One last cup of tea before Retreat!

“There are two things we should always be 1. raw and 2. ready. When you are raw, you are always ready and when you are ready you usually realize that you are raw. Waiting for perfection is not an answer, one cannot say “I will be ready when I am perfect” because then you will never be ready, rather one must say “I am raw and I am ready just like this right now, how and who I am.” 
C. JoyBell C.

Today marks the start of our Advanced Channelling and Sacred Geometry Residential Retreat.

The ute is packed with box upon box of crystals, oracle cards, student bags, essential oils, art materials, journals, singing bowls and other goodies.

Two more loads of boxes stand ready to be ferried to our venue too.

The fire is blazing, it’s a frosty morning, my meditation is finished and I’m sitting here in the quiet, two sleepy dogs at my feet, drinking tea and savouring a last few moments of slow before 6 intense days of work.

I’m excited. I’m a little bit nervous, like I always am before a big event. My head is still full of all the other bits of life outside the retreat too. There is plenty going on for our family right now. Plenty going on with work. With the farm. With some of my students and clients. And that won’t stop just because we are going into lock-down at Retreat.

But as I sip my tea I also know that it will all be fine. That this will be a week of breakthroughs. That magic will happen.

We have a new moon and a partial solar eclipse to work with. We’re supported right now to make deep connection, to let go of the old, to get clarity about new directions and who we are growing to become.

Over the next few days I’ll share some simple exercises here so you can take advantage of these energies too, even though you can’t be with us this time.

Okay, time to stoke the fire, make a little breakfast and then pack my own bags. (I’m notorious for turning up at retreat without undies or pyjamas or any of the other things you need outside working hours because I’ve been so focused on everyone else!)

Meanwhile the black cockatoos are circling overhead, calling to me. I KNOW this Retreat is going to be huge!

Hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

Image from www.teatravellerssocietea.com

 

Hay, Hay, Hay – it’s a drought!

“Without water, life would just be rock.” 
Anthony T. Hincks

 

It’s been a strange winter. I can count the number of really cold days on my fingers. Mostly it has been as warm as spring, and sometimes warm as summer. No-one jokes about global warming anymore. It’s here, and the evidence is all around us.

In 2015, in response to rising baseline temperatures at our farm we pulled out an entire heritage citrus orchard that could no longer tolerate the increased UV radiation and heat that has become the new normal in Byron Shire. We’ve slowly replanted with native food trees and tropical varieties of traditional fruit trees. But it’s all a glorious experiment.

The plants on our farm this winter don’t seem to know what to do – some are flowering, some dropped a few leaves, some have leaves dropping and new leaves growing and flowers trying to bud all at once. Birds have nested early or haven’t started yet. Some of our trees have produced two fruiting cycles instead of one, and both of them out of season. Nature can’t seem to settle into any kind of normal rhythm.

The deep frosts that were once a normal part of our winter have become occasional, and not enough to kill the weeds, ticks and other pests that would normally be decimated and controlled by a period of intense cold. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are rampant, affecting humans and animals alike. It’s worrying. Meanwhile the rising ocean temperatures mean that sea creatures like the Irukandji jellyfish with its deadly sting – once known only in tropical waters – are slowly drifting south and may end up here within a few years too.

Our farm a few months ago, when there was abundant rain and feed.

Around us the neighbours’ farms are already flogged. Winter is our hardest season – dry and cold enough that the grass grows slowly if at all. Feed for livestock always runs low in our district by winter’s end.

Here at our organic farm we have paddocks locked off and we cell graze, rotating our herd through each paddock one by one to give the pasture time to rest and for the grasses to set seed and rejuvenate and the native wildlife to have their habitat too. Looking after our soil and the grasses, plants and animals that create biodiversity and habit is important to us. We still have feed, and we maintain a smaller herd than we could carry for the size of the land, but we don’t want to use the paddocks that are closed off for rejuvenation. When you graze everything down to nothing it can take years to regain that natural biodiversity of species. We’re fortunate to still have that luxury of pasture management. Many farmers have not a blade of grass left and have been feeding out for months or even years.

Looking after our herd is important. They will be used by other farmers to restock their own land and to breed from. These are good bloodlines that we carefully nurtured over years and preserved at great effort during that last big drought.

We’re worried about the summer ahead. Already we have a bushfire plan, and we’re thinking about what we can do to keep our farm green, well watered and fire hazards to a minimum. We’re thinking about how we can help the trees, the bees and native wildlife. We’re planning for hardship if our district ends up going back into drought as much of the rest of Australia already has.

Yesterday we bought a truckload of hay from a farmer we know an hour south of us. They’ll be delivered later this week but we hauled one bale home with us straight away to feed out to our girls – big round bales of dried bluegrass that can nourish the cows and spring calves if rain doesn’t come soon. Our plan is to still try and keep some of our pasture locked off until summer to protect that seedbank and nurture the revegetation we’ve worked so hard to create.

The hay might end up being mulch for our orchard and vegetable gardens too. Everything suffers in a drought. Having endured eight straight years of severe drought back on our old farm we are keen to be prepared, and if necessary to rethink everything. We can’t do another stint like that again.

We’re doing our best to strategise, to think ahead, to plant and grow food that works with the prevailing conditions. Here’s hoping we get at least some of these adaptations right. We also bought hay yesterday to gift to struggling farmers and do our bit to help keep them on their farms. We’ve been in their shoes, and we know how soul-crushing it can be and how isolated and desperate you can come to feel.

Meanwhile here’s a little happy news – our latest addition, a baby male calf that a friend’s son has named Li’l Onion (Eli’s four and thinks of impossibly crazy names for things!).

Sending much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

PS – Australian farmers are doing it tough right now. Whether they are growing crops, managing dairy herds or raising livestock many of them are struggling from prolonged drought and extreme weather events – and their struggle is relentless. If you’d like to help here are some ways that you can:

Drought Angels

Aussie Helpers

Lions Need for Feed

Salvation Army

 

 

 

 

10 Simple Everyday Actions To Help The Planet

“The future depends on what you do today.” 
Mahatma Gandhi

 

I know, I know. Sometimes it seems positively overwhelming, the state of our Planet – how big the mess is and how small we can feel as just one person.

But as one person we CAN make a difference.

Here are ten simple everyday actions you can take that will add up over time and help create lasting change:

  1. Give single use takeaway containers a miss. Drink your coffee from a keepcup or other washable and reusable container OR have it at the cafe from a proper cup.
  2. Use your own water bottle, and refill it yourself. Stop buying single-use plastic bottles of water.
  3. Have a shorter shower. This saves water and electricity.
  4. Walk or ride your bike instead of jumping in a car for short trips. This is also great for your health. (And maintain your bike or car with good tyre pressure and mechanicals to help conserve fuel.)
  5. Carry a small portable shopping bag in your handbag or satchel. Use it instead of single-use bags when you make a purchase. These little bags make great gifts too!
  6. Say no to plastic drinking straws when you order a cold beverage. Ask your local cafes and bars to stop using them too.
  7. Stop using party balloons and cheap plastic decorations. Use paper, flowers and other natural things that can decompose when you are done. Reuse existing decorations and take care of them well.
  8. Think about the gifts you buy. Stop choosing things that have no purpose or that will be quickly thrown away. Support local artisans, bakers and farmers. Wrap with paper and string or cloth and fabric ribbon.
  9. Consider wearing clothes again if they are not dirty and only wash when you have a full load.
  10. Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them.

With everything you do think about how you can reduce, re-use, re-purpose or recycle.

All of our collective efforts can make a difference!

What are your favourite ways to help the planet? Share them in the comments below.
Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

Image from zazzle.com

What Action Are You Taking To Create Positive Change This Week?

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” ~ Peter Marshall

 

This is a great week for transformation.

You could step into a space of positive change with your health, your business, your relationship, your financial situation, your career, or so many other things.

All of the energies this week support shift, change and growth.

But there’s one thing you need to use as a magical key to unlock the block that has been holding you back – just one thing that can change everything…

You need to act!

Even the smallest step this week can lift you out of stuckness. In fact smaller steps are great. It’s the bigger actions that usually through us into overwhelm. So choose something and begin.

Imagine if that one tiny action changed everything for you!

It could, so let’s do it!

Cheering you on, 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Guided Meditation and Activities to connect you to your Heart Wisdom

 “Don’t love to be loved in return. Love for the sake of loving.” 

~ Connor Chalfant

 

Our heart, and Heart Chakra, is both a receiver and a transmitter for love and wisdom. The more we open our heart by giving, the more we can connect into receiving. This positive flow of loving energy allows us to live from our hearts as intuitive, connected and compassionate human beings.

Activity:

Our hearts love to love. Here are some suggestions for expressing that energy in the world this week:

  • Play with your pets, or go feed ducks in the local park. Animals are wonderfully intuitive, loving and giving.

  • Make a connection that expands your own heart. Read to a child, or even to an adult.

  • Catch up with friends for a coffee, a meal or a movie.

  • Play tennis with a friend, or go to a yoga class together. Do anything athletic that involves someone else, some encouragement, some sharing and some laughing.

  • Visit or call an elderly relative or a family member who’ll be glad to see you!

  • Spend an hour giving random but sincere compliments to strangers. Tell the waitress you like her earrings or the supermarket attendant that you’re grateful for the skilful way he packs your bag so your bread doesn’t get squashed. Smile.

  • Leave a kind and supportive message on a pillow, tucked into a pocket, or posted on a blog.

  • Volunteer, and care for others in some way. Humans love to give, and to help, and to be united in the energy of that caring.

  • Plan a party or a special event to bring together people that you love, even if that event doesn’t take happen straight away.

  • Join a retreat, workshop or holiday tour and meet new friends. Be open to connecting with others.

Journalling:

Meet your heart on the page. Take a minute or two to calm yourself, by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Focus on your heart, and build that energy within you. Visualise the colour green. (If you wish, work with the energy of the meditation below before you begin!) When you are ready start writing, starting with the words,

“The thing my wise heart really needs my conscious mind to know is…”

Meditation:

This six-minute meditation will help you tap into your heart’s own intuition and wise guidance, opening you up to deeper and deeper levels of spiritual connection.


Sending love from my heart to yours,

Nicole  xx

Fun With Friends!

“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” ~ Richard Branson

 

Hi Lovelies,

I’m in Adelaide right now, which is cold and wintery and wonderful. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to my channelling event on Monday night. I love being able to hug people and put a name to the face of friends I have only known online.

This week I have a balance of work and fun, and I’m lucky to have one of my favourite families taking me around the sights and to delicious eateries and magical places.

Yesterday included private appointments in the morning followed by bookshops, pop-up crab spaghetti restaurants (no – that platter in the pic was not all for me!), ice-cream and lots of laughter, hugs and sharing. After dinner I had an early night back at my hotel room with meditation, a hot shower and then a long sleep beneath clean sheets.

July is a month that focuses on relationships, heart connection and soul nurture, and I’m certainly getting plenty of that right now! I hope you’re managing to find some connection time too.
Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

    

 

The Joy of An Early Night

“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

 

For months on end it seems we have run around like mad things with our plates heaped with work and family and life in general. And slowly I’ve been feeling worn down by it all. I’m still okay in myself, but I knew I’d lost my bounce. I knew I’d stretched myself a little thin.

Last night at our little farm the sky darkened, cloud gathered and it began to rain; soft lovely rain that beat a gentle drum on the roof and dripped from the eaves like quiet music.

Inside I made a fire in the grate, and read for a while. Ben put on headphones to listen to a football game. The house was warm and cosy, evening bumped at the windows with her chill and suddenly I found myself unable to keep my eyes open. At seven o’clock at night!

I decided to take advantage of the quiet and put myself to bed early. I put some lavender, rose and ylang-ylang essential oils in my diffuser. I dressed in old and comfortable pyjamas and slid down between the cool sheets. One of the dogs jumped up beside me and snuggled in, giving me an instant warmth. I lay for a while listening to frogs croaking and the steady drip of rain, and then somehow I drifted up to sleep.

This morning the house is cool and smells of woodsmoke and lavender. Now I’ve finished my meditation I’ll stoke the fire and make a cup of tea, then perhaps I’ll sit for a while and write.

I feel a deep calm. Sleep has restored something precious to me.
Thank goodness for the healing power of an early night. I hope that those of you who need one find time for one soon too!

Much love to you, Nicole ❤  xx

 

How To Use Forgiveness To Get Yourself Back In Flow

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 
~ Steve Maraboli

 

Negative emotions can disrupt the flow of your life force energy and your heart chakra just as easily as boulders in a stream. How many boulders have piled up in your heart over time? Each boulder represents a major hurt, a major resentment, a major betrayal or disappointment, a deep wounding, shame or grief.

When the flow is disturbed or slowed, stagnation happens. Stagnant heart flow breeds anger and resentment, depression and self-loathing. It muddies the clear waters of the heart, and that dirty water spills over into everything you do.

So how do we get those boulders out?

Forgiveness.

Forgiveness of others. Forgiveness of self.

Forgiveness is the gift that sets us free. It’s not about condoning or approving what has been done, it’s about releasing yourself from the pain and the hurt of the past, and allowing yourself to move from stuckness back into flow.

Journalling to Clear Your Heart Chakra:

To clear our hearts, we first need to feel our feelings. Give yourself permission to feel into one of those boulders in your heart. Allow yourself to feel the pain or anger or betrayal. In that space of reconnecting into misery start writing, beginning with the words, “If only that had never happened I would have been able to…” then keep going and pour all of that hurt onto the page.

Get it out. There’s no point keeping it all bottled up. All this stuff is doing you damage, all these half-truths and misconceptions and limiting beliefs. Clear your heart stream of these sticks and stones. When you’re done, take a breath. Give yourself a ‘mental’ hug. Good work. Feel the space you’ve just created in your life.

Coming Back Into Flow:

Now send love and light and forgiveness to the situation or relationship you just wrote about. This is not about them – this is about you releasing yourself and the energy that is tied up in this situation from your past. Write on the page and then say in your mind “I forgive you and myself. I wish you well. I send you love. I bless you and I set you free” If you truly can’t conjure forgiveness for the other person that’s okay. Use this affirmation instead:

“I disconnect from the past and release it back to the light. All is well in my world. I am love. Love is what I am attracting.”

You may also find this short guided meditation useful:

Here’s a simple guided meditation on forgiveness that can help open and clear your heart chakra:

My intention for you is that you come to a place of peace in your heart, where you can move past hurt and pain and to a place of open connection and sharing, ready to accept joy and love into your life again.

Much love to you,
Nicole ❤  xx

Write Your Will, Tell Someone Your Wishes!

“Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I’m a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst-case scenario. I call it ‘the eaten by wolves factor.’ If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don’t worry about because I have a plan in place if they do.” 
Randy Pausch

Hi, Lovelies,

this is a short and possibly sombre post, but also a necessary one.

It’s about Wills and about the fact that I want to make sure you have one.

In this last week I’ve had four clients rushed to hospital after sudden accidents or illness, and another four diagnosed with terminal cancer.

All of them have young children, pets, possessions. Of the eight, six are single parents.

Two of these single parents are in critical condition and unable to communicate. None of the eight of them have a will, or have talked with anyone about what their wishes might be if something like this was to occur.

Because, of course, we seldom think about these kinds of things when everything is going along normally.

Now the families and friends of these severely injured and incapacitated souls are scrambling to put things in place, but there is nothing to guide them.

What do these people want for their children in the event of their death?

What did they want for themselves when faced with major medical decisions?

I know it’s a chore to get organised for something like this. It forces us to think about things that all of us would prefer to ignore. But once it is done you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes can be known and that you won’t be leaving further stress and mess for the very loved ones you’d want to protect.

Love and hugs, Nicole  xoxo

PS – Want some questions to guide you in thinking about these things?
Try this blog post:
Conversations about Dying – We Need To Have Them