“ It is in the shelter of each other that the people live. -Irish proverb ” ~ Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well
February is a month for action and self-empowerment – for taking your plans and turning them into goals, action steps and habits. It’s a month for speaking your truth and standing your ground. It’s a month for creating positive change, embracing your individuality and investing in yourself and your dreams. It’s a short month that packs a big punch! Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of inspiration which the card Shelter brings us.
This week Shelter urges us to look to the environment. What can we do to help protect and nurture this habitat in which we all co-exist? The earth is our one irreplaceable home, and if it becomes uninhabitable due to climate change, species extinction, deforestation, pollution, and water scarcity then all of us lose.
There are already many grass-roots organisations that are taking the initiative to create a more sustainable and green world. Or perhaps you could start your own.
Here are our favourite simple actions that everyone can take to help the planet:
Plant trees. If every person planted ten trees we would go a long way towards halting or reversing climate change. Also think food plants, balcony and indoor plants and plants with flowers that encourage and feed insects, bees and birds.
Reduce your consumerism, re-use and recycle.
Support a group (financially or with your time) that is already doing work with conservation, replanting and preservation of biodiversity.
Stop buying single-use plastic containers, especially bottled water. Use your own keep-cups and water bottles for hot and cold beverages. Say no to plastic straws and plastic bags.
Conserve water and electricity.
Shelter encourages us to make our homes places of safety, sanctuary and nurture. We need to do this for ourselves, but we may also be called to create that safe and nurturing space for someone we love, or to extend that help and support to a friend or stranger. Remember that animals and plants can benefit from us creating those places of sanctuary for them too.
Supportive crystals this week?
Blue Lace Agate supports your Throat Chakra, helping you to find your voice and speak your truth. It’s a great stone for all forms of communication, and it also brings a sense of calm. Sunstone helps you to sit in a place of abundance thinking so that you see the blessings and possibilities in your life. Petrified Wood (pictured) helps you connect to the energies of ancient forests, grounding and calming you and helping to reduce stress, anxiety and inflammation. Green Aventurine supports you to be playful, joyful and optimistic about life.
Helpful essential oils?
Choose any of the following oils or combine them for a diffuser blend to help you create a sense of sanctuary at your home or office: Vetiver, Geramium, Lavender and Bergamot.
Vetiver is one of my favourite oils. It has a woodsy, earthy fragrance that is very calming and grounding. It will help you to concentrate, soothes anxiety and helps your thoughts become more structured and logical. Geranium helps with creating a sense of safety and is a comforting and supportive oil. Lavender calms an over-busy or stressed mind and opens you to possibility. Bergamot reconnects you to joy, creativity and hope.
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 email@example.com
Want to make the most of your year in 2019?
I have limited hard copies of my beautiful YOM 2019 Planner left. And plenty of copies of the digital version. If you purchase one, or one of the Planner packs (that also have new year direction readings, meditation malas or crystals with them) I’ll gift you a month’s free access to my community and membership site (and a chance to win a year’s free membership!) so you can experience my work, and be well supported in the year ahead. Membership to my online group, courses and YOM community – by subscription or a yearly fee – is also available
I’ve bundled together four powerful guided downloadable meditations and created a companion workbook to support you in your spiritual journey. The Stardust Connection MeditationBundle will help you to connect with and explore Earth Energies, Ancestor Energies, your Solar Plexus energies and personal power, and the Stardust Energies. There is over an hour’s worth of Guided Meditations and a 38-page workbook. The workbook holds specific instructions for using the four guided meditations, as well as journalling activities and reflection/awareness exercises.
The material in the Stardust Connection Meditation Bundle can be used at any time over the next four years, and beyond. My intention with this bundle is to help you become confident in your direction, your intuition, and your contribution to the unfolding history of the world and humanity. To access the bundle or to learn more about it go to my store or click on this link.
Craft A Visionary Talisman
This online course will help you to select a guiding card for the year ahead, or for a specific project, and then create and activate a Visionary Talisman to anchor helpful energies and qualities to guide and support you in your daily life. It’s practical shamanism, and you’ll learn a range of skills to support you on your spiritual journey. (Of course, if you’re a member of the YOM community you have access to this course for free!) For more information click here or go to my store.
Wishing you a transformative and uplifting week of action. Aim high, give it your best shot, and no matter what you do, be true to YOU!
Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx
PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘Shelter’, is from the Peace Oracle. 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.
“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I sa the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy… But anywhere is the center of the world.” ~ Black Elk Holy Man of Sioux
As we move into the energies of 2019 we have a potent opportunity to reconnect with the Earth, to understand our ourselves as belonging to her rather than merely living upon her.
We will come to see clearly that what we do to the land and the sky and the oceans we also do to ourselves.
We cannot separate ourselves from the Earth. She provides for us in so many ways; the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the materials from which we house and clothe ourselves.
Over time many of us have become distant friends with our planet. We no longer hear or understand her. Some of us don’t even visit her in her natural spaces any more. And yet she continues to love and nurture us.
