Ritual for Connecting with Your Ancestors

Image from Becoming Ursa

Image from Becoming Ursa

“When we have passed a certain age, the soul of the child that we were and the souls of the dead from whom we sprang come and shower upon us their riches and their spells, asking to be allowed to contribute to the new emotions which we feel and in which, erasing their former image, we recast them in an original creation.”
~ Marcel Proust, The Captive & The Fugitive

“You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.”
~Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

 

2015 is almost upon us.

It’s going to be a big year for many. A positive year. A year where everything changes.

Years ago, when I lived in the Kimberley, my Aboriginal Aunties taught me how to call on and connect with my Ancestors. Doing that changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. There is so much love, wisdom, support and guidance for us beyond what we can see here in our own reality.

Our Ancestors are our loved ones who have crossed over, back to the beginning of our family line. Some of these Ancestors you may know. They will have been your father or your grandmother, an aunt or some other family elder from your living memory. Some of these Ancestors will go so much further back than that.

Tomorrow I’m going to give you a guided meditation to help you connect in with the energy of your own Ancestors, so that you may draw on that help and love in the days ahead.

To be ready for that meditation you need just a few simple things:

  • a crystal or stone you can hold comfortably in your hands
  • a list of any personality characteristics you would like strengthened in you
  • a list of any personal values you would like strengthened in you
  • a list of skills you would like strengthened in you
  • a project that is dear to your heart where you would like to enlist help for its success next year

Your lists don’t need to be exhaustive. Their purpose is simply that you have given these issues proper thought before the meditation begins so that you can make the most of your time in that space.

See you tomorrow!

Lots of love, Nicole xx

PS – Here’s the stone I’m called to use tomorrow. It’s a Shaligram (the traditional name for it) – an ammonite fossil. My dear friend Sally found it in Nepal and brought it home for me. It has the most amazing ancient energy. And it fits so snugly into my hand!

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Talking to Dragons

“Always speak politely to an enraged dragon.”
~ Steven Brust, Jhereg

 

It’s after 3am. An odd time to be posting a blog. Still. I’m wide awake.

I might as well stay up now so that I can do my morning meditate soon, as is my daily practice.

It’s been one of those nights. The kind of night I’ve not had for a while. I guess Lyme wanted to remind me…

So I’ve lain awake all night, staring at the ceiling, roaming the house, trying whatever remedies I have to tame this pain beast. My body aches. Electricity arches down my limbs, and stabs behind my eyes. It feels as if someone has lodged an ice-pick in my skull and is twisting it violently. Random pain assails me. But it’s okay. I am becoming quite skilled as a Lyme Dragon Whisperer.

I’ve not quite got the dosage right on my latest drugs and herbs yet. Which include, of course, the dreaded Drug Number Four. Once again it’s giving me grief, and yet I know that the pain is bacteria dying, so I’m celebrating even as I want to scream. (I won’t though – too dramatic and it will wake Ben and the dogs!)

I’m hoping to slip back to bed after my meditation. I’m hoping that the meditation will take enough of an edge off, and combined with my massive exhaustion I’ll just fall right asleep.

Fingers crossed, hey?

Meanwhile I’m going to fly the night sky, and send you all some healing. I might as well be useful for something. Anyway, when I’m in that meditation place I am free of my body and its limitations. The pain is gone. It gives delicious respite.

Okay. I’m ready now.

I’ll see you in your dreams. Know that you are loved. xoxo

Image by Mike Rae

Image by Mike Rae

A Lovely Night of Normal

“Become major, Paul. Live like a hero. That’s what the classics teach us. Be a main character. Otherwise what is life for?”
~ J.M. Coetzee

 

One of the problems of having a chronic illness like Lyme Disease is that so often you end up marginalised in your own life. If you choose to expend some of your precious energy in one area of your day, there’ll be none left for other choices. In fact, there may be no more energy for days.

Because of that, life usually dwindles to a handful of survival skills, and a few crumbs of a greater existence that you do your best to grasp and experience as deeply as you can. If you can. When you can.

As Lyme has stolen my moments, my energy, my social life, my cognitive function, my family, my bodily functions, my years, the one blessing is that I’ve mostly been too ill to care.

But I’m actively healing now. Life is changing. I am changing.

I am reclaiming this wider sense of me.

So, in that spirit, I celebrated Christmas with a staff party this year.

