It’s The Weekend. I Have A Project For You!

“I live to enjoy life by the littlest things, feeling the grass between my toes, breathing fresh air, watching the wind sway the trees, enjoying the company of loved ones, a deep conversation, getting lost in a good book, going for a walk in nature, watching my kids grow up. Just the feeling itself of being alive, the absolute amazing fact that we are here right now, breathing, thinking, doing.” 
Marigold Wellington

2018 is a year that supports spending time on what matters – family, friendship, fun, and the priorities and projects dear to our hearts. It’s year to be creative, to kick back and enjoy ourselves, to slow down a little.

But all of this behaviour can be so very hard to embrace when we have been used to work, work, work, stress, stress, stress, busy, busy, busy.

So this weekend I have a project for you, even if you do have work scheduled! See how many of these you can tick off your list by Sunday night:

  1. Sitting with a cuppa or your favourite beverage and taking ten minutes to enjoy every sip and the peacefulness that comes with stopping for a while.
  2. Time in nature – a walk outside to look at the sky counts too!
  3. A relaxing shower or soak in the bath where you take time to enjoy the experience of the water and how it soothes you.
  4. Time with a beloved person or pet where you put everything else aside and just be there for them and with them. Phone calls and video calls count too!
  5. A fragrant treat – scent is a fast-track to happy memories, and to a place that is innovative and creative and upbeat within us. How can you connect to that? Maybe it’s a few drops of essential oil, or your favourite perfume or cologne, a fragrant soap or body lotion, a bunch of flowers, the scent of baking or a good coffee, the ocean or clean clothes fresh from the line still smelling of sunshine.
  6. A nourishing meal, eaten slowly and savoured, as you feel how it is doing you and your body good.
  7. A nap, a rest, or some quiet time to refresh you and recharge your batteries. I find books to be a wonderful downtime tool when I can’t get my mind quiet. Music is good for that too.
  8. Social time – this could be a drink or meal with friends or family, time at the movies or a shopping mall or anywhere you like to hang out with other people. Don’t know anyone? Smile or say hello to people anyway.
  9. Time on a project that is important to you. Even ten minutes counts. Just make them quality minutes by putting away your phone and other distractions.
  10. Some time where you do nothing at all, or anything you want and don’t feel guilty about that being wasted time.

Life is precious, sweet and over all too soon – especially if we have lived our entire lives busy and distracted. Slow down this weekend and make some little pockets of time for you and time for what truly matters.

Biggest love and hugs, Nicole xoxo

How to Check In with Yourself Each Morning

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.” 
~  Glen Cook

After yesterday’s post where I talked about the importance of self-care and of knowing and honouring your priorities in life this year I had a flood of messages from people asking me how to actually do this. Fair call, so today’s post is designed to help you navigate a little closer to knowing yourself. Just follow the directions below:

