“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
~ Victor Hugo
Yesterday was Friday.
Friday in our household is also now our official Nicole and Ben Day.
It’s a day that we have chosen to dedicate to spending as a couple. Not a day of leisure – that’s what our Unplugged Sunday is for. Nicole and Ben Day is a day where we sit together and talk about our plans. We discuss our long-term dreams and goals, and our shorter-term projects. We talk work. We talk farm stuff.
It’s a day for doing things together. Home maintenance, tax, business and creative projects. We get to go on expeditions – yesterday it was a trip to the Farmers Markets, and then into Lismore, our closest big town, so that we could visit an office supplies chain, the rural produce store and do a quick grab of some dry goods groceries. Which also meant lunch at Steve’s Bakery! (One massive cheese and salad sandwich and one egg and lettuce sandwich and a pot of tea for two to share – deluxe!)
Friday’s also a day where we can just be together.
I’m tired right now from all of these treatments I’m on. So after our busy morning we made a pot of tea (Melbourne Breakfast – it’s a robust black tea with a hint of smooth vanilla) and sat on the veranda, watching the rain and relaxing with Harry Dog at our feet.
There is a birdbath under the jacaranda tree, just across from where we sit. It’s one of my great pleasures, watching all the birds come down to drink and to bathe. All spring and into summer it has been unseasonably dry here at the farm. Ben or I have hauled a hose over to refill that birdbath every day. But the last two days there has been enough rain to fill it for us.
And finally, after I got my hands into the dirt and planted new seedlings in the rain yesterday afternoon, we went for a swim while it rained. The rain was cold. The pool was warm. It was glorious.
But what was most important was that we had an entire day to consciously connect, and to talk about and work on what matters most to us.
How about you? Do you have dedicated time for yourself, or time for being with your partner or family members, where you can deepen communication and focus on personal projects and plans? I highly recommend this as a practice.
Sending much love to you, on the wings of happy-dancing birds, Nicole <3 xx
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All of us have so many demands on our limited time. How do we know where to put our focus? This next exercise will help you to gain clarity around the priorities that your Soul Wisdom knows are best aligned with your Highest Good.
Here’s what you need to do.
Take your crystal, and complete this short guided meditation:
Hold your stone in your cupped hands, close your eyes, and slow your breathing. Bring white light into your body until you feel peaceful and calm. Then bring white light into the crystal too. Allow yourself to connect to the stone. You may feel it tingle, or visualise a colour in your mind’s eye. When you are ready, open your eyes. Keep your stone near you, and hold it when you write.
Now shuffle your cards, while silently asking the question to yourself ‘What do my current priorities need to be?’
When you have shuffled the cards and they feel ‘done’, select up to five cards using the method that feels right for you. You may find that just one card will do the job and give you the insight that you need. If not, choose a maximum of five cards to show you where to better place the focus in your life.
Position the cards face up in front of you, in the order in which you drew them.
Clear your mind by closing your eyes and taking one deep breath in and then out. Open your eyes again. Take a minute and look at the first picture. Allow that the first card will be the most important priority. All others will follow, and some may even be a support focus for that first card. You’ll know if that is true for you.
What stands out for you today? Is it an image or a colour? Is it a number or a word? What are your first impressions? What thoughts come into your mind? Work through each of the cards one by one. Take a minute or two and write some stream-of-consciousness thoughts down for each card. Don’t censor or judge them. Trust the process. Draw a second card for clarification on any of your primary cards if you need to.
Finally, read back over what you have written. Pay attention to which order the priorities have shown themselves. Know that there may be more work for you to do here, exploring these things after our challenge has finished.
“Destiny itself is like a wonderful wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakable tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Welcome to Week Eight of our journal challenge. If you missed the start you can go here to catch up on the tools you’ll need, and to find links to previous weeks.
This week, starting on September 20, is all about finding the threads of this new life we wish to craft for ourselves. All along our subconscious mind and our intuitive wisdom have been directing us. Look over here, they’ve whispered. Put that down – we don’t need it anymore. Choose this one, because it can bring you the sort of happiness you’ve been chasing for the longest time.
Sometimes all it takes is one magical golden thread, woven with steady hands through the drab monotony of our otherwise unsatisfying life, for us to come alive again and to understand that in fact everything is beautiful, that we do have choices, and that we can find meaning and contentment right where we are standing.
Each week of this nine week challenge will follow the same format:
We will begin with the short guided meditation for the week, using your guidance stone. During this meditation you’ll be given a colour to work with for the week, and a word or phrase.
We will choose an oracle card to give us inspiration and direction for the week ahead
We will spend ten minutes (or more if desired!) to complete our weekly journal prompt.
We will spend a few moments at the end of our day in gratitude.
1. Guided Meditation
Take your guidance stone and sit or lie quietly. Then simply follow the sound of my voice. You’ll need seven minutes.
When the meditation is complete, write down your power colour and your power word or phrase in your journal.
How can you use your Power Word this week? Write a few ideas, based on your word. Trust whatever comes and write it down. Don’t overthink it.
What does your Colour mean to you? What words or ideas does it provoke? Write them down. This week, use this colour to boost your energy. Shut your eyes for thirty seconds and breathe it into your body whenever you feel a bit flat or low. Wear it as clothing. Choose flowers in your colour. Eat food that colour. Be creative with it.
2. Oracle Card
Take your cards, offer up a small prayer that whatever you do be for your Highest Good, and then shuffle the deck. As you’re shuffling, ask the question‘What do I most need to focus on this week?’ Say it out loud or hold it as a thought in your head. Either will work.
Choose one card. How you choose is up to you. Split the deck. Fan them out. Top or bottom. Dive right in. There is no right or wrong.
Now look at your card and hold your guidance stone in your non-writing hand. Really look at the card. Don’t use the book or the ‘proper’ meaning. We are being intuitive here, people! What stands out for you in the picture? What thoughts and ideas do the images provoke? Take a minute or two and write those thoughts down. I know, you might feel like you’re just making it all up. That’s okay. Write anyway. Trust that there is a part of you that is wise and that has been waiting for this chance to speak with your conscious mind.
Here’s my first page for this week. I love that I have both the big picture stuff – the philosophy and the life work – and the focus of my colour, which speaks to me of pink toenails, cupcakes and girl time:
3. Week Eight Journal Prompt
On the very back page of your journal last week you wrote the words MY PROJECT, and a brief description of that thing. You also used your journal to think about what What resources you already have, and what might you need to actually make a start on this project.
Go back to the page now and place your project in a circle in the centre of the page. (If you prefer to give yourself more room and go to the next pages in the back of the book that’s fine too.)
Draw some lines out from the circle, and then at the end of each line write down an activity or idea that relates to your project. Don’t over think it. Just let the words flow!
Now go back to the front of your journal and answer the following question:
Where are some places in my life where I can make some space for my project?
Don’t just think about making time. Also think about how you might simplify your life, or if you will need a physical or virtual space for your needs.
Write as little or as much as you want.
Do this once, or write a little every day. Whatever works for you. Hold your guidance stone in your non-writing hand or place it on your lap or beside you while you write.Genuinely seek to connect with what matters to you.
Here’s my beginnings. To get this down on paper suddenly makes things seem more do-able, more real. And that, my friends, gives me a sense of expansion and of inner peace. Maybe I CAN get this thing done after all!
Using the Gratitude Rock:
The Gratitude Rock anchors positive energy and gratitude at the end of every day. You can carry your stone with you, or leave it beside your bed. At night, before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock in your hand.
As you hold the stone say to yourself I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Then hold in your mind one or more image of a thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe. Visualise a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
Now here’s the fun bit – imagine all of the other people who are taking part in this journalling challenge with you. Once again build up a strong positive energy in your heart, and then imagine shooting a stream of golden light out into the Universe to those people.
Say Thank you. I Bless You. I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.
Happy exploring through words this week! Let your Power Word and Colour guide you. Think on the wisdom you’ve taken from your oracle card. Use it all! And remember to pop over to facebook and let us know how you’re going. I always love to hear from you.
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Illness has taught me many things. One of them is that most things can wait.
Strangely, it has also shown me that some things can’t.
When something, or someone, really matters to you, it’s amazing what can be reprioritised. On all but my very worst days I have found myself able to blog. You’re important to me – our friendship means a lot. Writing is one thing that I’ll find a way to do unless I absolutely can’t get out of bed, or function in a useful way.
If one of my animals was hurt I would be right there. If they needed me – unless I was on my last breath, and even then I think I’d try – I’d move mountains for my family, my husband, my dearest friends. There is a strength within us all that still surprises me when I dig deep and find it there waiting.
You don’t need to have illness to sharpen your focus about knowing what will wait, and what can’t. Use your values. Trust your heart.
I’m not talking the crazy desperate kind of sacrifice where we throw away what was important to us in order to support or sustain a bad relationship, or to get the attention of someone who was never worth our while. When we feel into those situations we can taste the crazy. We cringe a little, knowing our aim is off and then we rush forward hoping that fortune will favour us and momentum will clear away the whispering voice of our conscience that has already owned our stupidity or pointless gesture.
The things that can’t wait are clearly recognised and understood by our hearts. Our minds unify with our hearts, and burn with a bright purpose. We are transformed by a deep conviction. In short, we just know that this thing needs to be our utmost priority, letting everything else fall away.
There is something solid and steadfast in right choices. Even when we lose, we don’t regret our actions. We are guided by something so right and true within us. Doubt never creeps in. Not then. Not later. Our faith holds.
To be there for a loved one in crisis. To support a friend. To stand up for someone. To submit that paper. To voice our needs. To rescue that dog. To make that call.
We are compelled.
Always listen to that compulsion. Trust yourself to act. I sometimes think that God and all the angels and energies beyond our ken gather in that moment of decision to give us wings, to uplift and carry us, to enable us to help others or ourselves, to shine and claim our moment or to survive whatever may come. It’s a blessed space. A space of pure flow and love.
Look inside yourself and I know you’ll understand what I mean. Everything will wait, except the things that can’t.
Thank you for being here for me, my beautiful friends.
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”
~ Deborah Day
I was going to keep writing about owls and fairies and those sorts of things, but I can’t this morning. Instead I have to go to work.
Just before I woke this morning I dreamed about a client who I’ve known so long now that I consider her a dear friend. In my dream her phone accidentally speed dialled me while I was out in the paddock on the farm. I wasn’t far from the house so I ran back inside but the phone cut out before I could get to it.
I played the message back, and I knew my friend was out shopping and was having a heart attack without realising what was going on.
When I called her back the phone didn’t answer and I didn’t know where she was to send help.
This event hasn’t happened yet. But it’s about to. She’s already feeling unwell. She has already experienced some nausea and tightness in her chest. And honestly, she’s been heading this way for years, and knows she should be doing something about it, but she always tells herself she’ll get around to it just as soon as (insert anything that is vaguely about doing things for other people or meeting work deadlines first). She’s 38. That’s so young. And all of this journey was avoidable.
So this morning I need to contact my friend.
And in the meantime I have a message for YOU.
Take care of yourself. Parent yourself. Do the things you know you need to do to get your health back on track. Eat a healthier diet. Get support from health care practitioners you trust. Get your weight under control. Reduce your stress levels. Get more sleep. Address the underlying emotional issues that are causing you distress. And stop putting everyone and everything before yourself.
Life is precious. You are precious. So much magic awaits. But you have to be here, and healthy, to take advantage of that. We need you and your beautiful gifts in the world, It’s not to late to turn this around. Self care, self nurture, new priorities and some support. That’s all that’s needed. You can do this. You need to do this.
Life is short. Life is precious. And in our lives we need to be able to fit into a limited amount of time the things that will satisfy us, grow us, and make us happy.
So many people that I know have this terrible sense of never having enough time, and never getting around to the things that are important to them. Those dreams and desires keep getting relegated to ‘tomorrow’, and as we all know, tomorrow never comes.
So how do we work out what’s important to us? Journalling is one of the best ways I have found for clearing out the clutter in our minds and tidying our thoughts onto a page. Today’s post will help you start that process of clarifying what matters to you, and how you want your life to look.
Image by nuttakit
It’s important to re-orient yourself back to your own internal priorities for this exercise, rather than the pressures of your life the way it is right now.
If possible, take yourself somewhere away from work or home – maybe a library, a coffee shop or a park, even the back yard or a veranda could work. Having surroundings that are not associated with chores, duties or your to-do-list will be very helpful for this process. Allocate at least ten minutes for this journal task, but note that if you haven’t been giving yourself much time lately you may need considerably longer. The investment in yourself will be worth it!
Start by writing this passage into your journal or diary. Feel free to use coloured inks, stickers, doodles or anything else that makes your heart sing.
My life is precious to me,and I recognise that it’s a gift. Before I was even born I was dreaming of the things I could do, experience and discover in this lifetime.
Inside me is a strong wisdom about what matters to me.My heart, my soul, my gut– they all have messages for my mind to hear and understand –and I’m really ready to listen.
More than that, I’m ready for change. I‘m ready to act upon my priorities.My life matters to me.My time is now!
Choose any of the following journal starters and then begin writing:
This idea in the back of my mind is
I feel unbelievably pressured because
All I really want to be doing is
If I had more time I would
The thing that lights me up inside is
I know I need to
If I won a million dollars, suddenly I would be able to
My biggest regret is that
If I could find a way to support myself I would
Ever since I was little I have dreamed of
The secret hope inside me is
I get a huge surge of relief every time I think about
My whole world would change if
It makes me outrageously happy to think about
People have always said that I
When I look back on my life, I’d like to be able to say that
The things on my personal bucket list are
We never know what life has in store for us. You’ll never please everyone, but the one person we often forget to please is ourselves. You are worthy, valuable and you came to this life to live your dreams. Maybe it’s time to honour that in some small way. Live without regrets! Live each day not so that you can cross it off and breathe a sigh of weary relief, but so that it counts for you, so that it matters to you and to your dreams. ♥