What I did after Retreat

“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” 
Virginia Woolf

It was a big Retreat for me, this week that has just gone. Big pre-retreat prep. A big group. Big learnings. Big shifts. Big inner work.

All the while I held space. I worked hard twice a day before and after our coursework as I held the group in meditation, keeping their energy true as we moved deeper into shamanic practice. I was completely present for my students except when I was asleep or in the bathroom (the two times I asked for my privacy to be respected!).

I loved every minute of it, but it was intense and it demanded everything of me and then some. Still, what kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t give my all for my calling?

So, when Retreat ended I slept.

The first night I slept 12 hours straight through.

The next two days I moved between sleep, necessary duties and back to sleep again. I had no time for chatting. No energy for engagement.

All I longed for was solitude and nature. So that is what I gave myself, to the best of my ability.

Not only do I love this chair, and the view, I love the one fluffy cloud on the entire horizon, into which I poured all of my thoughts so that I sat empty, quiet and peaceful as I looked out over the ocean once the last person had left Retreat and I was alone.

Now I am feeling more myself, still tired but no longer exhausted. Still tired but ready to re-engage.

It is wonderful to have something in my life that I can give myself to completely. And the feeling of being fully used up at the end of my retreat was a good, good feeling. I had nothing left, and that was as it should be.

Today I am alert again. Ben and I are meeting a dear friend for coffee and an early breakfast and then I’ll ease myself back into life.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, and time for yourself and your own recharging,

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

 

Leading by Example – A Lesson In Vulnerability

 “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” 
Brené Brown

 

I’m running a retreat right now. It’s something I love to do – one of my greatest joys is helping others to discover their path, to connect to their intuition and soul wisdom and to become skilled at energy work and using their psychic gifts.

My courses are a mix of lectures, philosophy, channelling and practical activities. And I always demonstrate things I ask my students to do for themselves. So when it comes to teaching how to do personal journey-work I use myself as the example.

Yesterday we worked on connecting in to our Oversoul and asking about our life direction, what will make us happy, what gifts we have come here to share and what our legacy might be.

Which is how I came to be sitting on the carpet in front of my students, my oracle cards spread in front of me as I chose cards and then spoke aloud the very private messages that these cards evoked. This was not staged. I pulled cards and did this exercise that was meant to be done privately in the same way I would have done it if I had been working alone at home.

Every card became harder for me to read. My life was on the floor in front of me, and the messages were profound and excruciatingly personal. But I was committed to doing the exercise from start to finish to teach my students clearly what I was asking them to do for themselves.

By the last card I was in tears, and my voice had a definite waver. It was hard to share such an intimate journey when I did not know in advance what might be revealed with each turn of a card. It was a big reading. There’s nothing like laying your soul bare in front of a crowd to make you really feel your vulnerability.

But I am glad I did. It helped my students to see not just my process, but the power of being brave enough to go deeper with your self-exploration, and of owning that journey.

So my question to you today is this: Who can you help by laying bare your process, by sharing your vulnerability, by allowing yourself to be seen uncensored, raw and real?

Sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

Frost On The Flats!

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 
J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Brrrr!
I’m late blogging this morning because we were up early to feed out to our cows.
A big roundbale of hay, and some mixes of molasses, copra and minerals to help the mums stay strong as our cows out all of their nutrition into the milk that is feeding their calves.

My fingers are still numb. The tip of my nose is rosy with cold.

Our dogs are a damp waggy mass of smiles and boundless energy.

And all around us the ground is dusted with frost.

Now it’s time for a cup of tea and a hot shower before we head off into Byron Bay for my weekly acupuncture and tune up.

Sending massive hugs your way, Nicole ❤ xx

PS – Thanks for all your lovely messages yesterday. A cry or two, a big sleep and this morning I’m good as new.

Sometimes I have a little cry…

“Unless you have been very, very lucky, you have undoubtedly experienced events in your life that have made you cry. So unless you have been very, very lucky, you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.” 
Lemony Snicket

I love what I do.

It’s an honour and a blessing.

It’s also a great responsibility.

As a psychic, I am often up close with the suffering of others. As an empath I feel their pain, I know their thoughts, and I see life as if through their eyes. Sometimes I see the path ahead for someone and it breaks my heart, knowing what they will go through, knowing what must come for them and being unable to change it or stop it.

Now and again it gets too much. Even as there is joy and great fulfilment in my work there is so often more in my life than those positive moments alone – there is the holding of space for others, holding space for those who are passing and supporting their loved ones on that journey, the bearing witness to a client or student’s troubles, the vicarious experiencing of violence or trauma or other dark deeds that I must see and know as part of my wider work. It’s not just people either. Often I cannot put into words my worry for the earth, and how it wakes me up at night and plays constantly upon my mind.

Meditation is my constant – my antidote to all of that emotional thrum. But sometimes even that doesn’t work. So when I am overfull of grief and pain sometimes I cry.

Crying doesn’t fix anything, but it opens a window in my soul and lets in fresh air. It brings release and a return to calm. Often, afterwards, it brings the soothing balm of sleep.

I used to be ashamed that I occasionally succumb to tears. Now I am glad for it. It is one of my finer coping mechanisms. Humans were made to cry. Crying works for me.

I hope you know that it’s okay for you to cry too.

Sending much love your way, Nicole  xx

 

Wishing for Good Veins

“I have druggie veins. After so much intubation they are scarred and flat and tired and difficult to handle. It’s an odd thing to confess but the truth is all I notice is people’s hands and their veins these days. I have as much vein envy as any junkie. Oh, I think. Look how fat and juicy that vein is. I could get a cannula into that myself!” ~ Nicole Cody

 

It’s IV day for me. A regular practice, and one that keeps me upright and functioning. These IVs have kept my immune system boosted, they’ve helped me overcome life-threatening infections on more than one occasion, and they allow me to stay functional despite having chronic late-stage Lyme disease. Right now I’m battling an ongoing sinus infection left over from my horror flu earlier this year. It’s slowly wearing me down and I need to get on top of it. Hence the IV.

As much as I put on my happy face, I don’t enjoy them. With each year it has become that little bit more difficult to get an easy insertion or a bruise-free/trauma-free spot after the previous session. My doctor is a dream – so clever and patient, and he and his team work marvels. I know today will be a good day. But still, I’m always anxious until the needle is in the vein, and the fluids are flowing, and everything is proceeding well.

Afterwards, I’ll call my friend Carly, who also has recalcitrant veins (both of us have experienced the joys of having multiple attempts that resulted in nothing but bruises or the inglorious humiliation of having to have your IV line go through a vein in your foot – like all the best druggies who have destroyed all their other useable spots). Carls understands, and we unpack our latest experiences and share notes and support. Two friends with chronic illness finding solace in having someone else who has walked a similar path.

Wish me luck! See it all happening easily and well for me. Thanks a million,

Nicole ❤ xx

Sitting By The Fire, Sending Love Out To The World

“I was born for this moment in Earth’s history and if you believe you are a lightworker, so were you.” 
Eileen Anglin

 

Last night I sat by the fire (it is winter here and the nights are cold) and I meditated. My mala beads clicked between my fingers and I sent love and prayers out into the world.

I sent some to you. I sent some to my family and to my students. I sent some to the wider world and to the planet.

This morning, early, I sat again by the fire. I settled into meditation. I meditated for myself. I meditated for you.

All my days are book-ended by my spiritual practice.

All my life is anchored by this soulful habit of connection and intention.

It shapes everything I am, and everything I do.

If you’ve been feeling alone, isolated or unloved know that it is not true – from this little corner of the world I am with you, I am holding you in love, I am intending for you to be the best that you can be, and my daily prayer for you is that you come to know yourself, to love yourself, and to be at peace in your heart and in your life.
I’m with you, and you are not alone.
Your friend, Nicole ❤ xx

Hay, Hay, Hay – it’s a drought!

“Without water, life would just be rock.” 
Anthony T. Hincks

 

It’s been a strange winter. I can count the number of really cold days on my fingers. Mostly it has been as warm as spring, and sometimes warm as summer. No-one jokes about global warming anymore. It’s here, and the evidence is all around us.

In 2015, in response to rising baseline temperatures at our farm we pulled out an entire heritage citrus orchard that could no longer tolerate the increased UV radiation and heat that has become the new normal in Byron Shire. We’ve slowly replanted with native food trees and tropical varieties of traditional fruit trees. But it’s all a glorious experiment.

The plants on our farm this winter don’t seem to know what to do – some are flowering, some dropped a few leaves, some have leaves dropping and new leaves growing and flowers trying to bud all at once. Birds have nested early or haven’t started yet. Some of our trees have produced two fruiting cycles instead of one, and both of them out of season. Nature can’t seem to settle into any kind of normal rhythm.

The deep frosts that were once a normal part of our winter have become occasional, and not enough to kill the weeds, ticks and other pests that would normally be decimated and controlled by a period of intense cold. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are rampant, affecting humans and animals alike. It’s worrying. Meanwhile the rising ocean temperatures mean that sea creatures like the Irukandji jellyfish with its deadly sting – once known only in tropical waters – are slowly drifting south and may end up here within a few years too.

Our farm a few months ago, when there was abundant rain and feed.

Around us the neighbours’ farms are already flogged. Winter is our hardest season – dry and cold enough that the grass grows slowly if at all. Feed for livestock always runs low in our district by winter’s end.

Here at our organic farm we have paddocks locked off and we cell graze, rotating our herd through each paddock one by one to give the pasture time to rest and for the grasses to set seed and rejuvenate and the native wildlife to have their habitat too. Looking after our soil and the grasses, plants and animals that create biodiversity and habit is important to us. We still have feed, and we maintain a smaller herd than we could carry for the size of the land, but we don’t want to use the paddocks that are closed off for rejuvenation. When you graze everything down to nothing it can take years to regain that natural biodiversity of species. We’re fortunate to still have that luxury of pasture management. Many farmers have not a blade of grass left and have been feeding out for months or even years.

Looking after our herd is important. They will be used by other farmers to restock their own land and to breed from. These are good bloodlines that we carefully nurtured over years and preserved at great effort during that last big drought.

We’re worried about the summer ahead. Already we have a bushfire plan, and we’re thinking about what we can do to keep our farm green, well watered and fire hazards to a minimum. We’re thinking about how we can help the trees, the bees and native wildlife. We’re planning for hardship if our district ends up going back into drought as much of the rest of Australia already has.

Yesterday we bought a truckload of hay from a farmer we know an hour south of us. They’ll be delivered later this week but we hauled one bale home with us straight away to feed out to our girls – big round bales of dried bluegrass that can nourish the cows and spring calves if rain doesn’t come soon. Our plan is to still try and keep some of our pasture locked off until summer to protect that seedbank and nurture the revegetation we’ve worked so hard to create.

The hay might end up being mulch for our orchard and vegetable gardens too. Everything suffers in a drought. Having endured eight straight years of severe drought back on our old farm we are keen to be prepared, and if necessary to rethink everything. We can’t do another stint like that again.

We’re doing our best to strategise, to think ahead, to plant and grow food that works with the prevailing conditions. Here’s hoping we get at least some of these adaptations right. We also bought hay yesterday to gift to struggling farmers and do our bit to help keep them on their farms. We’ve been in their shoes, and we know how soul-crushing it can be and how isolated and desperate you can come to feel.

Meanwhile here’s a little happy news – our latest addition, a baby male calf that a friend’s son has named Li’l Onion (Eli’s four and thinks of impossibly crazy names for things!).

Sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

PS – Australian farmers are doing it tough right now. Whether they are growing crops, managing dairy herds or raising livestock many of them are struggling from prolonged drought and extreme weather events – and their struggle is relentless. If you’d like to help here are some ways that you can:

Drought Angels

Aussie Helpers

Lions Need for Feed

Salvation Army

 

 

 

 

A Week Of Wonders

“Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want–you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don’t know. I’ve forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn’t matter, so long as you move.” 
Ayn Rand

Hello, Lovelies!

Don’t you love the glorious blue sky (see top pic) that greeted me at breakfast yesterday on my last day in the Adelaide Hills?

I sat in a cafe and ate on my own, and spent time planning my week ahead. It was wonderful – my table was next to an open fire and I found myself with plenty of quiet thinking time and reflection on the week that was, before I went back to my room to pack and head to the airport to fly back to Brisbane.

Back in Brisbane as I waited at the carousel for my luggage I watched the people coming and going, and I marvelled that I was one of them.

In the past week I have run an evening event, conducted two days of private consultations, been out to dinner and all over Adelaide exploring with friends and then attended a very full-on three day conference that included one late night and very long days. I’ve also drunk coffee and enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages, eaten cake and chocolate and all kinds of other yummy things and managed to still feel good.

Somehow my health has held up for it all. More than that, I’ve enjoyed myself and felt like a normal human being for most of the time I was away.

Look – that’s me at the conference! (see pic below)

That might not sound very remarkable to you. But the truth of my life has been that most of the past fifteen years have been spent in my pyjamas, or in comfortable clothes – staying very close to home, and being in bed early. As someone with late-stage lyme disease and all sorts of other health complications, independent travel has not been on my radar. I’ve always needed someone with me, and I’ve needed plenty of rest and down days.

So this past week has been a glorious victory.

My brain has worked. My body has worked. And I’ve been humbled again and again to still be here on this planet when I’ve had so many close calls that I thought would have ended my life before now.

So for all of you who are currently struggling with health issues or anything else that is slowing you down I want to encourage you not to give up. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see a day again when I’d be well enough to venture forth in life on my own. Sure I’m still working within limits, and I still nurse myself along. I’m careful in my choices. But I HAVE choices, and that’s a miraculous and incredible thing.

It’s back to herbal tea and organic vegetables and early nights and my normal routine again today. I’m looking forward to it!

Don’t give up on your dreams, my friends. Miracles happen every day.

Love you! Nicole ❤ xx
(And yep, that’s me happily upgraded to business for the flight home – yippee!)

PS – Also, I just need to tell you – some days I just want to jump up and down and run around screaming I’M ALIVE AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Guided Meditation and Activities to connect you to your Heart Wisdom

 “Don’t love to be loved in return. Love for the sake of loving.” 

~ Connor Chalfant

 

Our heart, and Heart Chakra, is both a receiver and a transmitter for love and wisdom. The more we open our heart by giving, the more we can connect into receiving. This positive flow of loving energy allows us to live from our hearts as intuitive, connected and compassionate human beings.

Activity:

Our hearts love to love. Here are some suggestions for expressing that energy in the world this week:

  • Play with your pets, or go feed ducks in the local park. Animals are wonderfully intuitive, loving and giving.

  • Make a connection that expands your own heart. Read to a child, or even to an adult.

  • Catch up with friends for a coffee, a meal or a movie.

  • Play tennis with a friend, or go to a yoga class together. Do anything athletic that involves someone else, some encouragement, some sharing and some laughing.

  • Visit or call an elderly relative or a family member who’ll be glad to see you!

  • Spend an hour giving random but sincere compliments to strangers. Tell the waitress you like her earrings or the supermarket attendant that you’re grateful for the skilful way he packs your bag so your bread doesn’t get squashed. Smile.

  • Leave a kind and supportive message on a pillow, tucked into a pocket, or posted on a blog.

  • Volunteer, and care for others in some way. Humans love to give, and to help, and to be united in the energy of that caring.

  • Plan a party or a special event to bring together people that you love, even if that event doesn’t take happen straight away.

  • Join a retreat, workshop or holiday tour and meet new friends. Be open to connecting with others.

Journalling:

Meet your heart on the page. Take a minute or two to calm yourself, by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Focus on your heart, and build that energy within you. Visualise the colour green. (If you wish, work with the energy of the meditation below before you begin!) When you are ready start writing, starting with the words,

“The thing my wise heart really needs my conscious mind to know is…”

Meditation:

This six-minute meditation will help you tap into your heart’s own intuition and wise guidance, opening you up to deeper and deeper levels of spiritual connection.


Sending love from my heart to yours,

Nicole  xx

The Importance Of A Shared Table

 “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him – the people who give you their food give you their heart.” 

~ Cesar Chavez

 

One of the things I am most interested in for myself, and for you, is this: what do we need to do to nourish our souls and feel more connected to our lives, our loved ones, our bodies, our communities, our planet?

An interesting answer to this question has been coming up time and again in my channelling sessions, and it wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s this: one of the most fundamental acts of connection and nourishment is the pleasure of a shared meal.

It doesn’t matter whether that meal is tea and toast or a feast, whether it is served at your own table or at a local cafe or a fancy restaurant. What matters is that time-honoured human ritual of sharing food and conversation, of being in each other’s presence, of making time to truly be present with the meal and with the company. It’s how we have always done things. It’s encoded in our DNA.

So, can you find time to share a table with someone soon? Can you put the screens away and just focus on being present with each other and with the food in front of you?

I’m doing just that this week in Adelaide, and it has been so good for my soul. I’ve also loved seeing other people out and about, catching up over food or a coffee, laughing and sharing and caring.

Wishing you a spot at my virtual table, where we all can share food, love and laughs across the miles, and sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx