So Many Questions

“An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” 
~ Madeleine L’Engle

I’ve been inundated with two main types of questions since my post yesterday about being woken by a voice with a message for me. These are YOUR questions, filling up my email, my facebook messages, my phone.

1. Who was the voice I heard? Was it God, Saint Peregrine, an Angel, a Guide, a dead rellie, my imagination or subconscious?

2. What did they mean?

I have to be honest here, and my answer may surprise you. It is simply this; I don’t know. And more importantly I haven’t felt the need to ask those questions myself.

All I know is that since I heard the voice I have experienced a deep and abiding calm. I am reassured and comforted. My anxiety about my health and situation has eased. Since hearing that voice I have this luminous spark inside me. It’s a tangible, visceral thing. I truly have felt a shift.

Image from prattcentre.net

Image from prattcentre.net

I have not questioned what happened because my experience is so complete that words and questions seem both unnecessary and inadequate.

That seems odd considering my personality – I usually hate not knowing something. I am the one who asks a million questions and won’t drop whatever it is until I have answers that satisfy me. (Try that combination with being a psychic – it’s enough to do your own head in!) When I don’t get answers the questions generally keep rattling around in my brain, sometimes for years. Not this time.

So, who spoke to me?

I don’t know and the need to know is just not here inside me. I am empty and full at the same time.

What did they mean when they said I would turn the corner?

It doesn’t matter. I am filled with peace and safety and acceptance. Whatever happens is okay.

Another friend sent me this:

“Nic, aren’t you worried what people will think? I mean, hearing voices sweetie is one thing, given what you do. But announcing it so publicly? People don’t judge this stuff very well. Maybe you’re sharing a mite too much and being just a little too open and vulnerable right now. Maybe hold off on this stuff until you’re well and can use better discernment.”

Sorry. I’m done with pretending. And I’m done with hiding things. My life is what it is, and I’ll keep sharing it honestly. Did I mention already that it’s all okay?

The one thing your questions have done is remind me about a time in my life when I was shown by my wise Aboriginal Elder, Auntie, about the importance of questions and answers.

Songlines Aboriginal Art - Papunya

Songlines Aboriginal Art – Papunya

So tomorrow I’ll share another installment of my Kimberley Story.

Much, much love to you, and Thank You, for all of your comments and questions, for all of your love and support. It means the world to me. (((HUGS))) ♥ Nicole xx

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Sometimes the Knight doesn’t wear Shining Armour

“He dug his heels into his horse’s flanks and sped down the path. He heard the others call out behind him, but he ignored them. He was sure Karl and Johan and the others would have searched the rosebush and that entire area carefully enough; there was nothing to learn there. But he wanted to get to the hunting lodge, to find Prince Grigori and punch him in the nose for losing Petunia, and then make certain that her sisters were alright. And then he would find Petunia, and he would bring her home.”
~ Jessica Day George, Princess of the Silver Woods

And then there’s this:

“Attitude is something that comes to your rescue when you’re looking for help from external sources.”
~ Sachin Kumar Puli

It’s been a big week for many after a big, big year. The energies of change related to 2013, the resolving of old patterns from before 2012, the Mercury retrograde and the pull of the full moon have all been at play.

This week I’ve watched a friend end up on her knees in business; emotionally and physically burned out, fast running out of options, her finances a mess and her self-esteem in tatters. She’d thought to sell two years ago, and got a good offer.  I told her to take it and run but she thought she could get more money if she waited. Then the market changed, cash flow got tighter and things have gone downhill since. Now, suddenly there’s a way to solve her problems. A competitor has offered to buy her out with a cash settlement, and she’d walk away debt-free but with nothing in her pocket. She thinks she might stay and try to trade her way out of the mess…

Image from EKNews

Image from EKNews

On Tuesday a client I hadn’t heard from for years called me, hysterical. He wanted me to tell him what to do. He has just lost everything – family home, family business, cars, furniture, artwork, the lot – in one foul swoop as banks and creditors closed in on him, even as he was promising one more deal, just one more thing that might pay off into the future and save the day. His wife hadn’t even known they were in trouble. Her parents want to step in and help them, but the bailiff had already locked the doors and seized their assets. They were too late. And it was too late for me to give him options from which to make any kind of decent choices. What an awful feeling for both of us.

And then I received a call from a woman with two young children, caught right in the fire zone in the Blue Mountains. They’d been told to evacuate at a town meeting, and a fireman had just knocked on her door asking her to leave, but she wondered if she put a ring of salt around her home, said protection prayers and asked the Angels for help would she and her babies be safe?

It got me to thinking on some advice my grandfather gave me when I was very young, in the form of a story.

Up in the mountains it began to rain. And rain. And rain. A weather bulletin was broadcast over the radio and television stations, warning the families in the valley below that a flood was coming, and they must evacuate their homes.

“Don’t worry,” one man told his worried family. “God will protect us.” They stayed put and prayed to God for help.

After an hour a neighbour came to the door. “We have a truck,” the neighbour said. “Let us help you load what we can carry and we’ll leave the valley together.”

“It’s okay,” said the man. “You go on ahead. God will protect us.”

The neighbour shrugged his shoulders and the truck went on its way.

By nightfall the river had broken its banks and soon water was up to the front door of the house. A boat came past and a loud voice yelled out, “Rescue Boat. Come aboard!”

The man stood in the window with a torch. “We’re okay. God will protect us.” He refused to get into the boat. Instead he and his family prayed.

But the flood waters kept rising. Soon the man and his family had to clamber up onto the roof to stay dry. In the early hours of the morning a helicopter came and a searchlight illuminated the family on the roof, flood water swirling all around them. Once again the man waved them off. Again the family prayed.

The water kept rising, and the whole family were drowned.

Up in Heaven the man angrily confronted God. “Why did you forsake us? We prayed to you. We believed that you would help us!”

God shook his head. “I’m sorry. I tried my best.”

“But you didn’t protect us!” the man said.

“No,” God replied. “You didn’t accept my offers of help. I sent out broadcasts to warn you of the dangers so you could help yourselves. Then I sent a truck, and then a boat and finally a helicopter…”

Sometimes the Knight in shining armor doesn’t look like our idea of a hero, or offer our idea of a rescue or solution. The Knight offers us a lesser deal, or they drive an old bomb of a car, or they have bad manners or body odour.

Sometimes we don’t get our dream outcome. But in holding out for that improbable dream and not facing the reality of our situation, we overlook the tangible options in front of us and end up in a worse mess.

Sometimes what turns our life around or that gives us our lucky break comes disguised as hard work, a lowly start, or something that looks quite ordinary.

I’m glad to say that the woman with the young children packed up her babies and her cats and drove out to safety. At last report her home is also safe although she needs to stay in an evacuation centre for now. Her saviours don’t have wings, and they’re not buff young semi-naked men off a fire-fighting calendar, although I know they do exist.

Her Angels are disguised as ordinary heroes from an out-of-town rural fire brigade. To her, they’re heaven sent, and an answer to her prayers!

Don’t leave things til the last minute. Especially when you’re facing trouble. Know that help comes in all sorts of forms, and many unexpected ways. So look around. Be open to options. Be ready for action. Be prepared to say yes, and for your Knight to be nothing like you’d imagined.

When you first get that feeling that there might be a problem, that you’re out of your depth a little, or that things aren’t going so well, take action.  That clunk in the car might only need a simple bottle of oil, but if you leave it you’ll need a whole new transmission. Asking for help and looking at alternatives allows others with more skill or knowledge than us to give us options and actions we might not have been able to think of ourselves.

Sometimes the thing we hang onto too tightly is not worth the precious things we risk by that hanging on.

Today I’m holding you in my thoughts and prayers, and wishing for you the best of outcomes, no matter what your current situation.

Love and hugs, Nicole xx

Don’t tell me how good you are. Show me…

Image from www.freeflavour.com

Image from www.freeflavour.com  PS: If you’re not sure what the Australian slang expression FIG JAM stands for , I suggest you google it… (Warning: swears alert!)

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ” ~ John F. Kennedy

“Talk is cheap.” ~ Anonymous

Today’s post has come about in part after watching a good friend be deeply wounded and disillusioned by the bullying actions of some people who loudly proclaim themselves as ‘enlightened and spiritual’.

Another friend is considering walking away from their life’s passion because of the vicious and mean-spirited ‘critique’ (it wasn’t constructive criticism, it was a poisonous personal attack) from an instructor at an invitation-only Master Class intended to guide emerging artists in front of a public audience at a large gallery. The instructor used my friend to make themselves look good and to extract a laugh or two from the crowd. The attack left my friend floundering in self-doubt, shame and humiliation, suffering anxiety attacks and questioning everything they’d previously held as true.

Most of the people I know who are incredibly good at what they do are also among the most humble, no matter their what field of endeavour. They sit in their integrity. They acknowledge their ability as fact, but have little need to bang their own drum because they are busy being actively engaged in the things that define them. As the saying goes, they walk their talk.

The yoga teacher who awakens each day to perform her personal meditation, pranayamas and asanas before eating her healthy yogini breakfast and getting ready for her classes. Who then comes home to eat her healthy dinner and concludes her day with more yoga, as an integral part of her daily life and philosophy.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

The business mentor who has had years of experience building and running successful organisations, and who continues to sit on the Board of Directors of profitable companies.

Image from leParisien

Image from leParisien

The artist who still attends classes and workshops, and considers themselves constantly evolving; working on their craft even though they are at the top of their field and lauded by their peers.

'Painting in Gold' by Chad

‘Painting in Gold’ by Chad

Whether you are looking to form a relationship, seek employment or learn something new (and especially if you’re a starry-eyed beginner), listen with your eyes. Don’t be seduced by spin.  Don’t be sucked in by wild claims and promises. When we are eager and ready to begin the journey, our enthusiasm often nudges our discernment over into a corner.

Eagerness and newness make us all vulnerable. And sadly, I’ve seen many a beginner derailed because the people they put faith in to guide them on their journey trampled and stamped out that fledgling flame. Or didn’t give them the tools they need to have that promised ‘success’, and then put it all back on the learner when they fail. “Oh well,” they say, “you mustn’t want it enough, you don’t have the ability, your attitude’s all wrong.”

There are so many self-proclaimed ‘guru’s’ out there.  Who do you trust? How do you work out who can actually support your growth?

Image from www.zdnet.com

Image from www.zdnet.com

Word of mouth is a great place to start.

Trust your intuition.

And look for validity of the person’s abilities or claims. Do they walk their talk?  Are they respected within their industry or profession?  Do they have a public track record?  Do their ACTIONS align with their mouth?

The ‘Law of Attraction Wealth Creation Coach’ who has a mountain of debt and lives on credit cards?  Maybe not your best bet.

The ‘Parenting Expert’ who has never had children of their own, or even had them in their home for any length of time.  Really?

The ‘Write a Best-Seller Workshop’ run by the person who has never been published. Perhaps someone who has already walked the path you want to walk would have more concrete advice to share with you.

Even more than that, are they a person you can respect?  Do they have the sort of values and habits you aspire to? Do they treat others well? Are they leading by example?

In this age of social media it’s easy to set yourself up as an expert. In fact there are courses in how to do that!

Back in the day, experts had… wait for it… expertise.  And expertise was hard won through experience.

There’s no magical pill or quick fix in this life that is going to take you from the bottom to the top of your particular mountain. We all have our own path to walk, and everyone has something to teach us, whether that’s through a positive or a negative experience.

The people ahead of you in the climb up your mountain will have valuable insights to share based upon their own journeys. Those insights can save you time, move you ahead more quickly, and help you hone your own skills and talents. So be an active player in your own development.   Use your discernment.  Do your homework.  Make sure they really are higher up that mountain, and not someone standing at the bottom with a giant megaphone and some smooth-talking words…

Take on board what resonates for you, and leave the rest behind.

Above all, don’t take it all too seriously.  Life is an adventure – a big messy glorious adventure. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Simple Antidotes to Resentment

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~ Carrie Fisher

Resentment – it’s a corrosive emotion that causes damage to the container, no matter how cautiously  you try to hold it in.

Why do we get resentful? You might not have ever been consciously aware of it, but resentment always comes down to time.  We feel resentful when we believe we’ve wasted time on something or someone.

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Most of us start out in a relationship or activity giving willingly of our time.  In fact, all of us have been in situations where we consciously choose to put our own needs, wants or interests to one side BECAUSE of what we consider to be a higher priority. We want to invest in a new relationship, we want the person we love to achieve their dreams, we want to give a new job our best shot, we want to give everything we can to the raising of our children.  We make sacrifices. And at the start we are glad to do that, even though it means we move into a place of imbalance.

But over time, if we don’t begin get a pay-off for the sacrifice we’re making (enough money, appreciation, acknowledgement etc) we start to get that niggly uncomfortable feeling that reminds us we are off our path.  In fact, if we are still neglecting the things that are important to us longer term, even if we are now well remunerated or appreciated, resentment will show up in our lives.

As a society we deal with resentment in one of three main ways, and usually in this order:

  1. We swallow it down and become a ‘martyr’, carrying on in our unfulfilling life and always putting others first.  We keep a lid on resentment, or worse: begin to live a colourless formless life that is all about function and never about heart or art.
  2. We simmer with anger and crankiness, which pops up unexpectedly in our lives as over-the-top reactions to people and situations, or as passive aggression.  We develop a fondness for muttering under our breath or closing doors just a little too hard.
  3. We slide into depression, despair and apathy.  We begin to give up on ourselves and our dreams.  We lose faith in ourselves and our abilities.

So what are we going to do about it?

If you suspect that you are burdened with resentment in any area of your life I’m going to ask you to do something radical.

Stop for a minute, and invite Resentment to come have a chat with you.  Don’t be intimidated by them, or scared.  Resentment looks like a five year old stompy-footed version of yourself…

Image from www.sheknows.com

Image from www.sheknows.com

The stompy-footed five year old inside you is very clear about what’s not working in your life right now, so why not let them get it all off their chest.

The best way to work with your Inner Child directly is to have a conversation between the Big You, and the Little You. You can do this through what is known as Left Hand – Right Hand Dialogue. It’s an easy thing to do! Simply find some different coloured pens or pencils. Use your dominant hand (the one you usually write with) to be the Big You, the conscious awareness of you as an adult. Choose one pen for this hand. Then use your non-dominant hand to represent your Little You, and let that hand pick a pen, or pens to write the responses.

Have your Big You write a question for your Little You, and then let your Little You respond. The writing will be awkward, so don’t worry about spelling or vocabulary. What you’ll get is honesty, and love, and isn’t that all we really ever need to get clear about life?

Here are some suggested questions to use with your Inner Child work:

  • Why are we so angry?
  • What’s the worst thing about right now?
  • What would we prefer to be doing?
  • What would make us happier?

Of course, your Inner Child will have a list of hurts and complaints, but don’t expect it to be all everyone else’s fault.  Your Inner Child has a lucidity and an honesty that will get right to the heart of your situation, and it might not be what you think!

I’ll share an example from my own life (about fifteen years ago) at a time when I was just starting to get hugely busy with my spiritual and psychic work.  I still had a corporate communication business, but my spiritual work was taking more and more of my time. I was becoming ‘very professional’ and ‘successful’ as a psychic, and my quiet love had become a business in its own right.  I was also feeling a little burned out, and my initial enthusiasm was waning:

Big Nicole: Hi Little Nicole, why are you so cranky right now?

Little Nicole: It’s just not fair! We never have fun anymore.  You only ever use your cards for the other people.  When do we get to play with them?  Why don’t we just play with the crystals like we used to, or go sit in the garden with all the fairies? You’re always too busy. I hate that. And Mr X is so mean and stupid to you at work.  It doesn’t even pay good money!!!

 

Oh.  I hadn’t expected that. I thought the problem was that my husband left his dirty dishes on the counter and could never get them into the dishwasher.  I thought it was my never-shrinking to-do list and the things I never got time to get to. I thought it was all these other things…

When you have finished writing with your Inner Child, go make yourself a cup of tea or get a nice cold drink (yes, take the time to have a five minute disconnect from the process you just worked with – you  need to be firmly back in your adult brain for this next bit ) and then sit down and read over what you wrote.

Your Inner Child has given you a magical list of resentment remedies.  Take a pen and underline the important parts of what they said to you.

Little Nicole: It’s just not fair! We never have fun anymore.  You only ever use your cards for the other people.  When do we get to play with them?Why don’t we just play with the crystals like we used to, or go sit in the garden with all the fairies? You’re always too busy. I hate that. And Mr X is so mean and stupid to you at work.  It doesn’t even pay good money!!!

Now you need to put your Inner Child’s guidance into action. Start by finding some small windows of time just for you. Following my own Inner Child’s advice I gave myself the gift of ten minutes (that’s nothing! – anyone can find ten minutes!!!) each morning to choose a daily card, reflect and write a few insights, and play with my crystal collection.  One day a week I took a half-hour walk out in nature. Even though the amount of time I was gifting back to myself was small it made a huge positive change in the sense of freedom and expansion in my everyday world.

Little Nicole was also right about the mean man – I had a corporate client who was hugely demanding, calling me at home on weekends and expecting me to work 20 hour days to complete projects to his insane deadlines.  I finished my contract with his organisation and walked away, knowing that I had enough clients to work at my spiritual ‘job’ full time.

And I asked my husband to please put his plates in the dishwasher, and after asking him, he did!

My resentment melted away because I was honouring my own needs and making space for them in my life.

We feel resentment when there is not enough time for our own dreams and interests.  Of course our resentment will find a place to focus our attention, so we end up thinking it’s our annoying boss, or our ungrateful husband, or our demanding children who are ruining our lives.  But in fact, it was us and our choices all along. And in the beginning we were happy with those choices.

By making time for ourselves  and our dreams, our lives become more fulfilling and sustainable – and we find that the unbearable becomes tolerable again.  We might even regain our zest for the things that are currently dragging us down.

Resentment always has simple antidotes.  It is about reclaiming a corner of your life for YOU!  Life is short, and precious.  Don’t taint it with resentment – it’s just not worth it.  There’s always a better way.  Today I’m holding the intention that you find clarity, and the courage to take action to make your life more aligned with your Soul.  ❤ Much love to you xx

dangerous-risk-quote

When your Heart says No…

Image from www.grassrootsy.com

“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”  ~ Barbara De Angelis

We’ve all been there.  The place that ticks all the boxes.  The partner our friends and parents love.  The dream job.  The thing we thought we really wanted.  The place we always figured we’d be happy to be…

Image from www.xfinitytv.comcast.net

But what happens when you meet that dream lover, or find yourself in that perfect place, or finally achieve the big thing, only to find that something’s missing?

You scratch your head, and check the boxes.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

It all looks good. It all adds up.

So why do you feel like you’re dead inside?

Life isn’t always about finding a partner/job/solution that ticks all your boxes.  After all, wasn’t it your HEAD that made the list up in the first place? Or, maybe even worse, it’s your Mother’s list, or your teacher’s, or something you found in a self-help book or some corner of the internet.

If it’s not feeling right, it’s because your HEART isn’t engaged.  And that’s where the magic happens!

Image from www.favim.com

Think back over your life, and you’ll soon know what I mean.  Remember the outfit you loved so much because it transformed you somehow.  The one you never would have chosen for yourself, because you didn’t think that colour suited you. But once you tried it on, you knew…

What about your unlikely best friend, back at school?  The one so opposite to you, and when you got together all you did was laugh and laugh. You came from different backgrounds, you looked completely different to one another, but you both were crazy about that one thing that brought you together in the first place.

Remember the weird combination of flavours that had you totally hooked at that little Thai street cafe on the last night of your overseas holiday – your whole life up until that point had been about the plain sort of food your grandma cooked.  Since then you’ve sought out food like that back home. You even COOK food like that at home.

Life is a glorious adventure, and it was never meant to fit so neatly into a plan, or a list or a flow chart. Certainly not one that is safe, sensible and completely without risk.  All the best stuff in life is the stuff you never could have made up for yourself.

Hearts have a wisdom all their own.  And the wisdom they share with you might not make any sense at all to your brain.  Or to anyone else’s brain. (But whose life is this anyway?)

Heart wisdom isn’t logical and yet it usually shows you the best path to happiness in life.

When your heart says NO, pay attention. When all the boxes are ticked, and there’s no gleam in your eye, no enthusiasm in your step, your heart is trying very hard to tell you something.

Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘my heart’s just not in it’? That’s your heart saying NO.

When your heart says no, it’s asking you to stretch, it’s encouraging you to grow. That might feel a little strange at first.  It might even feel a little wrong.  Don’t confuse fear with intuition… What we come to love often looks or feels different to what we had expected in our mind.

When your heart says NO it’s because it understands that there is a YES just round the next corner, and if you say wrongly say YES to a NO, you close yourself off to the magic and miracles that give us the best and most memorable parts of life.

Tune in today.  Ask your heart.  Is it a YES?  Is it a NO?

When your heart says NO, be brave.  Move on…

Daniel’s Story – or The Power of Truth

Lonely Man by Salihguler

For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. 
~ Bo Bennett

Sometimes life as a psychic can be very challenging.  But it can also be incredibly rewarding.  Daniel is one of those stories.

For about a month before Daniel came to see me, I had recurring visions and dream scenes.  At the time I didn’t know they were linked to Daniel.  All I knew was that they upset and confused me.

I would wake in the night with a splitting headache.  When I finally went back to sleep I would be walking down a corridor (but I knew it wasn’t me – I was just looking through someone else’s eyes), my vision blurred, my movements slow and stumbled, filled with a sense of anger, futility and despair. But it was muddled, my thinking, and impaired somehow.  I would push open a door, gain a sudden sense of clarity about something, and stagger purposefully toward a road.

Bang!

I would wake up again.  This time I would be calm. And all that came to me was the name Jason.

Was it really a dream?  Was it my dream? Was it the future? The past?  I had no idea, but it went from a once a week dream to a twice a week dream to a nightly thing, and it began to wreck my waking hours – with the lack of sleep, and the emotional stress from the intensity of the feelings I experienced each night and my inability to understand them.

Image from dcairns.wordpress.com

But the morning Daniel came to see me I had slept like a baby all night. What was even better was that my other two appointments for psychic readings had been rescheduled, so I had only one, Daniel’s, at nine in the morning. I felt like something good was about to happen. I began to think about how I would spend the rest of my day.  Maybe a massage, or some acupuncture.  Maybe a bookshop… My mind was pleasingly clear, and I felt happy and optimistic.

Then Daniel turned up.

Daniel was edgy. A young man in his early twenties, or perhaps a shade older. My clients are often nervous, but never edgy. Daniel stood at my door in a hoodie, although it was warm, and he kept looking around like he felt he was being watched.  He couldn’t look me in the eye. It wasn’t exactly a great start energetically.

I shook his hand in greeting, and it was as if a dark shadow started running from his arm and up mine.  It didn’t scare me, but it showed me what a level of mental anguish Daniel was in. I had this sudden understanding that he saw that I was somehow his last chance.

As I held his hand he began to shake.  His face was drawn and pale.

“Come in,” I told him, and I directed him straight into my lounge-room. That’s not what I normally do.  Usually I would take my client straight into the room where I do my readings.  Instead I sat Daniel down and asked him if he’d like a cup of tea. Yes, he did, so I made a pot while he waited. As I picked up the tray to take in to him a voice in my head said Ask him about Jason.

Jason. That name again.  My whole body began to tremble slightly, but not with fear. It was a crazy sense of adrenalin.  I just knew something big was about to happen.

I poured tea, sat down opposite him, and after we’d both sipped our tea and put our cups down I found myself saying, “Okay Daniel. There’s something we really need to talk about today.  We need to talk about Jason.”

His face crumpled in shock.  Daniel began to cry. “I didn’t come here to talk about that.  How did you know about that?  How did you know?” he kept muttering.

“Come on, Daniel.  You need to talk to me,” I encouraged, as a whole movie flashed before me and I understood with certainty what was going on.

Daniel looked at me, his eyes filled with anguish.  “Please help me. I killed somebody,” he said.

“I know,” I replied sympathetically.  “You killed Jason.”

“It was terrible,” he whispered.  And then he told me his story. The one he had kept locked inside him all that time.

It was Melbourne, the end of his senior year,and all of his friends were getting ready to fly to the Gold Coast for Schoolies Week. Daniel had made the decision not to go.  He didn’t have enough money and he’d just organised a job at a local hardware store.  He planned to work there until he started Uni the next year. He was sure he’d get into engineering and his studies came first. He’d already celebrated the last night of school with his mates on Thursday. They would fly out early on Saturday morning which gave them a full day to recover and pack their bags.

His parents went away for the weekend on Friday night, and Daniel went to the local pizza place with his mates and then cried off early and went home.  He started work at seven the next morning.

But just after midnight his mates rang him, drunk, from the local pub.  They couldn’t get a taxi.  Could he come and pick them up?

Daniel’s old car couldn’t fit five people, but his Dad’s could.  It was only a few blocks away. Even though he was banned from driving his Dad’s car he made the decision to borrow it.  They’d never know, and he’d be really careful.

He drove to the hotel, and circled through the packed carpark.  It was a tight squeeze, as cars had parked illegally, and the whole place was dimly lit.  He couldn’t find a park anywhere, so he decided to go back out onto the street to park.  Daniel had just edged past a line of cars when a person staggered out of the garden directly in front of him.  He braked but it was too late.  He hit the man, who fell onto the bonnet of the car before sliding off onto the road.

Daniel reversed.  The man lay in the gutter, illuminated by his headlights. There was so much partying noise coming from the pub but no-one was rushing over.  Daniel got out of the car and ran over to the man.  He turned him over and looked into his unfocused eyes.  He was still breathing, but his breath was ragged and he stank of alcohol.

Are you okay?  He kept asking the man over and over, but the man didn’t answer.

And that’s when something snapped inside him. Daniel sat the man up, leaning against a tree next to the path where everyone would walk to the car park. Somebody would be sure to see him.  Then he got back into the car and drove towards home.  On the way he pulled over and called an ambulance from a public phone.  Just in case.

When he got home he realised that his Dad’s car was damaged.  There was a large dent on the bonnet, and a chip in the paint. Then he heard police sirens, and watched several patrol cars race past on the road outside. The sirens ended in just a minute or two.  They must have stopped at the pub.  Had he killed that drunk man? Daniel panicked. He raced around the house, shoving things in his backpack.  He grabbed as much money as he could find, and then he took off.

The first year was hardest. He got a bus to North Queensland, and stayed at a backpackers, picking fruit and trying to blend in.  He saw on the news that he’d killed a man called Jason. He was never linked to the crime.  He didn’t ring his parents or make any contact.  He chose a new name.

But it was tough.  He couldn’t open a new bank account, he couldn’t register a car or get a drivers license, he didn’t have a tax file number to get a proper job. He lived life as a loner, constantly moving from place to place.

So now here he was, sitting on my lounge, emotionally destroyed at twenty six.

“We need to call the police,” I said.

“Okay.”  Daniel nodded his head like a little boy. I made a call to a detective I’ve worked with before.  Within an hour two uniformed police arrived at my house.  After a prolonged interview in my lounge-room they took Daniel away.

Charges were never laid.  Jason was a petty crook and addict, and his death was caused by a potent cocktail of drugs and alcohol. Police believe he may have deliberately walked out in front of Daniel. Being hit by a car was not the cause of death.

Daniel was reunited with his family, and has enrolled to study psychology at University next year. He called me to thank me not long ago.  He has a girlfriend now, and he can live life out in the open again.  He’s a changed man.

And Jason? I’ve never had a bad dream about him since. But the night after Daniel came to see me I couldn’t sleep at all. Just on dawn, as I sat in my darkened lounge, I heard Jason’s voice one last time. Thank You.

* NB – This story is told with permission. Names and locations have been changed to preserve the privacy of those involved.

When is it okay to break a promise?

Image from blog.chasebrammer.com

I take giving my word very seriously. Promises made are never made lightly, and since childhood I have rarely needed to break one.

But I’m going to break one now. This isn’t information I’d normally share, but I have given so much thought to this that I felt my musings might be helpful to someone else in a similar situation…

A while ago I blogged about knowing when to let go.  Today I realise that for me, with one relationship, it’s time. Why now?  Because where I find myself is not what I signed up for.  Let me explain why I’m walking away.

Image from timshome.com

When I came to your aid you were drowning. Drowning and calling my name. I jumped into that seething river, (as any reasonable person who could swim might), held up your head, and with all my might I edged us back towards the shore.  As you stopped panicking, as we moved to shallower water and your feet touched bottom, you quit struggling and began to help yourself.  Finally we got to shore. You thought that was the end.  I knew it was only the beginning, and I pledged to stay.

We moved further up the bank, away from the danger. Others came to help.  You were safe. And after a while I quit holding my breath and trusted you.

But you keep throwing yourself back in that damned river.

And you expect that I will keep jumping in after you.

So far I have.  Every single time. And each time you’re sorry.

And then you do it again…

It has worn me out. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t uphold a promise when you won’t value it yourself.

To keep jumping in after you puts ME in danger. As much as I have a responsibility to you, I also have one to myself.

Image from safetybanners.com

So I will stay here on the bank. You know where to find me.  I can help you from here. And we’ve been in that river enough times now that YOU know how to navigate the hazards and get back to shore.

I’m not giving up on you. I’m still loving you.  But it’s time to love yourself.  That’s one thing I can’t do with you, and I sure can’t do for you.

Image from kcgraphics.tumblr.com

If you give up on yourself I’ll feel so sad for you. But it won’t make me save you at my own expense. I’ve learned to love myself more than that. I pray one day you learn that too. ♥

Image from loversinvain.blogspot.com

Listen with your eyes…

Image from wallpaperstate.org

If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.
~ Pablo Picasso

When I was younger, and just becoming interested in love relationships, my Nana gave me an odd piece of advice. She told me I needed to learn to listen with my eyes.

Of course I had no idea what she was talking about.

But as I get older I am more and more grateful for her wisdom. It holds true for love, friendship, business… It has helped me get my head straight about things more than once in this lifetime.

My beautiful Nana, who is still going strong at 96

Don’t be seduced by your ears, she told me. People can tell you anything, and make it sound good. People can tell you anything, and you might believe it… But it might only be words.

Learn to listen with your eyes.

Image from teacherneedhelp.com

That boy who tells you how great he is, and how successful – how does he speak to his mother? How does he treat his sister?

Do you see him studying hard, and bettering himself?

How does he speak to the waitress in the coffee shop? Is he patient with old people? Kind to animals?

Does he turn up when he says he will, call you like he promised, pay his fair share?

Don’t listen to what he tells you, let your eyes hear his truth.

Conversely, there will be people you meet who don’t talk themselves up at all. There might not be much to hear with your ears, but when you listen with your eyes you’ll learn plenty.

Image from caregiverstress.com

When our feelings, hopes, desires, fears, needs and expectations get in the way they colour everything we hear.

Listening with our eyes helps us to see things as they are – and from that place of knowing we are far better placed to make wise and informed decisions that serve us well.

Evaluating people by their actions, rather than their self-promotion, is a powerful tool in your relationship toolkit. It’s also a great wisdom to live by in your own life – let your actions speak louder than your words and live life with integrity, in a way that showcases your values. That sort of authenticity attracts people and opportunities far better suited to your Highest Good.

How You Can Change the World

I’m here with some good news.  You are powerful, and you can make a difference in our world!

Have you noticed that much of the world media is focussed primarily upon the negative, and it builds a vibration of fear and uncertainty around our futures?  Many of us are reeling under the constant barrage of bad news, and the latest market crash, tragedy or monstrous act of violence.

It is easy to feel that we are insignificant in the scheme of things.  But this is not the case.  Many people have changed the world through their thoughts, and actions.  And you too can play a part in lifting the vibration of our world to a place of Harmony and Peace.

At the core of our distress is always lack of Love.  When we live from our Hearts, violence against each other, and senseless acts of greed and inhumanity within our communities and environment dissolve.  Why? These are not products of the Heart, but of the Mind.  They arise from our sense of disconnectedness from ourselves, our families, our communities, our environment and God/Source Energy.

So what can you do?

Firstly, focus on all that IS good in your life, and in the world, no matter how small that detail may be.  Do not give your attention to the bad news around you, and the unwanted things in your life.  Focus purely on what is going well, and what makes you feel good.

When you pray or meditate, bring that beautiful Divine Love and Light into your body and heart.  Fill yourself up, and allow the Love and Light to continue to flow through you and to the people around you.  Picture people and situations, and send healing energy and Love to them.  Surround them in white Light and wish them only Love and Good, no matter who they are or what their actions might have been.  See people and situations only as you wish them to be – full of harmony, wellness, love, creativity, joy and peace.  Don’t dwell on negativity – always choose Light.  Choose forgiveness of yourself and others

Within your immediate circle, practice acts of love, kindness and compassion.  Move outside your own needs, and begin to understand and reach out to meet the needs of the people around you.  Strengthen relationships within your family, friends and community.

Create a network of support for yourselves and others. Speak well of people. Treat others in the way you would wish to be treated, and always, always send and practice Love and Kindness.  Where people hurt and upset you, send them more Love and Kindness.  And when you are hurt and upset, connect with Love and Light to heal yourself.

Be true to yourself.  Practice self nurture, and allow yourself the time and freedom to enjoy your life and your relationships.  Use the gifts that you were blessed with to do the things you are passionate about, and that you most enjoy.  Doing this puts good energy back into the world, and allows you to grow and flourish at a Soul level, making ever increasing amounts of positive energy available to you and to those around you.  You will have a positive impact on your immediate environment, friends and family just through your personal energy and state of mind!

Reach out to others whenever you can.  We are social creatures, and it is when our connections with others begin to weaken and fall apart that we are most capable of harming ourselves and others.  Practice a spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness, but most of all, BE Love.  Remember old people and children.  Help them to feel loved and wanted.  Find a way to give back to your community or a charity of your choice.  Lead by example.

Accept healing and nurture from nature.  Spend time in natural environments, and with plants and pets.  They are all here to give us Love.  Introduce nature into your home and work environments and try to spend time in the fresh air and sunshine.  Yes, it does make a difference!

Slow down!  Take time to breath, to feel, to rest and relax.  Reduce your stress, and the stress you impose on others.  Eat well and look after your health.  Support products, services, organizations and individuals with integrity and who treat the world and its inhabitants with Love and Respect.

Finally, strive for Love and excellence in all you do, and in all you are.  When you raise your own vibration, it has a positive cascade effect on all around you.  So, don’t buy into fear – choose Love.  Like the saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the World.

Knowing When to Let Go

Be brave and let go. Let go of fear, and pain. Stop holding to the thing that is tearing you apart. While you hang on, grimly gripping and clutching this to you, you deny yourself freedom, new gifts, love. It is madness to presume that you are more wise than the Universe. Let go. Trust. – Nicole Cody

There are so many reasons why we struggle with letting go.

Some of us just don’t like to fail – if we say we’re going to deliver, if we take a marriage vow, sign up for a deadline, have ethics that are all about family or mateship, have strong religious or spiritual beliefs, made a public proclamation about a certain thing, have other people telling us that this is what we need, then we may hold onto a person or situation longer than we should.

Sometimes we are spending our lives thinking about everyone else; not wanting to let people down, wanting THEM to be happy even if we must sacrifice something or all of ourselves to do that. Perhaps we have been raised to see this as worthy behaviour, or the way to be lovable – earning love through good deeds and sacrifice.

Sometimes we have become so fixated on achieving the end goal that we’ve stopped asking ourselves the right questions “Does this still serve me?  Does this still honour me?”  Did it ever…

Sometimes we’ve let something define us for so long that we no longer know who we are without that thing in our life.  Even if it’s killing us or making us miserable.

Sometimes we let our heart rule our head.  Sometimes we let our head rule our heart. And it’s not making us feel good. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

Or maybe we are afraid.  Afraid that if we let go nothing will ever come to replace it.  Afraid that people will judge us or turn away from us, or leave us. Afraid that if we let go, the thing might suddenly come good, and all our struggle will have been worth it.

Sometimes we think we don’t deserve any better.

So how do we know when we need to let go? When duty is the only thing that drives us and all the joy has faded from our lives.  When we’ve forgotten the reason we signed up for this in the first place.  When we’ve become indifferent to life, our relationship, this thing…  When our health is in tatters, when the person in the mirror is a stranger, when our finances are in ruins, when we’re choking down anger and resentment on a daily basis, when we are no longer a person we like or believe in, when we’ve lost ourselves, it’s time to let go.

When we have gotten to a place where everything is hard, everything is dark, where we can see no place in our lives for hope, or joy or happiness, then it’s time to let go.  When we can no longer keep our eyes open and our hands on the wheel, and we’re popping pills to keep going, white knuckled from fear and exhaustion, it’s time to let go.

When it’s in the past, where we have no way to change it, we need to let go.

Why do we need to let go?

When we are in struggle, we are out of the flow of Universal Good. In that place where we are battling against the current of life we exhaust ourselves, and often have nothing to show for our efforts.  It is all hard, hard, and harder.

When we surrender and let go, we stop swimming against the current.  Life picks us up and supports us and begins to move us in a new direction.  There is a wisdom and grace in the Universe that far exceeds our own.  It we can only trust and let go, finally, we can begin moving towards a better future, to new opportunities, new relationships, new adventures.  We give ourselves a fresh start.  We give ourselves a chance to be happy, a chance to find ourselves and to open ourselves to bright new possibilities.

Even if that means for a time we must sit alone, hands empty…

How do we let go?

Sometimes we need to ask for help. It’s not important to have the answer, it’s only important to have recognised that we need to change. There are many skilled and caring people in the world who can help you make the shift once you’ve decided that it’s time.

Sometimes we will already know what to do.

All change requires effort, but change is possible. If you know you’re unhappy and you can longer work out why,  imagine the current choices and relationships in your life. Imagine the problems.  Now imagine removing them.  Is there a sense of loss or panic, or a sense of relief?  Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

Sometimes we only need to put our burdens down for a time.  When we’ve rested, or found someone to share the load, then we find we want to continue, that we can continue.

So many times we let go of the job, and we land on our feet.  We let go of the relationship, and we meet our soul mate.  We pack up and go, and an unexpected direction leads us to a happier and more fulfilled life unlike anything we could have imagined for ourselves.

When not to let go

You’ll know it. It’s as different a feeling as night is to day. This is an energy within you infused with light, hope, clarity, determination, strength, courage.

It’s the thing thing that helps you keep swimming, towing a drowning soul with their head above water, when you are both exhausted.  It’s the thing that helps mothers lift a car to release their trapped child. It’s the voice inside you that tells you to call someone, or turn up at their house, or dash into a burning building. It’s the conviction that helps you stand by someone when you believe in a better outcome for them but they are in a place where they can’t yet see it for themselves.

That’s the energy of Love.  That’s the feel of God as our wings.  That’s Divine Grace working through us. There is something within us that will not give up the fight, something within us that KNOWS we can do it, that we will do it. That we would rather do this and die trying than to walk away.  This is a feeling of being energised, vital, alive, burning with a seering focus.

Tune in.  How are you feeling? Answer yourself honestly.  Make a decision.  Trust..