Monday Oracle 16 April 2018

Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.” 
~ Ann Voskamp

 

Hello, Lovelies!

April is a month that brings a delicious flow of new ideas and inspiration. Your job is to honour this flow, making room for change in your life and for acting on these ideas and inspired thoughts. If you’ve lacked direction you’ll be glad to know that April gifts you sudden flashes of insight and clarity. Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the oracle card Four of Wands brings us.

I just love the message of this week’s card!

We’re reminded that tiny steps taken each day in the direction of our dreams will indeed help us to eventually achieve them. It doesn’t matter how small that step is, just as long as we are putting one foot in front of the other.

From the smallest and most humble of beginnings great things can grow. So it’s okay to start small. In fact that’s one of the best ways to start anything.

But don’t start from a place of chaos. If everything’s a mess take some time to clean things up first so that you can begin fresh and unfettered by old stuck energy.

Want to grow things faster? Think cooperation. Think finding a team. Think gathering support around you for your ideas, projects and dreams.

When we surround ourselves with people who believe in us or who are further along the path than we are we can grow ourselves as well as our dreams.

What dreams can you put some energy and love into for the week ahead?

Supportive crystals this week?

Clear Quartz amplifies intuition and your ability to tune in to Universal and Personal Wisdom. It’s a great stone to enable you to understand at a soul level what you really need. Amazonite helps you to live bravely and from your heart, especially in regard to your creative projects. It will boost self-confidence and self-worth. Orange Calcite connects you to inspiration and is a wonderful beginner stone for tuning in to the spiritual realms. It’s also great for all forms of creativity. Unakite (pictured below) opens your heart to love and draws love, friendship and helpful people to you. It helps you to overcome feelings of isolation or loneliness.   

Image from http://www.crystalage.com/

 

Helpful essential oils?

Hands down it’s Geranium again this week. Geranium is such an underestimated essential oil. With its sweet floral scent it’s brilliant for helping you relax, unwind and get connected to your essence. It will uplift you and stimulate creativity, sensuality and emotional flow – all energies that are great for shifting us into a more creative space. If you’re an over-giver and your tank is dry, geranium oil will fill you back up again.

Apply it to your pulse points at wrist, neck and over heart like a perfume. Place a few drops in your bath water. Diffuse it. One of my favourite uses is as a centering and inspiring pick-me-up. Put a drop in the palm of your hand, rub hands together and then inhale the aroma. (Here’s a simple three-minute meditation you can do using geranium or any of your favourite essential oils – click here)

Need an extra boost of encouragement? Try Young Living’s Believe essential oil blend. It’s fabulous in your diffuser while you work, or as a quick pick-me-up with a three-minute meditation. Believe is uplifting and promotes confidence, spiritual connection, clarity and belief in ourselves. It also helps us to let go of fear, doubt and old emotional pain and hurt.  I often use this oil when I am creating, writing or journalling, or working with cards for myself. 

 You can find the oils here.

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 26-27 May. I’ll be teaching foundation spiritual practices (the things I used to develop my own psychic and intuitive skills, self-awareness and compassion), meditation and mala making (this second workshop is brilliant if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, stuck or suffering from anxiety or depression). 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,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Four of Wands’, 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. 

Emergency Tool Kit for Blocked Creatives

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” ~ Steve Jobs

Whenever something’s not working, what we need is a new approach.  After all, according to Albert Einstein the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

It doesn’t matter what you are wanting to achieve creatively – you could be writing a book, finishing an assignment, collaging a family history, inventing a killer new recipe for Master Chef, adding the lyrics to a love song, refining your dance moves or renovating a bathroom. When you’re stuck, you’re stuck.  That’s where having an Emergency Creative Tool Kit comes in handy!

Put down that thing giving you the trouble.  Stop worrying about the work you’re NOT creating. Pull out your Emergency Creative Tool Kit.  What we need right now is fun, creative engagement and play.

Kids-arts-and-crafts

Image from Shutterstock

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”~ Carl Jung

The following items are essentials for your Tool Kit:

  • Mood Music.  Many of my writer friends swear by using music to evoke mood, ideas and word flow.  Why not compile some play lists that help you to tap into characters, locations or events? This isn’t just for writers. Music works wonders with all stuck brains!
  • An Ideas Book – If you haven’t started one yet, this can be your first creative project. Find a book big enough to glue pictures and inspiring articles. Write down your small and your grand creative ideas.  It doesn’t matter what sort of ideas they are.  If you want to create a medieval banquet for your next birthday, design a new kitchen, embark on writing opera, knit a bunny rug, write a history of your great grandfather, or you just have a fantastic character name in your head and no idea how to use it, then put it in the book! When you get stuck for inspiration simply open the book and have a look through it…
  • Paper, coloured pens and crayons, stickers, glue, old magazines, glitter and other fun stuff.  Or go on and use that i-pad App you’ve always wanted to try…  The point of this exercise is that it needs to be VISUAL even if you don’t consider yourself in any way artistic. Now choose one idea, one character, one issue – nothing central to your stuckness, but something that’s just in view from the corner of your eye. Or something new and completely unrelated to your current project. Explore that thing.  Doodle, collage, cut and paste, mind map and brain storm.  Let it be as much about having fun with the process as it is about coming at things sideways.
Mind Map by Donna Kim - fairy tale story

Mind Map by Donna Kim – fairy tale story

  • Moving Meditation – A meditation is actually any activity that you devote your full awareness to, so that you are in the moment with that thing. For me, a spot of washing up by hand at my kitchen sink often does the trick. You might try knitting, tapestry, beading, bread making – anything that gets you doing something with your hands.  Write a list, get any equipment or supplies you need and go create something.
  • Walk in Their Shoes – What is it you’re trying to do? Be a painter? A singer? An advertising guru? Performers call it Method Acting. Research and act like your favourite artist for an hour or a day. Immerse yourself in the world of your project. Pretend to be your character and look at the world through their eyes as you go about your daily task.
  • Just Go! – I get some of my best results from this technique.  If you are bogged down, embittered and disconnected, or even just bored with it all, then this will help to get you out of that head space. See it as a game of wits. Evoke your Inner Stubbornness to not quit. Pick one thing, one scene, one area and begin. It doesn’t matter how awful your creating is. Make yourself keep going for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes seems to be a magical time interval for getting back into creative flow, although from day to day it might be ten minutes or an hour.  You might have to scrap the first part of your effort, but somewhere in there will be something you can salvage and that can help you keep going. You could even get an incredible breakthrough!
  • A ‘Source Of Inspiration’ Outing – Sometimes you really do need to move away from the desk, get out of the house/studio/office and stretch your legs. Go somewhere that puts you in a better mood. Go somewhere that makes you happy, a place where you can spend an hour or two and come back refreshed.  For me that can be plant nurseries, Farmers Markets, the Library or a Bookstore, or a wander through town, looking in shop windows. The key here is that you move into a different environment. New environments fire up new brain connections and pathways, and help you to move out of old thinking patterns and into new ones.  Note – staying at the computer surfing the web does not count!
  • A Glory Box or Glory Book – Sometimes the biggest block to creativity is low self-esteem.  We convince ourselves that we truly suck at this thing that’s so dear to us. We run ourselves down and beat ourselves up.  How can anyone sustain creativity feeling like that?  Your Glory Box or Glory Book is for snippets and reminders of positive feedback and good results you’ve had in the past, even completely unrelated to your current project or desire. Maybe it’s the story you wrote when you were five. Or a trophy from winning Junior Division Soccer. It could be an old love letter, or a birthday card from someone special. If you have a knock-out Report Card from grade school, re-read those kind words. You’re still that person.  All of that goodness lives inside you.  We all need to be reminded occasionally.
Positive Report Cards from your Childhood can be a powerful reminder of who you are!

Positive Report Cards from your Childhood can be a powerful reminder of your gifts and talents!

  • Blow Out The Cobwebs List of Activities – Movement connects us to positive energy and disconnects us from negative energy.  Make a list of physical activities that leave you on a high. Ideas include windsurfing, bike riding, snow skiing, bush walking, salsa dancing, roller coaster rides, walking the dogs at the beach.  If you are very ill or incapacitated sit in the sunshine or at a window so you can breath some fresh air. Do some simple stretches and work on your breathing. Yoga breaths are great for this. If you can’t get out of bed, then go there in your mind.  Imaginations are wonderful freedom machines!
  • The Skeleton Effect – When you’re overwhelmed by a project, break it into pieces. Think of a human skeleton – there are the great long thigh bones and the tiny little finger bones. Sometimes we’re up to working on a big piece of a creative project, and sometimes all we can manage is a simple chunk where you can easily see the beginning and end. It all counts. Make a plan of the big, medium, little and ridiculously easy parts of your project.  On the days where you just can’t do the big parts, work on a smaller one. Start by making that plan.
  • Dress Up Box – Yes, really!!! Sometimes dressing the part can get you in the right headspace to connect with your project. And anyway, it’s fun. 🙂

Over time you may come up with other ideas and inspiration for your Creative Tool Kit.  Add them all in there. And share what you know with your creative friends.  Everyone needs a little help and encouragement sometimes.

PS: This post is part of my 2013 Creative Challenge Project.  If you’d like to read more, visit these posts:

The Challenge to Live Creatively this year – come join us!

Join my 2013 Creative Project Challenge

Creative Project Challenge – February Check In

Advice and Ideas for reconnecting with your Creativity:

Lost your Creative Mojo?

When the Muse vanishes – thoughts on the loss of Creativity

How a Garden Can Teach You To Be More Creative

Enhance Your Creativity

Recognising burnout – 10 tips for a better 2012

Are you one of the walking dead?  I’m not talking zombies here and some strange mutant virus.  I’m referring to burnout – that life sapping condition that affects us mentally, physically and emotionally.

How do you know if you’re burning out, or already there?

 

Take some time today, and ask yourself honestly – how are you feeling?  Is the way you are living sustainable, or killing you…  I trust that in your heart you already know the answer to that one, so tune in and see what your heart is telling you. If things are rosy, I wish you well.  Good for you!  If things aren’t quite the way you’d like them to be, read on. Maybe we can help turn this around for you.

Tip 1:  Get more sleep.  Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but many of us end up on that slippery slope to burnout because we are cramming too many things into the day. If we get  just one hour less sleep a night, we build up a sleep debt. Sleep deprivation means our bodies don’t have the time they need to repair and attend to physical and psychological housekeeping. Our immune systems weaken, we lose our creative edge and our ability to respond to stress, we become irritable and intolerant, eat more, have weaker digestion, difficulties with memory and cognitive function. Our coping ability rapidly deteriorates.

Protect your health by ensuring you get enough sleep. Turn off the TV or computer and go to bed an hour earlier. Avoid caffeine late in the day and drink herbal teas that relax and calm. More sleep tips here.

 

Tip 2:  Free up your dance card.  It’s so easy to overcommit – especially if you’re a pleaser or a fixer. Drop what you can, delegate whatever is practical, extend deadlines if possible and take measures to simplify things. Clearing some space in your life gives you room to breathe, it buys you time to play catch-up in the energy stakes.  You may want to do this as a temporary measure, but for many people, once they become accustomed to a simplified life, they can’t return to the craziness that got them to the place of burnout in the first place.  More ideas on freeing up your schedule here.

Tip 3:  Hobbies that are joyful and engaging – There is no point in a life that is all work and no play. Hobbies can be both an outlet for creativity and a form of moving meditation. They give you an interest outside of your work and personal relationships, and enrich your life in many ways.  Whether it is knitting, beer brewing, ballroom dancing, writing or gardening, hobbies reconnect you with yourself.  They can also help you connect to like-minded people, expanding your circles of friendship and support.  If you can carve out a small time each week for a regular date with your hobby, your stress levels will begin to drop. One of my favourite things is working on my novel over breakfast in a favourite cafe!

Tip 4:  Clear boundaries – Saying ‘no’ is a life-saving technique.  One of the biggest contributors to burnout is an inability to set clear boundaries with work and other people’s problems. Be firm about working hours, especially if you work for yourself. If you are constantly working long hours, you need to re-evaluate your situation. Charge fairly for your time (ie don’t undersell yourself!), and don’t allow people who don’t value your time or abilities to waste yours! If  you are constantly drained by certain relationships in your life, back away a little, and set some parameters around your ability to be available for them.  You may need to drop some relationships entirely.  If workplaces don’t respect your boundaries, look for somewhere new! If friends won’t respect your boundaries, or are constantly negative or unsupportive, move on.  A handy guide for being assertive.

Tip 5:  Emotional and energetic support.  Sometimes we get so busy that our support network – friends and family – become neglected and drop away. If we are stressed and tired we are often poor company, and are irritable and critical in ways that aren’t reflective of who we truly are, or how we really feel. Take some time to renew friendships and relationships, especially if you have a partner. Relationships that aren’t nurtured may die when they didn’t need to. If you love someone, value and nurture that relationship. If necessary, seek a counsellor.  Massage, reiki, pranic healing, acupuncture, reflexology – there are so many wonderful healing modalities on offer that support and re-energise us.  Go with what you are drawn to. Invest some time and energy in supporting yourself to get back to balance.

Tip 6: Eat for energy and health.  Sadly, one of the first things to go when people become stressed and too busy is good eating habits. Make sure you are including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and good fats in your diet. Drink lots of water, and cut down on fried food, take-out, sugar and refined carbs. Caffeine and energy drinks will tax exhausted adrenals even further. It may be worth taking some dietary supplements or herbs to help you back to health. Naturopaths, nutritionalists, Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic practitioners could help. Putting better fuel into your body leads to better energy!  Food matters. Great info here.

Tip 7: Be Wholistic – Exercise is important. Move your body. Where you can, get into nature and spend some time there. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are all practices that work on the mind and spirit as well as the body.They help create a raft of calm in your life, easing tension and encouraging flow of energy. Even five minutes a day will begin to make a difference. This is a great easy morning yoga routine.

Tip 8:  Eliminate energy drains – Energy drains can be relationships (See Tip 4), debt, or things that are creating pressure because they don’t get done.  Bite the bullet and sort them out. Get your tax squared away. Have the conversation about the difficult thing. Say sorry. Work out a repayment plan. Fix what needs fixing. End what needs ending. Sort out your house, your desk, your computer. Get help if you need it.  You’ll feel a whole lot better with the weight of these things off your back!  Tips on clearing clutter.

Tip Nine: Work that works for you.  Get your head right about work. If you know your job is killing you, work out why (it might be you – saying yes to everything, no clear boundaries, not enough support) and then reassess.  If necessary, find another job. If you are unhappy at work because it’s not what you want to do with your life, begin to see your job as what I call a Pizza Hut job – the job you do while you are becoming something else. Let the job you have pay the bills but not define you.  Instead, find some study, or begin work on your own thing outside of this job, and let that new energy define you, while your old job merely supports you.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of adjusting your thinking.  Life is too short not to use your gifts and follow your passion – but sometimes we need a job to support us while we become a writer, an actor, a rocket scientist, or a professional mountain climber. And sometimes our passion will only pay in personal satisfaction, so you may actually need that Pizza Hut job to fund the dream.

Tip 10: Down Time. We all need it. Chunks of unstructured time, where we have no plans, no expectations, no pressure.  It might be a Sunday afternoon nap, a wander through a bookshop or a park, a weekend away, a proper holiday.  If you are really broken, your down time might need to be filled with hammocks and pillows, and siestas.  Or sleep-the-day-away weekends.  That’s okay too.  If your body needs to sleep, honour that.  Stop pushing – rest first. Plan adventures; small ones, longer ones, crazy once-in-a-lifetime ones.  Half the fun of the trip is in the planning. Down time gives us the balance we need to enjoy life to the full, and to be revitalised for the rest of the journey.

I’ll be doing a series of meditations coming into 2012, focussing on healing the patterns that cause physical, emotional and spiritual burnout. I’ll include you in them. My intention is that in 2012 you return to balance, with healthy habits and attitudes, an abundance of energy and creativity, and a joyful outlook on life. Know that you are Loved ♥