The Turn In The Road Where My Worries Fall Away

Image from www.stopthesethings.com

“Though a lifetime of listening to the music of the world has passed, even now the tone of the rain on the roof of my home is the sweetest sound I have ever heard.” 
~  Kensi Brianne Smith

 

We’ve been up in Brisbane this past week, and it’s been full on.

I’ve had doctors’ appointments and the sorts of things to attend to that can only be done in the city.

I’ve held space for friends and clients who have suffered tragedy and tempest.

And we’ve been elder caring.

Ben’s mum is old and increasingly frail, although stubbornly independent, bless her. She’s at the age where suddenly she needs help with everything: shopping, cooking, home maintenance, paying bills – all the things she has done so competently for the entirety of her life. But we don’t mind at all. We love her, and she is family.

Still, it’s stressful, and we worry constantly about her.

Yesterday finally we packed up to drive home to the farm.

There is a place we come to, just over the border between Queensland and New South Wales, where I unfailingly begin to unwind and feel better. City and suburbia fall away and at a turn in the road the highway is suddenly blanketed by cane fields and farms with a backdrop of dusky crags.

The tension leaves my body. I sigh audibly. A sense of relief creeps over me.

Many of our friends from the Byron Shire experience the same thing; that falling away of worries as we move into the encircling arms of the ancient volcanic rim that cradles our homes.

How about you? Do you have a place in the journey home where suddenly you feel better too? I’d love to know.

Hugs and love from all of us here at the farm, Nicole xx

What To Do When That Tsunami of Suffering Hits

Image from www.emaze.com

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” 
~  Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 

None of us is immune.

As I have grown older, through the private worlds of others that I have accessed in my life as a psychic, and in the unfolding of my own days, I have come to understand that suffering visits us all.

For almost everyone, at some stage, there will not just be one burden too heavy to bear. No. Instead what we will have is a tsunami of suffering. One impossible thing heaped upon another.

We will find ourselves in a place where the hits come so thick and fast that we will wonder how we can go on.

My sister and I still laugh about once when I became so desperate and dogged – at a time where everything was going wrong, where my life was nothing but bad news, and where only my husband still stood beside me and him in his own world of pain – that I rang Lifeline, an anonymous phone counselling service, hoping to find a glimmer of light in the darkest of times.

The counsellor asked me what was wrong, and I began to list things off.

She became quieter and quieter. Finally she stopped me.

That’s too many things, she said. I’m sorry. I’m only trained to help you with one problem. I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s just too much. I’m sorry.

After which I spent an hour counselling and reassuring her, before getting off the phone to make myself a cup of tea and reflect ruefully on the extreme emotional isolation I had found myself in, and to marvel that even in that place I had still managed to find a way to laugh at myself and my situation.

Image from www.chaivan.com

I have survived a tsunami of suffering more than once, my friends. So I feel well qualified to offer a perspective. Coping skills have become one of my magical powers, not that I ever imagined I would be in a place to have that kind of knowledge. I’m glad to be able to share what I know in the hopes that it may ease your own suffering, or your sense of isolation.

A tsunami is catastrophic, and sometimes the way things break in you, or in your life, they can never be put back together the same way ever again.

But I have learned one thing well. Humans have incredible resilience. We have a great capacity to move through suffering, and to find ourselves eventually back on shore again. That shore may be completely different to the place we started. It will become familiar in time. You may even grow to like it better than the ‘before’ place.

It’s seldom graceful when we’re in the maelstrom. We just have to survive it any way we can, and with as much kindness and compassion for ourselves and those around us as we can muster.

Here’s what I know to be true:

  1. It helps to have someone to talk to. Someone who won’t judge. Someone who can listen and hold space while you unburden all the things, the tsunami of things, that are going wrong in your life. If there’s no-one you trust go outside and speak to the trees, talk with your pet, or your dead gran. Your Angels, Ancestors, Guides or God, if that works for you. Talk to your own wise self, or write it all down in your journal. There’s ALWAYS someone who’ll listen, and who’ll hold that tender space of care and love for you. It just might not be in the place you’d hope or expect it to be. (Like friends, partner or family. Be okay with that, so that it doesn’t add more pain to your burden.)
  2. Set short goals. Get through the next breath. The next minute. The next hour. Til sundown. Til sunrise. Tiny increments can get us through the most impossible pain.
  3. Breathe. Just breathe. In and out. In and out. Mindfully slowing your panic and bringing your awareness always back to your breath and then into your body or out into the world. Let your breath calm you.
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Don’t hide stuff, about your situation or relationship or whatever else is happening. It is what it is. When we hide things or make them out to be less than what they are we create shame, and make it impossible to stay open and to be able to accept help.
  6. Get creative. Know that you can survive stripped down, stripped bare, and that it is possible to make yourself and your life over from the ground up.
  7. Drugs, alcohol, emotional eating and self-harm don’t fix anything, and ultimately add more to both your burden and the distance you’ll have to travel back to yourself when this is all over. Try music instead, or binge-watching a box set of DVDs where the characters can become friends. Books are also great medicine. Can’t focus to read? Try an audio book or podcast. Knitting, art and crafts are also good. Sometimes you’ll look back and have no idea what you did with your time. That’s okay too.
  8. Meditation and time in nature heal more than you can know. Go try them and begin to experience their magic for yourself.
  9. People will often go all judgey, hard-arsed and holier-than-thou about the need for extreme self-care when your life has gone pear-shaped. They’ll be spruiking green smoothies, whole foods and superfoods. If you can manage this, great. But if you’re broke, miserable, exhausted and barely coping my advice to you is this. Eat something. Remember to drink water. Don’t overdo the caffeine. Or the sugar. It only makes you feel worse in the end. But if it’s what’s getting you through, do whatever you need to do, honey. Get some sleep. Try to make healthy choices, but know that toast can be an emergency food group.
  10. Find a support group, a counsellor or a caring practitioner who will listen, and who can guide you back to solid ground. That might not even be until after the worst has passed.
  11. Do the best you can. Be okay with days where you don’t cope, or barely cope. Some days will be better, some will be worse. That’s how it goes.
  12. Everything changes. Everything. Bad times end. Life may be different afterwards, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to know joy, happiness or safety again. Life returns to us in increments. Somehow, we find a way forward.

Some extra advice:

  • Walk away from people who tell you ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘you just need to work on yourself more’ or ‘God only ever gives you what you can handle’ or that ‘your outer world is only a reflection of your inner beliefs’. You don’t need that shit. You’ve got enough on your plate.
  • If people don’t understand, let it be. Sometimes the only people who will truly get it are others who have been in that same hard space. Some people will never understand. It’s likely that some of those people will be friends and family.
  • Your dark night of the soul, no matter how painful, has the power to be transformational. The circumstances of our suffering can steal so much away, but you can find a gift if you look for it. That gift could be resilience, compassion, wisdom, caring, courage, a stronger sense of self, a new view of yourself and the world, a deeper connection to humanity or an understanding of what really matters to you.

Sending you so much love, and holding you in my prayers and meditations. You’ll find a way. You’ll get through this. Nicole <3 xoxo

Image by SeaquestDS

How To Ask For A Sign

The Eye of God – Helix Nebula from www.skyimagelab.com

“The Universe sets out little signposts for us along the way, to confirm that we’re on the right path.” 
~  Michelle Maisto

 

This week’s energies are supportive of connection, communication, signs, breakthroughs and synchronicities (you can read more about that here).

But how do you ask for a sign?

I recommend that you ask only once, and then satisfy yourself with the answer as it appears to you.

Here are some things that you can try:

Shuffle your oracle or tarot cards, offer up a small prayer that whatever you do be for your Highest Good, and then shuffle the deck again. As you’re shuffling, ask your question . Say it out loud or hold it as a thought in your head. Either will work.

Choose one card. How you choose is up to you. Split the deck. Fan them out. Top or bottom. Dive right in. There is no right or wrong.  Then really look at the card. Don’t use the book or the ‘proper’ meaning. We are being intuitive here, people! What stands out for you in the picture? What thoughts and ideas do the images provoke? What is the answer that comes to you? Trust that. Don’t ask again.

Ask for your Guide to appear as an animal or some other living thing, some sort of motif that you will associate with them and with their presence.

Image from www.printtuftandfold.wordpress.com

Ask to see a specific image or thing, as acknowledgement of a question, or in answer to it.  Perhaps you are driving and you ask to see a red Kombi van if the answer is yes.  Or you ask to see a particular type of bird or something else you’ll recognise as that sign…

Image from www.justmeblog.com

Ask, and then expect an answer.  Perhaps the answer will be a message on a  billboard, a line from a book, a voice on the radio, the words in a song.  The message will stand out for you somehow, and have a special meaning just for you.

Image from www.joke7x24.deals.lv

Angels are often associated with white feathers.  Guides are often associated with other coloured or patterned feathers.  I have found feathers during some of the most difficult times in my life, and have felt reassured by them showing up for me.

Image from www.angelreach.com

When I sense my Great Aunt’s presence I smell roses.  When my Grandmother is near, I smell or even see gardenias.  A friend smells tobacco smoke when her father is with her.  Sometimes loved ones will create a breeze where there was none, stop or start a clock, or move something.  Whatever they do will make sense to you, based on your relationship with them.

Image from www.allexperts.com

Sometimes God creates magnificent signs, for no reason other than to help us remember the love and miracles in our world…

Rainbow image by Ookami Kouu

And sometimes it’s well-meaning friends who help us know what’s in store for us on the road in life…

AP Photo – Image by Chris Nakashima_Brown

When the road ahead is uncertain, when you need to know you’re supported, when you are looking for answers – it’s okay to ask for a sign.  But do it once, and trust what you get!

♥ And here’s MY sign for you today (Okay, maybe there’s 3…):

Image from weheartit.com

Image from candyprincess4 at deviantart.com

Image from favim.com

The Energies of July – 2017

“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.”
~ Nadeem Aslam

Hello, Lovelies :)

Here we are at July. It’s a perfect time for reflecting on how the first half of the year has gone for us, to gather our lessons and wisdoms, and then to determine a path forwards for the remainder of 2017.

If I were to sum up July in a sentence it would be this: Be brave enough to share your innermost self in all its vulnerability and the world will crack wide open for you. July is a month of connection. It’s a month for nurturing relationships, for family and community, and for your relationship with yourself and with Spirit (however you perceive that to be).

July is also a time of answers, clarity, signs and direction. Use this time to focus yourself and to really concentrate your energy and time where it matters most to you.

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for July for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
~ Brene Brown

July helps us to see our place within the bigger scheme of things. We are a leaf in a much bigger family tree. So much bigger than we often acknowledge. Ancestral and family links and wisdom play a big part in our continued healing and growth this month.

Often we feel inadequate to live as the vision we have for ourselves in the world. July urges us to move past that fear and to begin sharing our story honestly and openly.

July helps us to see and understand the inter-connectedness of life. Faith and time with God, Spirit, Guides, Angels, our Muse, our art and ourselves is important and necessary this month.

Answers, signs and helpful moments are also part of July’s reassuring and delicious energy. We’re reminded that when we are authentic and intuitive in the world our love-life, our friendships, our careers and our businesses will begin to thrive.

July warrants some quiet time too this month; with our loved ones, on our own, in nature, with God (or whatever that energy is to you.)

It’s a soul-full month filled with gratitude and a sense of peace, answers and awareness.

 

The second card I’ve chosen is Treasure Island. The picture captures so well magic and synchronicity that comes from living from our hearts, and doing what matters to us. It’s a month to anchor abundance for the months to come. A foundation month for building wealth.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” ~ Richard Branson

July brings all kinds of opportunities and possibilities to us. Some of them will come disguised as hard work. Some of them will come disguised as very small beginnings, new connections and the sorts of things that you cannot see any use for yet. You might get a new idea without any clear direction. A snippet of a song. A scene for a book. A product for a business you haven’t even started.

Life’s funny like that. All manner of goodness sneaks into our lives in July, but we might only be able to recognise that in retrospect.

Treasure Island entreats us to stay open to possibility in July, and to trust in good outcomes and a benevolent Universe.

Best crystals this month?

Yellow Turquoise (Serpentine) and Blue Obsidian

Yellow Turquoise is not a true Turquoise, but a form of Serpentine and Jasper with Hematite inclusions. If you are unable to source it, use Serpentine. Yellow Turquoise supports insights and wisdoms in meditation and is an incredibly soothing stone which promotes inner peace.

Image from www.susiesbeads.net

Blue Obsidian supports your throat chakra and all forms of communication, and helps you to truly know yourself. A great stone to hold when doing intuitive readings for self or others.

Essential oils to support your journey?

Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own for you this month, but they also make a delicious combination for diffusing. The essential oils you will find helpful in July are Orange, Lavender, Frankincense, and Jasmine. Orange creates a relaxing space for emotional and spiritual connection, Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Frankincense is uplifting and supportive – especially when you feel anxious or overwhelmed, and Jasmine gifts us joy, optimism and self-confidence. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

July brings some sunshine into our lives again, but if we’ve been living in a dark room it is our job to throw open the curtains.

I’m holding space for you to really find connection in your heartspace with your family, friends, colleagues and community this month. Life is a journey that is always better shared.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo

A Morning Dose Of Happiness!

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
~ Lemony Snicket

 

Something wonderful happened to me yesterday morning!

I woke up with energy. After months of being unwell it was a precious gift. So we did something with all of that feel-good. We took an early morning drive down to the beach for a walk and then some breakfast.

Byron was golden with the early morning light. The sun was warm, the water too, and Ben and I walked hand in hand as Cafe Dog frolicked in the shallows. Meanwhile young Rufous was home having a big puppy sleep-in. He is still so excitable on beach walks, and seeing it was my first in a very long time, and being still weak as I recover from my recent illness, we left him napping – and he didn’t mind at all!

As we walked I found just the right beach rock. It felt good in my hand so I asked permission of the beach, and the Elders and the nature spirits, and I brought it home with me. I have a lovely little collection of Byron Bay beach rocks here that I have gathered over the past twenty years, just waiting for a special project I have in mind for them. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.

After our sunshiney walk we headed into a favourite haunt – Dip Cafe at Byron Bay. If you get a chance, do pop in! They have a fabulous $15 French Specials menu right now, as well as their regular delicious repast. I can highly recommend the savoury crepes, which I had for breakfast. So good. 🙂

How about you, dear friend? What acts of self-nurture and care are you taking for yourself this week? Please be good to yourself and live from kindness. For yourself and for others.

I’m slowly recovering, and grateful to be back to my regular morning meditations and blog writing sessions.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole <3 xoxo

Rufous, napping on the day bed. And yes, he’s managed to thoroughly coat himself and the day bed in mud!!!

Ben and Harry racing ahead while I stop to admire every shell and rock strewn before me…

Follow the paw prints!

A lovely beach rock, just waiting for me…

This one felt so good in my hand – a perfect meditation stone.

Delicious savoury crepes from Dip Cafe, Byron Bay

Cafe Dog, just waiting for a bite of something to fall from the sky…

Extra Links for You!

I’ve been singing the praises of Dip Cafe for a while now. Want to know more about the magic? This post pretty much sums it up: Magic – Byron Bay Style

Have you met Rufous yet? Find out more about our latest pup here: Meet Rufous – Brother to Harry Dog

And details on Harry, our Cafe Dog here: Harry – Cafe Dog!

10 Simple Hacks For Creating More ‘Me’ Time

“In truth I suspect that merely slowing down is not a very satisfying answer. What I need has less to do with my pace of life than my peace of life. At any speed, I crave a deep and lasting inner peace. And if it’s solace I’m after, I don’t need to pace myself like a turtle, change jobs or set up house on a quiet island. It is usually frenetic living, not high energy, that robs my peace of mind.”
~ Steve Goodier

 

Time for ourselves is not some airy-fairy feel good concept. Time for ourselves is as necessary as breathing. It helps us to stay tuned into to who we are and what’s important to us. Time for ourselves recharges our batteries. It fills us with nurture and new ideas. It helps soothe and heal us.

Often it isn’t that we don’t have time, it’s that we’ve become a very low priority in our own lives.

Here are ten simple hacks to reclaim some of your precious time just for you:

1. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of a grocery shopping trip to have a cup of coffee and flick through a magazine at a cafe. I have girlfriends who have become speed shoppers, racing through their chores to get lovely long cafe time as their reward.

2. Sign up for a class one night a week. Not to give yourself yet one more thing to do, but to escape for a while and spend time on something you’d enjoy learning such as dancing, mosaic making, chainsaw ice-sculpture or Italian cooking. Often when we’re home we devolve into house-keeping duties or mindless screen time. Giving ourselves an outing can be refreshing and it invests time in ourselves and our development.

3. Get up half an hour earlier. Spend that time journalling, meditating, busting a few yoga moves, pulling an oracle or tarot card, or planning your day. Enjoy a cuppa, take a big breath and then let the day begin AFTER you’ve had some precious time to yourself. Not sure how to start? Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has great instructions for Morning Pages. Why not begin there!

4. Turn off the TV tonight. Sit down and write a story. Or a poem. Or a song. Stories fire up our imagination, help us heal the past, and let us dream the future. If you enjoy the process, come back and write some more one night each week. Writing not your thing? Go take a long soak in the tub!

5. Delete or minimise your social media profiles and screen time. Use some of your time saved to go for a walk. You could ramble around the neighbourhood, drive to a park or beach, or wander through the city. You can walk in the morning, evening or even in your lunch break. Breathe. Look. Listen. And feel how your whole soul begins to unwind…

6. Delegate a chore you don’t enjoy.  It could be cleaning, gardening or shopping. You could do it once for a break, or make it a regular thing. Pay someone if you have to, use an online service or use a barter system. Give yourself that saved time. Use your few hours alone to see that movie no-one else wants to see, to go to the Gallery, or to wander through the Farmers’ Markets or the shops you love.

7. Go to bed early with a book. Books are like magical carpets that take you to other places and times.

8. Delete the games off your phones and screens.They might seem relaxing, but in truth they are a huge time suck, and don’t contribute to lowered stress levels or heightened personal satisfaction. Don’t believe me? Commit to a month without them and you’ll see what I mean.

9. Meal Plan and Batch Cook Use one day to plan and prep all the meals for the coming week. Cook large batches of food, such as soups, pasta bakes, bolognese and even vegetable and salad prep for later in the week. Or use a meal provider who can bring pre-prepared meals to your door each week. If you’re up for it, combine doing the laundry and general house-keeping chores with your cooking day to get your home ship-shape before the week ahead. This saves so much time each week! How to use the time saved? Start or recommence a craft or project. Maybe you loved embroidery as a child. Or scrapbooking. Maybe you’ve been thinking about putting a vegetable garden in the back yard, or researching the family tree. Take some time to put your materials together, and then spend a little time each week devoted to this craft or project. Let it become a kind of good medicine in your life.

10. Say NO to something you don’t want to do, and then let the time you would have spent with others be yours alone. How often have you found yourself out with work colleagues or friends, wishing instead that you were home on the couch, watching your favourite show and eating soup and toast in your pyjamas? Your time really is precious. Start saying NO when it feels like duty or hard work, and use that time on something you’d prefer to do!

Your life is precious. Don’t let it slip by without filling some of it with what you love.
You deserve to be a priority in your own life! Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations,

Nicole <3 xoxo

The Energies of June – 2017

“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hello, Lovelies :)

Suddenly, here we are at June. June is a gentle month of revitalisation, redirection and emotional and physical nourishment. I’m so up for that. How about you?

 

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for June for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
~ Anaïs Nin

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”
~ Goldie Hawn

June lifts us to a higher awareness around our past. It’s a time to lift up out of adversity and to trust in new directions. No need to agonise anymore. It’s easy to let go and move on. It’s time to tell ourselves a better story based on our past – one that is helpful and liberating, rather than one which keeps us trapped.

We begin to move into flow and things just start working more easily for us. We’re encouraged to work with others and to create teams and tribes, to share our stories and to share what we know in service to others. Joy for life infuses each cell of our body.

It’s a month that suits working on our physical and emotional health, and it’s a super time for detoxing, starting a new eating plan or getting your body moving again – all from a place of profound love and self-acceptance of what has been as well as allowing of what may come.

It’s an incredible month for psychic connection and for all forms of art, movement, music and writing. Expect divine inspiration and flow of ideas and support. Quite simply, it’s a month of magical connection and shift!

 

The second card I’ve chosen is To The Sea. What a beautiful image of hope, restoration and direction.

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

When we trust and step forward into the flow of life, that flow will carry us forward – out of stuckness, out of the old – and in directions we may possibly have never imagined for ourselves.

The river started as a small trickle. That trickle followed its true nature and kept moving. Soon it became a river. Unstoppable. With a momentum and power all its own.

When you jump into the river, the river will carry you. To The Sea reminds us that life is a mystery, and the secret to life is to be in flow with it.

How do you do that? How do you be in flow?
Stop thinking so much and start trusting. Feel into things. Act from intuition. Listen to your heart. Practice kindness with yourself, and check in often to work out how you truly feel and what sparks of interest or action lie within you. Follow those sparks.

In June, trust in the bigger picture. Trust your senses. Take a risk on what you want. See where life takes you!

Best crystals this month?

Blue Quartz and Green Chrysoprase

 Blue Quartz  is a profoundly calming stone that opens us to a state of flow and grace. Excellent for helping us to speak up. Supports throat and third eye chakras.

Image from www.crystal-cure.com/

Green Chrysoprase opens our heart to love, joy, self acceptance and deep compassion for self and others. It also dissolves blocks to abundance in all forms.

Image from www.e-rocks.com

Essential oils to support your journey?

Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own for you this month, but they also make a delicious combination for diffusing. The essential oils you will find helpful in June are Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Frankincense, and Orange. Ylang Ylang helps lift our mood so we can see new possibilities for ourselves and our lives, Geranium reduces anxiety and promotes emotional balance and healing, Frankincense connects us to our intuition and to the Divine, and Bergamot supports physical wellbeing, releases emotional pain and helps us to move forward with joy. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

June is a marvellous month for us to move back into flow, to heal, to grow and to thrive.

Stay connected to what matters most to you, follow your heart, and make some time to enjoy life’s pleasures and those special relationships in your life.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo