My Top Five Ways To Get Some Reflection Time

Image from www.elsbro.com

Image from www.elsbro.com

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Søren Kierkegaard

 

We’re sitting in a terrific month for reflection, reinvention and connection.

So how do we do that?

Here are my top five ways to find that headspace where we can explore the past and imagine the future…

 

1 – Going for a solitary walk

A long walk gives us time to move into a space of quiet receptivity. Thoughts can bubble to the surface. Insights can find us. We get quiet enough to be open. Ideas come. You can walk in nature, through city streets or around your suburb. What matters is that you’re moving, and that you’re on your own so that you don’t need to engage in conversation. (Walking the dog is fine though!)

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

 

2 – Time out for a coffee and some world watching

Find a coffee shop where you can sit on your own, with a view of the world. You might be facing a busy street, you might be at the back of the shop looking out over all the patrons, you might be perched at a window seat, or at an outdoor cafe under a tree. You could even sit in a busy shopping mall. Grab your favourite coffee (or tea) and then just sit and watch the world go by. Don’t read. Don’t talk. Just sit with the world and with your thoughts. Eventually you’ll find a meditative space that lets you think deeply. Let your mind ramble. It will go where it needs to. Pay attention to where it wanders. Explore that more. If you want, take that further with some journalling.

Image from www.vissershr.nl

Image from www.vissershr.nl

 

3 – Soak in a bath

Just you, some bubbles, and lots of lovely soak time. Let your mind wander, or just sit and soak and rest. Trust that you’ll be integrating and getting what you need from this time alone.

 

4 – Journalling, at the quiet end of the day

This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night when the house is quiet and you have time and space just for you. Pick up your pen, and write. Dump your brain onto the page and then keep going. Let the words flow. You might be surprised where they take you.

 

5 – Journalling time with some oracle or tarot cards for further reflection

Oracle and tarot cards are a great way to reflect on life. Choose a card. Think about what it signifies for you. Explore this in your journal.

Here's my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I'm going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

Here’s my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I’m going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

My Year of ME Planner is also a great tool for tuning in! And it’s not too late to join our year-long course and community or to get some more intensive coaching with me for the year ahead. More details here and in my Shop.

Make time for yourself this week. You’re worth it!

lots of love, Nicole <3 xx

The Energies of September – 2016

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

 

 

Hello, Lovelies :)

Welcome to September. It’s such a lovely heart-centered month. A month for simplifying. For focusing on what matters. For fresh starts and timely endings.

Cards for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for September for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle. Please note I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

inner voice osho

“Anyone can plot a course with a map or compass; but without a sense of who you are, you will never know if you’re already home.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

September helps us to honour our inner voice and intuitive wisdom, allowing us to truly begin to know our heart’s calling. A sense of inner peace comes to us as we finally start to own our truth, and to live from that place. This month we see things from a higher perspective. Old relationships, trials, failures and obstacles lose their sting, and we see how many of these things have helped us to become who we are and to develop a depth and wisdom we would not otherwise have had. We can put down the guilt or resentment.

We start to see the learnings instead of just the pain.

Our energy can flow again after all of that stuckness.

We can also call on this inner wisdom to illuminate areas of our life that are out of harmony for us, so that we can take action to bring them back into alignment with our core values, or set them free.

It’s a liberating and peaceful month, and yet it will also be one of strong personal growth and transformation. Take some quiet time just for you this month. It will be worth it.

 

 

flexible wisdom of the oracle

“Flexibility is the greatest strength.” ~ Steven Redhead

The second card I’ve chosen is Flexible. This card reminds us to put our dreams front and centre, even if it means that we need to get creative about how we do that.

This month we need balance, but it serves us to be able to remain flexible in our attitudes and actions. All kinds of unexpected directions and opportunities will present themselves, and if we remain rigidly locked into a plan we may miss the best thing that could have happened to us in ages.

You’re encouraged to listen to your body. If you’re exhausted, rest. If you are on fire with an idea, then burn the midnight oil.

Let go of your need to be right. Instead, embrace an attitude of curiosity and a willingness to learn new things.

Don’t get bogged down in how something is supposed to look or behave. Let go of cherished outcomes and keep an open mind instead.

This month can give you the breakthrough you need, if you are open to it!

 

Best crystals this month?

Opal is a stone that links heart and mind – wonderful for being able to tune in to our own inner wisdom. It helps us to see, understand and truly know ourselves, and is uplifting and kind in its energies. It also promotes creativity and inspiration.

Any kind of opal or opalite will do. Go with what you are drawn to.

Golden Healer Quartz is quartz crystal with the inclusion of iron oxide within or on the outside of the crystal, giving it aspects of colour that look pale lemon, golden or even burnt orange. Golden Healer is a master healing stone that restores your natural energy and vibration after periods of lower vibration, negativity, illness or stuckness. It promotes positive communication, and positive thoughts towards self and others.

golden healer quartz

Rock from my own collection!

 

Essential oils to support your journey?

Try this sublime diffuser blend of 6 drops of Geranium, 4 drops of Coriander, 2 drops of Pettigrain and 2 drops of Sandalwood. This fragrance is fresh and light, and promotes feelings of happiness and wellbeing. My fairy friend Sokli calls this her Happy Days! blend.

You could also use any of these oils on their own.  You can find the oils here.

 

geranium-409238_640

 

Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?

Try these posts:

Honouring Your Intuition – Why Aren’t You Doing It?  –  An explanation of what intuition is, and how you can tune in to yours.

Trusting Your Instincts In Relationships – Using intuition to navigate our relationships.

Magical Owl Oracle – Messages of inspiration and guidance just for you!

Simplicity Is A Choice – How simplifying your life can be a satisfying choice.

Guided Meditation For Anchoring Soul Awareness – A simple guided meditation to tune you in to your own soul’s wisdom.

 

September will rocket some of you ahead so far that you’ll look back and wonder how so much change could have happened in just one month. For others, the change will be more subtle, but it will still be a month of transformation.

Embrace it! And remember to keep a little downtime for rest, dreams and planning.

Sending all my love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

 

September 2015 – What To Expect

“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.
For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.”
~ Alexandra Potter

 

Hello, Lovelies <3

September is here! My birthday month, and in Australia the beginning of Spring! For those of you moving into Autumn enjoy those energies too.

I promised that I would support you in making the most of this year’s opportunities, so here’s my Heads Up about the month ahead, as well as a few suggestions for embracing all that September has to offer.

September is about slowing down, turning inward, and opening up to new ideas and your own heart whispers. It’s an incredible month of astrological phenomena that will fire up your intuitive and psychic abilities and help you to clearly connect into your own inner knowing.

Don’t worry that you’ll lose the momentum you’ve begun to create with all the change of the past few months. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to go further, faster. Crazy I know, but it really does work.

When we go too fast, and get too busy we actually become less productive, and we become disconnected from our intuition and our creative flow.

So in September make time – for yourself, for your special projects, for the ones you love.

 

Card for the Month:

I’ve chosen two cards for September for you: one from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck, and one from Colette Baron-Reid’s The Enchanted Map. Remember that I don’t use these cards in the conventional way, but rather as a stimulus for channelled information.

Here is what I have received from each card:

OshoZen.Star_-e1386354995291

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
~ Norton Juster

 

The message of  Silence is about coming to that quiet place empty; and then sitting in silence until you are filled up with knowing, and answers and certitude.

We so often fill every moment of our waking with noise and movement and thinking and busy-ness. Information comes at us from every direction. There is email and television. Facebook and tweets. Phone calls and text messages. Youtube. Online courses. Billboards. The radio. Conversation. Books. Relationships. Study. So much to think about and process that even when we lay down to sleep our minds are filled to bursting with the things we haven’t thought about yet, or the things we still need to do.

None of that kind of thinking helps though. It’s all just sorting of information. It’s lists and tasks.

September invites you to step into the quiet. To create some space for silence and non-doing. How do you do that? Meditation. Sitting in a park. Journalling. Playing with your runes or oracle cards. Going for a walk. Running. Swimming. Napping. Making art. Being in nature. Moodling at home. Whatever you do, let it just be you. However can you listen to your own intuition otherwise? How else might you hear God or your Angels and Guides? Let September be restful as much as possible.

September’s gift is clarity, certainty, new ideas and answers to your deeper questions.

 

(Not sure how to get quiet and look within? Join our Journal Challenge!)

2015-08-31 16.25.20

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
~ Bill Watterson

 

The second card, Slow and Steady, echoes the message of Silence. Let go of the crazy, and truly let yourself rest and heal. Stop with the manic deadlines and impossible expectations of yourself. Go slowly through life this month. Simplify. Retreat, if you must.

Let your actions be slow enough that they become a form of meditation. Devotion, even. Let your slowed-down life become a celebration of the ordinary. Dwell in moments.

Nap in the sunshine, dance in the rain, smell the flowers.

As you travel through life at a more subdued pace, magic will happen. You’ll find yourself rediscovering the lovely things about yourself and life that you have been too stressed and exhausted to access.

All sorts of positive thoughts and ideas will rise to the front of your consciousness.

You’ll begin to remember who you really are.

Eat lightly, move more, and rest often. Open yourself to your intuitive wisdom, and to guidance from the Universe. Expect transformation, just by slowing down!

 

 

Need some extra encouragement, support or inspiration?

Try these posts:

Guided Meditation for reducing inflammation and promoting healing within your body – a meditation to help you heal, rest and repair

Sometimes You Get There Faster By Going Slow – thoughts on the importance of slowing down and some suggestions on how to do that

Breathing Yourself to Sleep – A gentle meditation technique to help you sleep soundly and deeply

Feather Oracle for Inspired Messages – a fun way to get a little extra clarity and guidance for the month ahead.

Let September be a month of slow-down and soul time. Top your batteries back up. Allow yourself some breathing space. Rest. Be open to magic and miracles. I know that good things are coming your way.

Much love to you,

Nicole <3 xx

An Extra Healing Meditation

2015-03-04 22.22.32

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
~ Charles Dickens

 

Tonight I’m performing a special two-hour healing meditation, using the Love Mala I made earlier in the month.

The purpose of tonight’s meditation is to help in the release of patterns of thought and behaviour that have limited us and kept us small or wounded. It is also to open us up to our fuller potential, and the ability to recognise and work with our own gifts with ease and grace.

You may already have a bead on this mala, or be included under the ‘everyone’ bead, but I’d also like to extend that offer that if you would like me to send specific healing to you or someone who you love, that you leave a message for me below, or pop over to my facebook page and leave a message there.

If you’d like to join me in meditation, I’ll be in that space between 8pm and 11pm Brisbane time tonight – 21 March. Feel free to join me for all or part of that time (I know, it’s a long time if you’re not in practice).

If you want to receive some of that healing energy and prayer, there is nothing specific you need to do, but I also encourage you to sit or lay quietly for part of that time, close your eyes, soften your body, and then just be in a space of allowing. Let yourself be open to any feelings, images or sensations that come.

And, of course, feel free to give me any feedback afterwards.

Much, much love to you in these exciting times,

Nicole xx

julia-cameron-quotes_2534-1

The Power of Sharing Our Shames

Dreamtime Sisters by Colleen Wallace Nungari

Dreamtime Sisters by Colleen Wallace Nungari

“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”
~ C.G. Jung

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
~ Brené Brown

 

We did something very powerful yesterday, here at our retreat.

Earlier in the day we’d been doing some journalling, looking at our triggers and the things that upset, angered or depressed us. Bravely the women asked themselves questions and moved deeper and deeper into that place of self-knowing.

It was confronting. Challenging.

From there we began to name and examine the major obstacles in our lives.

Oh, how hard that was.

Many of the women quietly sought me out to ask questions or share some painful revelation.

And there was one common theme that ran through every conversation, although the subject matters varied greatly.

That theme was shame.

Just before we finished for the day, as we sat in our circle around our beautiful crystal mandala, I asked those women to be brave, and to share one of their shames within the group.

The courage of these women was remarkable, as they bravely bared their hearts to each other, and held a space of trust, love and deep acceptance.

There were shames over marriages, lost and broken relationships, addictions and family dramas. Shames about mothering, illness, depression, debt, and shames over choices or behaviours that were deeply regretted.

As each woman shared her shame many of us nodded. Or cried. That shame our sister shared could have been ours. So many of us held that same heavy stone inside our hearts.

Image from Getty

Image from Getty

Gradually the energy of the group shifted.

There was an easing.

A gentle opening and transformation.

Who would have thought that someone else felt the same way we did? That someone else had addiction in their family, or found motherhood unfulfilling – although they loved their children, or was isolated from their parents or siblings and was dreading Christmas. Who would have known that someone else had totally screwed up a relationship or struggled with money issues when they were meant to be examples of business success?

As the voicing of shames ended, a new energy came into the group. We began sharing stories of encouragement and support. One woman, swamped and belittled by her shame, would be given helpful and meaningful advice by someone who’d been through that same thing. Another, overwhelmed by her situation, would be helped by women who could see a clear way forward for her because they weren’t in that place of emotional overload.

In that circle of support and sharing, shames were transmuted and lost their power.

Those dark secrets we hold inside us rob us of our ability to feel joy, to move forward, to be our best selves. They make a lie of every good thing that comes our way. They hold us in a place that has no real truth for us, tainting our futures and stealing our possibilities.

Those shames we most fear to share are the ones which most need to be released and shared within a supportive environment – a place where we can be met with empathy and kindness.

Oh the magic that happens when those heavy burdens of shame are shared and released!

Image form www.apisanet.com

Image from www.apisanet.com

What’s up with this crazy End-of-2014 energy?

Image from Chris Morton

Image from Chris Morton

“If you lack the humility to go back and tie up the loose ends in your past, then be prepared to forever be haunted by her ghosts, all of whom will come into your present and your future – staining everything and everyone with their leftover emotional and mental garbage.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

 

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ~ Martha Graham

 

Have you been feeling it?

There’s been some crazy, messy and wild energy around these last few months. And of course, it has been exacerbated by the planetary energies and eclipses we’ve experienced lately.

If you are a sensitive soul, you’ll know exactly what I mean!

2015 is fast approaching, and right now we have a perfect opportunity to bring patterns and issues in our life to a place of completion. From now until early February 2015 is a terrific time for endings, closing doors, finishing things up and stepping away from relationships, habits, beliefs and environments that no longer support us.

Tidy up those loose ends. Make the small and the big decisions. Know that sometimes completion is about cleaning up the mess, simplifying, downsizing or choosing to walk away before the job is done, knowing you don’t need what you leave behind.

It’s also a powerful time for karmic clearing of ancestral patterns. We can choose to break family patterns of thinking and behaving, and choose new ways of being in the world.

Don’t be surprised if things you thought you’d dealt with suddenly come back one more time. If you’re given seductive choices that would lead you back down roads you said you’d never walk again.

Be strong now. Get clear. There is so much power available to you in this moment – so much energy that supports positive change.

There’s also a quickening right now. It’s a fore-taste of what’s to come next year.

Expect that some days may feel insanely busy and pressured. That you might feel called to make choices or decisions when you don’t feel there’s enough time to really think about things and to reflect.

It’s likely that you’ll feel like things are moving too fast, that there’s not enough time, that you’re walking through a strange land with none of the usual guideposts….

Image from Adventurer Pics

Image from Adventurer Pics

That’s okay. If you’ve done the work, if you’re ready (and most likely you’ll still be in a place of doubt about that, my dears) that river you’ve jumped into is going to rocket you along. The Universe knows. Your heart knows. Your soul knows. It might just take your brain a little time to catch up.

We need you in this changing world. We need your passion, your commitment, your individuality, your unique perspective.

We need you to be YOU. To walk your path, to share your gifts – whatever those may be. Not sure what you have to offer? Don’t worry. Just pay attention. In this place of quickening, ideas and inspiration will come. It might not be what you’d expected.

Good. Say yes anyway.

Right now a sense of humour, a spirit of adventure, kindness towards self and others, an open heart and an open mind will serve you well. 2015 sees an expansion – an opening out of energies, the birth of so many possibilities. It’s almost here. Can’t you feel it?

Onwards, my lovelies!

 

Journal Challenge Week 4 – Nuggets of Gold

Image by Peter Braig

Image by Peter Braig

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Hello Lovelies, and welcome to the fourth and final week of our Journal Challenge!

If you’ve only just found us now, it’s not too late to go back and start at the beginning. That’s the beauty of journalling. It waits for us, and works with our own time-frames.

This week we’re putting on our investigative hats, and we’re digging deep into what we’ve already written. There will be gold in those words, for sure!

You’ll need a couple of extra tools this week:

1. Some coloured pens

2. A few highlighters

Before we start our final week, let’s have a quick recap of the last three weeks of journalling:

1. In Week One we called on our own insights to discover where we have held ourselves back, what worries us, and what we might do to bring more balance, healing, sustainability and joy into our lives.

and

2. In Week Two we bravely called upon the love, wisdom and strength of our Ancestors as we tackled our patterns of resentment, the excuses we use that prevent us growing and moving forward, the areas and relationships where we hold resentment, and the things in our life over which we feel shame. We then looked at how to turn all of this hurt into wisdom, helping us to reclaim the aspects of ourselves that we had shunned.

and

3. In Week Three we looked at endings and beginnings. Places where we could complete, finalise or sever. Places where we could launch, start and create new energy and momentum. We began to embrace possibility.

This week it’s all about refining our ideas, reviewing our material and coming up with a map to our riches.

Image from wisestars.net

Image from wisestars.net

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with for our final week. It is entirely optional, and you’d be fine without one too – but for my fellow rock lovers, read on…

You can hold this crystal as you write or meditate, place it under your pillow or beside your bed while you sleep, or carry it in your pocket to help you stay focused.

You could choose your stone based on what most appeals to you. That’s a very valid approach. But if you need a little direction, good crystals to work with this week include:

  • Amethyst
  • Fluorite
  • Any of the Calcites
  • Rose Quartz
  • Pyrite
  • Tourmaline
  • Mookaite
  • Malachite
  • Clear Quartz, with or without inclusions
  • Smoky Quartz

This week I’ve chosen a natural Amethyst point – I love the gentle energy of this one, and when I gaze into it I am reminded of clouds of jellyfish upon a purple ocean!

If you’re working with a crystal too why not tell us about it by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

2014-11-16 05.24.43

Week Four Meditation:

This week’s simple meditation is about reassuring ourselves. We don’t do that enough, and it’s an important part of nurturing and caring for ourselves.

The Healing Breath Meditation

You can do this meditation anywhere, anytime. That is the beauty of it.

Sit or lie quietly somewhere. You can close your eyes or leave them open – whatever feels right for you in the moment.

Breathe in. As you breathe in affirm to yourself, “I am Love.”

Breathe out. As you breathe out affirm to yourself, “I am Enough.”

It may bring up strong emotions for you, when you first do this meditation. That’s okay. Gently stick with it.

You only need a minute or two, but if it feels right you can happily sit in this meditation for longer.

When you feel calm and stronger in yourself, smile, and remind yourself that you are okay.

Now you’re ready to write!

 

Journal Activity:

Take your journal and some highlighters and sit down with a tasty beverage. Somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket.

Start reading. Read in a way where you are allowing yourself to skim lightly over the words. When something gets your attention, mark it with a highlighter.

photo

What should you highlight? Anything that brings up strong emotion (including negative emotion), recurrent themes, or ideas or actions that begin to make you feel purposeful or alive.

It’s a little like panning for gold, searching for those valuable nuggets amid the stones and gravel.

Image by Jeff Banke

Image by Jeff Banke

Gathering the Threads Together

Over the next few days, or the next few weeks, return to those highlighted sections. Read over them, one by one, and then for each one allow yourself to ask the question:

What can I do about this?

Write the answer in your journal.

It can also be useful to do some word association. Find the one word, idea or image from the highlighted text that stands out for you. Place that word in a circle and then draw a few lines out from the circle. My word was ‘time’.

Now without giving this ANY thought (Don’t you DARE think!), use ‘stream of consciousness’ and immediately write connected words that you associate with time, or whatever your particular thing is, coming off each of the lines. NO THINKING – JUST WRITE!

2014-11-16 05.58.20

My words in relation to time were Slow Down, Make a list, Go off the clock, Prioritise, Sleep, Fun, Delegate, Stop Worrying, Holiday. I actually found that pretty useful, and it immediately pulled me out of stress and back into flow and possibility.

Because of this, I’m seriously considering taking a chunk of time in the new year just to write, create, rest and heal.

We have so much wisdom within us, if only we ever think to ask 🙂

Let your journalling evolve into a space of mapping possible solutions, answers, outcomes or adventures.

Trust the process. Be an explorer in your own life, your own mind, your own subconscious.

Use this new clarity to begin to put a plan together for the year ahead. This way you’ll begin 2015 with a clearer idea of what you want to move away from, and what you want to move towards.

It’s your life, and you’re the Captain of your own ship. It’s time to plot a course through life that works for you. Bless xx

Image from quoteswave.com

Image from quoteswave.com

Breaking Inherited and Created Patterns of Low Self-Worth

Image from An Upturned Soul

Image from An Upturned Soul

“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.”
~ Nic Sheff

 

2014 is a powerful year for clearing  old limiting beliefs and behaviours, especially for those of you brave and wise souls who are choosing to be big ancestral pattern-breakers in your family. 2015 is a year where you’ll be able to fly if you can only get these chains off your wings this year. It is time to do this work, even though the work can be hard.

We inherit all kinds of things from our families – hair colour, body shape, sporting aptitude, quirky humour and survival skills. Some things we learn from them, some we develop for ourselves.

I received a message yesterday from a lovely lass working through this week’s blog challenge. Her message really resonated for me. Perhaps it will for you too;

So I’ve worked out how I’m sabotaging myself, and I realise it’s a learnt behaviour from my father so I don’t get criticised and so I don’t get noticed. Well although I came up with things I can do to stop both the overt and covert ways I do this to myself so my life stays small, my question is how do I break this because knowing hasn’t made it stop. It’s made me notice, but it hasn’t stopped me just not doing what I know I should. So is there something else I can do to break this? As I’m in the crazy ancestral pattern breaking year?
Thanks for the tea, sweets and advice.
Love ya

Oh goodness. Sound familiar?

Have you caught yourself saying that nasty thing your mother said to you during an argument with your own child? Have you watched yourself exhibit that same neurotic obsession as your father, or the bitchiness of your grandmother? Have you done the thing you saw them do and vowed you never would?

OR…

Do you step back into those same childhood patterns of thinking everyone is picking on you as soon as someone questions you, so that you immediately get on the defensive? Do you panic if it’s not perfect because then no-one will love you – a throwback to your childhood insecurity although now you’re well and truly an independent adult?

Image from  The Liberty Beat

Image from The Liberty Beat

You can do something about it, and it’s easier than you think.

In my friend’s case she can work out when she does this thing, and when she catches herself doing it she can conjure an image of her father (and his father – because that is who he learned it from) and loudly say (yes, out loud!) ENOUGH! She might also add I AM NOT MY FATHER! Then she can breathe deeply, smile and affirm I AM ENOUGH. IN FACT, I AM AWESOME!

All you really need to do is arrest that behaviour or thought with a pattern-breaking gesture – by saying out loud ENOUGH! Then distance yourself from that behaviour or thought you no longer want by saying I am not my mother, I am not my father, I am not frightened, or whatever else this pattern is about, and then in that moment of clarity and awareness affirm something true and positive that your younger or wounded self needs to hear. I am enough. I am confident. I am capable. I can do this thing. I choose kindness. Whatever it is that you need and choose, name it. Out loud.

Image from I AM POOPED

Image from I AM POOPED

Then actively choose to behave differently in that moment. That’s a true pattern-breaker. Don’t eat that thing. Don’t say those words. Don’t fly with that limiting belief. Choose what the expanded and wiser version of you will do, and do it gladly.

After you’ve done this a few times you’ll start to recognise this as truth. You ARE wiser, kinder, not your father, worthy of love or success or a good marriage. You’ll be well on your way to reprogramming your old limits, and stepping away from self-sabotage and into that sunshiny place of possibility, peace and growth. You’ll be creating a more truthful and authentic life. You’ll be uncovering your wholeness. That’s a beautiful thing!

Image from Live and Diet

Image from Live and Diet

How Do You Measure Your Progress?

Image from B2B Insight

Image from B2B Insight

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
~ H. James Harrington

 

Progress is a funny thing. When we’re really tied to achieving a particular result it can be hard to remain objective. We can’t always trust our own feelings or observations. What we need is something that is quantifiable. Measurable.

Why might we need to measure something?

So that we can tell if what we are doing is working or not. When we have a goal to be or do or have something – we can measure our progress by determining where we are now, and how far we have to go.

If you want to write a book, and books of publishable length are ninety to one hundred and twenty thousand words, knowing that you have only written seven thousand words tells you that more work is needed. And counting words is easy. You can see them on the page.

Sometimes, though, we can be lulled into judging things simply by how we feel. As a psychic I am all for trusting our feelings and intuition, but sometimes, especially when we are emotionally involved or too close to the subject, our feelings may not be a true reflection of what’s actually happening. We can begin to base our progress on inaccuracy.

Image from Inaccurate Quotes (As any good geek will know, Yoda is a Star Wars character)

Image from Inaccurate Quotes (As any good geek will know, Yoda is a Star Wars character)

Recently, I have been on a VERY intensive course of multiple medications to treat lyme disease and various co-infections. Initially I felt worse on the drugs, and then better. Then I brought in Drug Number Four and everything fell apart. I hadn’t experienced so much pain or distress for a long while. Each week I told myself things would get better. But each week I felt worse.

It’s not working, I said to my husband. It’s pointless. All this suffering is for nothing.

The bloods showed it too. My kidneys and liver were beginning to struggle. I looked so much more sick.

Time for a break, said my doctor. Your body just needs a holiday. We knew these drugs would be rough going.

I wanted to tell him I was done. For good. I went off the drugs and immediately felt better. But after four days off them, as much as my physical body was stronger, I began to experience a huge increase in symptoms. In truth, I’d managed better ON the drugs than off them.

What to do?

One more test. The right kind of test.

For many years, since my twenties in fact, I’ve had white matter lesions on my brain and a host of neurological symptoms. After sixteen months of heavy-duty lyme medication the lesions disappeared.

Hooray.

Words began to come back into my daily usage. I could write again. Function began to return.

And then I did a visual test to measure neurological damage. A high score on the test means no damage, a low score significant damage. To my dismay I scored a very low score. I was devastated.

No lesions, but still damage…

Now, after all these horrible lyme drugs, and me feeling so ill, I did the test again. My score put me at the low end of normal. A dramatic improvement after just fourteen weeks on my new regime.

Image from Smashfly

Image from Smashfly

I’d needed the right test to measure my progress. Judging things simply on how I felt wasn’t giving me an accurate picture.

Sometimes it’s hard to face what’s going on. But when we know where we stand, and have an accurate position, we can make a plan to move us in the right direction, or at least step away from what isn’t working.

One of my best friends went to the dentist last week after being in pain for months and too frightened to make an appointment in case the news was bad. My friend imagined teeth needing to be pulled, a mouth full of cavities, rotting gums. It wasn’t anything like that. She has an impacted wisdom tooth and the inflammation was causing her whole mouth to be sore. But there was not a single hole in any of her teeth, and her gums were healthy. She just needed the tooth out. In fact the dentist extracted the tooth the next day and already her pain has massively decreased.

Where do you need accurate measurements right now? Maybe it’s time to speak to an accountant, or your bank manager. Maybe it’s time for a check-up with your doctor, or an eye test. Perhaps you need to submit that manuscript or job application. Maybe you need to show your work to someone with greater experience than you so you can get some feedback and a few pointers about how to improve.

If you want to create change, then you also need to measure your progress so that you can make better decisions about what works for you, and what doesn’t.

It’s actually a place where science and magic collide. Science gives you a position, and that position gives you feedback. Feedback gives you knowledge. And that place of knowledge is where the magic happens. It helps you become magnetised to your goal, to what works, and to that energy of improvement.

For me, this week, the magic has also been in a renewal of hope. I can endure just about anything if I know it’s taking me in the right direction.

Wishing you a week of knowledge, magic and wonders. Lots of love, Nicole xx

Image from tariqmcom.com

Image from tariqmcom.com

Lovely, Lovely 3am

moonlight

“You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realized.  It’s okay.  Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do. ”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

 

Every day, since I was around twelve years old, I have risen early to meditate, to write, and to reflect on my day before the rest of the world wakes up. That quiet time is my gift to myself, and I have come to value it as sacred time.

Today, the day after my birthday and the first day of my new year, I am awake more early than usual. I wanted to reflect on my year ahead. What that might mean for me. How I would shape these coming days. What choices I might make.

If I am the Captain of my own ship, then I must set my own direction.

I grew up in an era where I was told that girls could do anything. That my life would be a whirling dance party of endless opportunity. That makes me smile now, thinking back. There is such hope and breath-taking naivety in that assumption. Perhaps it’s true that you can have anything. But in choosing one thing it often precludes others. No-one ever talked about that!

Image by Vladimir Pervunesky

Image by Vladimir Pervunesky

So here I am, standing in the doorway of another year. What a privilege to have these days stretch out before me. Having lived on the cusp of demise so long, it buoys me up to think that the quality of these next three hundred and sixty-five days may be better. That I may enjoy improved health, more energy, and a brain that can grapple with the bigger questions.

Life has certainly been a big teacher for me. Lyme disease, left undiagnosed so long, has until recently left me rendered down to so few possibilities and functionalities.

This year, as I contemplate the advancing year and how I may best use it, I am able to be steered by my values. What’s important to me. What actions, philosophies and relationships matter to me.

There is great comfort in that. And that comfort has been won by so many years of early mornings, of quiet reflection, of painful self-examination and wordless wonderings.

I have whittled down all of those endless possibilities into a handful that have meaning for me. Later today I will sit with my journal and a pot of tea, and create a map for myself, steering me toward what matters, and away from what doesn’t.

How about you?

Do you ever gift yourself time for reflection? Do you actively make choices about the person you wish to become, and the life you desire to lead?

It’s not too late. You can start today.

There is something precious in honouring the finite choices of our life. There is power in choosing this thing over that thing. Our choices are how we shape ourselves. Making choices consciously is how we claim back our emotional and spiritual centre, turning life into a delicious adventure.

Your life, like mine, is a precious gift. I’m excited to be unwrapping the beginnings of another year.

Bless xx

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