These ideas might help you reconnect with the Earth, and all she has to offer us. The energy can be used for healing, balancing and grounding us, and for opening us up to higher levels of awareness.
Sit under a tree and become consciously aware of that tree. Introduce yourself to it. Open to its energy.
Visit a river or creek. Sit for a while and just watch nature.
Go outside and take yourself for a walk. Even in the middle of a city. No matter what the weather. Feel the breeze on your face, or the sun or the snow. Look up at the sky and orient your body to that. Connect to the moment.
Swim in an ocean, lake, river or stream. Let the water cleanse and revitalise you physically, emotionally and energetically.
Collect some interesting stones that you find on your walks. Perhaps you’ll be blessed with a feather or a pretty leaf too. Place them somewhere in your home where they can remind you of the outside world.
Place some cut flowers in your house. Flowers heal and nurture us with their colour, scent and energy.
Play with crystals – wear them, put them beside your bed or on your windowsill, and hold them!
Sit at a look-out on a hill or mountain. Let peace wash over you. Feel the Earth breathing in and out.
Plant a garden, even if it’s just a few herbs in a pot. Nurture those plants. Let their tending be a meditation on mindfulness and nature.
Collect some houseplants for your home or office. Houseplants clean your air and have been proven to lower stress levels too.
Dance in the rain. Like you did as a child. Never did? Well then, it’s long overdue.
Play with a pet. Animals are wise, loving souls with so much to give us.
Celebrate each season. Enjoy the heat of Summer, eating watermelon and swimming, Enjoy Autumn and the falling leaves – the refreshing change in the air, enjoy Winter with slow foods, short days and cold nights, and then celebrate Spring, when new life emerges, leaves and flowers burst forth and the sun begins to sparkle again.
Pay attention to the cycle of the moon and how that makes you feel.
Take a picnic to a favourite park or nature place. Take some friends, a pet or a book, but leave your phone, laptop and worries at home.
Visit a Farmers Market and buy some fresh, seasonal organic produce to nourish yourself and your family. Understand more about where your food comes from, and how it can heal you.
Breathe. Pay attention to the flow of air into and out of your body. Once you are in mindfulness with your breath look around and connect to the trees or plants that are keeping your air clean and oxygenated. (If there is a scarcity of trees consider a houseplant, support the people who are tree planters, and activate for changes to legislation so that there are more green spaces where you live.)
Meditate and consciously connect into the grounding, healing and stabilising energies of the Earth
“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.” ~ Aldous Huxley
When I was a kid, Christmas was something to look forward to. We’d get a new toy or two, maybe a book (mine was always books), a dress or a t-shirt, socks and undies. The toys would last us for the year, the clothes made up a necessary part of our wardrobe.
The food at the table was a treat. Soft-drink. The drink for special occasions, like Christmas. Lollies and candies and chocolate. All sorts of things we didn’t see much of during the year. It was special and lovely, and much anticipated.
The rest of the year had birthdays and Easter. That was about it for special. That was about it for treats. And that was okay.
Now I live a life where I can have anything I want, whenever I want it. There isn’t much reserved for treats. I have a life filled with stuff. And it’s likely that so do you. So you may be thinking you’ll have to find something I don’t have. Or something cute and irresistible. Something to make me laugh. Something to fill that minute after the wrapping is torn off with appreciation or even ironic horror before your gift gets set to one side, or stuffed in the back of a cupboard, or relegated to a pile to be re-gifted later. Or worse. Binned.
So here’s my list of gifts I’d rather not have:
1.No inflatable novelty items for the pool. The ones that hold beer cans or a book or a radio. Or inflatable tennis rackets or giant inflatable dolphins, poo emojis, swans or funky big ‘thumbs ups’. No inflatable anythings, and that includes balloons!
2.No battery-operated (or even solar) Grannies on Zimmer-frames games. No wind-up toys either.
3. No plastic toys, collectable figures or novelty salt-and-pepper shakers.
4. No executive games or Startrek snow globes or other objects to place on my desk. (Actually, I lied about the Startrek snow globe. That would be cool.)
5. No cheap plastic jewellery or novelty items, or even semi-seemed-useful items from the local $5 store. We both know it will break on first go. Cheap plastic junk was only ever going to be destined for landfill.
6. No weird and totally useless novelty-value only books, CDs or DVDs.
7. No strange but potentially useful kitchen gadgets that you’re sure I won’t have. You’re right. I don’t. For a reason.
8. No USB-powered fake fish aquariums to keep me tranquil while I work.
9. No cheap gift sets of toiletries and cosmetics of dubious quality, filled with terrifying chemicals. Especially if it is endorsed by a celebrity or came from a TV shopping channel.
10. No cute puppies or kittens or pet rats. Especially the un-neutered kind. Seriously, do you know how many dumped unwanted pets we see around our farm by Easter?
I could go on. But I won’t. Our planet is struggling because of our consumerism. All of the resources used to make, ship and then wrap the unwanted gift are part of that problem.
A kind thought, a donation to a charity, a newsy letter with updated pics of you and your family, a warm smile and a hug, or a tasty treat are the gifts I’d most value. Home-made food? Thank you! A plant, or produce from your garden? How lovely!
Time with me, a cup of tea, and a proper conversation with a few laughs or a few honest tears from heart-to-heart sharing? A couple of drinks and a barbeque? Best of all.
I have enough stuff. I’d rather have you. Time with you. Connection with you. Put a little food or a beverage into the mix and I’m in heaven.
Please, before you go last-minute gift buying, ask yourself if there is a better gift you could give. One that won’t go to waste. One that won’t harm our planet or perpetuate the factory-farming and dumping of animals.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
~ John Muir
It’s fitting, in a way, that I couldn’t bring you last week’s kindness challenge due to in part to the extreme weather events we were experiencing in our part of the world. But here we are. On with the challenge!
Hello Lovelies! Welcome to Week Five of our six week Kindness Challenge.
To participate in today’s challenge all you need to do is select and perform one of the following kindness activities. The beneficiary of our acts of kindness for Week Five is our beautiful Planet.
Our planet could use a little kindness right now. It gives so much, we take so much, and there is a fragile balance here that deserves our mindfulness and care.
I encourage you to find one or two things from the following list that you can commit to doing on a regular basis. This is the only earth we get. We owe it to ourselves, our planet, and our future, to do the best we can for this biosphere we call home.
Leave the car at home. Walk, ride your bike, catch a lift with a friend or use public transport.
Water a thirsty plant.
Plant a tree.
Start a vegetable garden, even if it is just a few herbs in tubs on your windowsill.
Recycle your waste.
Put a birdbath in your garden.
Buy less. Use less.
Re-use and re-purpose. Buy what you need second-hand. Repair the broken thing, re-sole your favourite shoes. Do what you can to utilise what has already been created. If you no longer need it, pass it on to someone who will.
Don’t buy products that use ivory, tortiseshell, coral, shark, tiger teeth, or reptile skins. These animals and plants are endangered.
Use less processed food, and more fresh locally grown and produced foods.
Don’t waste food.
Buy dolphin-friendly fish, and fish that is sustainably grown or caught.
Take your canvas bags to the supermarket.
Use your own water bottle or coffee cup, rather than a disposable one.
Start a worm farm or a composting program for your food waste.
Turn lights and appliances off when you’re not using them.
Stop using chemicals in your garden and look for natural alternatives.
Stop using chemicals in your personal care and cleaning products and look for natural alternatives.
Use both sides of the paper. Recycle when finished.
Support farmers who farm organically, sustainably and cruelty-free.
Wear an extra jumper or put another blanket on the bed rather than using the heater.
As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: “With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas,” or, “They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them.” ~ U Thant, speech, 1970
If you read my blog, you’ll know how often my farm and the surrounding area feature in my writing. That’s because I love this place – the land, the people, the community, the values and lifestyle.
I came home to my beautiful Byron Bay hinterland farm today, after a holiday in Thailand. But there’s not much peace to be had around here right now. Coal Seam Gas companies have applied for an exploration licence for the farmland in our area. To ‘explore’ they will need to sink test wells, injecting a cocktail of chemicals (some of which are known carcinogens) to fracture the shale below our feet, releasing the coal seam gas. The chemicals stay in the ground, they leach into the groundwater, and there is no way to control where they go, or what havoc they may wreak upon the surrounding environment and ecology.
Would you want those chemicals in the food you eat, the rivers you swim in, the water you drink?
I know I don’t! We have until December 5 to submit our objections, and yes, I will be objecting.
The Byron Shire is a natural sanctuary and place of rich biodiversity. Native plants and animals here provide breeding stock for diminished and threatened species. Our local community work hard to replant and revitalise woodlands, rainforests, dunes and waterways. Much is done here in this little pocket of Australia, protecting our flora and fauna. This has led to a strong domestic and international tourism market, and there is an emphasis on eco-tourism, health and healing, and spiritual tourism, such as yoga and meditation retreats. We’re well known globally for our ‘Byron Vibe’.
It’s also home to a farming community who care about their produce, their animals, their land, and the environment around them. We have a host of brilliant Farmers’ Markets in our area, and all manner of organic and biodynamic produce. Byron Shire’s reputation for clean and green food is well deserved.
Despite what the Coal Seam Gas companies tell us – that CSG Mining is safe and harmless – I’m not buying it. In 2011 my husband and I went into Lismore to watch a documentary called Gasland that was being put on by an organisation called Lock the Gate. Perhaps you know it? If not, I recommend a viewing.
We were so profoundly disturbed by the film that we came home and sat in silence on our verandah on a dark and bitterly cold night, rendered speechless by the enormity of what we’d just witnessed.