Road Trip Treasures!

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.” 
~  Paulo Coelho

 

Late last week Ben and I slipped away from the farm for a few days.

We took a simple road trip into country New South Wales. Just to be together. Just to be on our own.

It’s been a very full year. This time twelve months ago I was preparing for major surgery. And since then there have been family health dramas, constant concern and worry for Ben’s aging mum, and then my latest near-death experience, back in May.

We were more than ready for some processing time, and a little distance between us and our problems.

We were gone for two and a half days. Not long at all. But it felt like weeks.

Here’s the secret of how we stretched time:

  1. We put our phones away and didn’t check our emails, social media or other distractions except to have a quick glance after breakfast and before dinner in case there was an emergency.
  2. We allowed ourselves early nights and plenty of rest.
  3. We kept our days simple and chose easy over ambitious.
  4. We stayed in the moment, engaged with each other and our surroundings.
  5. We held hands, we talked and deeply listened, and we held eye contact with each other and anyone we spoke to.

Those simple choices gave us the gift of replenishment. And if they worked for us I know they’ll work for you.

It was a super trip. Here’s a few of my highlights:

This is Beth, standing in front of the beautiful silk and merino wool shawls and scarves that she makes. Beth reinvented herself as an artist when she turned fifty, after attending a TAFE course in felting. She totally inspired me, and she gives awesome hugs too. (And yes, Ben bought me a gorgeous pink and coral shawl for my birthday!)

 

 

On our first night away we went for dinner at a local bowling club that does an all-you-can-eat $16 Chinese buffet on Thursday nights. It was packed with locals, all soaking up the ambiance that only plastic tablecloths, gold-painted honour boards, decorations from last Christmas and a gigantic empty dance floor can give. The food was delicious!

Book stores. You know the ones that are filled to the rafters with rare and old editions, as well as the latest reads? I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t come home with anything. I’ve now got some excellent reference books to research my next project. And I may have come away with one or two eclectic ancient cookbooks as well…

Op shops, second-hand shops, and those lucky dip kind of places where you walk through the door into a glorious clutter of wares old and new. I found some beautifully made old tablecloth and napkin sets at totally bargain prices, as well as a few little plates and bowls for serving tasty treats in. Oh, and some cake forks and a set of Japanese made 1950’s cocktail forks. And a cake tin. All of which will be put to good use here at the farm.

This glorious sewing, quilting and fabric shop fired up my imagination, and we managed to buy a packet of needles. Just the thing for me to dig all the splinters out of Ben’s hands from when he was off chainsawing and hauling timber earlier in the week.

We also enjoyed a quiet pub meal for two, sitting in an ancient dining room beside a roaring log fire on a frosty night. The table was set with real linen and a candle, and as we ate our delicious food we realised that it was the first time we’d had a romantic dinner date in Australia for over ten years!!! (My fault – my health has been crap, and I’m always in bed so early that we usually favour a breakfast outing or an early cafe meal.)

Ben’s already planning our next adventure.

How about you? Do you have a road trip planned or can you recommend one? I’d love to hear about it.

Much love from your rested and refreshed friend, Nicole xoxo

After Rest Comes Rejuvenation

“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin,
Mind that was weary is at ease,
New rhythms in the soul begin.” 
~ William Kean Seymour

 

Are you taking some time for yourself this week?

As part of my be-gentle-with-myself healing process I spent the late afternoon in the garden yesterday, watching my dogs frolic, watering my vegetables and fruit trees, and inhaling the delectable fragrance of newly mown lawn.

Of course I couldn’t go anywhere without young Rufous following me. That dog is curious about everything!!!

When the air cooled and the sun began to dip behind the mountain we came inside, cooked dinner and curled up on the couch by the fire before an early night.

All that outside time made for a deep sleep!

Here are a few snaps of my soul medicine session.
Much love, Nicole xx

 

Feather Oracle – For Inspiration and Guidance

Image by Rachel Mitchel

Image by Rachel Mitchel

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson

Every night at my farm a big owl alights on my clothesline. I feel very safe and loved in the presence of this owl. Often I am left a gift of a feather. I am always finding feathers at the farm. Feathers from crows and eagles, feathers from owls and black cockatoos, feathers from ducks and parrots and pigeons, magpie feathers and more. When I find one I always feel a sense of guidance. So I got to thinking that maybe you would like some guidance too.

Instructions for using today’s post

Let each image speak to you in its own way.  One of them will have wisdom just for you!

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

When you have chosen your Feather, scroll further down for your message. Take what resonates for you, and apply it in your life over the coming weeks.

Trust that you will be shown what you most need to know right now.

Love and Light,

Nicole ♥ xx

 

Let the Feathered Messengers Guide You…

1. White Feather

Image by Marie Andersson

2. Crow Feather

Image from Miriadna

Image from Miriadna

3. Blue and Purple Feather

This beautiful image from The Little Leaf

This beautiful image from The Little Leaf

4. Reflections Feather

Image from FreeFever

Image from FreeFever

5. Peacock Feather

Image by kurupt4000

Image by kurupt4000

6. Tawny Owl Feather

Image by Stephen Plummer

Image by Stephen Plummer

7. Parrot Feathers

Image by Ron Hines

Image by Ron Hines DVM PhD

8. Emu Feather

Emu Feather by Jennifer Colby

Emu Feather by Jennifer Colby

 

♥ The Message and Gift of each Feather ♥

Each Feather image has a message for you. I have also selected a crystal to best support the message and energies of your chosen Feather.  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 Action Step is a tangible step you can take to begin incorporating this wisdom in your life.

1.  White Feather:

♥ Message – It’s time to integrate your ideas into the real world. What ideas you have. What dreams, hopes and possibilities! You have spent so much of your life dreaming and contemplating, and your inner world is rich. Now is the time to give all of this thought-form energy a tangible shape in your reality. Whatever your dream or idea might be it’s time to start making it real by bringing it into the world we live in, piece by piece. Start the project, commit to study, enact the plan, get words on the page or paint on the boards. Begin, begin, begin! The Universe is encouraging your every action.

♥ Crystal – Tiger Eye  

♥ Action Step – Spend a little time journalling this week, thinking about an idea or plan that is currently only in your head. Begin to tease it out onto the page. What might this idea look like in the real world? Where might you start? Who or what could support you? Start to give your idea some form. BE brave in your ambitions, even if the beginning will be small.

 

2.  Crow Feather:

♥ Message – Prepare for Transformation. Crow energy appears when we are going through times of great emotional and spiritual growth. You are being called to stand in your truth, to honour your inner voice, and to bravely step into the unknown. For now you might be the student. For now you might be the teacher. Know that there is something bigger at work here. Know that you signed up for this. Stop fussing around in your ego and surrender to the current that is already tugging at your ankles. Why fight it? It’s what you came here to do.

♥ Crystal – Smoky Quartz

♥ Action Step – Spend some time each day in solitude. Go to a place that helps you feel expanded and sit quietly. Wait. Wait with an energy of expectation. Turn up every day, or as often as you can. Don’t do anything. Just sit. Be patient. Use the time to relax and become calm and clear. Bring a journal with you for when you become inspired and need to write things down so that you’ll remember them.

 

3.  Blue and Purple Feather:

♥ Message – Design your life around your ideals. You never came to this life to be pedestrian, to be the same as everyone else. Your feet dance to a different drum, your heart quickens to a different song. Stop trying to conform. In small ways, let your individuality shine – even if your day job is streets away from your inner purpose and your soul’s magic. Give thought to what your values are, and do all you can to live authentically, according to what is important to you. You are driven by integrity, so give yourself permission to make your values and ideals a bigger and more visible focus in your life.

♥ Crystal – Ruby in Fuchsite 

♥ Action Step – Find ways to live a life that is meaningful to you. If you care about the environment, recycle and say no to plastic bags. If education is your soap box, volunteer at a literacy program. If art and creativity is your driving passion visit a gallery or join an art class – be a little ‘arty’ in how you present yourself to the world. LIVE by your inner compass. Let your life be a tribute to the whispers of your heart.

 

4.  Reflections Feather:

♥ Message – We succeed by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. All of us can shine by building on the actions, knowledge and guidance of those who have succeeded where we desire to also make our mark. Right now you are a rough diamond. The talent is there. The capability is there. But you need to be polished up in order to have greater value to yourself and the world. Not value from an ego perspective – value in relation to what you can positively contribute to the world. It’s time to grow; to find mentors, coaches and teachers; to truly value your gifts and work hard to hone them into something more than you currently hold in your hands. You’re being called on to turn your great potential into reality – with the help of knowledgeable others who have gone before.

♥ Crystal – Fluorite

♥ Action Step – Learning! Read books, attend courses, find people to share their knowledge with you and to hone your existing skills. Determine to be the best you can be at this thing that is burning a hole within you. Turn that frustration into fire and channel all of that energy into success.

 

5. Peacock Feather:

♥ Message – Value yourself. Treat yourself as a rare and special soul, worthy of love, care and respect. Peacocks don’t have vanity – peacocks have a strong sense of their own identity, and a regal self respect. It’s not vain to care about your physical appearance, your diet, your health and well-being. It’s not being precious to expect others to be respectful and polite in their dealings with you. And it is essential that being treated well starts with yourself!

♥ Crystal – Moonstone

♥ Action Step – It’s time to give yourself a make-over in some aspect of your life. Maybe you need to attend to diet and exercise, maybe you need a haircut or to update your wardrobe, maybe you need friends and lovers who treat you better! It may even be that you need to stand up for yourself in business. Look inside your heart and you’ll see where you need to begin.

 

6.  Tawny Owl Feather:

♥ Message – Trust in Synchronicity and keep asking for what you need. You are well loved, and much of that love comes from realms other than the one in which we live. Know that right now you are being very strongly guided and supported, that there are signs everywhere to encourage and direct you, that the veil is thin between this world and the next. Open yourself to this love and support. Expect magic and miracles. Expect resolution of difficulties and obstacles.

♥ Crystal – Turquoise

♥ Action Step – Spend some time in nature. Spend some time on your own. Pray, journal, meditate and stay open to messengers, guidance and intuition. Use tools such as crystals, tarot and other messenger cards, runes and other divination items if it feels right. Ask once, and be guided by the answer, whatever that may be. Stay open to possibility and to acting on insights.

 

7.  Parrot Feathers:

♥ Message – Find your tribe and step out of social isolation. You know the old expression – birds of a feather flock together! You are a beautiful bird, and you need to find other ‘birds’ with similar interests and values. Don’t do this alone. Let yourself be supported, and grow by supporting others. Allow yourself to be multi-faceted. Our diversity is a beautiful thing. Maybe you’ll need a craft group,  a meditation group, a permaculture club. There is no one group that will meet every need, so fly a while with birds going in a direction you want to be travelling in and know it’s okay to stop when you need to, or to meet up with a different flock flying the other way. Embrace life and the joy of sharing and belonging!

♥ Crystal – Jasper – whichever kind you’re drawn to! 

♥ Action Step – Look in the papers. Read the community notice boards. Google. Find a group, or create a group of your own. Join a class. Go to a workshop or retreat. Travel. Expand your horizons by expanding your social circle. Allow yourself to be supported in your interests, with others who share your passion.

 

8: Emu Feather:

♥ Message – Emu feathers appear when we’re ready to forgive and let go of something significant that has been an anchor weighing us down for much of our lives. There is nothing more to be gained by holding onto this heavy thing inside you. It’s time to forgive yourself, and anyone else involved. We can never have a complete understanding of our path, or the path of others, while we remain in our body. Things take on a different significance as we let go of the emotions and find the lessons and gifts. Sometimes we don’t even need to do that. The thing has happened. Life has moved on, and we’ve been holding this heavy rock for so long that we can’t clearly remember WHY anymore. But the heavy rock drains and exhausts us, and its energy taints everything that we do and that we are. It’s time for forgiveness. Let yourself be free of this burden.

♥ Crystal – Clear or included Quartz

♥ Action Step – Write it out and burn it, have a healing, dance it out, create a meaningful ceremony, or simply offer up a prayer or words and intention that mean something to you. Involve others if it feels right, but also know that forgiveness is a personal act about freeing YOU, and does not need to involve others for it to be effective as a force within you.

Stones, Crystals and Meditation Magic

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” ~ Caroline Myss

 

I have long been a meditator. In fact it has been a daily practice for me since adolescence. Even with my recent bout of ill-health I haven’t missed a day. It’s as much a part of my life as sleeping or breathing.

As I was walking along the beach on Monday morning I came upon a particular rock. It’s just a stone. But it holds the energies of the ocean and the earth. It is an anchoring stone. And it comes from Byron Bay, which is a place of great healing and transformation. As I held it in my hand I knew that I would meditate with it, and that this stone would hold those energies in a way that could be transferred to someone else.

Which gave me an idea…

I have decided to dedicate a meditation each day of the month to a chosen stone and a crystal companion. The stone becomes the Anchoring Stone, which helps us to stay grounded, clear and calm, connecting into our bodies, and to the earth and nature. The crystal becomes the Connection Stone, enabling us to connect into our intuition, Higher Self, Guides, Ancestors and the Divine.

I will use the energies of the month to support me as I meditate with intention, infusing the stones with that energy.

Here are the stones I will work with every day in July:

The energies and intention I will infuse into the Byron Bay Beach Rock will be that the holder comes to know and understand their body and how to honour and take care of it to give lasting health and wellbeing. This knowledge will also contribute to a state of inner calm and of self-care.

The energies and intention I shall infuse into the Tasmanian Quartz Crystal will be a deep connection to the user’s ancestral line, intuition, Guides, Angels, the Divine – facilitating a stronger understanding of the user’s individual talents and gifts, and those that have been passed down through their ancestral lineage. All of this will help to give clarity of life path.

My team will devise a new competition each month to enable someone from our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community to win the stones as well as a meditation recorded just for them.

All of the love and energy and intention that I pour into these stones daily will then be available for the user in their own meditation. It’s also okay if you’ve never meditated before. I’ll send you instructions!

I’m so glad that this idea found me, so that the right stones can find you.

We’ll post more details soon.

Hugs and love, 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

The Eagles and the Crystals

“Believe something and the Universe is on its way to being changed. Because you’ve changed, by believing. Once you’ve changed, other things start to follow. Isn’t that the way it works?”
~ Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard

 

In January, we pulled down our massive Ancestors and Songlines crystal healing grid at our farm. Ben and my friend Satisha helped me to locate all of the stones that were beginning to be buried by the long summer grass that had grown up wildly all around them. We literally crawled around the grid on our hands and knees, feeling every inch of ground to pull out the stones which had lain there through sun and rain, moon and stars for nearly 8 weeks.

When the stones were removed I sorted through them and chose a selection to be tasked for my retreat students this year, plus a few extra that I may sell or give away at some stage. Ben then drove me and my stones to the very back of our property where the eagles live.

In the boughs of a mighty old gum tree is a huge platform made from sticks and branches. It is home to a nesting pair of wedge-tail eagles. The tree itself sits within a tangled thicket of scrub, privet and camphor. It’s private, secluded and the place holds an energy of wilderness and deep peace. The views from the top of the tree must be incredible. The birds would see our entire valley and river system, and then over the saddle of the hill behind them and into the next valley too. We often see the eagles and their fledglings soaring on the thermals around our farm. They are massive birds. Majestic. Fearless.

At the foot of this ancient tree, beneath the eagles’ nest I laid out a new crystal grid. I sang magic into it the way my old Aboriginal Aunties taught me. I added my own magic too, and the magic of my ancestral line. I wanted these crystals to soak up all of that energy, and the energy of the land, of the tree and of the eagles. Of course other creatures will add their own energies. There is so much native wildlife here. And there is the energy of country. It’s a tangible energy, and it makes the crystals sing.

On Tuesday afternoon we went back and retrieved these stones. They have been through wild storms, eclipses, full moons, dark moons, pink moons, bright clear skies and gentle sunsets. After so long in the dirt they were encrusted with earth and bits of leaf and grass. They smelled like sweet loamy soil and sunshine. And goodness, how they felt in my hand!

This weekend I’ll scrub them clean and lay them out in the sun to dry, and then I’ll choose one for each of my Beginners Channelling students, for them to learn how to use when our retreat starts just ten days from now.

Maybe one of these stones will find its way to you one day. I truly believe that they always find the person who needs them most.

They are simply wonderful. I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

Saving Dudley Dog!

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” ~  John Grogan

 

Australia is in the grip of a ferocious heatwave right now. Late yesterday afternoon I lay down on my bed in our air-conditioned bedroom, thoroughly exhausted and grateful to be in the cool. I’ve worked a few big days, and been on call outside work hours too. So many people have been affected by the moon, and the energies of February. It’s been a time of high stress and peak transformation for many. Even my spare hours have been crowded with lending support to others. But that’s okay – it’s why I’m here.

As I was almost asleep I heard a loud but insistent voice. A squeaky, childlike voice.

“Wake up, wake up!” the voice said. “Dudley Dog is in trouble.”

It was my fairy friend, Sokli. She sounded quite agitated.

“Hurry up,” she said. “You have to call his mum. He’s too, too hot and there’s no water and no shade and he’s in big trouble. You have to help him NOW!”

Immediately I thought of a friend, and her dog Dudley. But she would never leave her old dog out in the backyard in a heatwave! I struggled to think who Sokli might be talking about.

“You know his mum,” she said. “The Jo Anne Lady. She just moved houses and she isn’t allowed to have a dog inside. You have to call her!”

Suddenly I did remember a Joanne lady who I haven’t talked to for over a year, possibly longer? Yes, that was the one. I turned on my computer and found her phone number. Joanne was still at work in the middle of the city, and surprised that I was calling her. Did she have a dog called Dudley? Yes, she did, a German Shepherd cross. He was a rescue dog, about four years old. She’d had him for six months and he was the love of her life. How did I know? Joanne’s surprise soon turned to panic as I told her he was having problems with the heat. She promised me she would leave work straight away and go home to her pet.

I hadn’t been off the phone ten minutes when Sokli began yelling in my ear again.

“TOO SLOW. SHE’S TOO SLOW! She has to hurry up or Dudley won’t make it!”

I called Joanne back. She was just leaving work, and still had to catch a bus and then walk the rest of the way home. The trip would take an hour. Maybe more if the traffic was bad.

Joanne moved to this house last weekend, after taking a transfer to a new city. She hadn’t met the neighbours yet. She didn’t know anyone who could check on her dog for her. “Call the RSPCA,” I urged her, “or your closest vet. I promise, it’s a genuine emergency.”

That was all I could do. I did a healing meditation for Dudley, and I called on every energy and entity I could think of to help him until someone turned up at his door. I put a post on my facebook wall, asking my friends to send love and energy to him and his mum too. I figured it would help both Dudley dogs and both mums.

Late last night Joanne rang me back. Someone from the vet’s office had rushed to Joanne’s house and found Dudley collapsed in the back yard. He was dangerously dehydrated and in severe heat distress. If they had found Dudley even an hour later they may not have been able to save him.

Joanne had left two bowls of water out for Dudley before she went to work, and he had a doghouse to shelter in too. But in a heatwave a doghouse becomes like a sauna – and offers no protection from the heat at all. In the late afternoon Dudley had absolutely no shade, and his water was long gone.

Image from www.vetary.com

Image from www.vetary.com

Joanne texted me again this morning. Dudley is being moved from intensive care, and they expect he will make a full recovery. The vets are quite amazed at how well Dudley has bounced back. What a lucky thing that Sokli was paying attention yesterday afternoon, and that so many caring people sent love and energy Dudley’s way. Thank you to all of you who helped. I know it made a difference!

Please, if you are experiencing a heatwave or a hot day, think of your animals and do all you can to provide them with a cool shady place to rest, and lots of water in multiple locations in case one gets knocked over. Shell baths with water or ice are good too. If possible, let your pets come into the cool of the house until the heatwave has passed.

There are some excellent suggestions for keeping your pets cool here.

It’s also a kindness if you can leave bowls of water out for the birds and the wildlife. Everyone is affected by this kind of heat.

Thank you again, and lots of love from Sokli and I,

Nicole <3 xx

Picture Zak Simmonds - from The Townville Bulletin

Picture Zak Simmonds – from The Townville Bulletin