A Message To Your Stompy Cranky Self-Sabotaging Inner Five-Year-Old!

“Sometimes defiance is all we have.” 
Stan Grant

Hello,
Today I don’t want to talk to you, dear friend. I want to talk to that stompy cranky five-year-old who dwells defiantly inside you. I want to talk to that inner child of yours because I can see you two are having problems.

You want to do yoga, but your inner five-year-old wants to binge on Netflix and pizza. You want to work on your project, but your inner five-year-old would rather line up all your shoes in order of colour and style. You have a deadline and suddenly your inner five-year-old is sooooo sleepy that you can’t concentrate. Oh, wait! Your pal just called and invited you to the movies. Your inner five-year-old who was too tired to work is suddenly raring to go and ready for a big night out.

The grown-up you is blaming yourself for all of this self-sabotage. I can hear how meanly you’re talking to yourself, blaming yourself, being down on yourself.

And no-one’s listening to that inner child at all.

Why would your inner child go off the rails and make you do the opposite of all the things you know are good for you or that need to be done even if they are no fun?

That is why I want to talk to your inner five-year-old-child directly.

Here goes…

Hello, Little Friend. I’m sorry that you’re feeling so trapped, so bored, so not listened to. I understand that you are tired of being told what to do all the time. I’m sorry that your life feels like an endless to-do list of chores that leave no room for fun or friends or goofing off or being tired when you’re tired instead of having to keep being busy.

No wonder you’re sabotaging everything your Big Self is trying to do!

But can you do me a favour? Why not try and be friends? Why not let your Big Self do yoga, and then let the Little You have a frozen nice-cream cone afterwards? Why not help your Big You do this month’s bookwork and then settle down on the couch together with Netflix?

And maybe, when your Big You feels a little relieved, or less guilty, or more tidy or more organised or more healthy – because you’ve helped them to take a step towards what they think will help them – maybe after that you can both talk about including more of the things that Little You knows are good for your soul too.

Maybe after a good yoga session you can help your Big You face the fact that the job she’s doing is crushing her soul, or that her partner is mean and will never treat her well. I know you have a lot of wisdom inside you, Little Friend, because you see things as they really are, not as the Big You wants them to be, or fears them to be.

I also know that you understand what makes the Big You light up, what excites her and makes her happy, what makes her soul sing, and what direction her feet want to take her in.

All this foot-stompy cranky self-sabotaging behaviour is making both of you miserable. It’s time to kiss and make up, be best friends again and help each other out.

Your poor Big Self thinks it’s all her fault – that she is lazy and lacking in will-power and commitment and self-discipline. She doesn’t understand that wise Little You is having this temper tantrum because no-one is listening to what you have to say. Imagine how much happier and empowered you will be when you begin working as a team again.

Hugs to you both, Little Friend and Big Friend. You’ve got this. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you!
All my love, Nicole  xx

Image from embracingjoy.com

PS – June Workshops and Pop Up Shop:
If you’re looking for some extra support for your spiritual journey come check out my upcoming Pop Up Shop, Channelling Night and One Day Workshops in Brisbane 29 June to July. On Saturday June 30 I’ll be teaching Foundation Spiritual Practices (the things I used to develop my own psychic and intuitive skills, self-awareness and compassion), and on Sunday July 1 I’ll teach Meditation and Mala Making (this second workshop is brilliant if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stuck or suffering from anxiety or depression). No matter what level you’re at I’ll have something for you on my program. More details here!

All details are on my EVENTS tab at the top of my blog post or here at this link.

A Week For Letting Go – Monday Oracle 11 June 2018

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” 
Ann Landers

 

Hello, Lovelies!

June is a quieter month energetically – one that invites us to spend time with loved ones, time on ourselves and our wellbeing, and time resting, recharging and doing what we love. Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the oracle card Eight of Hearts brings us this week.

The energies this week support a gentle letting go of the things that have been weighing us down.

There doesn’t need to be a struggle or a big dramatic scene. In fact, the very best kind of letting go is one where we decide to let something go with grace and ease.

