Shhhhh….. Napping Happening here!


“Reading and naps, two of life’s greatest pleasures, go especially well together.” 
― Will Schwalbe

I love Boxing Day. I don’t cook a thing. We survive on the leftovers of the Christmas Feast. Which is no hardship, believe me. Leftovers! Such a magnificent word. I sometimes think the only reason I cook so much food for Christmas Day is for the days to follow where my fridge and pantry are laden with leftovers I don’t need to prepare.

Today I plan to nap. And read. Then nap some more.

Ben will listen to the cricket on his headphones as he drives around our house paddock on the ride-on mower.

Later we might swim, if it’s hot.

Or, probably, just nap some more.

I think this might be my favourite day of the year!

Wishing you some relaxation and self-care too today,

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

Today’s a Self-Care Kind Of Day

“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” ~ Dalai Lama

 

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. Lots of work with clients, lots of email and phone and message support for students and clients, lots of care of family members. On top of writing, getting courses and retreats ready, and running a few webinars. And too much time in the city.

So today is a ME kind of day. A day for acupuncture and IVs to help my recovery from  major illness earlier this year, and for my ongoing recovery from Lyme disease. It’s a day for shopping for healthy food, and for wandering our vegetable gardens to harvest something for our dinner. It’s a day for visiting the beach to watch the ocean, or maybe dip my toes in, and then an early, early night.

No work. No clients. Just me, my healing team and my family. Some time in nature, an abundance of hugs and lots of rest. I am more than ready for that kind of a day.

How about you? Have you got some self-care on your agenda any time soon?

If you want help with that I have three suggestions:

  1. Come hang out at Retreat with me in November. I have just a few places left! Details here.
  2. Our next #GeShiDoMo challenge starts soon, and you could have an entire month devoted to self-care or getting things done to take the pressure off. Stay tuned for details later this week!
  3. 2018 Year of ME will also be launched next month. There’s a Planner to help you create a balanced and productive life with lots of active self-care, as well as a year-long membership and course with webinars with me, meditations and soul development information, practical guidance and a really awesome community of kind and supportive souls. More details on that soon too.

I hope you find a little you-time in your day today!
Lots of love, Nicole  xoxo

I’d Rather Be Here Than Blogging Today

Ben and Harry racing ahead while I stop to admire every shell and rock strewn before me…

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.” 
― Nikos KazantzakisZorba the Greek

 

Our Temple of Light Retreat is over, and I’m having a few quiet days for rest and reflection.

This morning instead of blogging I’m dashing this off because we are about to go beach walking and meeting friends for breakfast. After which I’m spending a leisurely day with my Planner, doing my Quarterly Review for the past three months, and some planning for the month ahead.

I’ll also be putting together a special blog post for tomorrow (usually Sunday is my day off!) to welcome in the energies of October.

How about you? What are you up to this weekend?

I hope that whatever you have planned, you also have a good measure of ‘me’ time thrown in. Remember Silith’s ‘Three Cures for Almost Everything’ – Walking, Quiet Time in Nature, and Sleeping. I’m intending all of them for me this weekend.

Biggest love to you, Nicole   xoxo

10 Simple Hacks For Creating More ‘Me’ Time

“In truth I suspect that merely slowing down is not a very satisfying answer. What I need has less to do with my pace of life than my peace of life. At any speed, I crave a deep and lasting inner peace. And if it’s solace I’m after, I don’t need to pace myself like a turtle, change jobs or set up house on a quiet island. It is usually frenetic living, not high energy, that robs my peace of mind.”
~ Steve Goodier

 

Time for ourselves is not some airy-fairy feel good concept. Time for ourselves is as necessary as breathing. It helps us to stay tuned into to who we are and what’s important to us. Time for ourselves recharges our batteries. It fills us with nurture and new ideas. It helps soothe and heal us.

Often it isn’t that we don’t have time, it’s that we’ve become a very low priority in our own lives.

Here are ten simple hacks to reclaim some of your precious time just for you:

1. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of a grocery shopping trip to have a cup of coffee and flick through a magazine at a cafe. I have girlfriends who have become speed shoppers, racing through their chores to get lovely long cafe time as their reward.

2. Sign up for a class one night a week. Not to give yourself yet one more thing to do, but to escape for a while and spend time on something you’d enjoy learning such as dancing, mosaic making, chainsaw ice-sculpture or Italian cooking. Often when we’re home we devolve into house-keeping duties or mindless screen time. Giving ourselves an outing can be refreshing and it invests time in ourselves and our development.

3. Get up half an hour earlier. Spend that time journalling, meditating, busting a few yoga moves, pulling an oracle or tarot card, or planning your day. Enjoy a cuppa, take a big breath and then let the day begin AFTER you’ve had some precious time to yourself. Not sure how to start? Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has great instructions for Morning Pages. Why not begin there!

4. Turn off the TV tonight. Sit down and write a story. Or a poem. Or a song. Stories fire up our imagination, help us heal the past, and let us dream the future. If you enjoy the process, come back and write some more one night each week. Writing not your thing? Go take a long soak in the tub!

5. Delete or minimise your social media profiles and screen time. Use some of your time saved to go for a walk. You could ramble around the neighbourhood, drive to a park or beach, or wander through the city. You can walk in the morning, evening or even in your lunch break. Breathe. Look. Listen. And feel how your whole soul begins to unwind…

6. Delegate a chore you don’t enjoy.  It could be cleaning, gardening or shopping. You could do it once for a break, or make it a regular thing. Pay someone if you have to, use an online service or use a barter system. Give yourself that saved time. Use your few hours alone to see that movie no-one else wants to see, to go to the Gallery, or to wander through the Farmers’ Markets or the shops you love.

7. Go to bed early with a book. Books are like magical carpets that take you to other places and times.

8. Delete the games off your phones and screens.They might seem relaxing, but in truth they are a huge time suck, and don’t contribute to lowered stress levels or heightened personal satisfaction. Don’t believe me? Commit to a month without them and you’ll see what I mean.

9. Meal Plan and Batch Cook Use one day to plan and prep all the meals for the coming week. Cook large batches of food, such as soups, pasta bakes, bolognese and even vegetable and salad prep for later in the week. Or use a meal provider who can bring pre-prepared meals to your door each week. If you’re up for it, combine doing the laundry and general house-keeping chores with your cooking day to get your home ship-shape before the week ahead. This saves so much time each week! How to use the time saved? Start or recommence a craft or project. Maybe you loved embroidery as a child. Or scrapbooking. Maybe you’ve been thinking about putting a vegetable garden in the back yard, or researching the family tree. Take some time to put your materials together, and then spend a little time each week devoted to this craft or project. Let it become a kind of good medicine in your life.

10. Say NO to something you don’t want to do, and then let the time you would have spent with others be yours alone. How often have you found yourself out with work colleagues or friends, wishing instead that you were home on the couch, watching your favourite show and eating soup and toast in your pyjamas? Your time really is precious. Start saying NO when it feels like duty or hard work, and use that time on something you’d prefer to do!

Your life is precious. Don’t let it slip by without filling some of it with what you love.
You deserve to be a priority in your own life! Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations,

Nicole <3 xoxo

Is Work Moving You Toward Or Away From What You Want? – Monday Oracle 10 April 2017

“I tend to be… they say ‘workaholic,’ which I just find to be ‘motivated.’ ”
~ Sarah Hay

Hello, Lovelies!

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead. I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. ‘Workaholic’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for April, you’ll remember that April has strong energy for believing in ourselves and reclaiming our direction.

So, what gifts does Workaholic bring for you this week?

This is a week for honestly evaluating how we spend our time.

Ask anyone who truly loves what they do, and they will most likely tell you that they work long hours, that they often wake up thinking about their work, and go to bed still thinking about it too.That’s not workaholism – that’s passion. That’s total engagement with an idea or a vision. Where others might see sacrifice or lack of balance, that person sees only their calling and being in flow with that thing. They are compelled and it adds to rather than subtracts from their lives.

Have you ever lost track of time while doing something you enjoy? That’s the kind of energy I mean.

Some of us work hard because there are bills to pay. We end up working in jobs we hate to pay for things we can’t really afford. Life becomes an endless rat race.

Then there’s work as a drug. Every spare hour is filled with some kind of job. And we are the ones who fill up those hours. This goes beyond being busy. (No, this doesn’t even have to be paid work. I’m just talking busy-ness. Even retirees can experience this.) We sign up for more and more and more. In fact, many of us have grown up believing that this is the measure of a successful person, or at least what it takes to be successful. But is it? This is workaholism – a mind-numbing addiction that is just as deadly as alcohol or drugs – because it keeps us from feeling our feelings and facing whatever it is that we are avoiding. It also ramps up our stress, weakens our bodies, invites illness and destroys lives.

Sometimes we end up in that workaholism space by choice, but often it sneaks up on us. Even people who love what they do can fall into this trap, and then find themselves facing burnout and falling out of love with their dream because they forgot to make it sustainable. Workaholism creates numbness and exhaustion so that we stop asking ourselves if this is what we want, or how we want to work and live, or if we would rather choose something else.

The energy of this week supports you asking yourself that very question. Is this the life I want for myself? Is this the work I want? Is there room in my life for living and doing what I love to do? How do I want to spend my time? What matters to me?

Find some time for yourself this week, and ask yourself those questions. And if you’re not happy with the answers begin to make some changes. Look to simplify your life, to find some time for the things that matter, and for the underestimated joy of just having spare time for living.

 

Helpful essential oils? 

Young Living’s Clarity essential oil blend, or a combination (or singly!) of any of Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood and Lavender. Clarity essential oil blend promotes focus and clear thinking, but it’s calming and uplifting at the same time. I love this oil, and it’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week. You can find all the oils here.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Image from www.blazeyourown.com

30 Things That Changed When I Took An Unplugged Day Every Week

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“My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people.”
~ Patricia Highsmith

 

In January this year I made an important decision. I have a life where I am almost always on call. Always connected and reachable. Always busy. Even though I work for myself and love my work, and I certainly don’t work every hour of every day, I had reached a point where I was doing some kind of work every day.

So this year I decided to make a change and designated Sunday as my unplugged day.

I made some simple rules for this unplugged day:

  • no work
  • no blogging
  • not even a skerrick of work
  • no social media
  • no checking emails
  • no checking my phone
  • no surfing the net
  • no games on my phone or tablet
  • no saying yes to invitations out of duty or obligation
  • no answering my cell phone (only family, close friends and neighbours have our home phone number)
  • no time at the mall, or shopping or doing other ‘duties’

I admit that it was awkward at first. I was jonesing to check my emails. Or my facebook feed. Or to use my time to catch up on work.

And I did an awful lot of sleeping on my first few Sundays off.

Did I mention the guilt at not being productive?

But after a month or so I settled into having this space just for me and my loved ones. I began to look forward to Sundays. And this is what I discovered:

  1. I began to hear and know my own voice again
  2. I slept better
  3. I began to remember who I was before I got so busy
  4. My priorities changed
  5. My garden got some love
  6. I enjoyed being with my partner rather than resenting him for constantly interrupting my work, or feeling guilty for setting aside work to be with him
  7. During the work week I found myself refreshed and ideas came more easily
  8. There was time for me to do the things I love
  9. There was time to do nothing, if that was what I felt like doing
  10. I began to dream about my future, and to make plans more aligned with my soul energy rather than just a business blueprint
  11. My creativity began to flow again
  12. I began to take better care of my health
  13. I let go of relationships that I’d held on to because of duty or habit or fear of loss
  14. I felt better about myself and my place in the world
  15. I became more content with myself and my life
  16. I was more confident in my decision-making
  17. I connected more deeply with nature
  18. I connected more deeply with my creative projects
  19. I lost interest in constantly checking social media on days other than Sunday
  20. I became more aware of time wasters in my daily life
  21. I needed less stuff and less stimulation
  22. I became more mindful
  23. I began to see relationships more clearly once I got a little thinking space. I saw that some needed more love and time, and others were draining me while giving me nothing in return.
  24. I created more and consumed less
  25. I felt happier
  26. I began to perceive myself differently
  27. My life began to flow better and all manner of synchronicities occurred, or maybe I was just in the space to finally notice them
  28. I read more
  29. I napped and felt good about napping
  30. I began to understand that one unplugged day wasn’t enough and began creating stronger boundaries in my daily life

Enough time has passed now that I am confident in recommending a totally unplugged day to you too. You might be equally surprised and satisfied with your own outcomes.

Much love, Nicole <3  xx

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A Great Weekend for Rest, Integration and Inspiration!

Image from www.popsugar.com

Image from www.popsugar.com

“S.T.O.P. = Start To Open Possibilities”
~ Richie Norton

“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.
For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.”
~ Alexandra Potter

 

There has been so much going on this year – energetically, emotionally and astrologically.

This weekend, proceeding the New Moon, is the perfect opportunity to find a little quiet time for yourself.

Time for rest and healing.

Time for integration of the shift that has happened in your life.

Time for creating peace and stillness, so that ideas and inspiration can find you.

Time for reconnection to what matters.

Time for soul work.

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to stop first.

Can you gift yourself some quiet time this weekend?

Who knows what magic might come from this.

Thinking of you, and sending so much love as I too have a restful weekend,

Nicole xoxo

 

The Energies of April – 2016

Image by Fii Bridges at tumblr.com

Image by Fii Bridges at tumblr.com

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

 

Hello, Lovelies :)

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

Cards for the Month:

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

Here is what I have received from each card:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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“Forever is composed of nows.”  ~ Emily Dickinson

 

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

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

When you are drinking coffee, savour that coffee.

When you are walking, pay attention to your environment.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Best crystals this month?

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

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

 

 

Essential oils to support your journey?

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

 

Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?

Try these posts:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sending all my love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

Saying Hi from the PI

Cauldrons and Cupkaes - Goodies with me

“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.”
― Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

(Hi Everyone! This is Chelsi, Nicole’s  Virtual Assistant – posting this blog post in behalf of Nicole )

Just a quick update from me to let you know that you’re all in my thoughts and prayers, and to share a little more of my big overseas adventure to Cebu in the Philippines.

The internet here has been terrible, so loading my blogs has been impossible. On the upside though, it has meant that I’ve been able to focus on myself and my own dreams and plans. I’m sorry if you’ve been worried by not hearing from me. I promise I am okay. 🙂

Being here has been both challenging and wonderful. It is so good to be alive. It seems like a miracle to be embarking on new adventures again. I am truly enjoying using my entrepreneurial brain, and being with like-minded people. I have had some late nights, I have celebrated being in a tropical paradise, and I’ve even enjoyed dressing up for dinner!

My trip has also been challenging because I have only now begun to realise just how much my husband Ben does to take care of me, and to make my daily life easy and smooth.

One of those big things that mean so much when you suddenly don’t have them is safe mobility. When I am at home, Ben takes my arm or holds my hand when we go walking, especially when I am tired or the ground is uneven. He’ll shoulder my bag, and walk slightly in front of me as we go up or down steps to that I can stabilise myself against him.

I didn’t know how much I relied on this until my first night at the resort when I tried to walk home to my room from the pool. To access my room I had to walk over a little bridge that had steps up and down, and a curved walkway in the middle.

In the dark, the bridge became an obstacle that seemed suddenly insurmountable. Suddenly I heard a friendly voice behind me. ‘Are you okay? Do you need a hand?’ One of the women attending my conference walked me over the bridge and to my door.

Throughout the time I have been here in Cebu there has been a quiet army of thoughtful and kind people looking out for me and offering that little bit of extra help that makes my solo trip easy and hassle-free. I have been supported and cared for at every turn.

My trip is almost over, and sad as I will be to leave the Philippines I am stupidly missing Ben, Nurse Bert and Cafe Dog, and our little farm. I’ve also been missing you too, and it will be good to be back home to the land of good coffee and faster internet.

Normal posting will resume shortly, but in the meantime I’m sending lots of love and hugs your way,

Nicole xoxo

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So, Here I am in Cebu!

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“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”  ~ Anna Quindlen

 

This morning I was up so early that it seemed I had the entire place to myself.

Cebu. Philippines. Beautiful.

I did a sunrise meditation and sent you all some healing and love.

I swam in the ocean, and then later in a wide pool under the overhang of frangipani and palm trees.

And now, after a wholesome breakfast made even more delightful by the fact that I did not prepare it, nor have to clean up afterwards, I am spending an entire day on my own, with my Planner and my journal. This week – on the back of the solar eclipse and the supermoon New Moon is a perfect time for working with mindfulness to deliberately craft a life plan for yourself. (Need inspiration for that? Go read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy.)

There shall be thinking. There shall be planning. There will be naps and swims.

Did I say fabulous?

So glad I made the effort to be here.

Sending much love your way, Nicole xx

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