Just For Today, Choose Kindness

“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!

Ready?

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. ♥

Sending all my love to you, Nicole xoxo

The Energies of April – 2016

Image by Fii Bridges at tumblr.com

Image by Fii Bridges at tumblr.com

“We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.”
~ Tamim Ansary

 

Hello, Lovelies :)

Welcome to April! Let me share some observations about the energy of the month ahead, as well as a few suggestions for embracing all that April has to offer.

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for April for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

ordinariness-1

“Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around!”
~ Amy Leigh Mercree

 

April brings a shift in energies and a change in pace.

This first quarter of 2016 was full steam ahead. That’s okay. We needed a little oomph to start our year. But now April is here, asking you to make yourself a priority.

It’s a month that needs a little solitude, some short breaks in your day or your week to enjoy your own company or simply to catch your breath without pressure or expectation. Don’t be disappointed if things slow down a little. Sometimes we need to slow down first, in order to speed up again later.

Let these breaks be about rest. About reconnection with yourself, your loved ones, your dreams. Spend time in nature, and in places that replenish your soul. Have some early nights, or late starts.

April’s energies are all about going within, listening to your heart and the guidance from the Universe, and actively thinking about how you want your life to be, and who you want to be in this life.

Get centred again. Find the parts of yourself that have been scattered or trampled upon. Get clear about what is important to you, and how this might already be changing as you grow more fully into yourself. Consider your dreams and your well-being and happiness. Rechart your path if you must. But above all, stay true to you.

 

2016-03-31 18.06.03

“Forever is composed of nows.”  ~ Emily Dickinson

 

The second card I’ve chosen is Here and Now. This card reminds you to live in the moment, even as you plan your future or reflect on your past.

There is great value to be had in spending time on your own, and in being present in each moment.

When you are drinking coffee, savour that coffee.

When you are walking, pay attention to your environment.

When you are talking with a loved one, listen. Be right there with them. Look into their eyes. Hold their hand. BE in the moment.

The moment is a powerful place, and it requires us to be fully present.

I also see this as a warning not to let people or activities waste your precious time, or impose on your life in unhappy or uncomfortable ways. Life is precious, and we must make the most of every day, protecting our dreams and prioritising our values.

Don’t drag the misery of yesterday into today. We can’t change the past. What is done is done. Live for today and plan for tomorrow. Deliberately choose your thoughts, your emotions, your mindset. You are never without power in a situation – because you have power over you and the way you live in each moment.

 

 

Best crystals this month?

Rose Quartz is the ultimate stone of nurture and love, and is a terrific choice for replenishing our heart energy.

Lepidolite rebalances our brains bringing calm, self-awareness and self-acceptance. A beautiful crystal if you suffer from anxiety or self-doubt.

 

 

Essential oils to support your journey?

Try this soothing diffuser blend of 4 Lavender, 2 drops of Frankincense, 2 drops of Lime and 2 drops of Cedarwood. My fairy friend Sokli calls this her Being in Yourself blend. If you are feeling a little lost or emotionally fragile, swap out the Lime and substitute Ylang Ylang or Neroli instead. You can find the oils here.

 

Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?

Try these posts:

Guided Meditation for Connecting with your Ancestors – A simple guided meditation to connect into the love, support and wisdom of your family line, even if you have never known or connected with them in this lifetime

Five Ways To Be Kind To Yourself Today – Some simple ideas for meeting your own needs

Finding Moments For Yourself – Ideas for finding time for yourself in the middle of a busy life

The Power of Mentors – Sometimes having someone who has walked the path before us can help us to grow stronger in directions that are important to is. This post shows you how to attract them!

The Thirty Second Power Pause – How 30 seconds can be enough to centre yourself and bring your focus back to what matters

 

April has a magic to it, although you may feel this month glide by more slowly. Don’t become frustrated if it seems that you are making slow progress toward your dreams. All kinds of things happen in our quiet time and our down time. Inspiration comes. Clarity returns. Healing happens. Things slow down, so that they can then speed up again. Enjoy the possibilities!

Sending all my love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

Planning For A Wonderful (and Ordinary) Life

2015-11-13 17.35.39

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
~ William Martin

 

A few weeks before my friend Angela died from cancer, we were texting. Angela was in a hospital palliative care ward, and I had only just been released from hospital two hours earlier after experiencing heart problems. When I received her text I was sitting at a local cafe with Ben, eating a late breakfast and reading the morning paper – my first non-cardiac ward meal in days. Finally I could eat salt and fat and sugar again! I still had my hospital ID bracelets on, and I was covered in the sticky plasters that had held the wires for my heart monitor in place.

Gee girl, she texted me, you have such a wonderful life.

Many people would not have agreed. I sure have my own problems, as most of us do. My life (except for the psychic bits) is very ordinary. My health, at times, is perfectly rotten. But Angela understood the value in my everyday world, as she stared at death and thought about all of those ordinary things that she would never do again.

Then my friend Nicole wrote this on my facebook page, in response to another recent blog post:

“I have a request for a blog post. I constantly marvel at your ability to manage your time well, even when dealing with Lyme’s. You plan your time at the beginning of the year, you have clear containers and plans for your days, and yet somehow you still manage to find the time to go to cafes and spend time with sick friends. AND you can change plans mid-stream. Meanwhile, I feel like I struggle to do everything I want to do . . . I flip-flop between being disciplined about it, and then totally wasting time because I “owe” it to myself to take a rest.”

2015-11-14 10.12.06

Mine’s not a glamorous life. I live in a tiny farmhouse, and my days are measured slowly. I often spend whole days in my pyjamas. I don’t own a flash car, or lots of bling. Those things aren’t important to me, although I’m fine with them being important to you. Each to their own. My health (thanks to Lyme disease) still limits many of my choices, even though I am moving back to wellness. My friend Nicole is right too – I change my schedule, often out of necessity, when illness flairs or if I am needed to deal with some kind of emergency, as sometimes happens in my line of work.

But my life is also beautiful. And meaningful. In the midst of too often having a flat battery and lots of major health hiccups I still manage to get things done.

Having been ill with undiagnosed Lyme disease for thirty years has taught me a few things. I can’t plan the way I once tried to in the corporate world, or the way that most success coaches and strategists advise. I need to honour my intuition, to listen to my body and to the greater guidance of the universe, and to work with strong goals metered by a massive dose of flexibility.

I have crafted a life that honours my limitations and my loves. I have found ways  to run a thriving business which takes into account the fact that I have been a semi-invalid most of my adult life, and which makes more money with me working part-time than when I worked  80 hours weeks in the corporate sector. It’s been a necessity for me to live like this. To be goal-oriented but also broken. To actually own the broken bits, as well as my continued ambition and desires in the face of all of that limitation.

2015-11-13 17.35.07

What does my life look like? I live on a farm at the back of Byron Bay. This weekend we have attended a low-key local art exhibition. No big names. No photos in the social pages. We mingled with friends, enjoyed a drink, and then sat in inviting chairs on the lawn in the late afternoon sunshine and talked about all kinds of things.

We’ve walked on the beach, drunk good coffee and eaten tasty breakfast at our favourite cafe. (Why so many breakfasts out? It’s my best time of day, I like getting out of the house and I have no stamina for most evening activities.)

I’ve napped after lunch, and gone to bed early each night.

During the day I’ve worked on my special project, messaged with loved ones and dear clients going through hard times, made vats of chai tea once the weather turned rainy, and baked more Christmas Cakes as gifts for friends.

2015-11-14 10.22.55

How did I get such a wonderful and ordinary life? I have made conscious choices based on my values and abilities (including my disabilities), and I long ago decided to be grateful for the gift of living by celebrating the small details – even as many larger things have been denied me. I plan my life, and I think about what I want and what is important to me. I work my plan, but I build flexibility, support and kindness to myself into that plan. I live mindfully as much as possible.

There’s a lot I haven’t done too, in this mindful life. I haven’t driven a car lately, because my health still isn’t good enough for that. I haven’t watched much television. (We don’t even have one at the farm!) I haven’t stayed up late much or enjoyed a wild social life. I haven’t spent hours glued to facebook or to social media. I haven’t spent time on things I don’t want to do, low value activities that don’t support my goals, or activities that make others happy at my expense.

2016 is almost here, and it’s shaping up to be an extraordinary year for shift and change. The energies of 2016 support mindful living, and consciously co-creating a richly satisfying life. It’s the best alignment of energies I’ve ever seen for launching a new aspect of yourself, a new business idea, for getting a project completed, or revitalising and re-purposing your existence. And I really want to help you make the most of that.

So that’s the secret project I’ve been working on. It’s a tool and associated support to help you to shape a life for yourself that is more meaningful and which helps you take control of the direction of your days. I’m almost finished and I can’t wait to share the details with you. If it has worked for me all of this time, I know it’s going to work for you too.

Sending much love to you! <3 Nicole xx

 

Easy Five Minute Meditation

Image from Daily Mail

Image from Daily Mail

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” 
~ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 

Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in your day? I have a technique that literally extends moments, even when life is non-stop.

One of the things I love about this meditation is that it is both a an act of mindfulness and a celebration of one of life’s most accessible and simple pleasures.

To begin this meditation you require the following things:

  • A beverage of your choice. It can be hot or cold. You may make it yourself or have someone make it for you.
  • 5 minutes of time on your own, with no interruptions. No book, no laptop, no iphone, no company. Just you and your beverage. If you like you can even set a timer.

Location is not so important, but part of the pleasure of this meditation may be in mindfully selecting one. I’ve done this meditation in a cafe, in a workplace where every day was a misery, on my veranda at the farm, in a park, at the beach, in the middle of trying to move house – surrounded by boxes and chaos, at a train station and at home in bed.

Image from SeoulGirl

Image from SeoulGirl

Method:

Sit down with your beverage.

Breathe in deeply, and then exhale gently and completely. If you have been feeling very stressed allow a minute or so just to breathe, consciously relaxing your neck and shoulders, the muscles in your face and jaw, your abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Let your entire body become softer.

Take a wide view of the room or space where you are sitting. Be aware of the noises, the smells, the light. Soak it in, not focusing on any one thing, but gently taking in all of your surroundings.

Now bring your attention to your beverage. Notice the container which holds your drink. Pay attention to the shape, textures and colours.

When you are ready, pick up the beverage. Feel the weight of it in your hand. Notice the temperature, and anything else about the container.

Now bring the beverage close to your face. Breathe in. What does it smell like? Really give yourself to this experience. Savour the aroma.

Image by James Kerr

Image by James Kerr

Now take a sip.

Feel the liquid move across your lips and into your mouth. The warmth or chill of it. Roll the liquid around on your tongue, covering all of your tastebuds. Let the flavour fill your mouth. Notice and appreciate that flavour.

When you are ready, swallow.

Feel the liquid moving from your mouth, over your tongue, and down your throat into your stomach. Feel it warming or cooling you.

Then sit empty for a breath or two, just holding the beverage or having it in front of you.

In your own time repeat this process of mindfully engaging with and consuming your beverage. Let each mouthful be filled with awareness. Let it be a sensual experience that nourishes you on many levels.

Think only of drinking this beverage. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. Bring it back to each mouthful.

You’ll find that five minutes provides a much more expansive feeling of passed time, and your will be refreshed and relaxed by the end of your mindful meditation.

Enjoy!

 

2012-09-16 09.53.46

Be the Stillness

Image from www.koraorganics.com

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.” ~ Morgan Freeman

Just for today

Hold stillness inside you

While the world pulses and races and dances a crazy dance

Image from www.islandperspective.com

Turn inward

Be aware of your breathing

Consciously slow yourself

And be filled with peace

stillness_yoga_silence

It only takes a moment

And you can be in stillness

Like a Mountain

Strong, stable, eternal

Life going on all around you

With you the silent witness

Image from www.naturewallpapers.in

There is an expansiveness in silence

An awareness

A connection

And a great calm.

Image - Life in the city by Larry Lourcey

Today my wish for you is moments of stillness to clarify and illuminate your day. Today my wish for you is peace in your heart.  Bless ♥ xx

Image credits: www.koraorganics.com, www.islandperspective.com, www.naturewallpapers.in, www.aroshtaglia.com