5 Simple Ways To Love Yourself Better

 

“Have the courage to love yourself like you always wished someone would.” 
~  Vironika Tugaleva

 

Everyone knows that self-love is vital to building self-esteem and self-confidence, for setting healthy boundaries and feeling good about yourself. Problem is, if you don’t feel good about yourself to start with, if you don’t like yourself much and you’re feeling pretty depressed and miserable, then trying to love yourself is like holding onto a single helium-filled birthday balloon and expecting it can fly you to Mars.  Mission Impossible!

So what do you do when your sense of self is hanging by a thread, but you just can’t make that mental leap from loathing to loving?

When loving yourself and feeling good about yourself seems impossible, then what you need to do is parent yourself. That’s where you do the things you know you need to do, even when you don’t want to, can’t be bothered, or feel that you don’t deserve to treat yourself well.

Good parents create environments where we can grow, be safe, and learn to get to know ourselves and the world around us.  They support us, provide emotional connection and support, love us and guide us until we move to a place of maturity where we can do these things for ourselves.

Even when you find it hard to love yourself, there is a wise part of your soul that intuitively knows what you need to get back to a place of balance. Your job is to let that parent part of you – the Wise Soul – make the choices for the part of you that is struggling to get on your feet and feel good again.

Image from www.linkedin.com


Here are five simple things you can do to make a start towards healing your relationship with yourself. I’ve also added suggested crystals that are supportive for each step:

1.  Decide to accept yourself right now, as you are and where you are in life. Too often we tell ourselves that we’ll like ourselves better when we’ve lost weight, found a job, left a bad relationship, found a good relationship, stopped smoking, gotten fit, or won lotto. When we put conditions on loving ourselves, we never get to that mysterious just-around-the-corner place that is forever up ahead and out of our reach.  Be honest with yourself.  If life is painful, admit that. Don’t numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, food or overwork.  Reach out for help if you’re having trouble coping, or need some new skills and strategies to make tomorrow look different to today. Best crystals for self acceptance – Tiger Eye, Blue Calcite or Rhodonite

2.  Create a safe space.  Everyone needs a place to call home, where they can relax, be themselves, and surround themselves with things that reflect their sense of self. Music, plants, posters or paintings, colours and fragrances – all of these things can help ground you and give you a sense of belonging and security.  It’s not about the objects as much as the energy they create. Start by making sure your space is clean. Dirt, mess and clutter drain you and create stagnant energy.  Clear the clutter, and then begin to make your space somewhere that is inviting, uplifting and positive. Best crystals for a sense of safety and peace – Banded Agate, Smoky Quartz, Rose Quartz, Sodalite and Snowflake Obsidian

3.  Practice respect.  Respect yourself enough to avoid, minimise your exposure to or end toxic relationships and to stop toxic behavours. Respect your body by eating well, and by exercising daily – even when it’s hard.  Especially when it’s hard and you don’t want to. That’s what parents do.  They make sure we drink enough water, eat our greens, get enough sleep, and get out of bed in the morning.  In everything that you do, ask yourself “Does this action or choice honour me?”  When we suffer from a lack of self-love it’s easy to make choices that don’t do the best by us.  In some cases we even choose things that sabotage our well-being.  Once again, if you’re really struggling here, ask for help, whether it’s a counsellor, personal trainer, rehab facility or a good friend who has your back. Great crystals healing self-sabotage and supporting self respect – Black Tourmaline, Amazonite, Yellow Turquoise, Bloodstone

4.  Find something to look forward to and work towards it, or include it in your life.  Whether it’s an overseas holiday, salsa dancing lessons, art classes or writing your life story, everyone needs to have a sense of purpose, and that purpose doesn’t have to be career related. Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if you have to start small. Best crystals for joy and connection to the flow of life – Green Aventurine, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Fluorite

5.  Spend some time in nature each day. Fresh air and sunshine has been used as a remedy for depression and to heal all manner of ills for centuries. Watching animals in nature has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase endorphins and relax tension in our muscles. Having contact with pets also helps us heal and feel better about ourselves, and teaches us responsibility for others. Best crystals for connection to nature and the earth – Jasper, Carnelian, Hematite,  Septarian Nodules, Unakite

Treat yourself with kindness today and always. Holding you in my prayers and meditations,

Nicole ❤ xx

Just For Today, Choose Kindness

“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”

“When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

~ Both quotes from The Dalai Lama

I have a little challenge for you today. It’s a kind of soul medicine, and although it can be a little difficult if you’re out of practice, the more you move into the energy of this challenge the more you will find that it was always your soul’s default position. Think of this challenge as a way to restore your factory settings!

Ready?

Just for today, choose kindness.

Choose to smile from your heart.

Hold back any harsh thoughts, words or criticisms, and find a way to be gentle in your dealings with self and others.

Let kindness be both your journey and your destination.

Just for today, choose kindness.

Let kindness colour the way you see the world.

Put away judgement, and seek out things that can swell your heart with gratitude.

