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

 

My Latest Obscenities…

“Whenever you speak the truth, someone will be offended.” 
Laurence Overmire

Yesterday I posted about having the flu (no fun!) and with that post I included pictures of myself showing me as I am right now – sick with the flu!

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages of love, care and support. I’m so grateful for the wave of positive energy and blessings you sent my way. Right now I’m being very well cared for, including by Nurse Rufous who has taken the reigns from Nurse Bert.

Inevitably though I had a few comments yesterday suggesting that these pictures were a bad idea. I also had a message from an entrepreneurial friend who suggested that the pics might ‘harm my brand’. Apparently the photos are less than flattering, and in the one where I am asleep I not only look sick but ‘old and wrinkled with bad hair.’

Yep, it’s true.

People, I recently turned fifty. I have chronic late-stage lyme. I also have the flu. I’ve been REALLY ill. I look trashed because I am. And I’m not going to apologise for that. Old and wrinkly with bad hair? I own it. Luckily it’s only a picture because I probably smelled bad too! Looking stylish and well-groomed when I’m acutely sick doesn’t even rate on my priority list. (Please note that this is different to being chronically sick, where you feel exhausted, in pain or suffer ongoing problems on a daily basis and in that space making an effort with your appearance can actually help you feel better about yourself. Also, many of us suffer invisible illnesses – meaning that you CAN’T SEE the problem – so you might wrongly attribute someone looking good with being well, which is often an incorrect assumption.)

I also received a message from a young entrepreneur who is just starting out in business. She reached out to me (think SPAM) from a forum for entrepreneurs where I happen to be a member.

Her message? To be prepared for a ‘stunningly sexy summer’ she has a great invitation-only program to maximise our thigh gap. To be selected we had to send a photo of our existing thigh gap (image could be up to two years old as long as it was indicative of our current thigh gap situation) so she could determine what level of program we’d need to be on. There was nothing to be ashamed of, her message assured me. I needed to be brave and send in that photo! Then all we had to do was pay our money, follow her thigh gap program and self-worth would be ours. Also, men dig thigh gaps.

I was feeling a little pernickety yesterday at being told how much my life would change if only I could be disciplined enough to have a decent thigh gap (yes, thigh gap is a thing!). I honestly have more important things to think about, like my health, living by my values, looking after the planet, being kind, writing, supporting my community, living each day as well as I can. Still, I dutifully sent in the only photo I could find of my thigh gap. (Did I mention pernickety?)

Within twenty minutes my inbox exploded. Message after message rolled in. This young entrepreneur was outraged. I was horribly offensive. Sick even. What did I think I was doing, sending her such a disgraceful photo? I disgusted her.

‘Also, is that a WEE thing????? That is SO inappropriate. SOOOOO OFFENSIVE. WTF Nicole?????’, she shouted at me in big stabby caps. ‘WTF???? YOU’RE DESPICABLE AND OBSCENE!!!’

Wee thing? You bet! Here’s my thigh gap after my second emergency surgery to repair a tear in my bladder post-hysterectomy back in September 2016. That tube is my catheter. The yellow stuff is indeed wee (or urine if we are being specific).

The wee’s a good colour. You might also note that there is a healthy amount of thigh gap going on there. So I’m pretty happy with this photo.

Even though it’s offensive.

So, to anyone I have offended with my oldness, my bad hair, my wrinkles and unflattering selfies, my posts about health issues or with my highly offensive thigh gap with catheter…

I’m not sorry!

This is my life, and I’m grateful for it. I won’t hide the ugly and hard bits from you ever. Why should I be ashamed of being human? Why should I feel or be treated as ‘less than’ if I am not young and svelte and in perfect health with an extreme sports yoga-body, perfect hair and total hipsterness?

There’s an unsubscribe button here on my blog, and you can always unfollow or unfriend me if you’re finding this through social media. Because from here on in I am sure there will be more bad hair days and wrinkles and who knows what else, and I’ll blog about it all.

Much love, Nicole xx

 

How to do a walking meditation

“When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Do you have trouble trying to meditate? There is a powerful meditation practice you could try that involves movement. It’s one of my favourites – walking meditation.

Go outdoors. Stand still and have an awareness of your body.  If you like, clasp your hands in front of or behind your body. Lift your right foot, noticing the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground.  As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.  Feel the movement as your foot leaves the ground and as it reconnects with the earth.  Think ‘left’.  As you become more advanced you may wish to choose other words such as ‘peace’ and ‘love’ or ‘wellness’ and ‘abundance’.

Walk slowly and mindfully for ten minutes, being aware of each deliberate step, and of the world around you. Be aware of the ground beneath your feet. Be aware of the changes in your body’s balance and of how you feel.  To finish the meditation stop, stand still and take a minute or two in that place, gently breathing and being aware of your body in stillness.

Moving meditation will also help you to be calmer and more attentive in seated meditation.  Enjoy!

 

Here’s a great example of a walking meditation:

Three In a Row!

“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” 
W.C. Fields

This morning I’m celebrating a minor miracle at my house.

For the past three nights I have gone to bed, fallen asleep and then woken in the morning.

It’s been years (at least fifteen!) since I’ve had an uninterrupted night’s sleep, and I can’t think of the last time I had three in a row.

Usually I’ve found it hard to fall asleep because of pain. Or pain has woken me up. Or a bladder infection. Or both.

At my worst I was waking up hourly because of my bladder. And a good night meant that I’d get up maybe three times to pee.

The longest time I’d go between waking for any reason was maybe three hours.

And then this miracle happened.

Three nights where I have gone to bed, fallen asleep, slept all night, woke up in the morning.

I am finding it hard to explain how incredible this feels. How marvellous. How miraculous.

I went to bed and slept. Then I woke up and it was morning.

Actually, I’m crying now, writing this.

It’s amazing. Wow.

Dear Lymies and friends with seemingly intractable health problems, don’t ever give up. If it changes for me it can change for you too.

Biggest hugs, Nicole  xx

Maybe It’s Time To Be More Fully You…

“Don’t compromise yourself – you’re all you have.” 
~  John Grisham

 

Be yourself. Be authentic.

It’s what everyone tells you.

In fact it’s totally hip to be authentic.

But how far should you go?

I’m creating a new website right now. My old one is awful – a static site I can’t change after my previous developers decided it wasn’t cool to have my ‘weird psychic self’ site come up first in searches for their company name at a time when they were heavily investing in representing large government departments and corporations. They gave me 24 hours to find a new host and booted me off so that they’d no longer be associated with me, because how embarrassing for them!

And this blog was never meant to be my main gig.

I’ve put off this whole new website thing anyway. It seemed a bit pointless to spend the money if I was going to croak it, which is a place I’ve danced around for years. My business is successful despite my awful website and total lack of branding.

But as my business is growing I need a website with functionality. Regardless of my varying health status, I’d rather have a new website. So last year I began this journey of ‘rebranding’. It’s a funny thing, building a website around yourself. You need to be able to say who you are, and to put that clearly out into the world.

I spoke to some trusted business colleagues and mentors first. People who are experts in the whole personal branding thing. People I know and care about.

Well, they all asked me, what is it that you do? You’ve got to be authentic and put that out there so others can find you.

Great, I said. I’m a psychic who…

No! You can’t say that, they all interrupted me.

Every single one of them advised me not to call myself a psychic. Psychics are strange and fluffy and lack credibility and are often just bogus. Also, I’ll alienate the whole Christian market, which is big, apparently. Especially in America. In fact some of my marketing friends told me that being a psychic is maybe not Christian and might also be that other thing. The Satan thing. Being a psychic is not cool. If anything it’s an affliction. Maybe I could call myself something else instead? Intuitive’s cool. Why not be intuitive?

Also, they advised me, just pick one thing. Don’t water down your message.

Okay. Great. Which one thing should I pick? I’ve got a rich and complex life happening here.

I’ve never been one of the ‘hip’ crowd. All the stuff I love is either so old or so out there that I am invisible, way at the front end of trends or following far behind. I trusted these people. So I spent all of last year trying to simplify myself and find less offensive words to describe myself.

Image from Australian Museum

Meanwhile I was also working on my memoir, which is now in its final draft stages. And of course my memoir is all about a period in my life where I am going through this profound psychic awakening and needing to come to terms with that. You know some of that story already – from the time where I lived in the Kimberley and was helped by my Aboriginal Aunties.

I recently gave my draft to a few people to read. My well-meaning writing friends and business colleagues told me to tone it down. But all my tribe, the ones who get me, told me to ramp it up. To include more of me and my weirdness, not less.

The more I work on polishing up my memoir the more I see that my tribe are right. Thanks to all of you I’ve decided that I just can’t do it. I can’t pretend to be a watered-down version of myself just to make other people feel more comfortable. If I can’t be myself, how can I ever ask that of you?

I guess it’s because we all worry about being judged, rejected or ridiculed if we show our true selves – warts and all.

Here on my blog I am always myself. I don’t hide anything. I have shared it all – the psychic stuff, the health stuff, the ins and outs of my life. And you guys have come and stayed. Thank you.

I promise you I’ll keep being myself. I’ll just do it bigger, and with a website that can support me to support you better in your own journeys.

I’m not just intuitive. I’m psychic. And I won’t be ashamed of that or hide that anymore. It’s my truth.

What’s your truth? What are you hiding or diminishing within you for fear of being judged?

I promise you that the people who will ‘get’ you, and who are the ones worth hanging out with, will be eager for you to just be yourself. If you have to change yourself or hide yourself you’re running with the wrong crowd.

The world desperately needs more authenticity. Not the hip kind. The unhip kind. The kind that allows us to be ourselves despite that self not looking like what marketers, magazines or social media tells us we need to be.

Will you join me in just being yourself?

Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m a psychic, channel, metaphysical teacher and mentor, a business coach, a blogger who loves to cook, a late-stage Lyme warrior who often lives in pyjamas and who favours gumboots and slippers for footwear ( although gumboots are better for dancing on the farm), and a writer who can’t stop writing, reading and acquiring more books.

How about you? I’d love to get to know you more. Feel free to drop me a comment below, or come visit me on facebook. Be yourself, and know I’ll love you for it!

Biggest hugs, Nicole  xx

Managing your vibration – simple techniques for increasing intuition and awareness

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” 
~ Nikola Tesla

Our thoughts and emotions have a strong impact on our vibrationary level. Know what I mean by that?  Try this. Think of a time when someone or something really upset you.  Go back to that time and relive it in your mind.  Feel your body become tense and your heart rate increase.  Feel the anger or sadness or whatever other predominant emotion you may recall begin to flood your consciousness.

By invoking these thoughts and emotions you have consciously lowered your rate of vibration.  Negative self-talk will have the same effect.  Telling yourself that you are dumb, fat or not good enough rockets you into a lower vibration.  So does listening to people who talk down to you or show you a lack of love and respect.  Environments can have the same effect.  Is there anywhere or anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable?  Pay attention to how this affects your life, your thoughts and your actions.

Close your eyes and think of a time when you have felt positive, successful, happy or victorious.  Feel the love of someone close, or of an adored pet.  Imagine a beautiful place or natural environment.  Notice how you begin to feel expansive, calm, happy, joyful and powerful.  This is you moving to a higher vibration.

You have done all of this just with the power of your mind!

Now that you understand how this works, you can begin to consciously work with this power to lift your vibration and help you feel good about yourself.  As our vibration raises we become more spiritually and psychically aware, and can more easily access our intuition and psychic gifts. It also enhances our body’s ability to heal.

Vibrationary triggers

Make a note in your journal of things you can use to help raise your conscious vibration.  Experiment with clothes, colours and food – see how these affect your mood and self-image.  What makes you smile?  Fresh flowers, a happy baby, a hug, a note from a friend, or maybe your favourite music?  Place things in your environment that are positive emotional triggers, and that hold happy memories or thoughts.  Practice telling yourself how much you love YOU (this can be a hard one – but keep trying!) and remind yourself of your good qualities and talents, no matter how small.  Remove items that have negative associations.  Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious or upset or angry STOP!  Breathe….  Centre yourself (see info below).  Remind yourself of the blessings in your life.  Tell yourself that you are powerful and that you choose how you live in this moment.  Breathe in LOVE and breathe out negativity.  It works!

Centering

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for at least ten minutes.  Sit or lie quietly and focus on your breathing.  Take slow, deep breaths.  Gradually you will feel yourself calming and becoming more relaxed.  You will have an awareness of your body and mind.  This is a meditation technique called ‘centering’.  Centering is all about bringing our conscious awareness back to a place of calm.  Feel your energy within your body.  You may want to visualise it as a white or golden ball of Light within your abdomen or around your heart.

Notice any tensions and consciously let go of them, encouraging deeper and deeper relaxation.  Know that any time, and at any place, you can bring your energy back to a place of centeredness just by taking a few conscious deep slow breaths and imagining that ball of Light within you.  When you are centred you call back all of your scattered energy, and it helps you to remain calm and to be in your Power.  Being centred encourages good decisions and fosters intuition and integrity.

We can’t control the world around us, but we can make conscious choices about what we choose to focus on, and what thoughts we fill our minds with.  It is worth the effort to manage our vibration – feeling good always leads to improvements and new opportunities in the world around us.

Sending you all good thoughts and intentions for you to move to a place of better flow and awareness. Nicole  xx

10 Ways To Be Kind to Yourself

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.  ~ Brian Andreas

Mostly when we think of kindness, we think of how we can act towards others. But today I want to focus on another equally important type of kindness – that which we extend to ourselves.

Too often we forget ourselves in the hurry and bustle of the year, and many sensitive souls get so busy looking after others that they forget to look after themselves at all.

Why not let 2018 be your year of aware self-care?

Here are ten simple acts of kindness you can give as gifts to yourself:

1.  Eat well – a simple, nourishing home-cooked meal eaten slowly and with appreciation – to replenish your body and comfort your soul. If there’s no time for cooking, have some healthy take-out options already thought through so that you don’t succumb to junk. (Pictured below is my Easy Kale and Orange Salad with Miso Dressing)

2.  Say no when you’re too tired.  No-one can run on adrenalin forever.  Honour your feelings and your own needs. Listen to your heart. Let yourself rest.  Replenish those batteries.  * Good advice here:  Are you too nice? 

3. Indulge in some self-maintenance.  Get your hair cut, have a massage, update your wardrobe or make that appointment with the doctor or dentist. For more info try 8 Ingredients for Better Health

4. Move your body! We were designed to move, and exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit. Choose an activity or sport that you enjoy, or simply go for a walk.

5.  Read a book.  Self-help, romance, educational, escapism, fantasy or non-fiction.  Reading is a wonderful way to take some time for yourself, to relax or to give yourself a mental stretching session.

6.  Make time for the things that you enjoy.  Indulge your hobbies, and connect with like-minded people who share your interests.

7.  Spend some real time with people (and creatures) you love!  Friends, family, pets – everyone who loves us and who makes us feel good about ourselves.  Social isolation is an insidious thing – facebook and texting can’t make up for that special energy of meeting up face to face for love, hugs, and laughs.

8.  Spend a little time dreaming…  Dreams aren’t just for kids.  Everybody needs a dream.  Try this great journalling activity: Writing Yourself into a Brighter Future

9.  Hang out in nature.  Spend the day or a week! Feel the sun at your back, the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin. Let nature fill you up and get you grounded again. Read more here: The Healing Power of Nature

10.  Ask for help.  Sometimes we just can’t do it on our own.  And sometimes we just don’t know what to do or where to start. On the days when we’re wrung out and hanging on by our fingernails, there will be someone out there who cares and is in a place where they can extend that guidance and support to you.  Asking for help is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can give ourselves. There’s more on this here: Sometimes your only job is to ask for help

You are worthy, beautiful, and you deserve love and kindness. Most of all, you need it from yourself.  The way we treat ourselves sets the tone in the wider Universe for how we expect to be treated. And our expectations have a way of manifesting…  Choose kindness!

Bless.

Much love, Nicole ♥ xx

I Have A Favour To Ask You

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 
~  Albert Camus

If you read my Welcome to March post you’ll remember that this month is all about relationships and being committed to what matters to us.

Energetically we’ve just gone through a few weeks with solar flares and planetary alignments creating situations where many of us have faced challenges or have needed to face or address problems in our lives.

I know you will have felt it, as all of you here in our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community are intuitive, empathic and sensitive, which is why we get along and understand each other so well.

So my friends, here’s my weekend challenge to you, based on how you’re feeling. Choose the option that suits you best. And yes, you can choose more than one.

  1. Phone a friend or relative to touch base, say hi and check on how they’re doing. This is especially important if they have ongoing issues or if something has happened recently or a while ago in their lives. The world has a short attention span and often only offers support and caring in the first five minutes of an event. Be that voice of kindness at the end of a phone line.
  2. Catch up with some loved ones or friends. Go for a coffee. Ask them around to your place and have them bring a plate to share. Go bowling or to a movie together. Hang out in each others company and catch up on each others news. Yes, this includes your partner and kids! And maybe your pet needs some attention too 🙂
  3. Spend some time on something that matters to you and that will refill your tanks. Alone or in a group – whatever it is that you most need right now.
  4. If you’re the one feeling wrung out or fragile reach out to someone. Phone a family member or friend, join a support group or make an appointment to get some help from a professional. You don’t have to do this alone.
  5. Do something that makes you feel alive. Dancing, travelling, laughing, gardening, surfing. Something new. An old favourite you don’t have enough time for anymore.
  6. Connect up. Use prayer, meditation or your favourite spiritual practices to connect into the comfort and wisdom of your Higher Self, Guides, Angels, God, Nature or whatever is your faith.

We’re all in this crazy life together, and it’s our togetherness that will get us through.
biggest hugs and love, Nicole xoxo

Sorry You Missed Me Yesterday…

 

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” ~ Gever Tulley

I was intending to blog yesterday, and then I couldn’t.

Early on Monday morning I was strapped into a heart monitor and holder for twenty-four hours, and while I was wired I had to stay away from my cell phone, computers and major electrical devices.

I’m okay. Please don’t worry. Over time lyme and other infections have damaged my heart, and after a recent episode of tachycardia and a few miss-beats one of my doctors thought it prudent to investigate a little further. For me that’s pretty much business as usual. There are always background things going on with my health, I just don’t focus on them or talk about them very much.

Two things I am grateful for in this ongoing saga that is my health:

  1. All of the hardship in my life has made me resilient. I know that whatever happens in life I can cope, adapt, manage, and in many cases thrive anyway.
  2. Meditation is my rock, and one of the major factors in me managing my day-to-day circumstances with grace and ease. (Mostly. Some days are still tears and bother!)

I had a lovely time offline. My Spiritual Awakening Retreat starts next Tuesday, so I put together the bags for the participants, undid my latest crystal grid in the back yard and washed the stones and allocated them for my students, assembled the materials for some of the spiritual tools we’ll make for our personal toolkits and baked up a storm in the kitchen – trialling recipes for Easter.

I’ve discovered that as long as you can manage pain (medications and meditation are great for this, or counselling and meditation if your pain is emotional) you can cope with and adapt to just about anything.

No matter what’s going on for you right now, know that you can do this. You can manage, you can cope, you can get through, you can find a way. I believe in you and in your own enduring resilience and spirit.

Sending you wind for your wings, and very big hugs, Nicole❤ xx

The restorative power of deep rest

A primitive type of jellyfish called Cassiopea, which goes to sleep nightly, is seen on the floor of their tank at Caltech in Pasadena, California, U.S. in this image released on September 20, 2017. Courtesy Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

“It’s in the morning, for most of us. It’s that time, those few seconds when we’re coming out of sleep but we’re not really awake yet. For those few seconds we’re something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then…and then — ah — we open our eyes and the day is before us and … we become ourselves.” 
Jerry Spinelli

 

Don’t you just love the image of the sleeping jellyfish? It’s the sort of whimsical possibility my mind constantly entertained when I was a child, although I never imagined that they might sleep upside down!

I was lying on my acupuncturist’s treatment table yesterday as he felt my pulse and tut-tutted in his mad professor way at the energies within my body, the colour and texture of my tongue and his many other diagnostic tools. He knew it. I know it. The past couple of weeks of family illnesses and drama have exhausted me.

Hmmm, he said. Deep rest. That’s what you need. Deep rest, and rice and beans and sprouts. Warm foods. Warm liquids. No stimulants. No spices. Deep rest. Sleep.

I know he’s right. A good deep rest now and I’ll be back to normal. For me, deep rest is not just sleeping. It’s also quiet time. Time pulled back from the needs and demands of others. Time stepped back from work and busy-ness.

The alternative? I’ve been down that path, and I know you have too. In fact, I know some of you are walking it right now. That’s the path of pushing. We’re tired but we keep getting up. We’re exhausted but we fill ourselves with caffeine or sugar or both, and we force ourselves to keep on going. We bribe ourselves, pep-talk ourselves, bully ourselves and trash-talk ourselves to get our bodies upright and responsive. We push, push, push. And then we break.

All the while we think that we are okay to keep going. We’re not. We’re barely in our bodies. We’re drunk on lack of sleep. Our innovation and enthusiasm, our ability to bounce back, to laugh it off, to create with joy – all of that is missing.

It can be found again through deep rest.

That’s what I’m doing right now, and will be for the next few days. I’m doing a disservice to myself and to you if I don’t.

Today I’m asking you if you’re okay. Do you need to rest? Do you need to step back for a moment? We can’t help others sustainably nor keep on creating if we are not looking after ourselves first. The energies of 2018 do not support push in any form. If you’re pushing, it won’t be working. Look for another way. Your best solution is most likely to be taking a break, refreshing yourself, and then starting again.

Gentle hugs and much love, Nicole  xx