How to take a Blessings Bath

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Today’s post is all about nurture. I want to share with you a process that I call a Blessings Bath.  I usually take a Blessings Bath when I am feeling anything but blessed; when I am truly exhausted, wretched, miserable and broken.  It has never failed to get me into a better space. And once you move into that better space you can sleep. You can heal.  You can go on…

This is a beautiful ritual – a mini-break you can treat yourself to whenever you need that extra love and care. It helps if you can gather your materials together beforehand and make the effort to create a space that is inviting and relaxing.

It’s best done at the end of the day, when you can move from your bathroom to the bedroom and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bristle brush for dry skin brushing
  • A bath (if you don’t have a bath you can modify this by using a deep bucket or tub for a foot bath)
  • A shower
  • Your choice of bubble bath, bath salts, epsom salts and essential oils.  (An epsom salts bath is an excellent way to de-stress, get some magnesium into your frazzled system, and cleanse your aura as well as your body. If you’d like to lean more, click here).  At a minimum use the salts, but I must say that I love the comfort of some good bubbles too – invest in a good quality body wash or foam that is free of nasty chemicals. You’re worth it!
  • Your choice of crystals (optional, but good! – I’d recommend rose quartz, clear quartz, carnelian, hematite, howlite or blue quartz.  Use tumbled stones that you can place directly into the tub or bucket, and that are too big to get washed down the drain.)
  • Some soft fluffy towels
  • Candles, and something to light them with
  • Body oil or lotion (I use organic coconut oil ♥)
  • Relaxing music

Run your bath and add epsom salts, crystals, oils etc,  Make it tolerably hot if you are using epsom salts so that your pores open and you can detox from your lymph and uptake all that beneficial magnesium).  Turn on your music, softly, so that it is background music, and light your candles. (Please keep candles away from shower curtains and anything flammable.) Turn off the lights so that the room is dimly lit. If you live in a cold climate, make sure your room is warm!

Dry Skin Brushing:

Dry skin brushing stimulates our lymphatic system, helping us to detoxify and to improve our circulation.  It also removes dead skin cells and leaves our skin softer. Over time this beneficial practice can greatly aid your health and well-being, strengthening your immune system.  It’s also great for cellulite! As you brush, always direct your strokes from the extremities back towards your heart.

As you dry brush your body affirm to yourself I am ready to release. I am letting go.  Say it softly, over and over, as you brush.

Undress, then take your bristle brush and starting at the toes of your left foot use short smooth strokes to brush up to your knee.  Then work from your knee to your groin. Cover your whole leg using a soft but firm pressure.

Now work from your fingertips on the left arm up to the armpit. Swap and do your right arm. After this do your back, using long sweeping movements to go from your shoulders down to the middle of your back.  Then brush from your buttocks back up to the middle of your back.

Finally brush the front of your body – from your shoulders towards your heart and then your belly in a clockwise direction. Avoid your face, but do include the back of your neck.

Bath:

Step into the bath. (If you’re using a foot bath sit down and place your feet in the bucket.)

Settle in and get comfortable. Then place your hands so that they are resting on your heart. Gently repeat the words Thank You on every out breath. Do this for as long as you stay in the bath.

These two little words will powerfully shift those negative emotions and energetic blocks within your body, opening you back up to peace and flow.

Image from www.palo.gr

Image from www.palo.gr

Fee yourself soften and relax. Don’t struggle with your feelings. Allow any trapped or suppressed emotions come to the surface, stay focused with your hands on your heart and keep saying thank you. If you need to cry, do so. But keep saying Thank You.

When you feel calm and centered, step out of the bath. Turn on the shower (pull the plug if you have a combined shower/bath so you don’t flood the room) and rinse off the last of the bath water, feeling it running down the drain. Keep affirming the words Thank You, aloud or to yourself.

Finish with a short burst of cold water – about thirty seconds is fine.  This is fantastic for your circulation and immune system.

Towel yourself dry.

Oiling the Body:

Now that we have detoxed and cleansed our body we are going to nurture and love it some more. Take your oil or body lotion, and starting with your face, neck and ears gently rub the oil into your skin. As you do this say Thank You on every out breath. Really feel yourself connecting with and nurturing your body. Thank your body from your heart. Allow yourself to feel love and gratitude for your life.

Continue to apply oil, doing each arm and then your front, back and legs.  Pay attention to your fingers, toes and the soles of your feet.  Make sure every inch of your body is pampered and cared for.

Use a towel again to blot any excess oil, and then dress in something loose and comfortable.

Retire to your bedroom or somewhere else quiet and private.  Lie down or sit in a comfortable chair and rest or drift off to sleep.

I hope you find comfort and nurture in this ritual. Bless ♥ xx

**PS If you enjoyed this post please vote for my blog, Cauldrons and Cupcakes, in the  Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition.  You can do that here.  Thank you.