Party? Dinner, really. Nothing too wild. And staff? So far I have just one. Although my dreams are big. :)

I just felt the need to say thank you. To my one staff member, to my darling husband Ben, who is my greatest support, and to the Universe, which has conspired with me to change my fortunes and expand my horizons.

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This little party was so important to me – so symbolic and imbued with meaning – that I deliberately stopped my Lyme meds long enough that I would be able to enjoy an alcoholic drink or two, like a real proper grown-up healthy person!

Dana, my wonderful PA, came over to my house in the afternoon and we talked hair, clothes and all the sorts of girly things I haven’t done for years. It reminded me of when I was back in College, getting ready for a big night out. Oh, it was thrilling.

Late in the afternoon I washed my hair. I thought about what I would wear. I painted my toenails!

Darkness fell, and out Ben and I went. We met Dana and her husband at a beautiful Japanese restaurant, and sat at a table with a view out over the sparkly night.

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We ate delicious food, I enjoyed TWO excellent Asahi beers (I had planned cocktails, or champagne, but in the end, after such a hot day, those beers were mighty fine!), and then, some of the last diners to leave, we ventured out into the tropical evening and caught a taxi home.

Today it’s back to green smoothies, detox food, and my usual routine of pills, potions and therapies.

I’m hope-filled right now. To be reclaiming these small spaces in my life feels like a miracle.

Today I’ll be planning my year ahead; with my journal, my coloured pens, and the reading I gave myself on the Soul Sanctuary Retreat.

I wonder how many people shall be gathered at my Staff Christmas Party table in 2015, and where we might be?

How exciting it will be to see this next year unfold!

How about you? What are you planning, dreaming and scheming for 2015? I’d love to know!

Much love to you, Nicole xx

Image from flickr.com

Image from flickr.com

Quick Christmas Macadamia Shortbread Recipe

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“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”  ~ W.J. Ronald Tucker

 

This is a super recipe. It’s rich and buttery, and the lovely crispness of the shortbread goes perfectly with a cup of tea. I like their rustic style too. It speaks of kitchens and aprons and being made with love. (If you prefer your biscuits to look perfectly perfect rather than rustic, see note at bottom of page.)

These shortbread make a an easy and thoughtful home-made Christmas gift, and are good to have on hand when friends pop by for a visit.

The recipe can also be made gluten-free or vegan very easily – simple substitutes are listed below.

Shortbread Ingredients:

250 grams butter (1 cup), 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup icing sugar (powdered or confectioners sugar), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/3 cup cornflour (cornstarch for my USA friends!), 2 and 1/3 cups plain flour, 1 cup of chopped raw macadamia nuts, 1/3 cup of raw sugar (optional).

This works fabulously well with gluten-free flour. If you’re vegan or dairy-free use your favourite butter alternative.

Hint: use level cups of flours and sugars rather than generous ones.

Method

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Shortbread:

Melt the butter over low heat. Cool slightly.

Sift icing sugar, sugar and cornflour into a large bowl. PS. How cute are these stackable little duck measuring cups that my Nana gave me many years ago? I totally adore them!

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Pour over the melted butter. Beat until thick and creamy. You could use a spoon or hand beaters but I use my trusty electric beaters.  The thickened mix will be the consistency of thick custard. Be patient. It takes a minute or two for the magic to work.

shortbread

Then add in the sifted flour. Mix until combined. The mixture will be crumbly and moist. Add the macadamia nuts and mix well to distribute them evenly.

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Cover a couple of oven-proof trays with baking paper.

Place the raw sugar into a small bowl.

Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. Press the ball into the bowl of sugar, and then place the ball sugar side up on the prepared tray.

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Leave some space between each of the biscuits as they will spread slightly. Press the biscuits down gently with the tines of a fork. You could also use your hand to do this, but the fork tines make pretty marks.

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Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Leave on trays for five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Package to give as gifts, or store in an airtight container to serve with your next cuppa.

Santa is quite partial to these shortbread as well.

Enjoy!

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Variations:

1/2 cup of macadamias and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1 cup of macadamias and 2 tablespoons chopped glace ginger

1 cup of chocolate chips

Or just omit the nuts and leave them plain

NOTE: If you are a perfectionist who cannot abide rustic-looking biscuits, make sure that your macadamia nuts are cut quite small. Divide the dough in half, roll into two cylinders, cover in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for an hour until firm. Now you will be able to slice perfect circles that give biscuits with no obvious lumpy bits. You may or may not wish to mar the perfection with fork tines or sugar.

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How to Connect with Unexpressed Grief and Emotional Pain

Image from weheartit.com

Image from weheartit.com

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
~ Sigmund Freud

 

It’s never healthy to swallow our grief, to stuff down our pain, to ignore our heartache.

And I also know that sometimes you just can’t fall afford to fall apart in the moment. You might be a care-giver. Or there’s no-one else to support you. You have to get to work on time. You got the bad news on a bus. There’s so much going on and it’s just one hit after another. You need to pick up the kids or keep going until you get through your final exams. One of those things. All of those things.

I understand.

But honey, it’s not healthy to bottle all that stuff up. Eventually those feelings need to be felt.

I have a prescription that works well, and it can be taken at a time that’s convenient to you.

Give yourself a decent length of time. It might be a night. It might be a weekend. It might be a week. You’ll know what feels right.

Get yourself ready by making sure that you’ll be on your own at home. Find some DVDs that you KNOW tap into your emotions and help you to truly feel and to cry. They will allow you to find a way back to your own repressed feelings through the journeys and stories of others.

Have some tissues on hand. Some food. Clean sheets, pyjamas, things that will comfort and nurture you.

Then sit on the couch and watch those movies.

Play the soundtracks that reduce you to tears.

Cry. Wail. Howl. Sob. Blubber like a baby. Scream with grief and rage. Storm around the house in despair and futility. Cry some more.

Get it all out.

Then sleep.

Go again.

Do this until you’re done.

You’ll know it because you’ll feel an easing. Sunshine will begin to pour into that space that’s been cramped and dark and musty. You’ll feel lighter somehow. You’ll come to a space of peace.

Feelings need to be felt.

Maybe it’s time to feel yours.

I’m holding that space for your healing.

All my love, Nicole xx

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

A Busy Night

“When the world is itself draped in the mantle of night, the mirror of the mind is like the sky in which thoughts twinkle like stars.”
~ Khushwant Singh, Delhi

 

It’s a short blog today. Sorry. I was up most of last night talking with a client whose daughter was involved in a horrendous unfolding drama. She’s safe now. But it was a hard day for them.

After which I chatted to a friend who was up in the middle of the night, drinking coffee, cleaning and reading poetry because her heart was breaking and she felt all alone, even as her children slept safely beneath her roof.

Life is so beautiful, even amid the suffering and pain.

I stepped outside last night, before I finally went to bed to claim a few hours sleep.

The night sky was filled with stars.

The air was soft, and fragrant with blossoms after the recent rain.

Remember to breathe today. Take a moment to fill yourself with beauty. And with hope.

All is well.

There is so much goodness surrounding us.

Remember that.

Live that.

Be part of that goodness today.

Spread that positive hope-filled energy and love into our world.

Bless xx

 

Direction or Destination?

image from

Image from picture.4ever.eu

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ~ William G.T. Shedd

 

Right now is a terrific time for planning.

2015 is almost upon us, and as the Captain of our own ship we get to choose where we will sail next year.

Some of you might already have a specific destination in mind.

Terrific. Beautiful. Wonderful. When you have a destination decided you can pull out your maps and chart the best course to take you there.

But what if you can’t decide on a destination?

Often, if we choose a direction, the destination will reveal itself. And that destination may be one we would have never thought of for ourselves. Yet fate will lend us a wind that drives our boat towards a new harbour, or we’ll meet a sailor in another port who urges us on to a place he’s recently visited that he’s sure will suit us, or an event will catch our eye, or a smile will capture our heart.

Direction can be enough. A broad idea of where we’re going.

We’ll head north.

We’ll go back to school.

We’ll work to get our debt down.

We’ll concentrate on improving our health.

Once we have a general direction we can choose a few specific small goals based upon that direction.

We’ll develop momentum. Our sails will fill and we’ll be on our way. Direction decided, ultimate destination as yet unknown. A grand adventure!

Sailing Adventure by Beth Marcil

Sailing Adventure by Beth Marcil

But what if your boat isn’t seaworthy?

Two choices here. You can stay in harbour and work to get that boat back in shape for your next voyage. Which might be later in the year, or even the year after that. You might also choose to sail on a river or a lake closer to home, and just cruise for the scenery, or the memories. If something goes wrong you’ll be close to shore and to help.

The other thing you can do is go sailing in your imagination, your meditations, your dreams. Just because the boat is broken, or trapped somehow, doesn’t mean you can’t captain your mind and use that for your next adventure.

I dare you to dream a little for 2015. Think about destinations and directions. Choose a course, get your ship ready, and then set sail…