Refuelling Your Soul

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” ~ Caroline Myss

Feeling tired, flat or a bit lost? That’s okay – I have some tips to help you manage that.

Or perhaps it’s worse than a little fatigue. Maybe you feel utterly smashed by life right now. My advice is still going to be the same. There are three steps to follow.

  1. Find some quiet time. Here are some of my favourite ways to do that:
  • Take a long country drive somewhere, or sit on your commute with some headphones on.
  • Go for a walk or a run or a bike ride or a swim
  • Try some yoga or stretching
  • Make a cup of tea and sit on the balcony, or on a comfy sofa
  • Find a quiet cafe and grab your favourite brew and sit in a quiet corner.
  • Hang out in a library
  • Close the bedroom door and light some incense or diffuse some essential oils
  • Take a long shower or bath
  • Get up early, while everyone is asleep and you can have the house to yourself
  • Water the garden
  • Sit on a swing and then… swing!
  • Take an early mark from work
  • Go find a lookout with a view – views help put everything in perspective

2. Allow yourself to relax. Slow your breathing or, if you are exercising, get it into a steady rhythm. Let the tension unwind from your muscles and consciously relax yourself. Really feel yourself soften and calm. This might take a while if you’re stressed. That’s okay. Take as long as you need.

3. Feel into what you need most right now in order to refill your empty tanks and boost your energy levels, resilience and inner peace. Trust that you already hold that wisdom inside you. Ask yourself the question, ‘What do I most need to come back into balance know right now?’ Explore it via your imagination, in meditation or through journalling or writing. Let clarity come to you in the form of ideas, thoughts, images and feelings. You may also want to pull an oracle or tarot card to give you further inspiration.

Commit to using this wisdom to gently transform your life.

Thinking of you and sending much love, Nicole ❤️ xx

To All The School Children Who Have Gone On Strike For Climate Change Action

https://www.facebook.com/StrikeClimate

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Thank you for striking.

Thank you for lifting up your voices.

Thank you for fighting for what you believe in. Thank you for fighting for our future.

Don’t give up. Keep going. Know that you CAN make a difference and you will.

Much love, Nicole – and so many other adults who are taking heart, courage and direction from your efforts and who support you in what you are doing! ❤

Journal Prompts To Help You Get Unstuck


“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
~ Corrie Ten Boom

Good Morning, Lovelies!

If you read my post yesterday you’ll know that this week supports us in efforts to get unstuck in our lives. I’m sure most of you already know I have a love affair with journal writing. In fact, I can’t even begin to wonder how many millions of words I’ve clocked up longhand over the years. Using writing time to help me move past a place of stuckness is a useful process that I’ve resorted to often in my journalling life. The technique was created by me deciding to define a problem in order to better manage it or determine a realistic scale on which to freak out….

In all my years of journalling around stuckness, I’ve never ended up at the freaking out stage – instead, I’ve always found a way to keep calm, to carry on, and to dig myself out of the hole. I guess that’s why I keep using this technique. Read on to find out more.

Activity:

Take out your journal and get comfortable.

You may be able to do this whole process in thirty minutes or less. Or it may take much longer.

If you’re stuck, it doesn’t matter. When you’re stuck there is no momentum.

When you begin to journal your stuckness it’s amazing how you begin to wiggle free from feeling trapped.

Defining the nature of your stuckness, and what it might mean for you

  • What is the nature of the stuckness? Is it an action you need to take, a problem you need to solve or a decision that needs to be made? (Sometimes a stuckness may involve two or even all three of these elements – if that’s the case, write about each of these aspects, in the order you think they would need to be taken.) Write as much as you need to to really define this situation. If you don’t have all the answers create a list of things you need to research or investigate.
  • Okay – here’s the scary bit. You need to ask yourself ‘What is the worst thing that can happen here?” Seriously. Go into as much detail as you can.  Write until you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities.  Really go to town and dump all your fears and worries onto the page. Once we’ve named them, we can much better deal with them. And it stops our minds racing off creating worst-case scenarios later on when we’d be better employed working towards solutions!

How do you feel about that?

