Me, Flu and You!

 

“There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.” 
Robert G. Ingersoll

You might have noticed I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth these past few weeks.

There’s a reason for that.

I’ve just come face-to-face with a very nasty strain of influenza.

For most people flu is a mild illness that causes sore throat, runny nose, fever and chills which last several days. But for people like me who are immuno-compromised and for other high-risk categories such as the very young, the elderly and people suffering from chronic illness or underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes, influenza can be a very different illness.

If you’ve only recently arrived at my blog you might not know that I suffer from late-stage lyme disease, multi-organ and system compromise, and ongoing heart issues among other things. I’ve been to hell and back with my health and more than once in the past few decades the dark bird of death has sat companionably on my shoulder.

Still, I’m so much better now. These past few months I’ve been the strongest and most vital I have been in years. My improved health is the result of a great team, a regime, ongoing management and many, many hours of my life. Most of that hard work is invisible to the world. Instead what I hear is how great I look these days. Thanks. I’m working on it! 35 years worth of working on it, and counting…

When you don’t live in the world of chronic illness you might not realise that even when we look and feel well we usually have ongoing issues we are managing and our underlying immune systems may be weak. If our immune systems are in fact stronger than they have been it still only takes a few bad nights of limited sleep, of stress or of us overdoing our physical energetic limits for us to end up in a place where it is so much easier for us to succumb to infections. Sometimes we succumb anyway, even when we are healthy, because our immunity is just not as strong as other members of the community.

So that’s where Influenza A H3N2 (also known as Aussie Flu) and I collided a few weeks ago.

I’m hypervigilant when it comes to germs. I never touch my face, especially when we’re out. I wash my hands well, and always before eating. If I’m out I’ll use a hand sanitiser before eating and after using a shopping cart or touching any surfaces. On planes and in confined spaces I’ll wear a bamboo fabric mask impregnated with anti-bacterial and anti-microbial essential oils. I avoid people who are ill, and will avoid crowds and places that might put me at a higher risk of infection. I’ve managed to travel overseas, go to festivals and events and to holiday well several times, all without becoming ill and even as those around me have been sick – which I put down to me being vigilant and also having a great medical team caring for me from week to week.

So how did I get sick this time?

A client came to my home while she was recovering from having been very unwell. She didn’t disclose this to me and as she greeted me she coughed directly into my face. She was less than thirty centimetres away from me and her spittle covered my face and went into my eyes. She laughed, a little embarrassed, and wiped at my face with her hands. ‘Sorry, Love,’ she said, ‘just getting over the flu.’

My heart sank. But I tried to be hopeful that nothing would eventuate.

Less than twenty-four hours later I developed a sore throat. My glands came up in my neck, groin and armpits. Within a few hours I had a raging fever and could barely stand. I cancelled the rest of my week and put myself to bed, hoping that rest and an aggressive regime of herbs and Vitamin C might limit the damage and have me up again in a few days.

None of that helped. Overnight I deteriorated in a way that really scared me. I went from high fevers to chills and back to fevers again, was so weak I couldn’t sit upright, my throat inflamed and swollen so it felt like swallowing razor blades, my entire body ached, and I had a stabbing headache bad enough that I lost vision in my left eye. Eventually I could barely breathe, and my heart went into tachycardia. Add in chest pain and vomiting. Yep, awful!

I stayed like that for days, alternating between sleep and delirium. My doctors and cardiologist checked me out and decided I was better managed at home to avoid the risk of pneumonia and advised me to only come back to the hospital if my heart rate went to a certain level and stayed there over an extended time, or if my chest pain or breathing difficulties became too severe.

The last fortnight has been scary and hard, especially with all of the chest pain and arrhythmias. If I am honest I’ve also struggled psychologically with being so ill again after having felt on top of the world just a few weeks ago.

I’m through the worst of it now. A year ago this infection may have killed me (and yes, every day I give thanks for having such awesome doctors in my life, and my amazing local GP-acupuncturist and team whom I’m convinced are my secret weapon in the return to vitality from Lyme – thanks Dr Adam and Jodi!).

My symptoms are slowly easing, although my heart is still misbehaving. I currently look like I went one too many rounds in the boxing ring with a hefty opponent. And I’m earth-shatteringly exhausted. I have no energy for anything at all.

That’s how I know I’m still unwell. All I want to do is sleep. And that’s how I’ll know when I am better. I’ll be itching to get up and do something!

Meanwhile I have made a promise to Ben, my staff and my doctors that I will respect the flu and keep resting. I will not come back to full-on life too quickly. I will not overdo it and set myself back.

So, that’s where I’ve been. You know it’s never good news when I go quiet…

Think you might have the flu? Stay home and in bed if you can. Rest and keep up your fluid intake. Please, if you’re unwell spare a thought for others whose immune systems might not be as robust as yours. Practice good hand hygiene, cover your mouth when you cough, cover your nose when you sneeze, and don’t leave used tissues lying around. If you know someone who is pregnant, elderly, very young or who has a health issue avoid them while you’re unwell.  Seek medical advice or go to hospital if you spike and sustain a high fever, have trouble breathing or become breathless, if you have chest pain or severe abdominal pain, if you become dizzy or confused or if you have sudden severe vomiting. Not sick? Think about getting the flu vaccination, especially if you are in a high-risk category.

Thanks to everyone who has sent messages and checked up on me. I’m so grateful for your love and support. I promise I’ll be back on deck just as soon as I have my doctors’ blessings and enough energy to share with all of you as well as having enough for myself. Another week or two and I’m sure I’ll be just fine!

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

Join our Book Reading Challenge for April 2018

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”  
~  Marcus Tullius Cicero

Do you love to read?

In January of 2017 a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge. It was a fine year of reading, friendship and sharing of our love of stories and all things book-related. Now, in 2018, with a successful Challenge already completed, it’s time to embark on a new year of reading adventures.

This year the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Team has decided to nominate Pencils of Promise as the charity we’ll be supporting through our Book Reading Challenge. Pencils of Promise build schools in the developing world, train teachers, and support kids and communities to be able to access education. In 2018 more than 1 in every ten children around the world is illiterate and in developing countries, that figure is 1 in 3. I’m hoping that our loyal blog community can change that, and help provide opportunities for some of those kids to be able to read, write and learn so that their lives can open out in front of them in more meaningful ways.

Would you like to join us? Let me explain the Challenge to you:

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book, short story or journal article each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when. It could be an e-book or an audio-book. It can be any kind of book, story or article at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. A comment piece, investigative journalism, or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book, story or article you are currently reading or listening to here or have finished during the month on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest any books, stories, articles or audiobooks that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of resources that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Sign up to become a Team Member of the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Fundraising Team for Pencils of Promise. Here’s the link for you to join.
  4. Download the Book Tracker. Each month write the name of any book/story/article you have read in the corresponding month. It’s fine to add more than one. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read or go directly to Pencils of Promise and make a donation there. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford will be great. Here’s the Book Tracker for you to download – just click on this link: BOOK-TRACKER-3. There’s a space for you to write down your reading wish list. Then start filling in the Monthly Tracker when you’ve read your first book.
  5. During the year I will put up a Book Challenge Post on the fourth Saturday of every month so that we can discuss the books and stories we’ve read or listened to, and swap ideas and reviews. I’ll also be asking you to donate the money you set aside from your completed books and stories to Pencils of Promise. When you donate that money is up to you. Just make sure you have registered as a team member first. It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!
  6. During the year we will also be holding a Read-A-Thon so that you can get your family, friends and workmates to sponsor you for the books and stories you read or listen to. It will be a great way for you to indulge in some reading for a good cause, and to raise some extra money towards our goal.

Download this: BOOK-TRACKER-3

I’d love you to get your friends involved, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end, and at various points before that, we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else in the form of a donation to help Pencils of Promise deliver more readers and writers to the world.

So, that’s our Reading Challenge for 2018. Want to join us? Go add your name below, join our Fundraising Team and don’t forget to let us know what books have you been reading or listening to this past month.

And now for April…

Let’s end the month off with the list of books, stories, articles and audiobooks we’ve already enjoyed in April.