  1. When you first wake up, lie quietly in bed with your eyes still closed. Feel into your body with your awareness. Are you ready to open your eyes and spring out of bed with a smile on your face and maximum energy levels? Are you wishing you could roll over and go back to sleep because your energy levels are so low?  Be aware of your energy, and of any aches or pains. Have you woken up with worries on your mind? Be honest with yourself. Score yourself on a level of 1 to 10 with 1 being completely wrecked and 10 being amazingly well and wonderful.
  2. Based on the score you just gave yourself spend a moment and think about the kind of physical and emotional support you’ll need today. Does your body need to eat better and have more hydration? Do you need an easier day? Or are you feeling ready to handle anything? On low-energy days don’t push yourself. On high-energy days look for areas where you can challenge yourself a little more or tackle a bigger project or task. (*Note: If you suffer from chronic illness, chronic fatigue, or other debilitating situations this is a super-critical step in self-awareness to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard – which always results in more setbacks, pain and distress!)
  3. Stretch, and count your blessings. Find at least three small things to be immediately grateful for in your life. Do your best to get yourself into a positive (or more positive than before) headspace.
  4. Think about what really matters to you – it might be your partner or family, your pets, your health, a project you are passionate about, something you want to experience or achieve in the world. These are the things that you’ll think about on your deathbed and wish you’d spent more time on. Muster some gratitude for these things in your life too.
  5. You can do this next bit while you’re still in bed, or over a cuppa at a place that’s  comfortable for you. What worries are in your head? What needs to get done today? Write it all down. Starting the day with a list instead of this all rattling round in your head helps you to stay clear and to better prioritize. 
  6. Take a deep breath and look back over your list. Are the people you love and the things that matter to you represented there? Tune in to your body again. On a scale of 1 to 10 how is your emotional battery? (At a 1 you are at your most fragile and are not coping – at 10 you could take on the world and you feel strong and unbreakable) Now tune in to your physical battery on a scale of 1 to 10 with a score of 1 being completely wrecked and 10 being amazingly well and wonderful. Has your score changed from when you first woke up, now that you’re upright and moving into the day ahead?
  7. Think about your true priorities first. How can you find time for them today, or schedule some in very soon? Include health and self-care in this.
  8. Now think about your worries and to-do list. Based on your assessment of yourself physically and emotionally, what can you really get done today? What are the tasks that will alleviate your stress if you get them done, what are your pressing priorities, what can be delegated and what can be left to roll into tomorrow if necessary? Where might you need help?
  9. Take a couple of calming breaths, and remind yourself that you’ve got this. All you need to do is honour your energy and your priorities. Self-awareness makes everything easier.
  10. Find a few quiet windows during the day, close your eyes and do a quick tune-in to your emotional and physical energy levels again. Use your breath to bring you back to a place of calm. Reconnect to or adjust your priorities and focus for the rest of the day. Practice kindness with yourself as you endeavour to live with more honesty and awareness of your own energy and needs.

Being able to check in with myself and then manage myself better has made a huge positive difference to how I cope in the world, and it has also helped me to put my focus on what really matters to me. I hope this simple technique helps you too.

Biggest love and hugs, Nicole  xx

Ah, the Romance… (sob)

“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ” 
Elinor Glyn

Thank you so much for all of your anniversary wishes. Ben and I are very grateful for your love and support.

I’d like to tell you that yesterday was truly romantic – the stuff of dreams and novels…

But I can’t because it wasn’t. We’d planned an early walk on the beach and then breakfast at the Mullum Farmers’ Markets with friends, but it was raining and Ben is only just getting over the flu, so we cancelled that part of our day.

Then our internet went from bad to non-existent at the farm. A decision needed to be made. Ben would bring me back to the city so I’d be all set up to work with clients in the next few days, and he’d head back to the farm. We scrapped our lunch plans and decided that we’d have a romantic dinner in the city instead. It was raining heavily so we crammed our clothes bags, computers, work bags and groceries into the back seat with the dogs and off we set.

On the road trip home our youngest dog Rufous became ill. Think projectile vomit. Think total coverage of back of car. Twice. How could so much grossness come out of one medium-sized dog??? Then Harry, our other dog, started farting with the stress of it all.

So special.

When we finally arrived in Brisbane (after lengthy delays due to traffic jams and rain) it took the two of us 90 minutes just to clean the car. (God, it was even in my hair…) Then we had to clean everything that had been in the back of the car. And the dogs. Then ourselves. I almost needed to call the HAZMAT team.

That was our afternoon gone. By then we were too tired and grossed out to even contemplate a romantic dinner. So we ordered in some Thai and made plans to reschedule our anniversary for another day.

Rufous was feeling much better, so that was something good. And in the end we spent a day together anyway; Ben, me and the dogs. Weird circumstances and nothing like what we’d planned, but that’s how love rolls sometimes.

I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything! And gee we laughed. Certainly a memorable anniversary anyway. 😀

Soul Journeying OR You Are More Than Your Earthsuit

Image from tv3.lt

“Life’s journey doesn’t start on the highest mountain peak where a clear view of the trail ahead, obstacles and all, is laid out for us to observe before setting foot on the path. No. Life’s journey begins on a low road, in a valley, or even down inside a pit where the trail beyond can only be seen in short stretches, and any obstacles are met as they come. This makes life trying, even scary at times. Have faith that God gave you this life, and hence it is worth seeing through to the end of the trail.” 
Richelle E. GoodrichSlaying Dragons

 

Hello, lovely friends,

I’ve been thinking very deeply about the private responses you’ve sent me in the past few days. Messages about your secret shames and fears, your despair about not being able to overcome a health issue, or your limitations due to illness or living with a partner or child with an illness, or some other deep-seated issue or problem that has left you feeling unable to be all you hoped you could be.

There was a theme amidst your messages that deeply resonated with me, because it was my own theme for so very long: I am not worthy – I am not worthy and even worse I cannot follow my path…

I am not worthy because I am ill or disabled or afflicted or depressed or anxious or traumatised or unable to get out from under whatever is weighing me down. I can’t share my problems because they make me feel like a failure. They are shameful. I am shameful. I cannot follow my path because I am ill or afflicted or exhausted or broken or unable to do it the way that I wanted to. I have my life on hold and I am waiting for this thing to be fixed, even though I’ve been trying to fix it myself for so long. Or I’m broken from trying and I am ashamed that I have now given up. I am waiting to walk my path. I am waiting to be ready for my spiritual journey. I am waiting to find my gifts or share them.

Dear ones, if that in any way resonates, my words today are for you.

The soul journey happens despite what is going on in our lives. In fact, it’s often because life becomes difficult that a yearning awakens for a more spiritual path. It doesn’t matter  if you’re a little broken or a lot, if your time here on earth is short, or longer and not of the quality you had hoped. Let go of the idea that this is somehow all your fault, and that you must be fixed before you can journey.

This is the journey.

I’m reaching out to you today because I need you to hear this.

You can live broken. It can still be a good life. It can still fill you up and be beautiful despite illness, pain, despair and limitation. You can create and dream and make and connect and love and laugh and adventure and matter – to yourself and to others – even if your life is not perfect, or working out the way you had planned. I know, because I have lived with pain and brokenness and despair and frustration and so many other things. And I still do.

We are souls dressed up in Earthsuits. (Yep, I’m talking about your body here!) Sometimes those suits get awfully dinged up and damaged. Life is a risky business.

But inside that suit is your soul. And souls endure, remaining shiny and unaffected by the dust and damage that your Earthsuit might have accumulated.

In fact, I think that our souls deepen and shine brighter because of the hardships our Earthsuits go through.

Please, stop beating yourself up. Stop blaming. Stop the meanness and the endless stress and self-recrimination. Stop waiting for things to change. Stop needing things to be better. Surrender to where you are. Surrender to what is. This is your one beautiful chance at this life, and it goes by in the blink of an eye. Your Earthsuit might be damaged but you are still here, and life outside your Earthsuit still holds wonder and beauty and magic if only you can allow yourself to keep feeling and experiencing and allowing, in spite of whatever else is going on for you.

You can be a healer and still be broken yourself. You can be a teacher, and never leave your home. You can be an artist or a writer or an entrepreneur and never leave your bed. You don’t need to be perfect or beautiful or young or fit or healthy or able-bodied. You can limp through life and still live it well. If you are alive, even if only just, you can think and feel and dream and you can do soulwork. You can lift yourself out of pain and isolation and back into connection, just be deciding that you’ll live anyway, despite whatever circumstances you find yourself experiencing.

You are worthy just as you are. And there is a path for you in this life that only you can take. No matter how messed up or impossible things might seem to be for you right now. Just by being alive you matter.

Soul work – that space of meditation and reflection, of connection and communion, or asking the big questions and being okay with silence or answers unexpected, that great big process of opening up to yourself and the Universe? You, my friend, are born to it. In fact, because of all this shit you have endured or are enduring, you are primed for something deeper and more meaningful in the way that your soul will journey.

So, let me give you a hug. Your journey is my journey. I’m here for you. You matter to me, and your life matters.

That world of perfect bodies and healthy happy people doing amazing things and living a life you can never have? It doesn’t even exist. It’s all just marketing. Everyone in their lifetime will experience troubles, pain, hurt, frailty and diminishment. Everyone. Most people just don’t talk about it. It’s not very Facebook or Instagram worthy.

Take a deep breath. You are where you are. And it might totally suck. But somewhere inside you is a place untouched by that pain, and perhaps made more beautiful and wise because of it. You’re a soul, and you have every right to be here, and to follow your heart. It’s why you came to Earth, despite all the risks and dangers. Be yourself anyway. Live, anyway. Do, anyway. Be, anyway. Feel, anyway. It’s worth it. All it takes is a little shift in your thinking and your life can open up again.

I love you. I’m here for you. I’m cheering you on. Nicole  xx

PS – If you want help to walk this path you can join my Year of ME membership group – a supportive place where you can belong and fit right in, just as you are (details in my shop – look for the year long course or subscription option), or come along to my Awakening to Spirituality Retreat. You’d be so welcome!

 

 

Chronic Illness? This is a Spiritual Retreat for you!

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

I have a beautiful residential retreat coming up, from March 6 to 11 in Byron Bay, Australia. It’s a gentle retreat, a restorative retreat, whose focus is to help you develop and commit to a regular spiritual practice that nourishes, sustains and grows you.

When I think about this retreat, and the practices I will teach you, my heart swells with love and gratitude. These are the techniques I used on my own soul journey, as I moved from resistance into connection, from self-loathing to self-love, from fear into deep peace. These techniques are ones I still use daily, or often. They are what helped me to become more fully who I truly am, rather than who I thought people wanted me to be, or how I thought I ‘should’ be. Quite frankly, these practices have become the foundation of my spiritual and psychic life, and the reason I have been able to cope with suffering, pain and trauma. They are also the practices that have enhanced my gratitude, compassion and inner wisdom.

As many of you will know, I have suffered from serious illness and the limitations that creates for most of my adult life. In fact it was this chronic illness that first created the space for me to explore my own spirituality, intuitive and psychic abilities so much more deeply.

All of the techniques I will teach on this retreat, and the journey I shall guide you through, came to me when I was at my most unwell. Suffering and illness is often the doorway for profound spiritual awakening. I’m sure there are many of you who will resonate with that as the truth of your own journey too.

I’ve had inquiries from people with chronic fatigue and other debilitating illness, wanting to come to our next retreat but worrying if they are suitable or if they will cope. If that’s you let me reassure you… you’ll find a place to fit in and belong here in my Tribe.

Our Awakening to Spirituality Retreat is gentle. You’ll be supported to find your own rhythm for connection and inner journeying. There will be enough time to get from your room to the Hall and to the Dining Room. There is plenty of rest time and quiet time scheduled each day. Our days will be filled with meditation, reflection and simple spiritual practices, creative activities, good company, laughter, love and transformation. There will be friends to lean on, and we can find accommodation for you that is quiet and allows you additional solitude, or find a suitable roomie to give you company if that’s what you’re yearning for.

Our catering is geared for people with food intolerances, allergies and issues. Honestly, it won’t be a drama – we can work it all out. And you won’t be a burden to us, because this is how I’ve lived my life, and how I’ve often had to run these retreats as I have faced health issues myself. I understand pain. I understand fatigue. I understand anxiety and medication routines and incontinence and mobility issues and stupid dietary requirements that usually mean I have to lug my own food everywhere. I understand no one else understanding. I understand the emotional pain and isolation that illness can bring. I also understand end of life spaces. I’ve lived all of these things. I’ve created my retreats for my own needs, which are also yours. My retreats always have able-bodied people alongside people like me who have major health issues. And the health issues in the end are never a big thing. They are just something we manage so that we can focus on the real work – soul work.

