Sometimes Meditation Trumps Blogging

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.” 
~ David Foster Wallace

Good Morning! (or hello for whatever timezone you are in!)

I’m a little late blogging today. But I have good reason.

Right now I’m holding space for many of you in my meditations, and some of you have needed extra time, care and attention. So my usual meditations have been taking me longer than normal. Which is fine by me. It’s something I love to do and am honoured to do.

If you’ve already been asked to be included in my meditations I have you! It’s not too late to join me though, if you still want to be included. Just leave me a comment below this post.

Please don’t hesitate to ask. I have room for all of you. There is space and time for all of you.

This is what I’m working on:

Until June 9 I am focusing on supporting you to move through and begin to resolve feelings of loss, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, emotional isolation and powerlessness. My aim is to find the places where emotion has become stuck inside you, causing you to become out of alignment. I am also looking for the old stories, traumas and memories which are subconsciously shaping you in opposition to your soul’s true nature. In my meditations I will dissolve these outmoded energies and stories, returning them to love and releasing their patterns from your energetic field.

As your energy comes back into alignment with your true nature, your vibration will rise and you will be more easily able to express yourself creatively and emotionally. It will increase your sense of self-awareness and self-trust.

I meditate twice a day, morning and evening. I also connect with some people during my night-flying practices. If you’d like me to include you or a loved one specifically in my meditations just let me know in the comments below.  And, of course, I love getting feedback about anything you notice as a result of my meditations.

This next week has enormous energy for intuition, all kinds of psychic work and for vibrational shift. Why not spend some time in meditation and connection yourself? I promise it’s a kindness that your body, mind and spirit will thank you for.

Much love, Nicole xx

Would You Like Me To Include You In My Meditations?

https://cauldronsandcupcakes.com

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation is the cornerstone of my life. It is the first thing I do when I wake up each morning. It is the last thing I do before I go to bed.

I don’t just meditate to find stillness and peace. I also use meditation for shamanic and mystical work. I use it to connect with and help my students, I use it to access healing, and to share and support energies.

This week I’m working on some very specific areas for emotional and spiritual healing that may also have an impact on physical well-being too.

For the next few days I am focusing on supporting you to move through and begin to resolve feelings of loss, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, emotional isolation and powerlessness. My aim is to find the places where emotion has become stuck inside you, causing you to become out of alignment. I am also looking for the old stories, traumas and memories which are subconsciously shaping you in opposition to your soul’s true nature. In my meditations I will dissolve these outmoded energies and stories, returning them to love and releasing their patterns from your energetic field.

As your energy comes back into alignment with your true nature, your vibration will rise and you will be more easily able to express yourself creatively and emotionally. It will increase your sense of self-awareness and self-trust.

I meditate twice a day, morning and evening. I also connect with some people during my night-flying practices. If you’d like me to include you or a loved one specifically in my meditations just let me know in the comments below.  And, of course, I love getting feedback about anything you notice as a result of my meditations.

Much love, Nicole xx

Up Early With Ganesha

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
~ Meister Eckhart

This morning, as ever, I was up early. I took my mala beads, my singing bowl, and my prayer shawl and snuck out onto the veranda to meditate and greet the dawn. Today I sat with Ganesha. Buddha, by his side. A possum banged its way along my roof as he came home from a night of marauding. Owls called to me from the trees. I played to them with my bowl, long chimes that rang out into the darkness.

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Eventually, I sat in silence, cross-legged on the daybed, facing out towards the dawn. I prayed this mala for the last time before it shall know the students it represents – one for each crystal bead. For the past month I have prayed this mala in meditation twice a day, for two hours. Each bead for me has been a student. This is Dana, I say as my fingers find her bead. This is Tracy. This is Phil. I hold them in my thoughts. I pray for them. I connect to them and check in on them – see how they are doing. Send them healing. It’s a Tibetan tool I use, but the techniques are purely what was shown to me by my Aboriginal Aunties. My spiritual life is a melting pot of philosophies and practices.

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Now it is morning. Fragranced with jasmine and magnolia from my garden. I shall shower and dress, have breakfast with my husband, retrieve my last crystals from where they have been charging under the Hoop Pine, pack the ute and head to Sangsurya to begin our retreat. It’s a beautiful day for it. A gentle dawn. Bright sky. Birds singing. Not all of you shall be there, but I will be holding all of you in my heart.

Bless xx

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Making a Flower Mandala

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“Each person’s life is like a mandala- a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.” ~ Pema Chodron

 

I spent this past weekend resting, healing, reconnecting and weaning myself back onto my Lyme drugs. It has been a long time since I have gifted myself so much freedom to be in a space of deliberate contemplation and connection. But in honouring my Sacred Promise for 2014 it felt right to do so, and I know that I shall spend much more of my time in this space over the coming year.

As an act of meditation and offering I made a flower mandala in my back yard. Most simply explained, a mandala is a circle that represents wholeness, symbolising our relationship to the world around us and the one-ness, sacred nature and infinite connection of all things.

At the heart of my mandala I placed a large natural quartz crystal that I found many years ago in the dirt where a site was being levelled for a house to be built. I used the quartz crystal as a palace to represent and contain all of us – myself, the women who came on retreat with me, my writing sisters, my students and clients, family and friends, and all of you I have connected with through my work, my blog and my life.

This quartz anchors my intention that 2014 shall be a year where each of us is held in a place of love and nurture, allowing our highest possibilities and qualities to shine forth. It holds both a prayer and a blessing.

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The flowers and leaves that surround the crystal were all placed as an act of devotion and offering.

The purple flowers honour our spiritual nature, intuition, Divine Grace and connection to our own souls.

The red flowers symbolise physical strength, living with passion and being energised and well.

The pink flowers are for love. Love of self, and loving heart-centred relationships with others.

The green leaves are circles within circles – representing the many intersecting and discrete worlds we live in, our connection to nature, our psychic ability and our many dreams for ourselves and others.

The white and yellow flowers (frangipanis) are for wisdom, continued learning and unfolding, purity and clarity. They are also for laughter and joy.

I offer my mandala up to you, with my heart-felt love and best wishes.

As you can see, it is also a mandala appreciated by fairies and dogs.

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That’s Harry’s nose in the top right hand corner…2013-12-15 19.07.25

2013-12-15 19.10.12After all, what’s an act of devotion and love without a few laughs and a little fun as well?

Thinking of you and sending much love, Nicole xx

PS – I have SO missed cooking. Expect some yummy recipes over the next few days!

 

Sex, Drugs and Meditation – A journey to Self!

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“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” 
~ T.S. Eliot

I’ve just finished reading the most wonderful book. It’s called Sex, Drugs and Meditation – A Memoir, and it’s the debut title of Mary-Lou Stephens, an Australian writer.

Mary-Lou writes about the struggles she endures at a ten day Vipassana Meditation Retreat (for those of you who don’t know, this is a Buddhist practice of ten days of seated meditation and reflection done in complete silence). Ten days of silence and meditation is hard for anyone, but Mary-Lou is a radio host, a musician, and inveterate talker who has actively filled silence her whole life.

I love this book, because not only does Mary-Lou describe the journey that is Vipassana so well, she also takes us on the journey of her life; a life of great hardship. She’s had a crappy childhood, grown into a teenager and then an adult who makes poor relationship choices, self-medicates with drugs and alcohol, struggles with low self-esteem, grief and loss, and doesn’t trust herself as an artist.

All of this, as well as her self-sabotaging inner voice, is revisited during the ten days of her Vipassana retreat as Mary-Lou wrestles with the demons in her head.

This is Mary-Lou’s story, but it could well be yours or mine.  For anyone who has ever experienced self-doubt, whose inner voice has deemed them unworthy, who plays tapes of old outdated stories that have us judging our current circumstances not by what is, but by the patterns and beliefs held inside us, this book is for you.

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If you’ve attended a Vipassana meditation you’ll find yourself nodding and smiling and laughing out loud as you recognise yourself between the pages.  If you’ve ever contemplated attending a meditation retreat then read this book!

“One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.” 
~ Osho

Sex, Drugs and Meditation had me engaged from the very first, and through its pages I found myself smiling, crying, and at times laughing out loud! It’s raw, honest, authentic, vulnerable and terribly brave.

Unlike Eat, Pray, Love the wildly popular and slightly self-indulgent book that defined this self-help ‘woman-goes-on-journey-of spiritual-self-discovery‘ genre, this book leaves you feeling that you can realistically make changes, undergo a journey of self-discovery, and find inner peace.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that when you let go of your story and embrace self-acceptance, it’s amazing how life can change for the better in a heartbeat.

Bravo, Mary-Lou Stephens! Your book is uplifting and wise, and gives hope to us all that we can find a place of peace and forgiveness within us, accept and love ourselves, and open up to the love and goodness available to us here in our ordinary lives.

You can find Mary-Lou’s book at all good book stores, or online at:

Pan Macmillan – book or ebook, shipped worldwide

Amazon – for the kindle edition

* Note: This is not a paid endorsement and I won’t get a brass razoo if you buy Mary-Lou’s book.  I just think it’s a great read with an important message, and I’m into supporting Australian Authors.