Getting Ready for February!

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
~ Peter F. Drucker

“We are made to persist.
that’s how we find out who we are.”
~ Tobias Wolff

 

Hello Lovelies!

February is nearly upon us, and I promised that I would support you in making the most of this year’s opportunities, so here’s a quick Heads Up about the month ahead, as well as a few suggestions for embracing all that February has to offer.

Card for the Month:

I’ve chosen a card for February for you, from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck.

The message of this card is all about action. You’re being asked to leap. To do the thing that scares you. And you’re being reminded to trust.

If we create plans, and then never put energy towards those plans, the plans will remain pictures in our heads. They’ll be wishes. Nothing more.

February is reminding us that to live the life we love, or to move towards that life, we need to actively seek that life. We need to set our course and deliberately and consciously move in that direction.

This is a month for helpful people, for new ideas, for finding the perfect course or book or teacher for yourself or your loved ones. It’s a great energy for making a start and for small steps that will gather momentum throughout the year.

February is also a FANTASTIC month for writing and creating. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, a blog, a course, a poem, a love letter, a journal, a thesis. If you’ve wanted to start a project, make a baby, knit a jumper, build that garden, then February is a grand month to begin, and then to build on those beginnings.

There is one other thing that February is reminding you to do…

You need to fill your tank. Do that by ensuring you get some good-quality rest and relaxation. And do some of the things you love – that nurture and inspire and support you.

Art by the very talented Tia Mushka

Art by the very talented Tia Mushka

February needs a rhythm of work and play, create and pause, run and then rest.

Can you feel that?

It’s like the energy of the rolling waves upon the ocean. Crest and then calm. Crest and then calm. Crest and then calm.

In February, I’m encouraging you to ride the wave. You can do it! Let it be joyful. Let it be playful. Relax into it. There’s no need to push, or to struggle.

This video, shot in my hometown of Byron Bay, captures perfectly the energy of February.

 

Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?

Try these posts:

Direction or Destination - if you’re still trying to work out where to head, or where to put your energies.

Manifesting New Directions and Opportunities – lots of journalling exercises and ideas to really help you get focused, and some lovely visualisation too.

Writing as a Manifestation Tool - Using the power of words to create a new life, or new energy within your life. Also good for summoning help, helpful people, new opportunities and various other positive energies.

Writing Yourself into a Brighter Future – using thoughts and words to positively and powerfully co-create our future.

Guided Meditation for Emotional Healing – a short guided meditation working with heart and heart chakra energy to help you let go of pain, and to anchor yourself in love and possibility.

Sending all my love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

Image from quotediaries.com

Image from quotediaries.com

A Day At the Farm

bunyas and beer

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
~ Emma Goldman

 

I slept in yesterday. Til nearly eight am. Pure luxury! I’ve had a month of restless nights thanks to Lyme disease, so to sleep so deeply and completely was bliss.

Our farm is a hive of activity right now. We’re fencing, planting, and mosaic-clearing to make way for a replanting of indigenous species to replace the camphor, privet and lantana that we’re ripping out.

That means we have a tribe of workers to feed. I’ve found that workers always work better on full stomachs. :)

The men started early, down in the river paddock laying water pipe to the stockyards. I cooked them breakfast when I woke up. A fry-up of our own organic sausages, green tomatoes, herbed scrambled eggs and many pots of tea.

snag and eggs

When the men went back to work I baked fruit cake, and put a pot of chicken soup on the stove. That meant dinner was sorted and my cake tin is full again.

fruitcake

Then I settled down to some writing time.

After lunch I supervised the clearing of a huge grove of bamboo right beside the carport. It’s a beautiful plant, bamboo, but a real fire hazard. Last year, when there was a bushfire miles from here, a small patch of the bamboo litter ignited from a drifting ember. Luckily we were home and able to put it out straight away. But with Australian summers the way they have been, coupled with our unpredictable rainfall, the bamboo had to go. My recent psychic experience with bushfire, and having clients who have lost farms, homes, animals and livelihoods, we aren’t game to take unnecessary risks. Ben cut out usable lengths of the bamboo and the rest will be used for mulch in the newly cleared places.

les

bamboo

To finish the day Ben and one of the men brought several wheelbarrow loads of bunya nuts up to the house, and we stood around shelling them, while the men enjoyed an after-work beer. It’s another bumper crop this year, and we sorted and weighed about twenty kilograms of bunya nut kernels to store in the deep freeze until we send them off to local restaurants or to the bush tucker wholesalers.

nuts

Of course I’ve kept ample nuts for ourselves, and there is still at least a ute load of extra nuts the size of cannonballs in the grass under the trees that we haven’t yet collected.

bunya bucket

This morning we’re off to the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets to meet friends, have a little breakfast and a good coffee, and buy good fresh bread, eggs and a basket full of fruit and vegetables.

I love the depth and variety of this life, here at the farm. And it certainly keeps me grounded for all of the other metaphysical work I do!

Adapting to Change

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“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”
― Martin Keogh, Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World

 

Yesterday at our farm we marked the end of an era.

