A Very Hygge Holiday

“Hygge is a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered. 
Hygge is an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation. 
To hygge is to invite intimacy and connection. It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other. 
Hygge is a sense of abundance and contentment. 
Hygge is about being not having.” 
~ Louisa Thomsen Brits

Ben and I are going away for a week. As you read this we’ll already be on the plane.

A friend is at the farm taking care of our dogs and cows and vegetable garden. My team are looking after my emails and the phones and the work stuff.

Ben and me? We’re looking after each other. It’s been a tough year. The illness, decline and death of his mother. The loss of a dear friend. The support of another going through a terrible time. Drought. Illness.

We’re tired. We need a break, before one of us breaks.

I’ll still be meditating. And I’ll still blog. Because those things are as ingrained in me as cleaning my teeth. I can’t not do them. But everything else can wait.

Be kind to yourself this week while these energies make all of us empaths more sensitive than usual.

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

Bon Voyage!

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” 
~ Maya Angelou

 

We’re off on an adventure this morning.

Ben and I are taking a short vacation.

While we’re away our dogs and farm are being looked after by a trusted friend, and our business is being looked after by my fantastic team. So our plan is to spend an entire week off-grid. No computers, no phones, no social media. Just us, some friends and the wide blue ocean. Oh, and 45 bands from the 1980s and a couple of thousand people. LOL. Just a quiet week at sea! (You can check out our holiday here at Rock The Boat 2018)

I’ll be back before you know it, and meantime I have a lovely oracle card challenge planned for you. And then it will be November and #GeShiDoMo (Get Sh*t Done Month) time.

Not long after it will be our Pop-Up shop, Christmas Party and Channelling night, weekend workshops and Planner launch.

After which we’ll cruise on to the end of 2018 with a full calendar of psychic readings and intuitive coaching sessions.

I’m waving goodbye as I head out the door for this much-needed break. See you very soon,

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xoxo

Off On A Grand Adventure!

Image from www.feedfloyd.com

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous

By the time you read this I’ll be at the airport, or maybe even on my way overseas!

My darling husband Ben bought me a surprise three-week holiday as a belated ‘Congratulations on Turning Fifty and Thank You For Not Dying’ celebration. So today we’re flying to Hong Kong for a few days, before we take a cruise through Vietnam and Taiwan. Exciting!!! (Expect Yum Cha and other thrilling photos over on Instagram and Facebook! – links at the bottom of this post)

We’re in the Lull now (more details about the current energies here), and it’s the perfect time for us to be focusing on each other, and taking some down-time after the crazy year that 2017 has been.

My personal reports and posts may be brief and intermittent from here on in, but our team will make sure that things keep humming along here on the blog. Meanwhile I’m intending to actually rest and make this a proper holiday, just me and my darling boy. Ben has to share me all year, and he does so uncomplainingly. I’m looking forward to holding his hand and wandering around checking out the sights and enjoying some uninterrupted time together. Fingers crossed that it will be a quiet time psychically too.

I’ll still be doing my daily meditations and prayers for you. Meditation is as big a part of my life as breathing! And I’ve already packed my Planner, oracle deck and 2018 crystal!

Our Cauldrons and Cupcakes team is holding the fort while I’m away so if you have any questions about the YOM planner or community or anything else like that they’ll be right there for you. But I won’t. I’ll be waving from the pool deck, a fancy drink in hand and a big, big smile on my face because I’m fifty and I’m still alive and I’m married to the love of my life and that’s worth celebrating!

Love and hugs, Nicole xx

Listening To My Body

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“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”
~ William Wordsworth

 

Yesterday I stopped.

Although I am on holiday and had a million exciting events planned I decided to cancel all of them.

Instead I put myself to bed and slept. Rising in the late afternoon I took a short walk, ate a simple meal overlooking the world from the top floor open-air cafe of our hotel. I watched the river flowing. I watched the sun set. I watched the play of lights in the night sky, and then put myself back to bed again.

So much sleep, and I feel as if I could still sleep some more. So it’s likely I will.

 

Once I would have pushed through this exhaustion. I would have allowed stubbornness to keep me upright and engaged, no matter how fatigued I might be.

No more.

Part of my holiday plan is to listen to my body and give it what it needs. It needs sleep. So I will happily comply.

How about you? If you take a moment, close your eyes and tune in, how do you feel? How much charge is in your physical battery? Your emotional battery?

What do you most need right now?

Try to give yourself some of that today.

Thinking of you, and sending so much love,

Nicole <3 xoxo

A Taste Of Vietnam

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“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” ~ Bill Bryson

 

So, here I am in Vietnam, and our first day has been quite an adventure! We’re staying in the old section of the Grand Hotel, Saigon. Somehow we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite right beside a tranquil swimming pool and green oasis. It’ s a refuge from the heat, and a fabulous spot for writing. After an early morning stroll around the neighbourhood I enjoyed a refreshing swim and then some time working on my book before lunch.

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Ben and I are blessed to be travelling with an Australian-Vietnamese friend who is introducing us to a taste of local life. There’s nothing like having a tour guide with family in the area and inside knowledge! First up we tried local coffee – strong, sweet and good. Then after our swim Thanh took us to a simple noodle shop near our hotel and ordered us lunch. I got to enjoy my first ever bowl of authentic Pho – rice noodles in broth with thin slivers of beef and vegetables and a host of fresh herbs. Delicious!

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Next was some crystal shopping and a wander around some local markets.

So much of today has revolved around food. In the cool of the late afternoon Thanh’s Dad and three of his mates turned up on their motorbikes and took us for a tour of the city, and a visit to the oldest cathedral in Saigon.

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Travelling by bike is a great way to take in the sights, smells and atmosphere, although I must admit to being a little white knuckled at the craziness of the traffic until I finally relaxed into the flow of it. To a western eye it seems so disorganised, but if you step into that zen space and just go with it, there’s a strange logic and beauty to it.

After our city tour we finished up with dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant. So much food. So much fun! The pictures below are rice vermicelli with fresh shrimp (prawns), garlic and chilli, and then a tofu and egg savoury custard topped with a meaty mushroom slice and some shellfish in a seafood bisque sauce. Oh my goodness, that was amazing!!! There was more too, but I was too busy eating and talking and laughing to remember to take photos! Sorry 🙂

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Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Sending much love your way, Nicole <3 xoxo

 

Five Things That Made This Week Extra Wonderful Already!

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
~ Charles Dickens

 

1.New Journal Challenge!

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It’s been a while since I ran a journal and oracle card challenge, so I’ve decided to cook another one up for you. It’s fabulous, it’s free, and there will be more details here on the blog on Friday so stay tuned!

 

2. New Swimmers!

I needed new swimwear for my upcoming trip. Usually this is not the kind of shopping I look forward to. But… The very first place I went into, the very first swimmers I tried on – perfect fit! Don’t you love it when that happens? 🙂

 

3. Money In My Pocket!

Image from www.globalresearch.ca

Image from www.globalresearch.ca

When I was looking for a bag to keep all my journals and crystals in when I go travelling I came upon a pencil-case I though I’d lost years ago. When I opened it up there was $350 cash. Bonus! Now I have extra spending money.

 

4. Our House Sitter Brought His Dog to Stay!

I was worried about leaving Harry Dog on his own for the first time without Bert to keep him company. But our wonderful house sitter has brought his gorgeous Black Labrador with him and she is the sweetest girl, so now Harry has a friend and he won’t be lonely. Such a win!

5. Holidays!

Holidays? Yep. They start today. Hooray!!! By the time you read this I’ll be on my way to the airport! Two weeks in Vietnam and then two weeks in the Philippines.So excited!!!  I’ll keep you posted on all the fun and goodness. 🙂

 

Biggest hugs and love to you, Nicole <3 xx

I’m on a Plane!

Image from www.w-dog.net

Image from www.w-dog.net

“An airplane crossed the sky, and she imagined its interior-people packed in rows like eggs in a carton, the chemical smell of the toilets, pretzels in foil pouches, cans hiss-popping open, black oval of night sky embedded in the rattling walls. How strange that something so drab, so confined, so stifling with sour exhalations and the fumes of indifferent machinery might be mistaken for a star.”
~ Maggie Shipstead, Seating Arrangements

 

As you read this I will most likely still be on a plane, winging my way back to Australia.

My phone is crammed full of photos. My bags are crammed full of all manner of oddities, as well as a pile of dirty laundry and the one or two items that you pack and then inevitably never use.

My mind, though full of new experiences, is actually delightfully calm and peaceful. I feel emptied out and renewed by this trip away. And more than ready to be home again.

I doubt I’ll blog on Friday morning. Sorry, but I’m hoping to still be curled up in my own bed, asleep at the farm. I hear it’s a cold winter at home. So don’t be surprised to know that it is most likely that two dogs will have snuck up onto the big bed during the night and be squeezed in beside Ben and I. Which is perfectly fine by me. I may have missed them just the teensiest bit.

As much as I have enjoyed my break away, I have also missed you too! I’m looking forward to getting back into my regular blogging routine just as soon as I have a little sleep under my belt, and have settled in again.

Lots of love,

Nicole xx

Graffitis and Curiosities

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“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
~ Banksy

 

It’s the last day of my holidays today, and then I’ll be on a plane and heading home. I must say that as soul-nurturing as this trip has been I am ready for my own bed, some big puppy hugs, and a cup of good tea.

One of my favourite travel pastimes is wandering by foot, taking photos and getting far off the well-beaten tourist paths.

I’ve discovered all kinds of wonders on this trip. Here are some of the wall and door adornments that have caught my eye during my rambles through places as diverse as Salerno, Santorini, Naples, Venice, Athens and Bangkok.

Enjoy!

Nx

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Return To Santorini

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“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
~ Anita Desai

 

So, here we are, sitting in a very low-brow bar in Santorini. We’re up on the roof, drinking cold beer on a hot day, and availing ourselves of the free wi-fi, which is patchy but hey… free.

There are many gorgeous (and very expensive) ‘tourist cafes’ lining the cliffs and looking out over the cauldron of Santorini’s extinct volcano and the glamorous yachts and cruise liners below. The cafes are full of beautiful people, and the wealthy elderly.

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But that’s not us. And I rather like this humble eatery we have found. We look out over rooftops to the ocean on the other side of the island. We peer down into people’s backyards. It cost us just 8 Euros for the two of us for cold beers and excellent gyros with all the trimmings. There is a local radio playing ‘easy-listening’ Greek music mixed with an eclectic blend of 1970s and 1980s hits. A sleepy cat is watching us from under a canopy of grape-vines, and the breeze is scented with wood smoke and spicy roasted meats and vegetables from various Sunday lunches.

There are locals eating here. So I figure that speaks to the quality of the food, cheap as it is.

I’ve truly relaxed into the pace of holidays now, although I must confess that it took me a while, and now our travels are almost at an end. We’re back to Rome in a few days. From there a flight to Thailand and a few more days of rest, and then home.

The most important thing I discovered on this vacation?

Me.

Okay, gotta go. We need to walk this beer off, before a gelati and then a cable car ride back down to the harbour, where we’ll hop on a tender back to the ship.

Blowing kisses to you from Santorini,

Nicole xx

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Beautiful Bangkok!

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“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
~ Anita Desai

 

So here I am in Thailand, after a wonderful flight, with many good movies and some delicious (really!) food. We got into our hotel at about 10.30pm local time, after midnight by my body clock, and Ben made the sensible choice and said that we actually needed to go to bed, although I was so excited that I wanted to do was race outside and DO EVERYTHING!!!

My plan this morning was to sleep in! To be on holidays! To do nothing!

And then of course, as I always do, I woke at 4am. So you know what happened next… I meditated, and sent you all some healing and love. Then yoga stretches, a long hot shower, and another lie down between clean hotel sheets before an early breakfast and some writing time.

There’s a fabulous massage place – Lavana Spa just up the road – so I’m going to toddle up there soon for some serious pampering, after which I’ll sleep (hopefully) and then hit the night markets tonight for some good Pad Thai.

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Oh my goodness. Holidays. It’s only just starting to sink in, this whole concept of nothing to do except whatever Ben and I feel like doing.

I’ll keep popping in and posting while the internet is so good. (Free and 25 times faster than the internet at the farm – mind boggling!)

And I’m a happy dog mumma right now, after hearing that the lovely friend who is farm-sitting for us took Cafe Dog to Doma Cafe in Federal for Sunday breakfast, which immediately scored her a seat at the locals’ table after they all recognised Harry Dog!

Hugs and love to all of you.
Nicole xx

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