10 Simple Hacks For Creating More ‘Me’ Time

“In truth I suspect that merely slowing down is not a very satisfying answer. What I need has less to do with my pace of life than my peace of life. At any speed, I crave a deep and lasting inner peace. And if it’s solace I’m after, I don’t need to pace myself like a turtle, change jobs or set up house on a quiet island. It is usually frenetic living, not high energy, that robs my peace of mind.”
~ Steve Goodier

 

Time for ourselves is not some airy-fairy feel good concept. Time for ourselves is as necessary as breathing. It helps us to stay tuned into to who we are and what’s important to us. Time for ourselves recharges our batteries. It fills us with nurture and new ideas. It helps soothe and heal us.

Often it isn’t that we don’t have time, it’s that we’ve become a very low priority in our own lives.

Here are ten simple hacks to reclaim some of your precious time just for you:

1. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of a grocery shopping trip to have a cup of coffee and flick through a magazine at a cafe. I have girlfriends who have become speed shoppers, racing through their chores to get lovely long cafe time as their reward.

2. Sign up for a class one night a week. Not to give yourself yet one more thing to do, but to escape for a while and spend time on something you’d enjoy learning such as dancing, mosaic making, chainsaw ice-sculpture or Italian cooking. Often when we’re home we devolve into house-keeping duties or mindless screen time. Giving ourselves an outing can be refreshing and it invests time in ourselves and our development.

3. Get up half an hour earlier. Spend that time journalling, meditating, busting a few yoga moves, pulling an oracle or tarot card, or planning your day. Enjoy a cuppa, take a big breath and then let the day begin AFTER you’ve had some precious time to yourself. Not sure how to start? Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has great instructions for Morning Pages. Why not begin there!

4. Turn off the TV tonight. Sit down and write a story. Or a poem. Or a song. Stories fire up our imagination, help us heal the past, and let us dream the future. If you enjoy the process, come back and write some more one night each week. Writing not your thing? Go take a long soak in the tub!

5. Delete or minimise your social media profiles and screen time. Use some of your time saved to go for a walk. You could ramble around the neighbourhood, drive to a park or beach, or wander through the city. You can walk in the morning, evening or even in your lunch break. Breathe. Look. Listen. And feel how your whole soul begins to unwind…

6. Delegate a chore you don’t enjoy.  It could be cleaning, gardening or shopping. You could do it once for a break, or make it a regular thing. Pay someone if you have to, use an online service or use a barter system. Give yourself that saved time. Use your few hours alone to see that movie no-one else wants to see, to go to the Gallery, or to wander through the Farmers’ Markets or the shops you love.

7. Go to bed early with a book. Books are like magical carpets that take you to other places and times.

8. Delete the games off your phones and screens.They might seem relaxing, but in truth they are a huge time suck, and don’t contribute to lowered stress levels or heightened personal satisfaction. Don’t believe me? Commit to a month without them and you’ll see what I mean.

9. Meal Plan and Batch Cook Use one day to plan and prep all the meals for the coming week. Cook large batches of food, such as soups, pasta bakes, bolognese and even vegetable and salad prep for later in the week. Or use a meal provider who can bring pre-prepared meals to your door each week. If you’re up for it, combine doing the laundry and general house-keeping chores with your cooking day to get your home ship-shape before the week ahead. This saves so much time each week! How to use the time saved? Start or recommence a craft or project. Maybe you loved embroidery as a child. Or scrapbooking. Maybe you’ve been thinking about putting a vegetable garden in the back yard, or researching the family tree. Take some time to put your materials together, and then spend a little time each week devoted to this craft or project. Let it become a kind of good medicine in your life.

10. Say NO to something you don’t want to do, and then let the time you would have spent with others be yours alone. How often have you found yourself out with work colleagues or friends, wishing instead that you were home on the couch, watching your favourite show and eating soup and toast in your pyjamas? Your time really is precious. Start saying NO when it feels like duty or hard work, and use that time on something you’d prefer to do!

Your life is precious. Don’t let it slip by without filling some of it with what you love.
You deserve to be a priority in your own life! Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations,

Nicole ❤ xoxo

Live for What Makes You Come Alive – Monday Oracle 19 June 2017

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
~ Jack Kerouac

Hello, Lovelies!

