Is Work Moving You Toward Or Away From What You Want? – Monday Oracle 10 April 2017

“I tend to be… they say ‘workaholic,’ which I just find to be ‘motivated.’ ”
~ Sarah Hay

Hello, Lovelies!

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Workaholic’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for April, you’ll remember that April has strong energy for believing in ourselves and reclaiming our direction.

So, what gifts does Workaholic bring for you this week?

This is a week for honestly evaluating how we spend our time.

Ask anyone who truly loves what they do, and they will most likely tell you that they work long hours, that they often wake up thinking about their work, and go to bed still thinking about it too.That’s not workaholism – that’s passion. That’s total engagement with an idea or a vision. Where others might see sacrifice or lack of balance, that person sees only their calling and being in flow with that thing. They are compelled and it adds to rather than subtracts from their lives.

Have you ever lost track of time while doing something you enjoy? That’s the kind of energy I mean.

Some of us work hard because there are bills to pay. We end up working in jobs we hate to pay for things we can’t really afford. Life becomes an endless rat race.

Then there’s work as a drug. Every spare hour is filled with some kind of job. And we are the ones who fill up those hours. This goes beyond being busy. (No, this doesn’t even have to be paid work. I’m just talking busy-ness. Even retirees can experience this.) We sign up for more and more and more. In fact, many of us have grown up believing that this is the measure of a successful person, or at least what it takes to be successful. But is it? This is workaholism – a mind-numbing addiction that is just as deadly as alcohol or drugs – because it keeps us from feeling our feelings and facing whatever it is that we are avoiding. It also ramps up our stress, weakens our bodies, invites illness and destroys lives.

Sometimes we end up in that workaholism space by choice, but often it sneaks up on us. Even people who love what they do can fall into this trap, and then find themselves facing burnout and falling out of love with their dream because they forgot to make it sustainable. Workaholism creates numbness and exhaustion so that we stop asking ourselves if this is what we want, or how we want to work and live, or if we would rather choose something else.

The energy of this week supports you asking yourself that very question. Is this the life I want for myself? Is this the work I want? Is there room in my life for living and doing what I love to do? How do I want to spend my time? What matters to me?

Find some time for yourself this week, and ask yourself those questions. And if you’re not happy with the answers begin to make some changes. Look to simplify your life, to find some time for the things that matter, and for the underestimated joy of just having spare time for living.

 

Helpful essential oils? 

Young Living’s Clarity essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood and Lavender. Clarity essential oil blend promotes focus and clear thinking, but it’s calming and uplifting at the same time. I love this oil, and it’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week. You can find all the oils here.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Image from www.blazeyourown.com

Day 16 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from googleimages.com

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

~ Melody Beattie

Take a moment and close your eyes.  Can you hear your heart beating?  Can you feel the blood pumping around your body, racing oxygen and nutrients to your cells? Can you feel the muscles holding your spine, neck and head in position, are you aware of your hair and fingernails growing, can you notice the millions of commands that are given each minute from that command centre that is your brain?

Your body is like a miniature Universe, with wonders far beyond your comprehension. But don’t feel disconnected from that Universe that is your body.  You have more power over it than you know.

Image from ergoorgo.com

Imagine sucking a lemon.  Go on! See yourself select a fresh lemon from a basket.  As you hold it in your hand you feel the waxy clean skin. As you cut into the fruit the fresh lemony smell fills the room.  Now in your imagination bite down on a tart quarter of the bright fruit. Imagine the astringent lemon juice flood over your tongue – sour and strong. Feel how your lips pucker, and the saliva streams into your mouth. Your eyes might even water a little.

I’ll bet as you read that your mouth actually started to water, and that you may have even swallowed or winced a little at the expectation of sourness.

You have influenced your body with your mind alone. That’s how powerful you are! Think of the implications of the thoughts you have every day and how they must consciously or unconsciously affect your body. We are never without power in our own healing journey…

Image from healthwealthwisdom.blogspot.com

One of the most healing and healthy thoughts you can gift your body is gratitude.

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Think of an area where you would like to improve your health and wellbeing.  Take  a piece of paper and write Thank you for the Gift of  _____________  in my life.  Imagine that you already have this gift of health.  Really feel that positive energy in your heart.  Now place your healing request under your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one 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, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying 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.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

For those of you who’d like an additional challenge, here it is!

Flood Your Body with Light

Today I’ve created a short guided meditation for you, to facilitate your own body’s natural healing process.  All you have to do is listen.  Allow about ten minutes for you to get settled, to listen to the meditation, and then to rest in that gentle healing energy a while afterwards.

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Healing with Light

Know that the capacity to heal is within you.  Find ways to be grateful for your body today, and grateful for the knowledge that you DO have power in your own healing journey.  Bless ♥ xx

Day 15 – Gratitude Challenge

Image by mideastyouth.com

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~ Johannes A. Gaertner (1912-1996)

Our bodies have an innate wisdom.  They know how to move, they know how to heal, they know how to create balance and how to communicate with us.

For bodies to heal effectively they need a number of things – good nutrition, rest, emotional peace, and sometimes the hands of a skilled healer or medical practitioner to ease or correct what we cannot do for ourselves. (Some other good ideas for better health here)

For us to truly facilitate that state of healing, we need to do our best to step out of resistance and into flow.

You’ll know that feeling of resistance – resistance is filled with doubt, complaint, fear, and ‘lack of ‘…

You will hopefully also recognise flow – flow is a space of ease, grace, acceptance, peace and emotional well-being.

Image from yoga-weight-loss.info

When we are in flow our physical, emotional and spiritual healing capacity is greatly magnified.  Our body, mind and soul can more easily recover and repair. (You can read more about that here)

One of the fastest ways to get back into flow is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Remove the image or name of the person to whom you intended health, well-being and positive physical energy.  Hold the photo or name in your hands and say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Really feel that positive energy in your heart.  Know that as you have affirmed this for others, you are also allowing for similar energies to come into your own life.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one 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, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying 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.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Image from googleimages.com

 

For this who want to explore some additional opportunities to practice gratitude, read on…

Hold a Picture Of Wellness in Your Mind

No matter what your current state of health, you need to make peace with that. There is no point in fighting the reality of your current situation. If you’re fat, you’re fat.  If you’re in pain, if you can’t get pregnant, if your legs ache or your blood pressure is too high, well it is what it is.  Stop fighting it, making excuses for it, or pretending it isn’t happening. Accept what is.

Accepting what is, without judgement, is the first step in making positive change in your life.

The second step is letting go of your attachment to what is.  Where you are today is the result of yesterday’s thinking, yesterday’s actions, yesterday’s focus or lack of focus.

The third step is to hold a clear picture in your mind of what you DO want in your life, and find a way to summon positive emotion around that.  Be grateful for the small things already present in your life that relate to health and well-being.  Celebrate health and well-being in others.  Visualise health and wellness coming to you.  See yourself as healthy, active, energised, healed, whole.

Today spend five minutes visualising yourself in a place of wellbeing, however that looks to you.  Feel gratitude for the positive improvement in your health as if it has already happened. Swell that feeling of gratitude and love in your heart, and say Thank You to the Universe for this gift of healing and health.

My intention for you today is that you allow yourself to be in flow with health and wellbeing. I wish for you an abundance of feel-good energy and vitality.  Bless ♥ xx

Image from thewellnesswarrior.com.au

Don’t Play the Rescue Game!

Image from tamarika.typepad.com

I tried to carry you

And make you whole

But it was never enough

I must go

Lyrics from Watch Over You, Alter Bridge

Many of my friends and clients are kind-hearted and compassionate souls, who feel compelled to help people.  In fact many are healers, counsellors and lightworkers by trade. But no matter what occupation they are trained for, they have one thing in common – they care about others.

If you read my blog you’ll know I’m all for acts of compassion, kindness and humanity. We need each other in this life, and living from the heart helps us all to heal, change and grow.  Sometimes there won’t even be a thank you for an act of kindness or compassion, but that’s okay.  When we’re living life from our hearts, honouring our own values and heeding that call to help is all that matters.

Today, though, I want to talk about an insidious situation that can develop from an honest drive to help others. I like to call it ‘The Rescue Game, although it’s never a game the first time.  At least it won’t be for you…

Image from lovingyou.com

You’ll see a friend, family member or co-worker in distress.  Perhaps they will even seek you out.  You’ll notice that something is wrong, you’ll gently enquire, and then this person will pour their heart out to you.

You’re a fixer.  You’ll listen, and then you’ll try your best to help because this person has a fixable problem. You’ll offer advice.  Maybe even some assistance.  You might offer support, or hook this person up with other friends or colleagues who can provide some sort of help or guidance too.

The first time, it’s not a game.  At least to you.

The person you’re helping will appear genuine. They will tell you that things are terrible. They will tell you that they need your help to change.  And of course, because you have a kind heart, and helping is hard-wired into you, you will say ‘yes’.

So when does it turn into a game? Your gut will start to let you know. Pay attention.  You’ll get a niggling feeling of doubt, or frustration. No matter how much good guidance you’ve offered, no matter how much support you provide, there will be little evidence of any change in the situation.

Or you’ll find that the person has lurched from one disaster to another, one drama to another – and still they need your help.

They’ll be skilled at pulling on your heart-strings. They’ll cleverly call to all those hard-wired places in you that compel you to serve others, and to help where you can.

But be assured, my friend, that truly this IS a game.

You’re being played.

Perhaps this other person seeks attention, perhaps they thrive on the drama, or worse – they use this behaviour to get by in life.  For them it is a choice, or an ingrained pattern, to be an exploiter of the good nature, generosity and trusting kindness of others.

Image from suzieorman.com

They won’t respect your help, they won’t pay back loans when they say they will – and may even try to borrow more money.  They won’t look after the things you loan them, or will assume possession of them and never give them back.

They won’t be consistent with helping themselves.  In fact, they might never even take that first step.

And there will always be an excuse.  Or someone else to blame.

This is a dangerous game, this Rescue Game.  But the person in danger is you.

Don’t play the Rescue Game!  Keep your energy for the people who will genuinely benefit from your help. And don’t worry if you’ve somehow ended up as a player in this game unintentionally. You can step away at any time. The first time you help, you can never tell.  And how can you go against the hard-wiring of your soul?  But when this is a pattern, when there is no improvement despite your best efforts, when your gut is screaming that there’s something wrong, my advice to you is to disengage and walk away.

Live from love, and in that place of love, honour yourself first. Then help people who are ready and willing to help themselves. Everything else is just a massive waste of your time, energy and resources, and it may leave you so badly broken that you may no longer care to help others, even though this was your calling.

There is a freedom in disengaging from an exploitive situation. Maybe it’s time for you to rethink the help you give. Let go of the guilt, and that overblown sense of responsibility.  People who look for rescuers shall soon find another source of support.

Walking away from people who drain you gifts you back energy, positivity and hope.  And you’ll find that suddenly, you become magnetic to good relationships, new opportunities and inspiration. ♥ Bless xx

Image from tinybuddha.org

Other posts you may find helpful are:

Listen with your eyes…

How to deal with toxic people

When is it okay to break a promise?

Knowing when to walk away

Too Busy? Relax!

Image from blogs.monash.edu

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.  ~ Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

We’re coming into a weekend, and I have a mile long list of things that still need to get done.

So, I should be doing them. Right?

Well, actually…  No!

I’m tired. It’s been a crazy week. Truth be told I’m about as sharp as a beach ball right now. So instead of stressing about all that work, I’m going to take the day off. Maybe I’ll get a massage.  Maybe I’ll go the movies.  Maybe I’ll curl up with a book.

But one thing’s for sure, I’m giving myself a mini-vacation; a mental health break if you will. Having once been the Queen of Burnout I recognise that when life is this busy, I need to take a break so I don’t end up broken.

The work will wait.  And when I come back I’ll be refreshed and my approach will be entirely different. There’s a great power in relaxation, a power to heal, to restore, to calm and renew.

When you are way too busy to take the time to relax, that’s always when you need to relax the most! Even if it’s just a few minutes of breathing while you’re seated at your desk at work.

 

You might also like to read these related posts:

Emotions and Their Impact on Your Health

Doing Nothing is Productive

Nothing Grows Well in Depleted Soil

Drinking in Colour – How to Do a Healing Walk

Doing Nothing is Productive!

Image from wallpapers-biz.co.cc

Are you one of those people who needs to be productive?

I certainly am. Not from any external pressure –  I just LIKE getting stuff done, and I always have several projects on the go, a big fat to-do list, as well as a schedule that stretches out towards the horizon.  Life, and its possibilities, lights my fire!

But there is nothing like a good dose of burn-out to help you realise that less is more, and a dose of near-death really does help you to clarify your priorities.

Where one upon a time I worked endlessly, I now work in bursts, and then have some time out that is totally unscheduled.

Before my big cycles of crash and burn, repair, go full tilt, crash and burn, repair, go full tilt, crash and burn – okay, you get my drift – my life looked like this:

Image from freeicons.eu

I was a busy little robot working harder and harder, doing more and more, and somehow expecting that I could just carry on that way forever.

I actually thought that if I worked harder and harder I would achieve more and more, ad infinitum.  But of course you end up working with the Law of Diminishing Returns.  More does not make more.  More becomes less.

More work means less sleep. Less fun.  Less clarity.  Less inspiration.  Less connection.  Less well-being. Less healing capacity.  Less opportunity to be spontaneous. Less flexibility.  Less ability to cope with the unexpected. Less true creativity. Less chance of seeing new possibilities, meeting new people and expanding in new directions.

When you keep trying to fit more and more in, something will inevitably break, and that something might be you.

I know this, because I’ve been there.  More than once.  And most of it has been self-inflicted.

I’ve had to ask myself the big questions in life.

I am okay with diminished output if it means better quality of life, and a longer life. I mean, realistically, how much can you get done here if you’re dead? And in the end, does any of that stuff on your to-do list really matter?

So now my life looks much more like this:

Image by Lecsmile – Photobucket.com

I have periods of deep rest, relaxation and doing totally NOTHING.  And then I have periods of doing things, being active, connecting, learning and being crazy-mad infatuated with taking up all life has to offer!

Truth is, I’m more productive than I ever was, in the areas that matter to me.

I hadn’t expected that.

Oh my goodness I wish I’d know this important little nugget of wisdom years ago.

Less is more.

Image from msugradwellness.wordpress.com

That’s right.

Doing nothing is good for you.

If you don’t know how to do nothing, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Naps.  Napping is awesome!
  • Curl up on the couch with a magazine.
  • Go to bed early or sleep in.  Sleep all day if you feel like it.
  • When something frees up in your schedule, don’t fill that spot with another task or expectation.  Let yourself luxuriate in that new spare time.
  • Dawdle. Potter along on a nice slow walk, amble through a park or shopping mall.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Read a book.
  • Nap.  Did I say that already?  Oh well.  Have another one!
  • Lose yourself in a book.
  • Hang out at the library.
  • Go for a surf.
  • Get a massage.
  • Take a bath.
  • Quit something so you can free up your schedule!
  • Say no to things you don’t want to do.
  • Have an early night and bunk down with some tasty treats and a good DVD.
  • Go on holidays.
  • Have a phone free, computer-free day.
  • Stay home and do… nothing! No housework, no odd jobs. Do what makes you happy. Maybe some craft, or cooking, or just hang out.
  • Spend time with the ones you love.
  • Sit in a coffee shop and read the weekend papers while having a long breakfast or an extended brunch/lunch.
  • Go window shopping, just to pass the time and fill yourself up with images, ideas and dreams.
  • Sunbake.
  • Sit by the ocean or the river.
  • Perch on top of a mountain.
  • Fluff around, not getting anything much done, but not minding that either.  Some people call this procrastination – I call it exploring my desk or kitchen drawers to see what’s really in there…
  • Spend time with the family pet – these guys really have relaxation down to an art!

Magic happens when we give ourselves down-time. And a magical life is definitely one worth living. You never know what might happen if you just create a little space in your day…

Image from The Fox and The Child, Hopscotch films, 2009

 

Advice for strong people who aren’t coping…

Image from vectorgraphic.com

Strong people are used to coping. They are used to leading.  They are used to taking charge.  Strong people are able to put their own hurt and exhaustion aside when others rely them, or the job needs to get done. They are not good at sharing their pain or asking for help.

You know who I mean. They front up to life each day, often with a smile on their face, and you’d never know how tough it is for them to keep doing that. The single parent juggling two jobs and an impossible ex. The husband living with a wife with severe depression. The mum whose child has an addiction issue; the oncologist who doles out bad news all day; the person with a mountain of debt and a health problem; the teacher motivating kids who come from homes where no-one cares; the manager running a department fraught with problems and no end in sight; the short-handed team trying to meet a crazy deadline; the calm poised person who turns up to work each day, but who goes home to loneliness or a horrid family or spouse.

When strong people keep coping (or appearing to cope) with life’s pain and hardships, it’s easy for others to make demands on you.  They see you standing strong, and they forget what you have been through, what you are going through, what lies ahead of you. They keep looking to you for leadership.

Image from kolorkube.com

And the truth is, most strong people can keep on functioning, even when they feel dead inside, completely broken, and in the deepest despair.

Strong people were built to cope, and when you aren’t coping (even though no-one may know that), it is vital that you get some time out, find some support, or make some decisions that help you move back to your natural state of strength.

When you are a strong and capable person, you shine brightly.  That’s why people turn to you, follow you, ask for your advice. And often when people are leaning on you for strength, they want and need you to be who you always portray yourself as, who you’ve always been for them.  Even if you are affected by the same issue, it’s likely they won’t see how exacting this toll has been on you.

Image from photostock.com

Sometimes, it’s because you hide it so well.

Sometimes it’s because people don’t even realise that you might hurt, that you might need help yourself.

Sometimes it’s because needy people, in their own world of hurt, have no idea that you might be suffering too.

So, my strong friend – look after you. Withdraw if you must, regroup, find your feet. Close the door to others if there is nothing left within you to give. Little birds must sometime fly, no matter how reluctant they may be to leave your nest.

Often some time for self-nurture or a break away from the stress is all you’ll need before you are refreshed and ready to carry on.

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

But you might need greater support, a counsellor, a change of scenery, an ending…

If you do, then seek that support or change. Life is too short and precious to live it on your knees.

Do what gives you relief. Value yourself as much as you value the wants and needs of others.
I hope you find strong arms to support you.  Sometimes that’s family – or friends can often be that support where family fail to measure up.

But I have found over time, as have many of my own dear friends, that there are times when we walk alone except for God.  And that is how we find that strength within that helps us understand that we really can deal with anything life throws at us, no matter how awful or frightening or abhorrent, and that no matter how we might not like it, we can and do deal with it the best we know how, which is always all we are ever asked to do.

As a strong person you’re a bright light in the world for so many gloomy and frightened souls, so many stuck or lonely or directionless beings.  It is your choice to be that bright light, but it is also your calling – you can’t help but be who you are.  When you are the teacher, when you are the Colonel, the Queen, the leader, when you are the one at the front of the class, everyone else looks to you.  They don’t see you as a person any more, they see you as Teacher, Healer, Captain, Wise Woman, Father, Madam Muse.  And you ARE all those things.

But you’re also the person they won’t or can’t acknowledge.  The person who is tired and frightened and battle weary.  They need to see you strong because seeing you strong gives them faith and hope that their own lives will be okay somehow.  When you are championing them, you are helping them to know that there is a light within themselves.  You give them hope to believe in themselves.  It is only after, when they have found their own light within that they will be able to acknowledge your darkness, and your humanity.

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

I know you have the strength to get through this too. It’s okay if you need to pull back for a while. Resting and healing will help you to keep shining one day when you’re ready to be that thing again.

It’s a tough act, being a responsible grown up amongst so many who are still finding their feet.  I’m sending all love your way, and including you in my prayers and meditations. ♥