Eight of Hearts reminds us that letting go lightens us energetically. It feels good to let go of the things have burdened us. Whatever it is that is dragging you down, keeping you stuck or sad or sick, be prepared to let go this week. Decide you don’t need to keep thinking about your ex anymore. Decide to stop smoking and then do it. No need to make a big fuss. No need for big declarations or public posts about your decision. Just decide, make a plan, act.

Decide that you don’t need to keep eating food that makes you feel bloated and tired. Then stick to it today. Repeat again tomorrow. And if you mess up forgive yourself and then keep going. Decide that you’re going to sing or write or paint or dance just because you want to. Decide to clear your clutter. Decide to let go of thinking you have to do everything yourself.

Decide that you don’t need to stay in a bad relationship. Decide that you don’t need to stay in a lousy job. Decide that you don’t need another family Christmas where everyone ends up fighting. Decide to get a cleaner. Decide to get your tax done. Decide to see the doctor.

Letting go is an act of empowerment. And when we let go, and remain empty for a while, better things come and fill the void we have created, because as we lighten our energy from the letting go, things of a lower vibration will no longer be in alignment and we’ll stop attracting them. Letting go in one area often brings opportunities, miracles and advancement in another.

So this week, lighten up by letting go!

 

Supportive crystals this week?

Smoky Quartz keeps you grounded, gifting inner strength and the ability to
listen deeply to your own needs. Labradorite encourages self-care, supports empathy and intuition, and is a gentle and reassuring stone for developing psychic ability. Sodalite will help you express your truth in thoughts, words and actions. Garnet (pictured) will gift you courage and determination, and reconnect you to your passion.

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living has a blend called Release which is perfect for this week’s energies. It is an uplifting and nurturing blend of Ylang Ylang, Lavandin, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Spearmint, Lemon, Blue Cypress, Davana, Lime, Ocotea, Jasmine, Matricaria, Blue Tansy, and Rose. It’s an essential oil we use on our retreats to help participants let go of emotional trauma, negative thoughts and beliefs, and old energies and emotions that have become stuck. I love it. It’s like an energetic broom to sweep away the dust and cobwebs.

Apply it to your pulse points at wrist, neck and over heart like a perfume. Place a few drops in your bath water. Diffuse it. One of my favourite uses is as a centering and reconnecting pick-me-up. Put a drop in the palm of your hand, rub hands together and then inhale the aroma. (Here’s a simple three-minute meditation you can do using geranium or any of your favourite essential oils – click here)

If you can’t get hold of Release then use any of Rose, Jasmine, Geranium or Blue Cypress this week.

Need an extra boost of encouragement? Try Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend. It’s fabulous in your diffuser while you work, or as a quick pick-me-up with a three-minute meditation. Believe is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and belief in ourselves. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am creating, writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. 

 You can find the oils here.

June Workshops and Pop Up Shop:
If you’re looking for some extra support for your spiritual journey come check out my upcoming Pop Up Shop, Channelling Night and One Day Workshops in Brisbane 29 June to July. On Saturday June 30 I’ll be teaching Foundation Spiritual Practices (the things I used to develop my own psychic and intuitive skills, self-awareness and compassion), and on Sunday July 1 I’ll teach Meditation and Mala Making (this second workshop is brilliant if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stuck or suffering from anxiety or depression). No matter what level you’re at I’ll have something for you on my program. More details here!

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

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Eight of Hearts’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

 

Are You Honouring Your Need To Cocoon?

“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.” ~ Mark Buchanan

The energies of June, and more specifically of this week, call on us to make rest a priority.

For many of us, the start of 2018 has been busy. For some, it has been incredibly demanding.

So now what is needed is to rest, to relax, to regroup.

There will be time for busy-busy later. But for now, honour that need you to withdraw for an hour or a day.

Rest is vital. Withdrawing from the energy of others so that your own can be restored is essential.

Don’t see it as a weakness. See it as something to look forward to. Something to sink into. Something to help you recover your zest for life, your sense of self, your way forward again.

