What To Do When That Tsunami of Suffering Hits

Image from www.emaze.com

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” 
~  Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 

None of us is immune.

As I have grown older, through the private worlds of others that I have accessed in my life as a psychic, and in the unfolding of my own days, I have come to understand that suffering visits us all.

For almost everyone, at some stage, there will not just be one burden too heavy to bear. No. Instead what we will have is a tsunami of suffering. One impossible thing heaped upon another.

We will find ourselves in a place where the hits come so thick and fast that we will wonder how we can go on.

My sister and I still laugh about once when I became so desperate and dogged – at a time where everything was going wrong, where my life was nothing but bad news, and where only my husband still stood beside me and him in his own world of pain – that I rang Lifeline, an anonymous phone counselling service, hoping to find a glimmer of light in the darkest of times.

The counsellor asked me what was wrong, and I began to list things off.

She became quieter and quieter. Finally she stopped me.

That’s too many things, she said. I’m sorry. I’m only trained to help you with one problem. I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s just too much. I’m sorry.

After which I spent an hour counselling and reassuring her, before getting off the phone to make myself a cup of tea and reflect ruefully on the extreme emotional isolation I had found myself in, and to marvel that even in that place I had still managed to find a way to laugh at myself and my situation.

Image from www.chaivan.com

I have survived a tsunami of suffering more than once, my friends. So I feel well qualified to offer a perspective. Coping skills have become one of my magical powers, not that I ever imagined I would be in a place to have that kind of knowledge. I’m glad to be able to share what I know in the hopes that it may ease your own suffering, or your sense of isolation.

A tsunami is catastrophic, and sometimes the way things break in you, or in your life, they can never be put back together the same way ever again.

But I have learned one thing well. Humans have incredible resilience. We have a great capacity to move through suffering, and to find ourselves eventually back on shore again. That shore may be completely different to the place we started. It will become familiar in time. You may even grow to like it better than the ‘before’ place.

It’s seldom graceful when we’re in the maelstrom. We just have to survive it any way we can, and with as much kindness and compassion for ourselves and those around us as we can muster.

Here’s what I know to be true:

  1. It helps to have someone to talk to. Someone who won’t judge. Someone who can listen and hold space while you unburden all the things, the tsunami of things, that are going wrong in your life. If there’s no-one you trust go outside and speak to the trees, talk with your pet, or your dead gran. Your Angels, Ancestors, Guides or God, if that works for you. Talk to your own wise self, or write it all down in your journal. There’s ALWAYS someone who’ll listen, and who’ll hold that tender space of care and love for you. It just might not be in the place you’d hope or expect it to be. (Like friends, partner or family. Be okay with that, so that it doesn’t add more pain to your burden.)
  2. Set short goals. Get through the next breath. The next minute. The next hour. Til sundown. Til sunrise. Tiny increments can get us through the most impossible pain.
  3. Breathe. Just breathe. In and out. In and out. Mindfully slowing your panic and bringing your awareness always back to your breath and then into your body or out into the world. Let your breath calm you.
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Don’t hide stuff, about your situation or relationship or whatever else is happening. It is what it is. When we hide things or make them out to be less than what they are we create shame, and make it impossible to stay open and to be able to accept help.
  6. Get creative. Know that you can survive stripped down, stripped bare, and that it is possible to make yourself and your life over from the ground up.
  7. Drugs, alcohol, emotional eating and self-harm don’t fix anything, and ultimately add more to both your burden and the distance you’ll have to travel back to yourself when this is all over. Try music instead, or binge-watching a box set of DVDs where the characters can become friends. Books are also great medicine. Can’t focus to read? Try an audio book or podcast. Knitting, art and crafts are also good. Sometimes you’ll look back and have no idea what you did with your time. That’s okay too.
  8. Meditation and time in nature heal more than you can know. Go try them and begin to experience their magic for yourself.
  9. People will often go all judgey, hard-arsed and holier-than-thou about the need for extreme self-care when your life has gone pear-shaped. They’ll be spruiking green smoothies, whole foods and superfoods. If you can manage this, great. But if you’re broke, miserable, exhausted and barely coping my advice to you is this. Eat something. Remember to drink water. Don’t overdo the caffeine. Or the sugar. It only makes you feel worse in the end. But if it’s what’s getting you through, do whatever you need to do, honey. Get some sleep. Try to make healthy choices, but know that toast can be an emergency food group.
  10. Find a support group, a counsellor or a caring practitioner who will listen, and who can guide you back to solid ground. That might not even be until after the worst has passed.
  11. Do the best you can. Be okay with days where you don’t cope, or barely cope. Some days will be better, some will be worse. That’s how it goes.
  12. Everything changes. Everything. Bad times end. Life may be different afterwards, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to know joy, happiness or safety again. Life returns to us in increments. Somehow, we find a way forward.

Some extra advice:

  • Walk away from people who tell you ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘you just need to work on yourself more’ or ‘God only ever gives you what you can handle’ or that ‘your outer world is only a reflection of your inner beliefs’. You don’t need that shit. You’ve got enough on your plate.
  • If people don’t understand, let it be. Sometimes the only people who will truly get it are others who have been in that same hard space. Some people will never understand. It’s likely that some of those people will be friends and family.
  • Your dark night of the soul, no matter how painful, has the power to be transformational. The circumstances of our suffering can steal so much away, but you can find a gift if you look for it. That gift could be resilience, compassion, wisdom, caring, courage, a stronger sense of self, a new view of yourself and the world, a deeper connection to humanity or an understanding of what really matters to you.

Sending you so much love, and holding you in my prayers and meditations. You’ll find a way. You’ll get through this. Nicole <3 xoxo

Image by SeaquestDS

Feather Oracle – For Inspiration and Guidance

Image by Rachel Mitchel

Image by Rachel Mitchel

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson

Every night at my farm a big owl alights on my clothesline. I feel very safe and loved in the presence of this owl. Often I am left a gift of a feather. I am always finding feathers at the farm. Feathers from crows and eagles, feathers from owls and black cockatoos, feathers from ducks and parrots and pigeons, magpie feathers and more. When I find one I always feel a sense of guidance. So I got to thinking that maybe you would like some guidance too.

Instructions for using today’s post

Let each image speak to you in its own way.  One of them will have wisdom just for you!

Scroll down through the following Feather images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your Feather, scroll further down for your message. Take what resonates for you, and apply it in your life over the coming weeks.

Trust that you will be shown what you most need to know right now.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

 

Let the Feathered Messengers Guide You…

1. White Feather

Image by Marie Andersson

2. Crow Feather

Image from Miriadna

Image from Miriadna

3. Blue and Purple Feather

This beautiful image from The Little Leaf

This beautiful image from The Little Leaf

4. Reflections Feather

Image from FreeFever

Image from FreeFever

5. Peacock Feather

Image by kurupt4000

Image by kurupt4000

6. Tawny Owl Feather

Image by Stephen Plummer

Image by Stephen Plummer

7. Parrot Feathers

Image by Ron Hines

Image by Ron Hines DVM PhD

8. Emu Feather

Emu Feather by Jennifer Colby

Emu Feather by Jennifer Colby

 

♥ The Message and Gift of each Feather ♥

Each Feather image has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your chosen Feather.  You could wear or hold this crystal, pop it in your pocket, under your pillow or beside your bed. (If you’d like to know more about working with crystals click here.) The Action Step is a tangible step you can take to begin incorporating this wisdom in your life.

1.  White Feather:

♥ Message – It’s time to integrate your ideas into the real world. What ideas you have. What dreams, hopes and possibilities! You have spent so much of your life dreaming and contemplating, and your inner world is rich. Now is the time to give all of this thought-form energy a tangible shape in your reality. Whatever your dream or idea might be it’s time to start making it real by bringing it into the world we live in, piece by piece. Start the project, commit to study, enact the plan, get words on the page or paint on the boards. Begin, begin, begin! The Universe is encouraging your every action.

♥ Crystal – Tiger Eye  

♥ Action Step – Spend a little time journalling this week, thinking about an idea or plan that is currently only in your head. Begin to tease it out onto the page. What might this idea look like in the real world? Where might you start? Who or what could support you? Start to give your idea some form. BE brave in your ambitions, even if the beginning will be small.

 

2.  Crow Feather:

♥ Message – Prepare for Transformation. Crow energy appears when we are going through times of great emotional and spiritual growth. You are being called to stand in your truth, to honour your inner voice, and to bravely step into the unknown. For now you might be the student. For now you might be the teacher. Know that there is something bigger at work here. Know that you signed up for this. Stop fussing around in your ego and surrender to the current that is already tugging at your ankles. Why fight it? It’s what you came here to do.

♥ Crystal – Smoky Quartz

♥ Action Step – Spend some time each day in solitude. Go to a place that helps you feel expanded and sit quietly. Wait. Wait with an energy of expectation. Turn up every day, or as often as you can. Don’t do anything. Just sit. Be patient. Use the time to relax and become calm and clear. Bring a journal with you for when you become inspired and need to write things down so that you’ll remember them.

 

3.  Blue and Purple Feather:

♥ Message – Design your life around your ideals. You never came to this life to be pedestrian, to be the same as everyone else. Your feet dance to a different drum, your heart quickens to a different song. Stop trying to conform. In small ways, let your individuality shine – even if your day job is streets away from your inner purpose and your soul’s magic. Give thought to what your values are, and do all you can to live authentically, according to what is important to you. You are driven by integrity, so give yourself permission to make your values and ideals a bigger and more visible focus in your life.

♥ Crystal – Ruby in Fuchsite 

♥ Action Step – Find ways to live a life that is meaningful to you. If you care about the environment, recycle and say no to plastic bags. If education is your soap box, volunteer at a literacy program. If art and creativity is your driving passion visit a gallery or join an art class – be a little ‘arty’ in how you present yourself to the world. LIVE by your inner compass. Let your life be a tribute to the whispers of your heart.

 

4.  Reflections Feather:

♥ Message – We succeed by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. All of us can shine by building on the actions, knowledge and guidance of those who have succeeded where we desire to also make our mark. Right now you are a rough diamond. The talent is there. The capability is there. But you need to be polished up in order to have greater value to yourself and the world. Not value from an ego perspective – value in relation to what you can positively contribute to the world. It’s time to grow; to find mentors, coaches and teachers; to truly value your gifts and work hard to hone them into something more than you currently hold in your hands. You’re being called on to turn your great potential into reality – with the help of knowledgeable others who have gone before.

♥ Crystal – Fluorite

♥ Action Step – Learning! Read books, attend courses, find people to share their knowledge with you and to hone your existing skills. Determine to be the best you can be at this thing that is burning a hole within you. Turn that frustration into fire and channel all of that energy into success.

 

5. Peacock Feather:

♥ Message – Value yourself. Treat yourself as a rare and special soul, worthy of love, care and respect. Peacocks don’t have vanity – peacocks have a strong sense of their own identity, and a regal self respect. It’s not vain to care about your physical appearance, your diet, your health and well-being. It’s not being precious to expect others to be respectful and polite in their dealings with you. And it is essential that being treated well starts with yourself!

♥ Crystal – Moonstone

♥ Action Step – It’s time to give yourself a make-over in some aspect of your life. Maybe you need to attend to diet and exercise, maybe you need a haircut or to update your wardrobe, maybe you need friends and lovers who treat you better! It may even be that you need to stand up for yourself in business. Look inside your heart and you’ll see where you need to begin.

 

6.  Tawny Owl Feather:

♥ Message – Trust in Synchronicity and keep asking for what you need. You are well loved, and much of that love comes from realms other than the one in which we live. Know that right now you are being very strongly guided and supported, that there are signs everywhere to encourage and direct you, that the veil is thin between this world and the next. Open yourself to this love and support. Expect magic and miracles. Expect resolution of difficulties and obstacles.

♥ Crystal – Turquoise

♥ Action Step – Spend some time in nature. Spend some time on your own. Pray, journal, meditate and stay open to messengers, guidance and intuition. Use tools such as crystals, tarot and other messenger cards, runes and other divination items if it feels right. Ask once, and be guided by the answer, whatever that may be. Stay open to possibility and to acting on insights.

 

7.  Parrot Feathers:

♥ Message – Find your tribe and step out of social isolation. You know the old expression – birds of a feather flock together! You are a beautiful bird, and you need to find other ‘birds’ with similar interests and values. Don’t do this alone. Let yourself be supported, and grow by supporting others. Allow yourself to be multi-faceted. Our diversity is a beautiful thing. Maybe you’ll need a craft group,  a meditation group, a permaculture club. There is no one group that will meet every need, so fly a while with birds going in a direction you want to be travelling in and know it’s okay to stop when you need to, or to meet up with a different flock flying the other way. Embrace life and the joy of sharing and belonging!

♥ Crystal – Jasper – whichever kind you’re drawn to! 

♥ Action Step – Look in the papers. Read the community notice boards. Google. Find a group, or create a group of your own. Join a class. Go to a workshop or retreat. Travel. Expand your horizons by expanding your social circle. Allow yourself to be supported in your interests, with others who share your passion.

 

8: Emu Feather:

♥ Message – Emu feathers appear when we’re ready to forgive and let go of something significant that has been an anchor weighing us down for much of our lives. There is nothing more to be gained by holding onto this heavy thing inside you. It’s time to forgive yourself, and anyone else involved. We can never have a complete understanding of our path, or the path of others, while we remain in our body. Things take on a different significance as we let go of the emotions and find the lessons and gifts. Sometimes we don’t even need to do that. The thing has happened. Life has moved on, and we’ve been holding this heavy rock for so long that we can’t clearly remember WHY anymore. But the heavy rock drains and exhausts us, and its energy taints everything that we do and that we are. It’s time for forgiveness. Let yourself be free of this burden.

♥ Crystal – Clear or included Quartz

♥ Action Step – Write it out and burn it, have a healing, dance it out, create a meaningful ceremony, or simply offer up a prayer or words and intention that mean something to you. Involve others if it feels right, but also know that forgiveness is a personal act about freeing YOU, and does not need to involve others for it to be effective as a force within you.

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

Join Me For A New Journalling and Oracle Card Challenge?

chakra-journal-challenge-2

“The closer you come to knowing that you alone create the world of your experience, the more vital it becomes for you to discover just who is doing the creating.”
~ Eric Michael Leventhal

Keeping a journal is something I’ve done since I was a child. I don’t mean a simple diary, where you record the events of the day. You know what I mean… I ate this. I did this. Someone said that. No. I mean a place where I could explore ideas, talk with myself, and find my own answers.

Over the last few years I’ve created several journal challenges here on my blog, and I’ve just made a new one for you, to take advantage of the fabulous energies March and April bring for uncovering the hidden and neglected aspects of yourself, and for determining where you are out of step with yourself, so that you can bring your life into alignment with your true nature and values. It’s a great time for getting to know yourself better and for forging new directions in your life. Would you like to join me?

We’ll be starting this new challenge on Tuesday 28 February, so that you have time to gather your resources together. Our first Tuesday will be an orientation day. Then each Tuesday for March and April I will have a new journal activity for you to complete during the week. You’ll need a minimum of ten minutes to set aside each week for writing, and an additional five minutes per day for five out of seven days for energy work on yourself to facilitate your own healing and wellbeing. I’ll teach you everything you need to know. You can be a complete beginner at all of this!

I will be using the Chakras as a guide for this challenge. You don’t need to know anything about them either. All you need to do is bring a willingness to know yourself better.

live-true

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A new journal. Choose one that feels right for you. Make sure there are enough pages to get you through nine activities.
  • Some pens and pencils.
  • A crystal or stone to use as a gratitude and focus stone. (If you’re doing my Year of ME program feel free to use your 2017 stone for this challenge!)
  • A deck of oracle or tarot cards.
  • A sense of adventure and a readiness to explore your inner world.

NB: A note on choosing oracle or tarot cards – choose cards whose pictures and messages are meaningful to you. Avoid cards such as tarot decks that show only coins or cups etc. Instead choose a deck whose imagery really speaks to you. It’s the pictures that matter. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use them. I’ll be showing you.

That’s my own journal, cards and stones in the picture below. I’ll be right beside you doing each week’s activities too. My gratitude rock is a smoky quartz and amethyst point (that’s the big one – the other two are a tourmalinated quartz and a prehnite that live in the same bag as my oracle cards and who came with me on my holidays). The oracle cards I’ll be using are Colette Baron-Reid’s Enchanted Map cards. And I just bought a new journal from a cool bookstore here in Vietnam, where I am currently travelling. It’s just the right size for our challenge and not too heavy in my luggage. (I won’t tell you about the other five journals I bought at the same place…)

2017-02-23-18-18-08

Who’s in? Pop your name in the comments or let us know over on facebook. If you post a pic on the facebook page during this challenge, you’ll be in the running to win a cool prize! Stay tuned for details.

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

Here’s the entire Chakra Journal Challenge. I’ll add new links as the material becomes available each week:

Orientation Week – Let’s Learn The Basics!

 

A Short But Important Message For You

2013-03-19-14-06-57

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

 

Every morning when I wake up I sit in meditation.

I say prayers for my family and friends, I send healing to those who need it, I send energy and love to my students, and then to the world.

After which I always think about you, dear readers, and I ask ‘What do my readers most need to know today?’ This usually helps me to write a blog post, or to prepare an activity or meditation.

Today when I asked, I got a very clear message. So clear that all I need do is record it here:

“Everyone on earth should believe that they have something to give the world which cannot otherwise be given.”

I know that this is true.

And I know that it’s a message some of you absolutely needed to be reminded of today.

So, go be you. Go be who you are and know that this is enough. To live as yourself. To act and think as yourself. To interact with others as yourself. To love as yourself. Your true self. You whole self.

Even if you have never been brave enough to be you until now.

Because it’s time.

I love you.

Go well today,

Nicole <3 xx