Are You In Survival Mode For No Good Reason?

“Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!”
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

 

Most of us are used to pushing, to working hard, to gritting our teeth and carrying on.

If there is a crisis in your life, that is often the only thing to be done. But sometimes, it seems that we become used to living as though all of our life is a crisis.

Friends, that’s not a great plan.

When we constantly push ourselves, and stress ourselves, we begin to alter our body’s chemistry. We normalise a state that is supposed to be about emergencies – living on our adrenalin and cortisol for a ‘fight or flight’ situation. In that state our digestion slows, our body is flooded with hormones that burden our livers, inflame our bodies, suppress our libidos and play havoc with sleep patterns. In that state we convert energy to fat, storing it for the coming crisis. We exhaust our adrenals, ruin our thyroids and put ourselves into chronic fatigue, emotional depletion and a place where everything becomes monochrome. We lose our joy. We lose ourselves.

If you are genuinely in crisis, with an abnormal amount of stress due to external conditions and circumstances, I wish you well and I pray for you the strength to get through these times the best that you can.

But if your whole life looks like a crisis, and you’re tired to the bones, numb from the grind of it all – maybe it’s time to change something. Because you are no longer living, you’re existing. You’re in survival mode. And that is no way to live a life.

When we get to that place we stop making good decisions and default to auto-pilot. We become broken robots.

Image from quotationof.com

Image from quotationof.com

Here are my top tips for moving back to a place of flow and balance so that you can begin enjoying life, and health, again:

  • Simplify. Let go of some of your responsibilities so that you can free up some time in your schedule.
  • Get a health check. If you’re exhausted/struggling/unwell all the time and your life looks pretty normal demand-wise, maybe there’s something else going on.
  • Delegate. Seriously, no one can do it all themselves. Get a team together.
  • Walk away. Sometimes the only thing left to be done is to walk away from the relationship, the job, or the situation. An ending, or a failure to complete, might actually be what’s needed to turn this around.
  • Change your job.
  • Take a holiday, or some time away from it all. Camping and house sitting are great options if finances are tight.
  • Postpone some of your projects, or lengthen out the timeframes.
  • Hire someone capable to sort it/fix it/build it for you.
  • Schedule catch-up sleep and downtime into your calendar as regular events.
  • Get your finances under control. Or get help to do this. No-one can get out from under that feeling of crisis if they are always worrying about where the next dollar is coming from, or how to pay off a mountain of debt. Make a plan and work the plan.
  • Downsize. Sell stuff. Make things more manageable.
  • Do the things that are important to YOU and quit doing things to please others or gain approval.
  • Make exercise and a healthy diet a priority.
  • Choose a hobby and make time for it by stopping something you don’t enjoy, or that doesn’t fill you up.
  • Stop taking new stuff on and get the backlog completed.
  • Say no to people and events. Create some room in your life for you.

Life is not always easy. Crazy stuff happens. Crisis sometimes too. But if your world has devolved into exhaustion and all the joy has been sucked out of living, it’s time for a change. It’s time to be kind to yourself and sort this mess out!

Image from popsugar.com

Image from popsugar.com

It’s Phone A Friend Day

“True friends walk

in when the rest of the world has walked out.”
~ Walter Winchell

There’s no great governing body that has declared today Phone A Friend Day. No. Sorry. It’s just me.

But still, I think it’s a good idea, and I hope you pay attention and adopt this worthy challenge. In a world where we are becoming increasingly stressed and socially isolated, love and friendship can maintain our emotional wellbeing and mental health, and a quick phone call helps to keep our support networks strong.

Today, don’t send an email or a text. Take five minutes and phone a friend, neighbour or family member.

Call someone just to say hi and see how they’re doing.

Call someone because you know they’ve had a rough time. Especially if that rough time happened a while ago. People forget too soon that others are still struggling.

Call someone because you know they’re doing well.

Call someone because you have news.

Call someone because you know they have news.

Call someone just because you care.

You never know what your call might mean to that other person. Or what it might do for you.

Nothing can replace that shared connection, and the sound of a friendly voice at the other end of the line.

Go on. Make the call, and make a difference. We could all do with a little more real connection.

A Gentle Morning

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“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
~ Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

 

My Working with Intuition Retreat starts in just a few days, so I’m soaking up some quiet time, getting ready to enter that sacred space.

There is nothing like dawn, the ocean, clear skies and a little space to soothe the most restless of souls.

How about you? Can you find a little quiet time for your soul this week?

Thinking of you and sending much love, Nicole <3 xx

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Looking Back at Me

Looking Back Through Time by Lady Victoire Deviantart.com

Looking Back Through Time by Lady Victoire Deviantart.com

“We look back on our life as a thing of broken pieces, because our mistakes and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have accomplished and attained.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections

 

It’s odd, this process of writing about yourself. Seldom do we truly take the time to look back on our lives without being caught in the emotion of the moment, or the memories.

I need to be objective now, to get my facts right as I finish the job of editing this memoir. I’m sifting through old diaries, notebooks, photographs and scraps of paper.

I held some photos in my lap today. I can’t share them with you. To do so would be to trespass the privacy of others, long gone from my life.

I have few photographs of myself. I’d always thought myself so ugly. I’ve been entirely self-conscious, and as this strange unnamed illness (that turned out to be Lyme) progressed through my late teens and early twenties I hid more and more from the lens.

But here they are, these frozen moments in time. What strikes me is that the me I see is so different to the way I’d remembered myself. There was grace there. Elegance even. My own fresh young beauty. And so much hope, still. So much hope in those eyes of mine. So much life and love and emotion.

It made me fall in love with myself. It broke me open with tenderness.

How I wish all of us could reach back through time and whisper in our own ears that we are beautiful, and precious, so that we might live more fully and be more emboldened in our choices.

Too late for the past, but not for today. As I lay down to sleep tonight I will whisper that truth. I am beautiful. I am precious. My dreams are important. It’s never too late…

‘Second Chance’ Spagyrics Sale

Image from Mare Maia

Image from Mare Maia

“Because this is what I believe – that second chances are stronger than secrets. You can let secrets go. But a second chance? You don’t let that pass you by.”
~ Daisy Whitney, When You Were Here

 

A few weeks ago I posted about some powerful natural medicine that has helped me in my journey to overcome lyme disease and regain my health.

To recap here, my friends Paul Hardacre and Marissa Newell create these tinctures for their business Mare Maia in Chiang Mai, Thailand, using organic ingredients and time-old methods. The efficacy and purity of these tinctures is exceptional, as is the care that goes into making them.

Paul explains what makes Spagyric tinctures different to ordinary homeopathic or plant-based remedies:

“Spagyric tinctures are alchemical plant medicines that offer a more energetically complete herb or plant extraction. These concentrated extractions contain the three essentials – that is, the body, soul and spirit – of the herb or plant, purified and recombined in an exalted medicinal form. The spagyric technique is part of the ancient initiatic tradition of alchemy – the Art that lies at the heart of the inner traditions of the West.

Ordinary herbal tinctures only partially utilise the curative powers of the plants from which they are prepared. Spagyric tinctures are made according to unique processes which ‘open’ the plant or herb and liberate stronger curative powers. The spagyric technique of confecting herbal remedies embodies another – more synergistic – way of considering Nature and its powers.”

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Paul and Marissa’s is a small family business, that grew from their own experiences of having too many loved ones die with little or no support from conventional medicine. They are involved in every aspect of the creation of each batch of tincture, which are all made with love and by hand.

The tinctures harness the best of a plant’s healing powers, and as an energetically sensitive person I deeply appreciate the strength and clarity of these remedies. They have provided me with much relief from my lyme symptoms, and have been instrumental in reducing inflammation in my body, improving my immune function, circulation, digestive system, liver function and cognitive ability. I’ve also used them to help restore sleep. (You can read more about my personal use of spagyrics here.)

If you visit the Mare Maia Store at Etsy or the Mare Maia Facebook page you can check out the many tinctures they have available. There are all kinds of remedies for supporting digestion, emotional health, hormones, detoxification, immune system, healing, muscular-skeletal system and general well-being.

Paul and Marissa were kind enough to give my readers a generous offer. For a limited time if you bought two tinctures and mentioned Cauldrons and Cupcakes or Nicole Cody as the referrer they’d give you any other tincture free. Naturally, if you were to buy 4 you’d get 2 free. Or buy 6 get 3 free, etc. They ship internationally within 24 hours, and the products are sent registered and trackable.

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But some people missed this sale. Or were not able to purchase at that time. Since then we’ve had plenty of enquiries, and so Paul has kindly offered to repeat this sale for my readers for just two days – Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August.

You can buy the tinctures through the Mare Maia Etsy Shop. And yes, if you’ve already bought some, you are still able to buy more using this new offer. :)

All you need do is buy 2, and once you’ve checked out via Etsy, message Paul and Marissa with your choice of your free third tincture. Or if you purchased 4 tinctures, you could select another 2 at the time of checkout and just let them know which you want. They’ll get them to you with the shortest possible turn-around.

I know you’ll love these powerful remedies. I certainly do, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

And once again, a big thank you to Paul and Marissa for their generous support of our community, and their desire to care for us with natural products, lovingly crafted.