  • Journals are places to download our feelings. Who can thing clearly with a head full of guff? Write down all those swirling emotions inside you that come up in relation to this place of stuckness. It clears the air.  It calms things down.  It calms YOU down. It can be a great relief to finally acknowledge how you truly feel about the thing you’re stuck with/on/in. Sometimes, we begin to find solutions right here in our feelings.  Maybe we’re scared to succeed. Maybe we’re frightened of responsibility.  Maybe we feel we have to do the thing to please someone else. Maybe we said yes when we wanted to say no. Whatever it is, journalling our feelings is the beginning of unravelling this mess!

Okay – the hard part’s done.  Once we’ve identified the issue and how we feel about it, we have begun to move from stuckness to clarity. Use any or all of these questions and prompts to keep moving you forward:

  • From what you’ve written have you already reached a decision, conclusion or clarity that can get you out of stuckness? If so, write down your findings, and then chart a plan of action. Plans are great. They give us something solid to work from. If you like creating lists, then go for it!

If you’re still not sure what to do next, explore these options on the page. Use the prompts to help you develop lists and strategies:

  • Is there an expert, resource, course or friend who could help us by giving us the guidance, support and techniques/skills we need to get unstuck? (For example, if you’re writing a book and having problems with the plot you could do a workshop, read a how-to book, or join a writing group.)
  • Can we hand the whole thing over to someone else to do or finish? ( Say you’ve been procrastinating over seven years of unfinished taxes – can you give everything to a book-keeper, or phone an accountant and ask their advice about what to do next? Can you pay your Mum or your best friend who loves paperwork, or the person from the advertisement in the paper?)
  • Can we start at a different corner of the mess?  Often we keep approaching an issue in the same way, and from the same angle. Obviously when we don’t get anywhere we end up stuck. Is there another way you could approach this? Brainstorm as many alternatives as you can, writing them all down. When you’ve generated your list then you can choose a new approach and get started. (For example, you need to get your house ready for sale, and it’s overwhelming you. Instead of starting on a big job, tidy out your kitchen drawers, go through the linen cupboard, build momentum on the easy things or the small things.  Soon you’ll be powering through the problem areas. If you’re writing a book set in medieval England and you love the idea but it’s just not working can you make it sci-fi, or fantasy fiction?)
  • Instead of choosing Option A or Option B can we choose Option F, Q or Z? How many times has it come down to what we think is an extremely limited choice? We paint ourselves into a corner thinking we need to choose between A and B when actually we could have chosen both, none, or something else. Brainstorm some crazy alternatives to your current stuckness. Somewhere in that list will be the seeds of what will grow into your solution. (For example, you are living in a share house and you don’t like one of the new housemates. You obsess about how to get them to leave. You agonise about how you will cope if they stay. Well, could YOU move out? Could you go house-sitting, get a job or go back to study that supplies accommodation, use this as the push to move interstate or overseas, move in with friends or your folks for a while so you can save money to get a place of your own? Could you sell up and go back-packing around Europe for a year, or buy a campervan and hit the road?)
  • And the craziest part of all of this – could you choose to give up on the stuckness, bin the whole thing and move onto something else? Could you finally let this idea/ situation/issue die a good death so that you can start over on something new? (Maybe it’s time to put that half-finished manuscript in a bottom drawer and write something new. Or end the relationship and enjoying being single for a while. Go back to study and change your career direction rather than stay stuck in a dead-end job.)

When we write out our problems, our brain is encouraged to find a solution.  We let the Universe know that we are done with being stuck and that our intention is to get moving again. And more than once, when I’ve begun this process, a solution has come out of nowhere. That’s the Law of Attraction in action!  Think positive. Trust in good outcomes!

Lots of love, Nicole ♥ xx

Tune In To Your Body This Month!

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” 
~ Deepak Chopra

Hello, Lovelies!

Have you felt a shift this month, especially in regard to your health and wellbeing?

The students who attended my recent Connect to Your Calling Retreat certainly have. And so have I. Before Retreat I asked them to give up coffee, alcohol, sugar and red meat for the week before our time together and then during the event itself. Now they are home and most of them have found that the taste for coffee and several other things just hasn’t returned.

But it’s not just them. The energies around us now really support you reconnecting with your body’s own wisdom. If you tune in to your body it will clearly show you what it wants more of, and what it wants less of.

Pay attention. Has your regular morning latte been tasting less yummy? Have you been craving fruit or vegetables? Do you have a sudden urge for early nights or yoga or a walk around the block? Maybe you don’t feel like eating breakfast, or you are suddenly starving at breakfast but aren’t hungry at dinner. Honour that!

Where are your preferences changing?

Where are your rhythms changing?

Your body knows what it wants and if you listen to those gentle urges and signs it will reward you with more balance, energy, health and flow.

I’m really curious to hear if you have noticed a shift around your awareness in regard to diet, exercise, sleep or other factors that impact your wellbeing. Let me know in the comments below.

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

Summer Flash Sale! 2 Days only

” Everything I want is ALWAYS on special.” ~ Nicole Cody

It’s the official end of Summer here in Australia today, and I’m having a Flash Sale to celebrate the change in seasons as we welcome the coming cooler months of Autumn (or for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere as you welcome the warming months of Spring). It’s pretty exciting for me and the team because it’s our first ever online Sale and we’re so excited to share this goodness with you for the next 48 hours. After that our prices will return to normal and these discounts will be gone for good.

Read on to find out about the Sale items!

For the next 48 hours my YOM Planner is on sale, and I’ve thrown in our 2019 Mandala Colouring Book and Bonus Online Course as well as a month’s free membership to YOM, in time for you to be on our March webinar! Sale price for this bundle is just $35AUD plus postage.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a Planning Person you’ll want this bundle. There is so much spiritual support, soul instruction and self growth in this pack. Click the link below to access the Planner Bundle

YOM 2019 Planner Bundle

I love this online course and right now it’s for sale for just $27 AUD. After the sale, it goes back up to $77AUD. This is much more than a little craft course. The Visionary Talisman Course will help to deeply connect you to a Guiding Card for the year ahead, and teach you some foundation shamanic journeying skills to help further your own spiritual and psychic development. This is as much a course about intentional manifesting as it is about personal and spiritual development. Guiding Cards aren’t just for the new year – they can also be chosen to give you direction at peak times in your life. They help you to see who you are now, and who you can grow to become. They connect you to qualities, emotion, beliefs and actions that can support, empower and positively transform you. They act as a conduit for your intention, and work to manifest positive energies for you. You could choose one for your Birthday and the year ahead, for your career or relationships, for a special project, or to give you guidance and direction during a dark or difficult period of your life, and then create your Visionary Talisman for support with that. Click the link below to find out more or to purchase:

Craft A Visionary Talisman – Online Course

This 12 month membership and access to our growing Academy of Learning is just $365AUD for the next 2 days only!

The next four years 2019 – 2022 are significant for your personal and spiritual evolution, as well as for the evolution of our planet. I thought long and hard about the best way to support your growth over that time and have decided that beefing up the content in my membership area was the best way to help you grow, adapt and step more fully into your authenticity and the life-path you chose for yourself pre-birth. You’ll see this membership group evolve into an Academy of Learning over the next twelve months so that my team and I (human and energetic) can serve you the best way I know how.

I am passionate about supporting my students and community. As a YOMMER you’ll also receive a range of discounts on my various other offerings – in fact, if you attend one of my retreats and a couple of events or other courses your YOM membership will be paid for by the discounts you’ll receive. This is a substantial discount, but only for 48 hours. To join click on the link below:

YOM 2019 – Annual Membership

Thanks for being part of our community! If you haven’t joined us inside YOM or started working on your spiritual journey and developing your intuition and self-sovereignty with one of our Planners there is no better time than now. These prices will only be up for 48 hours as our way of saying thank you and come join us!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

Embrace Your Inner Activist

Photo: Cindy Trinh, Activists of New York, activistnyc.tumblr.com


“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel

I have a challenge for you, dear readers – I want you to embrace your Inner Activist.

If you seek a more spiritual life, or a more balanced or mindful one then it is not enough just to practice self-care, meditate, eat healthy, do yoga or pray and think that’s all you need to do. As someone who is moving to a more conscious way of being it is also important to use your voice and your actions in order to create to a better world.

Follow your passions, contribute your energy, act!

What do you care about? Bigger things like global warming, plastic use reduction, clean energy, racism, gun control, equality for all, safe food, clean water and air, social justice, access to education, health care, families, elder care, human rights, animal rights, saving wild spaces and species? Smaller things like protecting an old tree from property developers, saving your local library, recording oral histories from elderly community members, teaching migrants to read and write, stopping a local beach from eroding, cleaning up your local waterways, petitioning for public toilets to be installed at the park near you, getting disabled or pram-friendly access for public transport, making drinking fountains available in the inner city. People like you have changed the world, because they cared and because they dared to become involved.

