A Starting Point For Change

Running Away from Home - Photo by Laura Corebello

Running Away from Home – Photo by Laura Corebello

“She had discovered early that what we want out of life can change; that the important thing is to learn to recognize or even simply just to admit what we really want, and then to have the courage to reach for it.” 
~ Candice Proctor, Whispers of Heaven

“The question is: how bad do things have to get before you will do something about it? Where is your line in the sand?”
~ Michael Badnarik

 

Today, under this Traveller’s Moon, is a good time to get clear on our starting place for change.

Understand this. You don’t need to know yet where you are headed. You just need to know what it is you really need to leave behind.

You need to get clear about what you DON’T WANT.

This isn’t a list of dislikes. It’s not an agenda of complaints.

Today I want you to spend some time and be totally honest with yourself. Based on all of your life experiences so far, and on a foundation of your values and integrity, what is it that you just can’t do, won’t do, don’t ever want?

Your starting place for change is to simply recognise the energies and styles of relationships that you are no longer prepared to accept in your life.

Think of it as drawing a line in the sand so that the Universe knows where you are at, and so that you can use this as a measuring stick for future situations, choices and relationships.

Image from Papa's Job

Image from Papa’s Job

It might not be a very long list. That’s okay. What’s most important is that you feel it in your heart and know it to be true for you.

 

Here are some examples:

I will never accept a cheating partner again.

I can’t work in a place where I am bullied.

Working twelve hour days for someone else – that’s over!

Never spending time in nature? I can’t do that anymore.

Image by Alegri

Image by Alegri

Once you have that list, turn your back and put those things behind you.

With what you don’t want behind you, you’ll have a starting place and a clear direction forward, even if you don’t know exactly where you’re headed next.

Knowing what we don’t want is ALWAYS the starting point of working out what we DO want.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

Image from bohemiabowmans

Image from bohemiabowmans

 

A little Solitude is good for the Soul

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“Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”  ~ Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

 

If you’re energetically sensitive like me, then you might already understand the importance of time on your own.

Interacting with others draws energy from us. When we are speaking to others, emotionally supporting others, teaching others, healing, helping or even simply thinking about the needs of others, energy flows from us to them.

That’s okay. In fact, it can feel wonderful to give. For many of us, it’s a prime driver. We want to help, we enjoy reaching out and being here for others.

And of course we so often get energy back as we are giving. Especially with the ones we love it becomes a two-way flow.

Image from Transcendia

Image from Transcendia

Some people can actively draw energy from us too. Haven’t you ever come home from a social event, or ended a phone call feeling totally drained, and knowing that the other person went away feeling stronger and more uplifted?

Energy Vampires need to be treated with caution, or avoided, especially on the days when you feel weak, tired or unwell. You know who I mean – the people caught in their own dramas who constantly clutch at you as if they were drowning and you were their only support, people who undermine and criticise you, people who gaslight you, people who are totally self-interested, people who are always takers and never givers. Some of them may be co-workers, friends or the spouses of friends, but some of them may also be your own family members. Sometimes you may even need to end the relationship, or at least put some distance between you.

Energy-VampiresThat’s why a little regular solitude can be so refreshing.

Solitude – time happily spent on our own – recharges us, strengthens our aura and allows us time for creative and spiritual connection.

You don’t need large amounts of time if you make solitude a regular part of your day. But then again, I also recommend a big chunk of solitude every so often to help top you up and bring you back into balance when your coping mechanisms are becoming thin and worn from too much connection with others.

For many years now I have found my solitude by getting up early, while the rest of the house sleeps. When people and animals are sleeping they are disengaged from us, leaving us free to concentrate on ourselves completely.

Try this for yourself. If someone else is home, but awake (whether they are in the same room or at the opposite end of the house), the energy will feel quite different to that of them being tucked up in bed, sound asleep.

I wake at four each morning, meditate, do healing work, spend time in spiritual communion, and then I go to my desk and write. It’s my quiet time, and it anchors my entire day. Far from tiring me out to rise so early, I feel that it recharges me, and leaves me free to focus on whatever I like, without the need to be thinking of others unless I deliberately choose to do so.

As soon as one of my family wakes, I feel it, and the spell of my solitude is broken

I may then put my boots on and go for a walk around the farm. Even if the dogs come they usually race ahead, and are caught up in their own busy-ness, and by then I am ready for their company anyway.

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There are many ways to find a little solitude for yourself:

  • Stay up a little later or get up early, so that the house is yours and you can have some quiet time.
  • Take a journal or your ipad and go to a park, cafe or a library. Strangers won’t have the same energetic pull as people who know you, so you’ll still be able to enjoy some solitude even if the world around you is busy and full of life.
  • Go for a swim, a bike-ride, a run or a walk.
  • Get out into nature.

If you’re in need of a bigger break, take a day off and don’t fill it with friends and family. Let yourself be refreshed by time in your own company.

Take a holiday on your own, or check into a motel for the night. Not to feel lonely, but to feel spaciousness and that luxurious sensation of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Note: this can be challenging for people who are used to making the happiness of others their constant priority but who aren’t in touch with their own needs. When faced with too much time on your own you may end up suddenly feeling lost, lonely and small, which is not the point of the exercise!

When we make time for ourselves, healing happens. Ideas occur. Creative inspiration visits. We remember what’s important and find clearer direction for ourselves, and answers for our problems.

A little solitude is a good thing. It restores you to yourself.

Wishing you some time for yourself today! Much love, ♥ Nicole xx

Image from freepeople

Image from freepeople

PS – You might also find these posts helpful:

How to deal with toxic people

Finding moments for yourself

Writing yourself into a brighter future

 

The Unworthiness Issue OR Why am I freaking out when things are finally going so well?

Image from Klopp

Image from Klopp

“It seemed so natural, receiving it, watching others receive it, assuming that the approval of others determined our worth. Then one day we found we couldn’t feel any worth without it. We’d forgotten that we were gifted in ways unimaginable, created with a unique purpose like no other, that people are hurting, that we beat that same hurt and we can help them. There is no one as valuable as you. Unlearn that old lie.” 
~ Lee Goff

A client rang me in tears recently. She’s in the entertainment industry, and in the past few years her life has changed radically. In a good way. She has an agent, contracts, a tour. After years of obscurity she is doing so well.

So why the tears? She found herself in a luxury foreign hotel, hoarding the soaps, tiny bottles of shampoo and shower caps. Her suitcase was stuffed full with them. She confessed that deep down she’s expecting the ride to end at any second. Right as she’s in production of another album. Right as her sales are going through the roof. Right as she’s finally got a team of people who believe in her and who are carefully and wisely managing her and her career.

Image from Elliot

Image from Elliot

And then there’s the woman who has turned her life around. She’s kicked the loser boyfriends to the kerb, ended years of battles with various addictions and co-dependency and her life is wonderfully on track. Now she’s manifested this great new man. A really fabulous new man. He has his life together, he adores her, he wants her in his life and he doesn’t mind how long she takes to get used to that idea. She wants it too, with all her heart. But she’s terrified, and she told me she doesn’t know what to do…

What do both of these women, and countless of my other clients and friends, have in common?

Deep-seated unworthiness issues.

Those issues might have been patently apparent at one time in their lives. Back when things really WERE bad. When they were in abusive relationships, caught in addiction, broke, starving, homeless, going nowhere or any of the other very visible outward signs of things not being right.

They will even put their hands up now and own how bad it was. “Yes, that was me, Nicole. I was a mess. I was broken. I was making bad choices. Nothing was going right…”

Or maybe they lived with broken and messed up. Or were parented by broken and messed up.

Then they pulled themselves up by their boot straps. They got help or wised up and sorted things out. They started making better choices, and got rid of or distanced themselves from the broken and the messed-up.

They could look themselves and the world in the eye and say “I’ve changed.” Or they could look the world in the eye and say “that other shame/person/situation does not  or no longer defines me”. Which is the same thing.

But is it true?

The litmus test for anyone’s self-worth isn’t how we cope with the hard stuff. Both of these women, and most of the other people I know in similar situations, KNOW how to cope with the hard stuff. Another ratbag boyfriend comes along, they recognise the signs and boot him to the kerb. Begin to get addicted to some new thing. See the pattern. Break the pattern and come back to a place of healthy managing again.

It might not look like it once your life gets to a better place, but it’s still shades of the same thing. I used to be broken and messed up. I lived with broken and messed up. Now I know how to recognise and deal with broken and messed up. And there’s the problem.

I still only know how to work and live along the spectrum of broken and messed up. I have the skill set to thrive in attracting and then avoiding or managing various degrees of some aspect of my life always being out of balance. How will I cope and succeed if the rules change and everything starts going my way? I don’t trust myself in that unfamiliar environment, even though it’s what I want for myself.

Why? Part of me is still very uncomfortable with the whole concept of worthiness. I don’t know HOW to sit in the allowing of life becoming better and better, with my personal and professional relationships actually being functional and healthy. I don’t know how to be in flow. Flow is terrifying. Everything going right for me is terrifying. Because I only know broken and messed up, and that territory is safe and familiar and I can shine there. If I’m fighting broken and messed up, and I’m beating it, then I must be worthy, right? I’m earning that worthiness.

I don’t know how to shine when it’s all going my way. It makes me uneasy. I don’t know the rules. I can’t control this new space. Therefore I keep looking over my shoulder waiting for something to go wrong. I’m much more at ease in dealing with things going wrong and then pulling myself up by my bootstraps. It’s what I do. It’s what other people know and respect/admire/value/ me for too. Being a fighter and a hard worker and a survivor has shaped who I am.

In fact, I can get SO panicked and uncomfortable with this feeling of ease and flow that I will find a way to sabotage myself back into a little of that broken-ness because that’s where I feel safe.

Image from kulfoto

Image from kulfoto

When we have a self-worth issue, we put the speed brake on ourselves. We do anything we can to slow down our acceleration into that better place, and often we don’t even realise that we’re doing it.

We limit ourselves. We talk ourselves down from that scary high place. We come back to a level that feels more manageable.

What I want to encourage you about today is expansion. I want you to embrace standing in that place where the view is unfamiliar, and to be brave enough not to turn around and run.

When we’re growing and moving forward it will always feel uncomfortable to start with. And you’ve already been here when you’ve made smaller positive changes in the past. What you’re starting to get now is momentum. With momentum everything happens faster. We attract more synchronicities, opportunities, good relationships, sound ideas.

The speed of the positive change can feel a little or a lot overwhelming. We will always grow out of our comfort zone, adjust, get cosy, and then expand and start the process over again.

Give your self-worth time to catch up. Trust that you were born worthy, and that better and better can happen for you if you are open to allowing that energy into your life.

Stop worrying about fear of failure, fear of success, letting others down, letting yourself down, being ready or whatever other story you keep telling yourself.

Instead, practice awareness. Be present. Stay in the moment rather than clinging to the past or projecting too far into the future.

In the moment, our situation is always manageable. One breath at a time. One positive moment at a time. One bright new possibility at a time.

I have so much faith in you. You can do this!

Much love to you,  ♥ Nicole xx

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“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
~ Buddha

Understanding Soul Groups

Family Tree by Normal Rockwell

Family Tree by Norman Rockwell

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star…” ~ E.E. Cummings

I have not seen the Orchard Man for months, but I was not surprised when he walked out of the rain and gloom the night before last.

There had been a thunderstorm after midnight, which woke me right towards its end. Apparently I had slept solidly through the storm’s worst. As the rest of our little family snuggled down to go back to sleep I crept out onto the back veranda, where I sat in my rocking chair, looking out over the gardens and the citrus orchard which span the hill behind our farmhouse.

I had sat there in the dark perhaps ten minutes when the Orchard Man came. He was dressed in long heavy pants and a thick checked shirt. In one hand he carried a lantern. He stopped just by the magnolia tree, less than ten feet away from me, seemingly unaffected by the downpour.

“Good Evening,” he said unexpectedly. His voice was warm and his accent vaguely Irish.

I was so surprised that I stopped rocking. The Orchard Man had never interacted with me before.

“My name is John,” he continued. “And this time here, I see you are Nicole.”

“Yes,” I said. “Yes, I am.” I was so bound up with excitement and curiosity I could barely get the words out.

“You’ve scant rememberings,” John smiled. “‘Tis how it should be. But you’re of the line. You know you carry the gifts.”

I nodded. A barn owl swooped down and landed nearby.

Barn Owl 016b

We both looked over to it. He cleared his throat.

“We’re known to each other, you see. Alice, who came to visit you and your sister; me, who came to follow Alice. We’re all soul kin. You’d be wanting to call us a Soul Group. We are each connected and we come through the line, together, or connected between this space and yours over and over through time and space.”

I felt it. I felt his words deep within me. I knew them to be true. And I felt something else, so sharp, so painful that my eyes pricked with tears. “I have no children, ” I said. “The line stops with me.”

“Aye. In the tree of this family the line stops with you. And it is as was planned, although you no longer remember. But that is not how a soul group works. We are threaded through the bloodlines of this wider family, and we will continue to reappear through the line as oft suits us. Younger souls, older souls – all helping each other, all growing and learning and becoming. Over and over again. Having no children in this life does not conclude the line, only this small branch of the tree.”

I couldn’t stop the tears that ran down my cheeks. I’d always thought that one day I would be a mother, and though I am resigned to it, part of me still aches that it will never be.

“You and I, we are gardeners tending the family line. We prune a branch here and there so that the tree may grow strong and true. There isn’t only this. We are eternal. You are eternal. We all endure. We all go on. And love, love binds us all. There’s no harm done in this line stopping here. It shall go on somewhere else in this vast old tree. We are always connected, and you are never, ever alone.”

Little Gardener - Image from CQMagOnline

Little Gardener – Image from CQMagOnline

I sniffled, and tried a smile. “Are you waiting for Alice?”

“Yes,” he smiled too, “but I was also waiting for you. It’s nearly your time, you see.”

I knew he didn’t mean dying. I can feel it too. This idea that something big is about to happen. I can feel it swelling within me, but I can’t put voice or shape to that thing yet.

I looked up and he was gone.

Another owl flew over and perched above me.

I will wait. And I will be patient. Because it’s coming, and that’s why I signed up for this life…

All is well.

We are never alone. And we are much loved. I know that with my whole heart.

Image by Erin Leigh

Image by Erin Leigh

Do Not Be Friends With Mean People!

 

“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly can never know what true friendship means.”~ Charles Kingsley

I spent some time with a little girl yesterday who is having a hard time with other girls being mean and bullying her at school.

Madeline (I changed her name here, but she’s seven and the sweetest girl you’ll meet!) is doing her best to be nice to these mean girls, and to be a friend to them. Her mum told Madeline that if she is nice long enough, eventually the girls will see what a lovely person she is and want to be her friends for real.

But the fact is this group of girls aren’t being friends back. They invite Madeline to play and then hurt her. They call her over then ignore her. They tease her and make fun of her. But they do just enough ‘playing nice’ that Madeline keeps going back, hoping that they will finally accept her and treat her with respect and kindness. To them it’s just a big game, but to Madeline it’s a defining force in her life that’s tying her up in knots and eroding her self-confidence and self-esteem.

Madeline asked what I would do.

My answer surprised her.

I said, “Stop being friends with mean people! Make friends with people who are kind and who make you smile. Friends are people you like to spend time with. If you don’t like spending time with them then it’s not a very good friendship.”

I think that’s sound advice whether you’re seven or seventy.

advice-quotes-friendship-quotes-Associate-yourself-with-people-of-good-quality-for-it-is-better-to-be-alone-than-in-bad-company.

Don’t be friends with people who are mean. It doesn’t matter whether they are classmates, work colleagues, the partners of friends, next-door-neighbours, or family. Mean people don’t respect you, your ideas, your feelings, or your possessions.

Mean people make you feel small. Mean people cause you hurt and worry, and make you feel sick in the stomach with anxiety when you have to spend time with them. Mean people make you believe you’re not good enough, or that there’s something wrong with you.

Mean people don’t know HOW to be friends. So why would you want to waste your half of a friendship on someone who can never be a friend back?

There are lots of terrific people in the world, and lots of people who could use a friend. Mean people don’t make good friends. So stop trying to win people over, or expecting them to change. If they can’t like you for who you are and treat you well, move on.

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Recognising Karmic Relationships

Lovers - by Olivia Bee

Lovers – by Olivia Bee

“When someone has a strong intuitive connection, Buddhism suggests that it’s because of karma, some past connection.”
~ Richard Gere

 

Karmic relationships are a big part of our growth. We can experience a karmic relationship with lovers, siblings, children, parents or friends, even work colleagues.

Contrary to popular opinion, not all karmic relationships are soul mate relationships.  Rather, karmic relationships happen because before we came to this life we have made a conscious choice to come together with another soul so that we can share, support, learn, heal, resolve past life issues, forgive and grow.

There are several defining characteristics of karmic relationships, but the most obvious ones are:

  • instant recognition of each other on some level, especially when there is no way you have ever met before
  • strong, and often unexplainable attraction (the sort we can’t justify to ourselves, let alone family or friends)
  • an intensity to the relationship, either positive or negative
  • a tendency for the relationship to become for a time, the most dominant or perhaps even our ONLY relationship
  • a deep emotional or physical connection, often that has an addictive quality
  • an ability to really press each other’s buttons
  • an inability to easily walk away
  • a feeling of the need to stay, even if it is hard, so that you can work through or resolve something

Usually karmic relationships serve to bring you together for a definite purpose, and once that purpose is achieved, the ‘spell’ is broken and the relationship loses its pull. Looking back you might wonder what ever brought you together – even you won’t understand it!

Many of my clients have experienced intense friendships or love relationships that taught them hard lessons, that changed them in some way, and that caused them to move in a new direction.  Often these relationships were painful, uncomfortable and a wild ride.  None of their friends or family understood why they were in that relationship, and it often made little sense to my clients either, but they couldn’t seem to help it or avoid the pull of the other person.

A large number of them then went on to find a lifelong partner, or a satisfying new life direction…

Not all relationships are difficult – some are wonderful, but last only a short time.  They buoy us up and remind us of something positive and important about ourselves, building a stronger sense of self and purpose.

Some karmic relationships will support you for your entire life, and if one person dies before the other the one who remains will not find someone to replace that love, and that feeling of deep connection will endure even if that person takes a new partner.  Note – this relationship may not be with a lover, but could also be with a friend or family member.

These enduring karmic relationships are characterised by:

  • the feeling that you understand in each in ways other people can’t
  • a feeling of loyalty and a deep bond
  • a sense of being very comfortable with the other person, as if you’ve known them forever, even if you’ve just met
  • a knowledge that you are sharing a path through life
  • a feeling of deep trust, and a knowledge that you are supported by this person
  • an easiness with one another, even if you do have issues to work through
  • an ability to truly forgive, and to move on, together
We are all connected, often in ways we can’t possibly understand from where we are, down here. I find it incredibly reassuring, to know that love transcends time and space, and that we care enough about each other as souls to show up in each others lives over and over again.
If you’d like to read more about karmic relationships and the incredible power of love you might enjoy these posts:
The baby who needed to speak – about the love between brothers and a powerful act of forgiveness and redemption
The lady who walked out of my past – an enduring romantic love across time and space, and the karmic love connections of a soul group and family
Alice’s lifelong invisible friend – how love endures and supports us even when someone has died
Our spooky pup – an argument for pet reincarnation – our pets often come back to us, in that same karmic wheel of love

Someone to watch over me…

A light in the darkness by crywolf

A light in the darkness by crywolf96

“It is the custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.” 

~ J.M. Barrie

Remember, I was telling you about the lady who came and sat on my sister’s bed when we were little? Back when I was four, and Simone was two and a half?

I felt quite afraid those nights when my sister was sick. Her skin and hair was sticky with sweat. She was so hot, and she tossed and turned and whimpered in her sleep.

Each night after the world was asleep the beautiful lady surrounded by the silver-blue light would come to our room.  Each night she would comfort my sister, sing to her, and talk to her in her low, sweet voice. She spoke the funny language that I found out much, much later was French.

At the end of one of these visits, when I sensed she was about to leave, I asked her why she was visiting.

“I am her Mummy,” she said to me somehow. “Her Mummy from another time. When a mother loves her child, the love lasts forever.”

She touched my hand. It made me feel so warm inside. “We are family,” she said.  “Remember that.  Family means love forever. There is always someone watching over you.”

She kissed me on the forehead. “One day you will remember…”

And then she was gone.

At the darkest times of my life I have recounted that conversation. After my grandmothers passed away, Marga in 2011 and then Nana late last year, I finally understood what that meant – to have someone watching over you. I felt it in my heart.

As my sister and I research our family tree, and connect into previous generations and our more ancient lines, I feel the weight of this love more and more.

For all of you – those who already feel loved, and those who feel lost or alone – let me reassure you. There is family stretching far back, whose lives are braided through with yours over and over again.

Some call it family, some call it ancestors, some call it soul group. It really doesn’t matter by what name we know it.  All that matters is this – the magic in this world is love. It’s the energy that follows us, sustains us, and lifts us up. It’s all around us, even when we can’t see it.  Even if we choose to believe it’s not there.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of that magic with you…

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