How You Shape My Morning


“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ~ Margaret Mead

Good morning, Lovelies!

It’s just after 5am. I am here at my desk, about to begin writing my blog, and I thought today I would share how you shape my morning routine.

I was awake a little before 4am, as I always am, to meditate. Right now I am meditating twice a day for the students who recently attended my ‘Connect to Your Calling’ Retreat. I check in on each of them energetically and work on them as they need it. Then I tune in to you. I offer up my prayers for you and your families. I send you love and healing, I hold the intent for you that you know yourself, care for yourself and are able to express your unique personality and gifts in the world. I send love and light and peace to situations, places, people and leaders. And finally, I ask how I can best serve you today which is usually how I come up with whatever I will write in my blog.

My husband is still sleeping. My dogs are asleep. The world is quiet. It’s just me, holding space for you. This is my sacred time. The time where I can reach out to you, or make a positive difference in your life somehow.

I know some of us have never met, in person anyway. But you matter to me. Caring for you shapes my day. You see, when I was younger and very ill I felt so alone. I had no energy for friendships or connection. My first marriage had recently failed. I was completely broke and broken. Each day was a struggle. I felt that if I were to die no-one would even notice. I was socially and emotionally isolated.

Then one day I went into a tiny shop in Brisbane that sold items from Tibet. It became somewhere I hung out at whenever I had the energy. I bought my first singing bowl, and a Buddhist monk taught me some Tibetan meditation techniques using the singing bowl and a mala, and gifted me some mala beads. One day a new group of monks from Tibet arrived and through a translator I learned that they meditated for their community and the world every day. Each of them worked to support different groups of people, and in that moment I understood that somewhere in the world were people I had never met who were including me in their prayers, thoughts and meditations, with the sole intent that they somehow provide comfort or support to me. They explained to me that many monks and nuns from different faiths did this kind of work, and that this work of holding space for people was something I could do too. This was something I had also been shown by my Aboriginal Aunties.

The monks helped me to establish my own meditation practice for serving others, and I have done that in my morning and evening meditations ever since.

Often I have woken in the night because of my connection with you. Perhaps I will hold you in my thoughts and send you love and energy. Sometimes I will get out of bed and contact you directly by message or phone, or I will see that you have reached out to me or have posted publicly about a problem and I will respond. I see that as part of my life, a life where we are all connected even if we have not ever met in person.

This morning I need you to know that in this tiny corner of the world is a woman whose first thought each morning is you. That the prayers I offer, the meditation I do, the incense I light is for you. Know that there are many others who hold that prayerful and loving space for you too. Our humanity unites us, our love and service binds us. Tune in and feel those waves of energy, those ripples of love that are always there for you. You are truly loved. You matter.

So, that is how you shape my morning.

I’m going to make a cup of tea now, and write in my journal. Then the day will unfold and off I’ll go to meet it.

But tonight in my meditation, and tomorrow morning, I will be with you.

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

My ‘Sunday Markets’ Outing

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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

When my Nana was alive and I would visit her, she invariably wanted me to drive her somewhere. Nana never ever got her driver’s license and though she was very independent, walking and catching public transport everywhere, she just loved being driven someplace new, or to a favourite haunt or happening.

Not being able to drive myself right now and leaving the house far less often, I finally understand the appeal of an ‘outing’. To simply sit in the car and watch the world roll by out my window is very satisfying. There is so much going on that I usually take for granted.

And being able to break my usual routine with some new scenery or company (when I am up for it) is deeply satisfying.

Yesterday the monthly Markets were on. I’ve missed them since well before Christmas due to illness. I decided to delay taking my meds for a few hours so we could make a short visit. My husband Ben dropped me right outside the gates of the Bangalow Show Grounds where I waited while he parked the car. A friend joined us and we slowly walked, one of them supporting each of my arms, to our regular coffee stand.

I sat down in the shade while they fetched organic donuts and coffee. Neither are on my current diet, but I had a little of Ben’s and they were wonderful! I stayed sitting while they wandered around, content to people watch.

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On my slow walk back through the stalls I picked up a bag full of just-picked lychees.

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My dear friend and neighbour Richard was selling his pottery at one of the stalls. How wonderful to see him and give him a hug. He kindly gifted me a jar of his delicious organic home-made Davidsons Plum jam. Happy happy!

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I also bought some hand-made soaps as our supply at home has completely run out. I much prefer to use chemical-free and local produce rather than mass-manufactured stuff. And this batch smells heavenly. 🙂

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I met lots of friends, had plenty of hugs and love-ups and came home exhausted but content, and with a bag full of treasures. I then took my drugs and slept the rest of the day away.

If you have any elderly friends or family, or know anyone suffering a chronic illness, never underestimate the simple act of a drive in the country, a trip to the shops or a coffee in a local cafe as a morale booster and highlight in their week.

As your week unfolds before you, I also encourage you to take a little time for YOU – for an outing, a coffee, a wander through a bookstore or a library, or a catch-up with friends. We all benefit from nourishing our souls.

Bless xoxo

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Fear of Crossing Roads

Chicken Crossing the Road --- Image by © Corbis

Chicken Crossing the Road — Image by © Corbis

“No one has traveled the road of success without ever crossing the street of failures.” ~ Unknown

I have an embarrassing confession. I’m not good at crossing roads by myself. It’s a legacy of the neurological damage caused by chronic Lyme Disease and various co-infections. Like most things it’s worse when I’m tired or unwell. My reaction time slows down, and I can no longer judge safe margins.

It’s fine when I’m with my husband or a friend, but it can get me so daunted when I’m alone that I’ll go miles out of my way just to stay on the same side of the street or to use traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

A few weeks ago a friend took me into Lismore while Ben was away. We went to the Farmers Markets and Fundies to stock up on supplies, and then headed down the main street to get some lunch.

As we walked along a slightly dishevelled and grim grey-haired woman came towards us, muttering under her breath.  Her body was rigid and she stared at the ground, barely swerving to pass us.

“Was she out of it or what?” said my friend after we walked by.

But she wasn’t.  I had felt her agitation as she came up the street, and I could see how hard the journey was for her. She was severely agoraphobic  and completely stressed about being outside. My heart went out to her as she bravely forced herself to keep walking, and I wondered how many other people had wrongly judged her.

Image from www.ehypnosis.com.au

Image from www.ehypnosis.com.au

Fast forward to yesterday. We were in Lismore, our closest large country town, and I needed could get a script filled. My husband walked me the two blocks from the car to the pharmacy, and I assured him he didn’t need to wait for me.  After all I only had to cross one country-town road to meet him back at the ute, and he had things to do too.

I started out feeling quite well but by the time my prescription was ready and my lunch-time post-tablet nausea kicked in, two blocks suddenly seemed a long way. Clutching my little bag of meds I began the journey back to our vehicle.  As I walked, slowly, with a hazy head, blurry vision and extreme nausea, I heard a muttered monotone voice behind me.

“Spotlight, Spotlight, Spotlight, Spotlight, Chandlers, Chandlers, Chandlers…”

It was the woman I’d seen a few weeks ago.  She was chanting the name of each shop as she walked past them, sticking as close to the store fronts as she could.  Her brow was beaded with perspiration although it was a cool day.  She looked as bad as I felt.

Molesworth Street, Lismore - Image from Familypedia

Molesworth Street, Lismore – Image from Familypedia

She stayed behind me until we got to the corner of the block. The muttering stopped, and I looked around.  The woman was still there, pressed against the edge of the last building. I could feel her turbulent emotions.  She was overwhelmed by how wide the street was – for her it was like having to traverse a vast ocean.

“Are you crossing the street?” I said.

She took a moment to realise I was speaking to her, so intense was her state of anxiety, but she nodded.

I extended my hand towards her.  “Can you help me?” I asked. “I’m not well and I don’t feel quite safe to cross the road on my own.”

She was beside me in an instant, and she clutched my hand tightly in hers, gripping my elbow with her other hand. Together we waited for the traffic to pass and when there was not a car in sight we walked across.

“Are you going far?” she whispered when we were safely on the other side.

“That white ute right at the end of the block,” I replied.

“I can take you nearly the whole way,” she said.

She didn’t let go of me until she was at her destination.

“You take care,” she said. “Sorry I can’t walk you the whole way. I hope you feel better soon.”

I thanked her for helping me.

“Oh, it’s no problem.” She finally smiled, quite transforming her face. Suddenly she was around my age – careworn but pretty. “There’s not much worse than having to do things alone when you’re sick.”

Sometimes we’re not okay, but still we cope the best we can. Sure we manage, but it really helps to have a friendly hand to hold. Today I wish a friend for you, or if you’re feeling up to it, that you can be that friend for someone else.  It might help you too.

Bless  ♥ xx

'Splatter Heart' by Roark Gourley

‘Splatter Heart’ by Roark Gourley

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Cups of Tea and Connection – A Challenge!

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“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”  ~ Douglas Pagels

 

Today I have a small challenge for you.  It will only take five minutes, although you’re welcome to spend longer.

My challenge goes like this:

  1. Take 5 minutes out of your busy day.
  2. Fetch yourself a delicious beverage – a cup of tea, a good coffee, a cold juice, sparkly water, a glass of wine – whatever works for you.
  3. Connect with a friend or loved one. The rules of connection are these: it can be in person, a phone call, or a letter.  (That’s right, a letter, written by hand, on paper, so that you can pop a stamp on it and send it through the post.  Email, facebooking and texting don’t count.)
  • If you’re connecting in person invite your friend along to enjoy a beverage with you.  Or use your five minutes to call them and organise a face-to-face meet up sometime soon.

Image from www.waverlycare.wordpress.com

Image from www.waverlycare.wordpress.com

  • If you’re connecting by phone (or skype!) sit somewhere with your beverage of choice, make that call and enjoy a quick catch-up.  Aim to put a smile on someone’s face. Reach out for the joy of hearing another’s voice and sharing your news.

Image from www.mikehulsebus.com

Image from www.mikehulsebus.com

  • If you’re connecting by letter, enjoy the simple act of putting pen to paper. Letters can be funny, warm, wise, newsy, deep or full of scribbled pictures and snippets of poetry.  Who doesn’t love getting a letter in their mail box?  Maybe you’ll be lucky and get one in return.  Older people and children especially seem to appreciate letters.  Lovers do too. Who can you surprise and delight with one of your letters?

Image from www.theletterwritingrevolution.blogspot.com

Image from www.theletterwritingrevolution.blogspot.com

Taking five minutes to connect with the ‘human touch’ is one of the simplest and most powerful acts you can take to maintain relationships.  It also alleviates social isolation, one of the leading causes of depression.

I hope you can find that five minutes to take up my challenge.  In fact, I dare you to make it a regular part of your life!  Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx