Letting Go – Do you need to? How to decide!

“Be brave and let go. Let go of fear, and pain. Stop holding to the thing that is tearing you apart. While you hang on, grimly gripping and clutching this to you, you deny yourself freedom, new gifts, love. It is madness to presume that you are more wise than the Universe. Let go. Trust.” ~ Nicole Cody

 

There are so many reasons why we struggle with letting go.

Some of us don’t like to fail – if we say we’re going to deliver, if we take a marriage vow, sign up for a deadline, have ethics that are all about family or mateship, hold strong religious or spiritual beliefs, made a public proclamation about a certain thing, have other people telling us that this is what we need, then we may hold onto a person or situation longer than necessary.

Sometimes we spend our lives thinking about everyone else; not wanting to let people down, wanting THEM to be happy even if we must sacrifice something or all of ourselves to do that. Perhaps we have been raised to see this as worthy behaviour, or the way to be lovable – earning love through good deeds and sacrifice.

Sometimes we become so fixated on achieving the end goal that we stop asking ourselves the right questions: “Does this still serve me?  Does this still honour me?”  “Did it ever…”

Sometimes we’ve let something define us for so long that we no longer know who we are without that thing in our life. Even if it’s killing us or making us miserable.

Sometimes we let our heart rule our head. Sometimes we let our head rule our heart. And it’s not making us feel good. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Or maybe we are afraid. Afraid that if we let go nothing will ever come to replace it.  Afraid that people will judge us or turn away from us, or leave us. Afraid that if we let go, the thing might suddenly come good, and all our struggle will have been worth it.

Sometimes we think we don’t deserve any better.

So how do we know when we need to let go?

When duty is the only thing that drives us and all the joy has faded from our lives. When we’ve forgotten the reason we signed up for this in the first place.  When we’ve become indifferent to life, our relationship, this thing… When our health is in tatters, when the person in the mirror is a stranger, when our finances are in ruins, when we’re choking down anger and resentment on a daily basis, when we are no longer a person we like or believe in, when we’ve lost ourselves, it’s time to let go.

When we have gotten to a place where everything is hard, everything is dark, where we can see no place in our lives for hope, or joy or happiness, then it’s time to let go. When we can no longer keep our eyes open and our hands on the wheel, and we’re popping pills to keep going, white-knuckled from fear and exhaustion, it’s time to let go.

When it’s in the past, where we have no way to change it, we need to let go.

Why do we need to let go?

When we are in struggle, we are out of the flow of Universal Good. In that place where we are battling against the current of life we exhaust ourselves, and often have nothing to show for our efforts. It is all hard, hard, and harder.

When we surrender and let go, we stop swimming against the current. Life picks us up and supports us and begins to move us in a new direction. There is a wisdom and grace in the Universe that far exceeds our own.  It we can only trust and let go, finally, we can begin moving towards a better future, to new opportunities, new relationships, new adventures.  We give ourselves a fresh start.  We give ourselves a chance to be happy, a chance to find ourselves and to open ourselves to bright new possibilities.

Even if that means for a time we must sit alone, hands empty…

How do we let go?

Sometimes we need to ask for help. It’s not important to have the answer, it’s only important to have recognised that we need to change. There are many skilled and caring people in the world who can help you make the shift once you’ve decided that it’s time.

Sometimes we will already know what to do.

All change requires effort, but change is possible. If you know you’re unhappy and you can longer work out why,  imagine the current choices and relationships in your life. Imagine the problems. Now imagine removing them. Is there a sense of loss or panic, or a sense of relief? Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

Sometimes we only need to put our burdens down for a time. When we’ve rested, or found someone to share the load, then we find we want to continue, that we can continue.

So many times we let go of the job, and we land on our feet. We let go of the relationship, and we meet our soul mate. We pack up and go, and an unexpected direction leads us to a happier and more fulfilled life, unlike anything we could have imagined for ourselves.

When not to let go

You’ll know it. It’s as different a feeling as night is to day. This is an energy within you infused with light, hope, clarity, determination, strength, courage.

It’s the thing that helps you keep swimming, towing a drowning soul with their head above water, when you are both exhausted. It’s the thing that helps mothers lift a car to release their trapped child. It’s the voice inside you that tells you to call someone, or turn up at their house, or dash into a burning building. It’s the conviction that helps you stand by someone when you believe in a better outcome for them but they are in a place where they can’t yet see it for themselves.

That’s the energy of Love. That’s the feel of God as our wings. That’s Divine Grace working through us. There is something within us that will not give up the fight, something within us that KNOWS we can do it, that we will do it. That we would rather do this and die trying than to walk away. This is a feeling of being energised, vital, alive, burning with a seering focus.

Image from www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com

 

Tune in.  How are you feeling? Answer yourself honestly.  Make a decision.  Trust…

I’m holding you in my daily prayers and meditations. You’re not alone in this. I’m with you, and I believe in you,

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

A ‘Renovator’s Delight’ Is Rarely A Good Relationship Choice!

“There is only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best.” 
~  Doris Lessing

 

In Australia we have a term for houses that need a stupid amount of work to make them habitable. We call them Renovator’s Delights, and you can be sure that anything that is advertised as such is sure to be a money pit, no matter how much a Real Estate Agent might tell you otherwise in their eagerness to get you to commit to a sale. These houses have much more than cosmetic flaws that could be easily fixed with a coat of paint or some new handles or light fittings. A Renovator’s Delight hides serious structural flaws that are often not apparent to the rookie buyer. This kind of work is expensive to repair, if it can be repaired at all. A smart buyer would be better off looking for a different investment opportunity.

Sometimes a seller will disguise a Renovator’s Delight with a quick paint job and some landscaping so that it looks visually appealling – they can sell you on ‘the dream’ as long as you don’t dig too deep. This is an even worse situation for a buyer who hasn’t done their homework and organised a complete building inspection because they won’t be prepared for the devastating structural issues they will one day find below that pretty surface.

So what does that have to do with relationships? A lot, actually.

In all my time of guiding, advising and counselling others, especially sensitive and empathic souls and those who identify as ‘spiritual’ or ‘healers’ I’ve seen many good men and women choosing the human equivalent of a Renovator’s Delight in love relationships.

Very few people lead with their faults and flaws in a new relationship. That’s normal. We all want to be thought well of, and to be successful in making a relationship last. And what’s perfect anyway? All of us have idiosyncrasies and quirks. Much of that is also what makes us appealing to others. This truth is evident when you see people buy a home. Oh my goodness, one person will say. I can’t stand all those funny little stained-glass windows. That alone will be enough for them to choose not to buy. Oh my goodness, the next person will say. Look at all those funny little stained-glass windows. I totally love that! After which they will buy the house because those funny little windows really spoke to something in their soul.

Image from Alamy at www.architecturaldigest.com

Sometimes after we’ve lived in a home, loved it and been happy there, disaster strikes. A pipe bursts. There is a fire in the kitchen. Termites eat out a pillar or a roof support. But it’s our home. We love it. So we fix it, or try to. We do the work together with our partner, friends or family, we bring experts in, or in some cases we decide to just accommodate the problem and we learn to live with it. In human terms this can be a sudden illness, a bad decision, a stupid action, a transgression, loss of a job or some other calamity. Our commitment to what has been a good and happy relationship and the love involved allows us to stay together, despite a structural flaw. Importantly, everyone acknowledges that flaw. No-one covers it up or suggests that it isn’t real.

Human Renovator’s Delights in new relationships often know that they have serious flaws but they are not invested in fixing them, and they go to great lengths to hide them. Some trade on these flaws or backstory in order to get or keep attention and to excuse behaviours and beliefs. Some will be honest and tell you they are not good relationship material. They mean it, and they say it to give you an out, but a Lightworker or empath will then feel it is their responsibility to stay, help, and fix things.

Inside all of us is a compass that helps us to see if the person in front of us has quirks that will endear them to us or that we can learn to live with, or if there are serious structural flaws that make this relationship not worth our investment. What’s always needed for sound relationship decisions is time and the ability to tune in to that inner compass.

I have friends and clients going through hard times in relationships right now, and they’re wondering how they ended up where they are – with a lover who cheats or gambles, with a husband who suddenly wants out, with a boss who keeps lying.

They’re hurt, distressed and devastated at what has happened and they’ve asked me the questions: Why did this happen? How did this happen? Why did I not see this coming?

Truly, a wise part of them did see it coming. A wise part of them already knew. All of us have intuition, and instinct. This force within us operates with a vast amount of information – not just our conscious awareness.

When pressed, all of these people eventually admitted that there had been things in their relationship from early on that made them uncomfortable. Or there was a point where things began to change, and that point was a long way from where they are now.

In each situation my clients and friends had intuitively picked up on an energy or behaviour that was out of flow, out of truth – either with the way the other person was presenting themselves within the relationship, or with how their partner’s actions and behaviours conflicted with their own values and beliefs. In each case their intuition  red-flagged something, using those feelings of discomfort and that instinctive knowledge to bring the situation to their conscious attention.

So why didn’t they allow themselves to be guided by that intuition? Quite simply, their mind got in the way. They discounted, excused, second-guessed or validated that discomfort away. They saw what they wanted to see, or needed to see, rather than what was. They gave second chances, chose to believe what they were told, and shoved that discomfort back down where it no longer bothered them. In many instances they convinced themselves that the person could change, or that they could help them heal or find ways to help them overcome the issue. Or, they thought that they’d already invested too much to walk away, or that any relationship was better than being on their own.

In many situations this person’s life then became completely consumed by the relationship and their worries over how to fix it, or whether to stay or go. All of the energy that they could have spent enjoying life, being creative, practicing self-care, building or maintaining other relationships was instead diverted into somehow trying to transform their relationship Renovator’s Delight into something more safe and habitable.

Just like a property that is a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your money, a relationship with a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your time and energy until there’s nothing left for anything or anyone else. (Narcissists and Sociopaths – the kind of Renovator’s Delight that can NEVER be fixed – will actually feed off your energy and then discard you once you’re broken or no longer of value to them.)

 

Tune in for a moment. What’s your intuition been telling you? How much of your time is wrapped up in this relationship? Are you both emotionally invested in solving problems and making things work? Is there any action or is it all talk and broken promises? Is it worth it?

A friend of mine recently sold a Renovator’s Delight after finally accepting (ten years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later) that she was never going to make it what she needed it to be. A new couple bought the house and then promptly demolished it to leave a clean canvas for their dream home. After my friend got over the shock she bought herself a brand new apartment with everything she needs – all in full working order. She couldn’t be happier.

The energies this week, and this month, support big decisions and coming into alignment with your values and inner core. Maybe it’s time for you to make a change.

You might also find these resources useful:

Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life

Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct

or this program of eight free exercises designed to help you connect to and work with intuition, energy and the metaphysical:

Strengthening Your Intuition – A program of Exercises

Biggest hugs and love to you, Nicole  xx

 

 

The Week Ahead – Oracle Reading for Monday 24 October 2016

harmony osho zen tarot

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Hello Lovelies,

Here’s this week’s oracle card and my take on the energetic outlook for the days ahead. I’ve chosen the Harmony card from the Osho Zen Tarot deck.

Take a big breath in. Breathe out. Relax into it. Relax into the week. Relax into your body. Relax into your truth. This is a time of healing and flow.

This is a week for nurturing your heart chakra. A week for reconnection to yourself and those you love. A week for conciliation, emotional healing and breakthroughs in stuck relationships. A week for finding love or deepening existing love. A week for the creation and celebration of life and all creative projects that are inspired by the heart.

This week urges you to be relationship-centred, heart-centred, hopeful and kind.  Not just with other people, but with yourself.

hugging

Image by Sarah Rhoads – One Hug A Day

It’s also a week that brings a flow of ideas and emotions. You’ll find that this is a great time to pour your heart and soul into cherished projects. You’ll also be able to more easily identify the relationships, situations and projects that are well aligned with your heart and which will be positive experiences for you.

You’re encouraged to speak your truth and to share your gifts this week.

It’s a week that needs some time and space for us to be in the moment, for us to indulge our senses and to experience pleasure and joy. Spend time in nature. Buy yourself flowers. Eat delicious food and savor every mouthful. Hug your pets and loved ones. Catch up with family and friends. Watch a great movie. Immerse yourself in a book. Play the music that speaks to your emotions.

Ask someone on a date.

Tell someone how you feel.

Launch that idea or project, or carve out time to work on it! Make it happen because it’s what’s in your heart.

It’s a week where we will begin to have clarity about how we really feel, and about what we truly want.

Above all, it’s a week for love – for feeling better about ourselves, more connected to our inner wisdom, and more centred in our hearts.

 

Guided Meditation for Heart Healing

This fifteen minute guided meditation will help you to improve your self worth, and to feel stronger and more loving towards yourself and others. It will balance and open your heart chakra.

 

Supportive crystals this week? Rose Quartz, Green or Peach Aventurine and Fluorite. Helpful essential oils? Young Living’s Joy essential oil blend, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of Geranium, Rose, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

From my heart to yours, <3 have a wonderful week! Sending so much love and encouragement your way, Nicole xoxo

When You’re in Flow and Your Loved One’s Stuck? Be The Lighthouse…

“What does a lighthouse do? I ask myself. It never moves. It cannot hike up its rocky skirt and dash into the ocean to rescue the foundering ship. It cannot calm the waters or clear the shoals. It can only cast light into the darkness. It can only point the way. Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships. Show this old lighthouse the way.”
~ Lisa Wingate, The Prayer Box

 

2016 is a year of shift and change and growth.

Right now some of us are shifting back into flow, our futures are looking brighter, we have a dream and passion and positivity and…

… our loved one is our polar opposite. It could be our husband, our wife, our lover, our child, our friend, our parent, our sibling. While we are moving, they are stuck. While we are in light, they are in shadow.

There are so many reasons for this. It could be illness, unemployment, depression. It might be family dramas, money problems, low self-esteem, addiction, anger, or a raft of other things.

It’s hard for them – that place where they are. It’s hard for us, when we see our beloved hurting. Sometimes it’s hard to even be in their space.

But we love them.

So, what do we do?

Most Lightworkers are helpers and healers. That’s our first impulse. First and foremost, don’t be your loved one’s therapist. Help them find one, if that’s what they need. It is not your job to ‘fix’ them. Loving and supporting is what we’ve signed up for. Listening. Caring. Carrying the load for a while if we must.

I know, you still want to do something! Even after I have told you not to rush in.

That’s okay. There is something you can do. A lot you can do, actually.

Here’s my advice. It’s tried and tested. It works.

 

Work on you

Work on you. Lift your own vibration. Work on your own shit. Do this without the need for validation or approval or praise. Do it because it’s what your soul needs. Find your own therapist, if that is what it takes. Get support. Get help. Spend time getting to know and understand yourself. Get happy in your own skin, as much as anyone can. Recognise that life is peaks and troughs and it will never be all happiness. It will never be everything going right for everyone all the time. That’s okay. Work on you. Do it because self-work is important, and we come to it in our own time. When we are ready. Some people aren’t interested in self work. Some people are not ready. That’s okay. Work on you.

When you work on you, and heal things in your own life, your vibration lifts. Healing and change ripple out in mysterious and wonderful ways, provoking healing and shift in others. As your vibration lifts it positively affects the people around you. That’s how vibration works. But don’t do it for them. Do it for you!

 

Get excited about your own life

Get excited about your own life.  Find friends within the areas that interest you – spiritual stuff, business, writing, gardening, chainsaw ice-carving, whatever is your thing – and hang out with them. Talk with them about your amazing breakthroughs, your hopes and dreams for your interests.

Don’t limit your dreams or your life because your loved one is stuck and miserable. Don’t put your own happiness on hold. Talk about your life with your loved one when it’s appropriate but don’t be boastful, don’t hold yourself up as some shining example. Don’t make it worse for them. They are already in the hole. Treat them normally. Have the conversation if it’s right for both of you.

If your loved one is cynical, angry, defensive or caustic – if they put you or your dreams down, and leave you feeling worse for having shared – don’t share. Protect your own hopes and dreams. Leave a little space that is sacred and light-filled and that can be a refuge for you against the darkness, pain and negativity of other areas of your life. Doing what you love fills you up, and allows you to keep giving. Getting excited about your own life helps you cope better with the space your beloved finds themselves in.

 

Hold Space for Your Loved One

What does holding space even mean? Simply this – we choose to stop each day, in our prayers or meditations or quiet spaces, and we see our loved one’s life unfolding in positive ways. We dwell for a moment on their best qualities, on happy memories from the past, and on potential positive outcomes in the future. We think and see the best for them, and our intention helps pave the way.

Image by Dougal Waters

Image by Dougal Waters

 

Live From Kindness

Choose words and actions that are loving and kind. For yourself. For your loved ones. Treat yourself well. Look after your body. Get enough sleep. Drink water and eat nourishing foods. Clean your house. Do what you can to pay the bills. Set clear boundaries at home and work. Respect yourself. Fill yourself up with what makes you happy. Know that we each have our own journeys and our own lessons.

Kindness (1)

 

When we look after ourselves and live from a place of calm centre – when we work on ourselves and lift our own vibrations – we become like the lighthouse. We beam light, love and positive vibration out into the world, and others are affected. I have seen loved ones go through enormous shift after I have worked on my own life. I have seen all kinds of magic that has been invoked through the simple act of self-responsibility and self-love.

When we work on ourselves the whole world changes.

This may mean that your loved ones will shift to a better place. That they will find their way out of the space they are in and you will find a deepening and a healing within your own relationship with each other. When this happens it is a beautiful and precious thing. And it happens a lot when we do self-work!

This may mean that you shift so far that you find you can no longer be in the same circle, the same space, the same relationship as the one you love or loved. The relationship may fall away. That will be okay too. It will be what it needs to be.

 

My sister-in-law sent me this beautiful video, taken near my farm at Byron Bay on last year’s Blue Moon. I love how the moon rises. I love how the Lighthouse stays constant. Both shine their light. Both guide us.

This year, be the Lighthouse. Shine your light. Be the moon. Rise in your own way, and live from your own inner magic and beauty. Even in the darkness. Through every storm and tempest.

 

 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson

 

What to do when someone doesn’t like you

Image from www.googleimages.com

Image from www.googleimages.com

“You have people come into your life shockingly and surprisingly. You have losses that you never thought you’d experience. You have rejection and you have learn how to deal with that and how to get up the next day and go on with it.” ~ Taylor Swift

I’ve had so many private messages about this subject since yesterday’s post that I thought it timely to address the issue of what to do when someone doesn’t like you.

This is an especially hard subject for sensitive people. We don’t have that thick skin that helps protect others. But one of the great truths of life is this:

There will always be people who love us. There will always be people who like us. There will always be people who are indifferent. There will be people who don’t know us yet, many of whom never will. There will be people who don’t like us. There will be people who don’t get us at all, or who are strongly positioned against us ( I choose not to use the word ‘hate’). Life covers the full spectrum of experience from closeness to rejection.

It hurts to be rejected.  It hurts to be misunderstood. It hurts to be judged. But there are some things we can do to help us cope better.

  1. Remember that what other people think of you is none of your business.
  2. Understand that sometimes we misinterpret another person’s signals or emotions and we may be incorrect in thinking they don’t like us.
  3. Know that humans are complex and irrational. Someone might not like you because you disagree on politics or same-sex-marriage or which direction a toilet roll should roll. You might remind them of their mother, or their mean next-door-neighbour, or the first date who rejected THEM. They might not even make a conscious connection to that fact – instead, it is a protection mechanism for them that has NOTHING to do with you.
  4. Sometimes people like us, or they certainly don’t dislike us, but they behave differently to our expectations, and we judge their ‘love’ based on measuring their behaviour against what we have come to expect from other people.  For example, some families hug, and some don’t. If we come from a family of huggers, we might interpret people not hugging us as a sign of rejection, when in fact non-huggers just have a different approach to relationships.
  5. Embrace the fact that you don’t need to ‘fix’ it. Of course if it’s an ex and you have to share parenting, or it’s your spouse’s parents, you may need to find a way to exist within each other’s Universe that minimizes stress and aggravation. There are resources and techniques to help us cope with difficult people. Seek them out.
  6. Stay safe. Value yourself and your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being above what other people think of you.
  7. Don’t hang out with people who are mean, who put you down and treat you like dirt. Seriously. Go read a book, watch a movie, learn a language, make art. Do anything other than knowingly put yourself back into situations that distress and devalue you.

As to strategies for ‘winning people over’? Is it worth putting that much energy into? We can become so obsessed with the one relationship that isn’t working that we neglect the ones that are. Or we keep modifying our behaviour, trying to change into someone we’re not, until we no longer know who we are anymore. It might be time to look at why you have such a strong need to be liked, or why you are reacting so strongly to the current situation.

Revolutions

If you are pushed into a fear or flight response, if you find yourself moving into anxiety, illness or depression as a result of a difficult relationship seek counselling.  Not to ‘heal’ the relationship, but to give you strategies for better coping with the situation, or helping you walk away, if that is what’s needed.

The more that you develop a healthy respect and regard for yourself, and find relationships that support you, the less it will bother you when someone else doesn’t like you.

Something that has helped me enormously is to realise that everyone is on their own path, and our paths may go in opposite directions or may only marginally intersect. That’s okay. We are all different and that’s what makes life so interesting. It’s all about choices. No need to take it so personally. You don’t have to like them, and they don’t have to like you.

two paths

Practice emotional maturity, kindness and use good manners. There is no need to return the dislike or negative emotion. Limit your exposure or walk away. Always step away from aggression and bullying, or call it in – no-one needs to put up with that kind of behaviour – whether it’s in the workplace or your own family.

Know that some relationships will change over time.  People can grow away from each other, or towards each other.  Some friendships take time to develop. One of the happiest couples I know (and they’ve been married over twenty years!) couldn’t stand each other when they first met.

From a spiritual perspective, this has worked for me with great effect:

Build up a feeling of love and compassion in your heart. Then think of the person who doesn’t like you. Hold their face in your mind.  Say to yourself “I forgive you. I love you and I bless you and I set you free.  Go well in the world.” Really do all you can to mean those words as you say them.

Then think of yourself, and say “I love you (insert your name).  I forgive you and I bless you and I set you free.  All is well.”

I’ll let Yoda and William Shakespeare have the last word…

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Strengthening Intuition Week 8 – Honouring our Early Warning System

Tsunami Early Warning System – Image from www.unisdr.org

“As soon as there is life there is danger.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In this last instalment of our Strengthening Intuition Series we’re looking at how to tune in to and respect our very own Early Warning System. Let’s start by defining exactly what an Early Warning System is:

early warning system

n.

1. A network of sensing devices, such as satellites or radar, for detecting an enemy attack in time to take defensive or counteroffensive measures.
2. A system or procedure designed to warn of a potential or an impending problem.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

A few years ago I was on a long drive through Outback Australia, and an interview came on the radio. The man being interviewed was a forensic psychologist and profiler, who helped identify and track down serial killers. What fascinated me most about the interview was his accounts of people who had encountered these murderers and lived to tell the tale.

Broadly, the people fell into two categories – those who had not been attacked, and those who had been attacked and had then survived. By studying the two groups, and their responses to the serial killers’ behaviour, the forensic psychologist made a compelling case for the Early Warning System – that inner guidance – that resides within each of us.

The group who had not been attacked?  In each case ‘something’ had made each person feel uneasy after engaging in some form of interaction with the killer. In honouring that sense of uneasiness they had moved on; terminating conversations, stepping away, in some cases even being aggressively ill-mannered to the serial killer due to their inner driver telling them to exert caution.

The group who were attacked but survived? Interestingly, each of them had experienced that same sense of uneasiness, which was then brushed away  or reasoned away, often because of a fear of appearing ‘rude’, or their ingrained training to give the other person (the serial killer) the benefit of the doubt. This group of survivors was very small, and only one person had managed to escape from their attacker.  The others had been saved because their attacker had been disturbed.

What really stayed with me from this interview was that the survivors had experienced not just one example of uneasiness but an escalating series of red flags, warning them of danger, which they had continued to ignore.

Ignoring those simple signals cost many people their lives…

We all have an inbuilt Early Warning System.  It is constantly feeding us information.  But so often, we over-ride the signals with our intellect, or our sense of propriety and worry about offending others – even strangers.

How do we learn to get back in touch with these signals?

All of the exercises that we have practiced over the last seven weeks have helped us to begin paying attention to input that comes from beyond our conscious mind.

There are further steps we can take to refine our ability to listen to our inner Guidance:

  1. Stay in the moment.  When we live inside our head, in the past, or the future, we are no longer connected to what is going on around us right now.  When we are not in the moment, we miss vital signals that can guide us safely through life. Throughout the day, stop, breathe, connect back into your centre, and pay attention to your feelings and intuition.
  2. Still your mind.  Meditation is useful for this, but even a few minutes of quiet sitting or walking will do. Focus only on your breath, and on stillness.  Stay open.
  3. Learn how to centre yourself.  I’ve covered this technique in a previous blog, and it’s a simple way to tune in and operate from a place of balance and awareness.
  4. Honour your feelings and energetic impressions above all.  We are a well-mannered society, and most of us have been taught to value the happiness and good impression others form of us above our own comfort. Manners are important, but being nice is not always in our best interests, and can actually cause us harm.
  5. When your intuition tells you to back away, pay attention. Our gut feeling gives us only three directions: move towards something, a neutral position, or move away. Anything that gives you that sense of unease is worth paying attention to.  Don’t try and rationalise it away. That red flag is there for a reason.

During the Asian Tsunami of 2004, there were many reports of animals and tribal villagers moving out of the path of danger before the tsunami struck.  Scientists have since discovered that there is a part of our brain called the anterior cingulate cortex that is actively engaged in helping guide us when faced with impending hazards of which we may not yet be consciously aware.

Nature has gifted all of us with a strong guidance system.  Our job is to learn to pay attention to that guidance.  It only takes a little practice, and the willingness to value yourself as much as you value the wellbeing and good opinion of others.

Day 4 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from favim.com

 “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” ~ Christiane Northrup

As we begin Day 4 of our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, we are already beginning to rewire our brain to look for the positive in life.  We are expanding our awareness to include more of what is good and kind, and we are spending less time looking at the things that do not serve us.

This in turn is making us more magnetic to new relationships and opportunities, and the many small blessings which come our way when we are in flow and living from our hearts.

Let’s begin today with the practices that create the foundation of our Gratitude Challenge.  And tonight, be aware of any feelings or sensations as you hold your Gratitude Rock.

Gratitude rocks anchor energy for us, and act as a touchstone for all that is good in our lives. Image from geekandjock.com

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one 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, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying 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.

It is enough just to do this first part of the Challenge, but if you’re ready for more today we are going to practice gratitude for friendship.

Sharing the Journey

Image from prikol.ru

One of the Blessings of life is having someone to share part of the journey with.

Friendship comes in many forms.

We can find that the companionship and love of an animal can be as rewarding as that of a person.  We might find friendship with a sibling, or a grandparent, a neighbour, a school or work chum, or the local barrista.

We might find connection in cyberspace with someone we will never meet in person, but who comes to be as valued as any friend who we can meet face-to-face.

This beautiful image by the Artist Arunas Zilys

For some of us, our treasured friendships might include Loved Ones who have crossed over, Guides, Angels or God.

Friends love and support us, they share our laughter and tears, they listen to our stories, and they help us to grow.  Some come into our lives for the briefest of times, and some have a longer visit in our lives. And they live on in our memories and our hearts, even when they aren’t here for us to talk with or to hug.

Today, find a way to connect back into that energy of friendship. You can do this by summoning the face of someone from your past, holding them with love in your heart, and saying Thank You as you reflect on happy times.

You might look at a photograph, and send energy to that person, wishing them well, wherever they may be.

You might sit quietly on your own and feel the grace of God, or your Angels and Guides, or your Loved One.

You could hug your pet, phone a friend, or meet for coffee.

When we focus on happy memories, positive relationships and good times, we are attracting more of that into our life.

So today, give thanks for the good friendships you have now, or have enjoyed in the past. Know that as you do this, and celebrate the Blessing of friendship, you are inviting this energy to brighten your heart again.

Image from freewallpaper.net

Today find time to be grateful for friendship.

I’m grateful for YOU. ♥ Thank you for the gift of friendship. ♥