How to Self-Care When Life Is Challenging!

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“Self-care is how you take your power back.” ~ Lalah Delia

It’s simple enough to be well-intentioned and kind to yourself when life is going smoothly. Or if you are on holidays. Or in a really good head space.

But when we are hard up against it – when we have crushing deadlines, or horrible dramas, or the people around us are treating us badly, when we’re ill, depressed or in pain – that’s the time where we most need good self-care, and it is usually the time where we are least inclined to give it to ourselves.

After years of illness, and in my line of work (as a psychic and a support for many people going through their own hardships) where there is no ‘off-switch’, I’ve learned the hard way that self-care is essential. Always. Fortunately I’ve also discovered that it isn’t such a difficult ask of ourselves, and that a little self-awareness and kindness towards ourselves goes a long way towards keeping us resilient and coping in the most troubled of times.

Here are my top ten tips for getting yourself through whatever you might be facing right now:

1.Drink enough water. When we are well hydrated our body is less acidic, we can flush toxins and stress hormones from our system better, we sleep more deeply and our brains work more clearly.

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2. Have a shower, wash your hair and put on some clean clothes. For an additional touch of self-love use a perfume, scented moisturiser, aftershave or essential oil whose fragrance lifts your spirits or reminds you of someone you love. If washing your hair is just too hard, pull it back neatly, plait it, or tuck it under a scarf or cap. When I was at my most ill, I’d make myself bathe and put clean pyjamas on. It helped. A lot. And it was always worth the effort, even when I was exhausted. Clean sheets can do wonders for the soul too!

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3. Find five minutes for meditation. Meditation calms and centres us, and helps us find our way back to ourselves, our soul and to Spirit. Try any of these simple techniques:


Easy Five Minute Meditation


Taking Energy From Trees


Eating The Sun

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4. Dance. To one uplifting song. Sing along, and let your body move to the beat. Dance in your lounge room. Dance in the car. Of if you’re confined to bed, sway, tap your hands, draw that music deep into your body and belt out the lyrics.

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5. Have a plan, and then work the plan. Choose a time when you can sit down for ten minutes with a cup of tea or a cold drink and your diary. Think of something you want to get done and then break it down into steps and assign those steps to the coming days, weeks or months. Allow more time than you need – because in troubled times we need to allow ourselves extra flexibility. No need to give yourself more pressure when you’re already under the pump. Plans enacted help us to take control back in our lives, and give us something to work towards. It’s okay if your plan is for completing something small. Every time we act instead of procrastinate something strengthens within us.

6. Go for a walk in nature. Can’t walk? Then try to simply earth yourself instead. If you’re confined to bed or unable to get outside sit by an open window or door. Use your eyes and ears. Use your skin. Let your mind wander outside even if your body can’t.

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7. Eat something healthy that will nurture and strengthen your body. Choose foods that you know support you. Food gives us energy and helps our bodies work better. Eating irregular meals and junk food slows us down and makes us feel worse instead of better. Sometimes poor food choices are all we will have. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t sit in guilt. Eating is better than not eating. Decide to make a better choice or plan to bring healthy food tomorrow.

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8.Hugs and the company of friends can be healing. In hard times we often feel that the only way to cope is to withdraw. But in that space of social isolation life becomes even more difficult. While it is important to take time to be on your own, you need emotional support too. You can get this from online groups, phone calls, coffee or meal dates, craft dates, pets, good friends and supportive family. Reaching out to others can make a world of difference when life is filled with difficulty.

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9. Learn something new, or escape for a time into another world. A book, a movie, a newspaper, a short course. A trip to a new part of town. Stay curious. When we’re in something for the long haul we create emotional space and better coping capacity for ourselves by having something new or interesting to think about that takes us away from our troubles.

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10. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a healing balm that restores the best parts of us. Shut yourself away for an early night, or spend the weekend in bed catching up on your rest. An epsom salts bath, some lavender essential oil or a relaxing herbal tea at night will all help get you into that restful space.