When we bought this place there was an old overgrown orchard on the hill up behind the house. When we’d asked the previous owner what kind of trees they were he’d been offhand. Oranges, he said. Just old oranges. They cropped every year, he told us, and he let the fruit bats get most of them. How many oranges can you eat, he said, shrugging his shoulders.

We’re an organic farm. We don’t use chemicals. So by hand and by machine we cleared out all the privet and camphor, the lantana and other weeds, and were left with a host of ancient citrus trees. They were huge, some of them spindly and weak, and all of them in various stages of declining health after decades of neglect.

That first winter we were amazed. The trees fruited and we harvested  a range of different oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, several kinds of mandarin (clementine), grapefruits and lemons. Most of the varieties were so old that they were not able to be readily identified by the commercial horticulturalist at the nursery up the road.

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We pruned and fed and watered, and waited to see what might happen. Some of the elderly ladies at my CWA group remembered the orchard from their childhoods, when it had been a flourishing commercial affair that supplemented the dairy which used to be our farm. The orchard had been planted in the nineteen-thirties, and had remained in commercial operation until the late sixties.

It was exciting to think that the trees might still be viable. We hoped that we might be able to include them as part of our own organic farm produce plan. In Barcelona we’d seen trees that were well over one hundred and fifty years old and still in full production.

So we tried.

For five years.

And then yesterday we brought the excavator in and pulled almost all of them out.

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Why? The trees are disease-free, but most of them aren’t thriving. A few trees stand out, and produce bountiful, healthy fruit. But six out of sixty? Something wasn’t adding up. Some of our neighbours have had similar issues with their own tree crops so a few of us sent some samples off for testing to find out why our plants aren’t doing what they should, given the treatment we’ve been lavishing upon them.

It turns out our poor old citrus trees have suffered major damage from UV. The UV (ultra violet) radiation levels in Australia have increased dramatically in recent years, and the world is a much warmer place than when these trees were first planted. The winters in our region have become shorter, and less cold. Overall our seasons are more erratic. Effectively our environment is no longer conducive to the ongoing health of the fruit trees. The six old trees that are thriving? They all receive shade for a good portion of the day.

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Global warming is something we can’t ignore. It’s happening right here, right now. It’s the talk of our neighbourhood, and of farming communities everywhere.

So, what are we going to do? Our farm still has good soil, and reliable water. For now, anyway. We’ve decided to plant rows of lilly pilly (a bush tucker food with tart-sweet berries) for shade and wind breaks, and within the protection of those rows we’ll plant a variety of native bush-foods, and heritage (old varieties!) orchard trees which are more heat, drought and sun tolerant. That way we can protect bio-diversity and stay true to our personal philosophy of farming and living gently on the earth.

Our farm already produces plenty of bunya nuts – another fine bush tucker food. At first we’d harvested them for our own use, but now we sell the nuts to local restaurants and to a bush foods co-op which distribute them throughout Australia and overseas. A mix of Australian natives and conventional food crops for our farm seems a grand idea.

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We need to be adaptive to our changing environment, rather than continuing to struggle with old ways that no longer work with these new conditions.

I felt sad to watch the demise of the old citrus trees, but there is no use trying to persevere with something that can’t adapt and thrive. Better to pull them out and plant food trees that are better suited to our changed conditions. Better for us as farmers to be thinking about this warming planet, and what we can do to sustain food availability and quality.

It’s a good lesson for life too, don’t you think?

If you’ve tried, and tried, and something’s just not working, maybe it’s time to walk away and begin something new with a better chance of success.

Practicing Mindfulness with Your Power Word

Image from Google+

Image from Google+

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
~ Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

 

Well, here we are, nearly at the end of January.

Already I feel some of you slipping into despair. Slipping into the old patterns of thoughts and behaviours that no longer serve you. Going back to what was…

Some of you are feeling muddled. Even a little defeated. You started on a high, and already you feel your momentum dwindling.

That’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Change is almost always a gradual process.

Honey, don’t give up! It’s only January and we have a whole abundant year of possibility ahead of us.

Did you go ahead and choose your power word already? If yes, take that word out and get ready to exercise it a little. If no, then go here and get your power word sorted. You can even go a little further if you want, and explore it in more depth here, connecting your word with a crystal or stone.

That tiny word or phrase you’ve chosen holds a special magic for you this year. Let’s take a few minutes and connect back into that magic, so that it appears in your life as a guiding force.

Image from danspapers.com

Image from danspapers.com

Here are some tips and techniques for really using that word as a tool to bring about change:

1. Hold your Power Word crystal in your cupped hands. (Didn’t do that yet? Go here and get that crystal sorted) Breathe deeply, relax your body and then think on your word. Feel that word, and the energy of the word, entering your body. Feel it as a colour. Feel it as a vital flow and force within your veins, your nerves, your brain, your cells.

2. Ask yourself, How can I best live my word today? Now wait for an answer or a knowingness from within. It might be an idea, a specific course of action, a task or an inspiration. It might be small, or grand. No matter. Sit with that guidance and then apply it in your life today. Write notes in your journal if it helps. Then take a minute or two to plan your day around these intuitive insights.

