Join Our Book Reading Challenge – May 2017

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

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, and it was a wonderful resource when it came to loading up on e-books and audio books before I went on holidays.

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, 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

Blogging Gone Bad – Why I am taking a break for a few days…

“I find that the best way to cope with life’s difficulties is to surrender to what is. Don’t fight it. Flow with it.” ~ Nicole Cody

Hi Lovelies

I’m pecking out these words left handed from my deluxe overnight accommodation in Byron hospital.

Yes, I am still running my retreat. Except at night where I am now popping down to hospital every evening to stay overnight to receive IV antibiotic infusions to combat the nasty multi-drug resistant superbug in my bladder which has become quite a serious situation.

Not ideal, but we are making it work. Blogging is hard though.  I am now one handed and typing this has taken a stupid amount of time so I will resume blogging next week when my IV line comes out.

Sorry, but it’s just too hard right now.

I’ll pop some little video updates on our facebook page until then.

I love you heaps.
Make the most of these incredible May energies,

Nicole xx

The Energies of May – 2017

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” ~ Amelia Earhart

 

Hello, Lovelies :)

Breathe a sigh of relief. May is here with her gentle heart-nurturing energies, after the upheavals, revelations and hard work of April.

We’ve identified or faced the difficult stuff, and now that we know where we stand the only way for us to move is forward. Of course May also reminds us that we might need a cup of tea and a nap first – and that’s perfectly okay!

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for May for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

 

“Where there is love there is life.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

May is a heart-centred month. Our little soul garden has such potential for blooming and flourishing now. May encourages us to get out of the shadow of others and shine our own light. It’s a month where projects and ideas can thrive and we begin to trust our own judgement.

It’s a month where we can develop deep and lasting love connections, and where we can finally heal from the pain of previous heartbreak – whatever the cause.

May shows us how to be independent in love, rather than collapsing into relationships and situations that swallow us whole so that we lose our sense of self or surrender what is dear to us in order that a relationship might work. In May we see that losing ourselves in love isn’t the way to love anyone, especially ourselves.

May is also a great month for overcoming addictions, and healing our body, mind and spirit of deep wounds and traumas so that we can stand strong again.

The second card I’ve chosen is Peace. In May we are encouraged to drop the things from our lives that pull us into craziness, pain or chaos. Strong boundaries may be needed. It’s also a time for forgiveness, no matter how long a burden of pain has been carried.

“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

If you do one thing in May, let it be an act of forgiveness. Forgiveness untethers you from being stuck in the past. It gives you wings. It gifts you freedom. It restores peace. Sometimes, that is also the precious gift your forgiveness gives someone else.

Forgiveness ultimately is about freeing yourself, even if it is someone else you are forgiving. Remember that. It never validates or justifies what happened. It merely says that you are going to put the burden of this heavy thing down now, so that your energy can flow again and you can move away from the pain.

Forgives needs to start with yourself. Every day is a fresh beginning, if only you will allow that. You woke up this morning different to who you were yesterday. Sometimes the change is big. Sometimes it is infinitesimally small. But you changed. So did the other people on this planet. Allow for that possibility in yourself and others, while always maintaining kindness, compassion and common sense.

If you extend an olive branch to another and it is rejected? Be at peace with that. Respect that other person’s choices. Let it be peaceful on your side of the relationship. Be glad that you tried. Flow love anyway. Know that no might not mean never – it might simply not be the right timing yet.

Create space in your life for quiet and peace this month. Find a space that can be your sanctuary or create one. (Not sure how to do that? My lovely friend Helen Joy Butler can help. Go check out her website here)

Best crystals this month?

Rhodonite and Amazonite

Rhodonite is a stone of compassion and love that supports the heart chakra and aids emotional healing. It really bolsters our emotional resilience too.

Image from the GemStoneGeeks

Amazonite taps us into our inner strength and restores hope and trust – a very uplifting stone.

Essential oils to support your journey?

Each of the following oils will work beautifully on their own for you this month, but they also make a delicious combination for diffusing. The essential oils you will find helpful in May are Geranium, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, and Jasmine. Geranium will soothe anxiety, Rosemary enhances focus and concentration and lifts us out of fatigue and burnout, Ylang Ylang supports us to be able to receive love into our lives and to feel more loving towards ourselves, Jasmine is a wonderful oil for connecting to our intuitive and natural optimism. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

Make space in your life for relationships, love, connection, forgiveness and gentleness this month. With yourself. With others. You’ll be so glad you did.

Lots of love, Nicole❤ xoxo

 

We’re On Retreat!

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
~ Robert Frost

 

This morning we begin our next residential retreat, Beginners Channelling, here in Byron Bay.

My bags are packed and the ute is packed and we will soon leave the farm and travel the short distance down the road to our retreat destination. The venue is ready. My students are arriving. It’s all about to happen.

I’m excited for this group. I chose this time for our retreat so carefully, and booked it almost four years ago. Today will be a day of preparation and orientation and then tomorrow we move into the end of April, into Samhain, deep into the process of seeing ourselves and our lives honestly and of letting go of all that no longer serves. It’s also a powerful time for all forms of psychic connection.

Then suddenly it will be May, and with it will come gentle energies for heart healing and growth (wait for my blog on Monday where I explain these energies in much more detail). May will be a time for great forgiveness and a healthy new self-acceptance.

It’s a powerful time for soul work, and that is what we will do.

As I hold my students in my twice-daily meditations I will also hold space for you to make these same shifts, and to experience this same new freedom and expansion. I’ll update you on our progress next week, and give you some little activities to help you step more fully into your own intuitive gifts.

I have a few spots left on our next residential retreat in June. Temple of Light is a Shamanic Meditation Retreat and it’s possibly my favourite meditation technique ever. It is suitable for complete beginners and advanced practitioners. But I’ll tell you more about that later. Right now I have to get ready for a very big day.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

PS – Want to know more about our Temple of Light Meditation Retreat? Email me at cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to send some details to you on Monday.

PSS – If you’d like to see what one of my retreats looks like you can have a sneak peek here.

Nicole’s other Retreats in 2017:

June 17 to 22 – Temple of Light Shamanic Meditation Retreat. Imagine that you could learn one simple meditation technique that would allow you to access an energetic destination which is multi-layered and will 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. Over this six day immersive experience, Nicole will guide you through a series of meditation and self-reflection exercises designed to open you up to your pure nature, your Soul’s Truth, and the talents and gifts within you. The Temple of Light ™’s energetically connected ‘rooms’ will provide you with a beautiful and sacred shamanic 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, customised to your own energy and purpose.If you are interested in developing psychic or metaphysical skills, creating healing energy, or gaining access to creative or financial flow, this is the workshop for you.

November 25 to December 1 – Working with Crystals – Level 1. This will be the first time I have offered this as a residential course. An immersive and intensive experience where I will show you how to select, clear, charge and program crystals. I’ll show you how to use them for meditation and healing, to support the chakras, to support intuition and psychic awakening, as a channelling tool, for manifestation and for creating energetic spaces. I’ll also teach you the fundamentals of crystal gridding and crystal essence making, and how to choose crystals for others. Lots of meditation and energy work, lots of stones to take home, and lots and lots of fun!

It’s Hard To Blog When You Can’t Find Your Slippers

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.” ~ Al Franken

 

The mornings have suddenly turned cold here at the farm.
I’m meditating with a heavy prayer shawl around me for my 4am starts, and choosing to stay sitting up in bed so I can remain cosy.

Normally when my meditation is finished I’d pop out of bed, put my dressing gown and slippers on, go make a cup of tea and sit down at the kitchen table to write in my journal and then blog.

The early morning floorboards are too cold for bare feet. I need my slippers in the cooler months. But do you think I could find them today? I usually leave them under the bed. How odd that they are gone.

I’ve been searching everywhere for my slippers!
I eventually discovered one, tucked under the desk on the front veranda. Only one though.

Rufous the very good dog found the second slipper. He was obviously minding it for me so it wouldn’t run off again.

Good boy, Rufous!

 

Meanwhile, in Dog Land…

Rufous: Hahaha, this slipper is delicious!

Rufous: Why are they calling my name? I am innocent. Well, I will act like I am innocent.

Rufous: Oops… Would you believe I found it here on the couch? Is it yours? 

Sorry, Mum. It’s only just a bit chewed. And soggy. But it’s still good.

 

 

The Owl and The Night Sky

Image by Jonathan Gewitz

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
~ Shel Silverstein

 

I was totally spent yesterday. We’ve had some personal stress in the past few weeks, some health issues, some family stuff. And of course so have my clients. I’ve been working overtime supporting them. I’ve also been supporting my students as we move towards my Beginners Channelling Retreat this weekend. It’s been an intense month.

The energies of April have brought all manner of things to our attention, things that we must face in order to move forward or to break free. For those of us doing the work, the work has been huge. (Don’t worry, May is much more gentle and it will be here soon!)

Last night I was heavy with emotion and exhaustion so I went and sat in the cold Autumn air, on a chair under a big tree.

It was quiet. The skies above me were heavy with stars.

And then the wonder happened.

A huge storm, out to sea, lit the night.

Huge vaulted clouds lit up with silent rivers of light. Sometimes white. Sometimes orange. Small displays and then an occasional grand one.

The sky would go dark. Night would go on. Then bursts of light and grandeur again. It was spectacular.

As I sat in the dark I heard a sudden whoosh of wings and a powerful owl flew down to the ground just feet in front of me. She alighted again with a small creature in her talons and flew over to the clothesline to eat her dinner.

Such wonder on an otherwise ordinary night.

That’s the thing about wonder and miracles. They are all around us, all the time, if only we have eyes to see.

I’m holding you all in my prayers and meditations as we move through these last confronting and cleansing days of April. Be open to change, my lovelies, and know that it is for the better, no matter how hard it may be.

All my love, Nicole xx

Easy Kale and Orange Salad with Miso Dressing

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
~ Hippocrates

 

This is a super-scrummy salad that is easy to prepare and chock full of goodness.

It’s satisfying enough that you could eat a bowl on its own, but it’s also a great side for roasts and barbeques.

I use kale leaves as a base and then add whatever other raw vegetables are in the fridge to make up four cups. Needless to say it tastes a little different every time I make it!

The dressing is also stupidly easy.

This salad will feed your gut microbes, adding in friendlies from the miso paste, and using the acid in the orange juice to make everything more digestible. The umeboshi plum has a myriad health benefits, and your gut will love it!

The salad will only keep for 24 hours once you add the dressing, so it is best made close to serving, and any leftovers eaten the next day. Want to make a higher protein meal in a bowl? Add some white beans, grilled or cold cooked chicken, pork or seafood.

The dressing can also be used as a glaze (don’t make it quite as thin) for baking/grilling salmon.

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of shredded kale leaves (not the rib!) and a selection of the following to make up another two cups of shredded vegetables: carrots, zucchini, beetroot, apple, red or green cabbage. Plus one small red salad onion, an orange and a couple of tablespoons of your favourite seed and nut mix. I sometimes use a trail mix that also has dried cranberries and sultanas for some OMG yumness.

For the dressing you’ll need two heaped teaspoons of white miso paste, juice of half an orange (give or take) and if you like, add a 1/4 teaspoon of umeboshi plum paste to give a salty tartness to the dressing (and for the awesome health benefits of this condiment).

Method:

Shred or finely cut your kale, cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables of choice to make 4 cups. Add to a large bowl. I like the act of slicing and chopping. I use it like a mindfulness meditation, especially at the end of a long day of psychic work. It gives me decompression time. But if you are in a hurry or would rather decompress in front of Netflix using a mandolin or a food processor will have this job done in no time! Ridiculously time poor? Buy a bag of salad to add to your onion and orange combo. Finely dice the red onion, peel the orange and cut into small cubes, removing any seeds.

Chuck the onion, orange and seed and nut mix into the bowl of vegetables.

Dressing: Add the miso to a cup, and the umeboshi if you are using it. Umeboshi is strong flavoured, while white miso and orange are sweet and mild so be cautious about adding too much at first. Then add a small amount of orange juice and mix. Keep adding juice until it is thinned to a good consistency but still creamy. Taste and adjust juice or miso flavours if necessary. Pour over salad and mix well.

It doesn’t take much juice to go from thick to creamy. This pic below is with a tablespoon of juice. A bit more of a stir and it would be great as a glaze. But for dressing we’ll need to add more juice.

Pour over the dressing just before serving. Yum!