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

 

Me, Flu and You!

 

“There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.” 
Robert G. Ingersoll

You might have noticed I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth these past few weeks.

There’s a reason for that.

I’ve just come face-to-face with a very nasty strain of influenza.

For most people flu is a mild illness that causes sore throat, runny nose, fever and chills which last several days. But for people like me who are immuno-compromised and for other high-risk categories such as the very young, the elderly and people suffering from chronic illness or underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes, influenza can be a very different illness.

If you’ve only recently arrived at my blog you might not know that I suffer from late-stage lyme disease, multi-organ and system compromise, and ongoing heart issues among other things. I’ve been to hell and back with my health and more than once in the past few decades the dark bird of death has sat companionably on my shoulder.

Still, I’m so much better now. These past few months I’ve been the strongest and most vital I have been in years. My improved health is the result of a great team, a regime, ongoing management and many, many hours of my life. Most of that hard work is invisible to the world. Instead what I hear is how great I look these days. Thanks. I’m working on it! 35 years worth of working on it, and counting…

When you don’t live in the world of chronic illness you might not realise that even when we look and feel well we usually have ongoing issues we are managing and our underlying immune systems may be weak. If our immune systems are in fact stronger than they have been it still only takes a few bad nights of limited sleep, of stress or of us overdoing our physical energetic limits for us to end up in a place where it is so much easier for us to succumb to infections. Sometimes we succumb anyway, even when we are healthy, because our immunity is just not as strong as other members of the community.

So that’s where Influenza A H3N2 (also known as Aussie Flu) and I collided a few weeks ago.

I’m hypervigilant when it comes to germs. I never touch my face, especially when we’re out. I wash my hands well, and always before eating. If I’m out I’ll use a hand sanitiser before eating and after using a shopping cart or touching any surfaces. On planes and in confined spaces I’ll wear a bamboo fabric mask impregnated with anti-bacterial and anti-microbial essential oils. I avoid people who are ill, and will avoid crowds and places that might put me at a higher risk of infection. I’ve managed to travel overseas, go to festivals and events and to holiday well several times, all without becoming ill and even as those around me have been sick – which I put down to me being vigilant and also having a great medical team caring for me from week to week.

So how did I get sick this time?

A client came to my home while she was recovering from having been very unwell. She didn’t disclose this to me and as she greeted me she coughed directly into my face. She was less than thirty centimetres away from me and her spittle covered my face and went into my eyes. She laughed, a little embarrassed, and wiped at my face with her hands. ‘Sorry, Love,’ she said, ‘just getting over the flu.’

My heart sank. But I tried to be hopeful that nothing would eventuate.

Less than twenty-four hours later I developed a sore throat. My glands came up in my neck, groin and armpits. Within a few hours I had a raging fever and could barely stand. I cancelled the rest of my week and put myself to bed, hoping that rest and an aggressive regime of herbs and Vitamin C might limit the damage and have me up again in a few days.

None of that helped. Overnight I deteriorated in a way that really scared me. I went from high fevers to chills and back to fevers again, was so weak I couldn’t sit upright, my throat inflamed and swollen so it felt like swallowing razor blades, my entire body ached, and I had a stabbing headache bad enough that I lost vision in my left eye. Eventually I could barely breathe, and my heart went into tachycardia. Add in chest pain and vomiting. Yep, awful!

I stayed like that for days, alternating between sleep and delirium. My doctors and cardiologist checked me out and decided I was better managed at home to avoid the risk of pneumonia and advised me to only come back to the hospital if my heart rate went to a certain level and stayed there over an extended time, or if my chest pain or breathing difficulties became too severe.

The last fortnight has been scary and hard, especially with all of the chest pain and arrhythmias. If I am honest I’ve also struggled psychologically with being so ill again after having felt on top of the world just a few weeks ago.

I’m through the worst of it now. A year ago this infection may have killed me (and yes, every day I give thanks for having such awesome doctors in my life, and my amazing local GP-acupuncturist and team whom I’m convinced are my secret weapon in the return to vitality from Lyme – thanks Dr Adam and Jodi!).