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Happy Easter Weekend!

“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.” ~S.D. Gordon

Dear Cauldrons and Cupcakes Friends,

As we move into the Easter Long Weekend our wish for you is that you stay safe, that you take care of yourself and each other, and that you find some quality time for yourself and to be with the people or projects that gladden your heart.

No matter what your faith or religion is, we wish you peace in your hearts and joy for your life. Oh, and of course we hope you get to eat some tasty treats too.
Stay tuned for a special blog post from us tomorrow!

Happy Easter!

All our love, Nicole and the team xx

My Top Tips For Managing Overwhelm

“That’s your solution? Have a cookie?’ Astrid asked. ‘No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over,’ Sam said. ‘But a cookie never hurts.” 
~ Michael Grant

Goodness, lovelies, my inbox is FULL of messages from those of you who are majorly stuck in overwhelm right now. It’s a space I am well acquainted with, and as much as I would like to say that with maturity has come the capacity to not succumb, the truth is that I sometimes still move into overwhelm too. So I figure it’s not whether you’ll ever find yourself in overwhelm but when!

Here are my top ten tips for managing myself when I get into overwhelm. I hope you find them useful too.

1.Check my energy levels. Am I exhausted? Dehydrated? Are my blood sugar levels low? Can it be as simple as that? Yes! Sometimes what I need is to chug some water, eat a decent meal and have a good long sleep. Things usually look more manageable after that.

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2. Go for a walk in nature. Walking clears the head, oxygenates the body and helps ground me back into my self.

3. Take a break. Sometimes I just need to step back from my desk or project and disengage for a while. This refreshes and renews me, and is often enough to help me find my flow again.

4. Clutter really contributes to my sense of overwhelm. When things get on top of me I clean my desk, clean my house, put a load of washing on, clean out the fridge, take out the trash, vacuum, diffuse a favourite essential oil. As things move from visual chaos back to calm it helps me find the peace within myself too. Plus it is giving me a much-needed break from my workload or emotional burden and I get the benefit of satisfaction for having cleaned up after myself.

5. I take an hour or two and write down EVERYTHING that needs doing. Even the act of writing it down helps pull it back into some kind of manageable shape for me. It’s always better when I have gotten it out of my head and onto a list.

6. I pick one small thing from my to-do list. I do that thing and I don’t start a new thing until this first thing is done. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from actually completing something.

7. I chunk big scary goals or projects down into bite-sized tasks. Then I do those tasks one after another. Anywhere I can I delegate whatever is possible to delegate so I am working on the things that only I can do.

8. I make sure I have time for me to do things that fill me up and make my heart sing. Sunday is always a day off and planning day and I don’t compromise that for anything. Working madly 24/7 will only burn me out and create resistance and resentment.

9. Talk with a mentor, coach or friend. Someone who has walked the road ahead of me can often give me a new perspective and some handy tips. Why reinvent the wheel?

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10. Believe that I WILL get it done, and manage my expectation so that I am not unrealistic about getting a gazillion things done in one day!

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I’m cheering you on. Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

It’s Okay To Choose For Yourself


“Look to your heart and soul first, rather than looking to your head first, when choosing. Rather than what you think, consider instead how you feel. Look to the nature of things. Feel your choices and decisions. It just might change everything.” 
~ Jeffrey R. Anderson

Hello, Lovelies.

Today I have a favour to ask of you. Today I’d like you to choose for yourself.

You might think that’s an odd request. You might also think it doesn’t apply to you. But if you are in love, empathic, sensitive, a parent, a partner, a people-pleaser or a soother of others I think it does.

