Vale, Tony, my precious friend

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
~ Ray Bradbury

 

On Tuesday night the world lost a gentle gardener of souls.

My friend Tony slipped away.

Tony was the heart of Sangsurya, the place where I run my retreats.

We’ll be a little quiet here for the next few days as we mourn our friend and honour his life and legacy. How many lives he has shaped and changed, including mine.

Bless you, Tony. May your heart spin ever faster.

Onwards on your journey, dear one.

You will be missed.
❤ xoxo

Photo taken at Sangsurya by Dana Hartnell

 

A Very Quiet Anniversary

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“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 

It was our seventeenth wedding anniversary yesterday.

And our day looked like this.

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And this. (That’s a boat made of ginger, filled with moxa – a total OMG treatment – wow!!! I’ll blog about that another day!)

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After which I retired to bed and slept for the rest of the day.

But that’s okay.

Sometimes that’s what love looks like.

I’m working hard with my awesome team at beating this enduring antibiotic-resistant superbug that has been causing so much havoc. It’s working. I’m improving. But it’s been quite the battle. And my regime is intensive just now.

We rescheduled yesterday’s wedding anniversary. Just like we rescheduled Ben’s birthday. And mine last year (which happened the day after major surgery and which ranks as the number one worst birthday of my life!). Hopefully, if my health keeps improving, we’ll be heading to Vietnam and then the Philippines in three weeks. We’ll celebrate everything there.

Meanwhile, I am feeling brighter this morning so Ben and Cafe Dog and I are off to town in search of a tasty breakfast.

Love to you all, Nicole ❤ xx

Unexpected Gifts – Nurse Bert!

Kerry Warnholtz

The talented Kerry Warnholtz, on a recent photo and video shoot at our farm.

“Acts of Kindness:
A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”
~ Roy T. Bennett

 

It’s been a hard few weeks, with the loss of our precious dog Bert.

It’s also been rough because I am still fighting the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that I picked up in hospital last year. It’s manifested as a persistent urinary tract infection that has made my life quite miserable. Right now I’m on aggressive treatment, which is working, but which also involves regular IV therapy, acupuncture and lots of herbs and essential oils.

So you can imagine that I have been feeling a little glum…

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Ben and Harry and I have been greatly buoyed by all of your kind comments and love, and the outpouring of stories you’ve shared with us of your own pets and loved ones.

Thank you. ❤

It has made a tough time more bearable.

I also received two other gifts on Wednesday which have overwhelmed us with their kindness.

The first was a little book, made by my thoughtful friend Monique Sinclaire. Inside were a collection of pictures of Bert which she must have found online. In an act of deep synchronicity the photo at the beginning and end of the book were the same ones I chose for the beginning and end of Wednesday’s blog about Bert’s passing. Thank you, Monique. We’ll treasure this!

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The other was a short video, made by the ever-kind Kerry Warnholtz. Kerry is an incredibly gifted and heart-centered photographer and videographer. Last year Kerry spent a week at our farm and one of my retreats to shoot footage for a short documentary for me. The aim of the documentary was to capture the work and care we put into preparing for and running our retreats.

I’ll show you the results soon. It’s wonderful!

Of course Kerry shot oodles of footage. Of everything. And somewhere in all of that she had the sweetest piece of video, of Ben, me and Nurse Bert, in the back yard at the end of the day, as we all enjoyed a cup of tea and the leftover treats from our photo shoot. (A big shout out to Jessie and Andrew from Home Amongst The Green, whose delicious treats feature on the plate that Bert can’t take his eyes off!)

It was such a glorious and unexpected wonder, to look at our beautiful boy once more, being his irrepressible food-oriented self. Watch his eyes, which tell you quite repeatedly that he would like a treat please!

Thank you, Kerry. It made us laugh and cry, and all of that is good medicine.

If you’re ever looking for someone to capture the heart and soul of your family or business in images, look no further than Kerry. I can’t recommend her highly enough. You can find her at Truth Seeker Images Multimedia.

And here he is, Nurse Bert, one more time…

The Week Ahead – Oracle Reading for Monday 16 January

Grief

“Grief does not change you… It reveals you.”
~ John Green

Hello, dear friends!

I apologise that today’s post is late in coming. In fact I was unsure if I would even be able to write it at all. But here it is.

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead.

‘Grief’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

On Saturday morning I chose this card for the week ahead. I thought I might get organised and write my weekly post early, before my unplugged Sunday, and so that I might spend Monday morning (today) working on my almost-finished memoir.

When I pulled this card, I did a double-take. Oh, I thought, looking closely at the picture. It’s a heart-broken girl holding her dead dog. I can’t post that! So, I put the card down, and I moved onto another project and then some client readings and suddenly it was Saturday afternoon, and I forgot all about that card, and I went for a swim on that hot afternoon, with Ben my husband, and with Harry and Bert our dogs.

Well, some of you already know what happened next. Bert collapsed without warning. The next minute we were racing him to a vet. And then racing him from our country home back to a big veterinary hospital in the city. Our beloved dog Bert died at 4am on Sunday. We are all heartbroken. Yesterday was just a wash of tears.

And then this morning I remembered the card, and wept anew.

But, that’s enough of me. I need to talk about this card, and how it relates to you.

Grief is actually a beautiful card. An important card. I’m sure some of you are feeling these energies right now. These energies of grief and loss and tragedy and yearning and heartache and regret and disappointment and emptiness, right as the year began fresh. What an awful energy, you might think, to strike right when we need to be  hopeful and optimistic and to enjoy our fresh start.

It’s okay. The Grief card has a powerful message for you this week.

This is what grief reminds you: Grief is just love with nowhere to go.

That’s as it should be when you first lose something. Until you learn how to keep loving without it.

If you let grief keep rebounding inside you with no expression and no flow, eventually it can lead to frustration, anger, and then to depression.

All of that love, if you don’t eventually give it form again with something else, all of that love held as grief will weigh you down, and prevent you from living truly and fully in your life.

So, feel into the energy of grief this week, for in it are the seeds of so much locked-up positive emotion, so many gifts, so much power to propel you forward again.

This might be grief around relationships, choices, changing circumstances, mistakes, outcomes, all manner of loss…

Where have you got energy locked up in grief? Where is there energy trapped in your life with nowhere to go? How can you untangle that and repurpose it and give it somewhere to flow again?

How can you take all of this love with nowhere to go, and channel it into something new and good?

You might be surprised at the breakthroughs you have this week!

Supportive crystals this week? Rose Quartz, Chrysocolla, Green Aventurine and Citrine. Helpful essential oils? Young Living’s Inner Child essential oil blend, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of orange, jasmine, rosemary and geranium.

Feelings are a part of our lives for a reason. They help us to understand ourselves and the world around us, and they light the path for us, if we can be brave enough to follow where they lead.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations.  All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

 

 

The Strange Dream

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.” ~ Edgar Cayce

 

I had the strangest dream last night.

A dream that seemed less like a dream and more like a garden party.

My grandfather was there, handsome and charming as ever. Dressed in his best summer nautical whites.

My grandfather passed away some years ago. I knew instinctively that all of the other people in the dream had also died. But there was no solemnity or sadness. We were celebrating something, waiting for an honored guest, and it was very social.

My grandfather introduced me to an older woman, and a girl in her early twenties perhaps.

We chatted for a moment, and then the happy young girl fixed her eyes on me in a way I could not ignore. She asked me to give her mother a message for me. She told me her mother’s name and where she was from.

And then she gave me the message, which was short but clear.

The message was in two parts. Both for her ‘mom’, but one private and one I could share.

Here’s the share message.

God is love, and love is everywhere.

So this morning I am looking for Dani’s mom. I hope I find her…

 

Christmas Gift Oracle For You!

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“May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!”   ~ Author Unknown

 

Will you join me for a cup of tea so I can give you a little Christmas present?

Here’s the tea. Come sit with me and let me tell you how glad I am to have you in my life. I’m so grateful to have you as part of our community as we share this journey of life together. Thank you!

A cup of tea for us, under the Jacaranda tree here at my farm!

A cup of tea and some tasty treats for us, under the Jacaranda tree here at my farm!

Every so often I like to create an oracle for you. The very first one I ever posted was The Healing Power of Flowers and Fairy Blessings.  We offered a selection of flowers for you to choose from, and each flower came with a message – a mini-reading if you will. It was so well received that I’ve been creating oracles for you ever since.

Today I’m so pleased to offer you another of my Magical Oracles! This time, I’d like you to choose the Christmas Gift that appeals to you the most. Then take your time to unwrap it and receive its message and blessings for you.

Instructions for using today’s post

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

When you have chosen your gift, scroll further down for your oracle message. Trust that what you most need to know is exactly what you shall choose.

Wherever you are, and whatever your faith and beliefs, I wish you peace today and the days ahead, and joy in your heart. Know that you are loved. Know that you’re in my daily prayers and meditations. You matter to me. I intend only the best for you, and that 2017 be a year that is richly satisfying and filled with love and kindness.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

 

Let the Christmas Blessings Begin…

1. Rustic Star Gift

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2. Bag of Treats Gift

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3. ♥ Retro Red and Gold Gift

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4.  Cute Snow Elves Gift

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5. Sweet Somethings Gift

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6.  Precious Hearts Gift

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7.  Simple Red Wrapping Gift

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8. Golden Gift

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♥ Your Gift’s Message ♥

Each Christmas Gift has a message for you for the year ahead. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your chosen gift.  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 Healing Environment is a place or activity you’ll find supportive and healing.

1. Rustic Star Gift  The Rustic Star Gift heralds a return to health and well-being for you in 2017. You’ll be able to tune in to the wisdom of your body, and will naturally begin to prefer the foods, exercise and other support that best suits your individual needs. You’ll find the right practitioners and advice, and feel a resurgence in energy and mental clarity over the months ahead. You’ll become stronger and comfortable within your own skin. This newfound health will become the foundation for so many other breakthroughs and advances in your life.  Best Crystal – BLOODSTONE   Power Word – VITALITY  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Fresh Air to fill your lungs, to energise you with the sun and healing vibrations of the natural environment, and to get blood pumping through your body as you move around. Resting and meditating in nature is fabulous for you too!

2. Bag of Treats Gift This is a year rich in blessings for you.  After years of hard work, self work and every other kind of work, via winding paths and difficult terrain, 2017 is going to open out in front of you like a long straight highway. A year of abundance, love, prosperity and peace. Problems drop away. Struggle drops away. A foundational year of greatness, based upon self-awareness and humility as you shine your light and share your gifts. ♥ Best Crystal – CLEAR QUARTZ ♥ Power Word – ABUNDANCE  Magical Healing Environment – Time on your own. Time with Uplifting Others. Time on your own to meditate, to create, to connect, to plan, to journal, to dream, to learn, to rest, to integrate, to grow. Time with mentors, teachers and successful, positive peers. Small amounts often of both will work best for you in 2017.

3. ♥ Retro Red and Gold Gift  This year gifts you a return to your greatest and most natural state of self-confidence and self-expression. Old hurts and woundings fade away, and self-doubt diminishes. You begin to remember and access the very best parts of yourself and to live in the world as the expression of these aspects of yourself, and with all of the wisdom gained from the long hard journey of life. A time of certainty, safety and security. A year where you reconnect with your authentic and best self and live as that energy in the world. A happy and successful year on all levels. ♥ Best Crystal – ORANGE CALCITE  ♥ Power Word – CENTERED ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Anywhere that supports your growing sense of self-worth. Clothes shops that reflect this new and integrated you. Libraries, courses, bookstores. Places for exercise and healing. The movies and theaters that play the shows you love. Music that uplifts and connects you. Social outings with friends and family who love you and support you. Online communities that help you to grow and thrive. Anywhere quirky that reflects your own personality and helps you find expression and connection.

4. Cute Snow Elves Gift  This is a year of the heart for you. 2017 is a year rich in love, connection, friendship and community. It’s a year to find your soulmate, or to heal and deepen an existing relationship. A year for the blessings of family. It’s a year for creating heartspace and sanctuary. If you’re happily on your own it’s a year for connecting with your own wise soul, with God or with a friend or pet who will truly care for and understand you. A year of emotional blessings and love. Best Crystal – ROSE QUARTZ   Power Word – CONNECTION  ♥ Magical Healing Environment – Time with loved ones. This could be a shared meal, time away together, phone calls or online connections. It’s time for yourself and time for your important relationships. Time to make your house a home. It’s time for your spiritual journey and for communion with Spirit, God or whatever else you know that guiding energy as.

5. Sweet Somethings Gift This is your year for bravely sharing your talents and gifts with the world. A deeply creative year of flow and inspiration, and of finding the drive within you to churn out the work from a place of passion rather than of duty or fear. A fantastic year for becoming more openly and authentically you, and for being accepted and loved for who you are. A wonderfully productive year, accompanied by great ideas and clear direction.  Best Crystal – RAINBOW FLUORITE   Power Word – AUTHENTIC  Magical Healing Environment – Time spent in the company of books and stories This could be e-books, audio books or paper books. It could be movies or music. Let stories move you, inspire you, teach you and guide you in the year ahead. Filling yourself up with the stories of others will help your own story to positively shape and flow.

6. Precious Hearts Gift  This gift restores your Inner Child’s sense of wonder, gratitude and curiosity. The year ahead will be hallmarked by opportunities for joy, pleasure and fun. There is a return to light-heartedness and optimism after years of worry. Things will simply become easier in your life. Your attitude and vibration will lift. Positive people and opportunities will be drawn to you. Things in your life will work out well.  ♥ Best Crystal – CITRINE   Power Word – GRATITUDE  Magical Healing Environment – Adventures, outings and exploring.  Wander the markets, go on a road trip, plan some travel, eat out at new places, catch a bus or a train to a new part of town, lose yourself in a book or a movie, go camping or for hikes in nature. Bust clouds and watch the stars come out at night.

7.  Simple Red Wrapping Gift  This year is transformational for you. A great year for all forms of learning and study, and for self-development. A year to deepen wisdom, and to expand your mind. A year to master skills. A year for philosophy and deep thinking. A year to truly understand who you are and why you are here. A year where you will find a deep sense of inner peace and compassion for self and others.  Best Crystal – AMETHYST  Power Word – WISDOM   Magical Healing Environment – Time for thinking, studying and learning.  Libraries, online courses, universities and schools, mastermind groups, workshops and conferences will work well for you this year. Setting up a study or writing space at home will be useful. Find time for long walks in nature, and for meditation too.

8. Golden Gift This is a year of spiritual growth and evolution for you. A year for stepping into a highly intuitive place of flow and connection. A healing space of oneness with all. It’s a year for profound insights, connection to Spirit and an awakening of your deepest psychic and intuitive abilities. This is a powerful time for healing for you right now. A time to get your body, mind and spirit back in balance. A time of drawing inwards for a while, in order to emerge renewed, healed, empowered and reinvigorated. It’s a year for guidance, healing and breakthroughs that will positively and permanently alter the course of your life.  Best Crystal – LABRADORITE   Power Word – EVOLUTION  Magical Healing Environment – Quiet time to connect you to Self and God (or whatever you call source energy) Journalling, meditation, working with oracle and tarot cards, prayer and self-reflection. Time in sacred places. Time in the majesty of nature. Time with Elders and Spiritual Teachers and Leaders. Time for study. Time to connect with your Guides, Angels, Ancestors and God.

Accidents and Sudden Deaths – My thoughts from a psychic perspective

“Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am that swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
~ Autumn Rain – Mary Frye, 1932

 

This is the next post in my Wednesday series on death and dying.

Many people have asked me what happens to a person if they have a sudden death through accident or illness.

I’ve sat holding the hand of people who’ve been suddenly and gravely injured and who have then passed away.

I’ve also been ‘visited’ psychically by souls whose life has suddenly terminated due to trauma, or I have connected with them through my meditations.

One of the strongest psychic experiences I have ever had was of sitting in my friend’s body and being aware of his thoughts in the hours before and after his death from suicide. Although that remains the most brutal experience I have had, it was also a supreme gift.

This is what I have come to understand…

Death that is sudden is a shock for the soul. We live on, and our capacity for thought and awareness lives on. There is a period after death where the soul must orient themselves to their new circumstances.

This doesn’t always happen the same way.

 

Some people die in trauma and there is a short period of nothingness – as if someone wiped part of a video. In this way the soul is spared the traumatic memories. There will be no trauma to process even if the circumstances of death were difficult. Sometimes the soul abandons the mortally injured body before death takes place. There is no suffering. Life just stops. In every instance the newly liberated soul is met and guided by loved ones who help to move the soul to a place of love and comfort. Later the soul may revisit their body or the scene of their death, but by then they will have disconnected from their life to an extent that the revisiting adds no trauma, only understanding and closure for the life they have just lived.

Some people die, and don’t immediately realise that they are dead. They may look down on themselves and be completely disoriented and confused. There is no physical pain. I liken this situation to when you awaken from a dream and are not sure where you are for a moment. Then gradually understanding comes as you orient yourself to the room you are in. This may take minutes or hours. There is never a situation of being trapped in the body, or trapped on earth. Instead there is a period of readjustment before the soul accepts their death and moves to wherever it is we go after this current life journey is complete. And wherever that is, it is ALWAYS a return to love.

My friend who suicided realised too late that he had acted from emotion in making the decision to end his life, and that he didn’t want to die. He was still alive when that realisation came but it was impossible to change his outcome. In the moments before death he experienced extreme regret and sorrow, and a deep awareness of the trauma he would now inflict on his family. After death he came to a place of deep love and acceptance for himself and his life. That was his gift to me. He showed me and allowed me to feel that love. I have never experienced anything as comforting or all-encompassing as that place of unconditional love his soul moved into after death.

Souls don’t remain trapped on earth, or stuck in some strange in-between place because of trauma, sudden or violent death. We always return to love.

The true suffering is done here on earth.

The energetic imprint of trauma, violence and suffering can remain in a place, and many psychics and empaths will pick up on that. They can tune into thoughts, emotions and even images that have been imprinted. This energetic residue is NOT a trapped soul. Lightworkers can bear witness to that low vibration energy, and use love and light to dissipate it and heal a space or place if that feels right.

 

Do we always die because it is our time? I would love to say that I am wise enough to know the answer. All I can say here is that while many people do indeed die because whatever experience they needed here is complete, there are instances of accident and mishap that can terminate our lives before we did all we came here to do and experience. Life is fraught with risk. We are biological organisms. It’s a crazy adventure that sometimes goes wrong. I do know that, no matter what happens, we return to love when we die. And everything we experience teaches us something and helps us to grow – either in this life or in our time between lives.

It is important to remember that the ones most affected by sudden death (be it accident, suicide or medical) will be those left behind in life.

 

I also had a question from a reader about organ donation that fits in very well with what we’re talking about here on the blog this morning. Here it is:

“My understanding is that taking organs when the person is brain dead, or just after their heart has stopped beating means their spiritual body hasn’t completely left the physical body yet. I understand that this can cause distress in the next world and maybe even problems when reincarnating with a spiritual body that hasn’t fully healed from having parts taken or damaged. have you had any experiences of this type of thing, or is it something you could enquire into? My only personal experience is living in a building where they did experiments on human eyeballs in the basement. I’m not scared of ghosts usually, but the corridor by the basement always seemed to be teeming with unhappy souls.”

 

A ghost is an energetic residue. Many empaths and intuitives pick up on strong positive or negative emotional energies that have been imprinted upon objects or places. I believe that the reader who posted this question is highly empathic and intuitive, and hence their ability to tune into old energies held within the building where they lived.

When organs are taken from a donor, the person is already brain-dead or their heart has stopped beating. There will be no possibility that this person could be brought back to any form of life. Life is sometimes artificially continued for a short period of time through the use of machines that keep a supply of oxygenated blood flowing through the body. These keeps the organs viable so that the donor’s wish to gift life to others can still take place. The soul of this person will have already detached from their body when the organs are removed.

A soul is never hampered in their journey after death because of what may have happened to their physical body before or after death. A soul would not experience difficulties because part of their physical body continued to exist. That organ serves no purpose for the disembodied soul. We exist as more than just our physical bodies, and we have no need for our physical body after death. Our physical bodies may continue to do good and be of service after our death though, through acts such as organ donation.

Be kind to yourself, and those you meet. We never know what is going on within another, and this is often a hard time of year remembering those we have lost.

Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx