So, I’m standing in a health food store yesterday, waiting while someone finds a product I’d ordered.
I’m miserable. My eyes are streaming and one is gummed closed. My face is blotchy and puffy. I have a UTI and a chest infection and I am herxing badly from Lyme die-off. I’m wearing an adult diaper under my jeans. I am wheezing and coughing. I’m in pain. I look like death. I feel like death. I’m sleep deprived. It’s not my best day. (see yesterday’s blog for the full update)
I’m so uncomfortable. To distract myself while they find my stuff I go for a wander through the aisles. I could use some new lip balm. A sales assistant sidles up beside me and asks me how I am. ‘Awesome,’ I respond.
She looks at me and I smile.
‘Ok,’ I add. ‘Not awesome, but I’m doing okay. Thanks for asking.’
And then she does it. She hits me with the big New Age Shiny Unicorn.
‘Your problem? It’s a mental thing,’ she says. ‘You created it and you’re in charge. Just use some positive affirmations and you can turn it all around. You’ll be feeling better in no time.’ She attempts to lead me towards a helpful display of positive thinking books and Louise Hay affirmation cards.
I had to seriously reign in my violent thoughts.
‘Actually,’ I say, ‘it’s not a mental thing. I’m in pain. A lot of pain. I’m quite unwell. I’m happy, and I have a great life and a lot of gratitude and a good attitude, but I also have pain. No amount of positive affirmations are going to fix that right now.’
She tries again, beaming at me. ‘Oh, come on. You won’t know if you don’t try! You’re a master manifestor who is just doing it wrong. What else is possible? How could you create a happier day?’
I’m sure I’ve wet my pants. I think I can feel urine trickling into my shoe. My skin feels like insects are biting me. I excuse myself and go back to the front counter.
After I’ve paid for my supplements I have a quiet word with the manager about her overly-cheerful staff member and explain the conversation I’ve just endured. The manager has the good grace to look horrified and we agree that some staff training might be appropriate.
Rant over. If you don’t know what the problem is here then refer to this blog post.
Hugs and love, cranky Nicole who is actually still mostly happy and with a good attitude xx
“Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It’ll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called “perfection,” which will open the doors to the most important relationships you’ll ever be a part of.” ~ Dan Pearce
Lovelies, today I want to share my perspective on ‘making nice’ with you.
Kindness is a loving balm, understanding is a mental tonic, compassion grows our hearts, love is food for the soul, but niceness? Far too often niceness is a poison administered to ourselves by our own hand.
There is a trend (and I recognise it because I once was in that same place!) where people beginning to become spiritually aware try to live from a place of unconditional love. That’s a beautiful thing, but too often what gets practised is not actually unconditional love but ‘niceness’.
Many people consider niceness to be a virtue; a sign of living from heart, and acting from love. I’m not referring to kindness, or good manners, or amiability. I’m talking here about pleasing others, not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, and being agreeable and amenable, even if it comes at a high cost to yourself.
Speaking our truth honours us, and it teaches us honest and direct communication that honours and respects others. Can we come from a place of unconditional love and still speak our truth? Absolutely! Because the premise of unconditional love is that we also love ourselves.
Authenticity requires us to live with honesty – not with silencing ourselves or suppressing our true thoughts and emotions.
Niceness is not about unconditional love – it is about giving up honesty in order to avoid disapproval, confrontation, rejection, ridicule or embarrassment. It elevates the happiness and well-being of others above your own. It is based on falseness, and by its nature, niceness prevents honesty and authenticity. When you come from niceness you teach others to devalue you, and disrespect you. You do not set clear boundaries.
Niceness does not come from a heart-centred life. It grows out of fear and a lack of self-worth. It is a behaviour that goes counter to our intuitive wisdom, and to those gut-based mechanisms that keep us safe. We tell people what they want to hear, we do and say things to keep others happy or to keep the peace. We act in a way that pleases others but that robs us of a little (or a big bit!) of ourselves.
There is always a way to tell the difference between being nice and being kind. Kindness comes from a place of being centred, and it empowers us. It strengthens us, as it strengthens others. We can act with generosity or compassion and there is no cost to us, or it is a cost we willingly bear. We give without expecting anything in return, for the sake of uplifting others.
Niceness always leaves you with an aftertaste – you know you have’t spoken truthfully; you feel that twang of inauthentic energy, that twinge of discomfort, or you even get that sense of being taken for granted or taken for a ride.
Niceness diminishes us, even when it strengthens others. We bite our tongue in order to say the flattering thing, we do the act with a little flame of resentment in our heart. And sometimes it starts out as kindness – but our kindness becomes expected, or disrepected – we are taken advantage of but we are unable to speak up about that and voice our own feelings. So we act nice instead.
When we choose niceness it poisons us. It leads to depression, anxiety, shame, emotional distress, guilt, anger and despair. Life-long patterns of niceness leave us open to exploitation and invite difficult, damaging and dangerous relationships into our lives.
We end up doing things we don’t want to do – we can become an entirely different person to who we are on the inside. We can lose ourselves so completely that we have no idea any more what makes us happy, what our preferences are, what we want in life…
Taken to extremes, through living a life of niceness we can cease to exist. Instead, we become a support role in someone else’s life. We become Cinderella, at home scrubbing the floors while her stepsisters are out having fun!
Are you too nice?
Maybe it’s time to start honouring your own truth. Love starts with the self, and healthy self-esteem can only be built by standing up for yourself, giving your feelings a voice, and attending to your own needs. You can do that and still be polite. You can do that and still be kind. You can do that and still be likeable, lovable and accepted. Don’t keep drinking that from that poisonous niceness bottle!
And if your acts of self-respect and kindness aren’t taken well by others? Maybe it’s time to get some space, maybe it’s time to stop giving, maybe it’s time to move on… If you have to be ‘nice’ in order for your life to work, the price will always be too high.
You might be surprised. As you begin voicing your honest thoughts, you give others permission to do the same. Being authentic can create great change. It invites miracles. And this week supports that kind of energy, so be brave and embrace your truth then live from that space and watch the magic begin to happen in your life.
Choose love. Choose kindness. And above all, be true to yourself. It’s worth it!
“Share your knowledge.
It’s a way to achieve immortality.” ~ Dalai Lama
October brings our focus back to our home environment, our heart-space and our soul’s journey. We’ll feel a need to nest, to clean and beautify the spaces where we spend most of our time (this could be your body, home, work or even your car!) and to have to hand the things we need to make our time in these spaces comfortable and productive. Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the oracle card Eight of Swordsbrings us.
In our lives there are things we have learned only through experience. In living them we have discovered things about ourselves and about life that could never be learned through a book or course.Eight of Swordsencourages us to share that wisdom with others this week.
Whether it is passing on a skill, giving some hard-won advice, or supporting a friend or family member based on your own experience of a similar situation, everything you do that uplifts or supports another contributes to the overall raising of the Planet’s vibration. Be the light! Practice kindness and be encouraging to all you meet.
This is also a great week for all forms of spiritual connection, journalling and intuitive work for yourself or others. From life’s trials and difficulties you’ll find answers, directions and growth opportunities.
Supportive crystals this week?
Bronzite promotes inner harmony, reduces worry and allows you to feel grounded, calm and safe. Angelite nurtures your soul, gifting you expansive connection and deep emotional nourishment. A stone for revelations and insights about what is good for you. Smoky Quartz (pictured) helps you to overcome self-doubt and is shielding, protective and reassuring. Lapis Lazuliwill help you speak your truth and hold your ground with wisdom and clarity.
Helpful essential oils?
Basil essential oil brings clarity, focus and uplift this week, and is a great oil to diffuse. If you’re really muddled or exhausted add a few drops ofLemon or Wild Orange.
I’m passionate about essential oils and their capacity to support our wellness journey and our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. If you’d like to know more or want to source the oils I recommend and trust visit this site or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking for some extra support for your spiritual and creative flow come check out my upcoming Pop-Up Shop, Channelling Night and One Day Workshops in Brisbane 9-11 November. I’ll be teaching half-day workshops about fairies and how to create your own portable Fairy Garden, as well as basic sacred geometry and Crystal Gridding Skills to support you for 2019. My one-day Mystical Manifesting Workshop utilises all of the rituals I use to close out one year and herald in the new one. I will guide you on a journey to open you up to your highest potential and clearest direction for 2019 (and I am so excited about this workshop I could spontaneously break out into a happy dance!). No matter what level you’re at I’ll have something for you on my program. More details here!
Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.
All my love,
PS: Monday’s oracle card,‘Eight of Swords’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book.
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.“ ~ Mark Twain
Small acts of kindness ease our burdens. They remind us that we are loved and that there is still hope and goodness in the world.
Don’t ever underestimate the gift of small acts of kindness. A simple phone call, a cuppa and a chat, a bunch of flowers from your garden, a casserole or a pot of soup, the loan of some books or DVDs – all of these simple gestures can make a vast difference in the life of someone who is busy coping with whatever life has just thrown them.
Anyone who has suffered from depression, ongoing family or relationship issues, the prolonged care of a loved one with a chronic or terminal illness, or who has suffered a loss or setback in life will tell you that support is often strong to start off with, but fades away, or worse – people begin to tell them to ‘think positive’, to ‘look on the bright side’, to ‘snap out of it’, ‘get over it’, ‘move on’ or equally unhelpful sentiments.
Some situations in life are over in an instant but leave a lasting impact. Some situations take a very long time to resolve. And we all manage grief and loss in our own way. (Side note – It’s actually okay to let people who are in the midst of misery express grief, be sad, feel flat or lost, and be anything but the life of the party.)
So how do we help when difficulties are drawn out for our friends and loved ones? Think about the times in your own life when things have been hard. What made a difference to you? Firstly, don’t judge your friends and loved ones, and don’t feel you have to fix anything or take responsibility for changing them or their situation.
Ask them how they’re going. Ask them what they need. Sometimes we need to talk things through, sometimes we need to talk about ANYTHING other than what’s really happening, sometimes we want to be left alone. And our needs might change from moment to moment, hour to hour.
The best advice here is to stay in contact, and then ask the simple questions:
‘How are you?’ or ‘Are you okay?’
‘Is there anything I can do to help?’
If you can see an obvious need, don’t be afraid to ask and then step in. Or if it’s appropriate, just go ahead and do it – hose the garden, mow the lawn, bake the cake, mind the kids, take the washing off the line, bundle up a care parcel.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a hug or a kind word.
When I was ill recently, a dear friend brought me homemade chicken soup, and another loaned me a book. It was the difference between me eating something healthy and going without, and I had soul food in the form of something new to read. Heaven.
Yesterday, after a difficult day, I went to my front door and found a posy of flowers and a tender note filled with love and encouragement. It brightened my spirits immeasurably. Friends texted me to check in on me. I felt loved, affirmed and connected.
It’s these small acts of thoughtfulness, these simple gestures of kindness that ease the way for us when life’s road gets hard.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
Life can be a difficult ride, and each of us at times will know pain, trouble, loneliness and struggle. That’s why it is so important for us to practice love and kindness.
But when we are going through our own difficulties, when we are tired or feeling taken for granted, we might wonder what’s the point? What’s the point of being kind? What’s the point of continuing to be caring, helpful, polite?
Have you noticed that emotional states are contagious? Hang around an angry person long enough and some of that will rub off on you. The same goes for depression. Uncaring acts beget more. Selfishness breeds isolation, disrespect, contempt and ugliness.
Just as negative emotions have a negative impact, choosing to stay focused on love, gratitude, positive values and caring will have a positive impact on our lives.
Our emotional state and our thoughts travel out from us like ripples on a pond. They radiate energy that affects everything and everyone around us. Eventually, some of that energy will be reflected back to us, perhaps weaker, perhaps greatly magnified…
What sort of world do you choose for yourself?
Loving others, living from your heart, choosing kindness, and performing acts of service and devotion that may well go unacknowledged or unappreciated are paths that can truly lead us to a better future, influencing and supporting the positive unfolding of history in ways we may not ever know or understand in our lifetime.
No matter what your emotional starting ground, when you uplift others, you also uplift yourself. When you share your heart, it doesn’t decrease your love – it expands your love, and your capacity to give and receive love.
Our Universe is built upon unseen acts of courage, goodness, faith, optimism, service and great love.
Whether you subscribe to a particular religion or not, whether you believe in God, karma, Universal Law or death and taxes – know that by your own actions, your choices, your values, sacrifices and personal character you contribute to the future unfolding of our planet.
Invisible acts of love and uplifting others might not provide us with an immediate reward – but through these acts we are gifted something far more precious – they give us the power to positively shape destiny, and to better shape ourselves in the process.
When in doubt about how to act, be guided by the wisdom of the Dalai Lama:
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” ~ Robert Frost
It’s been an emotional few days for me. One of our community lost her partner to suicide on the weekend. Another, her teenaged son. Two unexpected deaths. Two families left behind, broken and powerless and emptied out of reason and hope. And I have done my best for them, to bring comfort and support and to be there as friend and witness. To hold them in my meditations and prayers.
With the energies of the past few months, and the intensity of the full moon, it’s been hard for many sensitive souls. It’s been harder than usual for people with mental illness. So I’ve been busy. My psychic senses have been working overtime. The past two nights I’ve woken suddenly in the early hours and somehow found myself at my computer, or on the end of a phone, talking to clients who were suicidal. Reaching out to others too, who I knew were doing it tough.
Each time I woke unexpectedly, with someone on my mind, and sent a message out into the world so I could check on them. There the person was – in a world of pain and darkness, ready to end things except that now I was talking with them instead. Talking and holding space and helping them come back to themselves, helping them to know that their feelings were momentary, and not worthy of a permanent action they would regret.
Fulfilling work but exhausting too.
So this morning I will walk on the beach, I will sit beneath tall trees, I will let the sunshine and rain fill me up and empty me out. And I will read Bukowski. Many years ago this poem helped me through some of my own dark days. We all have dark days. It’s part of being human. Know that they will pass.
Bukowski was right. Bless Bukowski, and bless all of you.
You are precious and dear to me, and your life matters. I’m here for you.
There are many others who are here for you too. Seek them out. Ask for help. Talk to someone. Connect with someone. Know that things will change, and that you can change too.
Sending so much love, your friend, Nicole ❤xx
‘The Laughing Heart’ by Charles Bukowski
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ~ Washington Irving
I’ve lost a lot of confidence with some daily activities while I’ve battled Lyme disease. One of them is driving. Lyme disease caused me vision problems and poor reflexes that until recently made driving safely impossible, but as my health has improved I have been talking about getting behind the wheel again. In the last month or so I’ve driven around the farm getting my confidence up, but I wasn’t feeling ready last week when Ben asked if I could follow him in our second car because he needed to visit a town thirty minutes drive away to have his vehicle serviced. His ride home had fallen through and there was no public transport. If I didn’t drive, he couldn’t go. It made me nauseous from anxiety. What if I couldn’t do it? Still, I agreed.
That first drive was nerve-wracking. My hands ached from clutching the steering wheel by the time I pulled in behind Ben’s car. But I’d done it! Ben drove us home, and we quietly celebrated the fact that I’d gained a little more of my old life back.
The next day Ben drove us both back in to Lismore, and then left me to bring the second car home.
To be out of the house, on my own… I struggle to explain how liberating it was, even as it took every fibre of my being to stay focused and to not give in to my anxiety.
After we swapped cars so Ben could bring the newly serviced truck home I stopped at a shopping centre and did a few chores on my own. My first unsupervised shopping trip in years. Oh the freedom of being able to decide where to go and how long to take! Of being able to please myself as I looked at clothes or laboured over yoghurt choices. When I finally returned to my vehicle I saw that Ben had left a swimming-pool water sample on the seat that he’d intended to drop off to a local store. I decided that I’d go there myself. Miss Independent. It felt marvellous.
I couldn’t get an easy park out front of the pool shop so I pulled up in the next block. As I got out of the car I saw him coming towards me. An older man, perhaps in his early seventies; thin and stooped, wearing a large faded dress over his shorts and shirt and pulling an old-fashioned wheeled shopping basket behind him. He looked so odd and awkward as he shuffled along. As he got closer I realised that he was crying, but his face was furrowed with determination.
I wondered if wearing a dress was an act of bravery regarding gender identity. It’s been in the news so much lately as Australia goes to a postal-vote plebiscite over marriage equality. Whatever it was, I could see the old man was struggling.
Walking over I asked him if he was okay, handing him a tissue to wipe away his tears. He nodded, without saying anything.
Are you lost, I asked.
No, he said. I am going shopping. I must go shopping. There’s no food left.
Then his story tumbled out. The man had lived with depression and social anxiety his whole life. It became so bad that ten years ago he had moved home with his elderly mother and she had taken care of him. He’d barely left the house in that time, and she had done all the grocery shopping and town duties. But his mum had passed away a few months ago. He hadn’t even gone to her funeral, although he’d wanted to. Now the cupboards were bare and he needed to shop. It had taken days to work up the courage.
There’s not a scrap of food left, he said. Nothing. And no-one to go now but me.
In the end, this man had put his mum’s dress on over his clothes, because then it felt like she was with him, keeping him safe. He didn’t care how it looked anymore. He just needed to eat. He just needed to get to the shops. It was the only thing he could think of to do. Her dress was a shield. A talisman. His only hope.
I asked him if he wanted me to go with him. No, he told me, standing straighter. I’ll be right. He wiped his face with a tissue, his hands big and gnarled and old. Then he put the tissue in the pocket of the dress, thanked me and kept walking. His courage and dignity broke me wide open and I cried for him as he continued his halting journey out into town.
As I drove home that afternoon I pondered what had happened.
What does it matter if a man wears a dress or not? What does it matter who a woman loves, or who a person marries? All that matters is kindness, and taking care of each other.
I understood a little of what it had cost him to leave the safety of the familiar and risk going out into the wider world. I hope each trip out into the world becomes easier, for him and for me. Freedom is wonderful, but it is not always easily grasped.
As always, I’m holding you in my prayers and meditations and sending love, Nicole xx
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
“When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
~ Both quotes from The Dalai Lama
I have a little challenge for you today. It’s a kind of soul medicine, and although it can be a little difficult if you’re out of practice, the more you move into the energy of this challenge the more you will find that it was always your soul’s default position. Think of this challenge as a way to restore your factory settings!
Just for today, choose kindness.
Choose to smile from your heart.
Hold back any harsh thoughts, words or criticisms, and find a way to be gentle in your dealings with self and others.
Let kindness be both your journey and your destination.
Just for today, choose kindness.
Let kindness colour the way you see the world.
Put away judgement, and seek out things that can swell your heart with gratitude.
Look for the good in people, the beauty in your surroundings, the blessings at your feet.
Appreciate the simple things, and if you can, share those simple things with others.
A caring word, a gentle touch, a nod of support – none of these things will cost you a penny, but to someone they might be priceless gifts.
When we choose kindness, we ease the way for ourselves and others. We become an agent for flow and abundance. Our attitude affirms the goodness and connection inherent in this experience we call life.
We may become an Earthly Angel for someone for whom the Universe intends support or encouragement. God and good can only work THROUGH us. Why not be an agent for that good? Why not be choose to be part of a deliberate energy of love and positivity?
Whatever we choose to think and believe, whatever actions we offer up to the world, our energies come back to us, multiplied.
Trust that the kindness we offer today will find its way back to us when we most need it.
Through the act of living from our hearts, we are transformed, becoming magnetic to even more good-will and positive energy.
Just for today, choose kindness.
Let the energy of love transform your life. Let the energy of love transform our world.
Just for today, choose kindness.
Today, in someone’s darkness, you can be the Light. ♥
“Small steps may appear unimpressive, but don’t be deceived. They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are drastically changed.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich
As most of you know, I am recovering from illness right now.
I’ve just finished two months of bed rest and am slowly easing myself back into life again. Luckily I’ve found my sweet spot. About three hours of work a day right now is all I can manage. Three hours gives me enough left in the tank for a walk on the beach, for cooking healthy meals, for meaningful connection with my loved ones and for self-care.
Any more than three hours and exhaustion creeps in. If I overdo it and go crazy at my desk I am useless for the next two or three days. Pacing myself is essential. And it is for you too, my friends.
The first six months of this year have been intense. They have required so much from us as we unstick ourselves from the mud, face what needs to be faced, heal what needs to be healed, and attend to all the things that have been holding us back. Because that’s what growth is all about. Sometimes we have to clean up the mess first before we can really start on new things on earnest. The only way you can do that is to put one foot in front of the other.
On January 1 this year I chose a tarot card as guidance for the year ahead. The card was Prince of Disks. The wisdom of this card is all about how taking small steps matters, even though small steps may seem decidedly unsexy and unimpressive when viewed in isolation. But of course, over time small steps add up to big shifts forward. (You can read more about my forecast for 2017 here. )
The energies of the second half of this year are much less intense, much more expansive and creative and allowing. But the small steps rule still applies.
You may feel like you’ve done nothing this year. Perhaps in relation to your bigger goals, dreams and projects that’s true. I can guarantee you though that you’ve been working anyway. Clearing the mess. Dealing with life’s dramas. Sorting out the priorities life has put in front of you. So don’t despair and don’t give up. Use July as your fresh start. Start over. Begin your plans again. Pick up whatever you had to put down when it all got too much. Keep making small steps. Small steps are all you will ever need. (more on July energies here)
As to pacing yourself?
If your life is so crazy that you have no time for yourself, if you are exhausted all the time, if you are resentful of any more demands being made of you – even by loved ones, then it’s time to pace yourself. Work out your sweet spot and stick to what you can manage. It’s always a diminishing return anyway once you move past happily productive and into exhaustion.
If there’s no way to slow down then seriously consider getting off that particular merry-go-round. Life is too short, and you are too precious to work yourself into an early grave for no good reason.
Above all, lovelies, be gentle with yourselves. You’re recovering from a great intensity too. Kindness and self care are magical medicines for care-worn souls.
Much love to you from my little sanctuary here at the farm, Nicole <3 xoxo
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr
Have you been feeling unsettled or agitated? Have you felt overwhelmed with world events or climactic ones? Are there problems closer to home causing you distress?
At times it is easy to feel small and insignificant – unable to help when all we feel in our hearts is an urge to try. Whether it is pain and illness in our family, or troubles within the environment or the wider world, we can often feel powerless to do anything meaningful.
But there is something we can do. Meditate!
Right now, one of the most helpful things that you can do as a Lightworker is to anchor love, light and positive intent in the world.
Tonglen is Tibetan for ‘giving and receiving’ and it is a beautiful and simple meditation practice than anyone can do, with no experience. What matters is your intent.
Sit or lie quietly, and close your eyes. I like to sit with my spine straight, and my hands together in my lap, thumb tips pressed lightly together. If I’m lying in bed, I lie on my back with my hands crossed together over my heart. Try to sit if you can, but for those of you unwell or unable to do so, a prone meditation practice will still work.
Start by imagining someone who you want to help. It might be a friend with depression. You breathe in the heaviness of their energy and suffering and breathe out joy and peace, or whatever other energy you feel would bring them comfort.
All you ever have to do is ‘breathe in’ the condition, emotion or suffering of another, making room for healing and comfort within them. Then ‘breathe out’ positive energy, love and light to fill the space you have created.
The suffering of others is also our own suffering, so this meditation can help us as we endeavour to help others. If you are in pain, breathe in your own pain and also the pain of everyone who is suffering from your affliction. Breathe out relief to everyone, in whatever form feels most right to you.
Do not worry that the things you breathe in will become a part of you, further weighing you down. As you breathe in suffering it is transmuted back into light, and it dissipates harmlessly.
Sometimes you may not even have a word for what you are breathing it – it will simply be a feeling, a weightiness, a blackness or even a void. Breathe out hope, lightness, joy and well-being. Breathe out ease.
At times when we don’t know what else to do, this suffices. As you bring peace to others, you bring it also to yourself. It is a very soothing and calming practice. You don’t need to belong to any particular religion, or follow any particular spiritual philosophy. This simple practice merely acknowledges that we are all human, all connected, and all the same – no matter who we are, or where we come from.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama says of Tonglen:
“Whether this meditation really helps others or not, it gives me peace of mind. Then I can be more effective, and the benefit is immense.”
In addition to meditation, here are some simple additional things you might like to try:
Treat yourself kindly and with care. Get enough sleep, eat well, and find things to be grateful for in your daily life.
Reach out to others with a spirit of friendship and compassion.
Spend time in nature, resting and reinvigorating your soul.
Don’t contribute to gossip, hurtful or negative talk, or sharing negative views or images on social media.
Spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Laugh together, and make good memories.
Read uplifting and nourishing books – both fiction and non-fiction.
Grow food or flowers.
Use your shopping dollars to support products, services and enterprises who contribute positively and responsibly to the environment and community.
Speak kindly to yourself and others.
Choose to remain positive and optimistic about the future. Anchor that energy of hope. Be inspirational to those around you.
Live life lovingly and to the best of your ability.
Follow your own joy. Create, dream, travel, start the project or business you’ve been thinking about for so long, connect, be yourself, learn something new, teach something you know, be the change.
Know that your life matters, your ideas matter, you matter!
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we might just change the world.