived was part of being healthy!
    Then my father-in-law absent-mindedly handed me a booklet of your recipes that he found in his paper. And I KNEW – I knew that this was the right the path, that everything that you said made perfect sense, and that I had found what was going to make the final difference. I had long believed I couldn’t live without fruit – I now have one small portion of low fructose fruit a day, and some days none at all. I am pescatarian, so don’t eat meat, and cow dairy disagrees with me (except from when I can’t resist the raw cream at the farmer’s market), so I fill up on sheep and goat’s dairy, fish, and even more lovely nuts and vegetables than I ate before. Just as your lovely team at IQS assured me it would, my weight has stabilised, I have no cravings and I feel my tummy and my life are wonderfully and happily full! My yoga practice has improved, my skin is balancing itself and I feel confident in living sugar-free in an (unfortunately) sugar-filled world. So thank you so much for continuing to spread the message and fight-the-good-fight, and mostly for helping to make me feel more connected to myself and my life in general. And for reading this excessively long post, if indeed you do make it this far!

    • IQS_Team

      Lucinda, we love this! Would you consider sharing as a success story over on IQS? Please drop us a line at [email protected] if you’re open to it…

      • Lucinda

        I’d be happy to! Have dropped you an email, so you have my contact details x

  • Josie

    What about the friend of mine who applied, who also “knew”? It works sometimes, but not always.

  • I love this! I had a similar experience myself recently, where I felt like I needed to connect to a certain creative women’s group, and out of nowhere an opportunity manifested in front of me. I wrote them an email in response, probably the most optimistic and energised correspondence I’ve ever had. They recognised that energy and gave me that opportunity!
    I love how all the things you share are about being conscious of the moments where you are in wonder of the world around you.

  • Dana

    Beautiful article. What legends!

  • Elizabeth Foster

    Thanks for this – reminds me to keep a look out for those inner promptings that are so easy to rationalise away.

  • Leonor

    beautiful! Just beautiful

  • kt

    This story gave me goosebumps and spoke to every part of me. Love it. Thanks for sharing x

  • Carolyn Franzke

    I love it Sarah – thanks again for sharing so eloquently xx