Having a health issue is not a prohibitive factor for this event. In fact, it might be the perfect time for you to join us in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Your journey is my journey. Often when we are living with long-term illness, no answers to our health problems, a chronic or a terminal condition, we think that there will no longer be a place for us in the world. There is a place for you in mine.

I can show you spiritual practices that will help you to find your centre again, manage your pain, and give your life meaning and connection. I KNOW that when you begin to incorporate this soul-journey work and spiritual space in your own life that life will regain shape and satisfaction for you, no matter what your situation, or the nature of the days ahead of you.

If you need to talk further with us, please reach out. We are here for you. Our best email is nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com and Dana, my wonderful PA, can send you information and start the ball rolling to have you join us.

Able-bodied and completely well people are, of course, always welcome and invited too! My work is for you all, on a soul level, regardless of the skin you are in.

You can read more about the Awakening to Spirituality retreat here and here.

Love and gentle hugs, Nicole  xx

15 Tips to Fuel Your Creativity

Image from thoibau.today

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
~  Pablo Picasso

 

2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity.

Creativity. NOT productivity.

Go back and read that sentence again if you have to!

Productivity is the act of producing something. The dictionary defines productivity as ‘the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input’. Think widgets, or burning through your to-do list. It is often not a joyful task, or one that requires your best work or your best self to turn up. Yes, you can still be productive this year, but that’s not what the energies of 2018 are all about.

Image from hdwall.us

2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity. Creativity is defined as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Creativity is a wild beast. It’s a tender young seedling that will grow into a blooming bush or an incredible tree. Creativity is the act of making something that is fuelled by your own life force and shaped by your imagination and heartsong.

After so many years of sitting in ‘productive’ energy, getting back to that wild space of creativity can feel uncomfortable and odd. It can make us anxious if we don’t get an instant result, a perfect first creation or a super-productive outcome. And worse, trying to be ‘productive’ with our creativity makes that flow of imagination and inventiveness slow to a trickle or stop altogether. Remember: once you have your creative outcome you can work from a place of productivity, but not before.

Image from canyonechoes.org

Here are my top ten suggestions for reconnecting to and feeding your creative energy this year:

  1. Listen to music. Range widely and try new styles and genres.
  2. Read books. Libraries and bookshops have a world of inspiration just waiting for you to explore.
  3. Watch movies. Change it up and look at things that are not your usual choices.
  4. Go for long walks in nature. Camping can also be good. Use this as unplugged time and leave your phone and laptop at home or turned off.
  5. Sit in a cafe with a hot or cold beverage. People watch, or write in your journal. Sit in a space of awareness. Use your whole self as an antenna.
  6. Move your body. Dancing is good. Or a yoga class. Surfing or playing with your dog or your kids (or borrow the dog or kids of a friend!). Movement gets you into flow!
  7. Watch a live performance. Or give one.
  8. Visit the local art gallery or museum.
  9. Take a road trip. Go around the corner or around the world. Travel has direct links to the imagination switch in your brain.
  10. Sign up to some kind of creative hands-on course. Try ceramics or drum making, decorative cookies or welding. It doesn’t need to be in the field where you want to shine. Anything that gets you making something with your hands will do. Can’t access a course? Bake something or go dig in the garden and grow things.
  11. Got a project idea? Just start. Work it out as you go. Don’t need it to be perfect or all planned out in advance.
  12. Dedicate some regular time and space for your creative projects. No, this won’t kill creativity. Turning up and creating a routine supports sustainable creative flow.
  13. Let yourself be a beginner.
  14. Try collaborating with others and sharing knowledge and skills.
  15. Enjoy regular down-time. Working and needing to be productive every waking moment leaves no space for new ideas to form or bubble to the surface. Rest and play are your friends this year!

I can’t wait to see what magic you create in 2018, or how living more creatively and playfully helps you heal and re-energise in all kinds of places in your life. Drop me a line and keep me posted!

Much love, Nicole  xx

Image from aelitaandre.com

Monday Oracle – 15 January 2018

 “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. – Henry James

 

Hello, Lovelies!

January is a month for easing ourselves into the energies of 2018, for resting and recharging, for planning and dreaming and for tuning in to what can support us in the year ahead.

Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of awareness which the oracle card Little Red Cap brings us.

This week (from January 17) the energies of 2018 finally kick in. Little Red Cap reminds us that we get to choose where we put our focus this year, and that this is a great week for all forms of planning and committing to your goals and dreams.

Did you start this new year full of hope and ready for change, and then it all started to come unstuck in the past few days? As 2017 comes to an end we are getting ripples of old patterns of thought and behaviour coming up for us to recognise so that we can choose differently as we step into 2018.

If you’ve started a new diet for 2018 and already sabotaged it, found yourself back in old patterns of distressing behaviour with family members, negative self-talk or limiting thinking stop and take a deep breath. Recognise old patterns and then choose differently! Forgive yourself and move on without dwelling on mistakes and failures. Think about what it is that you want this year. Think about what you want to create or manifest or share. Choose where to put your focus – choose what lights you up or feels good to you. Put your attention on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want. Deal with issues as they arise but don’t make problems your main priority. Face yourself into the sunshine, hold onto the vision for your journey and keep moving forward. Treat yourself kindly, and treat others with that same kindness too.

Let me give you an example. Imagine you want to make a road trip, but your car has a flat tyre (yes, this is a metaphor for life!).

The old way (pre 2012) was to dwell endlessly on the need to ‘fix yourself’, finding more and more to work on as the first ‘problem’ became healed. We wouldn’t just change the tyre, we’d think about why we created the flat tyre, and what else in our past or our thoughts could have contributed to the flat tyre. We’d also look at all of the flat tyres we’d ever had before. Then we’d look at everything else that was possibly wrong and might need fixing. It was an endless cycle of ‘self-improvement’, and the road trip may well have been entirely forgotten as we worked earnestly on our ‘broken self’.

The new way (this new post-2012 era) is to think about your journey, effect any repairs quickly or get help to do so, and then get on your way. The emphasis is on where you want to go! What do you want to experience, create, manifest or share on this road trip of yours? It’s about the journey, not about the flat tyres. Little Red Cap invites you to hold a spirit of adventure and possibility in your heart this week as you look to your year ahead.

Image from eslamoda.com

Supportive crystals this week?

Selenite helps you to be kind to yourself. It will also connect you into your guides, angels and psychic ability. Fantastic for gently guiding you inwards. Red Jasper is a stone for mental, physical and emotional rejuvenation. Deeply grounding, it helps you connect to your heart and your truth and encourages clear boundaries. Lapis Lazuli is a super stone for boldly moving in new directions with insight and wisdom. If you are stressed or anxious about the past or about habits or thoughts that keep you stuck in the past Black Tourmaline is the best stone for you this week.

 

Helpful essential oils?

I’m still loving Young Living’s Envision this week. It’s an oil blend I often use in my workshops and retreats to help my students connect to inner wisdom and intuition. It helps us to see a greater possibility for ourselves. Use Envision for spiritual connection, inspiration and breakthroughs. Dab a drop on your Crown Chakra, back of neck, over your heart, wrists and the soles of your feet, inhale directly or add to your diffuser. 

Want to make your own blend? Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own for you this week, but they’ll also make a delicious combination for diffusing. Vetiver will calm and ground us, promoting emotional balance, Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Ylang Ylang opens our hearts and is supportive when we feel anxious or overwhelmed, and Bergamot brings 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.

 

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, ‘Little Red Cap’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channeled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

Image from contioutra.com