5 Simple Ways To Love Yourself Better

 

“Have the courage to love yourself like you always wished someone would.” 
~  Vironika Tugaleva

 

Everyone knows that self-love is vital to building self-esteem and self-confidence, for setting healthy boundaries and feeling good about yourself. Problem is, if you don’t feel good about yourself to start with, if you don’t like yourself much and you’re feeling pretty depressed and miserable, then trying to love yourself is like holding onto a single helium-filled birthday balloon and expecting it can fly you to Mars.  Mission Impossible!

So what do you do when your sense of self is hanging by a thread, but you just can’t make that mental leap from loathing to loving?

When loving yourself and feeling good about yourself seems impossible, then what you need to do is parent yourself. That’s where you do the things you know you need to do, even when you don’t want to, can’t be bothered, or feel that you don’t deserve to treat yourself well.

Good parents create environments where we can grow, be safe, and learn to get to know ourselves and the world around us.  They support us, provide emotional connection and support, love us and guide us until we move to a place of maturity where we can do these things for ourselves.

Even when you find it hard to love yourself, there is a wise part of your soul that intuitively knows what you need to get back to a place of balance. Your job is to let that parent part of you – the Wise Soul – make the choices for the part of you that is struggling to get on your feet and feel good again.

Image from www.linkedin.com


Here are five simple things you can do to make a start towards healing your relationship with yourself. I’ve also added suggested crystals that are supportive for each step:

1.  Decide to accept yourself right now, as you are and where you are in life. Too often we tell ourselves that we’ll like ourselves better when we’ve lost weight, found a job, left a bad relationship, found a good relationship, stopped smoking, gotten fit, or won lotto. When we put conditions on loving ourselves, we never get to that mysterious just-around-the-corner place that is forever up ahead and out of our reach.  Be honest with yourself.  If life is painful, admit that. Don’t numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, food or overwork.  Reach out for help if you’re having trouble coping, or need some new skills and strategies to make tomorrow look different to today. Best crystals for self acceptance – Tiger Eye, Blue Calcite or Rhodonite

2.  Create a safe space.  Everyone needs a place to call home, where they can relax, be themselves, and surround themselves with things that reflect their sense of self. Music, plants, posters or paintings, colours and fragrances – all of these things can help ground you and give you a sense of belonging and security.  It’s not about the objects as much as the energy they create. Start by making sure your space is clean. Dirt, mess and clutter drain you and create stagnant energy.  Clear the clutter, and then begin to make your space somewhere that is inviting, uplifting and positive. Best crystals for a sense of safety and peace – Banded Agate, Smoky Quartz, Rose Quartz, Sodalite and Snowflake Obsidian

3.  Practice respect.  Respect yourself enough to avoid, minimise your exposure to or end toxic relationships and to stop toxic behavours. Respect your body by eating well, and by exercising daily – even when it’s hard.  Especially when it’s hard and you don’t want to. That’s what parents do.  They make sure we drink enough water, eat our greens, get enough sleep, and get out of bed in the morning.  In everything that you do, ask yourself “Does this action or choice honour me?”  When we suffer from a lack of self-love it’s easy to make choices that don’t do the best by us.  In some cases we even choose things that sabotage our well-being.  Once again, if you’re really struggling here, ask for help, whether it’s a counsellor, personal trainer, rehab facility or a good friend who has your back. Great crystals healing self-sabotage and supporting self respect – Black Tourmaline, Amazonite, Yellow Turquoise, Bloodstone

4.  Find something to look forward to and work towards it, or include it in your life.  Whether it’s an overseas holiday, salsa dancing lessons, art classes or writing your life story, everyone needs to have a sense of purpose, and that purpose doesn’t have to be career related. Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if you have to start small. Best crystals for joy and connection to the flow of life – Green Aventurine, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Fluorite

5.  Spend some time in nature each day. Fresh air and sunshine has been used as a remedy for depression and to heal all manner of ills for centuries. Watching animals in nature has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase endorphins and relax tension in our muscles. Having contact with pets also helps us heal and feel better about ourselves, and teaches us responsibility for others. Best crystals for connection to nature and the earth – Jasper, Carnelian, Hematite,  Septarian Nodules, Unakite

Treat yourself with kindness today and always. Holding you in my prayers and meditations,

Nicole ❤ xx

After Rest Comes Rejuvenation

“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin,
Mind that was weary is at ease,
New rhythms in the soul begin.” 
~ William Kean Seymour

 

Are you taking some time for yourself this week?

As part of my be-gentle-with-myself healing process I spent the late afternoon in the garden yesterday, watching my dogs frolic, watering my vegetables and fruit trees, and inhaling the delectable fragrance of newly mown lawn.

Of course I couldn’t go anywhere without young Rufous following me. That dog is curious about everything!!!

When the air cooled and the sun began to dip behind the mountain we came inside, cooked dinner and curled up on the couch by the fire before an early night.

All that outside time made for a deep sleep!

Here are a few snaps of my soul medicine session.
Much love, Nicole xx

 

After work, rest!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 
~  John Lubbock

 

This morning I’m not blogging.

I’m sleeping.

Sleeping is healing, and right now what I need more than blogging is rest. After my recent illness I’ve come back to work part-time – but it’s more tiring than I had expected. Guess I still need to take it easy for a while longer.

Remember that this week’s energies are all about balance and paying attention to what will have a positive or negative impact upon your life. (read more about that here)

How about you? What do you most need right now?
I hope you’re listening to your body and your intuition, and honouring yourself and your own inner wisdom.

See you tomorrow, when I am well rested and with a zing in my step again.

Lots of love, Nicole xoxo

 

 

Nana’s Quick Coffee Cake

Nana’s Quick Coffee Cake – made fancy with maple-butter frosting and a sprinkling of pecan nuts

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” 
~ Gustav Mahler

 

When I need a yummy cake in a hurry this is the first recipe I think of: Nana’s Quick Coffee Cake.

My nana was a plain cook, but her food was delicious. Her Quick Coffee Cake is everything a coffee cake should be – moist, buttery, flavoursome, made with everyday ingredients from the pantry – and it’s simple enough to be whipped up in minutes (plus baking time).

Nana used to make an un-iced version of this cake that my Pa would have with his morning cuppa. If visitors were coming Nana always added a sweet coffee glaze on top, just to fancy things up.

I learned to bake this cake when I was about seven – old enough to reach the kitchen bench and to work the oven without setting the house alight. This cake is a recipe that Gran Heppell  (my paternal great-grandmother) taught Nana when she was just a girl. The recipe lives in my head now after making it so many times, but when I was younger I was also careful to write it down. Just in case.

I’ve given two versions for the icing (frosting for the non-Australians!) Mine is made with maple syrup, because it gives a great complimentary flavour, but Nana’s coffee glaze is delicious too.

 

Ingredients for cake:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 flat teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in one teaspoon of boiling water (if you can be bothered – I never am)
  • 3/4 cup  sugar
  • 1/2 cup  milk

Ingredients for icing/frosting:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup OR one to two tablespoons strong hot coffee
  • 1/3 cup pecans – chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).
  2. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Add all cake ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor. Mix for three minutes on medium speed.
  4. Spread the batter into your cake tin and smooth the surface.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and then check. Cake is baked if it springs back when touched in the middle, or if a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave a little longer if not quite done.
  6. Remove cake from oven. Cool in tin for five to ten minutes and then place onto a rack to cool completely.
  7. Place cake on serving plate.
  8. To make the icing (frosting) sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the softened butter and either the maple syrup or the coffee. Beat well until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Spread onto the cooled cake. Dipping your knife in hot water will help give a smooth and shiny finish as you spread the icing (frosting) mixture.
  9. If you are making the maple icing, chop some pecan nuts and sprinkle over the icing, pressing them slightly with your clean hand to ensure that they stick to the cake.

 

Your Wake-Up Call Is Here! – Monday Oracle 24 July 2017

“What is joy without sorrow? What is success without failure? What is a win without a loss? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
~ Mark Twain

Hello, Lovelies,

A we move deeper into the energies of July we’re able to access some light-bulb moments and real clarity about what matters to us, and for our future direction.

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. ‘Balance’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for July, you’ll remember that July helps us to see our place within the bigger scheme of things. It supports love, connection and community and warrants some quiet time this month with loved ones.

Let’s look at the gifts Balance brings us this week.

Balance reminds us that we can’t make everyone happy and that we actually can’t have, do and be EVERYTHING on our list. Even more importantly, we can’t keep making everyone else happy at our own expense.

Time is precious and limited. Balance asks us to think carefully about how we spend our time and resources.