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Passion’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for June, you’ll remember that June is a gentle month of revitalisation, redirection and emotional and physical nourishment.

Now, lets look at the gifts Passion brings this week.

Passion is all about following our heart. Not for fame or glory, but because following our heart enriches our life and gives it shape and meaning.

It’s about singing if you love to sing, even if you will never secure a recording deal or become a world-famous musician.

Your thing could be baking or sewing or horses or writing or building things or growing roses. It might be collecting rare old books or working on your family tree or saving the wilderness.

Following our passions helps us to come alive. It might not be our current career – it might just be our hobby. And that’s okay. What matters most is that we make room for these passions and spend time on them. Passions sometimes have a way of becoming our path. All we ever need to do is be open, and follow our heart. The rest is truly up to the magical synchronicities and miracles of the Universe.

Image from quotesgram.com

Passion is also about sharing your gifts and passion with others, if that feels right.

It’s about spending your life in service to what matters to your heart. When we have no passion we become lost to ourselves. Passion is the lamp that lights us from within.

This week, Passion reminds us to craft a life for ourselves that pleases us, and that informs and inspires our days. When we share that magic, it can also brighten and inspire the lives of others too!

Supportive crystals this week?

Blue Quartz helps us to trust ourselves and our dreams, and to hear those heart whispers. Green Chrysoprase opens our heart and helps us to find the courage to live the life that calls us. Black Tourmaline is great for helping us to see where we need to set boundaries.  Citrine helps us to bring the sunshine back into our lives, and to think with optimism and clarity!

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Abundance essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Orange, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Ylang Ylang. Abundance opens us to the flow of life, helping us to act from a place of love, trust and benevolence. Just rub a drop together in the palms of your hands and then breathe in and wipe through your aura.  Dab a few drops on your wrists or over your heart – its warm, spicy aroma makes it a great perfume or cologne. A few drops in the bath are wonderful too. You may want to dilute with a drop or two of a base oil such a sweet almond or coconut before applying directly to the skin.  It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser again this week. You can find all the oils here.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Image by Ruth Black

The Strength Of Your Song – Monday Oracle 12 June 2017

“Inner guidance is heard like soft music in the night by those who have learned to listen.”
~ Vernon Howard

Hello, Lovelies!

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Dissipating’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for June, you’ll remember that June is a gentle month of revitalisation, redirection and emotional and physical nourishment.

Now, lets look at the gifts Dissipating brings this week.

We are cautioned against all forms of dissipation this week.

What does that mean? Dissipation can be defined as an act of diffusion (watering down), dispersion (scattering) or of wasteful expenditure.

In a month that is all about self-nurture and attending to our own priorities we are reminded not to bleed out for others at the expense of ourselves. Don’t end up with no fuel in the tank for what matters. Don’t be busy for busy’s sake. Don’t talk endlessly about the thing you want to do without actually taking any action steps towards it. As my darling guide Rollo often reminds me, don’t feed the chickens (ie don’t waste time helping people who don’t appreciate it, or on people or tasks that time suck – taking you away from important priorities). Chickens are never satisfied and will keep pecking away at you and invite their friends for a free feed too!

 

It’s wise to be mindful of whom you share your stories, hopes and ideas with. Don’t choose people who will put you and your ideas down, or be less than supportive. If you don’t know how your idea will be received then keep it to yourself until it has taken enough form that it won’t easily be knocked down or ruined by the criticism (even well-meaning!) or negativity of others.

And do you see that beautiful golden bird in the bottom left of the card? That’s YOUR bird. If you listen carefully the bird will sing you a song that creates a map for heart happiness. Problem is, most of us have trained that bird to sing songs to make everyone else happy. What could you learn about yourself if you opened up to that magical song this week? How could that change your life?

It’s a very important week for tuning in, for endings and fresh beginnings, for picking things up again, for turning in new directions, for resurrecting what never got finished but that meant the world to you.

Supportive crystals this week?

Blue Quartz calms our fears and helps us to trust ourselves and our dreams. Green Chrysoprase opens our heart and helps with emotional healing and self-acceptance. Black Tourmaline is great if you have boundary issues.  Fluorite encourages us to see the possibilities in ourselves, especially in regard to creativity or business.

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Abundance essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Orange, Geranium, Frankincense and Myrrh. Abundance opens us to the flow of life, helping us to act from a place of love, trust and benevolence. Just rub a drop together in the palms of your hands and then breathe in and wipe through your aura.  Dab a few drops on your wrists or over your heart – its warm, spicy aroma makes it a great perfume or cologne. A few drops in the bath are wonderful too. You may want to dilute with a drop or two of a base oil such a sweet almond or coconut before applying directly to the skin.  It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser again this week. You can find all the oils here.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Image by Jon Armstrong

It’s crowded here right now…

“Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” ~ Val Saintsbury

 

While I’m busy on bed rest just now I’m being very well looked after.

Harry and Rufous take turns to stay with me during the day.

Except for nap time, when we all bunk in together.

There’s no chance of me moving. I’m well secured to the bed by their heavy heads.

During the night they are there beside me every time I get up (which is lots due to my UTI still not resolved).

I feel very loved and cared for.

I still don’t seem to have much energy and tire after the simplest activities, but I can finally see some small improvements, so I’ll keep resting and following doctors’ orders.

June is a fabulous month for attending to our own wellbeing. I hope you’re carving out some time for yourselves too. Your health and happiness are important. Please don’t play second-best in your own life!

Biggest hugs and love to you all,

Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

 

Ending Shiny Object Syndrome – Monday Oracle 5 June 2017

“We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”
~ Beth Moore

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
~ Robert Hughes

Hello, Lovelies!

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Insecurity’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for June, you’ll remember that June is a gentle month of revitalisation, redirection and emotional and physical nourishment.

Now, lets look at the gifts Insecurity brings this week.

Have you ever hear of ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’? It’s that distraction tendency we can suffer from where we start something and then don’t finish it because we are suddenly distracted by another idea which we then hurry off to explore.

You might do this with anything. Business ideas, book ideas, love relationships, career choices, chores, study, diets, exercise programs – anything at all!

Suddenly it seems that there are so many choices, and surely one of them will be better than your current one. It can actually send you a little mad…

We all do it to some degree. But this week we are being supported to see this behaviour in ourselves and also to begin to understand the energy behind it.

We chase Shiny Objects for four main reasons:

  1. We lack confidence in our decisions and worry that there might be a better choice for us.
  2. We make our choices to please others, rather than tuning in and honouring our own wisdom and desires.
  3. We care so much about the outcome that we don’t want to mess it up or fail.
  4. Other people constantly undermine and devalue us and our ideas.

Use the energies this week to simplify everything down to the main things that matter. Then put more time into those few things. How do you do this? Take some quiet time and reflect until you get clear. Journal. Pull an oracle or tarot card. Lean in with God (or whatever you perceive that Divine to be), your Guides and your own intuition. This isn’t about listening to other people. It’s about FINALLY listening to yourself.

Stop overthinking and start doing. You’ll be amazed at how much that can change your situation.

Then start saying NO to all of the things that don’t support the path you’ve chosen or that will pull you away from thing you need to complete.

Stuck and at a complete standstill?

Just make a decision. Even the act of making a choice will give you momentum, and you’ll soon know if is the right choice or if you need to pivot to a better one. But at least you’ll be moving again.

There’s a tremendous energy of intuitive clarity, emerging confidence and hope for you to tune in to this week.

Make the most of it!

 

Supportive crystals this week?

Blue Quartz helps us to overcome anger, resentment and jealousy, and move to a place of better emotional balance. Green Chrysoprase opens our heart and helps with emotional healing and self-acceptance. Citrine helps us to bring the energy and enthusiasm back into our lives, so our thoughts become optimistic and clear. Fluorite encourages us to see the possibilities in ourselves, especially in regard to creativity or business.

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Abundance essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Orange, Geranium, Frankincense and Myrrh. Abundance opens us to the flow of life, helping us to act from a place of love, trust and benevolence. Just rub a drop together in the palms of your hands and then breathe in and wipe through your aura.  Dab a few drops on your wrists or over your heart – its warm, spicy aroma makes it a great perfume or cologne. A few drops in the bath are wonderful too. You may want to dilute with a drop or two of a base oil such a sweet almond or coconut before applying directly to the skin.  It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week. You can find all the oils here.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Join Our Book Reading Challenge – June 2017

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
~ Vera Nazarian

Do you love to read?

In January a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge.

Already we have read some fine books, and learned about new reading possibilities from our friends who have posted their own recommendations. My personal reading list is now long enough to get me through until next year, and it was a wonderful resource when it came to loading up on e-books and audio books before I went on holidays.

For those of you who are just joining us now let me explain the Challenge to you. It’s pretty easy!

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when… Or it could be an e-book, or an audio book. It can be any kind of book at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. Or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book you are currently reading here on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest another book that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of books that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Download the Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet. Each month write the name of the book you have read in the corresponding square. If you read two books in one month it’s fine to allocate one to another month. Or add the extra book to your existing month. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read. It could be as little as ten cents per book. Here’s the Bingo Sheet for you to download – just click on this link: Book Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet Then start filling it in when you’ve read your first book.book-reading-challenge-bingo-sheet
  4. In December I am going to ask you to use the money you have saved to buy and donate a book to a charity for a Christmas gift OR donate the money to a literacy project or similar. (Even if you only saved ten cents each month $1 will buy you a decent second-hand book just about anywhere.) It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!

For those of you who are already participating, I can’t wait to hear about your book recommendations! Pop them in the comments below.

But if you haven’t joined us yet, it’s not too late. And I’d love you to get your friends involved too, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

On the first Saturday of every month, I’ll post an update here on the blog, and ask you what you are reading and if you have any recommendations to share.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else.

Do you want to join me?

Go ahead and write your name below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

kindbook

The Energies of June – 2017

“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hello, Lovelies :)

Suddenly, here we are at June. June is a gentle month of revitalisation, redirection and emotional and physical nourishment. I’m so up for that. How about you?

 

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for June for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
~ Anaïs Nin

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”
~ Goldie Hawn

June lifts us to a higher awareness around our past. It’s a time to lift up out of adversity and to trust in new directions. No need to agonise anymore. It’s easy to let go and move on. It’s time to tell ourselves a better story based on our past – one that is helpful and liberating, rather than one which keeps us trapped.

We begin to move into flow and things just start working more easily for us. We’re encouraged to work with others and to create teams and tribes, to share our stories and to share what we know in service to others. Joy for life infuses each cell of our body.

It’s a month that suits working on our physical and emotional health, and it’s a super time for detoxing, starting a new eating plan or getting your body moving again – all from a place of profound love and self-acceptance of what has been as well as allowing of what may come.

It’s an incredible month for psychic connection and for all forms of art, movement, music and writing. Expect divine inspiration and flow of ideas and support. Quite simply, it’s a month of magical connection and shift!

 

The second card I’ve chosen is To The Sea. What a beautiful image of hope, restoration and direction.

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

When we trust and step forward into the flow of life, that flow will carry us forward – out of stuckness, out of the old – and in directions we may possibly have never imagined for ourselves.

The river started as a small trickle. That trickle followed its true nature and kept moving. Soon it became a river. Unstoppable. With a momentum and power all its own.

When you jump into the river, the river will carry you. To The Sea reminds us that life is a mystery, and the secret to life is to be in flow with it.

How do you do that? How do you be in flow?
Stop thinking so much and start trusting. Feel into things. Act from intuition. Listen to your heart. Practice kindness with yourself, and check in often to work out how you truly feel and what sparks of interest or action lie within you. Follow those sparks.

In June, trust in the bigger picture. Trust your senses. Take a risk on what you want. See where life takes you!

Best crystals this month?

Blue Quartz and Green Chrysoprase

 Blue Quartz  is a profoundly calming stone that opens us to a state of flow and grace. Excellent for helping us to speak up. Supports throat and third eye chakras.

Green Chrysoprase opens our heart to love, joy, self acceptance and deep compassion for self and others. It also dissolves blocks to abundance in all forms.

Essential oils to support your journey?

Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own for you this month, but they also make a delicious combination for diffusing. The essential oils you will find helpful in June are Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Frankincense, and Orange. Ylang Ylang helps lift our mood so we can see new possibilities for ourselves and our lives, Geranium reduces anxiety and promotes emotional balance and healing, Frankincense connects us to our intuition and to the Divine, and Bergamot supports physical wellbeing, releases emotional pain and helps us to move forward with joy. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

June is a marvellous month for us to move back into flow, to heal, to grow and to thrive.

Stay connected to what matters most to you, follow your heart, and make some time to enjoy life’s pleasures and those special relationships in your life.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo