A Tale Of Two Dogs…

“After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation.” 
~  Robert McCammon

 

Once upon a time there was a naughty young pup called Harry. He chewed everything. He was constantly underfoot. He’d bark in your ear and jump on your head to wake you up, just because it was morning and he didn’t want to waste a moment of another Very Good Day.

But then Harry grew up. Now he’s a calm and considerate dog, with great cattle handling skills and excellent manners, especially at the beach or when dining out at cafes.

Enter the new young brother. Rufous. Undeniably cute, but a total ratbag.

A hole-digging, slipper-destroying, house-chewing food devotee.

He’s chewed through an entire chair, eaten a hole in the side of my bed, destroyed three pairs of slippers – all mine, and has now taken to biting the heads off my daisies and flinging them around like snow, just as they are all coming into flower.

And did I mention how much he loves digging massive holes in the new lawn, or taking one shoe for a walk out into the middle of a paddock and then leaving it there?

Here he is, hiding, after eating the meat I’d put out on the bench for Ben to barbeque for our dinner. We ate eggs on toast instead!

Look at those eyes. It’s impossible to stay mad at him! I’m sure that Rufous will grow into a good boy one day too, and probably too soon. For all his naughtiness we adore him, and gee he makes us laugh.

Most of all, I love watching Rufous and Harry play. These two brothers are having the best adventures here at the farm.

Life is good, and filled with love.

I’m sending some of that love your way today. Hugs a million, Nicole <3 xoxo

How To Ask For A Sign

The Eye of God – Helix Nebula from www.skyimagelab.com

“The Universe sets out little signposts for us along the way, to confirm that we’re on the right path.” 
~  Michelle Maisto

 

This week’s energies are supportive of connection, communication, signs, breakthroughs and synchronicities (you can read more about that here).

But how do you ask for a sign?

I recommend that you ask only once, and then satisfy yourself with the answer as it appears to you.

Here are some things that you can try:

Shuffle your oracle or tarot cards, offer up a small prayer that whatever you do be for your Highest Good, and then shuffle the deck again. As you’re shuffling, ask your question . Say it out loud or hold it as a thought in your head. Either will work.

Choose one card. How you choose is up to you. Split the deck. Fan them out. Top or bottom. Dive right in. There is no right or wrong.  Then really look at the card. Don’t use the book or the ‘proper’ meaning. We are being intuitive here, people! What stands out for you in the picture? What thoughts and ideas do the images provoke? What is the answer that comes to you? Trust that. Don’t ask again.

Ask for your Guide to appear as an animal or some other living thing, some sort of motif that you will associate with them and with their presence.

Image from www.printtuftandfold.wordpress.com

Ask to see a specific image or thing, as acknowledgement of a question, or in answer to it.  Perhaps you are driving and you ask to see a red Kombi van if the answer is yes.  Or you ask to see a particular type of bird or something else you’ll recognise as that sign…

Image from www.justmeblog.com

Ask, and then expect an answer.  Perhaps the answer will be a message on a  billboard, a line from a book, a voice on the radio, the words in a song.  The message will stand out for you somehow, and have a special meaning just for you.

Image from www.joke7x24.deals.lv

Angels are often associated with white feathers.  Guides are often associated with other coloured or patterned feathers.  I have found feathers during some of the most difficult times in my life, and have felt reassured by them showing up for me.

Image from www.angelreach.com

When I sense my Great Aunt’s presence I smell roses.  When my Grandmother is near, I smell or even see gardenias.  A friend smells tobacco smoke when her father is with her.  Sometimes loved ones will create a breeze where there was none, stop or start a clock, or move something.  Whatever they do will make sense to you, based on your relationship with them.

Image from www.allexperts.com

Sometimes God creates magnificent signs, for no reason other than to help us remember the love and miracles in our world…

Rainbow image by Ookami Kouu

And sometimes it’s well-meaning friends who help us know what’s in store for us on the road in life…

AP Photo – Image by Chris Nakashima_Brown

When the road ahead is uncertain, when you need to know you’re supported, when you are looking for answers – it’s okay to ask for a sign.  But do it once, and trust what you get!

♥ And here’s MY sign for you today (Okay, maybe there’s 3…):

Image from weheartit.com

Image from candyprincess4 at deviantart.com

Image from favim.com

Easy No-Bake Apricot and White Chocolate Slice

“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. ” 
~  David Walliams

 

My lovely friend Kerry and her daughter Philomena came to visit on the weekend. (You may remember me introducing you to Kerry – she’s the talented woman who made the short documentary about my Retreats which you can view here).

Of course you can’t have friends over for a cup of tea without having some kind of tasty offering, and this simple no-bake slice is so quick and easy. I learned this recipe as a child, and it’s certainly a keeper. Eating it always takes me back to school holidays at my Nana’s house and spending time with her neighbour Mrs Mac, a CWA member and ex WW2 army cook who was a great influence on my early cooking skills.

The only change I’ve made to that old recipe is to add in some white chocolate, which makes it feel just a tad more fancy.

This is a great lunchbox treat, and is lovely for morning or afternoon tea. It also travels well for picnics, and I often use it for smoko when we are down at the cattle yards or out in the paddock. It’s sweet and fudgy and delicious.

I hope you enjoy it.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Ingredients:

  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • ½ tin sweetened condensed milk (200 grams)
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 x 250g packet of plain sweet biscuits, crushed (I prefer Malt biscuits)
  • 200g white chocolate buttons (optional but so good!)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Chop your apricots finely (or save time and buy a packet of diced apricots!)
  2. Crush the biscuits by placing in a plastic bag and smashing with a rolling pin, or whizz them in a food processor. (Note: It is perfectly acceptable as the cook to have a biscuit to nibble on as you prepare the others for your recipe.)
  3. Set aside 2/3 of the white chocolate buttons.
  4. Grease a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with butter, or line it with baking paper so that the paper covers the bottom and the sides of the tin.
  5. Place the butter, condensed milk and sugar into a large saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until the butter has melted. Do not boil! Remove from heat.
  6. Dump the crushed biscuits and apricots into the melted butter mixture and stir well. Then add 1/3 of the white chocolate buds. Stir into the mixture which will be quite thick.
  7. Pat the mix into the prepared tin using the back of a spoon or your clean wet hands. (wet hands stops the mixture sticking and helps you smooth the top)
  8. Sprinkle with the coconut.
  9. Melt the remaining white chocolate (in a microwave or over a double boiler) and drizzle over the slice in a decorative pattern.
  10. Place slice in fridge to set, which will take about four hours.
  11. Cut into small slices to serve. This slice will keep refrigerated for one week, if it lasts that long.

Here is the recipe and the taste test in pictures for you (and you’ll notice that Rufous Dog has a great interest in all things food…):

 

Your Help Has Arrived! – Monday Oracle 10 July 2017

“An opportunity is a miracle waiting to happen.”
~ Rue Allyn

 

Hello, Lovelies,

I’m just loving the energies of July. It’s such a supportive month! Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Miracle’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for July, you’ll remember that July helps us to see our place within the bigger scheme of things. It supports love, connection and community and warrants some quiet time this month with loved ones.

Let’s look at the gifts Miracle brings us this week.

This week I can’t emphasis how important it is for you to be able to be open to receiving. Most of my community (and most sensitive and intuitive souls I know) are fabulous at giving, but lousy at asking for help, or accepting and receiving anything for themselves.

Does that sound like you?

This week is great for habitual pattern-breaking, breakthroughs, unexpected gifts and miracles. Yep, really.

Which is great. Unless you keep yourself closed off to receiving….

Miracle reminds us that breakthroughs are at hand, that we are all connected, that magic still exists, that prayers are answered daily, that things can change, that asking for help can make all the difference.

We see an increase in flow this week. We begin to feel more like ourselves again, and stronger within that knowing. We’ll find more energy, more enthusiasm, more clarity. Hooray!

This week Miracle encourages you to ask for that raise, ask for what you’re worth, approach a mentor, enter that competition, raise your prices, ask for the sale, ask someone out, apply for that job or grant, take a risk, do something different or think something different to the way you’ve always done it.

Are you putting those positive intentions for shift out into the Universe?

Are you ready to receive?

It’s the week for it. Please make the most of these supportive energies, no matter what state you and your life are in right now.  Put aside your fears and your worries about not being good enough or deserving enough. Just ask. Stay open. Receive. SO much good can come from that. SO much positive change.

Supportive crystals this week?

Rose Quartz helps us to be open to love and support in all forms and to be able to RECEIVE (Load up your pockets, my loves!). Blue Obsidian gives us mental clarity and self-awareness, strengthening our ability to communicate and connect. Black Tourmaline is great for helping us to see where we need to set boundaries. Citrine helps us to bring the sunshine back into our lives, and to think with optimism and clarity!

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Cardamon, Spruce, Ylang Ylang and Orange. Believe essential oil blend is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and a belief that we can change. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week. You can find all the oils here.

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

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Join Our Book Reading Challenge – July 2017

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
~ G.R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

 

Do you love to read?

In January a group of us embarked on the inaugural Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge.

Already we have read some fine books, and learned about new reading possibilities from our friends who have posted their own recommendations. My personal reading list is now long enough to get me through until next year, at least.

For those of you who are just joining us now let me explain the Challenge to you. It’s pretty easy!

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book 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… Or it could be an e-book, or an audio book. It can be any kind of book 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. Or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book you are currently reading here on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest another book that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of books that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Download the Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet. Each month write the name of the book you have read in the corresponding square. If you read two books in one month it’s fine to allocate one to another month. Or add the extra book to your existing month. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read. It could be as little as ten cents per book. Here’s the Bingo Sheet for you to download – just click on this link: Book Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet Then start filling it in when you’ve read your first book.book-reading-challenge-bingo-sheet
  4. In December I am going to ask you to use the money you have saved to buy and donate a book to a charity for a Christmas gift OR donate the money to a literacy project or similar. (Even if you only saved ten cents each month $1 will buy you a decent second-hand book just about anywhere.) 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!

For those of you who are already participating, I can’t wait to hear about your book recommendations! Pop them in the comments below.

But if you haven’t joined us yet, it’s not too late. And I’d love you to get your friends involved too, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

On the first Saturday of every month (unless that coincides with the first day of the month, where I post my energetic forecast for the month ahead – in which case, like this month it’s the second Saturday) I’ll post an update here on the blog, and ask you what you are reading and if you have any recommendations to share.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else.

Do you want to join me?

Go ahead and write your name below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤  xx

kindbook

Announcing Temple of Light Meditation Retreat 23 to 29 September, 2017

“The calm within the storm is where peace lives and breathes. It is not within perfect circumstances or a charmed life… it is not conditional. Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery… go within.” 
~  Jaeda DeWalt

 

I’m excited to announce my next residential retreat – my Temple of Light ™ Shamanic Meditation Retreat, to be held at Sangsurya, Byron Bay from the 23rd to the 29th of September, 2017

This isn’t your ordinary meditation course. This retreat is essentially an opportunity to connect more deeply with your Soul Energy and Guides than you might ever have thought possible. Let me tell you more…

There is a very special meditation that I practice on a very regular basis. It’s not just a meditation, it’s a destination – and it’s one of the things that has most helped me to come into my own intuitive and psychic abilities, and that has enabled me to deal with health problems, pain and suffering when there was no other help available.

In Ancient cultures our transitions from childhood to puberty, and from puberty to adulthood were marked by ritual, ceremony and the exchange of information. The rituals were especially important for individuals with psychic awareness. These individuals were given specific training in meditation and energy techniques to help them to connect with and explore their abilities, to travel deep within themselves, and to move into connection with the spiritual realms.

A shamanic journey is a journey within. This sacred journey allows us to access a level of consciousness where we can more easily tune into intuitive and spiritual guidance. We learn to listen to our bodies. We learn to listen to our hearts. We learn to listen to our souls and our own inner wisdom. We learn to listen to the Earth, and to all that surrounds us.

On such a journey we often discover things deeply buried – all manner of gifts and longings and talents neglected. We are able to practice Soul Retrieval as we connect to the aspects of ourselves that have long been lost, shamed or shunned.
When we embark on a shamanic journey we gift ourselves space to become whole again, in flow again, and we experience growth and peace.

Image from www.pexels.com

This particular shamanic meditation technique arose from a gift I was given long ago – a fragment of a sacred meditation – and the result is one I have channelled, developed and tuned over decades. I call this meditation Temple of Light ™, and it is one of the most important practices in my life. It supports you no matter what your religion or spiritual beliefs. This simple meditation technique allows you to access an energetic destination which is multi-layered and that last you an entire lifetime in terms of the insights, wisdoms and developments that it will help you to manifest for yourself and others. That is what the Temple of Light ™ is all about. No matter what your current level of knowledge, spiritual connection or metaphysical ability, this technique will work for you.

2017 marks the first year of a brand new energetic era. In this new energy of communication, connection, clarity and collaboration I have updated this meditation significantly. I have also introduced some shamanic rituals that I have not felt to share for a very long time.

Over this six day immersive experience I will guide you through a series of meditation and self-reflection exercises designed to open you up to your wise and intuitive self, your Guides and energetic helpers, and the talents and gifts within you.

The Temple of Light ™’s energetically connected ‘rooms’ will provide you with a beautiful and sacred shamanic meditation template that will allow you to manifest immediate change in your life, and to rapidly accelerate both your personal and spiritual development. Whatever your interests, the Temple of Light ™ will provide you with what you need, customized to your own energy and purpose. It is a place of comfort and sanctuary, attuned to your exact personal needs.

If you are interested in developing psychic or metaphysical skills, creating healing energy, or gaining access to creative or financial flow, or if you’re stuck and don’t know how to move forward, this is the retreat for you. It is suitable for complete beginners and advanced practitioners too.

We have not yet advertised this retreat, but the demand is high and many places have already been filled from people who have been waiting since 2012 when I last ran this event.

Will one of the last places be for you?

To find out more email my wonderful PA, Dana Hartnell, directly at nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com and she’ll send you some more information and an Expression of Interest form. Please be patient. We are in school holidays right now and Dana is a work-from-home mum so don’t expect an immediate response, but I promise she will get to you just as soon as she can.

We look forward to having you join us for a very special and transformative experience.

Much love, Nicole <3 xoxo

Image from www.vk.com

Small Steps and A Pep Talk For Hard Days

“Small steps may appear unimpressive, but don’t be deceived. They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are drastically changed.” 
~  Richelle E. Goodrich

 

As most of you know, I am recovering from illness right now.

I’ve just finished two months of bed rest and am slowly easing myself back into life again. Luckily I’ve found my sweet spot. About three hours of work a day right now is all I can manage. Three hours gives me enough left in the tank for a walk on the beach, for cooking healthy meals, for meaningful connection with my loved ones and for self-care.

Any more than three hours and exhaustion creeps in. If I overdo it and go crazy at my desk I am useless for the next two or three days. Pacing myself is essential. And it is for you too, my friends.

The first six months of this year have been intense. They have required so much from us as we unstick ourselves from the mud, face what needs to be faced, heal what needs to be healed, and attend to all the things that have been holding us back. Because that’s what growth is all about. Sometimes we have to clean up the mess first before we can really start on new things on earnest. The only way you can do that is to put one foot in front of the other.

On January 1 this year I chose a tarot card as guidance for the year ahead. The card was Prince of Disks. The wisdom of this card is all about how taking small steps matters, even though small steps may seem decidedly unsexy and unimpressive when viewed in isolation. But of course, over time small steps add up to big shifts forward. (You can read more about my forecast for 2017 here. )

The energies of the second half of this year are much less intense, much more expansive and creative and allowing. But the small steps rule still applies.

You may feel like you’ve done nothing this year. Perhaps in relation to your bigger goals, dreams and projects that’s true. I can guarantee you though that you’ve been working anyway. Clearing the mess. Dealing with life’s dramas. Sorting out the priorities life has put in front of you. So don’t despair and don’t give up. Use July as your fresh start. Start over. Begin your plans again. Pick up whatever you had to put down when it all got too much. Keep making small steps. Small steps are all you will ever need. (more on July energies here)

As to pacing yourself?

If your life is so crazy that you have no time for yourself, if you are exhausted all the time, if you are resentful of any more demands being made of you – even by loved ones, then it’s time to pace yourself. Work out your sweet spot and stick to what you can manage. It’s always a diminishing return anyway once you move past happily productive and into exhaustion.

If there’s no way to slow down then seriously consider getting off that particular merry-go-round. Life is too short, and you are too precious to work yourself into an early grave for no good reason.

Above all, lovelies, be gentle with yourselves. You’re recovering from a great intensity too. Kindness and self care are magical medicines for care-worn souls.

Much love to you from my little sanctuary here at the farm, Nicole <3 xoxo