My symptoms are slowly easing, although my heart is still misbehaving. I currently look like I went one too many rounds in the boxing ring with a hefty opponent. And I’m earth-shatteringly exhausted. I have no energy for anything at all.

That’s how I know I’m still unwell. All I want to do is sleep. And that’s how I’ll know when I am better. I’ll be itching to get up and do something!

Meanwhile I have made a promise to Ben, my staff and my doctors that I will respect the flu and keep resting. I will not come back to full-on life too quickly. I will not overdo it and set myself back.

So, that’s where I’ve been. You know it’s never good news when I go quiet…

Think you might have the flu? Stay home and in bed if you can. Rest and keep up your fluid intake. Please, if you’re unwell spare a thought for others whose immune systems might not be as robust as yours. Practice good hand hygiene, cover your mouth when you cough, cover your nose when you sneeze, and don’t leave used tissues lying around. If you know someone who is pregnant, elderly, very young or who has a health issue avoid them while you’re unwell.  Seek medical advice or go to hospital if you spike and sustain a high fever, have trouble breathing or become breathless, if you have chest pain or severe abdominal pain, if you become dizzy or confused or if you have sudden severe vomiting. Not sick? Think about getting the flu vaccination, especially if you are in a high-risk category.

Thanks to everyone who has sent messages and checked up on me. I’m so grateful for your love and support. I promise I’ll be back on deck just as soon as I have my doctors’ blessings and enough energy to share with all of you as well as having enough for myself. Another week or two and I’m sure I’ll be just fine!

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

No Blog Because…

“Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend-
Bed awaits me at the end.” 
Dorothy Parker

I’d be writing a decent blog post this morning but for one important fact.

Ben had a missed call on his phone from last night. A transport company telling us that our new bed will be delivered at 7am this morning.

Which is awesome except that our old bed is in the spot where the new bed needs to go, and it has a mountain of stuff stored under it, it needs to be pulled apart and then everything vacuumed and the walls washed down. And we only have an hour.

Wish us luck.

Also…

NEW BED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep.

Nicole  xx

The Taste of Freedom

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” 
Nelson Mandela

We always clip our dogs onto short leads on the back seat of the car when we travel. It keeps the dogs confined to their positions (otherwise they’d both be on our laps in the front) and also helps us control the behaviour of young Rufous who is only just one year old, and still a delinquent.

Yesterday we drove to Brisbane. Both Harry (our Cafe Dog) and Rufie were very quiet and well behaved.

Or so we thought.

Rufous spent the first part of the journey in what we call the Parrot Position. If he strains himself to the full extent of his lead he can rest his head on Ben’s left shoulder while Ben drives. It’s Rufie’s favourite position until he gets tired and goes back to lie down beside his brother and take a nap.

But Rufous wasn’t quiet when he lay down yesterday. He was busy.

First he chewed through his lead, nibbling neatly along the seam until it was severed.

Then he quietly chewed through Harry’s lead too.

 

One minute Ben and I were alone in the front of the car, discussing global warming and American politics and all the other stuff you talk about on road trips, and the next minute Rufous was madly licking my ear as he balanced on the compartments between the two front seats. Harry thought it was marvellous too, and managed to go back to sleep with most of his body squeezed between the two front seats and just his tail and back paws on the seat behind.

After a stern talking to they skulked back to their lair for the remainder of the journey, and then both of them pranced out of the car and in the front door, flaunting their freedom for all to see.

There will be no new escape. Ben bought wire cable yesterday – impossible to chew through.

Were your dogs chewers when they were pups? I wonder how long before Rufous grows through his chewing stage? Soon, I hope!

Hugs and love to all of you, from all of us!  Nicole xoxo

 

 

 

In case of trauma, Melbourne Breakfast…

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
Douglas Adams

 

I’ve had a busy few days since Friday, the day of our anniversary Vomageddon. I worked all Saturday in Brisbane doing psychic readings and coaching, which was wonderful and then expected that on Sunday I would rest, write and have a quiet day.

Then on Saturday night I had a call from a long-time client. Her 42-year-old husband, injured in a motorbike accident two weeks before, had collapsed at home and been found unconscious on Thursday. He’d had a massive bleed in his brain and there was absolutely nothing that could be done for him. His medical team were going to turn off his life support system and she asked me if I come and sit at the hospital with her on Sunday morning before that was done. They have three young children together. What a gut-wrenching situation. So I held her hand and we meditated and prayed together, and I did what I could to provide her with comfort and guidance, and it was an emotionally shattering day for all of us.

The past two days I’ve been at another hospital supporting my own family while one of them has undergone major surgery followed by complications and more surgery.

I’ll be there again at the hospital today, and for the next few days too.

Everything else can wait. Everyone else can wait. What matters now is us, each other, and being together.

But right now on this early morning, I’m sitting at home in the city with Ben, the dogs at my feet, drinking Melbourne Breakfast tea by the mugful and soaking up the calm and quiet before another hectic day.

My Nana always said that a cup of tea made everything much better, and I do believe she was right.

2018 is a year of relationships and focusing on what matters. It’s a year for family, love, friendship, creativity, happiness and a slower pace of life. I’m really taking that to heart. How about you? Are you giving enough time to the people and activities that you love? Life is short and precious. Make sure that the choices you make help to minimise any regret over time wasted on the wrong priorities.

Biggest love and hugs to you, Nicole xx

Ah, the Romance… (sob)

“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ” 
Elinor Glyn

Thank you so much for all of your anniversary wishes. Ben and I are very grateful for your love and support.

I’d like to tell you that yesterday was truly romantic – the stuff of dreams and novels…

But I can’t because it wasn’t. We’d planned an early walk on the beach and then breakfast at the Mullum Farmers’ Markets with friends, but it was raining and Ben is only just getting over the flu, so we cancelled that part of our day.

Then our internet went from bad to non-existent at the farm. A decision needed to be made. Ben would bring me back to the city so I’d be all set up to work with clients in the next few days, and he’d head back to the farm. We scrapped our lunch plans and decided that we’d have a romantic dinner in the city instead. It was raining heavily so we crammed our clothes bags, computers, work bags and groceries into the back seat with the dogs and off we set.

On the road trip home our youngest dog Rufous became ill. Think projectile vomit. Think total coverage of back of car. Twice. How could so much grossness come out of one medium-sized dog??? Then Harry, our other dog, started farting with the stress of it all.

So special.

When we finally arrived in Brisbane (after lengthy delays due to traffic jams and rain) it took the two of us 90 minutes just to clean the car. (God, it was even in my hair…) Then we had to clean everything that had been in the back of the car. And the dogs. Then ourselves. I almost needed to call the HAZMAT team.

That was our afternoon gone. By then we were too tired and grossed out to even contemplate a romantic dinner. So we ordered in some Thai and made plans to reschedule our anniversary for another day.

Rufous was feeling much better, so that was something good. And in the end we spent a day together anyway; Ben, me and the dogs. Weird circumstances and nothing like what we’d planned, but that’s how love rolls sometimes.

I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything! And gee we laughed. Certainly a memorable anniversary anyway. 😀

Blog Cancelled Due to Romance

3d illustration image by Quince Media

To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Today is my 18th Wedding Anniversary.

Ben’s been joking that you don’t serve that much time for murder!

Bless him…

Anyway, today I’m going to be offline because we’re spending time together, celebrating the 22 years since we found each other.

The energies of 2018 are all about love, friendship and life, and making time for what matters. So that’s what we are doing today. Because this marriage matters very much to both of us. I’ll catch up with you all again tomorrow.

Much love, Nicole  xx

Happy Birthday, Ben!

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” 
Cassandra Clare

 

Today is Ben’s birthday, that gorgeous man I am fortunate enough to share my life with.

