50 Things I’ve Learned From 50 Years of Life

“A happy birthday this evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride the day down into night,
to sit alone, and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand” 
~  Ted Kooser

 

It’s my birthday today. Yay me!

I’m fifty, and it feels GOOD. Originally I was going to post a quick picture of me as a kid, looking all cute, and a few others through the years to now. But when I dug out all my old photos and memorabilia a funny thing happened. I saw so many pictures of friends I have loved and lost, so many family members who’ve passed, and friends whose lives have been touched by tragedy. It made me realise just how lucky I am to still be here at fifty, well loved, safe and secure, with work I adore, despite having had so many health diagnoses and prognoses predicting my demise or failure, and several near-death experiences, starting back when I was in my early twenties. Sure my health is still an ongoing adventure, but hey – I’m alive, and determined to make the most of every day. I’m still here! That deserves celebration!!!

Here are fifty things I’ve learned that have been helpful to me and which might come in useful for you too:

  1. Everyone needs cake on their birthday.
  2. I am not everyone’s flavour, but I am some people’s favourite, and that’s enough for me.
  3. It’s always better to be kind.
  4. No-one is immune to suffering. We all get to have our turn.
  5. Big old trees have much wisdom to share if you can get still and listen.
  6. The sun comes up after even the worst nights and things do look better in the morning.
  7. Sleep is under-rated as a coping mechanism.
  8. Clean sheets and a shower always make you feel better.
  9. Life is too short to live it for other people’s approval.
  10. If you don’t do what matters to you now you might never get your chance.
  11. Don’t wait for things to be perfect.
  12. Surround yourself with people who are real, caring and who think well of you.
  13. Shut the door on mean friends and people who treat you badly or with a lack of respect.
  14. Life needs more picnics and less overtime.
  15. Good books, movies and music are a kind of soul medicine.
  16. Sometimes you just need to take a road trip.
  17. Yes, you really do need to eat your vegetables and get enough fresh air and exercise.
  18. Never be afraid to seek a second opinion.
  19. Getting older is a privilege.
  20. Practice good hygiene, wash your hands after you go to the toilet and before eating, and consider others when you are ill. Not everyone has a robust immune system.
  21. It really is okay to indulge your craving for junk food, sweets or ice-cream occasionally.
  22. A part of you never changes, and stays solid and anchored inside you through all of your life experiences. That essence is always there for you to tap into.
  23. A part of you will change and grow and move you far from where you started. As you change you may outgrow people, places or situations. That’s normal. Don’t let it stress you.
  24. Sometimes we come full circle and find ourselves back where we started, but with new understanding and wisdom. That’s a sweet moment of realisation.
  25. Love is worth the risk of pain and loss.
  26. Laughing opens your heart and lets the light in.
  27. There is something magical about being a stranger in a new city. It unlocks all kinds of mysteries inside you.
  28. You need comfortable shoes for big adventures.
  29. Forgiveness is almost always about you and not the other person.
  30. Listen to your instincts, and honour your intuition. It was given to you for a reason.
  31. Some time on your own to think about everything or nothing is time well spent.
  32. Everyone should be able to cook a handful of meals well. Not just for survival but for satisfaction too.
  33. You’re never too old to learn something new.
  34. Do what you can to help others, if you are in a position to do so.
  35. It’s okay to put your own needs first.
  36. Follow your passion, or at least your curiosity. Who knows where it might lead you!
  37. Life rarely goes to plan, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome anyway.
  38. There is always someone or something that can help you manage pain better. Ask and keep asking until you find what you need.
  39. Being vulnerable is a strength.
  40. If you don’t want to do something say no.
  41. If you want something say yes.
  42. It’s better to have been rejected or to fail than to never have tried.
  43. Failure often leads to success.
  44. Every week needs a complete rest day. On the other days? Meditation gives rest on even the craziest of days and can be done in minutes. Learning to meditate is a gift for yourself and an investment in your well-being.
  45. Treat yourself well, and allow yourself pleasure.
  46. Find the things that make you feel like you and then surround yourself with that energy. It could be yoga, a perfume, soy chai lattes or books. Let something define you. Be okay if it changes.
  47. Fall in love. Keep loving, even when it gets hard. It always gets hard. Once you learn how to navigate the first hard bit the wonder of an ever-deepening relationship can reward and comfort you your whole life.
  48. Fall in love with yourself. Let it be a life-long affair and treat yourself gloriously well.
  49. It’s a good thing to be a little different, odd or unusual. Keep being yourself.
  50. Celebrate life – the milestones, the anniversaries and seasonal festivities, the successes and the ordinary. Celebrate on your own. Celebrate with loved ones. Celebrate with strangers. Let each day bring at least one small moment of grace or gratitude. Feel everything deeply and be unafraid.

