A Very Hurried Post Because…

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“Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in.”
― Rebecca Eanes, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting

 

Thanks for your understanding as I write this post really fast!!!

It’s Cafe Dog, you see.

For the past week or so Harry (Cafe Dog) and our other hound Bert have been cooped up in the city while we’ve been busy with family things. Harry has tried his best to be well behaved, even when it meant being shut in the house all day with no play time, no cafe, no fun at all. That’s hard for a farm dog who is used to wide open spaces and lots of adventure.

So of course when we came home to the farm for a brief respite Harry was all ready to resume his regular routine. A morning coffee at the local cafe followed by a day of running around on the farm. Except that on Thursday morning Ben took me for an early acupuncture appointment. We left Harry and Bert on the daybed on our side veranda.

Cafe Dog. Was. Not. Happy.

He took a few bites out of the already chomped bed just to show us his displeasure.

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Then there were the looks he gave us when we came home, smelling of cafe, because of course we got a coffee after acupuncture. As you do.

Yesterday was Friday. Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market day. Our favourite day of the week. There’s a No Dogs policy, so once again we had to leave Cafe Dog at home. We decided to put him in our dark bedroom with Bert, as it was cold and early and we thought they’d just sleep, all cosied up in their coats.

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Wrong.

Cafe Dog ATE BERT’S GOOD WINTER COAT right off poor Bert’s body. The straps were chomped off. The stuffing was ripped out and strewn around our bedroom. The place looked like a fluff bomb had gone off.

Why? Cafe Dog was most displeased with us, so he threw a tantrum.

It’s okay. The coat is salvageable with the use of some patches and an industrial sewing machine.

Truth is, Harry’s about to have another week of city living and confinement. Poor little blighter. He is missing his normal life, and so are we.

So this morning we’re off to the cafe. With Harry. Who has been waiting to go since 4am.

And honestly, it’s better than the chomping destruction being wreaked by our toothy terror, and we’re seriously in need of a good coffee anyway!

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Water Oracle – For Embracing Opportunity

Indian River Lagoon by Gunner VV

Indian River Lagoon by Gunner VV

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
~ Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

 

Water has always held energies of healing and change for me. It cleanses, nurtures and empowers. Today’s oracle is all about using water to tune in to your own deeper soul wisdom.

Is your soul parched? Do you need more of water’s healing presence in your life?

Over the next week, pay attention to water wherever it shows up. The water that comes out of the taps in your home, the water you drink, having a shower or bath, going for a swim or soaking your feet, rain falling, and bodies of water such as rivers, lagoons, lakes and oceans. See what water whispers to you. Pay attention to what it shows you, and how it makes you feel.

 

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following water images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your image scroll further down for your message; designed to help you embrace current opportunities.

Trust that you will be shown what you most need to know right now.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

Let The Water Guide You…

1.  Green Lake

2. Sunrise River

Image from pixsharks.com

Image from pixsharks.com

3. Gentle Stream

4. Underwater Playground

Image from oceanmedia.su

Image from oceanmedia.su

5. Afternoon Waterhole

Image from Leichhardt Land

Image from Leichhardt Land

6. Ocean and Clouds

7. Iceland Waterfall

Image from reddit.com

Image from reddit.com

8. Tumbling Flow

Horsetail Falls is a beautiful area on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, USA. The water flow from the falls is quite fascinating and very peaceful. © 2013 Rob Atkinson

Horsetail Falls,  Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, USA.  © 2013 Rob Atkinson

 

♥ The Healing Message and Gift of the Water♥

Each water image has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of change in your life.  You could wear or hold this crystal, pop it in your pocket, under your pillow or beside your bed. (If you’d like to know more about working with crystals click here) The Power Word is a word to remind yourself of the quality you most need right now.  You can turn it into your own personal mantra by saying “I choose ___________ ” (insert your Power Word).

 

1.  Green Lake:

Message – Green Lake invites you to embrace happiness in relationships. This is the energy of lasting love visiting your life. It is a deeply heart-centred message, reminding you to start by loving and caring for yourself. From this sound relationship with self, deep and loving relationships with others will follow. Green Lake also shows you that love and friendship are moving toward you. This is a huge heart-chakra healing, shift and opening. Family healing can occur. Relationship healing can occur. Recovering from trauma can occur. There is opportunity coming for you to begin new and meaningful heart-centred relationships. Soul mate relationships and life-long friendships are being drawn to you or presented for you to renew and reinvigorate. For some it also heralds the arrival of a child.