This is also a big wake-up call week. If we’ve been neglecting our health, our relationship, our finances, our jobs or businesses, our special project, our promises to ourselves or others – this week the Universe brings these things into clear view. We just can’t keep ignoring things that could potentially have a big positive or negative impact in our lives.

If your lack of awareness runs deep, the Universe will clearly show you where you need to be putting your attention.

Don’t worry though. Help is at hand. It’s a week of intuitive clarity and guided action. Trust that you have the power this week to make decisions and chart a path of action that will begin to turn things in your favour.

Whatever you do, don’t put your head back in the sand again. Be honest. Tune in. Take action.

You’ll be so glad that you did. The choices you make and the actions you take this week will lead to healing, momentum, solutions and progress.

Supportive crystals this week?

Rose Quartz helps us to be open to love and support in all forms and to be able to RECEIVE (Keep one in your pocket for all of July if you struggle to ask for or receive help). Blue Obsidian gives us mental clarity and self-awareness, strengthening our ability to communicate and connect. Yellow Turquoise supports us finding a clear path forward, and to make the big decisions that can finally bring lasting change. Green Aventurine is the perfect mood elevation stone, helping to shift anxiety and worry, and to replace it with calm and a sense of emotional safety.

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Lavender, Spruce, Ylang Ylang and Orange. Believe essential oil blend is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and a belief that we can change. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. 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

Circles of Stones

“I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wondrous world, I am circling around God, around ancient towers and I have been circling for a thousand years. And I still don’t know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song.” 
~  Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Yesterday, one year ago, I was placing stones in a crystal grid under the magnolia tree in the back yard, in preparation for a retreat.

Strange then that I found myself making circles of stones again yesterday.

I made a grid to hold the stones we will use at my September meditation retreat, Temple of Light. (There are still a few places left if you’d like to join us, but be quick – it’s almost full. More details here.)

Crafting the grid  brought me to a place of deep peace. But I still felt as if something was undone within me.

Then, finally, I knew what I wanted to do.

I lost a friend this week – Justine – a woman who was a healer and a teacher, a woman full of love and light. Like a stone her loss weighed heavily within me.

Carefully I chose some crystals. I circled stones and then circled some more. I sang energy and love into them. I sang my sorrow and my grief. I laid stones to honour my friend’s journey. I made space to support her loved ones. I made space that connected my heart to hers.

This is what I know to be true…

The earth turns. The sun shines. The rain falls down. The night comes. My breath moves in and out of my body. The earth turns, the sun shines, the rain falls down, the night comes. We are born, we live a while and then we die.

I am reminded at every turn that our lives are precious gifts, loaned to us only for a while.

The best we can ever do is follow our hearts.

I’m holding space in my circle of stones for you today – that you find a path that supports you and lights you up, that you find a way to honour your own heart’s yearnings.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me. I’m glad to have you here beside me.

Nicole xoxo

 

The Turn In The Road Where My Worries Fall Away

Image from www.stopthesethings.com

“Though a lifetime of listening to the music of the world has passed, even now the tone of the rain on the roof of my home is the sweetest sound I have ever heard.” 
~  Kensi Brianne Smith

 

We’ve been up in Brisbane this past week, and it’s been full on.

I’ve had doctors’ appointments and the sorts of things to attend to that can only be done in the city.

I’ve held space for friends and clients who have suffered tragedy and tempest.

And we’ve been elder caring.

Ben’s mum is old and increasingly frail, although stubbornly independent, bless her. She’s at the age where suddenly she needs help with everything: shopping, cooking, home maintenance, paying bills – all the things she has done so competently for the entirety of her life. But we don’t mind at all. We love her, and she is family.

Still, it’s stressful, and we worry constantly about her.

Yesterday finally we packed up to drive home to the farm.

There is a place we come to, just over the border between Queensland and New South Wales, where I unfailingly begin to unwind and feel better. City and suburbia fall away and at a turn in the road the highway is suddenly blanketed by cane fields and farms with a backdrop of dusky crags.

The tension leaves my body. I sigh audibly. A sense of relief creeps over me.

Many of our friends from the Byron Shire experience the same thing; that falling away of worries as we move into the encircling arms of the ancient volcanic rim that cradles our homes.

How about you? Do you have a place in the journey home where suddenly you feel better too? I’d love to know.

Hugs and love from all of us here at the farm, Nicole xx