My Top Five Ways To Get Some Reflection Time

Image from www.elsbro.com

Image from www.elsbro.com

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Søren Kierkegaard

 

We’re sitting in a terrific month for reflection, reinvention and connection.

So how do we do that?

Here are my top five ways to find that headspace where we can explore the past and imagine the future…

 

1 – Going for a solitary walk

A long walk gives us time to move into a space of quiet receptivity. Thoughts can bubble to the surface. Insights can find us. We get quiet enough to be open. Ideas come. You can walk in nature, through city streets or around your suburb. What matters is that you’re moving, and that you’re on your own so that you don’t need to engage in conversation. (Walking the dog is fine though!)

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

 

2 – Time out for a coffee and some world watching

Find a coffee shop where you can sit on your own, with a view of the world. You might be facing a busy street, you might be at the back of the shop looking out over all the patrons, you might be perched at a window seat, or at an outdoor cafe under a tree. You could even sit in a busy shopping mall. Grab your favourite coffee (or tea) and then just sit and watch the world go by. Don’t read. Don’t talk. Just sit with the world and with your thoughts. Eventually you’ll find a meditative space that lets you think deeply. Let your mind ramble. It will go where it needs to. Pay attention to where it wanders. Explore that more. If you want, take that further with some journalling.

Image from www.vissershr.nl

Image from www.vissershr.nl

 

3 – Soak in a bath

Just you, some bubbles, and lots of lovely soak time. Let your mind wander, or just sit and soak and rest. Trust that you’ll be integrating and getting what you need from this time alone.

 

4 – Journalling, at the quiet end of the day

This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night when the house is quiet and you have time and space just for you. Pick up your pen, and write. Dump your brain onto the page and then keep going. Let the words flow. You might be surprised where they take you.

 

5 – Journalling time with some oracle or tarot cards for further reflection

Oracle and tarot cards are a great way to reflect on life. Choose a card. Think about what it signifies for you. Explore this in your journal.

Here's my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I'm going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

Here’s my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I’m going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

My Year of ME Planner is also a great tool for tuning in! And it’s not too late to join our year-long course and community or to get some more intensive coaching with me for the year ahead. More details here and in my Shop.

Make time for yourself this week. You’re worth it!

lots of love, Nicole <3 xx

Coffee Trumps Blogging

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“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No,” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let’s go.”
~ Lemony Snicket

 

Cafe Dog has had a hard time of it lately.

While I’ve been feeling so poorly there have been no cafe outings. None at all.

I’ve had a string of terrible days, with misery heaped upon misery. Infections. Drugs. Drugs that caused lyme herxing. More misery. Insomnia.

But last night I slept well. I mean really well. And Cafe Dog knew it.

He was bent over me this morning, waiting for me to wake up.

As soon as I cracked an eyelid open he began his happy dance.

“No, mate, we’re not going to the cafe today,” Ben said.

“Yes we are,” I said, getting out of bed. “It’s now or never!”

So I got up and dressed (in clothes closely resembling pyjamas but with a stylish jacket over the top!), and we now seated at our favourite table at our favourite breakfast cafe. The pain is manageable because all my fabulous drugs are doing a great job. I get to have a decent coffee, and Harry gets to say hello to all of his adoring fans. I get to write my blog from my travel laptop as I sip my latte. It’s a mental health win for us all.

Hoorah!

Life Returns To Its Usual Rhythms

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“The longest way must have its close – the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.”
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

We decided to come back to the city last night. Ange’s memorial was beautiful, and very Byron Bay. We gathered at the Lighthouse, all dressed in our most colourful happy clothes, as a pod of twelve dolphins swam past. We shared words and hugs. From there we moved to the beach where her husband and a group of male and female surfing friends took our floral tributes out behind the breaking waves to commit them to the ocean as we threw handfuls of rose petals and prayers into the rippling foam.

It was a day of sunshine and bright skies and laughter and stories and tears. Followed by collapse and restless sleep.

This morning, Cafe Dog bounced onto the bed and put his best squeaky toy next to my ear. He squeaked it loudly, and joyfully. Come on, Mum, he was saying. Come on, Dad. Cafe time!

So, we are off. To drink good coffee. To meet friends and to laugh. To keep on with the business of living.

That’s the way of the world. We pause, gather ourselves, and dance on. I’m ready to step back into things again. And there is so much to share. But I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Be kind to yourselves today, and always. Bless xx

Cafe Dog’s Advice For The Day

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“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag

 

Cafe Dog, or Harry, as others know him, has been logging up early morning cafe-time since he was just a pup.

Even though he’s a farm dog at heart he also loves his cafe runs. We go to a cafe most mornings.

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We have a favourite haunt near our post box in Brisbane for city coffee, and a couple of local cafes near the farm, all of which welcome dogs.

Harry has more friends at these places than we do. Dogs that say hello. People that come up for pats. Children that come for hugs and licks and playful games.

But this morning we hadn’t planned to go. Ben and I are tired. We’d hoped to sleep in. Or at least that was the plan.

We’ve been pre-occupied the last few days with family in hospital. It’s taken most of our time and all of our thoughts.

Truth is though, neither of us were asleep when a little dog leapt onto the bed and sat between us staring down. The only one in the whole house still asleep was Nurse Bert, who was snoring loudly.

Gently Harry shook my shoulder with his paw. Wake up, Mum. He moved over to Ben and patted his chest. Wake up, Dad.

‘Not this morning, mate,’ Ben said.

Harry jumped back up on the bed and nudged us both, smiling. Then he bounced down and stood by the door, squeaking with excitement. Cafe time.

Ben and I looked at each other.

‘Need a coffee?’ Ben asked.

‘Sure, why not?’ I said. As I said it I realised that I’d hardly eaten the day before. I was starving!

So, we find ourselves at our local cafe, and it feels good to be up so early and connecting with people.

The coffee tastes good too. Friends drop by and sit with us. A social, happy time. A bright point in our day. Good plan, Cafe Dog!

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Cafe Dog was right. It’s a little space in the day just for us. Soon enough all our time will be taken again and the day will creep away. But right now we have this bright fresh morning, some breakfast, the newspapers and friends to laugh and share with.

Life can often bring unexpected stress. Or maybe right now your life is just one rolling journey of stresses.

Taking a little time for yourself is a very good plan. And time at the start of your day charges your batteries and gets you off to a positive start.

Soul nourishment. That’s what our cafe time is all about.

The snacks and good coffee are just a bonus!

Cafe Dog and I hope you take a little time for yourself today too.

Sending lots of love your way, Nicole <3 xx

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Cafe Dog’s Bluesfest Protest!

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“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
~ Bob Marley

 

We’re attending Bluesfest over the Easter Break – five days of music, music and more music! On Thursday morning we left Cafe Dog (Harry) at home while we went out for a coffee and did some last-minute running around. Harry was not impressed, but forgave us. Then we left him home with Bert while we went off to dance in our gumboats.

Yesterday morning Harry was hopeful.  A brand new morning, a brand new coffee opportunity. 🙂  But we dashed those hopes by going to the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets, which is a dog-free zone. We chained Harry up and put him on the very comfortable day bed on the veranda, where the dogs would be out of the rain but have a view of the farm. Bert went straight to sleep but Harry was as pouty as a grounded teenager.

When we came home, Harry had staged his own protest.

He ate the bed!

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Bad Harry.

It’s still raining here, but this morning we are taking Cafe Dog into Byron Bay for a quick social fix before the festival starts.

You got to keep the masses happy!

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I should be grumpy this morning…

Image from lalal

Image from The Bump

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”Henry Ward Beecher

I should be grumpy this morning.

Really, really grumpy.

I have now completed my third drug-free week from my lyme treatment, letting my liver have a break. At first I was so grateful to not have to put fistfuls of pills into myself. The drugs themselves are a nightmare, and I was celebrating not taking them. My body sighed with relief and my toxicity levels dropped. For a moment I felt marginally better.

But then some of the old symptoms I haven’t experienced for months flared up. Bartonella pains, babesia night sweats, lyme brain, chest pain. No fun at all. And it has become steadily worse. Worse enough that I’m looking forward to starting those horrible drugs again next week.

Each night now I endure pain, and insomnia. Last night was especially uncomfortable, and I didn’t get much sleep at all.

I should be so grumpy.

But last night I lay awake and listened to the sound of rain on our city roof. I peered into the bright screen of my iPad, loaded the weather radar and watched great clouds of rain dumping their load over the farm, imagining how the parched land would be sighing in relief.

I lay in the dark, hours later, and listened to the soft regular breathing of my husband, newly home from hospital. I reached my fingers out to him in the darkness and settled my hand on his chest.

Finally, after endless hours of misery I fell into a restless sleep.

I was dragged up from a disturbing dream by a persistent tugging on my arm.

Cafe Dog (known to some as Harry!) had my arm in his mouth and was trying to pull me out of bed. He let go, nudged my face and licked me. Then he bounded to the door.

Everyone was already up. It’s a glorious day. The air is fresh and clean from all the rain. The sunshine is dazzling. All my loved ones are happy.

So, I should be grumpy, but I’m not. Life is blessing me right now, and I’m not going to miss a moment. I can nap later, but right now morning calls, and Cafe Dog is keen for us to go to our favourite Brisbane haunt for an early breakfast, some writing and a little socialising.

No matter what is going on right now that is outside of my control, I can choose how I feel in each moment.

I choose love.

I choose happiness.

I choose gratitude.

How about you?

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Adventures in Toowoomba!

Image from Be A Fun Mum

Image from Be A Fun Mum

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

My darling husband has brought me to Toowoomba for a few days for a ‘romantic getaway’.

Or so the story goes.

If we get to the heart of the matter, Ag Show is on. Yep, that’s right – three days of farm machinery, cattle, chainsaws and ride-on mowers, water tanks, fodder crops, cool organic things, agricultural breakthroughs, solar innovations, sheds, seeds, septic tanks, windmills and other good stuff.

Romantic indeed! 🙂

It doesn’t matter. I love Toowoomba – it’s a gracious old country town with some lovely borrowed concepts from bigger places. The spring flowers are all coming into bloom and the town is looking green, vibrant and so very pretty.

We’ve found a few exceptional coffee places, and last night we ate dinner at a fabulous Turkish restaurant – Sofra’s. It was so good we’re thinking about going back again tonight!

sofra-turkish-cuisine

I have a few things on my shopping list while Ben is clambering over tractors and going misty-eyed over some big impressive piece of machinery. (Get the red one, Ben! I hear that they’re the best.) . I’m on the lookout for some fancy new gumboots, a lightweight rain jacket, a broad-brimmed sun hat, organic soil conditioners, and some speed-feed – a summer fodder crop for my very spoilt moo-cows.

I’m also going to find a little coffee shop today, and have a pot of tea, a toasted sandwich and a piece of cake, in memory of my beloved Nana, who would have celebrated her ninety-ninth birthday today. I’m still missing her enormously, and I know she would have loved being here in Toowoomba with us.

This time last year I celebrated her birthday in another country town, before meeting up with my good friend Carly to celebrate my own birthday.

A year ago I was a one-eyed pirate in congestive heart-failure who could only manage an hour or two of activity between rests due to the intensity of my treatment for late-stage Lyme disease. Walking anywhere much was out of the question. I was too weak. Too sick. How far I have come. And this year Carls is coming to me down at the farm for my birthday. It shall be a cake fiesta!

Anyway, lovelies, I must go. Coffee, and the romance of tractors and cows, awaits. (((HUGS))) xoxo