It’s Okay To Choose For Yourself


“Look to your heart and soul first, rather than looking to your head first, when choosing. Rather than what you think, consider instead how you feel. Look to the nature of things. Feel your choices and decisions. It just might change everything.” 
~ Jeffrey R. Anderson

Hello, Lovelies.

Today I have a favour to ask of you. Today I’d like you to choose for yourself.

You might think that’s an odd request. You might also think it doesn’t apply to you. But if you are in love, empathic, sensitive, a parent, a partner, a people-pleaser or a soother of others I think it does.

You see, so many of us (myself included), will make choices in life with another person in mind. Your sweetheart loves the apple pastry so you take the lemon one. Your friends love sci-fi so you go see the latest movie with them even though it’s a genre you’re not fussed about. Your partner doesn’t eat seafood so you just don’t cook that anymore. When a family member offers to make dinner for you, you ask for spaghetti because that’s the kids’ favourite. You make choices that make others happy. And it’s not a drag for you, honestly. You don’t mind the lemon pastry. It’s good just to hang with your friends. Chicken’s as tasty as fish. It’s just nice to have someone else cook. No biggie, right?

Still. what if you constantly make small choices – ones that don’t really matter to you – that suit the preferences of other people over your own?

It might seem inconsequential but it soon stacks up. How many decisions and choices will you make in a day that completely negate what you might want? What message does that send to the Universe?

Each time you put the well-being and happiness of someone else over your own you are asserting to the Universe that they matter more than you, that their happiness and positive life experience matters more than your own. And even though you may start out being happy to have made someone else happy that joy will eventually wear off if your own needs never get any airplay. What’s worse, you train the people around you that these decisions you make are okay for you, or even great for you. So how will they ever know what you really want? How will they ever know you’d have preferred an apple pastry too? Trust me, this is the kind of behaviour that eventually breeds simmering resentment and misery where the only person who’ll be suffering is you.

So, just for today, I’m asking you to choose for yourself. Choose the cooking show over the football. Choose to hang out at the art gallery while everyone else goes to the museum. Eat pasta when the gang has burgers. Choose what you really wanted to say yes to, even if that means you go on your own or eat on your own.

That’s okay. Your life is valuable too. Your choices and happiness matter too. This is your one shot at this precious life. Don’t waste it by never giving yourself the chance to experience all the longings of your heart.

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

My Latest Obscenities…

“Whenever you speak the truth, someone will be offended.” 
Laurence Overmire

Yesterday I posted about having the flu (no fun!) and with that post I included pictures of myself showing me as I am right now – sick with the flu!

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages of love, care and support. I’m so grateful for the wave of positive energy and blessings you sent my way. Right now I’m being very well cared for, including by Nurse Rufous who has taken the reigns from Nurse Bert.

Inevitably though I had a few comments yesterday suggesting that these pictures were a bad idea. I also had a message from an entrepreneurial friend who suggested that the pics might ‘harm my brand’. Apparently the photos are less than flattering, and in the one where I am asleep I not only look sick but ‘old and wrinkled with bad hair.’

Yep, it’s true.

People, I recently turned fifty. I have chronic late-stage lyme. I also have the flu. I’ve been REALLY ill. I look trashed because I am. And I’m not going to apologise for that. Old and wrinkly with bad hair? I own it. Luckily it’s only a picture because I probably smelled bad too! Looking stylish and well-groomed when I’m acutely sick doesn’t even rate on my priority list. (Please note that this is different to being chronically sick, where you feel exhausted, in pain or suffer ongoing problems on a daily basis and in that space making an effort with your appearance can actually help you feel better about yourself. Also, many of us suffer invisible illnesses – meaning that you CAN’T SEE the problem – so you might wrongly attribute someone looking good with being well, which is often an incorrect assumption.)

I also received a message from a young entrepreneur who is just starting out in business. She reached out to me (think SPAM) from a forum for entrepreneurs where I happen to be a member.

Her message? To be prepared for a ‘stunningly sexy summer’ she has a great invitation-only program to maximise our thigh gap. To be selected we had to send a photo of our existing thigh gap (image could be up to two years old as long as it was indicative of our current thigh gap situation) so she could determine what level of program we’d need to be on. There was nothing to be ashamed of, her message assured me. I needed to be brave and send in that photo! Then all we had to do was pay our money, follow her thigh gap program and self-worth would be ours. Also, men dig thigh gaps.

I was feeling a little pernickety yesterday at being told how much my life would change if only I could be disciplined enough to have a decent thigh gap (yes, thigh gap is a thing!). I honestly have more important things to think about, like my health, living by my values, looking after the planet, being kind, writing, supporting my community, living each day as well as I can. Still, I dutifully sent in the only photo I could find of my thigh gap. (Did I mention pernickety?)

Within twenty minutes my inbox exploded. Message after message rolled in. This young entrepreneur was outraged. I was horribly offensive. Sick even. What did I think I was doing, sending her such a disgraceful photo? I disgusted her.

‘Also, is that a WEE thing????? That is SO inappropriate. SOOOOO OFFENSIVE. WTF Nicole?????’, she shouted at me in big stabby caps. ‘WTF???? YOU’RE DESPICABLE AND OBSCENE!!!’

Wee thing? You bet! Here’s my thigh gap after my second emergency surgery to repair a tear in my bladder post-hysterectomy back in September 2016. That tube is my catheter. The yellow stuff is indeed wee (or urine if we are being specific).

The wee’s a good colour. You might also note that there is a healthy amount of thigh gap going on there. So I’m pretty happy with this photo.

Even though it’s offensive.

So, to anyone I have offended with my oldness, my bad hair, my wrinkles and unflattering selfies, my posts about health issues or with my highly offensive thigh gap with catheter…

I’m not sorry!

This is my life, and I’m grateful for it. I won’t hide the ugly and hard bits from you ever. Why should I be ashamed of being human? Why should I feel or be treated as ‘less than’ if I am not young and svelte and in perfect health with an extreme sports yoga-body, perfect hair and total hipsterness?

There’s an unsubscribe button here on my blog, and you can always unfollow or unfriend me if you’re finding this through social media. Because from here on in I am sure there will be more bad hair days and wrinkles and who knows what else, and I’ll blog about it all.

Much love, Nicole xx

 

Setting Clear Boundaries for 2016

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

“Setting boundaries is a way of caring for myself. It doesn’t make me mean, selfish, or uncaring because I don’t do things your way. I care about me too.”
~ Christine Morgan

 

2016 is a very important year, for many reasons. One is that it is a foundation year. Our choices in 2016 will set the tone for the next nine-year cycle, magnifying the energy of our thoughts, activities and interests from 2016, and delivering more of that in the coming years.

Think about that for a moment.

Whatever we choose (or by default don’t choose and simply let happen), we’ll be signing ourselves up for more of that in the years to come.

How do you want the next decade to look?

Like the years you’ve just been through? Or something different?

2016 is a year where it benefits us to make space for what is meaningful to us. It’s not enough to simply think about what we want. It’s time to start incorporating the activities and actions that will shape the unfolding of our lives in ways that are pleasing to us. We don’t even need to make wholesale and radical changes – we simply need to make sure that if something is important to us we make a little room for that in our lives in 2016. We only need to make a start, and then consistently keep having that thing show up in our year through conscious choices (that may end up becoming new habits!).

Boundaries become important. As we create time for ourselves and our dreams we must also guard that time so that it is not eroded by old habits of always putting others or unimportant stuff first. The boundary is not just there for others, it is also there for ourselves.

Boundaries create protected spaces. These spaces let us and the world know that something here is important. Those protected spaces reflect our values, our emerging priorities, our precious projects and relationships.

Boundaries are about us saying yes to what matters, and ensuring that what matters is represented in our daily lives.

Boundaries are also about us saying no. No to the relationships, behaviours, thought patterns and beliefs that take us away from our values and what matters most to us. No to the circumstances that limit or harm us, or that needlessly waste our energy and time.

As adults we have choices. 2016 is a great year for exercising those choices.

In 2016, what will you choose?

Image from quotesvalley.com

Image from quotesvalley.com

Is Your Self Talk Blocking Your Success?

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
~ William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

 

I’m on Retreat right now, teaching beginners how to channel. Yesterday was a big day, as the students worked through a number of activities to connect them to their guides and the beginning of being in that channelling space.

Most of the time they had their eyes shut while I guided them through meditations and visualisations. So they couldn’t see what was happening.

But I could. I can see auras and energy, and I was able to clearly see what was going on for each of them.

Everyone made a strong connection. I could clearly see the change in the auras, and in their chakras. I could see so much that they couldn’t. They could only go on trust.

I also saw something else. A couple of my students started running an old pattern of self-talk through their head. I’m sure some of you will know it. It sounded something like this:

Why am I here? I’m the only person who isn’t getting this? I can’t do this. This is stupid. I am stupid. Why did I even come? Everyone will laugh at me. I’m letting everybody down. I am never going to be able to do this. People are going to know I’m a fraud. I’m such a loser. I never get anything right. I should just leave.

So I’m seeing this battle going on inside their heads.

And I’m also seeing that THEY ARE DOING IT. That they have made a strong and true connection. I know that if the self talk stopped, they would be sitting in wonder right now, or curiosity, or excitement, or joy… But all they hear is their own voices, or that of a critical parent or partner or other non-supportive person. It’s a voice that starts off as a whisper and ends as a shout that drowns out all other thought, all other sound, it’s a voice that denies us truth and keeps us small.

This is my job. To see these old patterns, and to help my students break through that self-doubt and into a place of trust and expectation. So I quietly worked through this with a few people. I reassured. I gave feedback and suggestions. I called them on their behaviour. We talked about ways to do things with a sense of awareness of old unhelpful patterns so that if they slipped into that negative self-talk again they would recognise it and stop, speak helpfully to themselves and resume their practice. Or ignore that voice and keep going.

It got me to thinking.

Where in my own life am I blocking my success because of my doubts and fears?

Where are you running old patterns that stop you seeing that you CAN do it, that you ARE doing it, that you DO have talent and ability? Because I know that you and I were given our dreams for a reason.

I have great faith and belief in my students. My students also teach me. I sat humbled this morning after my meditation, knowing that this behaviour, this negative self-talk is something we all do. Knowing that it keeps us small. That it keeps us trapped. That it might make us stop trying, or walk away from something where we would have succeeded over time, or that would have given us meaning or comfort or pleasure.

Self talk can be a positive voice or a negative one. I encourage you to start paying attention to your inner dialogue. When it becomes critical and makes you feel inadequate, stop. Actively choose a better thought.

Better thoughts and positive self talk will change your world.

Thinking of you and holding you in my heart, Nicole <3 xoxo

Image from notsalmon.com

Image from notsalmon.com