Thanks for being part of my life.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole  ❤ xoxo

And the Winner is…

“As I walk through the wilderness, my eyes and my heart are pulled towards the thicket, the ever-changing landscapes, the gentle daisy and the old beloved stones; as I marvel at the timeless complexities of creation, Nature never disappoints me.” 
― Amelia Dashwood

 

We had so many entries for our meditation stones competition! It was hard to choose just one winner, but we have and that person is Jo-Ann Chrome. Jo-Ann, can you please contact Chelsi at chelsi@cauldronsandcupcakes.com with your contact details? I’ll need to touch base with you so that I can create your very own guided meditation to use with the stones.

Meanwhile I have been very busy meditating with two more meditation stones for August. You use both stones together, and as part of the month’s prize I will again record a personal guided meditation just for the winner!

 As I hold these stones in my hand each day for the month of August I meditate with the intent that they will hold energies in a way that can be transferred to the user.

The first stone is petrified wood from Longreach. I found this on one of my many Australian outback adventures. It is this month’s Anchoring Stone and its energies help us to stay grounded, clear and calm, connecting into our bodies, and to the earth and nature.

The energies and intention infused into the Longreach Petrified Wood are that the holder moves from pain and fear to calm and acceptance of all that is. That the many layers of old thoughts, feelings and hurts fall away, leaving only love and wisdom. It is also a stone for calling in Guides and Ancestors to watch over you. It will reduce inflammation and promote circulation. It feels so comforting in my hand, and I know you’ll find it a comfort too.

The second stone is the Connection Stone, and it is a delicious rough Smoky Citrine Phantom Quartz that I found in the river bed behind our house. Connection stones connect us to Universal energy, as well as to Angels, Guides, Ancestors and our own wise soul energy.

This special crystal treasure holds energies of the volcanic cradle that is Byron Bay, and it will help you to shed old patterns and ways of being so that you can come into deeper alignment with your true self. It’s a stone of emotional healing and spiritual awakening.

The Smoky Citrine Phantom Quartz is protective and promotes joy. It’s also a stunning stone for connecting you to past life wisdom and to creative ideas that are waiting to be brought forth through you.

I adore the combination of these two natural Australian stones. Do they feel good to you too? Their energy is very strong and clear and they work very well together.

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

Thank you, everyone, for your entries into the July competition. It meant so much to me to read your words, and I want you to know that I’ve added you all to my healing meditations and said a prayer for each of you.

We’ll post details about how to win this month’s stones soon, and I’ll also be giving away a set of stones every month between now and December, so there are still plenty of chances for you to win.

Biggest love and hugs to all of you, Nicole   xoxo

 

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

Turquoise – A Great Stone For Healers and Empaths

“A turquoise given by a loving hand carries with it happiness and good fortune.” ~ Arabic proverb

 

Last week I made a simple turquoise and rose quartz necklace for a friend, and it has been charging up in one of my amethyst caves ever since. I’ll give it to her today – a gift to thank her for all her help as my acupuncturist’s assistant. Her caring and skill have helped me through some difficult days.

I chose turquoise because it is such a supportive stone for healers and empaths. I also added a small rose quartz for love and nurture – replenishing the energy that is so lovingly given out to others. Turquoise is a wonderful crystal. It shields the wearer energetically, and helps to process and let go of emotions that are generated or picked up during work with others. It is very protective of the heart chakra, and clears grief, guilt and trauma.

The emotions of grief, guilt and trauma can move deep into the body. They sit in our throats, our lungs, our hearts, our bellies. It can be our own feelings, or the energies we shift form other people and then take on as our own. Unexpressed, these trapped emotions weaken our immune function, and our digestion. They affect our physical organs, making them more prone to illness and, over time, dis-ease.

Holding grief, guilt and trauma within our bodies is a place that many intuitive, empathic and deeply caring people find ourselves. To love and to care is also to expose ourselves to hurt and to loss. Loving and caring deeply is risky, because when you live in that open-hearted state, love goes hand in hand with suffering. Still, I would advocate that you love anyway. That you care anyway.

One of your greatest gifts is that you care. One of your greatest gifts is that you can live heart-opened. Don’t change that. Just learn to manage it better.

Turquoise, worn on the centre line of the body, is a beautiful crystal for supporting healers in all modalities. Maybe you’d benefit from wearing one too!

Lots of love to you, Nicole xoxo

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

February Full Moon Eclipse Tonight – Plus a Colouring Mandala for You!

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
~ Jalaluddin Rumi

 

Tonight (Friday 10th through to Saturday 11th of February) is a full moon. It is also a lunar eclipse. And the heavens are host to a comet rocketing past us as it travels through the night sky.

Can you feel the energies this trio bring? This week you may have found yourself restless, anxious or unable to sleep. Old emotions of fear and doubt and not-good-enough may have raised their ugly heads.

You may have felt churned. You may have over-reacted. You may not have been quite yourself. You may have felt emotionally bruised and more than a little battered.

It’s okay. This lunar energy is strong!

Everything’s being stirred up. What’s no longer needed and what is ready to be healed or finally seen and understood is being brought to the surface.

Just behind all that fear and anxiousness is possibility. It’s also a great time for clear insights, inspiration and breakthroughs. It heralds a shift towards understanding and connection.

Some of you who’ve already done a lot of self-work will have felt excited this week. You’ll feel like finally you are back on track and able to gain some momentum for your projects, ideas and dreams. That’s wonderful. Thank you, Full Moon!

Remember to put your crystals out in the moonlight tonight for a cleanse and recharge. And if you can, take time to sit under the night sky and simply breathe. Breathe and let go of all of that old stuck emotion. Cry if you must. Howl at the moon.

Surrender.

Then come back to calm and breathe in hope. Breathe in possibility. Open yourself to change.

It’s a great time for journalling and self-reflection. I’ve also included a simple Meditation Mandala for you below. You can download and colour it as an act of mindfullness, healing and manifestation – today or in the next few days while the energies of the moon, comet and eclipse have influence.

All of the instructions and the download are below, so read on.

 

Colouring Mandala and Crystal Grid

This mandala was created as one of the activities for our Year of ME Planner community. (It’s not too late to join. You can find out more here: Year of Me Planner Options)

You can download your Meditation Mandala here: February Mandala 2017

Print out the Mandala and consider what support you are seeking from the Universe this month around the energies of believing in yourself and your dreams, and making big changes in your life.  Where are you stuck? What’s not working, or where would you like additional support? What do you need help with?

Write your request in the space provided on the Mandala sheet.

Now colour your Mandala. Choose the colours that feel intuitively right for you. As you colour your Mandala, repeat the February affirmation which is written at the top of the Mandala. Feel the energy and truth of that affirmation for you. While you colour your Mandala think about this thing that you want support for, and how it would feel for this thing to be working well in your life.

Allow yourself to fill with love and positive emotion, or a sense of peace.

Emotion may come up for you as you colour. Allow it to surface and don’t judge it. Know that it is simply releasing and clearing for you.

When your Mandala is finished, place a crystal at the centre of the Mandala to make a simple grid. You may also make a pattern of additional stones, flowers, leaves or other small objects on top of your coloured Mandala if you wish. Go with what feels intuitively right for you.

Run white light from your hands down into the crystal and then out into the Mandala to activate it. Repeat your affirmation and your request to the Universe out loud as you do this. Finish by saying ‘And it is so’.

Leave your Mandala up for a minimum of 24 hours with the stone in place. Of course you’re welcome to leave it longer if you desire.

To deconstruct the Mandala remove the stone and offer a simple and heartfelt prayer of thanks.

Image by Elias via www.dailydot.com

Image by Elias via www.dailydot.com

PS – This month I also encourage you to download and colour a second mandala for the world as it goes through upheaval and change. Choose whatever stones feel right for the earth or the situation you want to support and work with. Know that your positive energy and intention as you create this world grid really helps to anchor love and light.

We’d love to see copies of your finished Mandalas and grids, so feel free to upload them to our facebook page, or tag us at #cauldronsandcupcakes  on Instagram or Twitter so we can find them!

And please feel free to share this post. I’d love to have people all over the world colouring this Mandala and anchoring hope, love and possibility for themselves and the earth. Thank you <3 Nicole xx

Small Steps, Repeated Often, Lead to Results

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb

Did you get that thing about small steps?

Let me repeat that for you.

Small steps, repeated often, lead to results.

This can work either way.

Bad habits, even small ones, cumulatively will take us a long way in the wrong direction.

Small efforts, repeated often, can also take us towards our goals and dreams.

Every book ever published was written paragraph by paragraph, scene by scene.

Every return to fitness started with a slow and inelegant beginning.

Every thriving garden began by tending the soil, planting the seeds, watering, weeding, showing up each day, long before there was anything to harvest.

Every language was learned word by word, phrase by phrase.

Small steps are usually not impressive. The initial results may seem negligible. But all of these small steps, when taken consistently, eventually amount to something grand.

About now the initial impetus and excitement of the New Year is wearing off. Your big plans may currently seem impossible. You might be sliding back into apathy or overwhelm.

But maybe you just started in an unrealistic way. Maybe your small steps weren’t small enough. Or maybe you never even broke those bigger objectives down into tiny do-able chunks.

Today, start over.

What matters to you?

What do you want to achieve?

Commit to one thing.

Break that down into the smallest steps possible and simply begin.

Then keep going.

Day after day.

Just small steps.

A year from now you’ll be glad you did.

Image from www.likesuccess.com

Image from www.likesuccess.com

Need help with this process?

If you’d like some extra support with defining your One Big Thing and then breaking it down into achievable steps for 2017 go grab one of my Year of ME Planners over at my SHOP. (ME stands for Manifesting Energies, and the energies of 2017 are fabulous for making things happen!) This digital full-year planner can be in your inbox in minutes, ready for you to review 2016 and begin mapping out what matters for you as we work through 2017.

Need bigger support? Join my Year of ME 12 month course and community for a whole year of deliciousness – with webinars, meditations and loads of activities and helpful tools and the most fantastic and supportive online facebook group. You’ll feel right at home with us!

If you are looking to start or grow a business I’ve got planning tools for that too, as well as a course and community, and one place left for a year of personal mentoring and coaching with me.

All the information you need is over at my SHOP.