Go ahead and tell us in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

 

Join our Book Reading Challenge for March 2018

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  
~  William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

Do you love to read?

In January of 2017 a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge. It was a fine year of reading, friendship and sharing of our love of stories and all things book-related. Now, in 2018, with a successful Challenge already completed, it’s time to embark on a new year of reading adventures.

This year the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Team has decided to nominate Pencils of Promise as the charity we’ll be supporting through our Book Reading Challenge. Pencils of Promise build schools in the developing world, train teachers, and support kids and communities to be able to access education. In 2018 more than 1 in every ten children around the world is illiterate and in developing countries, that figure is 1 in 3. I’m hoping that our loyal blog community can change that, and help provide opportunities for some of those kids to be able to read, write and learn so that their lives can open out in front of them in more meaningful ways.

Would you like to join us? Let me explain the Challenge to you:

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book, short story or journal article each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when. It could be an e-book or an audio-book. It can be any kind of book, story or article at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. A comment piece, investigative journalism, or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book, story or article you are currently reading or listening to here or have finished during the month on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest any books, stories, articles or audiobooks that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of resources that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Sign up to become a Team Member of the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Fundraising Team for Pencils of Promise. Here’s the link for you to join.
  4. Download the Book Tracker. Each month write the name of any book/story/article you have read in the corresponding month. It’s fine to add more than one. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read or go directly to Pencils of Promise and make a donation there. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford will be great. Here’s the Book Tracker for you to download – just click on this link: BOOK-TRACKER-3. There’s a space for you to write down your reading wish list. Then start filling in the Monthly Tracker when you’ve read your first book.
  5. During the year I will put up a Book Challenge Post on the fourth Saturday of every month so that we can discuss the books and stories we’ve read or listened to, and swap ideas and reviews. I’ll also be asking you to donate the money you set aside from your completed books and stories to Pencils of Promise. When you donate that money is up to you. Just make sure you have registered as a team member first. It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!
  6. During the year we will also be holding a Read-A-Thon so that you can get your family, friends and workmates to sponsor you for the books and stories you read or listen to. It will be a great way for you to indulge in some reading for a good cause, and to raise some extra money towards our goal.

Download this: BOOK-TRACKER-3

I’d love you to get your friends involved, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end, and at various points before that, we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else in the form of a donation to help Pencils of Promise deliver more readers and writers to the world.

So, that’s our Reading Challenge for 2018. Want to join us? Go add your name below, join our Fundraising Team and don’t forget to let us know what books have you been reading or listening to this past month.

And now for March…

Let’s end the month off with the list of books, stories, articles and audiobooks we’ve already enjoyed in March.

Go ahead and tell us in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

This is my reading list so far for March:

  • Somebody I Used To Know by Wendy Mitchell. This frank and heartfelt memoir of a woman diagnosed with early onset dementia has been instructive in helping me to understand and better care for Ben’s 92-year-old mum who also has dementia.

It was a busy month looking after family and working on my own book so I didn’t get much reading done. But I dug out four manuscripts that need tidying up and sending off and I read those too. So that’s one book by Wendy and five manuscripts by me. I have also reread my memoir three times!

It will be lovely to hold a published book of my own in my hands one day. ❤

Want a little Joy in your life?

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 
Rumi

2018 is a year for connection, community, creativity and collaboration. To honour the spirit of this energy I’ll be writing an occasional post this year about my friends, students and community members to share their work and ideas with you. There’s no financial gain for me to share any of these posts, although I may seek to secure additional bonuses or rewards for you – I’m doing this simply in the spirit of friendship and support because good communities lift each other up.

This morning I’m doing a shout-out for Helen Joy Butler, who has some lovely products she is offering on her website and that would make great Mothers Day gifts, or of course a lovely gift for you.

Meet Helen:

In her own words:

I’M HELEN JOY BUTLER, SANCTUARY CREATOR AND ELEMENTAL SPACE CLEARER

and I work with busy women, to help them reconnect with their life purpose all through the concept of sanctuary.

I believe that by shifting the physical and energetic clutter from our homes, our bodies and our lives we can create space in our mind and our heart which, in turn, gives us the momentum to move forward with our true life purpose.

One of the ways that Helen can help you reconnect to the joy in your everyday life is through her Joy Burst Cards and Joy Journal.

The Joy Burst Cards are a small deck of cards with messages and affirmations to help you find the love, compassion and joy around you each day. They come in a sweet little organza bag, and Helen includes a small surprise gift with each deck. I have given several of these decks as gifts to people, and they are always well received! You can find the link to order them here.

Helen’s Joy Journal is a hard-cover book with a treasure trove of goodness inside. You’ll find journal prompts and questions to help you reconnect to the energies of joy in your life, plus Helen breaks down the concept of joy in ways that make it easier to understand and implement. There are also lined and blank pages to write in, and some delicious mandalas to colour. It would make a lovely companion to the Joy Burst Cards. One of my favourite features of the journal are Helen’s three Manifestos at the end of the book – three full-colour pages, one for home, one for body and one for life – that give you some simple positive statements to reflect upon, use as affirmations and that can help you transform your relationship with your home, body and life. You can order your copies of the Joy Journal here.

These cards and journal are wonderful tools for creating a sense of peace, calm and nurture in your life. Remember to order your journals and cards with enough time for them to be shipped to you, especially if you want them as gifts for Mothers Day which is Sunday May 13 in Australia, the USA  and many other parts of the world.

Much love to you, and thanks for being part of my community, Nicole  xx

 

 

 

 

10 Ways To Be Kind to Yourself

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.  ~ Brian Andreas

Mostly when we think of kindness, we think of how we can act towards others. But today I want to focus on another equally important type of kindness – that which we extend to ourselves.

Too often we forget ourselves in the hurry and bustle of the year, and many sensitive souls get so busy looking after others that they forget to look after themselves at all.

Why not let 2018 be your year of aware self-care?

Here are ten simple acts of kindness you can give as gifts to yourself:

1.  Eat well – a simple, nourishing home-cooked meal eaten slowly and with appreciation – to replenish your body and comfort your soul. If there’s no time for cooking, have some healthy take-out options already thought through so that you don’t succumb to junk. (Pictured below is my Easy Kale and Orange Salad with Miso Dressing)

2.  Say no when you’re too tired.  No-one can run on adrenalin forever.  Honour your feelings and your own needs. Listen to your heart. Let yourself rest.  Replenish those batteries.  * Good advice here:  Are you too nice? 

3. Indulge in some self-maintenance.  Get your hair cut, have a massage, update your wardrobe or make that appointment with the doctor or dentist. For more info try 8 Ingredients for Better Health

4. Move your body! We were designed to move, and exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit. Choose an activity or sport that you enjoy, or simply go for a walk.

5.  Read a book.  Self-help, romance, educational, escapism, fantasy or non-fiction.  Reading is a wonderful way to take some time for yourself, to relax or to give yourself a mental stretching session.

6.  Make time for the things that you enjoy.  Indulge your hobbies, and connect with like-minded people who share your interests.

7.  Spend some real time with people (and creatures) you love!  Friends, family, pets – everyone who loves us and who makes us feel good about ourselves.  Social isolation is an insidious thing – facebook and texting can’t make up for that special energy of meeting up face to face for love, hugs, and laughs.

8.  Spend a little time dreaming…  Dreams aren’t just for kids.  Everybody needs a dream.  Try this great journalling activity: Writing Yourself into a Brighter Future

9.  Hang out in nature.  Spend the day or a week! Feel the sun at your back, the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin. Let nature fill you up and get you grounded again. Read more here: The Healing Power of Nature

10.  Ask for help.  Sometimes we just can’t do it on our own.  And sometimes we just don’t know what to do or where to start. On the days when we’re wrung out and hanging on by our fingernails, there will be someone out there who cares and is in a place where they can extend that guidance and support to you.  Asking for help is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can give ourselves. There’s more on this here: Sometimes your only job is to ask for help

You are worthy, beautiful, and you deserve love and kindness. Most of all, you need it from yourself.  The way we treat ourselves sets the tone in the wider Universe for how we expect to be treated. And our expectations have a way of manifesting…  Choose kindness!

Bless.

Much love, Nicole ♥ xx

I Have A Favour To Ask You

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 
~  Albert Camus

If you read my Welcome to March post you’ll remember that this month is all about relationships and being committed to what matters to us.

Energetically we’ve just gone through a few weeks with solar flares and planetary alignments creating situations where many of us have faced challenges or have needed to face or address problems in our lives.

I know you will have felt it, as all of you here in our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community are intuitive, empathic and sensitive, which is why we get along and understand each other so well.

So my friends, here’s my weekend challenge to you, based on how you’re feeling. Choose the option that suits you best. And yes, you can choose more than one.

  1. Phone a friend or relative to touch base, say hi and check on how they’re doing. This is especially important if they have ongoing issues or if something has happened recently or a while ago in their lives. The world has a short attention span and often only offers support and caring in the first five minutes of an event. Be that voice of kindness at the end of a phone line.
  2. Catch up with some loved ones or friends. Go for a coffee. Ask them around to your place and have them bring a plate to share. Go bowling or to a movie together. Hang out in each others company and catch up on each others news. Yes, this includes your partner and kids! And maybe your pet needs some attention too 🙂
  3. Spend some time on something that matters to you and that will refill your tanks. Alone or in a group – whatever it is that you most need right now.
  4. If you’re the one feeling wrung out or fragile reach out to someone. Phone a family member or friend, join a support group or make an appointment to get some help from a professional. You don’t have to do this alone.
  5. Do something that makes you feel alive. Dancing, travelling, laughing, gardening, surfing. Something new. An old favourite you don’t have enough time for anymore.
  6. Connect up. Use prayer, meditation or your favourite spiritual practices to connect into the comfort and wisdom of your Higher Self, Guides, Angels, God, Nature or whatever is your faith.

We’re all in this crazy life together, and it’s our togetherness that will get us through.
biggest hugs and love, Nicole xoxo

Opening Our Hearts to Love -Monday Oracle 5 March 2018

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”
― Narrator, Beauty and the Beast

 

Hello, Lovelies!

March is a month for relationships, commitment to what matters to us, and for being unapologetically ourselves. The more we stay true to ourselves in March the more we will be able to manifest profound and/or quite magical changes! Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of awareness which the oracle card Beauty and the Beast brings us.

Beauty and the Beast is the Inner Child Deck’s take on the traditional Strength card in traditional tarot. This week we are reminded to open our hearts to love. Love is not always what movies and books tell us to look for. (My Nana had great relationship advice – you can read more about that here.) Love is not always romance – dinners out, chocolates and roses, soul mates, steamy sex. Love is also the partner who picks us up after a late night function so we can get home safely, love is the exhausted mother who still takes time to pack nutritious school lunches, it’s the parent who pays attention to the ‘Look at me’ from their child for the hundredth time that morning, it’s the teacher who makes an effort to write an encouraging comment on a report, no matter what grades the student received, the friend who sits with us when our life has turned upside-down, the partner who assembles the flat pack or the kids’ Christmas presents until three in the morning even though we were the one who chose it.

Love is the care with which your barista makes your coffee, the way your pet gazes at you, the way your Mum’s mashed potatoes always taste better than yours.

Love is when you stay up to listen to one more song even though you have an early day tomorrow because the music speaks to your heart, or when you lose yourself in a project. It’s the satisfaction you feel when you’ve arranged a bunch of flowers, put clean sheets on your bed and made your room just so, sucked in a lungful of salty air at the seaside, watched a perfect sunrise.

Love is what fills you up, and what moves you. It’s laughter and shared moments, acts of kindness and service, it’s loving people just as they are.

Love is life, and this week the energies support us living and feeling deeply. It’s a week to kindle gratitude and compassion in our hearts, a week for healing and moving on, a week for trusting and opening out to the world again.

This little video captures that energy perfectly.

Supportive crystals this week?

Clear Quartz amplifies your intuition and your ability to tune in to Universal and Personal Wisdom. Amazonite (pictured) helps us to live from our heart and to tune into our innermost desires. Unakite opens your heart to love, and draws love, friendship and helpful people to you. It helps you to overcome feelings of isolation or loneliness. Green Aventurine supports us to be playful, joyful and optimistic about life

Helpful essential oils?

I’m loving Young Living’s Geranium this week. This sweet uplifting oil helps us to open our hearts, to find our enthusiasm and optimism and promotes peace and emotional wellbeing. Use it as a perfume or diffuse it. Add few drops added to your bath make for magical self-care.

Want to make your own blend? Each of these oils work well with Geranium: Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Orange is uplifting, busts stress and helps us overcome self-doubt, Lemon is refreshing and supportive – it helps us overcome cynicism and move to a place of optimism and trust in the Universe and Jasmine opens us to intuition and spiritual guidance. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

Need some extra support for your year?

Go grab one of my Year of ME Planners over at my Store (ME stands for Manifesting Energies, and the energies of 2018 are fabulous!) The digital full-year planner can be in your inbox in minutes, ready for you to review 2017 and begin mapping out what matters for you in 2018.

Want fun, friendship, learning and loveliness? Join my Year of ME community and year long course for webinars, meditations and loads of activities and helpful tools and the most fantastic online facebook group. A digital copy of our Planner is also included with this package. It’s where I hang out. I also pull cards for my members, comment on posts and give guidance and run exclusive online channelling events to help my community learn and grow. You’ll feel right at home with us! Details in my store.

I’ve got a fabulous course and coaching options if you are a heart and soul centred entrepreneur or if you want to be. Come join my YOMpreneur group and let me help you create or grow your business. (Doors close March 15!)

All the information you need is over at my Store.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

 

The Energies of March– 2018

Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” 
~  Lady Gaga

Hello, Lovelies :)

March is a month for relationships, commitment to what matters to us, and for being unapologetically ourselves. The more we stay true to ourselves in March the more we will be able to manifest profound and/or quite magical changes!

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for March for you: one from Colette Baron-Reid’s The Enchanted Map and one from Steven Farmer’s Earth Magic Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in a conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channeled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

“At the center of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.”
~ Lao Tzu

March is a month for rediscovering ourselves and owning who we are without apology. It’s great for examining or creating our plans, goals and dreams, and for exploring our relationships with ourselves and others. Really dive deep this month with your journaling and planning. 

Ask yourself the big questions about how you feel about things, what you believe in and what you stand for. Don’t be surprised to find that your views have shifted since the last time you checked in with yourself. It’s a month of strengthening confidence about our life or business direction, and for feeling ready to share our ideas, gifts or talents in bigger ways.

The second card I’ve chosen is LOTUS FLOWER. 

A flower blooming in the desert proves to the world that adversity, no matter how great, can be overcome.
~ Matshona Dhliwayo

March is a relationship-centred month. Love and friendships can blossom in March, so make sure that you have time for socialising and for spending time with friends, family or your love interest. It’s also a strong month for fertility and creativity, so take that into account in your planning. Anything you want to grow will grow well in March – babies, gardens, projects, hobbies, new ideas. Nurture them and sing them into being.

Finally, March is a month for getting off the fence, committing to what matters to you and stepping back from the things and relationships about which you are indifferent or out of synch. Commit to the things that you want to make work and that you care about – the relationship, the health plan, the writers’ group, the local environment campaign, the business you want to start or need to build on, or whatever else is your thing. If you’re not sure what you want to do use this month to get clarity. You will!

Best crystals this month?

Amazonite and Clear Quartz

Amazonite helps you to stand in your power and be brave in putting yourself and your ideas out into the world.

Clear Quartz amplifies your intuition and your ability to tune in to Universal and Personal Wisdom.

Essential oils to support your journey?

Young Living’s Abundance blend is my choice for March. Containing orange, patchouli, frankincense, clove, ginger, myrhh, cinnamon and spruce it has a rich spicy aroma and I find it very grounding and centering. I love this oil for helping me get into a space of allowing, receiving and flow. If ever I feel out of sorts, unworthy, undeserving or out of alignment Abundance is my go-to oil. Usage: A drop over your heart and on your wrists as a perfume and/or on crown of head, back of neck and behind ears work well. So does diffusing the oil of putting a few drops in your bath water.

Want to make your own blend? Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own but they’ll also make a great combination for diffusing. Orange is uplifting, busts stress and helps us overcome self-doubt. Frankincense elevates our mood and promotes spiritual connection and intuition, Patchouli reduces inflammation and stress in the body and it helps us to feel deserving and open to abundance, Myrhh is a deeply spiritual oil – it’s a resin with a smoky sweet and slightly bitter smell which helps link our left and right brain bringing balance, calm and centering.  (Frankincense and Myrrh are said to be two of the three gifts brought by the three wise men to the baby Jesus, the third gift being gold.) To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

Image from juicingforhealth.com


Wishing you a love-filled, satisfying and wonder-full March.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo

A Week For Romance and Matters Of the Heart – Monday Oracle – 26 February 2018

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

Hello, Lovelies!

February energies are about building on the strength and intuitive connection we found for ourselves at the beginning of the year. February brings opportunities for planning, learning and growing in order to bring about positive change. We’ll also step into the energies of March this week – it’s a month for relationships, commitment and being unapologetically ourselves. Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of awareness which the oracle card Ace of Hearts brings us.

This week brings romance, and falling in love with opportunities, ideas, places and possibilities.

It also brings healing in many forms – for some it’s an opportunity to move on from old hurts, for others it is justice and an acknowledgement of our truth, for some it’s about reunions and reconnections. It’s a week where we can commit whole-heartedly to an idea, a project or a business. It’s a week for new beginnings, proposals, engagements and recommitments. In short it’s a big heart-centred week of doors closing so that others might open.

The Ace of Hearts reminds us that living from our heart, honouring our feelings, standing up for love and justice, and pouring our whole heart into what matters to us is always the best way to live.

This week make time for love, and for loving life.

Supportive crystals this week?

Sunstone helps you to sit in a place of abundance thinking so that you see the blessings and possibilities in life and to believe in your right to a better future. Banded Agate creates a sense of security and courage as you open up to living more fully as yourself. Amazonite (pictured) is fantastic for being brave in putting yourself and your ideas out into the world. It’s a super stone for taking first steps in relationships and for helping you express your feelings. Unakite opens your heart to love, and draws love, friendship and helpful people to you. It helps you to overcome feelings of isolation or loneliness.

 

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Joy or Believe essential oil blends, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of Grapefruit, Basil, Geranium and Sandalwood. The Joy blend is fabulous if you are feeling anxious or uncertain, or a bit sad or stuck. It’s reassuring and uplifting; wonderful for gently shifting depression and self-doubt. I often wear it as a perfume. Believe oil is a super stress-buster that boosts feel-good energies and self-esteem. It smells so uplifting and pretty too. It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week.

Want to make your own blend? Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own but they also make a delicious combination for diffusing. Frankincense elevates our mood and promotes spiritual connection and intuition, Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Ylang Ylang opens our hearts and is supportive when we feel anxious or overwhelmed, and Bergamot promotes joy, gratitude and optimism. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

Need some extra support for your year?

Go grab one of my Year of ME Planners over at my Store (ME stands for Manifesting Energies, and the energies of 2018 are fabulous!) The digital full-year planner can be in your inbox in minutes, ready for you to review 2017 and begin mapping out what matters for you in 2018.

The Channelling Recordings for 2018 have heaps of supportive information about relationships and learning how to feel good about yourself.

Want fun, friendship, learning and loveliness? Join my Year of ME community for a whole year of webinars, meditations and loads of activities and helpful tools and the most fantastic online facebook group. You’ll feel right at home with us!

I’ve got a fabulous course and coaching options if you are a heart and soul centred entrepreneur or if you want to be. Come join my YOMpreneur group and let me help you create or grow your business.

All the information you need is over at my Store.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Nine of Swords’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

 

Join our Book Reading Challenge for February 2018

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”  
~ Voltaire

Do you love to read?

In January of 2017 a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge. It was a fine year of reading, friendship and sharing of our love of stories and all things book-related. Now, in 2018, with a successful Challenge already completed, it’s time to embark on a new year of reading adventures.

This year the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Team has decided to nominate Pencils of Promise as the charity we’ll be supporting through our Book Reading Challenge. Pencils of Promise build schools in the developing world, train teachers, and support kids and communities to be able to access education. In 2018 more than 1 in every ten children around the world is illiterate and in developing countries, that figure is 1 in 3. I’m hoping that our loyal blog community can change that, and help provide opportunities for some of those kids to be able to read, write and learn so that their lives can open out in front of them in more meaningful ways.

Would you like to join us? Let me explain the Challenge to you:

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book, short story or journal article each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when. It could be an e-book or an audio-book. It can be any kind of book, story or article at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. A comment piece, investigative journalism, or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book, story or article you are currently reading or listening to here or have finished during the month on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest any books, stories, articles or audiobooks that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of resources that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Sign up to become a Team Member of the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Fundraising Team for Pencils of Promise. Here’s the link for you to join.
  4. Download the Book Tracker. Each month write the name of any book/story/article you have read in the corresponding month. It’s fine to add more than one. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read or go directly to Pencils of Promise and make a donation there. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford will be great. Here’s the Book Tracker for you to download – just click on this link: BOOK-TRACKER-3. There’s a space for you to write down your reading wish list. Then start filling in the Monthly Tracker when you’ve read your first book.
  5. During the year I will put up a Book Challenge Post on the fourth Saturday of every month so that we can discuss the books and stories we’ve read or listened to, and swap ideas and reviews. I’ll also be asking you to donate the money you set aside from your completed books and stories to Pencils of Promise. When you donate that money is up to you. Just make sure you have registered as a team member first. It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!
  6. During the year we will also be holding a Read-A-Thon so that you can get your family, friends and workmates to sponsor you for the books and stories you read or listen to. It will be a great way for you to indulge in some reading for a good cause, and to raise some extra money towards our goal. Stay tuned for details in a post next week!

Download this: BOOK-TRACKER-3

I’d love you to get your friends involved, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end, and at various points before that, we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else in the form of a donation to help Pencils of Promise deliver more readers and writers to the world.

So, that’s our Reading Challenge for 2018. Want to join us? Go add your name below, join our Fundraising Team and don’t forget to let us know what books have you been reading or listening to this past month.

And now for February…

Let’s end the month off with the list of books, stories, articles and audiobooks we’ve already enjoyed in February

Go ahead and tell us in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

This month has gifted me lots of time sitting in waiting rooms, hospital rooms and doctors’ rooms, so there has been ample opportunity for me to read. This is my reading list so far for February:

  • Silence: In The Age Of Noise by Erling Kagge is only a short book, but profound. Kagge is a Norwegian explorer who once spent fifty days alone in Antartica. He writes about the nature of silence, and how to find it – not just in nature but in our everyday lives, and as a space within ourselves. It has given me much to think about, and it was a work where I needed to read a short grab and then stop to absorb and think about it a little, so that one small book lasted me well. It certainly opened up a quiet space within me.
  • First, We Make The Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wison is an examination of anxiety and depression within our society, as well as a very personal journey through Sarah’s own dance with chronic anxiety. At turns funny, heart-warming and heart-breaking, and always honest and filled with compassion, this book has helped me to understand friends and family better, and to also see patterns of anxiety in myself and how they have created an endless whirlwind of damaging busy-ness in my life from which I am only now recovering. I highly recommend this book if you suffer from anxiety, or love someone who does.
  • Great Vegetarian Dishes by Kurma Dasa – This is an old favourite that I revisited, looking for inspiration to cook a birthday dinner for a friend. Kurma Dasa comes from the Hare Krishna and Vedic traditions with his cooking, and I love his recipes. They are tasty and easy to prepare, and often have a little philosophy sprinkled into the descriptions.
  • I also listened to Mythos by Stephen Fry as an audiobook this month. I immersed myself in a world of Greek myths and loved them all!