There is no time to stand by and wait for someone else to fix things. We need to stand up for the things that we value and speak out against the injustices, inequalities and issues that go against our values.

Your voice matters. Contributing to the conversations and actions that can change the world matters. Please don’t think that someone else will fix things. Don’t count on governments, politicians, big business and global organisations. Real change always comes from grass-roots movements, from many people adding their individual energy to create momentum and progress and measurable outcomes.

Many of us were brought up to believe that it is rude to speak up, to make waves, to make others uncomfortable or to rock the boat. We’ve been taught that it’s better not to get involved, not to make ourselves a target, not to ruffle feathers. And that’s how injustice and inequalities flourish. Indifference and lack of action are actually a silent condoning of the things you fail to speak up about or act upon. Of course, I advocate personal safety always! But if it’s safe to speak up then do so.

Define what activism means for you. For some people it is speaking out, literally. Joining rallies and protests or blockades or affirmative action groups. For some people it’s writing letters or sharing blog posts or social media. For some people it’s becoming involved with a local group whose values match your own and adding your energy to their existing work. For some people it’s starting their own local group or action. Or maybe you’ll be a solo activist – picking up trash and putting it in the bin, planting trees, reusing and recycling, finding meaningful ways to put your beliefs into action. Every dollar you spend has a voice too, in the energy company you choose or the food you buy. Let your dollars be more aligned with your values.

Can’t find the courage yet to use your voice? That’s okay. Support a person or group whose voice you believe in. Follow them on social media. Give financial or other support if you can. There are already so many good people in the world doing great work. The more you look and realise that’s true the more hopeful you’ll become.

Being an activist is simply being a good citizen of the world – one who cares about the community around us and the planet that sustains us. We are the change that the world needs. It’s us! No-one else is coming to save us or our planet. The power is already in you. I urge you to use it, just as Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old Swedish climate change activist is doing:


Biggest hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

How to Find The Silver Lining To The Storm Clouds In Your Life


“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. “ ~ Buddha

This week’s energies support leaning in to our emotions. Writing is a powerful tool for self-discovery, healing and expansion.  In fact, it’s one of my favourite things to do. Today I’m sharing some journal starters for exploring things I have considered to be negative in my life, in order that I might mine that situation or relationship to find the positives and gifts within it.  I’ve found this activity to be a great comfort over the years, and it has enabled me at times to radically shift my perspective to one which is much more positive.

Let’s be clear about this before we start. I am not saying that every terrible situation in your life, and every awful thing that has happened is a gift, or is a blessing. That kind of reductionist New Age thinking is the kind of thing I call b*llshit on regularly. No, I am saying that one of the best coping strategies for these kinds of situations is to find something positive in the struggle and suffering we have endured. Ways that we have grown, or changed or evolved. The kindness of strangers. Some other unexpected small gift.

The one thing that is non-negotiable in this exercise is that you MUST look for a positive – that silver lining on the thundercloud in your life.

One of the things that still stands out for me is the day I heard that a dear friend of Ben’s and mine had been badly injured in a parachuting accident (from which he later died). It marked the beginning of a series of terrible and unforeseen events in our life.  But it also gave me an insight that left me better able to cope with what lay ahead.

What happened on that day remains one of my most precious memories.  Ben and I were in shock, but I had organised for my grandmothers to come for lunch, and I needed to pick one of them up from across town. Life still went on, and the lunch had been planned and looked forward to for months. It was the middle of an Australian summer,  a heatwave no less, and the weekend before Christmas.  I pulled into the madness of a suburban shopping centre to buy cream before I collected Nana.

As I stepped out of the car I was almost bowled over by two things, the heat and my grief. The world slowed right down.  I remember thinking that John must be dying. I stood beside my car as if I was suspended in time. Around me shoppers rushed on in the Christmas chaos, ignorant of the fact that this dear man was taking his last breaths. How could the world keep turning, I wondered.  Why didn’t it look any different?

I felt suddenly connected to an unseen group of people around Brisbane, around the world, who were similarly out of the flow of time, locked into grief or despair or helplessness or loss.  I became acutely aware of the heat, the smell of the melting tar beneath my feet and the gum-leaves on the nearby trees.  Green parrots squawked and fought above my head, and tiny clusters of blossom fell at my feet, like some strange sort of summer snow.  I was struck by the intense beauty of the moment, and of how everyone around me was oblivious to it.  I heard my own heart beating in my chest, was aware of every breath, and felt as if I was seeing the world with new eyes. I became overwhelmed with a sense of how precious and fragile and miraculous our existence is, and my despair was replaced with an avalanche of gratitude.

The intensity and gratitude of that moment has never left me.  It became the silver lining to an awful time on my life.

Here are my journal starters.  Use one, any or all of them to get you into writing flow, and to help you focus on the silver lining rather than the cloud.

On relationships that failed:

  • One good thing about (insert person’s name) that I am still grateful for is…
  • If I hadn’t met (insert person’s name) I never would have…
  • One positive thing I learned about myself from that relationship is…
  • One thing I won’t ever do again is…
  • The best thing about this relationship ending is that…

On death, loss and sorrow:

  • One of the happiest memories of (insert person’s name) that I cherish is…
  • (Insert person’s name) taught me…
  • Because of (insert person’s name) I have learned…
  • One thing I will always carry with me in my heart is…
  • We always laughed about…
  • One crazy thing that always reminds me of (insert person’s name) is…
  • One way I can honour their memory is to…
  • One way I can make the most of my own life is…

On making mistakes:

  • The thing I learned from all of this is…
  • If I hadn’t stuffed up I never would have been able to…
  • The one thing this has clarified for me is…
  • One person who’s been really great in all of this is…
  • The thing I’ll do differently next time is…
  • At least I’ve realised…

On diminishment (you being somehow made smaller or less able)  and disappointment:

  • I may not be able to (insert the diminishment) but I can still…
  • I still have the power to…
  • For now I can focus my energies on…
  • This gives me more time to…
  • For now this door is closed to me.  Other doors that are open include…
  • If I’m being made to stop, or slow down, at least I can use this change of pace to…

On people who’ve treated you badly:

  • Because of you, I’ve decided to never…
  • You’ve made me realise that I am better than that because…
  • You’ve shown me how NOT to be in the world.  I’ve learned that…
  • Because you couldn’t give me (love, respect, attention, guidance, honesty, kindness – insert whatever was missing in your relationship) I’ve discovered and grown this great strength in me.  I learned to be the thing you could not do for me.  I have become…
  • The good thing to come out of all of this is…
  • I deserve more because…
  • I believe that the right way to treat people is to…

Summaries:

  • From the hard times in my life I’ve learned that…
  • My greatest personal strengths are…
  • I’m proud of myself that…
  • I’m amazed that I have been able to…
  • One of the best things to come from all of this is…
  • The way I can now help others is…

I hope you can find some comfort too, in these simple activities that can help you reframe suffering on your terms. Holding you, as ever, in my prayers and meditations,

Nicole ❤ xx

Feeling Wiped Out?


“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.” 
~ Deng Ming-Dao

Hello, Lovelies!

I just wanted to send a little reassurance your way this morning. You see, my inbox is overflowing with panicked messages from people who are suddenly exhausted, smashed, so stupidly tired that they can hardly function. For no apparent reason…

Have you checked out that big moon above us?

It’s super close right now (cos, Supermoon!) and we’ve also just had a very big lunar eclipse.

Add to that some extreme weather and the fact that most of my readers are sensitives, empaths, intuitives and psychics. It’s your nature to be affected by the energies around you, and the energies around you right now are HUGE. Also, you’re composed largely of water, which is the very thing over which the moon exerts her powers.

So it’s only natural that you’re suddenly tired.

It’s okay. It will pass. Right now rest and stay well hydrated. Use this quiet time for sleep, journalling, meditation and soulful connection. Expect insights and answers. Expect clarity and direction.

Embrace your sensitivity. See it as a strength rather than a weakness. Explore this energetic connection and the feelings it brings up for you.

Moon Goddess by Josephine Wall

Guided Meditation Bundle

Need some support to work with the current Lunar Eclipse energies? I have a free meditation and some rituals here.

I’ve also bundled together four powerful guided downloadable meditations and created a companion workbook to support you as you work with these celestial energies. The Stardust Connection Meditation Bundle will help you to connect with and explore Earth Energies, Ancestor Energies, your Solar Plexus energies and personal power, and the Stardust Energies. There is over an hour’s worth of Guided Meditations and a 38-page workbook. The workbook holds specific instructions for using the four guided meditations, as well as journalling activities and reflection/awareness exercises.

The material in the Stardust Connection Meditation Bundle can be used at any time over the next four years, and beyond. My intention with this bundle is to help you become confident in your direction, your intuition, and your contribution to the unfolding history of the world and humanity. To access the bundle or to learn more about it go to my store or click on this link.

Go gently this week, simplify where you can, and remember to take some time for yourself and what matters to you.

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xoxo

The Owl and the Moon by Christy Patino

Opening To The Shifting Energies


“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” 
― Black Elk

The energy of 2019 has come quietly in, unannounced, in these last days of 2018.

It began its transition yesterday and today it is anchored here, waiting for us to acknowledge the shift.

But I’m sure you already feel it in your bodies.

Empaths, intuitives, sensitives and people who are more deeply connected to the moment will have noticed.

Maybe yesterday you felt alive and hopeful for the first time in a long while. Or perhaps you felt bone-weary.

Did you suddenly notice the extra weight you are carrying, or the reduced flexibility or mobility of your body? Did you notice the dryness of your skin, your belly’s bloated protest at the food you were eating, or have an urgent craving for something more healthy? Did you want to dance or run or swim or hike? Or sleep? Did you crave company? Or solitude?

Did it feel like you had woken up in a stranger’s body, only to find it was your own?

The energies of 2019 are grounded, practical and more than a little magical. And they bring with them a reorientation of ourselves – back into our bodies and back into connection with the Earth.

That’s a very good thing indeed.

So, tune in today. What’s your body telling you? Listen to it, and then act on it. Let it be the start of a beautiful time of healing, reconnection and empowerment for you as the year unfolds.

Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

Navigating Christmas Without A Loved One


“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” 
Anne Lamott

Christmas is not always an easy time. There are many of us for whom Christmas brings stark reminders of families broken, loved ones lost, and empty chairs at our tables.

If you are navigating Christmas this year while also grieving loss or going through great struggle I want to reach out to you. In the midst of the barrage of happy Christmas movies, fairytale endings and Hallmark Moments I want you to know that I am sorry for your pain, and the hardship this time of year can bring. Please also know you’re not alone. There are many of us whose hearts hurt at Christmas, even as we celebrate, because of loss. If your grief is raw and new it’s also okay to put things on hold, to do things differently, or to let the anniversary days like Christmas slide by unacknowledged until you are ready to face them again.

I’d like to share something I do at Christmas that may be useful for you too. I have found it helpful and healing to make a private little Christmas Altar each year. This way I remember the dead, the absent, the lost. An altar is simply a small dedicated spiritual space that is meaningful to you in some way.

On my altar I place fresh flowers, a candle and some favourite crystals. Things that bring me comfort, and a sense of sacred. Then I place photos or objects that represent a loved one who will not be at my table. That way I can still have them near me, and I can flow love to them and have them be part of my life over the festive season.

The beautiful big owl in the photo above was given to me one Christmas by my friend Angela. She passed away a few years ago. It will be central to my display.

I’ll place a tiny wooden boat for my brother, and a ceramic pelican for my dad. A sparkly stone for my sister and roses for my mum and all of the women in her family who have shaped and grown and loved me. My family all live far from me. But now they are here on my altar even if they cannot be here in person.

I’ll add a photo of Ben’s parents from when they were young, and pictures of my grandparents too. I have cupcake-shaped candles for my darling Kate, who passed away too soon in 2010 ( I went back to her facebook page last night and was lost in there for an hour reading her old posts and laughing at what a dag she was and crying cos sometimes I still miss her more than breathing), and Julie who passed away in 2014. My Grandparents, all now passed, are here in photographs too and I will place a glass of sherry, Christmas Cake and some gingernut biscuits out because these are all the things they would have loved to eat, and later I will eat some and think of them. On Christmas Day I will play The Twelve Days of Christmas by the Ray Conniff Singers, because my Pa used to play that for us every year, and shed a few happy-sad tears.

It’s not the same as having them at my table, but it’s the next best thing. People coming to my house will think that I have simply gathered flowers and candles and photographs and a few ornaments together, but for me it is something healing and emotionally significant that helps me to feel the reassuring weight of my loved ones around me.

Perhaps making your own Christmas Altar will help you this Christmas too.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx