Wishing for Good Veins

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

 

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

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

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

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

Nicole ❤ xx

A Week Of Wonders

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

Hello, Lovelies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So this past week has been a glorious victory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

An ordinary night of magic!

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

We’re in the city right now, and last night something quite wonderful happened. Our neighbour joined Ben and I and we walked a few blocks down the road in the mild winter air to our local Japanese restaurant.

After a casual and delicious dinner we strolled home again.

That’s it. That’s all that happened.

No biggy, right?

Except that it was. When you live with chronic illness it’s amazing how small your world can become. For the first time in a long while I went out at night. I walked to a destination and home again. And had the energy to do all of that and still feel good about it.

I hardly ever go out at night, and so to combine dinner, friends and walking feels like some small kind of very tasty miracle.

Hooray for feeling better, and for life!
Hugs and love to you, Nicole  xoxo

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

 

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

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

 

How to Check In with Yourself Each Morning

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.” 
~  Glen Cook

After yesterday’s post where I talked about the importance of self-care and of knowing and honouring your priorities in life this year I had a flood of messages from people asking me how to actually do this. Fair call, so today’s post is designed to help you navigate a little closer to knowing yourself. Just follow the directions below:

  1. When you first wake up, lie quietly in bed with your eyes still closed. Feel into your body with your awareness. Are you ready to open your eyes and spring out of bed with a smile on your face and maximum energy levels? Are you wishing you could roll over and go back to sleep because your energy levels are so low?  Be aware of your energy, and of any aches or pains. Have you woken up with worries on your mind? Be honest with yourself. Score yourself on a level of 1 to 10 with 1 being completely wrecked and 10 being amazingly well and wonderful.
  2. Based on the score you just gave yourself spend a moment and think about the kind of physical and emotional support you’ll need today. Does your body need to eat better and have more hydration? Do you need an easier day? Or are you feeling ready to handle anything? On low-energy days don’t push yourself. On high-energy days look for areas where you can challenge yourself a little more or tackle a bigger project or task. (*Note: If you suffer from chronic illness, chronic fatigue, or other debilitating situations this is a super-critical step in self-awareness to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard – which always results in more setbacks, pain and distress!)
  3. Stretch, and count your blessings. Find at least three small things to be immediately grateful for in your life. Do your best to get yourself into a positive (or more positive than before) headspace.
  4. Think about what really matters to you – it might be your partner or family, your pets, your health, a project you are passionate about, something you want to experience or achieve in the world. These are the things that you’ll think about on your deathbed and wish you’d spent more time on. Muster some gratitude for these things in your life too.
  5. You can do this next bit while you’re still in bed, or over a cuppa at a place that’s  comfortable for you. What worries are in your head? What needs to get done today? Write it all down. Starting the day with a list instead of this all rattling round in your head helps you to stay clear and to better prioritize. 
  6. Take a deep breath and look back over your list. Are the people you love and the things that matter to you represented there? Tune in to your body again. On a scale of 1 to 10 how is your emotional battery? (At a 1 you are at your most fragile and are not coping – at 10 you could take on the world and you feel strong and unbreakable) Now tune in to your physical battery on a scale of 1 to 10 with a score of 1 being completely wrecked and 10 being amazingly well and wonderful. Has your score changed from when you first woke up, now that you’re upright and moving into the day ahead?
  7. Think about your true priorities first. How can you find time for them today, or schedule some in very soon? Include health and self-care in this.
  8. Now think about your worries and to-do list. Based on your assessment of yourself physically and emotionally, what can you really get done today? What are the tasks that will alleviate your stress if you get them done, what are your pressing priorities, what can be delegated and what can be left to roll into tomorrow if necessary? Where might you need help?
  9. Take a couple of calming breaths, and remind yourself that you’ve got this. All you need to do is honour your energy and your priorities. Self-awareness makes everything easier.
  10. Find a few quiet windows during the day, close your eyes and do a quick tune-in to your emotional and physical energy levels again. Use your breath to bring you back to a place of calm. Reconnect to or adjust your priorities and focus for the rest of the day. Practice kindness with yourself as you endeavour to live with more honesty and awareness of your own energy and needs.

Being able to check in with myself and then manage myself better has made a huge positive difference to how I cope in the world, and it has also helped me to put my focus on what really matters to me. I hope this simple technique helps you too.

Biggest love and hugs, Nicole  xx

Demon Banishing And Custard Buns In Hong Kong!

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous

I’m in Hong Kong right now, for the first part of the surprise holiday Ben bought me for my ‘Congratulations on turning fifty and thank you for not dying’ present.

We’re having a fantastic time. Every day is crammed with the wonderful, the unusual and a little of the outright bizarre. I’m in heaven!

Yesterday we met our lovely friend Amanda Cook, who is an expat currently living here in Hong Kong. Amanda is a herbalist, wellness coach and an excellent tour guide! (Find out more about Amanda here)

First we lunched at Dim Dim Sum, a brilliant little hole-in-the-wall dumpling cafe that is renowned for its delicious and innovative food. We drank tea and caught up on all the news in each other’s worlds over many many kinds of Dim Sum, and some of the cutest yummiest custard buns (shaped like little pigs) that I’ve ever eaten.

Then we went for a stroll through streets of fresh food markets. I loved the rich variety and freshness of the food and saw all kinds of things that were new to me.

Finally, under a gloomy overpass we came across some Villain Hitters. Villain Hitters are older women who practice an age-old Cantonese tradition of banishing demons and outcasting bad spirits and other energies that cause harm to you. It can also draw good and helpful energies and people to you as the bad ones are displaced.

Why not? I thought. So I paid my money and wrote the name of the demons I wanted banished on a paper package that the Villain Hitter handed me. She then had me sit opposite her beside her makeshift shrine. She said some prayers and I did too, and then she took small effigies (pieces of paper with human shapes on them)  to represent my demons and hit them vigorously with a shoe until they began to fall apart. The she screwed up the paper scraps and placed them in the mouth of a paper tiger, which was set alight and burned.

My Villain Hitter then cleaned my aura with a piece of paper on which were written prayers and invocations. It felt surprisingly good. The paper was then burned too.

Finally we made an offering, some more prayers and we were finished. Of course I then hugged my wonderful Villain Hitter for a job well done.

The Villains I wanted banished? Bad bacteria, ill health and lyme disease in my body.

Let’s hope they’ve all gone, banished by her shoe and her mighty intentions that I prosper and do well.

I’ve also been making a little gift for you for Christmas. Stay tuned. I’ll post it Christmas Day. Remember too that we are in a period known as The Lull right now, which will last until 16 January. It’s a time for resting, recharging, connecting with our friends and family, and having fun. Wherever you have the opportunity simplify, slow down, and take time for what matters most to you.

Sending heaps of love your way, Nicole ❤ xx