You see, so many of us (myself included), will make choices in life with another person in mind. Your sweetheart loves the apple pastry so you take the lemon one. Your friends love sci-fi so you go see the latest movie with them even though it’s a genre you’re not fussed about. Your partner doesn’t eat seafood so you just don’t cook that anymore. When a family member offers to make dinner for you, you ask for spaghetti because that’s the kids’ favourite. You make choices that make others happy. And it’s not a drag for you, honestly. You don’t mind the lemon pastry. It’s good just to hang with your friends. Chicken’s as tasty as fish. It’s just nice to have someone else cook. No biggie, right?

Still. what if you constantly make small choices – ones that don’t really matter to you – that suit the preferences of other people over your own?

It might seem inconsequential but it soon stacks up. How many decisions and choices will you make in a day that completely negate what you might want? What message does that send to the Universe?

Each time you put the well-being and happiness of someone else over your own you are asserting to the Universe that they matter more than you, that their happiness and positive life experience matters more than your own. And even though you may start out being happy to have made someone else happy that joy will eventually wear off if your own needs never get any airplay. What’s worse, you train the people around you that these decisions you make are okay for you, or even great for you. So how will they ever know what you really want? How will they ever know you’d have preferred an apple pastry too? Trust me, this is the kind of behaviour that eventually breeds simmering resentment and misery where the only person who’ll be suffering is you.

So, just for today, I’m asking you to choose for yourself. Choose the cooking show over the football. Choose to hang out at the art gallery while everyone else goes to the museum. Eat pasta when the gang has burgers. Choose what you really wanted to say yes to, even if that means you go on your own or eat on your own.

That’s okay. Your life is valuable too. Your choices and happiness matter too. This is your one shot at this precious life. Don’t waste it by never giving yourself the chance to experience all the longings of your heart.

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

You are the Answer!


“Don’t ever stop believing in your own transformation. It is still happening even on days you may not realize it or feel like it.” 
~ Lalah Delia

April is a great month for leadership, for team work and for finding new people to be on your team. So if you’ve been looking to find the right builder, baker, dentist, wedding planner, personal assistant, dog walker – whatever your need is – April has supportive energy for you.

There’s a flipside to that though, my friends.

And that flipside is this: Someone might be seeking YOU.

YOU might be the solution to someone else’s current problem. So make sure you put yourself out there, apply for jobs, ask if you can help, share your gifts and talents, launch your own material, keep your eye out for new opportunities.

Back yourself!
Much love, Nicole❤ xx

Just Breathe – It’s a Magical Superpower

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

the next time you want to scream
the next time you want to cry
the next time you feel all alone
the next time the pain is unbearable
the next time life is squeezing you so hard it hurts
the next time you have no idea what to say, what to do, what to feel
the next time you are ready to give up

take a breath

there is space within that breath
there is room to move
time to think
and the way you tap into that is to slow down and
take a conscious breath
and let that breath be your entire focus

take another if you need it

feel it calm you and return you to your centre
let the energy of your breath gather all your scattered pieces back together
let it gather your strength

while there is breath in your body there is power
to overcome, to go on, to find your way

I love you. Don’t give up.
Nicole ❤ xx

How To Be Strong


“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” 
~ Masaru Emoto

Someone asked me yesterday how I came to be so strong. And how they could be stronger in facing their own challenges.

I thought deeply on this, and then I made you this list. I hope it helps.

  1. Let your children fail, be disappointed and be let down. At the same time love them, and help them understand that the Universe does not revolve around them, and that good manners and kindness are important always, and especially so when you are losing while someone else is winning. (Thanks, Mum and Dad ❤)
  2. Breathe and be in the moment. In the moment you can get through the next second. In the moment you are larger and stronger and more hyper-aware, and life can actually be beautiful even as it devastates.
  3. Maintain relationships. Have a friend to phone, or a neighbour with whom you can drink tea. Many times my sister has been my lifeline. Online friendships have made the difference when I had no energy for face-to-face.
  4. Cry. And then keep going.
  5. Sleep. And then keep going.
  6. Make a serious motivational music mix for those soul emergencies. PLAY IT LOUD.
  7. Find your faith. That might be God, or nature, or love. It might be the unconditional love of a dog. It might be the stillness of meditation. Visit and sit in that space of faith often.
  8. Meditation. I do it daily. Even a few minutes help.
  9. Have gratitude for the small details of life. A good cup of tea, laughing, the smell of salt on the breeze, clean sheets, the shape of a cloud, sunshine or rain.
  10. Life’s adversity gifts you the opportunity to know yourself better, and to choose how you will behave and think – even when you have little or no control over your situation or the eventual outcome. Step back from yourself, observe and learn. You’ll be amazed at how much strength, grace and courage was always inside you waiting for you to need it.
  11. Make art, follow your dreams, and do them in the moments when you have some energy. When there is no energy for anything then dwell in your imagination with those dreams. Don’t put them down just because you are broken. We are all broken. Broken people can still live well and get stuff done.
  12. Live. While there is breath in your lungs and a beating heart in your body stay curious, keep trying, stay open, and live.

You’ve got this. Go surprise yourself. I know you can, and it’s a glorious moment when you realise that you can live happily even when broken, wounded, dying or less than whole.

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

You can still matter, make art, make a difference – even if you’re sick, broken or dying.

“She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.” 

~ Ariana Dancu

Lovelies, I have something important to tell you and I need you to hear it and take the truth of it right down inside you so that it can illuminate those dark places you fear may engulf you.

Stop waiting to be fixed. Stop waiting to be well. Stop waiting to be partnered or thinner or less anxious or more whole. Stop waiting to be better somehow. Stop believing all the gurus who tell you THEIR lives are harmonious, perfect, healthy, wealthy, ever happy and without any kind of angst, ill or drama.

Life is messy and hard and wonderful and short. So short.

Do you think you don’t have the right or the energy to pursue a dream or make a difference because of what’s going on in your life right now or what you’re still struggling to deal with from the past?

I call bullshit on that.

What matters most is that you express what’s in you, that you share what is yours to share, that – to the best of your ability – you strive to live while you’re alive and keep making, creating, sharing, teaching, helping, healing, loving.

What matters least is that you are ill, tired, droopy, depressed, failed at something, just hanging on, disabled, incontinent, divorcing, childless, overweight or terminal. What did that ever have to do with your soul and how it came here to express itself?

Don’t let your current or previous circumstances define you. Choose to be defined on your own terms. Choose to be enough, just as you are, and get busy doing whatever it is you’ve been holding back on. Rest if you must, but don’t give up. The world is waiting for what you have to offer.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Leunig poems, which I love for the gentle truth of it:

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

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

The Peace And Quiet Of Broken Social Media

“Being connected to everything has disconnected us from ourselves and the preciousness of this present moment.” 
~ L.M. Browning

Hello, Lovelies!

I had a wonderful day yesterday, although apparently I should have been in melt-down. 😊 Facebook was down for most of the day for many business users, or at least most of the functionality was, and the same went for Instagram and WhatsApp.

I should have been stressed. My blog post didn’t cross-post to Facebook. My Instagram post didn’t load. My team and I couldn’t post or comment. Messenger went kind of crazy too.

Apparently this is a disaster!!!

Oh well.

Instead, I took myself for a walk through the laneways of Adelaide and stopped for good chai. I talked to people, read the paper, and made notes in my journal. Later a girlfriend came to pick me up for lunch and deliver me to my conference venue and we talked, shopped and hung out.

It was lovely.

I worked on a new deck of oracle cards and a book about card reading spreads that we are creating for you.

My phone wasn’t constantly pinging me with messages and updates. My crazy inboxes couldn’t load anything else into themselves. Instead I had static and quiet.

I’d forgotten how much I love that unplugged space.

It’s also made me more determined to create more of that in my life.

How about you? Do you get enough unplugged time?

There’s a whole world beyond our screens. And as much as I am grateful for having the world in my pocket and connectivity at my fingertips I find the here-and-now most satisfying too.

Biggest hugs to you, Nicole ❤ xx