Want to Join Me For A Ten Day Health Challenge?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
~ Helen Keller

 

In ten days we’ll be looking at the end of January – the end of the first month of this new year.

I know. You said things would be different this year.

And I also know that some of you are already flagging. (Are you using my Planner? I promise that will make things easier!)

Sometimes, in order to affect change, we need to make new habits. We need to do things differently than we did before. You know this already, on a head level. You may have even tried to make changes in the past. But many of us have not been good at keeping promises to ourselves. Our commitment muscles have become weak. We don’t trust ourselves anymore. It becomes easier and easier to quit on ourselves and our own goals, even as we are holding up the rest of the world with one hand, encouraging and supporting everyone else.

So I propose a Challenge.

Ten days of completing a simple task each day. Every day.

Ten days are enough to start getting into the groove of a new habit. Ten days are enough to see and feel a change. Ten days are enough to find out that we CAN keep our promises to ourselves. We can finish January strong. We can build belief that will help move us through the rest of our year with more confidence and tenacity.

The skills we learn by sticking to one small commitment can then be applied to the bigger things we hope to achieve for ourselves.

No matter what your plans this year, or your One Big Thing, I’m encouraging you to choose a simple health focus for the next ten days. Why? Because you live in your body! Because nothing works well when we don’t have our health. Good health choices are a kindness to ourselves. They are self-care in action. And these choices help us to feel better about ourselves on every level.

Image from cuebc.ca

Image from cuebc.ca

Make your choice a small one. You’ve got lots of other stuff going on. Don’t overwhelm yourselves. Not sure what to choose? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Drink two litres of water each day
  • Eat breakfast
  • Walk every day
  • Yoga stretches each day
  • Make my own healthy lunch instead of take-out
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Green juice every day
  • Eat a particular way (doctor or health specialist recommended, paleo, weight watchers, gluten-free, coffee-free, whatever-way-of-eating-you’ve-been-half-assed-about-in-the-past)
  • Daily exercise of my choice
  • No screens (phones, computers, TV, tablets) for an hour before bed, and none in the bedroom
  • Daily power nap
  • Eat mindfully, at the table
  • Daily fresh juice or smoothie
  • Daily short meditation (I have lots of free ones here on my site – just put ‘meditation’ in the search bar)
  • Take my vitamins, supplements, magical potions every day
  • Ditch junk food and sugar
  • Stop eating/drinking that thing you know you need to!
  • Connect with someone you love and who loves you – by phone, skype or face-to-face. We all need connection.
  • Healthy snacks instead of chocolate and donuts
  • Cut down or cut out alcohol
  • Daily grounding with bare feet on the earth
  • Use essential oils daily, on yourself or in your diffuser
  • Time in nature
  • Sunshine
  • Enough sleep
  • Short breaks and mini-holidays or adventures each day
  • Move my body, every day, for ten minutes – my choice of movement!

Are you with me? Feel free to write your name below in the comments, along with your ten-day focus. And join us over on facebook, where I will be posting daily updates and encouragement, and where you can share your own progress.

 

A Little Lyme Recovery Update

2015-11-02 08.17.38

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
~ Winston S. Churchill

 

I can honestly say that I’m improving as I heal from late stage Lyme disease. It’s noticeable. To me, it’s remarkable. Bittersweet, humbling, world-expanding.

In November 2012 I was dying. I suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure and my organs were slowly shutting down. No-one really knew why. I had lesions on my brain. I struggled to walk. I couldn’t drive. I had uncontrollable Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and the hormone levels of a ninety-year-old nana. Things that I’d held to as my last bastions of humanity were being stripped away from me, worst of all my capacity to write and hold a story in my head. I clung to life, such as it was. The only things working for me were my marriage and my psychic work. Both endured, despite my increased limitations.

In December 2012 a wonderful doctor diagnosed me with Lyme Disease, a condition I had never heard of. I was diagnosed clinically, and then by bloodwork sent to an overseas laboratory. I felt ecstatic to finally have a diagnosis. I was told there was treatment!

And then my diagnosing doctor announced that he could support my many ailments, but would not treat my Lyme Disease, because it was ‘controversial’.

WTF?????

Seriously. There is a condition. I am diagnosed. By a well-regarded and very competent doctor. I am DYING. Treatment is controversial, so sorry. Can’t do.

In a first-world country. In 2012. A disease with a treatment protocol, and I can’t have it?

It beggared belief.

I wanted to be well. I hungered to be well. I was dying. I didn’t have time to muck around. I found another doctor.

That doctor saved my life with an aggressive campaign of antibiotics, antimicrobials and antimalarials.

2013-03-10 07.51.51

He was shut down before my treatment protocol was finished.

I found another doctor. Resumed treatment after having slid terrifyingly backwards while being unsupervised. I began to improve again.

That doctor closed down his practice.

I found a doctor prepared to treat me ‘under the radar’ and in ways that would not jeopardise their licence. But then they couldn’t keep offering me the treatments that worked.

20140510-175237

Each time I improved a little more. Thanks to these champions of medicine who risked their own licences and careers to uphold their medical oath and treat me and others like me.

Meanwhile I worked with acupuncture and herbs. I meditated and visualised.

My lyme doctors kept being shut down or unable to offer me effective treatment, but because of their brave actions my health has slowly been reclaimed.

Here I am now, alive. My treatment regime now is herbs, essential oils, diet, acupuncture, meditation and energy work. I continue to improve.

But let me put that in context:

Things that have improved since January 2013:

  1. No longer dying! (Yep, I rate that pretty highly.)
  2. My heart is almost back to normal, although I still have pain and inflammation of the lining, which has resulted in a recent hospital stay. Again.
  3. I can write, and hold a complex story-line in my head.
  4. My Hashimoto’s has resolved enough that I no longer need thyroid meds.
  5. I am no longer on any drugs.
  6. I am seizure-free.
  7. Gone from 17 brain lesions to 3. Those three are shrinking too.
  8. Massive, massive improvement in cognitive function.
  9. Short and long-term memory working better.
  10. I can do maths again (after over twenty years of not being able to place numbers sequentially or do basic math tasks).
  11. I have more energy for daily living, and can now do small amounts of exercise.
  12. My capacity for work is now ten-fold!
  13. I can forward-plan without having to take into account the high likelihood of croaking it anytime soon (except for normal statistics and variations, of course).
  14. I am sometimes well enough to drive.
  15. My food allergies and intolerances have gone.
  16. My pain levels have diminished significantly.
  17. My incapacitating frequent headaches are down to an very occasional blind-siding incident.
  18. My vision is almost normal, except when I am tired.
  19. I am arthritis-free.
  20. Liver and kidney function and all bloodwork vastly improved. Vastly!
  21. I am able to have an occasional late night, an occasional alcoholic drink, an occasional socialising event like a normal person would.
  22. I can climb stairs and hills and still breathe. No chest pain. No breathlessness. No recovery time needed. Exercise is now my friend.
  23. I can follow a movie, read a book, hold a longer and more technical conversation.
  24. My balance has significantly improved and I can actually walk up and down stairs unassisted and safely. Balance not good enough to wear any kind of heel yet, but that’s okay. Flat shoes are safety shoes!
  25. I am well enough to travel again.
  26. I have glimmers of libido. (Talk to any chronically ill person and their partner and you’ll know what a big deal this is!)

Things I’m still working on:

  1. My sleep is often interrupted by pain. Deep pain in bones and nerves. Pain that makes me whimper. Aching pain that won’t resolve with meditation or medication. Not every night anymore, but enough to be annoying and limiting.
  2. Occasional neurological bladder incontinence. Yep, unexpected peeing of my big-girl pants. It’s very occasional. Which means almost impossible to plan for. Truly, you can’t die from it so overall it’s not so bad.
  3. Energy levels – I rise early, but am also in bed most nights by 8pm. Sometimes 6pm. Sometimes 4pm. That’s not normal! However, in my waking hours I get so much done these days. It’s thrilling. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  4. Startle reflex. I am jumpier that a ‘Nam Vet. Magnesium helps. Meditation helps. But still. Awful. And makes me a horrible passenger, let alone driver.
  5. Driving. I’m still not really doing it. My reflexes and balance are not flash yet. Peripheral vision? Awful. I am good with known routes in low traffic times and where parking will be easy. Brain processing speed? Slow. My brain can’t process night driving at all. Too much going on. I can’t drive when tired. I am almost always tired.
  6. Optic nerve issues and occasional loss of vision in left eye. No biggy, but annoying.
  7. Daytime pain. Sigh. Yep, still got it, although it is improving. Stabby eye pain. Heart pain. Leg pain. Foot pain. Ice-pick headaches. Sudden severe nerve-pain like electric shock.
  8. Memory-gone-on-holidays moments. Especially when tired.
  9. Brain overwhelm from too much stimulation. Which then leads to poor sleep.
  10. I get tired really easily. I still can’t live like a normal adult. I can have a late night if I have a quiet week. (My idea of late is 10pm!) Big days of work? No problem. But need big days of rest and early-to-bed.
  11. Weird symptoms that revisit every so often. Think rashes, spasms, pain and unexplained annoying symptoms. Too long a list to mention, but they are now occasional rather than usual events.
  12. Libido. God, I miss that. What is sexy to me these days is the idea of a long uninterrupted sleep from which I wake refreshed. Sleep? Mmmmmm! Mind you, small improvements. After so long of a completely flat battery, any kind of spark is noticed and appreciated!

My life gets better all the time. I am a master of optimism, flexibility and working within my limits. I deal in reality but expect miracles to show up. And they regularly do.

I am healing from lyme.

Wherever you may be in life right now, know that change is always possible. Believe in the impossible until it becomes probable. Don’t give up on yourself, or on your dreams. Defy the odds. I have. You can too.

All my love, Nicole <3 xoxo

Does Planning Your Future Press All The Wrong Buttons In You?

tumblr_lkrcg6Eeeq1qfpmlpo1_r1_500

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
~ Salvador Dalí

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
~ Maya Angelou

 

2016 is right on our doorstep.

For many people it’s a time of review. For some it’s a time of making New Year’s resolutions. And some of us are working with my Year of ME Planner – 2016.

Reviewing and planning your life – it sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Except when it’s not.

I have always maintained that self work is some of the hardest work you can do. It’s easy to go through life busy – getting up every day tired, going to work or school, coming home to eat and watch a screen and then fall into bed. Repeat x 365. With the exception of holidays and Christmas. Busy numbs you. Routine numbs you. You don’t even have to think. Life becomes a series of multiple choice questions with the answers all there in front of you. Or we can let life drive us and carry us along.

Self-work wakes you up. Self work makes you examine your life. Who are you? What do you want? In what direction do you want your life to go?

When we begin to ask ourselves those questions it can be hard to truly see and own the choices (or lack of choices) we have made thus far.

It can be incredibly confronting to stand at the centre of our life and realise that we no longer know what makes us happy. Or worse, that we have become so disconnected from ourselves and from Spirit that we feel like we have only emptiness when we ask ourselves the big questions.

Image from www.theawsc.com

Image from www.theawsc.com

And there’s one other elephant that often creeps into the room when we do start to give ourselves permission to plan and dream and consciously create our lives.

That would be the elephant of Unworthiness.

That feeling where all our fear kicks in. All our self-doubt. The voice in our head, which is effectively silenced by hard work, routine, illness or fatigue, starts whispering and then shouting…

Not good enough

Too fat

No money

Too sick

Too old

Too stupid

Too late

I’ll fail

I don’t deserve it

It’s impossible

and all manner of other unhelpful things. All the old fears rush in. Plus a few new ones. Often that voice gets so loud that all we want to do is put down our Planner (Did I mention that I have an awesome Planner to really help you live consciously in 2016? :) ) and go back to the numbness of the life we lived before.

You’ll know if that’s you.

You’ll move into a place of resistance. Of procrastination. Of crankiness even.

Excellent!

That’s always a positive sign that those buttons are being pushed in you because you are moving out of stuckness (where it’s safe) and back into the flow of life again.

I’d urge you to keep going with planning and dreaming and manifesting through your intention.

I know some of you will now counter that with, ‘But Nicole, you don’t understand! I’m sick. I have no money. No-one is helping me. My life sucks. How can I plan a better life when I am not even coping with my day? That’s so unrealistic – to dream of an ideal life, or even a better life, when were I am currently sucks so much.’

Image from www.buzzfeed.com

Image from www.buzzfeed.com

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Remind yourself that self work is the hardest work you can do. Encourage yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself kindly, like you would a small cranky, frightened child.

Know that sometimes this work needs time to flow. Stick with it. Work in small bites. You can always write a little bit down and then come back to your dreams and your life plan and add more later. Let it be an adventure in knowing yourself, rather than an awful chore that needs to be perfect or ‘done right’.

And most importantly?

NEVER LET YOUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES DICTATE YOUR FUTURE REALITY.

Imagination is a powerful force, and just like when you were a child, you can go into your imagination and create without limitation. Thoughts become things. Change is always possible.

Back in 2000, shortly after I was married, I became so sick from undiagnosed lyme that my husband was advised to put me into a nursing home. I had lesions on my brain. My cognitive ability was shot. I couldn’t walk, think clearly, or function in daily life. It was predicted that within six months I would be a drooling mess, and that within a few short years I would be dead.

But I still had my imagination, and my ability to dream.

I’m sure that’s what got me through.

And every single thing (bar one – having kids), on my list of dreams and seemingly impossible goals from that time in my life has now come true, even though at the time I was sick, had no money, life truly sucked, and I didn’t know HOW it would ever change.

Life is a great big adventure, and we never truly know how it will unfold for us. But thinking and dreaming is still free, and there is powerful magic in those two acts. Don’t give up on yourself!

2016 is almost here. It’s a whole book of blank pages for us to fill. Don’t let that be terrifying. Your imagination is a giant crayon box jam-packed with colour and possibility, longing to be let loose on those blank pages.

Dare to truly think. Dare to give yourself permission to imagine. Dare to dream.

Image from desicomments.com

Image from desicomments.com

Want some help and support for your journey?

We’d love you to be a part of our Year of ME Planner – 2016 community. Come join us, and make 2016 a year of supported and nourished growth.

Much love to you,

Nicole xx

 

A Lovely ‘Double Happiness’ Spagyric Tincture Offer for You!

12308147_443310765858995_933618446478485203_o

 

“Health is not just the absence of a disease. It’s an inner joyfulness that should be ours all the time; a state of positive well-being.” ~ Deepak Chopra

 

My dear friends Paul Hardacre and Marissa Newell make the most deliciously health-giving spagyric herbal tinctures through their small family business Mare Maia.

To close out 2015 they are generously offering us one final sale, which they’ve dubbed the ‘DOUBLE HAPPINESS SALE’ .  Between now and January 1, 2016 they have a special deal for their new spagyric tincture blends.

If you buy the Digestive Blend, Penang Blend and/or Anti-Inflammatory Blend, they’ll give you A SECOND BOTTLE OF THE SAME FOR FREE! So much love, care and thought goes into each batch of these tinctures, and I can attest to their efficacy. This is a great opportunity to stock up on some truly helpful tonics for your body.

 

Paul explains that a spagyric tincture ‘is an alcohol-based extract that utilises the Spirit, Soul and Body of a given plant. In alchemy, the Spirit of a plant is referred to as the ‘Mercury’; the Soul as the ‘Sulphur’, and the Body as the ‘Salt’.

In a tangible, physical sense these three principles of Spirit, Soul and Body manifest in the ‘physical vehicles’ of alcohol, essential oils and mineral salts, respectively.

A spagyric tincture differs from the usual herbal tincture in that it contains the plant salts that complete the full therapeutic profile of the plant in question. As such, alchemical products like spagyric tinctures are much more potent and intensified than basic herbal tinctures.’

I can certainly attest to the power of Mare Maia’s products, which have helped me enormously as I overcome late-stage Lyme disease.

Here are the New Blends they are offering:

 

Digestive Blend
Digestive-Blend-_DSC03842__SMLCan there be a better blend at this time of year?

A healthy digestive system is one of the cornerstones of well-being. Mare Maia’s DIGESTIVE BLEND offers the traditional Ayurvedic digestive remedy of coriander, cumin and fennel (or CCF) in spagyric tincture form, for the first time. The revitalising but mild blend of coriander, cumin and fennel is known to improve digestion, reduce gas and bloating, and detoxify.

Coriander seeds aid digestion, reduce bloating, and support optimal liver function. Cumin seeds stimulate digestive enzymes (referred to as ‘agni’ or ‘digestive fire’ in Ayurveda) and thus improve nutrient assimilation. Fennel seeds stimulate digestive juices, reduce indigestion, prevent gas, and address constipation. The blend of coriander, cumin and fennel also acts as a diuretic, which helps against water retention and cleanses the urinary tract.

According to Ayurveda, the blend of coriander, cumin and fennel is ‘tri-doshic’, which means that all three ‘doshas’ – or primary energies which govern our physiology – are in balance. This balancing effect helps to ensure that we experience good health.

Order here – Digestive Blend

 

Penang Blend

Penang-Blend-_DSC03995_-

Mare Maia’s PENANG BLEND combines spagyric tinctures of tongkat ali and coffee to offer an energy tonic inspired by the culture of ‘coffee-with-tongkat-ali’ encountered in Penang, Malaysia.

The many benefits of tongkat ali – including increased strength, stamina and muscle mass, improved workout recovery times, enhanced libido and mood, and reduced fatigue, lethargy and body fat – are complimented by the well-known stimulant effects of coffee.

These stimulant effects improve energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function, including memory, vigilance (i.e. sustained attention or tonic alertness), reaction times, and general cognitive function.

Order here – Penang Blend

 

Anti-Inflammatory Blend

1267361_450207801835958_5197645919800811347_o

This is a favourite blend of mine! Mare Maia’s Anti-Inflammatory Blend combines spagyric tinctures of turmeric and black pepper to offer enhanced action against muscular aches, bruising, joint inflammation and pain, and arthritis. It’s also a super treatment for lyme and fibromyalgia.

Black pepper enhances the effectiveness of turmeric. It does this via its key chemical, piperine, which helps make curcumin – the key ingredient of turmeric – more bioavailable.

Other benefits of turmeric and black pepper include powerful anti-oxidant effects and benefits to the digestive and respiratory systems.

Order here – Anti-Inflammatory Blend

All you need to do is order between now and January 1, and Paul and Marissa will match your order of any of these three products one-for-one. That’s Double Happiness! :)

A Simple Breath Meditation for Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or long.

This is a soothing and energising technique that is simple to understand and that can bring a sense of increased calm and peace in as little as a few minutes. It really helps to ground you and get you back into your body.

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Stand or sit in a relaxed way, with your feet firmly on the ground. Become aware of your feet, and of the front of your body. Breathe through your nose.
  2. On your next in-breath, imagine that you are drawing the breath up from the earth, through your feet and all the way up into your head. Imagine your breath like a wave running up onto the shore.
  3. On your out-breath, exhale through your mouth, feeling the air travel down the outside of your body. Imagine your breath like a wave rolling away from the shore and back into the ocean.
  4. Keep breathing in and out with this awareness. Really feel the energy run into and up your body and then out of and down again.
  5. Follow your breath. Let every in-breath energise and restore you, and every out-breathe relax and cleanse you.
Image from pichost.me

Image from pichost.me

My Unscheduled Five-Star Holiday!

2015-10-08 18.13.26

“Whenever I pull an oracle card for myself, it always seems to have one message… Rest!” ~ Nicole Cody

 

Hello Lovelies,

I’m having a little enforced rest in this lovely five-star resort (some would call it a hospital!) due to my naughty misbehaving heart. Thank you, Lyme Disease. Even on the way out of my body you bang the doors and throw major tantrums.

So, I won’t be blogging very frequently for the next little while, or facebooking, or answering emails and messages. I’m sure you’ll understand. And of course, addled brain often here right now, courtesy of morphine et al.

2015-10-09 08.53.54

I’m going to be just fine, now that I have all this horrid pain under control. But I have promised my doctors that I will lie quietly and rest (yes, I had to hold my hand over my heart and swear to do no work!) for a fortnight.

The view is fabulous, and there is room service. The nurses are all angels disguised by flat shoes and sensible uniforms. I am being very well taken care of.  I have also been promised similar treatment back at the farm.

So I’m waving to you from bed, and sending my love to you all,

See you after my rest. This is my best 5am kissy face for you!

Big love and hugs,

Nicole <3 xoxo

2015-10-09 11.15.32

 

Lovely Herbal Tincture Combos to Help You Heal

Paul and his son, with a butterfly pea tincture-in-progress

Paul and his son, examining a butterfly pea tincture-in-progress

“A wise man ought to realize that health is his most valuable possession.” ~ Hippocrates

 

My friends Paul Hardacre and Marissa Newell of Mare Maia, who make the spagyric herbal tinctures that have been so beneficial in my own journey back towards health, have just created some very good value packs with three tinctures for the price of two. Each of the three packs offers the same degree of savings, i.e. USD$75.00 worth of spagyric tinctures for just USD$50.00 – and that’s inclusive of shipping. It’s really good value!

Paul and Marissa run a small family business in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where everything is hand-crafted with love and care. I’m happy to share their products here, in the hope that you might find some benefit too!

The information and purchase details are below.

Much love, Nicole <3 xx

 

Relax-Max Combo

il_570xN.841444705_93zq

This pack features tinctures of German Chamomile, Butterfly Pea Flower and Goji Berry (one of my most favourite-ever tinctures!). The combo is great for over-thinkers, worriers, poor sleepers and anyone suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Order it here – Relax-Max Combo

 

Immune Boost Combo

il_570xN.841446451_roni

I swear by these herbs. Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and they support good gut health as well as being jam-packed with anti-oxidants. The perfect combo to support an ailing immune system or to help your body shrug lingering low-grade infections. If you have lyme disease or co-infections I recommend this combo!

Order it here – Immune Boost Combo

 

Body Balance Combo

il_570xN.841710002_fz70

If you’re run down, suffer from auto-immune disease, are burned out from stress or things just aren’t working as well as they used to, then this is the combo for you. It supports and re-regulates the immune system, improves cognitive function, improves digestion and tonifies the organs and systems.

Order it here – Body Balance Combo