3. At random times during the course of the day, hold your crystal and connect in to your word. Holding on to the energy of that word ask yourself What do I need to do right now? Doing this will keep you focused, and help you make better choices and decisions that will manifest a stronger year for you, with more deliberate and positive results.

I’m here to keep reminding you, and supporting you. I know that 2015 can be the year where it all changes for you. But for that to happen you need to be present in your life, you need to choose differently and consciously this year. You need to empower yourself. You can do it!

I’m cheering you on. You’re not alone in this.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Australia Day, 2015

Image from abc.net.au

Image from abc.net.au

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Our true nationality is mankind.”
~ H.G. Wells

 

I’d thought to write a rousing piece for Australia Day – my country’s national day of celebration.

Or perhaps something humorous.

A blog full of pictures of pavlova and koalas. Kangaroos, killer sharks and Ayers Rock.

Image from tnooz.com

Image from tnooz.com

Maybe a tasty recipe to share at that traditional Australia Day barbeque.

But when I came to the page this morning, I found my heart so swelled with melancholy, nostalgia, love and pain, that no words came.

I love this country. Her dust is in my veins. After my time in the Kimberley with my Aboriginal Aunties I truly understand what it means to belong to country. To feel the pulsing heart of this great land beating as one with your own.

Even as my heart soars with the beauty and mystery of this country, it is breaking too. Breaking as I watch the effects of global warming. Breaking as I watch whole tracts of land laid waste by mining.

Breaking as I watch our government turn people away from Australia’s shores, forgetting that we were all once boat people too.

And my broken heart is also swollen with love. Love for the people who work this land. Love for the artists and the dreamers. Love for the good and honest people who value mateship and a fair go. Love for the people who serve, defend and protect us. All of the people whose lives are measured by how they contribute to family, community, society. Most of them who’ll never know an honour, or a medal, or a parade.

I guess that to love is also to hurt. How can it be otherwise when you care so deeply?

I am grateful to be born Australian. To know freedom and sunshine and plenitude.

Today I’ll gather with my husband and friends and we’ll share a meal, some stories and some laughs, and I’ll count my blessings.

Happy Australia Day!

Here Comes The Sun

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“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Usually I’m quiet on the blog because Lyme Disease has me laid out and I’m in no shape to write.

I’m happy to report that my absence over the past few days had nothing to do with Lyme and everything  do with Mother Nature. After a hefty amount of rain I ended up flooded in, with no power and a flat battery on my phone. To add to the feeling of being a homesteader the hot water system developed an airlock, so no hot water either.

This is what my world has looked like. And the inside of our little farmhouse was equally gloomy.

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A few days ago my husband packed the ute, took Harry and drove to Brisbane and then travelled on to the farm of an old friend. So Bert and I were home alone.

What to do in a cold, dark house?

We napped. And napped. And napped some more.

Meanwhile a whippy six-foot tree snake took refuge on our front veranda, out of the rain. He was long and slender, with a deep olive body and a bright yellow belly.

At the back door our large resident male carpet snake stretched out on the still-warm concrete, and settled in for the duration.

I was grateful to have a side door so that I could still slip out to our bathroom, which is in the back corner of the veranda.

Then late yesterday afternoon, a few hours before Ben was due back, the rain stopped and the snakes departed. An hour later the power came back on. Forgetting that the hot water wasn’t working I turned on the hot tap in the kitchen and it spluttered and gurgled and then burst into life.

By the time Ben and Harry got home everything was back to normal. They’d missed the entire adventure!

This morning the sky is the most exquisite blue. The sun is shining, and our world  is green and lush.

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The air is clear and clean. It smells so earthy and good that I want to eat it with a spoon.

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The plants are growing like triffids, and flowers are everywhere.

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After being cooped up for so long dogs are ready for an adventure, and I won’t be needing that garden hose any time soon.

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Harry’s feeling healthy and happy and is ready for a game. So I’m keeping things short this morning.

Playtime in the sun is much more important today!

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Sleepy Morning

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“I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”
~ Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

I woke to the sound of rain.

It was soft at first, a comforting patter of drops on the old iron roof.

It made me want to snuggle back under the covers, but meditation is so long a practice in me now that I eased my body up and crept quietly from the bedroom.

As I sat in the cool, dark pre-dawn of my tiny lounge, the light rain became hard.

The sound of the rain on the roof obliterated all else. It made its own kind of music, easy to get lost in.

When the sun approached the dark crescent of our world she stole the rain away.

Now the air is scented with earth and damp foliage. The sky is heavy with low cloud. And the last raindrops are being shaken from the leaves and branches. They fall in tiny tunes on the tin.

I shall make a pot of tea.

While the house slumbers I will write.

I love the quietness of these solitary beginnings. Just me, the birds, the clouds and the rain-soaked paddocks.

Up comes the sun.

Good Morning. I wish for you, and for myself, a day of deepening peace.

And to you, my friends on the other side of the world, sweet slumbers and soothing dreams.

Bless xx

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