Journal Challenge Week 2 – Lightbulbs and Lightning Strikes

Image from  Dan's Data

Image from Dan’s Data

“SOWING LIGHTNING

Seize
Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.

They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!”
~ Visar Zhiti, The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry

 

Hello, my Lovelies, and welcome to Week 2 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.

I suppose you’ve heard about Lightbulb Moments. You know, that instant where the light comes on and you truly UNDERSTAND something for the first time. ‘Ah,’ you say, perhaps a little excitedly, ‘I get it!’

There’s another kind of awareness that can hit us too. It’s painful. It’s abrupt. It’s super-charged and the sting is so shocking that the memory is somehow imprinted into you at a cellular level. ‘Holy Shit!’ you manage to choke out, if indeed you can find any words at all. That ain’t no Lightbulb Moment, honey. That’s a Lightning Strike!

Some of our most powerful insights and guiding direction comes in the form of Lightbulb Moments and Lightning Strikes. This week we’re opening ourselves to reconnecting to the wisdom we’ve already received, as well as inviting more of these moments into our lives.

Are you ready? Courage, my dears.

Let’s Begin!

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

Choosing a Crystal

You may wish to choose a crystal to work with this 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:

  • Citrine
  • Clear Quartz of any kind
  • Emerald
  • Amethyst
  • Labradorite
  • Orange or golden calcite
  • Black Tourmaline
  • Hematite
  • Jade

This week I’m using a rather comforting Labradorite that fits perfectly into my hand. Feel free to let us know what kind of crystal you choose by leaving a comment below or over at our facebook page.

Labradorite

Week Two Meditation:

There is so much wisdom already inside you. It stretches back through your family tree, and through your past lives. This week, before you begin to reflect on and journal your exploratory questions, take a minute or two to perform this simple meditation.

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

Ancestor Activation Technique

Before you begin writing, sit or lie quietly. One by one, raise your palms and look into them, seeing all the lines and contours. Know that your entire family lineage is held within these hands, and that your hands link you back through time to loved ones who still watch over you and guide you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know or feel connected to your family, or if you don’t know your family history. It doesn’t matter if the family you are born into is a family with whom you don’t resonate. Family is bigger than that. It goes back so much further than you might know. These bonds anchor us in a love far beyond our conscious understanding. We reincarnate into our family tree over and over again. None of us is ever alone. We are always well loved, although we may not always understand this.

If you are using a stone, cup your crystal in one hand and then place your other hand over the top. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap. If you’re not using a crystal, place your hands palm down on your belly.

Visualise a rainbow in your crystal, or if you are just using your hands, visualise a rainbow in the palms of your hands. Breathe in to activate your hands and let that rainbow of colour expand, flowing out into your aura and into your body on each outbreath. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable to do so.

Image from Maha Rose

Image from Maha Rose

Now in your mind offer up a prayer to your Ancestors. Ask them for guidance and help. Ask them to flow wisdom and opportunity to you. Say anything else that feels right for you.

Then sit in this energy a little longer and be open to any thoughts, images or ideas that come.

Finally, take six breaths deep into your belly, letting your body relax completely.

Now you’re ready to write!

Journal Questions:

You can choose any or all of the questions below. Some will be asked as traditional questions, and some are sentences that give you a place to start by leaving a space for you to complete that sentence.

I suggest going with what resonates and repels for a good balance. Write as much or as little as you need. It could be three words or three pages. Spread it out over a week, or spend a solid hour or two over one day – it’s up to you! If you’re in flow, keep going and see where it takes you. Be brave here, sweethearts. Pry open those tightly closed doors. Fling open the windows and let the light in. We can’t operate in darkness. Healing needs air and sunlight.

You can also write over more than one sitting, even beyond this current journal challenge, taking yourself deeper and clearer each time you come back to that question. Trust that more will be revealed as your own wholeness is revealed.

If you’re using a crystal, hold it in your non-writing hand, or place it in your lap or pocket. Feel free to get yourself a beverage, or to sit in a coffee shop while you do this. Enjoy the process!

2012-06-04 11.06.04

This week we’re bravely peeling back the layers, seeking to own all the parts of us. Including those things we have pushed away, rejected, been shamed for, or that give us embarrassment or pain. I’ve grouped the questions together for a reason.

If you don’t know how to answer something, ask yourself again, and then wait.

Still nothing?

Ask again and wait some more. Then ask – What am I afraid of here? Bravely wait for the answer, and then ask yourself the question again, knowing that your fears cannot harm you.

Also ask yourself this, if it feels right: Is this a family pattern? How might I break this pattern, so that Ancestral Patterning stops with me?

Self-Sabotage:

  1. What is my most insidious (subtle and sneaky) self-sabotaging behaviour?
  2. What is my most overt (obvious and visible) self-sabotaging behaviour?
  3. Why did I start this behaviour? Who did I pattern it (copy or learn it) from?
  4. What are the benefits of this sabotaging behaviour? How does it keep me ‘safe’?
  5. What would happen in my life if I gradually replaced this behaviour with one that genuinely supported and sustained me?
  6. What positive behaviours could I choose?
  7. How does this knowledge make me feel? Why?

Resentment:

  1. The people I resent most are…
  2. The reasons I resent them are…
  3. It’s so unfair for me because…
  4. I’m so worried that I’ll never get time to…
  5. I hate that I’m always the one who has to…
  6. What do I resent that others tell me about myself, or expect me to be?
  7. The thing putting me under all this stress is…

Excuses, excuses:

  1. What do I tell myself that keeps me small?
  2. Who else do I know who behaves like that?
  3. What virtuous or ‘good’ patterns or behaviours do I use to avoid dealing with my own stuff?
  4. What am I so afraid of here?
  5. What am I stopping myself from doing?

Oh, the Shame!:

  1. The incident I am most ashamed about is…
  2. The thing I still hate to have people bring up about me is…
  3. The thing I still feel most guilty about is…
  4. The most embarrassed I’ve ever been is…
  5. I feel such a failure because…
  6. I could never be that thing I so desire to be, because…
  7. The one thing I wish I could erase from my life is…
  8. The powerful and painful learning burned into my brain like a Lightning Strike about this is…
  9. I could reframe that learning into something good and wise by seeing it this way…
Image from GalleryHip.com

Image from GalleryHip.com

And now for some healing and expanding life energy. Be informed by the writing you have done with your exploratory questions. Choose one or do them all. Let yourself step into the energy of possibility and growth. Let your own inner knowing be a healing force of good in your life. Write at least a paragraph. Be detailed and specific where you can.Turn pain and suffering into wisdom. Let yourself be lit up with Lightbulb Moments and Lightning Strikes.

If you’re uncomfortable, then write it as a wise fairy-tale that might be good advice for someone else.

1. The lesson my self-sabotaging behaviour teaches me is…

2. As I embrace this lesson, with love and compassion for myself, I can see my life becoming…

3. My resentment is a powerful voice inside me showing me what’s truly important to my heart and soul. This resentment has taught me that what matters is…

4. I will overcome or deal with my fear by…

5. These painful things have taught me some beautiful lessons about myself. I can now become wiser, kinder, more uplifted and more inspired because I understand that…

6. The parts of myself that I lovingly reclaim are…

Do pop over to our facebook page this week. There will be some rune guidance for you. I’ll be giving away some lovely surprises and there will also be an online party next weekend where I’ll be available to answer your questions and have some fun!

I have so much faith in you. We have a big year ahead in 2015 – full of opportunity and possibility – and I know you’ll be well positioned to make the most of it by doing all of this self-work!

Big hugs to you and lots of love, Nicole xx

The Perils of 2AM Thinking

Image from Star Medical

Image from Star Medical

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
~ Corrie ten Boom

 

Have you ever stayed up all night stewing about something?

Or woken up in the middle of the night, beset with worry?

Ah, sweetkins! I’m here to tell you that the thoughts and ideas you have at two o’clock in the morning – especially the ones where you decide radical action – are not among your finest cognitive moments.

Image from The EvoLLution

Image from The EvoLLution

Trust me on this. After a bout of 2am thinking don’t write that letter. Don’t send that email. Don’t stay up for the rest of the night and then madly wreak destruction in your life once morning breaks.

Instead I counsel you to keep a notebook by the bed. Get it all on paper. Or iPad or phone. Perhaps there is a nugget of truth here, embedded in the muck. Perhaps the genesis of something which will, later, become more.

But what you need most right now is rest and a clear head.

There’s a reason why they call it the cold hard light of day. You may need time to re-evaluate your nocturnal genius.

Image from Vgames

Image from Vgames

When you are rested, review those notes from your middle-of-the-night brainstorming session. Is it more storm than brain? Be totally honest about what you see.

Maybe you can let the whole thing go. Maybe it doesn’t even make sense to you anymore. But maybe it really is time to leave the job/relationship/sharehouse/country, or say what you feel. Give it another day, after a good night’s sleep has elapsed. Let yourself be sure. Then draft that email if you must. With some solid restful hours elapsed between you and that 2am place you now have a couple of things working in your favour.

A rational mind and timing.

Sometimes we realise that our 2am thoughts were the result of hormones, too much wine, fatigue, or a serious lack of holidays. No harm done. We festered, but we never popped.

Sometimes we see that nugget of truth, and know it for what it is. Now we have the luxury of planning and strategising. We will find a new job FIRST and then tell the boss what we really think of them before our glorious resignation. We will seek counselling or legal advice and work out the best way for us to exit our relationship in a way that minimises harm to us and others rather than storming out the door with just the shirt on our backs. We make timing work for us!

We will check our facts BEFORE we react to the gossip that kept us up all night, sick with worry or roiled with anger.

We will realise that someone else already invented that thing we dreamed up, AND did a better job, and anyway, why did we want to make that thing in the first place? Oh yeah: alcohol, too little sleep, I hate my job, sugar rush and too many Marvel comics.

Let there always be a decent amount of clear-headed time between 2am and any actions you take or decisions you make.

Most importantly, if you find yourself in a 2am frenzy, or down a deep dark 2am hole, remind yourself that this will pass. That what you need most right now is some sleep. Write down what’s bothering you, and promise yourself that you’ll devote some time to it tomorrow, or the day after, when you’re fresh.

Our most difficult situations require our best thinking, not our most limited.

And nine times out of ten, it will be brighter in the morning.

Image from Quote Frenzy

Image from Quote Frenzy

Are you setting yourself up for failure this week?

Image from www.dzinepress.com

Image from www.dzinepress.com

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 
~ L.M. Montgomery

I’m all for change.  That’s part of our power – the ability to move in a new direction, to make ourselves over, to become something new or different to where and how we were.

But how do you achieve that change?

Are you one of those ‘all or nothing’ people?

You know, the ones who declare (publicly, or to themselves with deep conviction), “Right, I’m starting this tomorrow.  No excuses.  Full on.”

‘This’ could be a diet, an exercise plan, some epic project, or for good measure ‘a complete life overhaul’ with everything thrown in.  Whatever it is, it looks vastly different from the place where you are right now.

These sorts of commitments are usually entered into on a Monday, leaving Sunday as a last day for cramming in all of the things you won’t be having/doing/not doing.

Goodness, some people spend a week or more ‘saying goodbye’ to all of the things they are leaving behind.  I’ve just watched a friend defiantly posting pics on facebook of all of the last beer, chips, pizzas, cocktails, desserts, chocolates, wine, burgers etc etc that they are giving up when they start an intense detox.  They’ve binged on more junk food in this last week than they probably ate since the beginning of the year.

I have a girlfriend who asked me to be her ‘commitment buddy’ and emailed me a list of what she was planning to stick to each week, starting on Monday. With her permission, here’s her list:

  • Give up all forms of sugar
  • Drink 3 litres of water a day
  • No alcohol
  • No more junk food or take-aways
  • Take full range of supplements and get back on my herbs and juicing each day
  • Give up all caffeine
  • Grain free diet
  • 30 minutes yoga and write in my journal each morning
  • Pelvic floor exercises – five minutes morning and night
  • Protein breakfast, morning and afternoon protein snack, salad and protein lunch, vegetable and protein dinner – no carbs
  • No more meals in front of tv – family dinners at table
  • Walk at lunch time
  • Prepare healthy home-made lunches and after school snacks for the girls
  • Reading – 30 minutes each night of a self-development book
  • Writing – 3 x 2 hour stints each week to have my book finished by Christmas
  • Husband – 2 intimate sessions a week to rekindle romance
  • Walk girls to library each week and take dog – train dog while on walk
  • Clean house including washing on and clean kitchen each night so we have a fresh start each day
  • 3 weights and resistance sessions at gym down the road each week. Perhaps before pick up girls from after-school care.
  • Gardening – 2 hours each weekend to bring yard back up to standard
  • Renovation – 3 hours each weekend on one project until all projects on attached list are ticked off (attached is a BIG list)
  • Join and attend a weekly dance class or cooking class to extend my circle of friends and put energy into my own interests.

I am tired just reading that list. These are massive changes, and there are so many of them. My girlfriend’s a mum who works full-time as a nurse in a stressful environment, and she’s married with four little kids. Her life is already a whirlwind.  She’s time poor and always exhausted. This list is a radical departure from her current life.

And that’s why I’m asking you if you’re setting yourself up for failure this week…

My friend doing the detox is going to a retreat that specialises in colonics, raw food and ‘clean living’. The entire experience is regimented, controlled and locked in.  No chance of failure there, unless you leave. But that epic binge before they went?  Did that really do their body any good, and will one week of virtuous detoxing erase years of self neglect?  What changes will they make when they come back to the real world?

And my girlfriend – the nurse with the major life overhaul plan? I rang her and we talked about it. There was laughter, there were tears and in the end we made a new list.  Here it is:

  • Buy a water bottle and take it with me.  Aim to drink two refills by the end of each day.
  • Cut back coffee to two on weekends with husband, and one a day.  Review in a month. (She loves coffee, but is drinking up to 4 lattes a day.)
  • Cut down from two sugars in each coffee to none, or swap to stevia/natvia.
  • Make a conscious effort to increase salad and vegetable intake each day.
  • No midweek alcohol.
  • Have a date night with hubby, and let the girls have a weekend sleepover at gran’s house once a fortnight. (This is a win for everyone in the family – girls happy, grandparents happy, and friend and her husband happy)
  • Yoga class each Thursday night and husband will look after the girls.  They can have whatever they want for dinner – husband to organise.
  • Arrange for a house cleaner once a fortnight.

I’m still going to be my friend’s commitment buddy, and we’ll still check in.  I have faith that these are the kind of changes she can succeed at, because she’s not overwhelming herself, and as these new lifestyle changes become habits, she can gradually bring more changes in if she wants to.  There’s no major stress, and no massive expectation.

Unless we have a massive motivator (eg terminal illness or some other equally pressing life event) most of us won’t keep up a regime that is completely different to where we are now. But when we make small changes and adjustments over time, we have a much greater chance of lasting success.

What small thing could you include or remove from your life this week that will improve the quality of your life over time?

Start small. Finish what you begin or let it become a part of your daily routine. Form habits of completion. This builds lasting change, self belief and confidence. And when you’re ready pick another thing, start small… *rinse and repeat*.

When is it okay to break a promise?

Image from blog.chasebrammer.com

I take giving my word very seriously. Promises made are never made lightly, and since childhood I have rarely needed to break one.

But I’m going to break one now. This isn’t information I’d normally share, but I have given so much thought to this that I felt my musings might be helpful to someone else in a similar situation…

A while ago I blogged about knowing when to let go.  Today I realise that for me, with one relationship, it’s time. Why now?  Because where I find myself is not what I signed up for.  Let me explain why I’m walking away.

Image from timshome.com

When I came to your aid you were drowning. Drowning and calling my name. I jumped into that seething river, (as any reasonable person who could swim might), held up your head, and with all my might I edged us back towards the shore.  As you stopped panicking, as we moved to shallower water and your feet touched bottom, you quit struggling and began to help yourself.  Finally we got to shore. You thought that was the end.  I knew it was only the beginning, and I pledged to stay.

We moved further up the bank, away from the danger. Others came to help.  You were safe. And after a while I quit holding my breath and trusted you.

But you keep throwing yourself back in that damned river.

And you expect that I will keep jumping in after you.

So far I have.  Every single time. And each time you’re sorry.

And then you do it again…

It has worn me out. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t uphold a promise when you won’t value it yourself.

To keep jumping in after you puts ME in danger. As much as I have a responsibility to you, I also have one to myself.

Image from safetybanners.com

So I will stay here on the bank. You know where to find me.  I can help you from here. And we’ve been in that river enough times now that YOU know how to navigate the hazards and get back to shore.

I’m not giving up on you. I’m still loving you.  But it’s time to love yourself.  That’s one thing I can’t do with you, and I sure can’t do for you.

Image from kcgraphics.tumblr.com

If you give up on yourself I’ll feel so sad for you. But it won’t make me save you at my own expense. I’ve learned to love myself more than that. I pray one day you learn that too. ♥

Image from loversinvain.blogspot.com