Look for the good in people, the beauty in your surroundings, the blessings at your feet.

Appreciate the simple things, and if you can, share those simple things with others.

A caring word, a gentle touch, a nod of support – none of these things will cost you a penny, but to someone they might be priceless gifts.

When we choose kindness, we ease the way for ourselves and others.  We become an agent for flow and abundance.  Our attitude affirms the goodness and connection inherent in this experience we call life.

We may become an Earthly Angel for someone for whom the Universe intends support or encouragement. God and good can only work THROUGH us. Why not be an agent for that good? Why not be choose to be part of a deliberate energy of love and positivity?

Whatever we choose to think and believe, whatever actions we offer up to the world, our energies come back to us, multiplied.

Trust that the kindness we offer today will find its way back to us when we most need it.

Through the act of living from our hearts, we are transformed, becoming magnetic to even more good-will and positive energy.

Just for today, choose kindness.

Let the energy of love transform your life.  Let the energy of love transform our world.

Just for today, choose kindness.

Today, in someone’s darkness, you can be the Light. ♥

Sending all my love to you, Nicole xoxo

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

Stones, Crystals and Meditation Magic

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” ~ Caroline Myss

 

I have long been a meditator. In fact it has been a daily practice for me since adolescence. Even with my recent bout of ill-health I haven’t missed a day. It’s as much a part of my life as sleeping or breathing.

As I was walking along the beach on Monday morning I came upon a particular rock. It’s just a stone. But it holds the energies of the ocean and the earth. It is an anchoring stone. And it comes from Byron Bay, which is a place of great healing and transformation. As I held it in my hand I knew that I would meditate with it, and that this stone would hold those energies in a way that could be transferred to someone else.

Which gave me an idea…

I have decided to dedicate a meditation each day of the month to a chosen stone and a crystal companion. The stone becomes the Anchoring Stone, which helps us to stay grounded, clear and calm, connecting into our bodies, and to the earth and nature. The crystal becomes the Connection Stone, enabling us to connect into our intuition, Higher Self, Guides, Ancestors and the Divine.

I will use the energies of the month to support me as I meditate with intention, infusing the stones with that energy.

Here are the stones I will work with every day in July:

The energies and intention I will infuse into the Byron Bay Beach Rock will be that the holder comes to know and understand their body and how to honour and take care of it to give lasting health and wellbeing. This knowledge will also contribute to a state of inner calm and of self-care.

The energies and intention I shall infuse into the Tasmanian Quartz Crystal will be a deep connection to the user’s ancestral line, intuition, Guides, Angels, the Divine – facilitating a stronger understanding of the user’s individual talents and gifts, and those that have been passed down through their ancestral lineage. All of this will help to give clarity of life path.

My team will devise a new competition each month to enable someone from our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community to win the stones as well as a meditation recorded just for them.

All of the love and energy and intention that I pour into these stones daily will then be available for the user in their own meditation. It’s also okay if you’ve never meditated before. I’ll send you instructions!

I’m so glad that this idea found me, so that the right stones can find you.

We’ll post more details soon.

Hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xoxo

A Very Quiet Anniversary

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“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

It was our seventeenth wedding anniversary yesterday.

And our day looked like this.

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And this. (That’s a boat made of ginger, filled with moxa – a total OMG treatment – wow!!! I’ll blog about that another day!)

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After which I retired to bed and slept for the rest of the day.

But that’s okay.

Sometimes that’s what love looks like.

I’m working hard with my awesome team at beating this enduring antibiotic-resistant superbug that has been causing so much havoc. It’s working. I’m improving. But it’s been quite the battle. And my regime is intensive just now.

We rescheduled yesterday’s wedding anniversary. Just like we rescheduled Ben’s birthday. And mine last year (which happened the day after major surgery and which ranks as the number one worst birthday of my life!). Hopefully, if my health keeps improving, we’ll be heading to Vietnam and then the Philippines in three weeks. We’ll celebrate everything there.

Meanwhile, I am feeling brighter this morning so Ben and Cafe Dog and I are off to town in search of a tasty breakfast.

Love to you all, Nicole <3 xx

Unexpected Gifts – Nurse Bert!

Kerry Warnholtz

The talented Kerry Warnholtz, on a recent photo and video shoot at our farm.

“Acts of Kindness:
A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”
~ Roy T. Bennett

 

It’s been a hard few weeks, with the loss of our precious dog Bert.

It’s also been rough because I am still fighting the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that I picked up in hospital last year. It’s manifested as a persistent urinary tract infection that has made my life quite miserable. Right now I’m on aggressive treatment, which is working, but which also involves regular IV therapy, acupuncture and lots of herbs and essential oils.

So you can imagine that I have been feeling a little glum…

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Ben and Harry and I have been greatly buoyed by all of your kind comments and love, and the outpouring of stories you’ve shared with us of your own pets and loved ones.

Thank you. <3

It has made a tough time more bearable.

I also received two other gifts on Wednesday which have overwhelmed us with their kindness.

The first was a little book, made by my thoughtful friend Monique Sinclaire. Inside were a collection of pictures of Bert which she must have found online. In an act of deep synchronicity the photo at the beginning and end of the book were the same ones I chose for the beginning and end of Wednesday’s blog about Bert’s passing. Thank you, Monique. We’ll treasure this!

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The other was a short video, made by the ever-kind Kerry Warnholtz. Kerry is an incredibly gifted and heart-centered photographer and videographer. Last year Kerry spent a week at our farm and one of my retreats to shoot footage for a short documentary for me. The aim of the documentary was to capture the work and care we put into preparing for and running our retreats.

I’ll show you the results soon. It’s wonderful!

Of course Kerry shot oodles of footage. Of everything. And somewhere in all of that she had the sweetest piece of video, of Ben, me and Nurse Bert, in the back yard at the end of the day, as we all enjoyed a cup of tea and the leftover treats from our photo shoot. (A big shout out to Jessie and Andrew from Home Amongst The Green, whose delicious treats feature on the plate that Bert can’t take his eyes off!)

It was such a glorious and unexpected wonder, to look at our beautiful boy once more, being his irrepressible food-oriented self. Watch his eyes, which tell you quite repeatedly that he would like a treat please!

Thank you, Kerry. It made us laugh and cry, and all of that is good medicine.

If you’re ever looking for someone to capture the heart and soul of your family or business in images, look no further than Kerry. I can’t recommend her highly enough. You can find her at Truth Seeker Images Multimedia.

And here he is, Nurse Bert, one more time…

Calling All Lightworkers – Breathe in Pain, Breathe out Peace

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr

 

Have you been feeling unsettled or agitated? Have you felt overwhelmed with world events or climactic ones? Are there problems closer to home causing you distress?

At times it is easy to feel small and insignificant – unable to help when all we feel in our hearts is an urge to try. Whether it is pain and illness in our family, or troubles within the environment or the wider world, we can often feel powerless to do anything meaningful.

But there is something we can do. Meditate!

Right now, one of the most helpful things that you can do as a Lightworker is to anchor love, light and positive intent in the world.

Tonglen is Tibetan for ‘giving and receiving’ and it is a beautiful and simple meditation practice than anyone can do, with no experience.  What matters is your intent.

Sit or lie quietly, and close your eyes. I like to sit with my spine straight, and my hands together in my lap, thumb tips pressed lightly together. If I’m lying in bed, I lie on my back with my hands crossed together over my heart. Try to sit if you can, but for those of you unwell or unable to do so, a prone meditation practice will still work.

Start by imagining someone who you want to help. It might be a friend with depression.  You breathe in the heaviness of their energy and suffering and breathe out joy and peace, or whatever other energy you feel would bring them comfort.

All you ever have to do is ‘breathe in’ the condition, emotion or suffering of another, making room for healing and comfort within them.  Then ‘breathe out’ positive energy, love and light to fill the space you have created.

The suffering of others is also our own suffering, so this meditation can help us as we endeavour to help others.  If you are in pain, breathe in your own pain and also the pain of everyone who is suffering from your affliction.  Breathe out relief to everyone, in whatever form feels most right to you.

Do not worry that the things you breathe in will become a part of you, further weighing you down. As you breathe in suffering it is transmuted back into light, and it dissipates harmlessly.

Sometimes you may not even have a word for what you are breathing it – it will simply be a feeling, a weightiness, a blackness or even a void.  Breathe out hope, lightness, joy and well-being.  Breathe out ease.

At times when we don’t know what else to do, this suffices. As you bring peace to others, you bring it also to yourself.  It is a very soothing and calming practice.  You don’t need to belong to any particular religion, or follow any particular spiritual philosophy.  This simple practice merely acknowledges that we are all human, all connected, and all the same – no matter who we are, or where we come from.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says of Tonglen:

“Whether this meditation really helps others or not, it gives me peace of mind. Then I can be more effective, and the benefit is immense.”

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In addition to meditation, here are some simple additional things you might like to try:

  • Treat yourself kindly and with care. Get enough sleep, eat well, and find things to be grateful for in your daily life.
  • Reach out to others with a spirit of friendship and compassion.
  • Spend time in nature, resting and reinvigorating your soul.
  • Don’t contribute to gossip, hurtful or negative talk, or sharing negative views or images on social media.
  • Spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Laugh together, and make good memories.
  • Read uplifting and nourishing books – both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Grow food or flowers.
  • Use your shopping dollars to support products, services and enterprises who contribute positively and responsibly to the environment and community.
  • Speak kindly to yourself and others.
  • Choose to remain positive and optimistic about the future. Anchor that energy of hope. Be inspirational to those around you.
  • Live life lovingly and to the best of your ability.
  • Follow your own joy. Create, dream, travel, start the project or business you’ve been thinking about for so long, connect, be yourself, learn something new, teach something you know, be the change.
  • Know that your life matters, your ideas matter, you matter!

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we might just change the world.

Sending so much love to you.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

Nicole <3 xoxo

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