Where’s Your Focus?

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Image from reddit.com¬†because, well, pirates! And you know how I love pirates. ūüôā

‚ÄúVery occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck.‚ÄĚ
~ Joss Whedon

On Friday I posted about a beautiful ordinary day, and how much I had enjoyed¬†such¬†simple things as a trip to the farmers’ markets, clean sheets on the line, sunshine and crisp ripe apples.

After that post I received two emails, extracts of which are below:

That might be fine for you, Nicole, but not all of us live in Byron Bay. Not all of us have a beautiful life.

and

You obviously aren’t that sick, although you say you have lyme. No¬†person with a chronic illness could¬†enjoy the kind of life you have.

I guess that I need to be honest then, and admit that not all of my day was what you might consider beautiful. In fact it was downright ordinary. But I omitted those details from my Friday post.

I can list those things here:

  • As a result of my current course of drugs I have neurological urinary incontinence. I wore an adult diaper to the markets.
  • As a result of the drugs, the bacteria dying, and my poor liver not coping with increasing levels of toxicity I was covered head to toe in a fierce rash and weeping eczema. Agonising, and ugly too.
  • I was plagued by a sense of impending doom – the kind of feeling a psychic gets when they know something is about to happen, over which they have no control, but by which they will be impacted.

Here’s a photo of me a week ago, just before my last round of IV drugs. It was the best I’d felt in months and¬†I was teaching myself how to take a selfie so I would have a picture of me for my new website. It was fun. I put on lipstick, and wore a jacket that made me look dressed for going out.¬†I like this photo. I have clean hair, I’m standing in my garden on a bright autumn day, and it’s a headshot, so you can’t see my pyjama bottoms or my big-girl pull-up incontinence pants. About four photos later I worked out how to look into the camera instead of at my hand…

Nicole Cody

And here’s a couple of me taken last Thursday in Brisbane. Just before beautiful ordinary magical Friday. Here’s the rash that began to creep up my limbs and made me want to claw my own flesh off my bones.

lyme rash hand

Here’s my face, which was covered in blotches. I won’t share the photos of the weeping, bleeding rash behind my knees, under my arm and right across my chest and left breast. My face went that way too, by Friday morning.

Why am I sharing this? I have lived with chronic illness and daily misery for thirty¬†years. That thirty years has taught me a lot. Once upon a time I would have been the person who sent plaintive, judgemental or whiney messages to others, whom I felt had no idea how much I was suffering and no right to say that life was good, when it plainly wasn’t.

But that kind of thinking ruins any chance you have of having a rich and satisfying life.

So I adjusted my focus.

No matter how crappy my day gets, I look for beauty. I look for the small pleasures, the tiny details of comfort and joy, the things that will make my day memorable, or at least tolerable.

It’s become one of my superpowers. And it could easily become one of yours.

We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react, we can control our thoughts, and we can control our focus.

On Friday I didn’t focus on my distress and discomfort. In fact, I worked hard to not focus on them and to look for the beauty around me.

As I ate my dinner in front of the fire¬†early on Friday evening I reflected that it had indeed been a very beautiful ordinary day. That’s my secret. I know that every day can be a beautiful day, or at least have elements of beauty hidden within it, just waiting for an observant eye and an open heart.

So, I have to ask you…

Where’s your focus?

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Image from quoteicons.com

Manifesting a Positive 2013 – An Invitation to Join Me

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“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.” ¬†~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

New Year’s Eve. For so many people it’s a night of revelry and celebration, for some it’s a night of sheer underwhelm or expectations not met, and for others it’s just another night…

Australia is one of the first countries to see in the New Year. And Byron Bay does know how to throw a party! ¬†But tonight you won’t find me there. I’ll be home at my farm, enjoying a quiet dinner with friends, before I sit down in meditation to welcome in the energies of 2013.

It will be a big meditation session – two or three hours, finishing with a simple fire ritual. I’ll be focussed on holding a positive intent for myself, for you, and for the world for the unfolding of this important year – 2013.

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I’d love for you to join with me, adding your energy and presence to my own. I promise it will be an easy thing for you to do.

Each year I offer up a wish for myself, and a wish for the world.  I write each of them on separate pieces of paper, and the messages I write then hold some of the shape of my meditation.  At the end of my meditation, I burn each wish, letting the energy of my hopes and prayers be carried up into the atmosphere in the heat and smoke of the fire.

It’s always been a powerful practice. And now you can be a part of it too. ¬†Simply add your wish for yourself and your wish for the world as a comment at the bottom of this post.

Do it just like this: My wish for myself is…… ¬†My wish for the world is…..

If you’d like more privacy you can send me a message on facebook, or email me at cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.com

I’ll print out your wishes, and add them to my own. The only person who will see them is me. (And the Universe, of course…) ¬†I’ll hold that space for you in my meditations, and I’ll burn your messages in my New Year’s Eve fire.

I promise to hold the energy of this space (and my fire) for a full 24 hours from my own walk into 2013. That way none of you will miss out.

Together, our collective good thoughts, wishes and intentions shall help shape a 2013 that begins in love, well wishes and positive energy.  What can be better than that?

Love and Blessings to you, ♥ Nicole xx

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My Embarrassing Affirmation Confession

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You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition ~ W. Clement Stone

Affirmations are a known powerful tool for change, and are used by many people for creating positive shift and personal growth.  Louise Hay has made affirmations a modern-day medicine for the soul. (You can sign up for her daily affirmations here)

An affirmation is a simple statement, said in the present tense, that affirms positively a fact or situation that is desirable in your life.  You state that thing as if it is already happening, and you repeat that statement many, many times, to imprint the message in your subconscious mind, so that this thing becomes true for you.

Here are some common examples:

Image from affirmart.blogspot

Image from affirmart.blogspot

Image from alexafalk.blogspot

I must admit that when I first heard about affirmations I was quite sceptical.

Stating something as a truth and then repeating that statement often, even if it hadn’t yet shown up in my life, seemed a little daft. ¬†If nothing else, I felt ¬†fake to be claiming things that weren’t actually true for me yet.

But the experts agreed that affirmations could change your life. What did I have to lose by a little positive thinking?

And this is where my embarrassment comes in…

I created a test affirmation.

I didn’t affirm that I choose health. ¬†I didn’t affirm that every day in every way I am getting better and better. ¬†I didn’t even affirm that great wealth is mine now.

No. ¬†My affirmation was pretty much a deliberate act of ‘New-Age Thinking’ defiance. ¬†There was nothing spiritual or enlightened about it at all. I chose it because I expected it to fail miserably.

This is what I chose:

Everything I want is always on special

That’s right. I affirmed that whenever I wanted to buy something, the Universe would provide it for me at a discounted rate.

Image from l3electronics.com

I thought this was hilarious when I made it up. It seemed like the silliest idea in the world. But I dedicatedly repeated my affirmation whenever I thought about it – which was often seeing it made me laugh so much, and seeing I was going through a pretty rotten time financially back then.

And here’s the second part of my embarrassing confession…

It worked!

If I needed chocolate, my favourite brand was on special. Pasta? Reduced to clear! Holiday? Stay ten nights, pay for five.

The more I affirmed, the more noticeable it became until one day I just accepted this statement as my new reality.  Everything I want is always on special.

I’m so well known for this affirmation now among my family and friends that they expect this miracle to roll out for me too! I recently went to the shop to buy some ice-cream for dessert, taking a friend with me. “I knew this would be on special,” she said as she took a tub of heavily discounted premium deliciousness. “I should come shopping with you more often!”

We needed a holiday. A few days ago my husband and I booked a cruise. Why a cruise? We got 78% off the advertised rack rate. And then got a room upgrade!

Image from maritimeheritage.org

When we went to book the airfares QANTAS was having a one day sale, and ¬†a return ticket from Brisbane to LA was ridiculously discounted. The travel agent couldn’t believe our good timing. We just smiled, looked at each other and repeated¬†Everything I want is always on special.

Affirmations work. I have plenty of others that I use now too, but my first ever affirmation is still my favourite. ¬†It might not be ‘spiritual’ but it’s lots of fun, and it affirms to me that I live in an abundant and benevolent Universe.

Here are some others that I love:

Something wonderful will happen to me today (I love to affirm this when I first wake up – it sets the tone for my whole day!)

All good things come to me

I am surrounded with kind and helpful people

My creativity flows, and my good ideas are endless

My body is returning itself to health. Healing and well-being are my natural energies

If such simple thinking can change your life, and bring positivity and joy, maybe it might be worth you trying some affirmations for yourself. The video at the bottom of this post has some good ideas for affirmations too.

I’m holding you in that good space – wishing you well, wishing you love, joy, health and abundance. ¬†Bless xx