Vale, Tony, my precious friend

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
~ Ray Bradbury

 

On Tuesday night the world lost a gentle gardener of souls.

My friend Tony slipped away.

Tony was the heart of Sangsurya, the place where I run my retreats.

We’ll be a little quiet here for the next few days as we mourn our friend and honour his life and legacy. How many lives he has shaped and changed, including mine.

Bless you, Tony. May your heart spin ever faster.

Onwards on your journey, dear one.

You will be missed.
❤ xoxo

Photo taken at Sangsurya by Dana Hartnell

 

Travelling With Bukowski

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I always travel with a book. Sometimes several.

But this trip I decided to load e-books on my kindle, as well as a few audio books, and bring just a journal instead, to save space.

It worked for a while.

And then suddenly it didn’t.

 

In a bookshop in Manila I found the English Language section. They stocked a broad and eclectic range, and the books were mostly cheap paperbacks with impossibly thin pages and thin covers and several of every copy, impenetrable in their plastic wrapping.

I excavated a thin poetry book that was hidden behind new editions of recent best-sellers. The protective cover was gone; the small book was so well read that the cover was creased almost in two and every page was soiled and marked. Like all of the travellers before me I stopped and dipped between its pages for a moment. The world stood still as words fell around me like rain.

I dug around the shelves some more and then I found it. A volume of Charles Bukowski’s poetry. The cover was soft with wear. It was well read and loved already. It felt good in my hand, like I belonged to it, and it to me. I couldn’t bring myself to open it. I just held it tight, and stood in front of the shelves a little longer, pretending that I might choose something else. Wondering if I could take it home.

I couldn’t see for tears.

Once, long ago, I took a journey to another far-away place and forgot to take a book with me. I was living in the Kimberley then. The remote Australian outback. A terrible place to be without a book.

Not long after I arrived a group of American tourists camped at the station. It was their last adventure before they caught a plane to Darwin and then home. On the morning of their departure they dumped whatever they didn’t need, to lighten their luggage.

Later that morning I watched a cleaner empty the trash from the men’s toilet. Among the papers and bottles and debris I saw a book fly into the bin. Before I could stop myself I ran from the office and snatched it up. I didn’t even stop to read the cover. It was a book, and I was a junky starved of words.

I wiped it clean with a corner of my shirt and carried it home triumphant.

This same book.

For days back in that wilderness place I couldn’t even open it. I just read the cover over and over. The title said ‘You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense – Charles Bukowski.’

I felt like Bukowski was talking to me. I knew and he knew.

And as I chose and read a single poem, rationing them to every other day, I came to know that poets exist to sing breath back into our bodies when we can no longer breathe for ourselves.

I lost that precious book when we moved from the Kimberley. But now we have found each other again.

I read one randomly selected poem aloud each day, to entertain Ben and to nurture myself. It’s like travelling with an old friend.

It’s like coming home.

 

Chakra Journal Challenge: Week 3 – Sacral Chakra

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
~ Osho

 

Hello, and welcome to Week Three of our Chakra Journal Challenge!

Every Tuesday in March and April I will post a Journal Challenge for you, based upon a journey through the main chakras. You don’t need to know anything about journalling, chakras, crystals, oracle cards or energy work. I’ll explain everything that you need to do each week. Then you’ll have a week to complete the simple activities I share.

If you’re only just joining us please go back and read my Orientation Post first.

About the Sacral Chakra

Orange corresponds to our Sacral Chakra, our centre for Creativity and Sensuality. The Sacral Chakra is located midway between our pubic bone and our belly button. It is a vibrant orange colour. This energy centre anchors us into the joys of being in a physical body and its surroundings. The Sacral Chakra is our pleasure centre, and centre for creativity in all forms, including the gift of life. When we are in flow in this chakra we are passionate, sensual, patient, creative, self-nurturing, have clear emotions and a great joy for life. We become attractive and magnetic to our desires and become natural creators and manifestors.

Out of balance in this chakra we can become workaholics, overeaters, make poor partner choices and attract ‘wrong’ partners or scare them away, we can be disconnected, shut down to pleasure, blocked creatively, and feel overly stressed and anxious.