I can’t even begin to explain to you what Ben means to me, or how his love and support underpin everything that I do.

Those of you who have spent time with us, or been to one of my retreats or events will know. Ben is the quiet one in the background doing all the hard work and making sure things run smoothly, being my gatekeeper in life – setting boundaries and keeping me safe, and the one who lights me up as soon as he walks into the room.

Today is Ben’s birthday, so I’m keeping this short. He’s where I need to be today. But I just wanted to drop in and wish my husband Happy Birthday here on my blog, and to publicly acknowledge how special he is to me. Love you, Ben!

I’ll see you all tomorrow, Biggest love and hugs, Nicole  xx

 

Waking Up In My Own Bed

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.” 
~  Ransom Riggs

 

This morning I woke in my own bed.

Outside my window the birds sang. Dawn crept golden into the soft grey sky. Our dogs were pressed up against us, both of them awake and staring quietly at Ben and I as if they couldn’t quite believe we were real.

Is there anything more delicious than to be home after travelling and to see everything around you as if for the first time?

I meditated in my favourite spot, outside on the veranda beside Ganesha. After which I made a mug of tea and strolled through my early-morning garden; re-acquainting myself with everything, breathing in the cool fresh air, filling my ears with birdsong and the shrill of the cicadas, getting the feel of the place in my bones, grounding myself in home.

Today is a day of household chores and farm chores. Of settling back in. Of finding our rhythm again.

It feels as if we have been away forever, so I guess that means it has been a good break. Still, I’m grateful to be home again. I’m brim full of ideas and enthusiasm, and I’m ready for the year ahead. Can’t wait to share it with you!
Biggest love and hugs, Nicole ❤ xoxo

A ‘Renovator’s Delight’ Is Rarely A Good Relationship Choice!

“There is only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best.” 
~  Doris Lessing

 

In Australia we have a term for houses that need a stupid amount of work to make them habitable. We call them Renovator’s Delights, and you can be sure that anything that is advertised as such is sure to be a money pit, no matter how much a Real Estate Agent might tell you otherwise in their eagerness to get you to commit to a sale. These houses have much more than cosmetic flaws that could be easily fixed with a coat of paint or some new handles or light fittings. A Renovator’s Delight hides serious structural flaws that are often not apparent to the rookie buyer. This kind of work is expensive to repair, if it can be repaired at all. A smart buyer would be better off looking for a different investment opportunity.

Sometimes a seller will disguise a Renovator’s Delight with a quick paint job and some landscaping so that it looks visually appealling – they can sell you on ‘the dream’ as long as you don’t dig too deep. This is an even worse situation for a buyer who hasn’t done their homework and organised a complete building inspection because they won’t be prepared for the devastating structural issues they will one day find below that pretty surface.

So what does that have to do with relationships? A lot, actually.

In all my time of guiding, advising and counselling others, especially sensitive and empathic souls and those who identify as ‘spiritual’ or ‘healers’ I’ve seen many good men and women choosing the human equivalent of a Renovator’s Delight in love relationships.

Very few people lead with their faults and flaws in a new relationship. That’s normal. We all want to be thought well of, and to be successful in making a relationship last. And what’s perfect anyway? All of us have idiosyncrasies and quirks. Much of that is also what makes us appealing to others. This truth is evident when you see people buy a home. Oh my goodness, one person will say. I can’t stand all those funny little stained-glass windows. That alone will be enough for them to choose not to buy. Oh my goodness, the next person will say. Look at all those funny little stained-glass windows. I totally love that! After which they will buy the house because those funny little windows really spoke to something in their soul.

Image from Alamy at www.architecturaldigest.com

Sometimes after we’ve lived in a home, loved it and been happy there, disaster strikes. A pipe bursts. There is a fire in the kitchen. Termites eat out a pillar or a roof support. But it’s our home. We love it. So we fix it, or try to. We do the work together with our partner, friends or family, we bring experts in, or in some cases we decide to just accommodate the problem and we learn to live with it. In human terms this can be a sudden illness, a bad decision, a stupid action, a transgression, loss of a job or some other calamity. Our commitment to what has been a good and happy relationship and the love involved allows us to stay together, despite a structural flaw. Importantly, everyone acknowledges that flaw. No-one covers it up or suggests that it isn’t real.

Human Renovator’s Delights in new relationships often know that they have serious flaws but they are not invested in fixing them, and they go to great lengths to hide them. Some trade on these flaws or backstory in order to get or keep attention and to excuse behaviours and beliefs. Some will be honest and tell you they are not good relationship material. They mean it, and they say it to give you an out, but a Lightworker or empath will then feel it is their responsibility to stay, help, and fix things.

Inside all of us is a compass that helps us to see if the person in front of us has quirks that will endear them to us or that we can learn to live with, or if there are serious structural flaws that make this relationship not worth our investment. What’s always needed for sound relationship decisions is time and the ability to tune in to that inner compass.

I have friends and clients going through hard times in relationships right now, and they’re wondering how they ended up where they are – with a lover who cheats or gambles, with a husband who suddenly wants out, with a boss who keeps lying.

They’re hurt, distressed and devastated at what has happened and they’ve asked me the questions: Why did this happen? How did this happen? Why did I not see this coming?

Truly, a wise part of them did see it coming. A wise part of them already knew. All of us have intuition, and instinct. This force within us operates with a vast amount of information – not just our conscious awareness.

When pressed, all of these people eventually admitted that there had been things in their relationship from early on that made them uncomfortable. Or there was a point where things began to change, and that point was a long way from where they are now.

In each situation my clients and friends had intuitively picked up on an energy or behaviour that was out of flow, out of truth – either with the way the other person was presenting themselves within the relationship, or with how their partner’s actions and behaviours conflicted with their own values and beliefs. In each case their intuition  red-flagged something, using those feelings of discomfort and that instinctive knowledge to bring the situation to their conscious attention.

So why didn’t they allow themselves to be guided by that intuition? Quite simply, their mind got in the way. They discounted, excused, second-guessed or validated that discomfort away. They saw what they wanted to see, or needed to see, rather than what was. They gave second chances, chose to believe what they were told, and shoved that discomfort back down where it no longer bothered them. In many instances they convinced themselves that the person could change, or that they could help them heal or find ways to help them overcome the issue. Or, they thought that they’d already invested too much to walk away, or that any relationship was better than being on their own.

In many situations this person’s life then became completely consumed by the relationship and their worries over how to fix it, or whether to stay or go. All of the energy that they could have spent enjoying life, being creative, practicing self-care, building or maintaining other relationships was instead diverted into somehow trying to transform their relationship Renovator’s Delight into something more safe and habitable.

Just like a property that is a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your money, a relationship with a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your time and energy until there’s nothing left for anything or anyone else. (Narcissists and Sociopaths – the kind of Renovator’s Delight that can NEVER be fixed – will actually feed off your energy and then discard you once you’re broken or no longer of value to them.)

 

Tune in for a moment. What’s your intuition been telling you? How much of your time is wrapped up in this relationship? Are you both emotionally invested in solving problems and making things work? Is there any action or is it all talk and broken promises? Is it worth it?

A friend of mine recently sold a Renovator’s Delight after finally accepting (ten years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later) that she was never going to make it what she needed it to be. A new couple bought the house and then promptly demolished it to leave a clean canvas for their dream home. After my friend got over the shock she bought herself a brand new apartment with everything she needs – all in full working order. She couldn’t be happier.

The energies this week, and this month, support big decisions and coming into alignment with your values and inner core. Maybe it’s time for you to make a change.

You might also find these resources useful:

Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life

Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct

or this program of eight free exercises designed to help you connect to and work with intuition, energy and the metaphysical:

Strengthening Your Intuition – A program of Exercises

Biggest hugs and love to you, Nicole  xx