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.

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Image from

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.

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Image from

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

Image from

“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?


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.

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Image from

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.

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Image from

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

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Image from

Practicing Mindfulness with Your Power Word

Image from Google+

Image from Google+

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
~ Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times


Well, here we are, nearly at the end of January.

Already I feel some of you slipping into despair. Slipping into the old patterns of thoughts and behaviours that no longer serve you. Going back to what was…

Some of you are feeling muddled. Even a little defeated. You started on a high, and already you feel your momentum dwindling.

That’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Change is almost always a gradual process.

Honey, don’t give up! It’s only January and we have a whole abundant year of possibility ahead of us.

Did you go ahead and choose your power word already? If yes, take that word out and get ready to exercise it a little. If no, then go here and get your power word sorted. You can even go a little further if you want, and explore it in more depth here, connecting your word with a crystal or stone.

That tiny word or phrase you’ve chosen holds a special magic for you this year. Let’s take a few minutes and connect back into that magic, so that it appears in your life as a guiding force.

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Image from

Here are some tips and techniques for really using that word as a tool to bring about change:

1. Hold your Power Word crystal in your cupped hands. (Didn’t do that yet? Go here and get that crystal sorted) Breathe deeply, relax your body and then think on your word. Feel that word, and the energy of the word, entering your body. Feel it as a colour. Feel it as a vital flow and force within your veins, your nerves, your brain, your cells.

2. Ask yourself, How can I best live my word today? Now wait for an answer or a knowingness from within. It might be an idea, a specific course of action, a task or an inspiration. It might be small, or grand. No matter. Sit with that guidance and then apply it in your life today. Write notes in your journal if it helps. Then take a minute or two to plan your day around these intuitive insights.

3. At random times during the course of the day, hold your crystal and connect in to your word. Holding on to the energy of that word ask yourself What do I need to do right now? Doing this will keep you focused, and help you make better choices and decisions that will manifest a stronger year for you, with more deliberate and positive results.

I’m here to keep reminding you, and supporting you. I know that 2015 can be the year where it all changes for you. But for that to happen you need to be present in your life, you need to choose differently and consciously this year. You need to empower yourself. You can do it!

I’m cheering you on. You’re not alone in this.

Lots of love, Nicole xx

Guided Meditation for Orienting Mind Awareness

Image from The Hollow Log

Image from The Hollow Log

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” 
Frank McCourtAngela’s Ashes

This is the second in a series of seven weekly guided meditations I am recording for you.

The focus of this week’s meditation is the mind. This guided meditation will help you to be aware of the positive gifts of your mind, and teaches you a simple technique for accessing intuitive and subconscious wisdoms.

You’ll need to set aside about twenty minutes for this meditation. Sit or lie somewhere quietly, using pillows or blankets if needed to make yourself comfortable. Then simply close your eyes and follow the sound of my voice. It’s fine to let yourself fall asleep during the meditation, or immediately afterwards.

To listen to the meditation, click on the button below:

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Image from

Easy Five Minute Meditation

Image from Daily Mail

Image from Daily Mail

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” 
~ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in your day? I have a technique that literally extends moments, even when life is non-stop.

One of the things I love about this meditation is that it is both a an act of mindfulness and a celebration of one of life’s most accessible and simple pleasures.

To begin this meditation you require the following things:

  • A beverage of your choice. It can be hot or cold. You may make it yourself or have someone make it for you.
  • 5 minutes of time on your own, with no interruptions. No book, no laptop, no iphone, no company. Just you and your beverage. If you like you can even set a timer.

Location is not so important, but part of the pleasure of this meditation may be in mindfully selecting one. I’ve done this meditation in a cafe, in a workplace where every day was a misery, on my veranda at the farm, in a park, at the beach, in the middle of trying to move house – surrounded by boxes and chaos, at a train station and at home in bed.

Image from SeoulGirl

Image from SeoulGirl


Sit down with your beverage.

Breathe in deeply, and then exhale gently and completely. If you have been feeling very stressed allow a minute or so just to breathe, consciously relaxing your neck and shoulders, the muscles in your face and jaw, your abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Let your entire body become softer.

Take a wide view of the room or space where you are sitting. Be aware of the noises, the smells, the light. Soak it in, not focusing on any one thing, but gently taking in all of your surroundings.

Now bring your attention to your beverage. Notice the container which holds your drink. Pay attention to the shape, textures and colours.

When you are ready, pick up the beverage. Feel the weight of it in your hand. Notice the temperature, and anything else about the container.

Now bring the beverage close to your face. Breathe in. What does it smell like? Really give yourself to this experience. Savour the aroma.

Image by James Kerr

Image by James Kerr

Now take a sip.

Feel the liquid move across your lips and into your mouth. The warmth or chill of it. Roll the liquid around on your tongue, covering all of your tastebuds. Let the flavour fill your mouth. Notice and appreciate that flavour.

When you are ready, swallow.

Feel the liquid moving from your mouth, over your tongue, and down your throat into your stomach. Feel it warming or cooling you.

Then sit empty for a breath or two, just holding the beverage or having it in front of you.

In your own time repeat this process of mindfully engaging with and consuming your beverage. Let each mouthful be filled with awareness. Let it be a sensual experience that nourishes you on many levels.

Think only of drinking this beverage. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. Bring it back to each mouthful.

You’ll find that five minutes provides a much more expansive feeling of passed time, and your will be refreshed and relaxed by the end of your mindful meditation.



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