Tune in to yourself and your energy levels this week and honour that need for self-time and self-care. You’re worth it, and by honouring that need to cocoon you’ll be able to put your best foot forward as we move into the next phase of the year when things start to become busy again.

Thinking of you and sending so much love, Nicole ❤ xx

Start Again In June!

Image from consciouslifestylemag.com

“Today is the perfect day for a fresh start. Stop delaying, stop making excuses, stop putting it off. Now. Today is the perfect moment. You can change things, you can try. Don’t give up.” 
Akiroq Brost

I had so many messages yesterday from readers and students and clients all asking me if they could start their year over again now it is June.

Well, of course, they can!

And so can you.

My lovely friends, let me reassure you. If this year hasn’t gone to plan for you it’s not too late. Start over again in June.

Start with small steps. Take one step and then another. Aim only to keep moving, no matter how slowly.

Don’t aim for perfection. Perfection will drag you down until you are stuck, exhausted and utterly unable to put one foot in front of the other or to make any useful decision.

Instead, aim to just start.

Don’t know what to do? Feel overwhelmed at the idea of committing to anything? That’s okay. Just start somewhere. Anywhere. Anything you begin and stick at will help to build momentum, and once you have momentum it will be easier to move in a new direction if that’s what you decide to do. But for now, just start. Or start over. Little step by little step.

June is a month where you can turn anything around, where you can reinvent yourself, where you can pick up the pieces and keep going. Start small, but start.

You’ve got this.

Cheering you on, Nicole ❤ xoxo

A Week For Hope and New Directions – Monday Oracle 28 May 2018

“Everything you attract into your life is a reflection of the story you believe and keep telling yourself.” 
~ Farshad Asl

 

Hello, Lovelies!

May is a month that empowers us to take the long view of our goals, and to make decisions and take actions that support those goals. We see that it is pointless to put ourselves under endless pressure. May supports sustainable action, and working towards our goals and dreams bit by bit, step by step. Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the oracle card Three of Wands brings us.

This week we’re encouraged to monitor our self-talk. You know – that endless stream of thoughts and commentary that accompanies us in our mind as we go about our lives. Three Of Wands tells us that it is time to sing a better song, and that we need to sing our dreams into reality.

Watch how you talk to yourself this week. Are you encouraging or mean? Wise or cynical? As you come into an awareness of the language and tone you use for yourself actively start to change it to something more positive. Talk to yourself as a parent would speak lovingly to a child. Be aware of the energy of other people and how that impacts you too. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who lift you up. If that’s not possible then minimise the time you spend with people who are toxic, negative and unsupportive.

The Three of Wands also reminds us to watch our actions. What choices are you making? Are they aligned with your values and the person you want to be? If you want to be healthy are you moving your body and making good food choices? Whatever it is that you hold as a vision for yourself, it is your self-talk and actions which will make that vision a reality. You have more power in your life than you truly know.

It’s a great week for bringing projects to life, for making big decisions, for nurturing tender new ideas that will go on to change your life direction.

If you’ve been down a hole of self-loathing, discouragement, fear and despair Three of Wands is a bright ray of sunshine through the clouds.

This week has a magic to it that can restore hope and leave you feeling stronger and better able to cope, to thrive, to create a life that makes you happy. And it all starts with you actively choosing to talk encouragingly to yourself, to be supportive to yourself, and to trust that you can make the best choices for your life.

Supportive crystals this week?

Orange Calcite connects you to creativity, inspiration and your heart’s desires and helps you to develop confidence in yourself and your dreams. Use it to help you see your first steps forward. Amethyst helps you tune in to spiritual guidance and also helps you to think deeply about your problems in ways that allow solutions to be found. Tiger Eye will help you focus, make big decisions and act with integrity and courage.  Rose Quartz (The pink central stone in the photo below) helps you to act and speak kindly and lovingly towards yourself.

Helpful essential oils?

Cypress is a very useful oil again this week, unless you’re pregnant or lactating (if you are please don’t use this oil – try Roman Chamomile instead!). Cypress has a woodsy fresh aroma that is expansive and uplifting. It works with our heart chakra, helping us to step into our power and to move through doubt, despair and stuckness with grace and courage. It’s a great oil for your diffuser.

Need an extra boost of encouragement? Try Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend. It’s fabulous in your diffuser while you work, or as a quick pick-me-up with a three-minute meditation. Believe is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and belief in ourselves. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am creating, writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. 

 You can find the oils here.

If you’re looking for some extra support for your spiritual and creative flow come check out my upcoming Pop Up Shop, Channelling Night and One Day Workshops in Brisbane from Friday 29 June to Sunday July 1. I’ll be teaching Foundation Spiritual Practices on Saturday (the things I used to develop my own psychic and intuitive skills, self-awareness and compassion), and Meditation and Mala Making on Sunday(this second workshop is brilliant if you find meditation difficult or are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stuck or suffering from anxiety or depression – plus you’ll get to make your own beatiful mala beads to take home). .More details here!

I also have my upcoming Intensive Mentoring and Retreat teaching Accelerated Channelling Using Sacred Geometry. Click on the link to find out more.

No matter what level you’re at I’ll have something for you on my program.

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

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Three of Wands’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

 

Image from ba-baamail.com

Are You Using The Hive Mind Yet?

“Hive Mind – a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects, in which a group of people become aware of their commonality and think and act as a community, sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and resources” ~ dictionary.com

“Twitter in particular has often been termed a “hive mind” that connects users to draw on the help of a larger group, such as getting suggestions for where to eat in an unfamiliar city.” ~ Ben Zimmer

We’re at the dawn of a new energetic era – a time of co-operation, collaboration, community and connection. And we’ve just left an energetic era that was all about hoarding knowledge as power and of the rise of the independent and disconnected individual.

What that means for most of us who were born prior to 2012 is that we’re lousy at asking for help, and we’ve grown up expecting to solve our own problems and to suffer silently in the doing of that.

I can feel you nodding your heads in agreement. Empaths, intuitives and sensitive souls especially – we’re not good at asking for ourselves, we’re only good at helping others.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this post.

It’s no longer necessary for us to have all the answers. It’s time to throw ourselves open to the hive mind. It’s time to start asking for help. This era asks that of us – if we are to evolve and grow.

Trust that someone within your family, workplace, social network or in the wider community will hold the solution to your problem, or as a group they will work out something more elegant and suited to your needs than anything you could come up with on your own.

I have a dear friend whose husband has just been diagnosed with cancer this week. They live in a rural community with their young children, but her husband will need to come to the city for treatment. She told me she’d love to come with him for his first appointments and chemo sessions, but she needs to be home for her children. But she doesn’t. She lives within a community. She has friends and family, and a wider group of people who care. If she throws her problem over to them someone or several of the group will come up with a solution for her. She doesn’t have to do this alone. And I know if someone else in her community was in her position she would naturally be one of the first people to offer them help or to rally a group to support them.

Please, lovelies, stop struggling on your own and ask for help. Then accept that help. Contribute your own energy to the hive mind, but also use it yourself.

I’m so excited about the possibilities of this new era and how it can help all of us move to a place of more kindness, compassion, community and connection. And it starts with us asking and being open to help and new ideas, and us sharing our own wisdom and knowledge.

Breathe a sigh of relief. It feels good not to have to struggle on our own. It feels good to be able to reach out to others for help and to help others too. Not every burden is ours to carry alone.

Much love to you, Nicole   xx

 

Being Okay With Where You Are

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
Lao Tzu

I’m still recovering from the flu, and gee, it’s taking muuuuuuch longer than I would have liked. On top of that I managed to pick up a vomiting bug because of my dodgy immune system, so that has meant a couple of useless days just as I was picking up again.

I have to be honest. Yesterday morning after a horrid night I was quite despairing. You know; tears of frustration, being totally over it, and yes – being down on myself too. I wanted to be writing. I wanted to be back at work. I wanted to be doing so many other things. I wanted hair free of knots!!! (Try lying in bed through fevers and misery for a month and see what that does to your hair – I know some of you completely get this because things like illness and depression are not friends to long locks…)

And oh the guilt I began to feel that here I was in bed. Again.

I didn’t stop myself feeling any of those things.

That never helps.

This is my truth. I’m getting better slowly. I’m frustrated. I had a less-than-great couple of days. It was okay to be in a bit of a hole.

It’s helpful to be able to be honest about where you are and how you feel. I had a cry on the phone to my sister. I had a cry with Ben. I had a cry with the dogs. After which I slept and slept and slept.

This morning I am doing better. In a week or so I’ll be back to doing all the things I had wanted to do. Meanwhile, I am where I am and it is what it is.

I realised a few years ago that I had bought into this crazy belief that I needed to be 100% on 100% of the time. Because of that belief I pushed myself relentlessly. No matter what my truth was. This perfection thing is all around us – on social media, in magazines and on television and in movies. It’s the expectation at schools and universities and in our workplaces. We’re not meant to have down days, sad days, sick days, ugly days.

Except that we all do.

We all do.

So my lovelies, the next time you have a down day or a sick day, the next day you feel like crawling back under the covers and not facing the day, extend yourself some compassion and know that it’s normal to not be 100% on your game every single day. Only robots and Stepford Wives do that. Everything else you see providing evidence to the contrary is a carefully curated lie. Please don’t buy into that!

A model’s self portrait in the style of the Stepford Wives by Christine McConnell

No matter what your current reality there is no point fighting it. It is what it is. Fighting against your truth is disempowering. You beat yourself up, lower your vibration and end up feeling even worse than you did before. It keeps you in the hole longer.

Accepting where you are at, honestly and without judgement, creates shift.

Don’t like where you are at? Accept that truth. Sometimes that’s all you need to do to create movement in a new direction and a lightening up of your mood and situation.

Don’t want to keep living this current version of yourself? Decide to change it. That’s not fighting it, that’s empowering yourself to move in a different direction. Wanting to change and then deciding to change still honours where you currently are and that’s so important for self-love and self-acceptance. Affirm to yourself I am where I am but I can change. 

No matter our current situation and how difficult things are we still have choices. We change emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or physically. That knowledge can be a life-raft, and it can open doors to new possibilities.

Self-acceptance is, in itself, a powerful force for change and for creating flow.

Sending you love and hugs, and holding you in my meditations, Nicole  xx

Hold True To Your Values This Week! – Monday Oracle 14 May 2018

“Because we always have a choice, even when it feels like we don’t.
~  A.C. Gaughen

 

Hello, Lovelies!

May is a month that empowers you to take the long view of your goals, and to make decisions and take actions that support those goals. We see that it is pointless to put ourselves under endless pressure. May supports sustainable action, and working towards our goals and dreams bit by bit, step by step.Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the oracle card Guide of Swords brings us.

This week’s card draws heavily on the legend of Robin Hood who stole from the corrupt rich who were overtaxing society so that he could give the money back to the poor.

Guide of Swords reminds us to live from our values this week. Hold the higher ground. Stand up to bullies. Do what is fair and right and good. Live and lead by example. Be a lighthouse on a dark and stormy night, helping others to navigate safely. Don’t worry if the people around you don’t share the same views, or if they are behaving badly. Instead do all you can to live from a place of honesty, integrity and valour. These are old-fashioned virtues that still hold true even though they have fallen in popularity lately.

It’s a week where justice will be served, and the scales may tip in your favour if you have recently been wronged or unfairly treated. It’s a week for us to examine our position to determine if we could be doing more to support the causes that are dear to our hearts.

As we work towards our goals and plan our longer-term future this month we’re also being shown that sharing our success is important. Who can you help and how can you do that? Where can you make a positive difference in the world?

There is also a strong message within the Guide of Swords about the healing power of nature. If you’re overwhelmed by life go take a walk by the beach or through a forest, sit in the park at lunchtime, or spend time in your garden or with treasured pets. Nature helps us to come to a place of clarity, calm and wisdom. All we need to do is spend time there and find that connection back to our heart.

Supportive crystals this week?

