Thank you!

“Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?” 
~  Richard Bach

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for making my birthday memorable.

I feel grateful to have you in my life, and I am overcome with your kind messages and well wishes. How truly blessed I am.

For the record – I drank excellent tea, ate cake at every meal, surrounded myself with friends, family, flowers, sunshine and moonlight, and welcomed in my fiftieth year with an abundance of love.

A quiet day of rest, meditation and writing for me today.

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole  ❤ xoxo

Who’s your Support Crew in 2014?

Image of the Blue Angels Support Crew watching a flight formation - Wikimedia Commons

Image of the Blue Angels Support Crew watching a U.S. Navy diamond flight formation 1952 – Wikimedia Commons

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends”

~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Few of us get there on our own. The journey is always made easier when we have support, no matter what that journey is. So my big question to you is this:

Who is YOUR support crew in 2014?

No matter what kind of year you’re in for, we all need friends and helpful people. People who can cheer us on, offer helpful advice, pick us up when we fall, do the things we need doing but cannot do for ourselves, lend their own kind of magic to ours for that beautiful effect that multiplies our success to be greater than the sum of the parts.

I know that most of you are a lot like me…

Sensitive souls, empaths, carers, healers, kind-hearted people – we are stunningly good at putting everyone else first, and being that support which others need – being a support person is just what we’re wired to do. And if we’d had rough patches in life we’ve become good at being resilient and self-sufficient too.

All of this means that we may not be so flash at asking for favours or putting our hand up for help.

This year I’m putting up my own hand and asking for help. I’m drawing to me the best support crew I can to get me through 2014. I’m also minimising my contact with the crazy-makers and relationships that drain or sabotage me and my direction. (Want help with toxic relationships? Click here!)

Mots of us already have a support network. We may even be putting energy into supporting THEM right now. The biggest issue for many of us is that we don’t ask, or have found ourselves in the habit of having the barriers up as we steam along in that solo kind of self-sufficiency mode. Or we just plain forget that these people are here for us to draw on.

Not all of our support crew will work for love. And that’s okay too. Hiring people to support us is a great act of self-love and affirmation of self-worth. We can also access this support through books, courses and audio files.

We all need a cheer squad, and sometimes we need more tangible help. The point is – we can’t do it all alone!!!

Image of this awesome supportcrew from the South East London Ladies Swimming Club

Image of this awesome support crew from the South East London Ladies Swimming Club

Right now I have my husband and my wonderful PA, Dana, creating firewalls and boundaries in my work and personal life.

My fridge is full of nurturing soup from kind friends. Others have offered to clean my house while I’m too unwell to do this for myself.

I may not be able to get out much, but my sister and a few friends are on speed dial. I have great neighbours, and a fabulous bunch of Soul Sisters from my mentoring groups and retreats. I have all of you, dear readers, lending your support and kindness.

My Sisters of the Pen are always there for online and ‘for reals’ conversation and support for writing and life. The Queensland Writers Centre is my go-to place for continuing development of my craft.

And beyond my emotional needs I have doctors, herbalists, accountants, a good lawyer, a web designer (Hi Tim!), dentist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, an online business mentoring group, lyme boards and forums, music, libraries, bookshops and the internet. I have the Farmers Markets and some wonderful local cafes. There’s also the yellow pages for when I need a plumber, a termite expert or a tree lopper.

Of course, none of these people will be any good to me if I don’t reach out and ask!

Image by maryam

Image by maryam

2014 is shaping up to be a big year, and it’s time to start thinking about who you need on your support crew.

To help you get a better picture of what that may look like I’ve created a simple journal exercise for you!

Journalling my Web of Support

Image from akmhcweb

Image from akmhcweb

Here are some simple questions for you to think about and journal. Don’t feel that you have to answer them all today, but DO give them thought over the next few weeks.

1. Who in my family can I draw on for support, guidance, laughs or to help me lift that heavy bookcase? Remember that it’s okay to include loved ones who’ve passed over. I talk to my grandparents all the time!

2. Which friends in my life (online as well as people I’ve met in person) are supportive of me, my interests and my ambitions?

3. What do I really need to get done this year that I keep putting off?

4. Do I really need to do this myself? Who can help me with this thing? What kind of support do I need for each of those goals or tasks? Do I know someone? Can I pay someone?

5. Who can help me with my health this year?

6. Who can help me with my finances and/or business?

7. Who can help me with my spirituality and soul questing?

8. Who can I laugh with?

9. Who can I cry with?

10. Who’ll cheer me on up that mountain?

11. Music, movies and other motivators that keep me feeling good about myself and on track?

12. Habits and actions I KNOW do me good and support my journey?

I hope in some small way that I can support you too, through my blog and my facebook page. Let’s make this our best year yet – together!

Lots and lots of love,

Nicole xoxo

Image from sevenquotes

Image from sevenquotes

2013 – My Blog in Review

Image from Techmest

Image from Techmest

 “And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology.” ~ Simon Dumenco

 

It’s hard to believe that two years ago I started my blog with a humble post about a recipe for ice-cream plum pudding! Since then there have been 710 posts, 916 852 hits, and 6872 followers.

Something inside me has compelled me to keep blogging, to get up at an insane hour each morning to meditate and then write so that when you wake up there will be a fresh post for you.

I’ve taken my iPhone everywhere so I could snap pictures – of my farm, my food, my life.

I’ve written from my heart, and I’ve blogged almost every day. No matter where I’ve been. The only times I have not blogged have been if I have been simply too ill, and most times I’ve still found a way. I guess you could say my blog’s important to me. And more than that, YOU are important to me.

So today I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being part of my beautiful community. Thank you for being my friend.

DSC04452 (2)

I’ve been struggling on this latest round of lyme meds. These drugs that were supposed to be a reprieve for the holidays have given me some of the worst herxing I’ve yet experienced, crippling me with overwhelming exhaustion, brain fog and massive unrelenting pain. It’s been hard to show up this past month or so. I’m behind on replying to your comments, although I read them all.

But I know it shall get better this year, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my life with you; a little metaphysical magic, some tasty recipes, a sprinkle of farm life and friendship, a dash of practical philosophy. My heart – on my sleeve as usual.

I love you. I’m so glad you’re here. And I’m so very grateful for your support.

I’m looking forward to a 2014 filled with writing, friendship, more great easy recipes and a whole lot of nurture and healing – for you and me both!

Much, much love to you,

Nicole ♥ xx

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 570,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 24 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.