“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.
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…)
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:
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”
~ Mark Twain
Tomorrow, the 17th of December, sees the beginning of the energies of the new year arriving.
2017 will show her face early this year. So that means today truly is the last day of the old 2016 energy (and of the energy of the entire era that started before the birth of Christ and has been staggering to its eventual end from 2012).
Today is a fabulous day for giving something up.
Something that no longer serves you.
Something that holds you back.
It might be a habit, a behaviour, an attitude, a limiting belief, a relationship, a food group. 🙂 But whatever it is, you already know that you’d be a lot better without this thing in your life.
There is enormous support and energy available to you today as you decide to give something up so that you don’t carry that stinking old pattern into the bright clean new year.
You might need to give it up for ever, or simply for a while. You might need to just change your relationship with this thing.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
~ C.G. Jung
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
~ Brené Brown
It’s Monday (or almost Monday if you don’t live in Australia like me!), and this week I have some important advice for you.
This week, do everything you possibly can to be yourself. Speak with your own voice, write in your own voice, dress to reflect your values and personality, in relationships be you, in business be you.
This might be hard if you haven’t been yourself for a while. You may even need to go spend time with yourself to remember what you truly enjoy, or to discover or uncover your true tastes and preferences. As a writer or an artist or a creative you may need some self-examination and experimentation.
You may need to dig deep.
But I promise, there is magic in being your authentic self.
So I encourage you…
You may have no idea of the power of that.
In the modern world we are surrounded by clones. People who dress the same, people who speak using the same words and phrases, people who think the same and who offer the same-same-same. This is true of big businesses and small businesses too. So much of what you see are outright copies or weak dilations of the same themes and concepts.
In a world where there is so much competition, and so much fakery, all you need to do to truly stand out is to be yourself.
In business, or thinking of starting one? The tracking of purchasing decisions shows a growing movement towards arthouse, bespoke pieces, to brands and products with history, story and authenticity. Many buyers want to make an emotional connection. They crave authentic and individual over commercial and mass-produced. Your story connects with them and validates them. Your individuality helps them to define themselves.
In work, in love, in what you teach, in what you share, in your creations and your home space, in how you dress and speak and live, just be who you are.
Trying to be someone else, trying to copy someone else won’t work unless you truly resonate with what they are doing.
You really can succeed doing it your way, and staying true to you. In fact, that is your magic. Your own personal secret ingredient.
When you build your life or your business with integrity it might be a slower process but it will have a steady foundation and chances are it will stay built.
Your gift to the world is your authentic self. It’s who you came here to be. There is nothing more powerful or dynamic than that. Nothing more beautiful or true.
“In writing, you must kill your darlings.” ~ William Faulkner
Welcome to Week Three of our journal challenge. If you missed the start you can go here to catch up on the tools you’ll need, and here to do Week One’s activities.
This week, starting on August 9, holds a strong and supportive energy for killing things off! No, I don’t mean actually murdering anyone. Instead, we are being supported to step away from things that don’t work for us, especially those seductive ‘safe’ things, the ‘chasing the money but no heart in it’ things, or the things we do to please others.
In writing there is a wonderful expression known as killing your darlings. Killing your darlings is all about letting go of a character, a scene, a concept that might have been the thing that started the whole novel, but that no longer has a place now our story is done. When we kill the darling and remove them from the story our work becomes stronger, clearer and more vital. But it’s hard to do, because we are emotionally attached to our darlings. Often we had such high hopes for them.
Most of us have a few darlings hanging around. Not characters, but ideas, relationships, beliefs, behaviours and items that we cling to even as they pull us down, or under. The things that drain our energy without ever giving anything back. The things we worry that in giving up, we might lose ourselves. Truth is, the only self we will lose is the imaginary self we are attached to, that prevents us from being real, and living here and now.
You know it. The investment or decision we can’t let go of that just keeps costing us money. The guitar under our bed which we will never play, although we love the fantasy that one day we might. The pottery wheel, covered in cobwebs in the back shed.
The project we’re helping someone else with that stops us working on our own. Even though we so love the other person and they are so very grateful. The job we do for all that money, that we hate with every fibre of our being.
The too-tight, too-old or too-low-self-worth clothes we shrug into, telling ourselves we still look okay. The familiar and comforting voice in our head that tells us, one day when all these other things are done we will start. But we have to get the (insert appropriate darling here) finished/built/established first.
And then there are the darlings we tell ourselves we love, and all the while our inner five-year-old is stomping their foot and saying No, Don’t wanna! We should listen to that wise, brave clear inner child more often. They know… Give that thing the boot too!
When we kill off our darlings we are left with space, integrity and a clearer, truer direction can begin to emerge. It’s a kind of de-cluttering of our souls.
Each week of this nine week challenge will follow the same format:
We will begin with the short guided meditation for the week, using your guidance stone. During this meditation you’ll be given a colour to work with for the week, and a word or phrase.
We will choose an oracle card to give us inspiration and direction for the week ahead
We will spend ten minutes (or more if desired!) to complete our weekly journal prompt.
We will spend a few moments at the end of our day in gratitude.
1. Guided Meditation
Take your guidance stone and sit or lie quietly. Then simply follow the sound of my voice. You’ll need seven minutes.
When the meditation is complete, write down your power colour and your power word or phrase in your journal.
How can you use your Power Word this week? Write a few ideas, based on your word. Trust whatever comes and write it down. Don’t overthink it.
What does your Colour mean to you? What words or ideas does it provoke? Write them down. This week, use this colour to boost your energy. Shut your eyes for thirty seconds and breathe it into your body whenever you feel a bit flat or low. Wear it as clothing. Choose flowers in your colour. Eat food that colour. Be creative with it.
2. Oracle Card
Take your cards, offer up a small prayer that whatever you do be for your Highest Good, and then shuffle the deck. As you’re shuffling, ask the question‘What do I most need to focus on this week?’ 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.
Now look at your card and hold your guidance stone in your non-writing hand. 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? Take a minute or two and write those thoughts down. I know, you might feel like you’re just making it all up. That’s okay. Write anyway. Trust that there is a part of you that is wise and that has been waiting for this chance to speak with your conscious mind.
This week I had a repeat of the same oracle card I chose last week. I sat with it for a while, and then saw how much the messages of the card were still relevant for me, and also how they were evolving. Once again I didn’t see the friendly face in the top right of the card until I was done writing. Oh yes, I thought to myself. Help is always there, but I so often forget to ask! Here’s how the beginning of this week’s journal looks for me:
3. Week Two Journal Prompt
This week we’re going to explore what darlings we need to let go of in our lives. Start your journal writing with this prompt and then let your heart take you where it will.
I love the idea of it, but my life would work so much better if I finally let go of….
Now try this one:
The truth is, I don’t really love…
How much you write is up to you. Do this once, or write a little every day. Whatever works for you. Hold your guidance stone in your non-writing hand or place it on your lap or beside you while you write.Genuinely seek to connect with what matters to you.
You might have big things or little things. Things you know, or that completely blindside you.
You’ll know when you’ve written enough.
I’ll show you my first page. I actually ended up writing heaps and heaps for this one:
What you don’t see is the big lecture I gave myself on page two, about perfectionism, and my total need to kill that darling dead! I know some of you will relate. 🙂
Using the Gratitude Rock:
The Gratitude Rock anchors positive energy and gratitude at the end of every day. You can carry your stone with you, or leave it beside your bed. At night, before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock in your hand.
As you hold the stone say to yourself I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Then hold in your mind one or more image of a thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe. Visualise a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
Now here’s the fun bit – imagine all of the other people who are taking part in this journalling challenge with you. Once again build up a strong positive energy in your heart, and then imagine shooting a stream of golden light out into the Universe to those people.
Say Thank you. I Bless You. I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.
Happy exploring through words this week! Let your Power Word and colour guide you. Think on the wisdom you’ve taken from your oracle card. Use it all! And remember to pop over to facebook and let us know how you’re going. I always love to hear from you.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“Dare to dream again. For dreaming is the language of your soul, And nothing your soul truly desires could ever be wrong or impossible.”
~ Jacob Nordby
Hello, Lovelies <3
It’s June already. We’re nearly at the midpoint of our year. I promised that I would support you in making the most of this year’s opportunities, so here’s my Heads Up about the month ahead, as well as a few suggestions for embracing all that June has to offer.
June has a sense of expansiveness and possibility that’s been lacking in recent months. There’s an abundance of energetic support for you to explore and open up to new opportunities and new directions in your life. You’re being encouraged to put energy into making your dreams a reality.
It reminds me of the movie Field of Dreams, with its taglines If you build it, he will come… and If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.
Card 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 Hidden Realms. Remember that 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:
The message of this first card, Abundance, is all about sitting in a position of gratitude for the many blessings already present in our world and using that positive space to build on our own hopes and dreams. When we actively practice gratitude we begin to cultivate an energy of joy in our daily life.
In June we have the opportunity to work on things that bring us a sense of emotional satisfaction, as well as toiling joyfully on the foundations of enterprise and activity that will go on to create material reward for us. Plant seeds now so that the harvest will be healthy and abundant in times to come.
June is a month for planning and acting on our dreams. It is also a time for social connection, for celebration and for doing the things that make us happy.
It’s expected that June will be a busy month, but when we are engaged with things that we enjoy being busy is never a trial. June calls us to pour our heart and soul into life, and the things that matter to us. Always from a position of gratitude.
When we acknowledge abundance more blessings flow to us.
We are also cautioned against being cynical or judging ourselves or others. Everyone walks their own path, and only your path is your business. You may not get to scale the highest peaks in June but if you at least begin the climb there is a very good chance that eventually you will make it to that high peak, or somewhere better.
The second card I’ve chosen brings a message of great support. The Web Weaver reminds you that you are not alone in the Universe. As you take action and begin to move in the direction of your dreams expect support from unexpected quarters, divine synchronicities and that magical feeling of things happening easily or just falling into place.
June is all about waking up from that long cold winter of stuckness and shooting tendrils of fresh vigorous growth out into the world as the sun shines down upon you and gentle rain falls as needed, in order that the growth be sustainable and healthy.
You’re being reminded to dream big, and to not judge yourself or the likelihood of your success by your present circumstances. Where you are now is the result of where you’ve been. It’s old news. It isn’t where you need to stay. In each moment you can reinvent yourself. It’s never too late. You’re never too old. Don’t look behind you any more. Have faith in your dreams, chart a course, keep your eyes on the horizon and move ahead.
“A lot of things are inherent in life -change, birth, death, aging, illness, accidents, calamities, and losses of all kinds- but these events don’t have to be the cause of ongoing suffering. Yes, these events cause grief and sadness, but grief and sadness pass, like everything else, and are replaced with other experiences. The ego, however, clings to negative thoughts and feelings and, as a result, magnifies, intensifies, and sustains those emotions while the ego overlooks the subtle feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, adventure, love, and peace that come from Essence. If we dwelt on these positive states as much as we generally dwell on our negative thoughts and painful emotions, our lives would be transformed.”
~ Gina Lake, What about Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment
Hello, Lovelies 🙂
Here we are in May! I promised that I would support you in making the most of this year’s opportunities, so here’s my Heads Up about the month ahead, as well as a few suggestions for embracing all that May has to offer.
There is some outer tumult going on in the world through May, or having rippled through to us from April, so it’s time to anchor ourselves in our essence and draw part of our attention inwards. This act serves to stabilise our energy and emotional state, helping us to be strong and grounded so that we can weather any storms and better support those around us.
Card for the Month:
I’ve chosen two cards for April for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Hidden Realms. Remember that I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.
The message of this first card, The Creator, is all about working on your own essence. For some people this will be about health. May is supporting us to take action with health – through diet, exercise, health programs and support from wise practitioners – so that we can purify our bodies, support our energy and wellness levels, and move into that space of feeling good, inside and out. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong and meditation will also be helpful for building your essence and energy.
For others, essence is about building confidence. Becoming clearer about who we are, what we want, what we’re keeping and what we need to let go. Developing a stronger voice in the world. Surrounding ourselves with supportive and healthy relationships. Speaking our truth. Skilled therapists and teachers can also help us with this.
Finally, May also gives us a powerful opportunity to be working on our offerings – the essence of ourselves that we wish to share with the world. This could be a book, a course or workshop, a creative piece, performance, a competition, or even a service we want to offer. May is the time to work on it, to pour it forth and polish it. Focus on this offering, and make time for it above all else.
In May keep asking yourself Who am I? How do I want to live in the world? What do I want to offer to the world? What best represents my essence?
Image from lifeuncalculated.com
The second card I’ve chosen is a deep reminder of the universal energy, love and support that surrounds us daily. The Cosmos reminds you to breathe life into your creative projects. It also encourages us to be clear in setting our intentions, because we are powerful co-creators. Our energy, thought and action ripples out from us and will carry influence to others.
There are things hidden within you that need to be shared with the world. It’s time.
May allows us to draw on the wisdom and support of our ancestors, our guides and Spirit. It is a month that supports a deepening of our own mysticism and spiritual connection.
May is a fabulous time for journalling, spiritual work and path walking. Make sure that you leave some time for solitary work and self work. This journey will help you to get clear about who you really are, and to connect with your heart and soul wisdom. You’ll also find ways to resolve old hurts and leave old sorrows behind. There is plenty of energetic shedding to be done, as you clarify your essence.
Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?
You are beautiful, and worthy, and there is an energy within you that is not duplicated anywhere else in the world. Allow the energies of May to help you understand yourself better, and to anchor yourself in what supports and inspires you. Be ready to start working on your offerings to share with the world. Invoke your essence.
“You have to get through the rain if you’re ever going to see a rainbow.”
~ Karen White, After The Rain
Hello Lovelies, and welcome to Week 3 of our Journal Challenge!
If you’ve only just found us now, it’s not too late to go back and start at the beginning. That’s the beauty of journalling. It waits for us, and works with our own time-frames.
Have you ever gone outside after a really good downpour? The world looks washed clean. The air is fresh and cool, and once again vibrant with possibility. Even tired, jaded places take on a soft beauty. It’s hard not to believe in new beginnings in the light of such positive energy.
Before we launch into Week 3, let’s have a quick recap of the last two weeks of journalling:
1. In Week One we called on our own insights to discover where we have held ourselves back, what worries us, and what we might do to bring more balance, healing, sustainability and joy into our lives.
2. In Week Two we bravely called upon the love, wisdom and strength of our Ancestors as we tackled our patterns of resentment, the excuses we use that prevent us growing and moving forward, the areas and relationships where we hold resentment, and the things in our life over which we feel shame. We then looked at how to turn all of this hurt into wisdom, helping us to reclaim the aspects of ourselves that we had shunned.
This week, with our dawning awareness of self we’re going to ask more questions, look from new perspectives and in doing so identify our endings and beginnings.
Image from Lifehack Quotes
Choosing a Crystal
You may wish to choose a crystal to work with this week. It is entirely optional, and you’d be fine without one too – but for my fellow rock lovers, read on…
You can hold this crystal as you write or meditate, place it under your pillow or beside your bed while you sleep, or carry it in your pocket to help you stay focused.
You could choose your stone based on what most appeals to you. That’s a very valid approach. But if you need a little direction, good crystals to work with this week include:
Any of the Obsidians
Ruby in Zoisite
Clear Quartz, with or without inclusions
This week I’m wearing my crystal – a beautiful and delicately carved Buddha of Tiger Eye. If you’re working with a crystal too why not tell us about it by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page. I’ll also be holding my Clear Quartz from Week 1.
Two crystals, I hear you ask? You bet. I can feel it’s going to be a BIG week of breakthroughs for me, so why not! 🙂
Week Three Meditation:
This week’s simple meditation gets us out of our head and back in our body!
The Seed Meditation
If possible do this meditation outside, on the ground. If weather or illness prevents this, improvise with your imagination and do your best.
Kneel or sit on the ground and curl yourself into a little ball. You might hunch your shoulders over and drop your arms into your lap or use them to grab your knees, or place your forehead on the ground in the yoga child pose. Whatever you do,let your mind and body relax.
Now imagine that you are a tiny seed, cradled safely within the nourishing soil of the earth. You are warm, safe and deeply rested. Rain has activated you, and you can feel the possibility of life within you.
One finger begins to stretch, like the tendril of a small vine. Feel the energy of waking up begin to course through you. Feel yourself wanting to grow.
Slowly allow your arms to move and stretch. As your arms move like the shoots from a small seed seeking sunlight, all ow your shoulders and the rest of your body to gently rise, until you find yourself standing, or in an upright seated position.
Keep stretching upwards, swaying and reaching for the sky. Let the energy of growth completely fill you. Take some deep breaths and allow yourself to connect to the life force of earth, water, sun and air. When you’re ready, open your eyes.
Sit in this energy a little longer and be open to any thoughts, images or ideas that come.
Finally, shake out your arms and legs, take six breaths deep into your belly, letting your body relax completely.
You can choose any or all of the questions below. Some will be asked as traditional questions, and some are sentences that give you a place to start by leaving a space for you to complete that sentence.
I suggest going with what resonates and repels for a good balance. Write as much or as little as you need. It could be three words or three pages. Spread it out over a week, or spend a solid hour or two over one day – it’s up to you!
If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket. Feel free to get yourself a beverage, or to sit in a coffee shop while you do this. Enjoy the process!
Let a feeling of gentle excitement and possibility dwell with you this week as we start pulling things together. Your writing and your ideas will begin to start forming shapes and directions. You’ll be at the edge of clarity.
After the rain we can see everything in a kinder light. We accept what is, and may even begin to see some beauty where before we found none.
Ready? Let’s go!
Talking about Endings:
I’ve decided that I no longer want to…
I’m actually okay with letting go of…
I suddenly see that holding onto _______ is not doing me any favours because________
It’s okay for me to stop doing…
I’m going to simplify my life by finishing…
The person I still need to forgive is….
The thing I still need to forgive myself for is….
The dream I’ve outgrown is…
I need to stop…
By the end of this year I’ll finalise…
I don’t need to do it all myself! I’m going to delegate or get help with…
The biggest project I need to get done is…
The fastest project I can finish and put behind me is…
The project or situation I am procrastinating about the most is…
In 2014 I’m going to wrap up and complete…
Even though it’s challenging for me, I know I need to start…
The dream that is dearest to me and that scares me the most is…
A tangible step I can take toward that dream is _____________ and I could start __________
I need to acknowledge that the strength inside me I most take for granted is…
I’m really good at…
I’ve always wanted to work at…
My heart is yearning to…
In 2015 I’d be excited to…
I’ve decided that instead of seeing these parts of me as a flaw or a weakness, I’m going to embrace and acknowledge my _________
My 2015 support crew will include…
What holiday could I plan for myself that I will really look forward to?
What new thing would I like to learn in 2015?
What small adventures or outings will gladden my heart?
How can I make myself feel more beautiful for 2015?
To what music will I dance, create and grow? What can be the soundtrack of my life for 2015?
You may also find it useful to listen to this simple guided meditation for Abundance and Blessings:
Do pop over to our facebook page this week. There will be some rune guidance for you. I’ll be giving away some lovely surprises and there will also be an online party next Friday evening (14th Nov – Brisbane time) where I’ll be available to answer your questions and have some fun!