Love you <3 xoxo

Image from Mare Maia

Image from Mare Maia

 

The Benefits of Body Earthing

“Man takes root at his feet, and at best he is no more than a potted plant in his house or carriage till he has established communication with the soil by the loving and magnetic touch of his soles to it.”
~ John Burroughs

 

Most of us live in environments that are positive-charge rich. Some of the greatest contributors of microscopic positively-charged particles are electrical items, computers, wi-fi, cell phones and hand-held devices.  We literally live in a ‘soup’ of positive ions and protons.

And that’s an issue.

Why? Positively-charged particles generate free radicals and create oxidization and inflammation within the body. Inflammation is in turn responsible for many chronic illnesses, body pain and inability to heal, and has also been linked to depression and mood disorders.

This situation is further exacerbated by our busy lifestyles. Poor diet, lack of exercise, dehydration, stress, illness and lack of sleep add to our cumulative inflammation.

Fortunately, there is something simple that can help us all.

The earth’s surface maintains a negative electrical charge, via the sun’s continual donation of negatively charged electrons, and through lightning strikes.

Image from imgkid.com

Image from imgkid.com

When we stand barefoot upon the ground the earth donates negative electrons to our bodies and our electrical fields. This returns our bodies and cells to a negative charge, earthing us and reducing our inflammation. The earth becomes a powerful, natural anti-oxidant treatment.

Negative electrons boost our immune function. They help regulate our sleep and hormones, reduce inflammation, uplift our mood, and normalise our body’s response to stress.

Standing barefoot upon the earth was once something that all of us did. These days though, when we live in houses, drive cars, wear shoes with synthetic soles and spend little time outdoors, we’ve lost this natural boost to our wellbeing.

Yesterday, after a week in bed, and still feeling frazzled and in pain, I went and lay down on the grass out in the paddock. I was stiff and sore. It took a while to get myself down onto the ground. Once there, I turned my fingers down into the earth. I rested my head and spine against the ground. My bare feet anchored themselves.

Image from Do'i Thu'a at Flickr

Image from Do’i Thu’a at Flickr

Minute by minute, things changed. I felt myself deeply relax. My breathing slowed. All tension drained away. After twenty minutes I stretched and stood up. My body was pain-free. My heart was calm. I felt peaceful and restored.

I enjoy living in this modern world. But I was made from the components of nature, not technology, and the earth is what restores me.

Earthing ourselves supports our body’s best function. It’s easy to do, and it’s free.

How long is it since you’ve been outside and actually connected with the earth? Maybe it’s time!

“There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place. The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. Their teepees were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.”
~ Luther Standing Bear

Image from asteria.ru

Image from asteria.ru

Two Steps Back

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

Don’t ever give up.
Don’t ever give in.
Don’t ever stop trying.
Don’t ever sell out.
And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment,
pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off.
But never, ever, ever give up.
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

 

It had to happen.

I’m on new treatment. We’re working on my detox pathways, and some brain rewiring and rehab before I hit the lyme drugs again for another round. Both my doc and I are new at some of this – both the treatment modes, and the regimes. They’ve been tried and tested by other doctors, with other patients, and their positive results have spurred us to try the same. (In my 30 plus years as a Lymie I’ve been a guinea pig for lots of stuff – desperation and a sense of the curious will do that to you.)

On the plus side for this new regime? We know it works. I’m getting noticeable results.

On the not-so-plus side?

Too strong. Too fast. Because of that I’ve gone backwards a little. A temporary thing. My poor old brain has been overstimulated, and my detox pathways are not coping with the load. So there have been some unpleasant side effects.  Headaches. Ramped up pain. Small seizures. Temporary loss of vision in my troublesome left eye (neurological rather than an actual eye issue). Disrupted sleep patterns. Mega brain fog and exhaustion. Slurry speech.

Thinking is hard. Problem solving stresses me out. Or else I look inside my brain for an answer and there is nothing…

Image from cheezburger.com

Image from cheezburger.com

I got properly checked out, and I’m fine. I just need to rest. Rest some more. Cut back my program. Drink lots of water. Did I mention rest and avoiding stimulation?

Soon as I’m feeling better we’ll try again, more gently this time.

So I’m going to step away from blogging for a few days so I can have a proper no-pressure break.

At least I got to enjoy a semi-normal weekend just a few days ago. Moments like those are gold. They show me that everything I’m doing is worth it, even the less-than-fun spaces like the one I’m in right now. I’m miles ahead of where I was this time last year. It feels like a different life, that me of a few years ago where I was dying and every day was a miserable struggle.

A setback is just that. A setback. It’s only a failure if I stop trying. Anyway, if I’d quit when the going got tough I’d have died years ago. :)

This round of treatment has been a valuable learning experience about what not to do. Next round, I’ll do better!