Highlights of Cebu

My friend Cate helping me make a healing meditation mandala on the beach one early morning

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
~ Elbert Hubbard

 

I’ve been in Cebu the past several days, attending a wonderful conference for entrepreneurs. (Thank you, Chris Ducker!) While I’ve been here I have also made healing mandalas for my morning meditation each day, I have swum with tropical fish, I have networked and brainstormed and expanded my possibilities, I have enjoyed massages, and planned the next stage of my business, I have discovered useful information for my coaching clients, I have hugged many friends, I have done more psychic readings in a few days of downtime than I ever thought possible, I have danced and sung and partied and even partaken of a very few, very good alcoholic beverages – a rarity for me.

I am now busy packing before I fly out to Manila, so I will offer a few photos as evidence that a good time has been had, and that I really did manage to make it through with flying colours instead of collapsing in a heap at the end of it all.

I’ll write more tomorrow, after I’ve hugged my husband and caught up on some sleep.

Missing you all heaps, Nicole <3 xoxo

 

The amazing Peter Shankman, presenting my favourite quote of the event; ‘Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used against you.’ ~ Tyrion Lannister, George R Martin.

Psychic readings by the pool. Can’t complain about my working conditions. In between each session I would have a quick dip and then a cool drink. Just lovely!!!

Boat rides, swimming with tropical fishies and spectacular sunsets…

Getting ready for our White Party on the beach.

And partying at the White Party with my friends.

I had the biggest smile all night. So much fun. So many happy memories made.

I  must say that it’s wonderful to be well enough to be posting things like this. Dreams do come true. Prayers do get answered. The wheel turns. If it can for me, it can for you too!

(PS – Yes, you may have spotted it. The rogue unicorn that photobombed me. It was that kind of a night…)

Like Cinderella I was home just before the clock struck midnight, and I took a selfie for my Mum to prove that I was still in good shape after all that frivolity – just a little hot from dancing. Cebu certainly puts the ‘hot’ in tropical. Here you go, Mum!

Best. Time. Ever. 😀

 

Morning Healing Meditation Mandalas

“Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.”
~ Richard Wilbur, Collected Poems, 1943-2004

“The period between four and six in the morning is called the Brahmamuhurta, the Brahmic time, or divine period, and is a very sacred time to meditate. ”
~ Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

 

And now on my travels I find myself in Cebu.

In this corner of the Philippines I still wake each morning at 4am to meditate in my room, after which I go sit on the empty beach for a while to watch the day dawn.

Yesterday morning I decided to make an impromptu crystal mandala to dedicate to the healing and wellbeing of a little girl named Imogen.

It’s a restful and evocative process, to create such a focal point for meditation and healing. I worked with what I had to hand – a stone from my pocket, a bracelet from my wrist, some flowers and leaves from nearby plants.

I enjoyed the process so much that I have decided to make a new healing mandala every day while I am here in Cebu.

Here is Imogen’s mandala. It features a Prehnite, Rutilated Quartz, frangipani and bouganvillea. And a whole lot of love.

By the time you read this post I may have already made this morning’s mandala. But you can be part of tomorrow’s.

Tomorrow I will be meditating on healing of childhood hurts, old family pain and ongoing issues, self-worth issues, insecurities and damaging or limiting stories imposed upon you by others. I’ll also be working on your base chakra, heart health and emotional security. If you’d like to be specifically included please add your name below or over on our facebook page.

Much love, Nicole <3 xoxo

 

My First Morning at Home Again!

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“There is a kind of magic-ness about going far away and then coming back all changed.
~ Kate Douglas Wiggin

 

Hello, beautiful friends!

So, here I am, back in Australia once more. Can I admit to being a little misty-eyed when my husband Ben pulled up outside Brisbane International Airport to pick me up last night, and I spied two madly grinning dogs hanging out the car windows waiting to greet me?

I am so tired. To look from the outside, all I have to show for my time away is a mountain of dirty washing, a serious supply of tasty Philippines dried Mango and notebooks crammed full with ideas, plans and action-steps for the months ahead. But so much more than that has transpired. I’ve been able to reach a place of clarity about what matters to me, and where I want to place my attention. I have met some amazing people and made new friends. While I am exhausted from all of this living, I am also thrilled to have been able to adventure at all!

It has been an emotional few weeks. As I took a boat ride in Cebu on Thursday, the cool salt water peeling off the sides of the outrigger in plumes, I had just as much salt streaming down my face in the form of tears of gratitude. Honestly, there have been so many times in the past few years when I wondered if a trip like this would ever be possible again, let alone solo. There is nothing like the prospect of death to make life taste sweet and to make you hyper-aware of what really matters.

Thanks to the care and efforts of others I have coped fabulously on this trip. I’ve also managed myself and my illness mindfully. I parented myself to do things such as miss the welcome drinks and opt for an early night instead so that I would be fresh for the next morning’s work. There were adjustments and accommodations to be made in order that I coped. That’s okay. I do that anyway in my life here in Australia.

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Meanwhile here at home I have 3247 unread emails to attend to (I should NOT have turned on my work computer in a post-midnight bout of jetlag-induced insomnia), and innumerable phone messages and mail to sort. I have blog posts to write and students to attend to, and calls to return.

And I will get to all of it. Eventually. If you are one of the 3247 emails, or the 271 facebook messages, please be patient. I have triaged you all in the middle of the night, and will contact you in order of urgency.

But first I am going to focus on what matters most.

This morning my attention is on my little family, whom I missed with all my heart. After endless yes-I-am-really-here-now cuddles with Nurse Bert who can’t quite believe that I am home and who keeps checking in with his nose or paw on some part of my body every few minutes, I am heading out with Ben and Cafe Dog for some breakfast and a proper Australian coffee, made with fresh milk and espresso and a whole lot of barista magic.

After which we’ll do a few city-based errands and I’ll make one important visit before packing the ute to head home to the farm.

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Do you remember me telling you about Liz, who was recently diagnosed with end-stage ovarian cancer? My friend Liz arrived home to Australia on Sunday, and was admitted to hospital early last night after collapsing at home.

Luckily I was up and awake at 1.30am when her husband rang to let me know. Liz and her family had a wonderful holiday in Hawaii – the most magical holiday they have ever experienced – and everything went incredibly well. But Liz used up the last of her good days making those special memories. Scans have revealed that the cancer in Liz’s brain is causing problems that can’t be fixed, so it looks like she will now remain in palliative care as her doctors think she may only have days left to live, based on her rapid downhill progress in the past 24 hours.

No regrets, she told her husband as they were taking her off in the ambulance.

No regrets, he told me, when we talked for hours last night about life and death and getting your priorities straight.

Today I need to see my friend, and say goodbye.

So, you see, everything else can wait just a little bit longer.

I’m feeling just a little teary and heart-sore this morning.

And something else…

I am so filled up on life. I am so grateful for every single breath, every single moment, every single connection.

It’s precious and fragile, this crazy journey we are on. Dig deep, my darlings. Find your own heart-path and live a life that matters to you. No regrets. <3

Saying Hi from the PI

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“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.”
― Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

(Hi Everyone! This is Chelsi, Nicole’s  Virtual Assistant – posting this blog post in behalf of Nicole )

Just a quick update from me to let you know that you’re all in my thoughts and prayers, and to share a little more of my big overseas adventure to Cebu in the Philippines.

The internet here has been terrible, so loading my blogs has been impossible. On the upside though, it has meant that I’ve been able to focus on myself and my own dreams and plans. I’m sorry if you’ve been worried by not hearing from me. I promise I am okay. 🙂

Being here has been both challenging and wonderful. It is so good to be alive. It seems like a miracle to be embarking on new adventures again. I am truly enjoying using my entrepreneurial brain, and being with like-minded people. I have had some late nights, I have celebrated being in a tropical paradise, and I’ve even enjoyed dressing up for dinner!

My trip has also been challenging because I have only now begun to realise just how much my husband Ben does to take care of me, and to make my daily life easy and smooth.

One of those big things that mean so much when you suddenly don’t have them is safe mobility. When I am at home, Ben takes my arm or holds my hand when we go walking, especially when I am tired or the ground is uneven. He’ll shoulder my bag, and walk slightly in front of me as we go up or down steps to that I can stabilise myself against him.

I didn’t know how much I relied on this until my first night at the resort when I tried to walk home to my room from the pool. To access my room I had to walk over a little bridge that had steps up and down, and a curved walkway in the middle.

In the dark, the bridge became an obstacle that seemed suddenly insurmountable. Suddenly I heard a friendly voice behind me. ‘Are you okay? Do you need a hand?’ One of the women attending my conference walked me over the bridge and to my door.

Throughout the time I have been here in Cebu there has been a quiet army of thoughtful and kind people looking out for me and offering that little bit of extra help that makes my solo trip easy and hassle-free. I have been supported and cared for at every turn.

My trip is almost over, and sad as I will be to leave the Philippines I am stupidly missing Ben, Nurse Bert and Cafe Dog, and our little farm. I’ve also been missing you too, and it will be good to be back home to the land of good coffee and faster internet.

Normal posting will resume shortly, but in the meantime I’m sending lots of love and hugs your way,

Nicole xoxo

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So, Here I am in Cebu!

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“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”  ~ Anna Quindlen

 

This morning I was up so early that it seemed I had the entire place to myself.

Cebu. Philippines. Beautiful.

I did a sunrise meditation and sent you all some healing and love.

I swam in the ocean, and then later in a wide pool under the overhang of frangipani and palm trees.

And now, after a wholesome breakfast made even more delightful by the fact that I did not prepare it, nor have to clean up afterwards, I am spending an entire day on my own, with my Planner and my journal. This week – on the back of the solar eclipse and the supermoon New Moon is a perfect time for working with mindfulness to deliberately craft a life plan for yourself. (Need inspiration for that? Go read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy.)

There shall be thinking. There shall be planning. There will be naps and swims.

Did I say fabulous?

So glad I made the effort to be here.

Sending much love your way, Nicole xx

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