Stop the Hustle! Resting and Healing Is Work Too!

 “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~  Rumi

 

In the northern hemisphere on August 21 we experienced a total solar eclipse. Do you remember? That momentary quietening of the sun’s energies allowed a ramping up of our intuition. The eclipse also heralded an intense period of connection and integration to support us on our soul-awakening journey which lasted until earlier this week – the morning of November 13 – when Venus joined Jupiter in our sky, creating an energy that will thunderbolt us into a place of harmony, connection and expansion that has been previously unknown to us a we move into the years ahead.

Last night we had a wonderful webinar for our Year of ME group, and my students from this year’s earlier retreats. During the webinar we discussed this energetic period that we have just been through, known as The Deepening, and the period we are now entering into, known as The Expansion.

Perhaps you have felt and been affected by these energies too? The past few months have been a time for deep inner work and vibrational shift. So much of what was no longer needed has begun to fall away within us; old energies, encodings and patterns that were suitable for the old era that ended in 2012, but that will hinder us in our quest to fully express our soul energy as we move into this new era of being. It’s also been a time of strengthening for our intuitive connections and for a natural increase in our psychic perception.

This kind of work, soul work and healing, is big energy work. It takes so much of our conscious and unconscious energy, leaving very little for us to function with in our daily lives. You may have experienced this as deep fatigue, a loss of direction and certainty, mood swings, or an exacerbation of old issues such as illness, anxiety or depression. Please don’t worry. It’s a temporary thing, and you will soon begin to feel that slow but certain shift back to clarity, wellness and energy again. For some of you that shift will be the first in this lifetime after having been in struggle and out of synch with the world around you since birth (you know, that profound awareness of never quite fitting in within your family, community or the wider world).

Image from www.polar.com

Things are changing. This new period known as The Expansion will last until March 2020. There’s plenty of time as we gently move into an expanded sense of self, with a new connection to who we are and the possibilities before us. It’s a time of recalibration as we come into alignment with our soul’s own truth and learn to live from that truth in our daily lives.

Meanwhile, don’t push. Don’t hustle. Please. It doesn’t help, and most often it harms you or slows down the shift and healing. Tune in to your body and be honest about how you feel. Tune into your soul and see how your ‘psychic shield’ energy is. You know what I mean. When you are feeling strong and well your psychic ‘shield’ energy is high. People and noises and smells and energies just won’t bother you. You’ll feel up to confrontation and for standing your ground. You’ll be positive and clear, and what other people think of you won’t bother you at all. When your physical battery is low and you are tired your psychic ‘shield’ will be lower too. You’ll find that you take on other people’s energies easily and thing that you normally won’t notice might begin to distress you immensely.

If your psychic ‘shield’ energy is low, avoid difficult people and situations. Withdraw from crowds. Decline the invitations and say no to the things you know will stretch or stress you.

If you are tired, rest. If you are confused or low in energy choose tasks that can be done from that space. No good can come from forcing yourself to be creative or innovative or entrepreneurial or energetic if that is not the truth of the energy you are in.

The more you tune into and honour the energetic levels within yourself right now, the faster you will integrate this shift, allowing healing, clarity and knowing to flood back into your body.

I know, it’s the opposite of what most people are telling you to do. I’m saying slow down while the world speeds up. But when you slow down and learn to connect into your soul energy you tap into your personal power and that compass which will guide you well in your life. And isn’t that better than racing around, bouncing off the walls with fatigue and being miserably unhappy, uncertain and sure of only that you are not good enough?

If you’re intuitive, sensitive or empathic it’s been rough going these past few months. Go gently now and let this shift become a positive turning point for you. I promise, it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, I’m holding space for you to be all that you came to this life to be.

All my love, Nicole  xx

Circles of Stones

“I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wondrous world, I am circling around God, around ancient towers and I have been circling for a thousand years. And I still don’t know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song.” 
~  Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Yesterday, one year ago, I was placing stones in a crystal grid under the magnolia tree in the back yard, in preparation for a retreat.

Strange then that I found myself making circles of stones again yesterday.

I made a grid to hold the stones we will use at my September meditation retreat, Temple of Light. (There are still a few places left if you’d like to join us, but be quick – it’s almost full. More details here.)