Crystal – Green Chrysoprase

Power Word – Heart Awakening

 

2.  Sunrise River:

Message – Sunset River is all about fresh starts.Sunset River brings an end to struggle. It heralds deep inner peace and emotional satisfaction that comes from knowing who you are and what you want. It is also about your changing fortune and the ability to re-invent yourself or redesign your life. Choosing this water image means that the wise part of you is ready to move back into flow. You’re being released from old patterns and holding patterns.  Expect good outcomes, legal wins, inspiration, creativity or good ideas that can positively shape a brighter future for yourself and your family. A great time for shifting house, changing school or club, for new projects, start-ups or a return to study.

Crystal – Citrine

Power Word – Abundance

 

3.  Gentle Stream:

Message – Gentle Stream brings an awakening of your spiritual and metaphysical abilities. Expect your intuition and psychic insight to become a much stronger guiding force in your life right now. You may dream about past lives. You may begin to feel or sense energy. You’ll come to know and understand things that were previously beyond you. Intuition is a natural force, and a normal part of life. In you, intuitive abilities run deeper than for most people. It’s something that has been a part of you for lifetimes. Look to activities and teachers that help you to explore and connect with this wise part of yourself. Time in nature and on your own will help ground you and hone your sensitivity.

Crystal – Amethyst

Power Word – Insight

 

4.  Underwater Playground:

Message – You’re naturally clever, and a deep thinker. Right now you’re being encouraged to use these skills to think deeply about your life, who you are, and where you are going. This is not a time for living superficially – it’s a time to prepare for decisions, plans and big changes. The Universe is calling you to step into a new phase of growth, productivity and responsibility. The key here is to have fun with it, to treat it all as a fabulous adventure rather than as something that is stressful or demanding. It’s a terrific time for having those deep and meaningful conversations with yourself or others. If you’re a writer, now is the time to finish (or start!) that book. Play in the playground of your own intellect and imagination. Ask yourself the big questions. Plan the big moves. Attack that hard task. You’ll be delighted with the results.

Crystal – Fluorite

Power Word – Conscious Choices

 

5.  Afternoon Waterhole:

Message – You’re stepping into a time of great opportunity to build a solid foundation with your career, family or finances. Efforts made now in building toward your future will pay off handsomely in times to come. A terrific time for study or expanding your business or career path. Also a good time for investing or buying property.The energy around you is stable, and you’re thinking clearly. Get a plan together and then work that plan. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance or to find mentors with proven track records. Take time to dream and then act on those dreams. Now is your time, so make a start!

Crystal – All Forms of Jasper

Power Word – Strong Foundations

 

6.  Ocean and Clouds:

Message – Ocean and Clouds signifies a time of deep and lasting healing in your life. Please know that your cries for help have been heard. This healing could be of your physical body, your emotions, your relationship to money, a family or personal situation, or something of a spiritual nature. Help is coming to you from unexpected directions, perhaps in the form of a helpful person or in a prayer answered. Not all of the efforts for your recovery need come from you. Ocean and Clouds shows you that Guides, Ancestors and Loved Ones who have crossed over are all conspiring to help you find what you need in order to put difficulties behind you. Expect miracles and dreams come true.

Crystal – Larimar

Power Word – Breakthroughs

 

7.  Iceland Waterfall:

Message – Iceland Waterfall affirms that this is your time to get your message out into the world. This is your time to be heard. This is your time to write, to speak, to teach, to preach. This is the healing and empowerment of the throat chakra and your ability to communicate effectively with others. This is not time to play small. Do all you can to advance yourself and your ideas. A powerful time for being a spokesperson and for positioning yourself, your passions or your products. This is a time where unexpected opportunities will arise, including directions you had not considered and yet that are well suited to your abilities and dreams. Trust. Live boldly.

Crystal – Clear Quartz

Power Word – Momentum

 

8: Tumbling Flow:

Message – The Universe is calling you to travel and to explore the far-flung corners of the globe. Follow your heart. Plan your next adventure. Let yourself move into unfamiliar waters. Tumbling Flow encourages you to connect with other cultures and other countries. Read books. Watch documentaries. Learn a new language.  Eat the cuisine of different nations. Organise a holiday. Take an overseas or interstate transfer. Open up to the bigness of the world and let yourself be swept up in new opportunities to learn and grow.

Crystal – Aragonite Star Cluster

Power Word – New Experiences

 

 

Sometimes You Don’t Need Solutions, You Just Need To Be Heard

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~  Leo Buscaglia

 

Ben and I met a close girlfriend for coffee yesterday. We’re each going through quite a lot with our families right now. We have family members confronting serious illness, and our friend has elderly parents in poor health – her Dad’s had a series of strokes and is in care, and her mum’s across town in another hospital after a hip replacement failure and major surgery to repair it.

Life is like this sometimes. It all happens at once. Big things, small things, out-of-the-blue things all raining down upon us.

Our friend cried as she told us of her dad’s worsening dementia and how heart-breaking it is for her to see him in this place of loss and confusion. I cried a little too as we updated her on our family, and on some of the other heart-breaking issues I’m helping a few of my clients through.

None of us had answers for each other and we didn’t even try. What mattered was that we could talk about our feelings, we could be honest about all the things raining down upon us, and the things we’d stuffed up as well as the things we’d handled well.

i-LOVE-coffee-coffee

We didn’t just talk about the hard stuff. We laughed a lot. We reminisced. We held space together as friends. We held each other’s hands. We sat in silence when silence was called for.

Sometimes that’s all we need. Just a safe space where we feel heard – where we can unbottle all of the things we’ve held inside.

If you have a friend or family member going through a tough time right now, don’t feel that you need to have a solution for them. One of the most precious gifts you can give them is time, friendship and a non-judgemental space where they can talk about what they are going through.

Know that they may also prefer to talk about every other thing than their cancer, their husband’s depression, or the terrible thing that happened/is happening.

Life will give all of us hardship or difficulty at one turn or another. Friendship, a shoulder to cry one, someone to make you laugh, someone to remind you that you are not your illness, someone who truly listens – that’s what helps us to get through the hard bits.

Wishing you smooth sailing or good friends today.

Know that you are ever in my thoughts and prayers,

Much love, Nicole <3 xoxo

Image from quote addicts

Image from quote addicts

 

Counting You On My Fingers

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“It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

 

I was up two hours earlier than usual this morning. (That’s early, believe me!)

Why?

Today marks exactly one month until my Beginners Channelling Intensive Retreat begins. I needed to make my meditation mala with a bead for each student. I then needed to pray my mala.

That will be my twice-daily routine now until retreat begins.

Each morning and evening I will hold the beads in my fingers and pray and meditate over each one.

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I chose each bead with care. For Sonya a Rose Quartz Butterfly – she needs extra self love and a sense of freedom in her own identity so that she can belong more fully to herself. Jo-Anne struggles with abundance and feeling worthy of opportunity – for her a Pyrite Cube. For Paul a finely striated Banded Agate to help him tune in to deeper and deeper levels of himself and others.

These beads will know hours of love and care. They will become imbued with energy. When I am not in meditation I shall wear the beads. It helps me tune in to my students and their needs. During the day my fingers may seek out their bead and I shall flow additional love and energy their way. And when the course is finished I will gift each student their bead so that they have a physical reminder of my faith in them, and my support for them. For me, it’s a labor of love, of course. That’s what it means to me to be a teacher. I am humbled and honoured to guide them on their path.

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For those of you who participated in my Love Mala, know that all of the beads are almost ready to send to those of you who wanted them. We’ll be in touch soon about that.

And the bead that was the Everyone Bead on the Love Mala? I’ve made that into a beautiful necklace, and I’ll be giving it away here on the blog next week so stay tuned!

 

Easy Stewed Apple Recipe

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“If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.”
~ Linda Henley

 

Stewed apples always remind me of my grandmothers’ kitchens. Both of them were avid fruit stewers, especially when fruit was beginning to get a little old, or soft, or if there was too much to eat fresh, or if it was tart and not so great for eating. Nothing was ever wasted in their kitchens.

Of course you don’t need old apples for this recipe. Any apples are fine. They are a simple and thrifty dessert that is easy and quick to make. Served plain, or with a little cream, custard, yoghurt or ice-cream it is wholesomeness in a bowl. I guess most people call it ‘fruit compote’ these days, but good old-fashioned stewed apples works for me.

I like to make a big pot so that I can have some for a warm dessert and some left over to gift others or to eat during the week. They are delicious served cold, spooned over cereal or teamed with yoghurt for a yummy breakfast. They also make a smashingly good base for an apple crumble. My Nana often served this apple with pork chops or roasted pork too. Both grandmothers served them up to us as children if we had upset tummies or were feeling poorly.

I’ve gone a bit crazy with cinnamon in my stewed apples (much more than what I state in the recipe). Why? It’s a brilliant anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spice, and it helps normalise blood sugar and reduce inflammatory responses within the body – so it’s great for people with lyme disease.

This recipe freezes well, or will keep refrigerated for one week.

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Ingredients:

8 to 10 apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 4 whole cloves, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons raw or brown sugar of your favourite sugar substitute, 1/2 cup of water

*If your apples are sweet to eat you may want to use a little less sugar. If they are tart you may want a little more. Sweeten to your own preference. Natvia works well if you need to be sugar-free.

Method:

Peel, core and chop your apples into wedges. Toss them with the lemon juice to prevent them going brown.

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Place the water, sugar and spices in a large saucepan over medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add apples and stir to coat in the spice mixture. Leave on medium heat until water begins to bubble. Place lid on pan, turn down heat and cook for ten minutes or until apples are soft.

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This is me in my pyjamas and slippers, eating my yummy stewed apples and yoghurt in front of television last night. Cosy, snug and feeling very nurtured after a big stressful day.

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 PS: How cute are these slippers, although if you look closely the one on the left does look a little gnawed. Thanks, Harry!

You’re Stronger Than You Think

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
~ Lao Tzu

I remember once, ten or so years ago, sitting in the carpark of a hospital. At the time my husband was working overseas, run ragged by the company who’d hired him. I was estranged from most of my family. The rest were living overseas or frail and in poor health. Our farm was in drought, and I was driving an hour from my city house each morning to feed out hay and check water before coming home again to start my day. My corporate deadlines were crazy. Life was crazy. But I couldn’t stop. There was no-one else. And I had bills to pay.

I was at the hospital that day because apart from being brutally tired all of the time I had problems with my speech. I was forgetting words. I could not read numbers. I woke with night sweats. Strange rashes came and went. My limbs tremored. When holding things my hands would sometimes forget to open, or open by themselves at the most inopportune times. I knew that there was something gravely wrong with me.

I sat in my car in the carpark of the Wesley Hospital, crying. I had just been to yet another doctor, hoping to finally have a diagnosis.

Instead, this esteemed diagnostician had said this:

“Well, there is definitely something wrong with you. I can see that it’s serious. But I have no idea what it is. Neither do my colleagues. You don’t tick enough of any of the boxes on the same page. It happens like this sometimes. We see something and we don’t know what it is. But you seem to be managing. People often cope with more than they think they can. So work within your limits. Seek help for symptoms you can’t manage. We can help with some things. You don’t need to live in pain. There are aids you can access to help with daily tasks. Be grateful for your life and try to find beauty in it. Don’t push beyond your limits and understand that even as your life gets smaller it can still be a good life.”

I was so angry and defeated in that moment. I held it together until I got to the car, but then the tears started and I couldn’t stop them.

Eventually I was howling.

Finally the woman who operated the toll gate came over and brought me a box of tissues. She offered to make me a cup of tea. She patted me on the shoulder. “I’m sorry, love,” she said. “Life can be a bitch, sometimes.”

My tears dried up. We laughed at that. “Yes, it can,” I said. I sat in her funny little toll booth and we drank sweet milky tea from the little plastic cups that stack on top of the old-fashioned kind of thermos flask. Eventually I drove home.

I was mad at that doctor for a very long time. I had really hoped that he would fix me. Or at least tell me what was wrong and give me some kind of pill, some kind of diet, some kind of hope. I didn’t want a smaller life. I wanted my old life back.

Instead, my life shrank smaller and smaller still. I’d look back on that day and see how strong and vibrant and capable I actually was back then. Back when I thought things were bad. Back before things became so much worse.

Funny, huh?

Even staying mad, as time went on I came to see that the doctor had given me something precious. He’d given me practical advice rather than empty promises. Mourning my old life stopped me from appreciating what was right in front of me. It stopped me loving myself. It stopped the flow of grace.

Life, at times, gets hard for all of us. All of us shall know limitation, or have loved ones whose worlds shrink. On any day our world might go pear-shaped.

Time has proven that doctor right. It’s amazing how quickly you adjust to a new set of circumstances. It never helps to fight your limitations because usually you only hurt yourself. Being in the moment, graciously (or pouting, angry and unhappy) still has sweetness. Life can get smaller and smaller and still be worth waking up for. Most importantly, being in the here-and-now, no matter how painful, is where you are empowered.

We can cope with so much. It’s only when we are tested that we find that out just how strong and wise and funny and awesome we really are.

Know that today I am holding you in my heart and sending you love. You’re stronger than you know. And life is breathtakingly beautiful, even the crappy bits.

When you see life as a glorious adventure, everything that happens to you becomes valuable.

Nicole <3 xx

PS: That doesn’t mean you won’t occasionally find yourself muttering ‘Well, this bit really sucks…’

Image from emilysquotes.com

Image from emilysquotes.com

Being There For Loved Ones

ducks-on-the-dam

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” Doe Zantamata

Hello Lovelies,

Our family is going through some big stuff right now. Being there for my family is taking almost all of my time, and pre-occupying all of my thoughts.

It’s a difficult time. It’s also in some ways, even in the midst of great pain, a luminously beautiful time as we all come together to support each other. It reminds us how love is a force in our lives, that binds us and brings out the best in us.

I may not be timely in turning up right now while my priorities are elsewhere. My posts may be short. You might find it hard to contact me.

I’m sorry for that, but right now my family need me and that’s where I need to be.

I know you’ll understand.

All my love, Nicole <3 xx