10 Easy Steps For Self Care During Troubled Times

“They called her witch because she knew how to heal herself.”
~ Te’ V. Smith

 

It’s simple enough to be well-intentioned and kind to yourself when life is going smoothly. Or if you are on holidays. Or in a really good head space.

But when we are hard up against it – when we have crushing deadlines, or horrible dramas, or the people around us are treating us badly, when we’re ill, depressed or in pain – that’s the time where we most need good self-care, and it is usually the time where we are least inclined to give it to ourselves.

After years of illness, and in my line of work (as a psychic and a support for many people going through their own hardships) where there is no ‘off-switch’, I’ve learned the hard way that self-care is essential. Always. Fortunately I’ve also discovered that it isn’t such a difficult ask of ourselves, and that a little self-awareness and kindness towards ourselves goes a long way towards keeping us resilient and coping in the most troubled of times.

Here are my top ten tips for getting yourself through whatever you might be facing right now:

1. Drink enough water. When we are well hydrated our body is less acidic, we can flush toxins and stress hormones from our system better, we sleep more deeply and our brains work more clearly.

2. Have a shower, wash your hair and put on some clean clothes. For an additional touch of self-love use a perfume, scented moisturiser, aftershave or essential oil whose fragrance lifts your spirits or reminds you of someone you love. If washing your hair is just too hard, pull it back neatly, plait it, or tuck it under a scarf or cap. When I was at my most ill, I’d make myself bathe and put clean pyjamas on. It helped. A lot. And it was always worth the effort, even when I was exhausted. Clean sheets can do wonders for the soul too!

3. Find five minutes for meditation. Meditation calms and centres us, and helps us find our way back to ourselves, our soul and to Spirit. Try any of these simple techniques: Easy Five Minute Meditation, Three Minute Essential Oil Meditation, Taking Energy From Trees, Eating The Sun Meditation.

4. Dance. To one uplifting song. Sing along, and let your body move to the beat. Dance in your lounge room. Dance in the car. Of if you’re confined to bed, sway, tap your hands, draw that music deep into your body and belt out the lyrics.

5. Have a plan, and then work the plan. Choose a time when you can sit down for ten minutes with a cup of tea or a cold drink and your diary. Think of something you want to get done and then break it down into steps and assign those steps to the coming days, weeks or months. Allow more time than you need – because in troubled times we need to allow ourselves extra flexibility. No need to give yourself more pressure when you’re already under the pump. Plans enacted help us to take control back in our lives, and give us something to work towards. It’s okay if your plan is for completing something small. Every time we act instead of procrastinate something strengthens within  us.

6. Go for a walk in nature. Can’t walk? Then try to simply earth yourself instead. If you’re confined to bed or unable to get outside sit by an open window or door. Use your eyes and ears. Use your skin. Let your mind wander outside even if your body can’t.

Image from funnystack.com

Image from funnystack.com

7. Eat something healthy that will nurture and strengthen your body. Choose foods that you know support you. Food gives us energy and helps our bodies work  better. Eating irregular meals and junk food slows us down and makes us feel worse instead of better. Sometimes poor food choices are all we will have. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t sit in guilt. Eating is better than not eating. Decide to make a better choice or plan to bring healthy food tomorrow.

8. Hugs and the company of friends can be healing. In hard times we often feel that the only way to cope is to withdraw. But in that space of social isolation life becomes even more difficult. While it is important to take time to be on your own, you need emotional support too. You can get this from online groups, phone calls, coffee or meal dates, craft dates, pets, good friends and supportive family. Reaching out to others can make a world of difference when life is filled with difficulty.

Image from atozlibrary.com

Image from atozlibrary.com

9. Learn something new, or escape for a time into another world. A book, a movie, a newspaper, a short course. A trip to a new part of town. Stay curious. When we’re in something for the long haul we create emotional space and better coping capacity for ourselves by having something new or interesting to think about that takes us away from our troubles.

10. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a healing balm that restores the best parts of us. Shut yourself away for an early night, or spend the weekend in bed catching up on your rest. An epsom salts bath, some lavender essential oil or a relaxing herbal tea at night will all help get you into that restful space.

2015 – Guidance for the Year Ahead

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“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
~ William Jennings Bryan

“Ah, Nothing is too late, till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Happy New Year and welcome to the energies of 2015!  I have no doubt you’ve already begun to feel the pull of this new year. Her bright possibility and call to action are loud and clear. She is intoxicating in her sway.

Let me tell you more about her!

I have one tarot deck that I use only for the first day of the new year.  For over 20 years I have worked with this deck as a touchstone to set the themes of my year ahead so that I might live with greater awareness and understanding.  I don’t use the cards as a predictive tool – rather I use them for reflection, and to seek guidance about qualities, actions and perspectives that might benefit me over the next twelve months.

Just after midnight I asked for one card for you – to give YOU guidance over the year ahead.  This is my personal interpretation of that card for you.

Take what resonates as truth for you, and discard the rest.

THE MOON – Insights for 2015

Image from pixgood.com

Image from pixgood.com

“The Moon’s gates reveal the unlimited splendour of the Soul.” ~ Anon

 

2014 was a consolidation year – a year to anchor dreams, to commit to change, to end things and to lock things down. It was a year for facing up to our reality, including problems and long-standing issues. It was a year that supported the logical and rational.

In 2014 we began to see that it would no longer be enough to live to please others, or to make our life a quest for external acknowledgement and approval. 2014 required us to dig deeper, and to begin to understand who we truly are, and what calls us. 2014 made us re-evaluate, to long for and begin to work towards wholeness. It also helped us to find and appreciate our inner strength and tenacity.

 

2015 is a year of expansion. A year of possibility and opportunity. There is so much that this new year can gift us. But it demands something in return.

Authenticity. A need to drop the mask and present ourselves honestly – with vulnerability, and with all of our glorious imperfection.

To make the most of 2015 we really do need to start by being true to ourselves. And then we must make choices based on alignment with our authenticity.

If we do that, magic will begin to happen!

2015 is remarkable for two main reasons:

1. We are being given the opportunity to finally let go of significant limiting behaviours, patterns, relationships and beliefs that have been holding us back, and that no longer serve us. To do this we must first sit in awareness, and catch ourselves in that space of limitation. Then in the moment, make a different choice. Think differently, speak differently, behave differently. Don’t live on automatic pilot. Take responsibility for our choices and actions. There is so much power available to us when we live our life from the present moment with clarity, focus and awareness.

walkaway

2. 2015 is also about advancement. The Universe is encouraging us to go after what we want, and what supports our life purpose and Highest Good. It’s a year for dreaming big, but it is also a year of ACTION. We’ll do best with a plan, some definable goals, and a mindset of growth and expansion. Think learning, possibility, support and vision. Take advantage of opportunity, and actively work to bring about change and growth. We must make an effort in order to see an outcome.

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In 2015, to really grow and shine, we MUST let go of making decisions based upon duty and the need to gain approval and acceptance from others. We must begin to live for ourselves, being true to our own needs and desires. Not from a place of selfishness. No. From a place of honesty. From a place of valuing ourselves as much as we value others.

Being honest is important in 2015, and that may be a difficult road if we’ve been lying to ourselves about what we want, what makes us happy, or if we’ve created a life around putting other people and their happiness ahead of our own. We’ll need to own our truth, our limitations, our obstacles. We’ll need to own where we are right now in order to have any hope of scaling the heights of our own possibility.

At the same time, we’ll feel that we just CAN’T go on living the way we have been. We’ll be compelled to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We’ll crave that opportunity to liberate ourselves and to be more fully whole.

There is a great opportunity this year for us to remake ourselves, redefine ourselves and make considerable progress in the areas that matter most to us.

We will find that it no longer works for us to be in jobs, relationships and situations that compromise our integrity and prevent us from living authentically in the world. We will also find that we can’t keep treating ourselves meanly and with a lack of respect or care.

Our hearts and heads are finally learning to work together. We’ll be able to hear that clarion call of our intuition, and the music in our heart – and it will drown out those old stories of duties, limitations and perceived lack.

This coming year also provides the energy for drawing to ourselves lovers, life partners, friends, colleagues and business associates who WILL uplift and support us in our quest for greater authenticity and truth in our lives and our loves.

2015 is a powerful year that will be noticeably and meaningfully shaped by our choices, decisions and actions. For people who have done the self work, and who are prepared to continue to ask more of themselves, 2015 will be the year where it all changes…

For the better, of course. 🙂

I’m wishing you your best year yet! A year rich with meaning, and filled with love, support, kindness, well-being and flow.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

Shine-Your-Own-Light

Choosing your Power Word for 2015

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
~ Socrates

 

2015 is almost upon us, and already I can feel the opportunity and potential transformation that this new year brings.

Choosing a power word will help me to focus, and make the most of 2015’s energy.

Why a power word?

I long ago gave away the practice of multiple New Years Resolutions. Just the thought of it is overwhelming. You know; all the things you are going to do, all the things you are no longer going to do – and then dividing those up into areas for finances, family, health, spirituality, matters of the heart, interests and hobbies, professional and personal development, global domination and so on.

For the past few years I’ve gone with a far simpler system. I’ve narrowed my resolutions down to one word. My power word for the year.

Every time I think of that word I will be reminded of my intentions for 2015. I can hold that word up and use it to evaluate my thoughts and my actions, so that I can determine if I am moving towards or away from the energy of this word, this quality I want more of in my life.

For 2015 my power word is BUILD.

Build is a highly emotive word for me. To me, it is rich with action and result. It speaks to me of new beginnings, of strengthening what is already good, and of creation. It feels empowering. It energises and inspires me.

I can build on my good health. I can build my strength. I can build my energy.

I can build my business. I can build my tribe. I can build new books, new programs, new courses. I can build my team. I can build my relationships. I can build my life.

With every action, choice or decision I make in 2015 I can now ask myself if that is building my wellness, my business, my dreams, my abundance.

I’m thrilled with my power word. I know it’s going to help keep me focused and on track this year.

Now let’s work out what your word is.

Image from afineparent.com

Image from afineparent.com

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

Finding your Power Word for 2015 is simply a matter of exploring what’s important to you. Is there a recurrent theme in your life you’d like to put more attention to, an area you’d like to shine in, or a dream that never gets air time?

Or is it an energy, a philosophy, a verb that calls you to action?

Image from pmsouth.com

Image from pmsouth.com

Use the following Questions to help you arrive at your own Power Word or Power Phrase ( a Power Phrase has more than one word!)

  1. What’s the one key area of your life, that if you put purpose, passion and action to, would move you to a better place by the year’s end? Only choose one area. If you actually make all the change and improvement you need before the year is finished you can give yourself a well-deserved break, or choose another word!
  2. What’s an energy or philosophy that inspires and motivates you?
  3. If you had this change or this energy in your life, what would your life look like?
  4. Write a list of positive words and phrases that embody for you the quality, activities, knowledge and actions of this key area.
  5. Choose one simple word or phrase that sums up this energy for you.

list-of-positive-words

Once you have your Power Word, commit it to memory. Write it in your diary. Place it on post-it-notes around your house, make it your screen saver – in short immerse yourself in this word, and the meaning of this word for you.

Let this one word remind you about what’s important to you this coming year.  Let this one word help you define and transform your life!

Image from  gopixpic.com

Image from gopixpic.com

PS: *Stay tuned, because tomorrow I’ll be posting a short guided meditation to help you truly connect in to the power and personal meaning of your power word or phrase.

Something Very Beautiful

Image from Natural Beauty

Image from Natural Beauty

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.” 
Markus ZusakI Am the Messenger

 

When you begin to see with your heart, beauty is everywhere.

There is something very beautiful in a Nana rocking a child to sleep in her arms, unselfconsciously singing in the corner of a crowded shopping mall…

…in the old man with his hand in the small of his wife’s back at the x-ray place as she stands nervously at the counter, and then holding her hands as they wait for her name to be called…

Image from Huffington Post

Image from Huffington Post

There is something very beautiful in a young woman pushing a twisted and contorted young man in a wheelchair… how she leans forward to whisper something to him and his face cracks open with glee, both of them laughing hard and joyfully…

Picture of Neve and Eamon Guilfoile by Richard Polden

Picture of Neve and Eamon Guilfoile by Richard Polden

True beauty isn’t seen only with the eyes. It does not conform to the media’s idea of youthful perfection. It cannot be bought, applied or worn.

True beauty is LOVE, radiating out from one heart to another, lighting the world with that special magic and making it a better place for us all.

Live from your heart today. Embrace and own the beauty within you that is Love.

Image from Dawn Productions

Image from Dawn Productions

Saying No to Conditional Love

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“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.” 
~ C. JoyBell C.

*Warning: Swear alert. Swears ahead.

I did something quite out of character for me yesterday.

There is someone who has been an important relationship in my life for a long time. You know the kind of relationships you just expect to endure, and to stay strong and connected. This person knew me, loved me, and was proud of me back when I was well and riding the crest of a wave of successes in my personal and business life.

The life I like to think of as my ‘former’ life. The one pre-illness. The one pre-psychic awakening.

The life I live now embarrasses the hell out of this other person. It has made things uncomfortable and awkward between us, without any kind of touchstone where we can easily connect, no matter how hard I try.

But in truth, we’ve been grown apart for a very long time, and so much of my championing and nursing along of the relationship comes from a sense of duty as much as from a place of love.

We speak intermittently. It’s been months now. I do my best to keep them in the loop of my life, so they were aware that I have been unwell. That I’m still unwell. When they called my home yesterday, Ben answered the phone because I was outside with my head in the toilet, violently ill from my lyme meds. He let the person know that I’d be a few minutes. He was politely honest about my situation.

Still, in keeping with the way this relationship has headed, the person did not ask after Ben, or me, or the farm. They talked instead of their latest achievements, and the achievements of others in their family.

When I was finally able to take the phone, this person did not ask after my health, not even in the polite way we all do where we don’t really need to hear the answer but we do want to observe social graces.

They just wanted to know what was happening with my career. Was I published yet? Why was everything taking so long? What was the hold up?

All I could do was stumble around saying that these last two years hadn’t been my finest (for those of you who don’t know, I was dying from unresponsive congestive heart failure, and then received a diagnosis of lyme disease where the treatment is saving my life but in the process making me endure the seven circles of hell) as this person insistently reminded me of who I used to be, and what I used to do. The life I had no choice but to walk away from.

For a moment I felt like one of life’s greatest losers. The shame was overwhelming. I felt so small.

Image from Midlife Rebel

Image from Midlife Rebel

I’ve been raised to be polite. But something happened yesterday. I got angry. And in that space of anger I also felt a need to put a stop to this.

“Fuck off!” I said gruffly. And then I hung up.

I shocked even myself.

But now, with some time and space between me and the big ‘hang up’, I’m feeling better about things. Cleaner.

Truth is, I still love them.

And I see the insecurity in THEM. The need for me, as part of their life, to be someone who others will judge well, and so judge this person well too.

But allowing them to heap shit upon me is not an act of self-love. Perhaps you remember that back at the end of 2013 I ran a retreat where all of us made a sacred vow – to love and treat ourselves well in 2014, to put ourselves and our needs front and centre in our lives rather than always playing second fiddle to everyone else.

I’m living that vow, and it is radically changing my world. In the best of ways.

It really is okay to say NO to conditional love. I hope that in sharing this experience, you can embrace that truth too.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

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So Many Questions

“An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” 
~ Madeleine L’Engle

I’ve been inundated with two main types of questions since my post yesterday about being woken by a voice with a message for me. These are YOUR questions, filling up my email, my facebook messages, my phone.

1. Who was the voice I heard? Was it God, Saint Peregrine, an Angel, a Guide, a dead rellie, my imagination or subconscious?

2. What did they mean?

I have to be honest here, and my answer may surprise you. It is simply this; I don’t know. And more importantly I haven’t felt the need to ask those questions myself.

All I know is that since I heard the voice I have experienced a deep and abiding calm. I am reassured and comforted. My anxiety about my health and situation has eased. Since hearing that voice I have this luminous spark inside me. It’s a tangible, visceral thing. I truly have felt a shift.

Image from prattcentre.net

Image from prattcentre.net

I have not questioned what happened because my experience is so complete that words and questions seem both unnecessary and inadequate.

That seems odd considering my personality – I usually hate not knowing something. I am the one who asks a million questions and won’t drop whatever it is until I have answers that satisfy me. (Try that combination with being a psychic – it’s enough to do your own head in!) When I don’t get answers the questions generally keep rattling around in my brain, sometimes for years. Not this time.

So, who spoke to me?

I don’t know and the need to know is just not here inside me. I am empty and full at the same time.

What did they mean when they said I would turn the corner?

It doesn’t matter. I am filled with peace and safety and acceptance. Whatever happens is okay.

Another friend sent me this:

“Nic, aren’t you worried what people will think? I mean, hearing voices sweetie is one thing, given what you do. But announcing it so publicly? People don’t judge this stuff very well. Maybe you’re sharing a mite too much and being just a little too open and vulnerable right now. Maybe hold off on this stuff until you’re well and can use better discernment.”

Sorry. I’m done with pretending. And I’m done with hiding things. My life is what it is, and I’ll keep sharing it honestly. Did I mention already that it’s all okay?

The one thing your questions have done is remind me about a time in my life when I was shown by my wise Aboriginal Elder, Auntie, about the importance of questions and answers.

Songlines Aboriginal Art - Papunya

Songlines Aboriginal Art – Papunya

So tomorrow I’ll share another installment of my Kimberley Story.

Much, much love to you, and Thank You, for all of your comments and questions, for all of your love and support. It means the world to me. (((HUGS))) ♥ Nicole xx

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2014 – Guidance for the Year Ahead

“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.” 
~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

 

Happy New Year and welcome to the energies of 2014!  It’s a glorious new year, birthed with the energy of a New Moon in Capricorn, which is also a SuperMoon. The Moon brings her own energies to the dawn of this year, and colours the entire year ahead.

I have one tarot deck that I use only for the first day of the new year.  For over 20 years I have worked with this deck as a touchstone to set the themes of my year ahead so that I might live with greater awareness and understanding.  I don’t use the cards as a predictive tool – rather I use it for reflection, and to seek guidance about qualities, actions and perspectives that might benefit me over the next twelve months.

Just after midnight I asked for one card for you – to give YOU guidance over the year ahead.  This is my personal interpretation of that card for you.  I have combined the qualities of this card with the energies of tonight’s SuperMoon.

Take what resonates as truth for you, and discard the rest.

STRENGTH/LUST – Insights for 2014

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In 2013 our focus was on change and understanding our personal power. A time to tidy up the old energies from 2012, and to begin planning and dreaming a new and better world for ourselves and the planet. For many it has been quite the rollercoaster.

2014 will fall differently for each of us, depending on our stage of the journey. I urge you to think carefully about where you wish to position yourself this year – you are not without choice, but in order to make that choice you must come from a place of awareness.

Take a moment now, breathe deeply and sit in your heart. Then ask yourself which one of the following three paths most resonates for you. You can also use this information to help understand where others are at in this next year. Know that wherever we are is where we need to be – there is no right or wrong.

The Three Major Life Paths in 2014:

1. Re-Cycling. We have not learned what we needed – travelling through life asleep, unaware or ignorant. Or perhaps we just weren’t ready to make that change. This year we can learn very fast – choosing to face the lessons head on, or cycle back to the very beginning of our pattern or our story and start the whole learning cycle over with the new cycle then lasting many years. It can be a pattern-breaking year, and a major turning point or a bend in an endless loop. The choice is yours.

2. Reprieve. For many of you who have worked hard, focused on self-awareness and self-growth and who’ve done the homework, 2014 is about rest, consolidation and recovery. You get a chance this year to slow down and catch your breath. You’ll draw to you the right helpers and healers, life’s flow will be gentle and supportive and at year’s end you’ll still be able to look back and realise how far you have travelled in 2014. It’s a year for easing rather than fighting, and for allowing yourself that precious recuperation time.

3. Rocketing On Ahead. For some of you, life will pull out all the stops this year. Because of the set-up and foundation work you’ve already done toiling away in previous years, this year will propel you forward in many aspects of your life where you have felt previously stuck, unrecognised or thwarted. You may also feel overwhelmed at times this year as the pace will not always be of your choosing, and you’ll need to simply hang on and go for the ride. At year’s end you’ll be far, far from where you now stand. It’s a big year, with lots of work ahead, and you’ll need to embark on a regular regime of self-care and support to ensure that the year’s growth is sustainable.

Monopoly Cat Token by David Miller

Monopoly Cat Token by David Miller

2014 is a consolidation year – a year to anchor our dreams, to chart progress and to make lasting change that is supported by our core values and innermost desires. It is a year where we can be rational and logical, while still being supported by a heightened perceptiveness and intuition.

What matters most in 2014 is that we stay grounded in our own strengths, and honest with ourselves about what we really want. It will no longer be enough to live to please others, or to make our life a quest for external acknowledgement and approval. 2014 requires us to be authentic and to live from our hearts, in a way that reflects our passion and interests.

In 2014 we can draw on and cultivate tremendous self-discipline and inner strength. It is a year to make the changes we’ve been dreaming about – the ones we know we will benefit from – even if doing them may initially be harder than staying where we’ve been, safe in our comfort zone. Whatever we can do to support ourselves in being whole and integrated will enable us to make profound progress this year. We must honour our own needs. We must do all we can to come from a place of balance and wholesomeness. The following quote sums up this energy nicely:

“Lust comes from the root lustre. We cannot be in our lustre and radiance if we are not also in our strength. People who exhibit strength also exhibit an inherent lustre or radiance. Strength and lustre are two qualities that are often inseparable.” ~ Angeles Arrien

2014 is a year for overcoming our fears and doubts, and for investing in ourselves – our dreams, our talents, our gifts. It is a year for putting ourselves first, although not in a greedy or selfish way. It is a year where we are advised to become clear, and to live with focus and passion.

It is a year for championing our abilities and our needs, and owning our own strengths and individuality. It is a year for polishing ourselves and our skills, all the better for us to shine our light in the world.

2014 requires us to have a creative vision, and to honour the life force within us. We are being called to make changes, to heal and grow, to become bigger somehow.

It’s a time for us to drop the masks, end the games and be brave enough to stand open and honest. It’s a time for us to be strong, even in our vulnerabilities. There is great beauty in that vulnerability. Great humanity. Great strength.

This is a year, that if lived well and mindfully, shall deeply define us for the rest of our days.

This is a year, that if lived without mindfulness, shall deeply define us for the rest of our days.

We have a choice. Do not be afraid of your own power. Be brave, and make this a year of blossoming and becoming. Imagine how different the rest of your life could look, if you chose to make 2014 a year of heart-centered and values-oriented living.

If you’d like more information on living a heart-centered year, click here.

I’m wishing you an aware and positive 2014, that makes you glad to be alive.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

Radiate-Light