Making My Life Work for Me – Week 1

Key to Success - Image from www.picstopin.com

Key to Success – Image from www.picstopin.com

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

 

Welcome to Week 1 of our six week Making My Life Work for Me Program. Are you excited? I know I am! The most important thing to remember as we embark on this program together is that this is all about fun, self time and transformation.  (If you’re just joining us now, pop back and read last week’s post so that you can gather the materials we’ll be using today.)

Instructions:

We will be following the same format each week.  Read through this entire post before you get started.  You can do the activities all on one day, or spread them put over the week – whatever works best for you.

2013-03-24 16.40.09

 

Meditation:

We’re going to start with a meditation.  Hold your crystal and drape your scarf or shawl around your shoulders.  Set aside ten minutes for this. When you’re ready click the link below and simply follow the sound of my voice:

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Making My Life Work for Me

Visualisation:

Do this straight after your meditation, when you are ready and open for receiving! Close your eyes and use your imagination. See yourself the way you want yourself to be in the world.  Feel the emotions that come with this, and have gratitude and expectation of drawing these things into your life.  Really put some energy into this.  You can repeat this step again this week (even daily) if it feels right.  Thoughts are things, and this is how you manifest in the Universe!

Using Your Journal:

This is your space for exploring and creating – your own personal think tank and manifestation machine!

Feel free to decorate your journal so that it’s visually appealing and full of your own energy and personality.

Begin by writing the following pledge into the front of your journal.  When it’s written, repeat it out loud, with as much sincerity as you can muster. That way the Universe is put on notice of your intentions:

Dear Universe,

I am open to the possibility that there is more for me in this life, and I am ready to receive clarity, direction and inspiration.

I am so very grateful for my life, and for the learning and growth opportunities I am being shown.

I am ready to embrace positive change and to accept an avalanche of good in my life. 

My commitment to you is that for the next 6 weeks (and beyond) I am willing to explore my heart, to connect with my innermost wisdom, look for and name things I am thankful for, and to celebrate the many Blessings I already have.

With love and gratitude,

 

_____________________________________

(insert your own name here)

 

Card of the Week: 

2013-03-24 16.30.18Take your deck of positive cards, or your rune bag.  Close you eyes and offer up a prayer for the Highest Good, and then quiet your mind.

Randomly select a card/rune, trusting that it will have a message to guide you this week.  Write down the name of the card/rune and the message.  Feel free to add any additional thoughts or insights you might have.

I chose a card for us as well, just to set the tone. It’s a fitting start for us, don’t you think?

2013-03-24 16.31.33

2013-03-24 16.31.46

Week 1 Journal Activity:

On a clean page write a stream of consciousness around the question What do I need most right now?  Write as little or as much as you need to. Simply ask yourself the question and then answer it, letting the words pour out of you. Draw pictures or mind map if you feel like it. If you cry or have some other emotional release understand that this is a good thing!

And now for some fun…

Collage – Things that are good for me.  Take your pile of old magazines and place them in front of you.  Holding your crystal close your eyes and say out loud “Universe, I am open to all Guidance and my own Higher Wisdom to show me the things that nourish and support me right now.”  Take a moment and sit in that energy, really feeling yourself connecting into and opening to that wisdom.

Then when you’re ready, open your eyes and start flicking through the magazines.  If any pictures or words appeal to you, cut or rip them out and place them beside you. When you have enough images cut them up neatly, and then spend some time arranging them on a page or double page of your journal.  If your journal isn’t big enough, feel free to use a sheet of cardboard. Glue your images to the page and leave it open to dry.  Now you have a strong visual reminder of what’s good for you, so that you can begin to make choices that bring more of this energy into your life.

Were there any surprises?  Did you notice any particular themes?

Gratitude:

What’s already working in your life?  List five things in your journal each day that you are grateful for in your life.

Nightly Healing :

Get into bed and spend five minutes lying quietly in meditation with your eyes closed.  Call on God, Universal Energy, your Angels, your Guides, your Ancestors, whomever you feel comfortable and safe with.  Ask for their help.  Fill your body with white light, and then draw coloured light (just allow a colour to come to you) through your crown chakra (an energy point on the top of your head) and send it anywhere in your body that needs healing.  Feel the warmth as the energy radiates through your body, uplifting and healing you.  Know that answers will come while you are sleeping.

Give thanks, send this same healing gift from you to anyone or anywhere else if it feels right, and then sleep.  Rest well, my friends, and have a beautiful and inspired week.

Much love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

174725660512724881_xZaN7KF3_c

Writing your way out of stuckness

Image from the portableblender.info

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.  ~Swedish Proverb

Well it looks like Monday has become our regular journalling day! I’m sure most of you already know I have a love affair with journal writing. Can’t even begin to wonder how many millions of words I’ve clocked up longhand over the years.

So today we’re going to use our journals to help us move past a place of stuckness in our lives. This is a useful process that I’ve resorted to often in my journalling life. The technique was created by me deciding to define a problem in order to better manage it or determine a realistic scale on which to freak out….

This gorgeous image by Olly Moss

In all my years of journalling around stuckness, I’ve never ended up at the freaking out stage – in fact I’ve always found a way to keep calm, to carry on, and to dig myself out of the hole. I guess that’s why I keep using this technique.

Take out your journal and get comfortable.

You may be able to do this whole process in thirty minutes or less. Or it may take much longer.

If you’re stuck, it doesn’t matter. When you’re stuck there is no momentum.

When you begin to journal your stuckness it’s amazing how you begin to wiggle free from feeling trapped.

Defining the nature of your stuckness, and what it might mean for you

  • What is the nature of the stuckness? Is it an action you need to take, a problem you need to solve or a decision that needs to be made? (Sometimes a stuckness may involve two or even all three of these elements – if that’s the case, write about each of these aspects, in the order you think they would need to be taken.) Write as much as you need to to really define this situation. If you don’t have all the answers create a list of things you need to research or investigate.
  • Okay – here’s the scary bit. You need to ask yourself ‘What is the worst thing that can happen here?” Seriously. Go into as much detail as you can.  Write until you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities.  Really go to town and dump all your fears and worries onto the page. Once we’ve named them, we can much better deal with them. And it stops our minds racing off creating worst-case scenarios later on when we’d be better employed working towards solutions!

How do you feel about that?

  • Journals are places to download our feelings. Who can thing clearly with a head full of guff? Write down all those swirling emotions inside you that come up in relation to this place of stuckness. It clears the air.  It calms things down.  It calms YOU down. It can be a great relief to finally acknowledge how you truly feel about the thing you’re stuck with/on/in. Sometimes, we begin to find solutions right here in our feelings.  Maybe we’re scared to succeed. Maybe we’re frightened of responsibility.  Maybe we feel we have to do the thing to please someone else. Maybe we said yes when we wanted to say no. Whatever it is, journalling our feelings is the beginning of unravelling this mess!

Image from facebookemoticons.com

Okay – the hard part’s done.  Once we’ve identified the issue and how we feel about it, we have begun to move from stuckness to clarity. Use any or all of these questions and prompts to keep moving you forward:

  • From what you’ve written have you already reached a decision, conclusion or clarity that can get you out of stuckness? If so, write down your findings, and then chart a plan of action. Plans are great. They give us something solid to work from. If you like creating lists, then go for it!

Or, if you’re still not sure what to do next, explore these options on the page. Use the prompts to help you develop lists and strategies:

  • Is there an expert, resource, course or friend who could help us by giving us the guidance, support and techniques/skills we need to get unstuck? (For example, if you’re writing a book and having problems with the plot you could do a workshop, read a how-to book, or join a writing group.)
  • Can we hand the whole thing over to someone else to do or finish? ( Say you’ve been procrastinating over seven years of unfinished taxes – can you give everything to a book-keeper, or phone an accountant and ask their advice about what to do next? Can you pay your Mum or your best friend who loves paperwork, or the person from the advertisement in the paper?)

    It’s time for some help! Image from mylifescoop.com

  • Can we start at a different corner of the mess?  Often we keep approaching an issue in the same way, and from the same angle. Obviously when we don’t get anywhere we end up stuck. Is there another way you could approach this? Brainstorm as many alternatives as you can, writing them all down. When you’ve generated your list then you can choose a new approach and get started. (For example, you need to get your house ready for sale, and it’s overwhelming you. Instead of starting on a big job, tidy out your kitchen drawers, go through the linen cupboard, build momentum on the easy things or the small things.  Soon you’ll be powering through the problem areas. If you’re writing a book set in medieval England and you love the idea but it’s just not working can you make it sci-fi, or fantasy fiction?)
  • Instead of choosing Option A or Option B can we choose Option F, Q or Z? How many times has it come down to what we think is an extremely limited choice? We paint ourselves into a corner thinking we need to choose between A and B when actually we could have chosen both, none, or something else. Brainstorm some crazy alternatives to your current stuckness. Somewhere in that list will be the seeds of what will grow into your solution. (For example, you are living in a share house and you don’t like one of the new housemates. You obsess about how to get them to leave. You agonise about how you will cope if they stay. Well, could YOU move out? Could you go house-sitting, get a job or go back to study that supplies accommodation, use this as the push to move interstate or overseas, move in with friends or your folks for a while so you can save money to get a place of your own? Could you sell up and go back-packing around Europe for a year, or buy a campervan and hit the road?)

    Feeling inspired? This image from rickturban.hubpages.com

  • And the craziest part of all of this – could you choose to give up on the stuckness, bin the whole thing and move onto something else? Could you finally let this idea/ situation/issue die a good death so that you can start over on something new? (Maybe it’s time to put that half-finished manuscript in a bottom drawer and write something new. Or end the relationship and enjoying being single for a while. Go back to study and change your career direction rather than stay stuck in a dead-end job.)

When we write out our problems, our brain is encouraged to find a solution.  We let the Universe know that we are done with being stuck and that our intention is to get moving again. And more than once, when I’ve begun this process, a solution has come out of nowhere. That’s the Law of Attraction in action!  Think positive. Trust in good outcomes! ♥