Fun With Friends!

“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” ~ Richard Branson

 

Hi Lovelies,

I’m in Adelaide right now, which is cold and wintery and wonderful. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to my channelling event on Monday night. I love being able to hug people and put a name to the face of friends I have only known online.

This week I have a balance of work and fun, and I’m lucky to have one of my favourite families taking me around the sights and to delicious eateries and magical places.

Yesterday included private appointments in the morning followed by bookshops, pop-up crab spaghetti restaurants (no – that platter in the pic was not all for me!), ice-cream and lots of laughter, hugs and sharing. After dinner I had an early night back at my hotel room with meditation, a hot shower and then a long sleep beneath clean sheets.

July is a month that focuses on relationships, heart connection and soul nurture, and I’m certainly getting plenty of that right now! I hope you’re managing to find some connection time too.
Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

    

 

The Week Ahead – Oracle Reading for Monday 17 October 2016

osho zen

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
~ Patrick Overton, The leaning tree: [poems]

 

Hello Lovelies!

It’s a little bit challenging choosing an oracle card just now. I don’t know my current 2016 deck well enough to read it when I can’t see, so instead I have fallen back on an old favourite – my Osho Zen Tarot deck, whose images I know by heart and blindfolded after twenty years of working with them.

Well then, let’s begin:

This week’s card? Adventure!

What does that mean for the week ahead?

We’re being asked to get out of our comfort zone. We’ve being asked to walk out into the unknown.

It means starting things without knowing where you might end up. It means putting yourself into situations where you can’t control the outcome. It means breaking out of routine to try something new. It means trusting in positive outcomes, even if your knees are shaking and it takes everything you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

For some of you, this is a week where you’ll look back years from now and see how this small and seemingly insignificant (although scary!) step you took was the one that changed everything.

For some of you, being brave enough to go outside your routine will mean new opportunities, new relationships, bold new discoveries or a rediscovery of something important that you need to be reminded of right now.

Many of you will find that getting out and about this week provides happy moments, shared joy and a boost to your social life. It’s also a great week to hold or plan parties, launches and grand adventures (think holidays and expeditions!) to be taken some time in the future.

The seven days ahead unfold a deeply spiritual week. A week that reminds us that we’re not alone. That the Universe has our backs. That miracles happen daily. That sometimes the crap we’ve been slogging through was only ever to enable us to step into a brighter future – wiser, stronger, clearer, better. It’s the kind of week where incredible ideas can just slide into your mind, or bubble to the surface. The kind of week where what seemed crazy just days ago now seems entirely possible.

Image by Raven N. from www.liveluvcreate.com

Image by Raven N. from www.liveluvcreate.com

Make sure to find time for joy this week – no matter how small that joy might be. Take time to sit in your favourite cafe, or to drink your favourite beverage – curled up with a book, a game or a loved one. Play your favourite music, dance and sing along. Go on a little adventure in your own home-town or suburb. Gee, you could even have that adventure in your own backyard!

If you’re looking for a crystal companion this week, you can’t go past Labradorite or Green Adventurine. Essential oils? Neroli, Jasmine and Rose.

This is a week for restoring hope, and we can always use more of that.

Sending much love to you, Nicole <3 xx

 

Colouring Crew Clubhouse!

2015-05-23 07.41.37

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”

~ Robert Fulghum

 

It’s Friday, and after my very busy week of psychic work I have a big night planned. Ben and the dogs are at the farm, so it’s just me to think about. Once upon a time, pre-lyme, a Friday night out would have involved high heels, alcohol, restaurants and bars, dancing, a celebration out on the town.

Not tonight. I have something better planned. It involves me, some friends, a table full of coloured pencils and crayons, colouring books and several pots of tea. Followed by homemade pizza and more colouring. There will also be gingersnaps, and ice-cream.

We might even do some dorky free-form dancing to ABBA or Queen, or Britney Spears, Lady Gaga or this:

 

Wild, huh?

Me and my crazy life…

Did I mention the dress code is pyjamas, onesies or lounge wear?

This girl knows how to party!

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Exhausted, with Aprons…

94012710940847678f8Moqz90c

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 
~ Albert Einstein

 

What a lovely weekend I’ve had. Our friends and their children visited the farm, and to my delight I found that these particular children had a great love of rambling walks in the countryside, board games, stories, an exceptional fondness for fairies and pirates, and a deep appreciation of yummy food, all of which are among my favourite things! 🙂

Ten-year-old Hannah was also very keen to strap on an apron and help in the kitchen, and so we practiced knife skills, invented crazy salads, decorated desserts with strawberries and made endless delicious treats, including Blueberry Crumble Slice, which was a huge success with her blueberry-addicted brother, Mitchell.

Blueberry Crumble SLice

Today, I’m going to catch up on all that energy I expended. The dogs are equally exhausted after all that fun so we’re going to stay snuggled up on this rain-sweetened frosty morning, drink tea, and write. Well, I’ll be writing, and the dogs shall be lending moral support, bless their furry paws!

Tomorrow, after I am caught up on sleep, I shall share a particularly delectable recipe for Nutella Cheesecake, which was the dessert we enjoyed on Saturday night. I promise it’s both easy and divine. 🙂 Mmmmm, cheesecake…

Blog Hijack!

2013-12-14 05.50.10

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” 
~ Charles M. Schulz

 

This is Bert. Me and my brother Harry have taken over this blog.

Writing is dumb. Especially on a very lovely morning of rain and mud and things to do.

We have kidnapped Mum to go play outside in her gumboots and raincoat instead of blogging.

There will be stick throwing and chasing.

There are cows to visit.

We may go for a swim in the river to wash off all the mud.

Then there will be breakfast.

And a nap. With lots of cuddles.

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.

That is all.

 

Lovely Miss Mae!

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“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
~Mae West

 

Young Miss Mae is growing up to be an outgoing girl with abundant curiosity!

She loves to play chasey and hide-and-seek with our two dogs, Harry and Bert.  Never one to be shy she pushes to the front of the herd to say hello and see what’s going on, even as all the elders are trying to hide her at the back.

Mae drives her mother mad with her willful disobedience and reckless behaviour, and mum Violet is none too happy that Mae would rather sneak under the fence and come play in our backyard than hang out with all the more senior cows.

But what’s youth without a little adventure and some friends your parents don’t approve of?

Wishing you exciting escapades and a few crazy-good friends today too! 🙂

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Cupcake Love ‘Awareness’ Oracle – A reading with every cake!

Image from flickr.com

Image from www.flickr.com

“If at first you don’t succeed, eat a cupcake!” ~ Unknown Author

We can take life far too seriously sometimes. Or get so bogged down in our daily grind that we forget to have fun, and to stretch our wings a little. In fact, it can get so that even if we find some spare time we no longer remember what to do to make ourselves smile, to relax and have a laugh, or how to be giddy with excitement and joy.

These fanciful cupcakes are designed to help bring back into your awareness the things that will give extra colour, texture and meaning to your life right now.

Instructions for using today’s post

Scroll down through the following cupcake images and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.

When you have chosen your cupcake, scroll further down for your delicious message, designed to help you focus on what most needs your attention right now.

As always these are magical, calorie-free cupcakes and they are made from exactly what you need them to be – butter-cream, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free – whatever your heart desires. So indulge in them without guilt! I promise they’ll be tasty and satisfying.

Love, Light and Hugs,

Nicole ♥ xx

Let the Cupcake Love Begin…

1.  Candy Cupcake

Image from www.fanpop.com

Image from www.fanpop.com

2. I Want Them All Cupcake

Image from www.bubblews.com

Image from www.bubblews.com

3. Happy Woofers Cupcake

Image from www.rounds.com

Image from www.rounds.com

4.  Rainbow Cupcake

Image from www.tumblr.com

Image from www.tumblr.com

5.  Historical Cupcake

Image from www.brendasweddingblog.com

Image from www.brendasweddingblog.com

6.  Lemon Meringue Cupcake

Image from www.tumblr.com

Image from www.tumblr.com

7.  Penguin Cupcake

Image from www.treatsastastytaters.blogspot.com.au

Image from www.treatsastastytaters.blogspot.com.au

8.  Pretty in Pink Cupcake

♥ The Message and Gift of each Cupcake ♥

Each Cupcake has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your cupcake.  You could wear or hold this crystal, pop it in your pocket, under your pillow or beside your bed. (If you’d like to know more about working with crystals click here) The Power Word is a word to remind yourself of the quality you most need and that you are strongly attracting right now.  You can turn it into your own personal mantra by saying “I choose ___________ ” (insert your Power Word). Your Magical Escapade is an activity to help you come back into balance and have a little fun.

♥ Candy Cupcake –  Short breaks, holidays and weekends away.  Your soul is crying out for some down-time.  It could be a picnic in the woods, a day at a theme park, a Sunday drive, a weekend escape to the coast, or a longer holiday.  Planning is half the fun.  Start getting a list together of some places you’d like to go and then… go!  ♥ Best Crystal – Lepidolite  ♥ Power Word – Relaxation  ♥ Magical Escapade – A trip, a drive, an outing, an adventure, a holiday!  Start with a travel agent and some web sites to gather ideas together. Choose something close to home, and something a little father away, and then indulge yourself in a little time away from the everyday.

♥ I Want Them All Cupcake –  New ideas, new experiences, new destinations.  Variety is what you need right now.  A smorgasbord of new tastes, sounds and experiences.  Maybe give yourself a day where you go to a movie, browse through a bookshop, eat at a little foreign food cafe, and go to a market or a shopping mall you haven’t been to before.  It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money.  Libraries have all sorts of stuff that you can borrow for free. You could catch a bus, a tram, a train or a ferry and go somewhere new.  Listen to a busker. Tune in to a new radio station. Cook up a storm at home, and watch a DVD!  ♥ Best Crystal – Amazonite  ♥ Power Word – Discovery ♥ Magical Escapade – A feast for the senses  Markets, libraries, shopping malls, music anywhere, suburbs with a multi-cultural buzz.  Give yourself lots of new opportunities and choices.

♥ Happy Woofers Cupcake –  Friendship and Togetherness.  Life is so often better when it’s shared.  Your soul is hungering from some social connection. Maybe you need more time with your partner, your family or your friends. Maybe it’s time to get out there and meet some new people or start to date again.  You have a big loving heart, and you need people in your life so that you can better express that warmth and caring. If people aren’t your thing, get a rescue pet or volunteer to look after a guide dog puppy!  ♥ Best Crystal – Rose Quartz  ♥ Power Word – Good Times  ♥ Magical Escapade – sharing time with the people you love, or meeting someone new.  Catch up over coffee, invite friends for a meal, drop in on your Mum or your grandparents, phone your sister or brother, have a date night with your husband, more family cuddles, plan a fishing trip with your mates, join a speed dating event with a friend for moral support!

♥ Rainbow Cupcake –  Creative Immersion. Your Inner BEing is longing for some creative expression and to fill you up with new ideas and creative concepts.  You need a combination of immersing yourself in the ideas and expression of others, and the creative outpouring of your own heart. Visit some galleries, museums, and craft stores.  Take yourself to an art class, a classical music concert, or live theatre!  ♥ Best Crystal – Fluorite  ♥ Power Word – Experiencing  ♥ Magical Escapade – Anywhere that fills your creative tank with juice! Fabric shops, book stores, art supply places, hardware stores, food markets, homeware depots, junk stores, walks in nature, dancing, a kitchen table filled with magazines, scissors, paper and glue.

♥ Historical Cupcake –  Connection Through Time. You are surrounded by so much love right now.  There are unseen hands and hearts reaching out through time to love, guide, comfort and inspire you.  Did you know that we often reincarnate into the same family lines over and over? This is a great time for researching your family tree, catching up with relatives, or reconnecting with people and activities from your past.  Do all you can to find out who you are, by understanding where you and your family have come from.  You’ll be so pleased you did!  ♥ Best Crystal – Labradorite  ♥ Power Word – Heritage ♥ Magical Escapade – A trip down memory lane. Look through old family photographs, diaries and cookbooks. Visit elderly relatives and ask about their lives, and the people in your family you never met.  Find out more about your parents and grandparents.  Look on line and trace your family tree.

♥ Lemon Meringue Cupcake –  Sweet Indulgence.  Rewards always taste better when we’ve worked for them.  Whether you have a goal in mind, or whether life’s tough right now and you want to reward yourself just for hanging in there, it’s time to indulge yourself in some of life’s pleasures. Think about what you want to achieve, and what you can reward yourself with for getting there.  Make a list – and make your rewards achievable and worthwhile. Then do the things you need to do to get those sweet indulgences. Life’s too short for it to be all work and no pleasure! ♥ Best Crystal – Calcite ♥ Power Word – Rewards  ♥ Magical Escapade – Anywhere delicious  It could be a travel agent, a beauty parlour or day spa, a shop full of chocolate and cupcakes, a shoe boutique or a computer store.  It’s what makes YOU feel indulged, pampered and a little luxurious.  Enjoy – you’ve earned it!

♥ Penguin Cupcake –  Inner Child. Seriously, you need a big dose of fun right now. Think of little children.  They have an innate sense of fun and curiosity. They can have as much fun using their imagination and playing with the box that the toy came in, as they can with the toy itself. Play! Create! If you have a pet, play with them. Play with your kids.  Go to a local park with some friends and play ball. Or tag. Dancing, sport and any kind of movement is good.  So is baking cupcakes and decorating them in weird and wonderful ways. What’s fun for you?  What makes you split your sides laughing or plasters a grin all over your face?  Go do that thing! ♥ Best Crystal – Angelite  ♥ Power Word – Playfulness ♥ Magical Escapade – Anything that captures the joy, playfulness, curiosity and creativity of childhood.  Baking, mini golf, ice-creams at the beach, making a snowman, giggling with your friends, making macaroni necklaces or papier mache dinosaurs. We’re not aiming for art – we’re aiming for fun and self-expression.

♥ Pretty in Pink Cupcake – Makeover Magic.  Oh honey, you need some makeover love!  Maybe it’s time for a haircut or a manicure. Diet overhaul? Time for a tune-up? Maybe you need to update your wardrobe, refresh your home decor, or get a pampering massage. We need time for self-maintenance, for taking care of our image and personal style, and for uplifting ourselves so we look and feel good.  When we allow ourselves permission to spend time, money and energy on ourselves, we send a strong message to the Universe about our positive self worth.  ♥ Best Crystal – Clear Quartz  ♥ Power Word – Self Care ♥ Magical Escapade Places and people that style, refresh and pamper you.  Hairdressers, massage therapists, gyms and dieticians, wardrobe and colour experts, stylists, best friends with a good eye for fashion, salons and your kind of boutiques.

When the Muse vanishes – thoughts on the loss of creativity

Image from www.layoutsparks.com

Image from www.layoutsparks.com

“Creativity is our true nature; blocks are an unnatural thwarting of a process at once as normal and as miraculous as the blossoming of a flower at the end of a slender green stem.”
~ Julia Cameron 

If you’ve ever had some sort of creative block, where the juices stop flowing and the ideas dry up, then you’ll probably just find the quote above to be irritating, maddening and mocking.

Yes, we are all supposed to be creative.  Yes, creativity is meant to be our natural state.  But what happens when it’s not?  What’s wrong with us?  Why can’t we be creative like everybody else, or like we used to be?

juicingI actually believe that creativity is a little like a bicycle-powered juicer. You have to start pedalling BEFORE there can be enough power for the juice to be extracted. It’s the same with creativity – once you have some momentum up you’ll find yourself in flow, even if you weren’t there to start with.

But…

Sometimes we can’t even get on the darn bike.

Before you start gnashing your teeth, and muttering self-loathing thoughts, or committing to epic self-evaluation or a psychiatrist’s couch, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has sleep been an issue lately?
  • Is there something on your mind?
  • Are you unwell?
  • Suffering from anxiety and/or depression?
  • Is there a situation that threatens your financial security?
  • Is there a situation that threatens your emotional well-being?
  • Are you stressed to the max, with too much on your plate?
  • Are you raising very small and demanding children (or bigger children who are going through ‘stuff’)?
  • Is there a safe and amenable place for you to practice your particular brand of creativity?
  • Have you already created something big recently?
  • Are you being creative and productive in another area as part of your work life?
  • Are you suffering from burn-out in ANY area of your life?

Sometimes we are simply just too tired, too sick, too worried, too stressed, too overwhelmed or too broken to be in a productive and creative space.

And that’s okay.

The biggest gift you can give yourself creatively when you’re in this place is time to rest and heal, and time to attend to the things that are sucking up all of your energy and head space.  Get that thesis finished.  Get that tax out of the way, or the divorce, or the bathroom finally renovated enough that you can shower and brush your teeth instead of standing outside with the garden hose.

There is a difference between ‘not feeling in the mood to create’ and being wrung out, battered, bruised and exhausted by life. Sometimes we need to rest and fill up the well before we can begin again.

Activity:

Think about what you want to create or the vision you have, or did have for a creative project.  (If you can’t even THINK of a project, then go with the desire to create rather than naming an actual project.)

Now tune in to your emotions. One a scale of one to ten how is your energy towards this project right now?

pain-scale

At 0 we are excited, motivated, happy and raring to go. We are emotionally engaged and enthusiastic about our project, and we are already sitting down and getting on with it. In fact, in the moments where we are not working on our project we find ourselves thinking about it, planning for it and wanting to get back to it.

At 10 we can’t even think of a project – it’s just a big black sucking hole, or a misty grey fog, or some other equally miserable and barren wasteland. We are flat out breathing and coping with life and that takes ALL of our energy.

What to do about it!

Strangely, one of the best medicines for a lack of creativity is creative exposure. Take some time this week to sit down with your journal and write a list of creative pursuits and activities that you have a flicker of interest for, but that are NOT your life passion.

For example, if you want to write the Next Great Novel, steer clear of anything to do with writing.  If you want to be the next prima ballerina, avoid anything to do with ballet. If you want to be a chef, stay away from food.  Are you getting the picture here?

Instead think of other cultural, artistic and creative pursuits.  Could you take up beading, chainsaw ice sculpting, macrame pot holders, hair braiding, decoupage, dancing the tango, painting some old chairs, making your own sourdough (no chefs – you guys go learn to make and fly your own kites!) etc. Do something that sounds interesting but where you don’t care whether you set the world on fire with your macrame skills or ability to compost garden scraps.

Image from www.acupfullofsunshine.blogspot.com

Image from www.acupfullofsunshine.blogspot.com.au

Make a list of music you’d like to listen to, bands you’d like to see, DVDs you’d like to watch, books to read, movies and theatre to see, galleries and cafes and markets and other places it would be interesting to visit. Think about painting those chairs on the back deck, or making a meal with a Moroccan Tagine.  Just because it’s fun.  Just because you can.

Over the next little while, dip into your list.  Don’t expect the Muse to turn up.  You don’t need her right now.  You just need some restorative time, some time with no pressure, no deadlines and no expectations.

That’s truly the meaning of Art as Therapy.  We do something a little creative and it restores a lost or damaged part of us to ourselves, so that we become fuller, more rounded, more whole.

Image by www.smashingchintz.co.uk

Image by www.smashingchintz.co.uk

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

Join my 2013 Creative Project Challenge

Creative Project Challenge – February Check In

Lost your Creative Mojo?

Embracing your Inner Beginner

Image from www.doremejourney.blogspot.com

Image from www.doremejourney.blogspot.com

“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

In this time-pressured life of ours, where everything is vying for our attention and our money, and where there is so much emphasis on success, I’ve observed something that saddens me greatly.  Most grown-ups I know are more and more reluctant to be a beginner.

Oh sure, people want to try new things.

But they try new things based on hoping or expecting that they’ll be good at it, and if they aren’t they quickly move on to something else.

Even worse, I know people who won’t even start something because they feel they should have begun learning that thing twenty years ago. Starting late they may never go on to have the results they’d dreamed of.

But do we need to do everything for an external validation of success?

And what happened to the joy of being a beginner, embracing our curiosity, and giving ourselves permission to be REALLY bad at something, in order to perhaps become better, one day, with practice? What happened to doing something just because it makes us happy?

Sometimes the picture in our mind of how we should look/act/sound/perform/create prevents us from getting out there and having fun or giving shape to our most cherished dreams!

Often, when we embrace new things, where we end up looks nothing like we’d expected, but is wonderful and enriching anyway.

The Sydney Banjo Band - www.sydneybanjoclub.blogspot.com.au

The Sydney Banjo Band – www.sydneybanjoclub.blogspot.com.au

A friend of mine took some singing lessons and joined a local choir. He’ll never have a recording contract, or be a household name, but he has found out that he loves to sing and to perform, and he’s made some terrific friends.

Another friend of mine went to an embroidery class with her mother, to give her lonely mother an outing and perhaps spark an interest. Instead my friend’s interest was sparked.  Years later she makes commissioned pieces such as christening gowns, bunny rugs and heirloom blankets for family and friends.  It’s not a full-time job, just a much-loved hobby, but it has shaped her life and given it extra passion and meaning.

A client, who had wanted to be a doctor, ended up married young and being a full-time mother instead. When her marriage ended, long after her children had grown, she decided to go back to study. She was very much a beginner, and had to first complete high school subjects, learn how to use a calculator and computer, and then learn the language of academia – how to study, how to submit papers and so on.  It was a long road, and she was older by far than everyone else in her class.  She graduated at age 64, and now has a job in a rural community as a general practitioner. Allowing herself to be a beginner wasn’t easy but it changed her life!

Image from alpbuzz.blogspot.com

Image from alpbuzz.blogspot.com

Being a beginner is a powerful creative and spiritual act.  Giving ourselves permission to be a beginner takes all the pressure off, and enables us to better enjoy the ride.  Maybe we’ll be good at that thing, maybe we won’t. Maybe it will take time (yes, really!) to know if this new thing is for us, or if we will in fact ever have some small measure of skill. But every journey to a new place teaches us something, and often leads us in unexpected directions.

So today I’m encouraging you to embrace your inner beginner.

Do something simply to try it out.  Do it for the fun of it. Do it without caring about the outcome, or your productivity level.  Do it badly.  Do it laughingly.  Do it earnestly, and with devotion. Because new experiences enrich us, they sharpen our minds and keep us young at heart. They help us grow. And most importantly, in a place of newness, devoid of expectation, miracles happen in the form of transformation…

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Bert says sorry…

Hello, I’m Bert, Nicole’s trusty secretary…

And I’d like to say sorry.

 

You see Nicole wouldn’t play with me this morning.

I tried my best to look fetching, but she kept ignoring me.

I even tried emotional manipulation…

But she was still ignoring me!

When she went to do her yoga stretches that was the final straw.  I sat on her mat in protest!

So now she’s taking me for a walk instead of writing her blog. Sorry about that! hahaha

I’m taking my ball and my mum and I’m outta here. Bye! xx