Rain, Birdbaths and Melbourne Breakfast Tea

birdbath

“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 ❤ xx

2017-01-19-07-26-42

10 Ways To Be Kind to Yourself

“Kindness is the greatest wisdom.”  ~ Author Unknown

Mostly when we think of kindness, we think of how we can act towards others. But today I want to focus on another equally important type of kindness – that which we extend to ourselves.

The beginning of the year is an opportune time for setting up some positive habits to make our journey through life a little easier. Too often we forget ourselves in the hurry and bustle of the year, and many sensitive souls get so busy looking after others that they forget to look after themselves at all.

Why not yet 2013 be your year of aware self care?

Here are ten simple acts of kindness you can give as gifts to yourself:

1.  Eat well – a simple, nourishing home-cooked meal eaten slowly and with appreciation – to replenish your body and comfort your soul. If there’s no time for cooking, have some healthy take-out options already thought through so that you don’t succumb to junk. (Pictured below is my 5 Minute Cheesy Grilled Mushrooms)

mushroom and salad

2.  Say no when you’re too tired.  No-one can run on adrenalin forever.  Honour your feelings and your own needs. Listen to your heart. Let yourself rest.  Replenish those batteries.  * Good advice here:  Are you too nice?

3. Indulge in some self-maintenance.  Get your hair cut, have a massage, update your wardrobe or make that appointment with the doctor or dentist. For more info try 8 Ingredients for Better Health

4. Move your body! We were designed to move, and exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit. Choose an activity or sport that you enjoy, or simply go for a walk.

5.  Read a book.  Self-help, romance, educational, escapism, fantasy or non-fiction.  Reading is a wonderful way to take some time for yourself, to relax or to give yourself a mental stretching session.

6.  Make time for the things that you enjoy.  Indulge your hobbies, and connect with like-minded people who share your interests.

7.  Spend some real time with people (and creatures) you love!  Friends, family, pets – everyone who loves us and who makes us feel good about ourselves.  Social isolation is an insidious thing – facebook and texting can’t make up for that special energy of meeting up face to face for love, hugs, and laughs.

8.  Spend a little time dreaming…  Dreams aren’t just for kids.  Everybody needs a dream.  Try this great journalling activity: Writing Yourself into a Brighter Future

Image from google.com

Image from google.com

9.  Hang out in nature.  Spend the day or a week! Feel the sun at your back, the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin. Let nature fill you up and get you grounded again. Read more here: The Healing Power of Nature

10.  Ask for help.  Sometimes we just can’t do it on our own.  And sometimes we just don’t know what to do or where to start. On the days when we’re wrung out and hanging on by our fingernails, there will be someone out there who cares and is in a place where they can extend that guidance and support to you.  Asking for help is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can give ourselves. There’s more on this here: Sometimes your only job is to ask for help

You are worthy, beautiful, and you deserve love and kindness. Most of all, you need it from yourself.  They way we treat ourselves sets the tone in the wider Universe for how we expect to be treated. And our expectations have a way of manifesting…  Choose kindness!

Bless ♥ xx

Image from flickr

Image from flickr

What to do when someone doesn’t like you

“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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When your Heart says No…

“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”  ~ Barbara De Angelis

We’ve all been there.  The place that ticks all the boxes.  The partner our friends and parents love.  The dream job.  The thing we thought we really wanted.  The place we always figured we’d be happy to be…

But what happens when you meet that dream lover, or find yourself in that perfect place, or finally achieve the big thing, only to find that something’s missing?

You scratch your head, and check the boxes.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

It all looks good. It all adds up.

So why do you feel like you’re dead inside?

Life isn’t always about finding a partner/job/solution that ticks all your boxes.  After all, wasn’t it your HEAD that made the list up in the first place? Or, maybe even worse, it’s your Mother’s list, or your teacher’s, or something you found in a self-help book or some corner of the internet.

If it’s not feeling right, it’s because your HEART isn’t engaged.  And that’s where the magic happens!

Think back over your life, and you’ll soon know what I mean.  Remember the outfit you loved so much because it transformed you somehow.  The one you never would have chosen for yourself, because you didn’t think that colour suited you. But once you tried it on, you knew…

What about your unlikely best friend, back at school?  The one so opposite to you, and when you got together all you did was laugh and laugh. You came from different backgrounds, you looked completely different to one another, but you both were crazy about that one thing that brought you together in the first place.

Remember the weird combination of flavours that had you totally hooked at that little Thai street cafe on the last night of your overseas holiday – your whole life up until that point had been about the plain sort of food your grandma cooked.  Since then you’ve sought out food like that back home. You even COOK food like that at home.

Life is a glorious adventure, and it was never meant to fit so neatly into a plan, or a list or a flow chart. Certainly not one that is safe, sensible and completely without risk.  All the best stuff in life is the stuff you never could have made up for yourself.

Hearts have a wisdom all their own.  And the wisdom they share with you might not make any sense at all to your brain.  Or to anyone else’s brain. (But whose life is this anyway?)

Heart wisdom isn’t logical and yet it usually shows you the best path to happiness in life.

When your heart says NO, pay attention. When all the boxes are ticked, and there’s no gleam in your eye, no enthusiasm in your step, your heart is trying very hard to tell you something.

Haven’t you ever heard the expression ‘my heart’s just not in it’? That’s your heart saying NO.

When your heart says no, it’s asking you to stretch, it’s encouraging you to grow. That might feel a little strange at first.  It might even feel a little wrong.  Don’t confuse fear with intuition… What we come to love often looks or feels different to what we had expected in our mind.

When your heart says NO it’s because it understands that there is a YES just round the next corner, and if you say wrongly say YES to a NO, you close yourself off to the magic and miracles that give us the best and most memorable parts of life.

Tune in today.  Ask your heart.  Is it a YES?  Is it a NO?

When your heart says NO, be brave.  Move on…

Choosing Crystals to Attract Love ♥ Part 1

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 
~ Stephen Chbosky

So it seems that many of you like crystals, and the idea of working with crystals. And many of you have been asking me lately about love – how to love yourselves more, how to love others more, and how to attract love into your lives.

Crystals and love?  Seems like a perfect match to me!

In today’s post I’ll look at how to use crystals to increase self-love.  Self love is the foundation for any good relationship, and without it our relationship choices will not serve us well.

Tomorrow I’ll look at how to use crystals to help open you to better love relationships.

Good Crystals for Promoting Self Love

All you really need to do is choose a stone, and then wear or hold it, or keep it close by. An overview of that process can be found in the links below:

Choosing A Crystal

Cleansing and Connecting with Crystals

Here are some of my favourite crystals for self love.

Rose Quartz – An all rounder.  Great for self love, compassion, nurturing and gentle kindness.  Restores those depleted from over-giving. A very nourishing stone, strongly connected to the Angelic Realms.

Danburite – Heals the Inner Child within, promotes self esteem, and positive self talk. Helps you to value yourself.

Mangano Calcite – A stone with strong mothering energy, helps us to feel safe, loved and protected.  Useful in times of stress or trauma. Heals broken hearts and helps us feel worthy of love.

Watermelon Tourmaline – A delicious stone for getting you out of your head and back into your heart.  Promotes joyful self-acceptance, and a sense of playfulness. Removes guilt and inner conflict caused by critical self-thinking.

Citrine – A powerful stone for reclaiming your sense of self.  Helps you to value your own opinions and ideas, strengthens self esteem and identity. Attracts abundance and abundant thinking.  Unblocks creativity.  Promotes flow on all levels.

Green Aventurine – Such a terrific stone for joyful self-acceptance, inner strength, finding and investing in your own positive qualities, self-belief and self-esteem. Dissolves deep pain; especially emotional pain, self doubt or self-hatred.

Once you have chosen your stone, and cleansed and connected with it, you may also want to imbue it with a small program.  A program is just a simple thought or idea that you place into the crystal with your intent.  Crystals are a little like radio towers, transmitting their own special energetic qualities, as well as any other encoded energetic intentions.

If you’d like to program your crystal, have it with you, and then  follow the instructions in my simple 5-minute guided meditation:

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Programming Crystals – Self Love

May you know love in your heart today.  Bless ♥ xx

Day 29 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from msmagazine.com

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~ Mary Dunbar

If there is one thing I have learned in this lifetime, it is this: When I love myself, when I am kind to myself and encouraging of myself, healing happens, doors open and life falls into place.

One of the singular most powerful acts you can perform that will transform your life is to have gratitude for YOURSELF.

Appreciate your own efforts, acknowledge your work and your growth, be gentle with yourself when you fail, and praise yourself when you pick yourself back up.

Image from positivelypresent.tumblr.com

When we treat ourselves with love and respect, we are sending a strong message to the Universe – what we give out is what we attract back into our life. By respecting and loving ourselves, we attract respectful and loving relationships.

Do I need to add that by running ourselves down, selling ourselves short, heaping criticism upon ourselves, berating and blaming ourselves – we attract negative, exploitive and abusive relationships at home and at work?

Image from positivelypresent.tumblr.com

There is only one you in the whole of creation and there will never be another soul with your unique blend of DNA, thoughts and experiences.

You bring something special to the Universe.

This life is a great gift, and your existence is no accident…

YOU – your unique talents and your very life are Blessings.  It’s true that this can be a challenging perspective at first, but I promise that the more you look at yourself through eyes of love and gratitude the more satisfying your life will become.

Today, think kind thoughts towards yourself, and cultivate an attitude of gratitude for this wonderful journey we call life!

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily 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. Write the following words on a piece of paper, feeling the truth of this energy in your heart,  and add this paper to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock : My life is a Blessing, and I am ready to share my unique talents and gifts with the World. I am grateful for my Life.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

But if you’re ready for a little more, why not join me for today’s gratitude challenge?

Mirror, Mirror!

Go find some quiet place with a mirror. Stand or sit in front of it and close your eyes.  Think about your body for a moment.  Think of how it always works to serve you – so much going on inside you to keep you well and healthy – your body always doing its best for you.  Think of the gift of your mind – that ability to think, imagine, learn, visualise, problem-solve and create. Think of your heart’s ability to connect, to care, to love.  Think of your Soul’s wisdom. You truly are amazing.  Really swell that sense of gratitude for all that you are, and feel it building in your heart.

Image from venusvision.com

When you’re ready, open your eyes.  Look into your own eyes in the mirror and say I Love You, You are Enough. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

It’s okay if this is difficult.  It’s okay if you feel emotional. Just allow for some space in your understanding to know that it is true.

Today I honour you.  Thank you for being you. Bless ♥ xx

Day 26 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from zimbio.com

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

 

Human hearts are built for love – to give it, to receive it, to radiate it out into the world…

If you’ve discovered anything during our time together on this gratitude challenge so far, it is this – whenever we develop an attitude of gratitude toward something, we become magnetic towards that energy in our own lives. When we can find areas to be thankful for (even if the blessing feels very small), it opens us to receiving more of that good thing.

So today our focus is on love, and in particular on love relationships.

Love is literally all around us. It is the theme of countless songs, books and movies, it’s at the core of much of our television drama, and it’s played out in our families, with our friends and workmates and in our own lives.

If you are in a love relationship, today, give thanks for that. Think back to when you were first together, and the special moments you shared, think of the love and support you’ve had through the hard times, and the bonds you’ve created together. Celebrate and give thanks for your partnership. Tell them Thank You for loving me.  I’m so grateful to have you in my life. This works a kind of magic on relationships that need revitalization too – whatever we appreciate grows dearer to us, and gains more life and positive energy.  I have seen tired and stagnant relationships blossom under these small attentions.

If you are single, or in a relationship where there is no love, then put your attention on those who have the sort of relationship you would like for yourself. Not to be envious of it – to be thankful for it. Swell that feeling of gratitude in your heart that there are people in the world who have the love you are yearning for.  See them in their happiness and commitment, think of their compatibility, their chemistry, their devotion. Then give genuine thanks for that example of lasting love. Be grateful that such love exists.  Feel excited and uplifted by the possibility of a similar energy of love in your own life. Say Thank You for showing me that True Love is possible.  Thank you for strengthening the energy of Love in the world.

Most of all, practice and give thanks for loving yourself. When we love and treat ourselves well, we attract loving partners who treat us with similar kindness, care and respect!

Image from mondayartday.blogspot.com

As you go throughout your day today, look for evidence of love everywhere. Be that love in your own life.

Now let’s build up some more of that attitude of gratitude with our daily practice…

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily 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. Write the following words on a piece of paper and add them to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock (and trust that I have a plan for these pieces of paper!): I now gratefully open to the energy of Love in my life. I am magnetic to a magical and sacred Union and I welcome it into my Life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Want to join me for today’s Gratitude Challenge?  If so, here it is:

Heart Healing 

Today’s challenge might be, well, challenging…

Today I want you to close your eyes, and hold an image in your mind of someone who has hurt you in a love relationship. Sincerely, and from your heart, I want you to say Thank you for this Learning Experience.  I forgive you, I wish you well, and I release you with Love. I am grateful for our time together, that taught me so much. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

You can do this process more than once if it feels right to forgive more than one person.

Now hold a picture of yourself in your mind. Sincerely, and from your heart, I want you to say Thank you for being brave enough to Love.  I forgive you, I wish you well, and I release you with Love. I am grateful that I have learned so much. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

Finally, hold a picture in your mind of a couple who have the kind of love energy you would like to enjoy in your own life. Or if you are a strong visualiser, imagine yourself already in that type of love relationship. You don’t need words for this – just build a strong energy of love, gratitude, joy and appreciation.

If you are at a time in your life where you no longer desire a relationship external to yourself, visualise a strengthened sense of self-love and a heightened spiritual connection.

Finish this activity by saying I am worthy of Love. I am magnetic to Love. I give thanks for the Love in my life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

Valentine Tree by Alice Mason