Image from www.yoga4ijf.nl

Weekly Structure

Each week of this nine week challenge will follow the same format:

  1. We will begin with the short guided meditation for the week, using your guidance stone. During this meditation you’ll be given a colour to work with for the week, and a word or phrase.
  2. We will choose an oracle card to give us inspiration and direction for the week ahead.
  3. We will spend ten minutes (or more if desired!) to complete our weekly journal prompt.
  4. We will give ourselves healing energy at least once this week.
  5. We will spend a few moments at the end of our day in gratitude.

Guided Meditation:

You’ll need ten minutes to listen to this short guided meditation. Feel free to hold your crystal while you meditate. When the meditation is complete, write down your power colour and your power word or phrase for the week in your journal.

 

 

Journal Prompts:

Now answer the following questions, writing as little or as much as you need:

  • What does your Power Colour mean to you? What words or ideas does it provoke? Write them down. Then use that colour to boost your energy. Shut your eyes for thirty seconds and breathe it into your body whenever you feel a bit flat or low. Wear it as clothing. Choose flowers in your colour. Eat food that colour. Be creative with it.
  • How can you use your Power Word this week? Write a few ideas, based on your word. Trust whatever comes and write it down. Don’t overthink it.

Want to go deeper with your journalling? Try these additional prompts. Write the beginning of the sentence and then keep going, using stream of consciousness. Do one or all of them. You’ll be amazed what you might discover about yourself!

  • When I connect into the energy of my Sacral Chakra it makes me strong to think that…
  • When I connect into the energy of my Sacral Chakra it makes me scared to think that…
  • When I connect into the energy of my Sacral Chakra it makes me curious to think that…
  • When I connect into the energy of my Sacral Chakra it makes me excited to think that…

Your Chakra Card For The Week:

Take your chosen oracle or tarot cards, offer up a small prayer that whatever you do be for your Highest Good, and then shuffle the deck. As you’re shuffling, ask the question ‘What wisdom does my Sacral Chakra have for me this week?’ Say it out loud or hold it as a thought in your head. Either will work.

Choose one card. How you choose is up to you. Split the deck. Fan them out. Top or bottom. Dive right in. There is no right or wrong.

Now look at your card and hold your guidance stone in your non-writing hand. Really look at the card. Don’t use the book or the ‘proper’ meaning. We are being intuitive here, people! What stands out for you in the picture? What thoughts and ideas do the images provoke? Take a minute or two and write those thoughts down. I know, you might feel like you’re just making it all up. That’s okay. Write anyway. Trust that there is a part of you that is wise and that has been waiting for this chance to speak with your conscious mind.

Here’s an example of my first journal pages for the Sacral Chakra. I love the card I have drawn this week! How about you?:

 

Hands On Healing:

This week, let’s get some movement happening in our bodies!

  1. Ground your feet into the earth, barefoot on the ground if possible, feet hip width apart. Imagine your feet like tree roots anchoring you into the ground.
  2. Then visualise a thick ropey umbilical cord running from your belly deep down into the core of Mother Earth.
  3. Let your hips and lower body get strong and stable with the support of the Earth’s energy and then put your hands on your hips. Start circling your hips in small movements in one direction and slowly increase the size of the circle you make with your hips. (Like playing with a hula hoop)
  4. Then reverse direction, starting with small circles and getting bigger.
  5. Finally, rock your pelvis back and forth, starting with small movements and making them larger.
  6. Finish by throwing your hands up into the air, like your body is a star – reach out with your fingertips as your feet root down into the earth, neck and head long and strong.
  7. Now shake your hands out and activate your hand chakras, and then place them over your Sacral Chaka. Direct white light and the orange light into that chakra, and throughout your body as needed.

Running short on time? Just do Step 7. You can also as you lie in bed, just before you go to sleep or when you first wake up.

Practicing Gratitude:

The Gratitude Rock anchors positive energy and gratitude at the end of every day.  You can carry your stone with you, or leave it beside your bed.  At night, before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock in your hand.

gratitude-rock

As you hold the stone say to yourself: I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Then hold in your mind one or more image of a thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe. Visualise a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.

Now here’s the fun bit – imagine all of the other people who are taking part in this journalling challenge with you. Once again build up a strong positive energy in your heart, and then imagine shooting a stream of golden light out into the Universe to those people.

Say Thank you. I Bless You. I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance.Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

Win a Prize!

Last week’s journal prize winner is Paula McFarlane. Paula, please contact my wonderful PA, Dana, at nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com so she can send your crystals out to you!

Come visit us over at facebook. If you like us and post a pic of your journal, crystal and cards this week on our facebook page or if you like and tag us in on your pic over at Instagram you’ll be in the running to win a cool crystal prize!

Week Three’s prize is a large orange calcite rough stone hand-chosen by me, and all juiced up from being in that recent big crystal grid on my farm. This is one of my favourite stones for creative and psychic work. Delicious! ❤ Entries close on Monday 26 March at 6pm Brisbane, Australia time. I’ll announce this week’s winner on next week’s Challenge post.

See you next week, ready to explore the fourth chakra in the Chakra Journal Challenge!

Love and hugs, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

Choosing Joy Now! – Monday Oracle for 20 March 2017

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Hello, Lovelies.

The oracle card I have chosen to guide us this week is ‘Joy’ from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for March, you’ll remember that March is all about creating systems and structures which make your everyday life more supported and sustainable.

So, what gifts does Joy bring for you this week?

This week is a week for filling yourself up. Worry less about other people. Worry less about being judged. Worry less about your endless to-do lists and all the things you want to change about yourself.

Instead, give yourself over to life.

Go live it. Right now. Even though it’s not perfect. Even though you’ve been waiting until some mythical things from the future align, or you’ve ticked off enough tasks to allow you to feel that you can deserve whatever it is that your heart craves.

Just go live.

Live with gusto.

Run around in the sunshine. Dance in the rain. Go for a bike ride or a swim in the ocean. Get a massage. Go play in a bookstore or library. Groove to funky disco tunes at home in your pyjamas.

Meet your friends for coffee and cake.

Be silly with your kids and giggle like a two-year-old.

Hold hands with your beloved, and remember all the things you adore about them. Put your phone down and actually spend time with your sweetheart. Look into their eyes instead of into a screen.

Cry in sad movies. Stay up all night reading that book you can’t put down.

Use that beautiful soap someone gifted you that’s too pretty to use everyday. Drink out of the good crystal or the best china. Wear what makes you happy.

Joy reminds us to live now. So go do that, okay?

Flipside of that? This week be mindful about staying away from people and situations that kill your joy. Make plans to enable this to be more permanent if you have reached a place in your relationship or your job where being there is stealing your soul, rendering you into nothingness or breaking your heart.

Supportive crystals this week?

Citrine helps us to bring the sunshine back into our lives, and to think with optimism and clarity!  If you are ready to ask for what you need or to voice your thoughts and ideas choose a lovely blue Sodalite! Green Aventurine is the perfect happiness stone, helping to elevate our mood and our sense of gratitude for the everyday. Rose Quartz if you need a boost of love, kindness and nurture.

Helpful essential oils? 

Young Living’s Joy or Believe essential oil blends, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of Grapefruit, Basil, Geranium and Sandalwood. The Joy blend is fabulous if you are feeling anxious or uncertain, or a bit sad or stuck. It’s reassuring and uplifting; wonderful for gently shifting depression and self-doubt. I often wear it as a perfume. Believe oil is a super stress-buster that boosts feel-good energies and self-esteem. It smells so uplifting and pretty too. It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week.

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

Mala Beads – How To Be Calm Anywhere!

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
~ Pema Chödrön

 

 

Sometimes I find myself in stressful situations or noisy places where I want to calm myself, soothe anxiety or practice mindfulness, and where my normal meditation techniques aren’t effective or appropriate.

Take travel for example. Travel can mean crowded airports, uncertain schedules, crazy traffic, and jet lag to name a few common stressors. It’s not always possible to find a quiet corner, or to sit down, close my eyes and zone out.

When I travel I always wear a mala beads around my neck, or as a bracelet. It looks like fashion, but it is very functional fashion. I can discretely slip my mala off and then work the beads between my fingers.

This technique has worked miracles for me as I have sat stuck in an airport with a flight delay, or in an airplane during heavy turbulence, or in a hotel room where I can’t sleep.

As I roll each mala bead between my thumb and first finger I have a few simple options for my meditation. Here are my top four:

  1. For each bead I can consciously breathe in and then out, after which I move to the next bead and repeat. This is brilliant as a sleep aid. Sometimes I breathe in light and exhale grey – and I see the grey as fatigue, illness or worry leaving my body. Gradually the light fills me up and I come back to calm again. If you suffer from panic attacks this is great for you!
  2. For each bead I can pray for someone like this; ‘Imogen, I pray for you. I intend for you flow, health, grace, love and miracles. (or I might hold an intention for a specific healing outcome, which I name by saying ‘I intend for you ________’) Bless you.’ Then I hold their face in my mind’s eye as I breathe in and out, consciously sending love and energy to them.
  3. For each bead I can repeat a simple affirmation. One of my favourites, and the one that has been the most transformative for me over time is: ‘I love and approve of myself.’ If I am super anxious I affirm: ‘I am watched over and cradled in love. I am safe and all l is well.’
  4. For each bead I hold the face of a loved one, friend or client in my mind. Silently I say ‘I love you. I wish you well. Bless you.’ And then I move onto the next bead, choose a person and repeat the process.

I finish every round of my mala (from the marker bead or tassel, around the mala and back to the beginning) by saying ‘And it is so. Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Many of you may already have a mala that you wear as a decorative item. Some of them are so pretty! But I promise you, the real value is in using them as a focus tool for a pathway to calm in even the most stressful situations.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

Here’s a little video of my silently praying my mala yesterday while I waited for my shuttle ride to take me to the airport:

 

Highlights of Cebu

My friend Cate helping me make a healing meditation mandala on the beach one early morning

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
~ Elbert Hubbard

 

I’ve been in Cebu the past several days, attending a wonderful conference for entrepreneurs. (Thank you, Chris Ducker!) While I’ve been here I have also made healing mandalas for my morning meditation each day, I have swum with tropical fish, I have networked and brainstormed and expanded my possibilities, I have enjoyed massages, and planned the next stage of my business, I have discovered useful information for my coaching clients, I have hugged many friends, I have done more psychic readings in a few days of downtime than I ever thought possible, I have danced and sung and partied and even partaken of a very few, very good alcoholic beverages – a rarity for me.

I am now busy packing before I fly out to Manila, so I will offer a few photos as evidence that a good time has been had, and that I really did manage to make it through with flying colours instead of collapsing in a heap at the end of it all.

I’ll write more tomorrow, after I’ve hugged my husband and caught up on some sleep.

Missing you all heaps, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

The amazing Peter Shankman, presenting my favourite quote of the event; ‘Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used against you.’ ~ Tyrion Lannister, George R Martin.

Psychic readings by the pool. Can’t complain about my working conditions. In between each session I would have a quick dip and then a cool drink. Just lovely!!!

Boat rides, swimming with tropical fishies and spectacular sunsets…

Getting ready for our White Party on the beach.

And partying at the White Party with my friends.

I had the biggest smile all night. So much fun. So many happy memories made.

I  must say that it’s wonderful to be well enough to be posting things like this. Dreams do come true. Prayers do get answered. The wheel turns. If it can for me, it can for you too!

(PS – Yes, you may have spotted it. The rogue unicorn that photobombed me. It was that kind of a night…)

Like Cinderella I was home just before the clock struck midnight, and I took a selfie for my Mum to prove that I was still in good shape after all that frivolity – just a little hot from dancing. Cebu certainly puts the ‘hot’ in tropical. Here you go, Mum!

Best. Time. Ever. 😀

 

Let There Be Sleep!

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
~ Leonora Carrington

 

My conference here in Cebu is drawing to a close.

Last night we finished the formal activities with a White Party on the beach. A fabulous night, and I shall post photos just as soon as I am able. I need a little more sleep first. Do you know how long it has been in my life since I have been able to string together so much work and so much fun in one long run of days? Decades, my friends. Decades.

Truth be told my health has held up well (except for the pants of shame night, best explained in a separate blog post!) but I am unaccustomed to so much partying and so many big days and late nights.

Dawn on the beach was perfect for my morning meditation but now I am sneaking back to bed, because it is officially a holiday today and I can.

I may even sleep in tomorrow.

Hugs and love to you all, Nicole xx