Crafting the grid  brought me to a place of deep peace. But I still felt as if something was undone within me.

Then, finally, I knew what I wanted to do.

I lost a friend this week – Justine – a woman who was a healer and a teacher, a woman full of love and light. Like a stone her loss weighed heavily within me.

Carefully I chose some crystals. I circled stones and then circled some more. I sang energy and love into them. I sang my sorrow and my grief. I laid stones to honour my friend’s journey. I made space to support her loved ones. I made space that connected my heart to hers.

This is what I know to be true…

The earth turns. The sun shines. The rain falls down. The night comes. My breath moves in and out of my body. The earth turns, the sun shines, the rain falls down, the night comes. We are born, we live a while and then we die.

I am reminded at every turn that our lives are precious gifts, loaned to us only for a while.

The best we can ever do is follow our hearts.

I’m holding space in my circle of stones for you today – that you find a path that supports you and lights you up, that you find a way to honour your own heart’s yearnings.

Thanks for sharing the journey with me. I’m glad to have you here beside me.

Nicole xoxo

 

The Owl and The Night Sky

Image by Jonathan Gewitz

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
~ Shel Silverstein

 

I was totally spent yesterday. We’ve had some personal stress in the past few weeks, some health issues, some family stuff. And of course so have my clients. I’ve been working overtime supporting them. I’ve also been supporting my students as we move towards my Beginners Channelling Retreat this weekend. It’s been an intense month.

The energies of April have brought all manner of things to our attention, things that we must face in order to move forward or to break free. For those of us doing the work, the work has been huge. (Don’t worry, May is much more gentle and it will be here soon!)

Last night I was heavy with emotion and exhaustion so I went and sat in the cold Autumn air, on a chair under a big tree.

It was quiet. The skies above me were heavy with stars.

And then the wonder happened.

A huge storm, out to sea, lit the night.

Huge vaulted clouds lit up with silent rivers of light. Sometimes white. Sometimes orange. Small displays and then an occasional grand one.

The sky would go dark. Night would go on. Then bursts of light and grandeur again. It was spectacular.

As I sat in the dark I heard a sudden whoosh of wings and a powerful owl flew down to the ground just feet in front of me. She alighted again with a small creature in her talons and flew over to the clothesline to eat her dinner.

Such wonder on an otherwise ordinary night.

That’s the thing about wonder and miracles. They are all around us, all the time, if only we have eyes to see.

I’m holding you all in my prayers and meditations as we move through these last confronting and cleansing days of April. Be open to change, my lovelies, and know that it is for the better, no matter how hard it may be.

All my love, Nicole xx

Choosing Your Emotional State

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

 

I travelled to see a new Lyme doctor yesterday. In Australia they are getting harder and harder to come by. This one lives hours from my home, so we allocated an entire day and my husband Ben drove me. I am still not up to driving most days, and certainly not a trip of this distance.

After 2 years of intense antibiotic therapy which saved my life, I was unable to find anyone to continue my treatment, and had to stop midway through a program of therapy. Why? My first doctor was shut down, and my second stepped away from practice. My third doctor wouldn’t treat me because of the risks to their career, although they were happy to supervise me on the protocols of a previous doctor until my medications ran out. so, like at many other times in my life I was back to doing my own doctoring.My fourth doctor, the one who initially diagnosed me, still refuses to treat me because it’s ‘too controversial’ – although they will put me on a ‘wellness program’.

Since then I’ve supported myself with herbs, diet, essential oils, acupuncture and detoxing. I have a good GP who is supportive but doesn’t know anything about Lyme. I’d been doing pretty well, apart from a few hospitalisations. But now my chest pain is coming back, and some other worrying symptoms. Symptoms that recently eased when I went on a course of antibiotics for something entirely unrelated. So I know I need to be back under the care of a lyme literate doctor.

To be honest, yesterday was a difficult day. As we drove I knew that my friend Liz was above me in the sky somewhere, winging her way to Hawaii with her family. After a recent cancer prognosis Liz knows she has a very short time left on this earth. I was thinking of her, and the conflicting emotions she would be feeling as she made the journey for what might be her last holiday with her loved ones.

When I wasn’t thinking about Liz I was reviewing my thick folder of health notes. These aren’t all my notes and results. Just the ones from the last few years. The entirety of my notes fills a filing cabinet, and that isn’t even all of them. In fact, in peaks of chagrin or frustration I have thrown many away.

As I looked through my medical files, I became increasingly distressed. I’ve been seriously ill since my late teens. This illness has shaped my entire adult life. Restricted my life. Impaired my life. Almost ended my life on more than one occasion.

I looked at all of the notes from doctors and specialists and natural therapists who didn’t believe me, or put the blame on me when I didn’t respond to treatment. I looked at all of my various diagnoses and treatment plans stretching back to my late teens, when I first became very ill.  I am now nearing fifty and was only given a Lyme diagnosis in early 2013. I could fill a notebook with the diagnoses I’ve had before that.

I thought about all of the doctors whose practices have been shut down over the years for electing to help people like me who are falling through the cracks of the medical system.

I thought of the people I know who have suicided because of Lyme when they couldn’t take the pain anymore, couldn’t see a way out, were getting worse despite their best efforts, couldn’t find any support, or whose loved ones grew weary of the burden of their care. Of all of the sufferers who have never been believed or taken seriously, although they are desperately ill.

I thought of all of the lyme sufferers I know who have died from this disease, or the complications that have arisen from this disease.

I thought of how much money and time I have thrown at this, for such limited results.

And I got angry.

So here I was. Angry and nervous.

Nervous because what if this new doctor turned me away? What if they didn’t believe me?

I forgot to say fearful. I was fearful too. Because I am so much better than I have been and this chest pain is awful and I am so frightened of sliding back to where I was. Or worse.

By the time we arrived at our destination I was a churning mess, although I was trying to hold onto optimism.

The appointment itself was frustrating. The doctor wants more information. They are being very careful. Who wouldn’t, in a climate of such persecution of medicos? While they review all my recent results from the past few years, and discuss my case, I will wait. Hopefully this doctor will then take me on and I will finally have a supervised course of action.

As we drove home in a car filled with silence, I came to a profound understanding.

Most of my life I have faced hardship, especially in regard to my health. Despite that I have remained optimistic. I have made plans. I have held to a vision of a positive future. I have lived despite my disease.

This year I have so many lovely things organised. I am blessed with my husband and the love of my two crazy hounds. My little farm fills my soul with peace. I am well enough to work. I am finally well enough to travel. (Yes, I have chest pain and yes that freaks me out, but I have travelled and lived with this before and been fine, and if I croak it, it won’t matter anyway!)

So I decided yesterday that what matters most is my attitude. I just can’t afford to get bogged down in the injustice and awfulness of it all. I can’t get bogged down in my own personal history. I can’t even get bogged down in my current situation. I have to stop opening that damned folder! I need to rise above this, to turn my face towards the sun and stop looking behind me.

When I think of my plans and I sit in gratitude for my life, I can still be happy. I can still feel good inside.

That dark bird of death always sits on my shoulder. Just as she follows each one of us. But I am comfortable with her now, and she helps me to remember what is important and good in my life. Her presence is a blessing because I am reminded to live mindfully, to chose what matters and to live that. No more for me the life of an automaton. I cannot take life for granted and I won’t.

None of it matters, really. We will all die. We don’t know when. But while we are alive, we can live. And what we choose to think and focus on colours every single day.

I cannot always choose my outcomes or my circumstances, but I can choose my thinking. And that is a powerful place to be.

 

 

The Things That Really Matter

“Perspective is as simple as answering this question: If I had 5 months to live would I experience this problem differently?”
~ Shannon L. Alder

 

As you read this, my friend Liz and her young family are readying their bags. They are heading to the airport. They are flying to Hawaii for the holiday of a lifetime.

A lifetime that will soon be over for Liz.

Last week Liz was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors think she has, at best, three or four months. They have told her that there is nothing they can do except manage her condition and pain. They have told her that the end, when it comes, will be a very sudden downhill slide.

But for now, Liz feels okay. She’s tired. She’s sore. She gets a little forgetful. But she’s upright and functioning.

After extensive talks with me last week, Liz and her husband decided to pull their kids out of school and take them on this family holiday. They want to make memories that will last a lifetime. They want these last days together to be good ones, and to make the most of these kinds of opportunities while Liz is still mobile.

Liz has already spoken to her employer, her union, her insurance company. She’s talked with the kids’ schools. I’ve helped her to access palliative care, and have connected her with an excellent social worker who is experienced with guiding people through these kinds of situations.

Why pretend life is normal when suddenly it’s not? Why cling to routine when soon it will be forever changed anyway?

While I was talking with Liz, she said something that resonated deeply with me. ‘I was living on automatic pilot, doing all the things you are supposed to do. Paying the mortgage on a big house. Paying the loan repayments on big cars. Paying off the credit cards. I was working so hard. So is my husband. We live in a beautiful new house we’ve never had time to enjoy. We run around all week doing jobs we hate, and then spend all weekend catching up on chores and housework. I really lost sight of what matters.’

‘What does matter to you?’ I asked her gently.

She burst into tears. ‘I was too worried about stuff. It’s all just stuff. What really matters is my husband and my kids. My mum and dad. My friends. Fergus, our dog. But I haven’t had time for any of that. I think we were actually happier in our old cramped home, where at least we had time for each other.’ Liz pulled herself together. ‘In the time I have left I’m going to teach my children that what matters is where your heart is. It’s your relationships and your family. It’s making memories and having experiences. It’s about slowing down enough to notice the world around you. It’s about doing things that make you happy, like cooking a meal together or working on a scrapbook, or singing Disney songs in the car with your kids, or picking flowers for the kitchen table.’

So now Liz is taking her husband and children to Hawaii, a place she’s dreamed of going ever since she was a small child. They’ll be there until just before Easter, after which they’ll come home to friends and family.

In the time left to her, Liz is going to work with her children on planning their 18th and 21st birthdays. She’ll make scrapbooks and write letters, and record some video messages. She and her husband will go on date nights. She’ll fill her life with the people she loves.

Liz has decided not to follow any last-minute anti-cancer diets, or to fly off and leave her family to search for last-minute miracle cures. She wants to enjoy good coffee, and eat her favourite foods, guilt-free. She wants to take the kids to the beach for fish and chips, or eat pizza and popcorn and ice-cream on the couch in front of a DVD.

In the time left her Liz wants to live, mindful of and grateful for every moment.

I think that’s good advice for us all.

 

10 Easy Steps For Self Care During Troubled Times

“They called her witch because she knew how to heal herself.”
~ Te’ V. Smith

 

It’s simple enough to be well-intentioned and kind to yourself when life is going smoothly. Or if you are on holidays. Or in a really good head space.

But when we are hard up against it – when we have crushing deadlines, or horrible dramas, or the people around us are treating us badly, when we’re ill, depressed or in pain – that’s the time where we most need good self-care, and it is usually the time where we are least inclined to give it to ourselves.

After years of illness, and in my line of work (as a psychic and a support for many people going through their own hardships) where there is no ‘off-switch’, I’ve learned the hard way that self-care is essential. Always. Fortunately I’ve also discovered that it isn’t such a difficult ask of ourselves, and that a little self-awareness and kindness towards ourselves goes a long way towards keeping us resilient and coping in the most troubled of times.

Here are my top ten tips for getting yourself through whatever you might be facing right now:

1. Drink enough water. When we are well hydrated our body is less acidic, we can flush toxins and stress hormones from our system better, we sleep more deeply and our brains work more clearly.

2. Have a shower, wash your hair and put on some clean clothes. For an additional touch of self-love use a perfume, scented moisturiser, aftershave or essential oil whose fragrance lifts your spirits or reminds you of someone you love. If washing your hair is just too hard, pull it back neatly, plait it, or tuck it under a scarf or cap. When I was at my most ill, I’d make myself bathe and put clean pyjamas on. It helped. A lot. And it was always worth the effort, even when I was exhausted. Clean sheets can do wonders for the soul too!

3. Find five minutes for meditation. Meditation calms and centres us, and helps us find our way back to ourselves, our soul and to Spirit. Try any of these simple techniques: Easy Five Minute Meditation, Three Minute Essential Oil Meditation, Taking Energy From Trees, Eating The Sun Meditation.

4. Dance. To one uplifting song. Sing along, and let your body move to the beat. Dance in your lounge room. Dance in the car. Of if you’re confined to bed, sway, tap your hands, draw that music deep into your body and belt out the lyrics.

5. Have a plan, and then work the plan. Choose a time when you can sit down for ten minutes with a cup of tea or a cold drink and your diary. Think of something you want to get done and then break it down into steps and assign those steps to the coming days, weeks or months. Allow more time than you need – because in troubled times we need to allow ourselves extra flexibility. No need to give yourself more pressure when you’re already under the pump. Plans enacted help us to take control back in our lives, and give us something to work towards. It’s okay if your plan is for completing something small. Every time we act instead of procrastinate something strengthens within  us.

6. Go for a walk in nature. Can’t walk? Then try to simply earth yourself instead. If you’re confined to bed or unable to get outside sit by an open window or door. Use your eyes and ears. Use your skin. Let your mind wander outside even if your body can’t.

Image from funnystack.com

Image from funnystack.com

7. Eat something healthy that will nurture and strengthen your body. Choose foods that you know support you. Food gives us energy and helps our bodies work  better. Eating irregular meals and junk food slows us down and makes us feel worse instead of better. Sometimes poor food choices are all we will have. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t sit in guilt. Eating is better than not eating. Decide to make a better choice or plan to bring healthy food tomorrow.

8. Hugs and the company of friends can be healing. In hard times we often feel that the only way to cope is to withdraw. But in that space of social isolation life becomes even more difficult. While it is important to take time to be on your own, you need emotional support too. You can get this from online groups, phone calls, coffee or meal dates, craft dates, pets, good friends and supportive family. Reaching out to others can make a world of difference when life is filled with difficulty.

Image from atozlibrary.com

Image from atozlibrary.com

9. Learn something new, or escape for a time into another world. A book, a movie, a newspaper, a short course. A trip to a new part of town. Stay curious. When we’re in something for the long haul we create emotional space and better coping capacity for ourselves by having something new or interesting to think about that takes us away from our troubles.

10. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a healing balm that restores the best parts of us. Shut yourself away for an early night, or spend the weekend in bed catching up on your rest. An epsom salts bath, some lavender essential oil or a relaxing herbal tea at night will all help get you into that restful space.

The Thirty Second Power Pause

Image from youtube.com

Image from youtube.com

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Your self-talk is the channel of behavior change”
~ Gino Norris

 

Can thirty seconds really make a difference?

Yes.

Resoundingly, yes.

I’d like to share a simple technique I call the ‘Thirty Second Power Pause’. The name pretty much sums it up. You pause for thirty seconds, and those thirty seconds are powerful. 🙂

Think of the negative self-talk or the limiting feelings and beliefs to which we often subject ourselves. It only takes a second (literally) to scream ‘Fool!’ at yourself, just five seconds to hold the picture in our head of a worst-case scenario, twenty seconds to run an elaborate mental home-movie of us crashing and burning at something where we’d actually prefer to succeed and to feel that horror, doubt, fear or pain in our bodies. Such a short amount of time and yet we can do incredibly limiting and damaging things to ourselves in those few seconds.

So, in that context, thirty seconds is a luxury of time.

Let me show you how to use those seconds wisely and well. It might feel odd at first, and take a few goes to really get the hang of, but at only thirty seconds out of your busy day, you have time to master this simple technique.

Close your eyes and breathe in and then out, relaxing your body. Calm yourself, and centre yourself. This only takes six to ten seconds.

Image from bigtime7.com

Image from bigtime7.com

Now affirm supportive words, saying them to yourself with conviction – I can do this – or whatever other words work for you. Hold a positive image in your head, or a colour that feels encouraging and supportive. If you like you can also affirm something like this: I choose______ .(health, love, kindness, abundance are all good examples)

Allow yourself to move to a more positive emotional space. You might feel optimistic, reminded, back on track, determined, hopeful, encouraged, excited, clear. Go with what works for you. Feel that emotion in your body.

Now take one more calming and empowering breath, in and out. Open your eyes. You’ve just rebooted your internal programming.

Image from imgkids.com

Image from imgkids.com

That’s how to do a Thirty Second Power Pause.

Use as often as needed throughout your day.

Every day.

I promise that these thirty-second mindful pauses can change your life in positive ways.

Expect miracles.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Image from quoteimg.com

Image from quoteimg.com