Amazonite helps us to live bravely and from our heart, especially in regard to our creative projects. It will boost self-confidence and self-worth. Orange Calcite connects us to inspiration and our heart’s desires and is a wonderful beginner stone for tuning in to the spiritual realms. It’s great for all forms of creativity. Amethyst (pictured) helps us to tune in to spiritual guidance and also helps us to manifest and become clear about our life path. Garnet gifts us courage, fortitude and wisdom.

Helpful essential oils?

Helpful essential oils?

This week I’m loving Young Living’s Valor essential oil blend. It’s great for releasing old ways and old thinking, and for finding the courage to move in new directions. The fragrance of Valor is soothing and grounding and I find that it brings me instant calm when I am anxious or afraid. You can also use Young Living’s Peace and Calming Blend if you don’t have Valor at hand!)

Apply it to your pulse points at wrist, neck and over heart like a perfume. Place a few drops in your bath water. Diffuse it. One of my favourite uses is as a centering and reassuring pick-me-up. Put a drop in the palm of your hand, rub hands together and then inhale the aroma. (Here’s a simple three-minute meditation you can do using Valor or any of your favourite essential oils – click here)

Need an extra boost of encouragement? Try Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend. It’s fabulous in your diffuser while you work, or as a quick pick-me-up with a three-minute meditation. Believe is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and belief in ourselves. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am creating, writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. 

If you can’t access these oils then use Sandalwood, Ginger or Rosemary.

Looking for ValorPeace and Calming or Believe blends? You can find the oils here.

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

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Guide of Swords’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

Keeping It Real For You

“A good selfie is when you successfully capture the feeling of that very moment!” 
Anamika Mishra

 

Yesterday I ventured out into the world for the first time in weeks. This flu has really laid me low, and I’m still far from well but yesterday Ben, Cafe Dog and I went out to check the mail at our post box, to food shop for his mum and to grab a quick coffee.

Harry Dog was thrilled to finally leave the house too. Me? I was not quite with it, but grateful to be dressed and upright.

Makeup and hair styling? All too hard. I was clean, I smelled okay, and I’d swapped pyjamas for going-out clothes. As far as I’m concerned that’s a win!

We were out for less than an hour, by which time I was completely exhausted, but it was worth it to feel like part of the human race again.

I know. I can hear you saying it. I’m damaging my personal brand with these awful selfies. First it was thigh gap, and now real and unadulterated images of me feeling crappy and fluey and still quite horrid (and still with bad hair, wrinkles and oldness).

Oh well.

I’m really a bit over all of these images and stories in my social media feed about how to lose weight, look younger, have bigger boobs, fewer wrinkles, smaller thighs (or thigh gap!) or whiter teeth, and all of those images of perfectly happy people having perfectly wonderful lives.

Does your life look like that?

Mine doesn’t. And sweethearts it is absolutely fine if yours doesn’t either.

Today I want you to embrace yourself just as you are. Give yourself a hug or a virtual high-five from me if you’ve turned up for life today – no matter how hard things are right now. Give yourself an elephant stamp if you managed some personal hygiene. Have a gold star if you accomplished something on your list. Kind to yourself or others? Seriously – you deserve a medal! That’s the world I want to live in. I want a world filled with people who are honest and vulnerable and real – who show up courageously when life is hard, who reach out to others when they have the strength to do so, and who ask for help when they are struggling to manage on their own.

Let’s be kind to all those people with perfectly curated social media lives too. Because I can guarantee you that behind those images will be the same kinds of health dramas, money problems, relationship issues, depression, anxiety and ‘stuff’ that all the rest of us experience. They were just careful to edit those bits out before they put their life on display.

That’s one gift that chronic illness has given me – I’ve realised what matters, and it certainly isn’t about living my life to impress other people.

Lovelies, let’s agree to just keep being ourselves and to support others to be themselves too. Doesn’t that take off an enormous amount of pressure? Without that pressure we’ve freed up untold energy to put to much more constructive uses. Hooray for that. Hooray for real.

Biggest hugs to you from my personal-brand trashing self, Nicole xx

 

 

That 2am Place – A Lesson In Mindfulness for Insomniacs

“It was that sort of sleep in which you wake every hour and think to yourself that you have not been sleeping at all; you can remember dreams that are like reflections, daytime thinking slightly warped.” 
Kim Stanley Robinson

I’m still in the grip of this flu. Not only that, I’m stuck in the city so that I can be close to a hospital while my heart continues to misbehave.

Here I am again, awake at 2am (which is when I am writing this – I’ll schedule it to post all by itself so I can sneak back to bed later and hopefully finally get some more sleep). Each night I’m in bed early, and I’ll fall asleep easily. But then my heart wakes me up, sometime between 11pm and 2am, pounding and crashing and racing in my chest. I’ll sit up in bed, distressed, catch my breath and cough a little and then quieten myself and try to bring my heart back to a normal pace using meditation and my breath. I’ll have a nice big glass of water with magnesium too, which sometimes helps. Still, it’s a bother.

Once upon a time, years and years ago, I used to panic at stuff like this. I was an amateur back then and worried excessively about every creak groan, pain and weird symptom. Now this kind of stuff is background noise mostly, and I have a raft of management techniques I use while I wait to see what my body will do and if I will need medical attention or whether it will settle on its own. One of my favourite techniques is mindfulness.

Mindfulness has become a soothing companion for me over the years. I use it three ways. I thought that by sharing this you might be able to add it in to your coping skills toolkit too. This technique works for pain, anxiety and many other kinds of problems.

  1. I become mindful of my body. Sitting or lying quietly I bring my attention to my breath. Then I take a tour, starting at the top of my head and working all the way to the tips of my toes. At each part of my body I draw my focus inwards and observe. How does my body feel? Any pain? Hot or cold? Any sensations or things I need to be aware of? Can I use my awareness to bring control, assistance and calm to my body? I’ve found that this simple act often dials down my pain, calms my heart and breathing, and lets me work through and out the other side of whatever is going on. Thinking about pain generally is very different to feeling into it specifically. When you connect with your pain through mindfulness and being in the moment everything becomes much more manageable.
  2. I become mindful of what’s going on outside my body. Always I bring my attention back to my breath first. Then I reach outside myself with my senses. What noises can I hear? How far can I hear when I reach beyond myself? Where does that awareness take me? Is there a breeze or any other kind of weather I can detect? What animals or people can I hear? If I can see the sky I pay particular attention to that. I let myself dissolve into the world around me, so that I am at the centre and life surrounds me. (This is a brilliant technique for developing your psychic senses too!) If my eyes are open, what can I see? What can I feel? Can I feel the texture of the sheets, or the cool of the night? This brings me a sense of reconnection and belonging. I see that I am more than just my body.
  3. I become mindful of my thoughts and emotions. By now, having spent time in mindfulness of my body and surroundings I am usually calmer. I sit or lie quietly and bring my focus to my breath. Then I stay quiet and open, waiting to see what arises for me. I tune in to any thoughts or emotions – not grabbing at them but letting them float up into my awareness. When I recognise a thought or emotion I sit with it, to see what it means for me. I do this with love and compassion for myself. Often this simple act of witnessing will dispel worry and uncrowd my overactive mind. This, in turn, soothes my physical body and often enables me to return to sleep.

Once I am calm again and things have settled I might go back to bed, or stay up for a little longer and write, or perhaps stand at the window or sit on a chair and watch the slumbering world for a while.

There’s a gorgeous moon tonight, a streaky golden sky, and the air is warm and slightly salty. It feels like there will be early morning fog here in Brisbane. It’s May and I am wearing only a thin cotton nightdress. My feet are bare. It’s almost winter, but it could be a summer night.

As I stand on our balcony I see a lone black and white cat walking down the centre of our street, placing her paws very deliberately, looking warily as she patrols. A possum and her baby are creeping along the power lines and there are fruit bats crying noisily and flapping all about the fig tree across the way. A rescue helicopter flies high overhead enroute to hospital and I send them love, light and my prayers for their journey. Meanwhile, the street sleeps on…

Hopefully soon so will I.

Sending much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx