Chronic Illness? This is a Spiritual Retreat for you!

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ” 
Goldie Hawn

I have a beautiful residential retreat coming up, from March 6 to 11 in Byron Bay, Australia. It’s a gentle retreat, a restorative retreat, whose focus is to help you develop and commit to a regular spiritual practice that nourishes, sustains and grows you.

When I think about this retreat, and the practices I will teach you, my heart swells with love and gratitude. These are the techniques I used on my own soul journey, as I moved from resistance into connection, from self-loathing to self-love, from fear into deep peace. These techniques are ones I still use daily, or often. They are what helped me to become more fully who I truly am, rather than who I thought people wanted me to be, or how I thought I ‘should’ be. Quite frankly, these practices have become the foundation of my spiritual and psychic life, and the reason I have been able to cope with suffering, pain and trauma. They are also the practices that have enhanced my gratitude, compassion and inner wisdom.

As many of you will know, I have suffered from serious illness and the limitations that creates for most of my adult life. In fact it was this chronic illness that first created the space for me to explore my own spirituality, intuitive and psychic abilities so much more deeply.

All of the techniques I will teach on this retreat, and the journey I shall guide you through, came to me when I was at my most unwell. Suffering and illness is often the doorway for profound spiritual awakening. I’m sure there are many of you who will resonate with that as the truth of your own journey too.

I’ve had inquiries from people with chronic fatigue and other debilitating illness, wanting to come to our next retreat but worrying if they are suitable or if they will cope. If that’s you let me reassure you… you’ll find a place to fit in and belong here in my Tribe.

Our Awakening to Spirituality Retreat is gentle. You’ll be supported to find your own rhythm for connection and inner journeying. There will be enough time to get from your room to the Hall and to the Dining Room. There is plenty of rest time and quiet time scheduled each day. Our days will be filled with meditation, reflection and simple spiritual practices, creative activities, good company, laughter, love and transformation. There will be friends to lean on, and we can find accommodation for you that is quiet and allows you additional solitude, or find a suitable roomie to give you company if that’s what you’re yearning for.

Our catering is geared for people with food intolerances, allergies and issues. Honestly, it won’t be a drama – we can work it all out. And you won’t be a burden to us, because this is how I’ve lived my life, and how I’ve often had to run these retreats as I have faced health issues myself. I understand pain. I understand fatigue. I understand anxiety and medication routines and incontinence and mobility issues and stupid dietary requirements that usually mean I have to lug my own food everywhere. I understand no one else understanding. I understand the emotional pain and isolation that illness can bring. I also understand end of life spaces. I’ve lived all of these things. I’ve created my retreats for my own needs, which are also yours. My retreats always have able-bodied people alongside people like me who have major health issues. And the health issues in the end are never a big thing. They are just something we manage so that we can focus on the real work – soul work.

Having a health issue is not a prohibitive factor for this event. In fact, it might be the perfect time for you to join us in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Your journey is my journey. Often when we are living with long-term illness, no answers to our health problems, a chronic or a terminal condition, we think that there will no longer be a place for us in the world. There is a place for you in mine.

I can show you spiritual practices that will help you to find your centre again, manage your pain, and give your life meaning and connection. I KNOW that when you begin to incorporate this soul-journey work and spiritual space in your own life that life will regain shape and satisfaction for you, no matter what your situation, or the nature of the days ahead of you.

If you need to talk further with us, please reach out. We are here for you. Our best email is nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com and Dana, my wonderful PA, can send you information and start the ball rolling to have you join us.

Able-bodied and completely well people are, of course, always welcome and invited too! My work is for you all, on a soul level, regardless of the skin you are in.

You can read more about the Awakening to Spirituality retreat here and here.

Love and gentle hugs, Nicole  xx

Eight Ingredients for Better Health

Image from healthycare-tutorials.blogspot.com

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  Buddha

Our bodies are the vehicle for our Souls. By honouring and looking after our physical vehicle we are then much better able to access and work with our mental and spiritual gifts.

There are eight practical, proven and simple things that we can do or include in our lives each day in order to help build up energy within our bodies, and to maintain our physical health and vitality.  This is not rocket science – it is fundamental and basic information.  Yes, what I am about to share sounds like what your Nana might have told you (in fact, my Nana told me).  Yes, it works!!!

These ‘miracle’ ingredients for a long and healthy life are:

  1. Water
  2. Sleep
  3. Fresh Air
  4. Clean and Nourishing Food
  5. Movement
  6. Spiritual Health
  7. Love
  8. Self Control

Let’s explore each of these eight vital ingredients in more detail.


1.  Water

Drink plenty of fresh, clean water.

Image by ecowoman.net

Suggestions:  For best results take your water at room temperature to minimise pressure on your internal organs which would otherwise have to heat the water up before using it.  Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, even beside your bed.  Often residual low level fatigue is the result of chronic dehydration.  For even better results, write positive words and affirmations on your water bottle.  If you suffer from dizziness or low blood pressure, add a small pinch of celtic salt to your water bottle.  This will help restore the electrolyte balance within your body and assist with the uptake of water and oxygen by your body’s cells.

2.  Sleep

Get adequate (what your body really needs, not what you let it have!) sleep.

Image by ALAMY

Suggestions:  Most of us need a minimum of eight hours, and sometimes more if we are fighting off an infection, healing, growing or changing.   Did you know that most of the western world’s adult population is sleep deprived?  Since the introduction of the electric light bulb, and then television, adults have been slowly eroding their hours of quiet time and sleep during the evening hours.  Where we once had a few hours of quiet talk, or reading, or other gentle and relaxing activities to wind down before sleep, we now have over-stimulation from television.  We sleep from one to four hours less per night on average than our physical body requires.  The artificial light we are exposed to during the day in offices and shopping centres, and at night in our own homes reduces chemical and hormonal input from our bodies that would ordinarily prepare us for sleep.  We lose our natural sleep rhythms.  This sort of prolonged sleep deprivation, where you get substandard sleep or inadequate sleep takes some months to recover from, and prevents the body from healing, solving problems and spiritual connection during the sleeping hours.

To improve sleep, get some exposure to natural full-spectrum sunlight every day.  (Don’t wear sunglasses as this changes the spectrum of the sun’s rays.) Twenty minutes would be a minimum.  Don’t go to bed immediately after a big meal.  Let the digestion process have around two hours first to get started so that your sleep is not compromised.  If this is hard to do, eat earlier, or make your main meal lunch so that you are only digesting light food at night time.  Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and well ventilated.  Take at least half an hour before sleep to wind down.  Don’t do this in front of the television!  Take a shower, read a book, listen to music, meditate, make love.  You may also want to remove electro-magnetic radiation from the bedroom, or at least get rid of electrical appliances beside, behind or under the bed.  Lavender essential oil aids relaxation and sleep.  In winter keep your feet warm, or have a warm shower just before going to be so that you don’t get into bed cold.

3.  Fresh Air

Oxygen and clean air is vital to our well being on every level.

Image by shutterstock – naldzgraphics.net

Suggestions:  Get out into the fresh air and sunshine each day.  Oxygen is vital for our well being.  Sunshine is important for providing vitamin D. Use good posture to enable you to breathe deeply and to avoid shallow breathing.  Take several slow, deliberate deep breaths a few times a day to recharge and re-oxygenate your blood.  Make sure that your home, office and bedroom are well ventilated, with a good flow of natural air.  Don’t spend all of your time in air-conditioning, and if you do use an air-conditioner keep it well maintained.  Minimise dust and mould in your environment.  Avoid exposure to chemicals, especially within your home.  Don’t exercise on busy roads.

4.  Clean and Nourishing Food

Food is both fuel and medicine for our bodies.  Our bodies are the direct result of the quality of nutrition that we put into them.  Eat regularly to maintain a good supply of fuel to your brain and body.

Image from toptenzlists.com

Suggestions:  Food is best when it is freshly prepared, chemical free, and made with love.  Blessing your food, and eating in a relaxed environment really does make a difference.  Favour a plant-based diet, with the inclusion of good quality fats and proteins. Choose organic meats and free range chickens, and wild caught seafoods.  Grass fed beef has the same essential fatty acid ratio as fish – grain fed beef does not, and is not nearly as good for you.  Make sure you get a good range of fresh vegetables each day – these can also be eaten as juice.  Fruit is better taken as a whole food than as a juice so that you can minimise your concentrated sugar intake.  Eat fruit and vegetables in season.  Out of season food has often had to travel a long way to get to you, and will have lost a lot of its vital energy and goodness.  Nuts and seeds are good, and so are whole grains.  Naturally fermented foods such as yoghurt, keffir and so on are also good for your gut health.  If a food has a prolonged shelf life, it will also have little life force.

Reduce and avoid food that is mass produced, fast food, or high in sugars, salts, stimulants (such as caffeine) fats and flour.  Avoid artificial colours and additives.  Eat when you’re hungry, and pay attention to when and why you eat so that you can identify and manage emotional eating – where we eat for comfort or entertainment rather than because our body needs fuel.  Sharing a meal with a friend or family member is always a good way to reduce stress.  Don’t eat in front of television, and don’t eat when you are upset.  Always calm down before eating.  Different bodies prefer different diet variations – if necessary find a good natural therapist or dietician to help you with your food choices.  Listen to your body – it will soon tell you what it does and doesn’t like.  In times of stress or illness, it may be necessary to take additional supplements of vitamins, minerals and/or herbs.  Seek help if you need it.

5.  Movement

Our bodies were designed to move.  They must be moved, nurtured and stretched on a daily basis.  Movement allows the internal organs to function well, it keeps joints lubricated, circulates blood, oxygen and lymph within our bodies, and helps us to stay supple, strong and mobile.

Image from healthwise-everythinghealth.blogspot.com.au

Suggestion:  Movement helps decrease obesity, depression and a host of other ills.  The longer we go without movement, the more difficult movement becomes.  Find some exercises that you enjoy, and try to become active at work and home.  Learn some basic stretching, and if you want to understand and nourish the physical body on an even higher level, learn yoga, tai chi or qi gong.  Movement was never just about going to a gym, although you might enjoy this.  Movement is also about walking, surfing, lawn bowls, stretching, swimming on a hot day, skiing in winter, dancing anytime, gardening, housework, fencing, playing with children or animals, chasing your lover around the bedroom, building, creating, self expression and pure joy.  It can also be about the discipline of a martial art or practice such as yoga, or about the fun of teamwork playing footie, cricket, tennis doubles, or tug-of-war.  Not so bad after all, is it?

6.  Spiritual Health

Those people who have an active faith, and who practice regular connection with that faith have better physical health and longevity, lower stress levels, faster healing, greater rates of ‘unusual and unexpected’ recoveries and greater levels of personal acceptance and satisfaction.

Painting by Goro Fujita

Suggestion:  Spirituality isn’t about going to church, although for some people that can be an important focus of their faith.  It means taking time to talk with God and your Guides, Angels and Loved Ones who’ve passed over.  It’s about having a connection to the earth and all living things.  Some people do this through listening to music, some people do this through creating art, and some people do this through going for a walk in nature.  How you find your Soul, and talk with your God is up to you.  Spiritual Health is about making time to go within, through prayer, meditation and self reflection.  And doing these things as a normal part of your daily routine.  Take time to learn about your spirituality, to read and share and grow your faith.  Take time to practice your connection.  Use spiritual tools, and give and receive spiritual energy.  Pray for yourself and others on a regular basis.  It is also powerful to meet with like-minded people to share the experience.  This can be through worship, group meditations, sharing healings and readings, attending festivals and workshops, or even just holding hands together before a meal.

7.  Love

Love is fundamental to the human spirit.  We need to learn to give and to receive love, and to do this daily!  Love is the most powerful energy in the Universe.

Image from www.soupornuts.com

Suggestion:  Self love and self care top this list.  This includes treating ourselves well, and surrounding ourselves with energies that uplift and support us.  We all need someone to love.  Family, friends, partners, even animals.  We need to be able to actively demonstrate love through our thoughts, actions and intentions.  It is also important that we open ourselves up to receive love as well.  This is often much harder to do, than to love others.  Become involved in helping others.  Use your spiritual faith to help you find ways to express Love in the World.

8.  Self Control

Self control is a conscious development of our will.  It is the voice of our wise self, and it becomes stronger and easier to identify the more we use it.  Self control allows us to stay true to who we are, and to what we know is good for us.

Image from arabia.msn.com

Suggestions:  Self control requires self trust, and self love.  If we come home from work feeling tired, it is easy to eat junk food and forgo exercise.  Self control is the wise and caring voice within us that urges us to eat something healthy, to take the dog for a walk, or to say ‘no’ to a second helping of dessert.  It is often difficult to exert any self control if we have not worked with this part of us for a long time.  When self control is not exercised, our inner critic – the ego, can make us feel very unhappy and inadequate.  This fuels low self esteem and can make the lack of self control even worse.  Our wise self whispers, “eat a salad and some fish” and we then need to exercise our self control to enable this to happen.  If instead we eat toast with jam, and a bowl of ice-cream, the ego will chastise us.  Your self talk might then sound like this: “Oh, you are so fat and weak.  You might as well eat another bowl of ice-cream.”  And so you do, and end up feeling worse about yourself, and believing that you have no will power.  If your self control is weak, start with small promises that you make and then keep with yourself.  As you fulfil each promise, this will strengthen your self control by building your sense of worth and self confidence.  If you slip back, be kind with yourself and just start again.

Journal Activity: Revisit each of the eight ingredients of good health.  For each ingredient, write down one small step that you could take in the next few days to strengthen that area within your own life.  Make sure the actions you want to take are small, measurable and achievable so that you can continue to strengthen your wellbeing, self belief and self control!

♥ Meditation for reducing inflammation and promoting healing within your body

Maidenhair fern from my garden - the delicate leaves remind me of the branching nerves and capillaries in our bodies, and green is always so anti-inflammatory, don't you think?

I am a great believer in the body’s wisdom and capacity to heal itself. Today’s blog is a guided healing meditation for you to assist in removing inflammation in your body, protecting nerves and circulation to the brain, heart, organs and limbs, promoting healthy immune response and improving digestive function so that the body is well oxygenated and well nourished. The mind is a powerful thing, and our thought and intent are as potent as any medicine.

Inflammation within the body is a corrosive force that wreaks havoc on our nerves, joints, arteries and veins. It is created through stress, and through diets high in sugar, acid and processed foods. It is exacerbated by lack of sleep, lack of sunlight, lack of or too much exercise, dehydration, smoking and exposure to toxins. Inflammation within the body leads to other problems over time, such as weakened immune systems, auto-immune diseases, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout, arthritis and cancer. It is like rust that eats away at our pipes and structural supports.

Image from abstractinfluence.com

Simple ways to reduce inflammation in your body include:

  • supporting your liver, and detoxing where necessary
  • removing foods that create inflammation
  • eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables
  • drinking more water
  • cutting out sugar, caffeine and artificial sweeteners
  • getting plenty of rest
  • spending time in the sun
  • reducing stress
  • meditating
  • using exercise that promotes flow, such as yoga or tai chi
  • eating healthy fats and avoiding trans-fats
  • doing things that make you happy and that relax you

Guided Meditation

I’ve recorded the following meditation to help guide you through a process of reducing inflammation and promoting healing within your body.  It’s around 15 minutes long and all you need to do is close your eyes, and follow my words. (I get a bit choked up near the beginning, so forgive the momentary catch in my voice…)

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Healing Inflammation and Dis-Ease

Be well. ♥ Know that you are loved, and that healing is always possible. ♥

Image from healinghands.net