A Short But Important Message For You

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“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

 

Every morning when I wake up I sit in meditation.

I say prayers for my family and friends, I send healing to those who need it, I send energy and love to my students, and then to the world.

After which I always think about you, dear readers, and I ask ‘What do my readers most need to know today?’ This usually helps me to write a blog post, or to prepare an activity or meditation.

Today when I asked, I got a very clear message. So clear that all I need do is record it here:

“Everyone on earth should believe that they have something to give the world which cannot otherwise be given.”

I know that this is true.

And I know that it’s a message some of you absolutely needed to be reminded of today.

So, go be you. Go be who you are and know that this is enough. To live as yourself. To act and think as yourself. To interact with others as yourself. To love as yourself. Your true self. You whole self.

Even if you have never been brave enough to be you until now.

Because it’s time.

I love you.

Go well today,

Nicole ❤ xx

 

It’s Okay to Keep Changing – and How to Cope with People Who Don’t Recognise That

Image from timrettig.net

Image from timrettig.net

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”
~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

I received another message this week that I thought was best answered on my blog.

Lilly writes:

“Hello beautiful. Just wanted to ask some advice. I’m feeling really flat and down and sad this past week. My issues are based in trust and loyalty around family. I am trying to take a holistic approach to life and health in general , have been trying as hard as I can to do and be my best. My ” family ” is still full of doubt , spite and criticism of me and my abilities as a mum and person. My heart is bruised and my soul is weary. Can you offer any advice at all please ? Crystals to work with, books to read, certain meditations, angels to pray to, advice on how to react or not reactionary. ? Anything ?? I know your very busy and have a lot on your own plate but I’m sitting here feeling so lost and down and I don’t know who else to ask. Any advice at all would be deeply appreciated.”

 

First of all, Lilly, here’s a big hug (((HUG))). It’s hard when we’re doing our best and consciously making better choices to lift ourselves up and to live by our own values, and then to get pulled down by the people we had hoped would support us. You can always call on your Angels and Guides. Just talk to them out loud, or in your head, and ask for their help and support. Loved ones who’ve passed over can also bring us comfort. Some people talk to God. GO with what feels right to you.

Lilly, this is a hard one, and I’m going to consider it from several angles. Please know that I am no longer writing just about you, but about so many people just like you, and some who are not.

 

When You Really Did Do Some Things To Harm Trust:

If there was a time when you made mistakes or poor choices, or were immature or had a bad attitude or an addiction, then it’s likely that you hurt the people closest to you. It’s painful for family and friends to watch someone they love be in that space, and it’s painful to be on the receiving end of their bad behaviour, lies, addiction or attitude. When you’ve been continually hurt by someone you become wary of being hurt again. It is hard to trust someone who has put you through that, especially if they have promised or pleaded that they have changed, only to then fall back into those behaviours, or to manipulate your sympathies to their own ends.

In that kind of situation where you’ve hurt others, you will have to earn that trust back. You may want to apologise and let those people speak their hurts to you, so that they too can feel heard. And then you need to let your changed life and your actions speak for themselves. I have seen many brave people work the AA Twelve Step program or similar, and go back to people they had harmed – to explain and to apologise and to offer restitution. Sometimes it helped heal the relationship. Sometimes it just enabled the person who’d broken the trust to make peace with themselves that they had done the best that they could to put things right. Family counselling can help. Or a good counsellor or support group can help you to forgive yourself, understand what happened and move on.

If you’re the one who has been on the receiving end of that harmed trust, it is perfectly fine to look for evidence of change through a person’s actions and day-to-day life, rather than simply accepting what they tell you. The old saying about talk being cheap is true when you have been let down many times before. I wrote a post about that here called Listen With Your Eyes

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When A Loved One Did Things That Harmed Trust:

Sometimes people we love lie. Or cheat. Or take sides. Or play favourites. Or are insensitive or mean. Maybe they have an addiction issue. Perhaps they have experienced abuse or trauma themselves. Or maybe they just made bad choices. People make mistakes. Sometimes, if everyone is willing to work on it, we can put broken back together. It usually takes time,  commitment, and the facilitation of a good therapist. I’ve known people who have forged better, more honest relationships after times of great hardship.

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BUT sometimes our loved one is a bully, a violent addict, a narcissist, a sociopath. Sometimes they are so broken or their behaviours so entrenched that all you will get is more of the same abuse every time you front on up to that relationship. Wanting or needing a person to change doesn’t make them change, no matter how hard you make changes to yourself, or try to handle the relationship differently.

In that situation, hard as it may be, you might need to cut your losses or put a lot of space into the relationship. Don’t put yourself into abuse ‘because it’s Christmas’ or ‘because they’re still my family’. Find a good therapist or counsellor for yourself. Work on you. Get a support network. If you’re an adult you have choices. You don’t need to continue to suffer that kind of behaviour. As a parent you don’t need to expose your child to that kind of behaviour.

 

When You’ve Changed and People Can’t Understand That:

We all grow and change over time. Some of us slowly. Some of us fast. If you’ve travelled extensively, and your family and friends haven’t. If you went to war. If you lost your partner to cancer. If you experienced trauma or chronic illness or some kind of ecstatic spiritual transformation…

Shared experiences are one of the things that unite us. If our loved ones haven’t got that same frame of reference you lose ground and connection. It can be easy to become distant. It isn’t that they don’t love you. It’s just that they don’t understand.

So, don’t expect them to. There will be other people who know what you are going through. Find them, and use them for mutual support and sharing. Or hold your experience close and sacred.

Image from www.alz.org

Image from www.alz.org

Reconnect with family and friends by exploring the things you DO share in common. Old memories, family traditions, people and places that mean something that links you to each other.

We can still be loved, and be part of a family or group, and yet not be fully known or seen or understood. Truth is, sometimes we can even be a mystery to ourselves…

 

When You’ve Changed For The Better and People Can’t Accept That:

Sometimes we grow, and the people around us can’t cope with the fact that we are different. Sometimes we’ve done our best to fit in but we can’t keep pretending. Sometimes we reach a point where we can’t tolerate a situation or relationship because it doesn’t align with our ethics and values, or we will no longer tolerate victimisation, bullying, abuse or unhealthy behaviours. Sometimes we become better, wiser, stronger, more educated, or in other ways different to how we were. We outgrow lovers, friends, and even families.

In certain circumstances we can choose to hide or minimise that change for short periods of time in order to maintain relationships or family harmony. But if you are put down for your transformation, if you are rejected or victimised because of your choices, if you experience abuse – verbal, emotional or otherwise, then it’s time to leave that relationship behind, and to create relationships with people who value you. Value yourself first. Value yourself enough to walk away from those who belittle and diminish you.

Above all, Lilly, It’s important that you value and love yourself. That you make healthy choices for yourself and for your children. That you allow yourself to be valued by others and that you stand up for yourself, protect yourself, and keep yourself and your children out of situations that are abusive and toxic.

Create the life you want for yourself through mindful choices and actions. Grieve the loss of the way things could have been, but don’t dwell on it. Be the person and mum that is you evolving as your best self. Know that in doing that you’ll attract to you the sorts of people who will fit better with who you are and who you are becoming.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole xoxo

Extra Coping Tools

You might find these posts helpful too:

How to get through the hard stuff

How to deal with toxic people

Crystals for highly sensitive people

Free Guided Meditation for the Solar Plexus Chakra

Guided Meditation for Emotional Healing

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A Christmas Gift for Yourself

“You’re gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle.”
~ David Nicholls, One Day

 

I was talking with a girlfriend yesterday. A very organised girlfriend who’s a bit of a mother figure to me. She’s had the family Christmas shopping done months ago, and everything is wrapped, waiting to go under the tree.

‘Gee,’ she said, ‘I wonder what abominations I’ll get this year…’

I asked her what she meant.

‘All I want is a good nightie. A comfortable one in soft cotton that’s nice to sleep in. I give hints all year, but the kids and grandkids always get me some horrible thing with cartoon animals, or David gets me some lacy sexy thing that appeals to him but is scratchy and synthetic and awful.’

‘Could you go with them to choose it?’ I asked.

‘No! Then it wouldn’t be a surprise.’ My friend pulled a pouty face worthy of a five-year-old.

I smiled. She is adorable at nearly sixty, and one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I know. ‘Would there be better presents for them to get you?’ I asked.

‘Yes!’ she said. ‘Books, chocolate, bath products, perfume. Any of those would be good. Even a colouring book. The complete Harry Potter series would be even better. I’ve alway wanted to read that.’

Image from twosistergethealthy.wordpress.com

Image from twosistergethealthy.wordpress.com

‘Well, tell them that’s what you want. Write a list for them even. Then go buy yourself the nightie you want and put it under the tree from Santa for you. That way everyone’s happy.’

‘But I can’t do that!’ she protested. ‘Christmas is about you being thoughtful for other people, and them being thoughtful for you.’

And therein lies the problem. Worth. Not everyone is as thoughtful or observant or organised as my friend. No-one else knows that her definition of Christmas is about other people being as thoughtful for her as she is for them. Or that thoughtfulness is a soft cotton nightie. Why can’t my friend be thoughtful for herself too?

You’re always doomed to disappointment with a set-up like that.

Christmas is not a test of love and worthiness. Don’t treat it as such. Don’t wait for others to demonstrate your worthiness based upon a framework they can’t even access.

I get that surprises are wonderful. You can get a surprise from the smallest thing. A surprise means you didn’t know what gift you’d get. Surprise! Let the gifts others give you be accepted in the spirit of surprise, gratitude and appreciation. Or good manners, if that is all you can muster, and especially if there was no thought, love or care reciprocated.

This year, if you really have your heart set on something, give it to yourself. You are worthy of the thought and consideration you give others. You are worthy enough to spend your own money on you.

My Christmas gift to myself this year is going to be prawns in white sauce served on toast with a glass of champagne. That was Ceddie and Marga’s (my grandparents on my mum’s side) favourite Christmas breakfast. I miss them heaps, especially at Christmas. My husband doesn’t like prawns. That’s okay. I’ve asked him and he wants a full-on Canadian breakfast. We have the technology to do that.

It’s okay to be kind and thoughtful to yourself, and to meet your own needs. If you don’t treat yourself like that, how will other people know to do that?

Big love and hugs, Nicole xx

Looking Back at Me

Looking Back Through Time by Lady Victoire Deviantart.com

Looking Back Through Time by Lady Victoire Deviantart.com

“We look back on our life as a thing of broken pieces, because our mistakes and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have accomplished and attained.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections

 

It’s odd, this process of writing about yourself. Seldom do we truly take the time to look back on our lives without being caught in the emotion of the moment, or the memories.

I need to be objective now, to get my facts right as I finish the job of editing this memoir. I’m sifting through old diaries, notebooks, photographs and scraps of paper.

I held some photos in my lap today. I can’t share them with you. To do so would be to trespass the privacy of others, long gone from my life.

I have few photographs of myself. I’d always thought myself so ugly. I’ve been entirely self-conscious, and as this strange unnamed illness (that turned out to be Lyme) progressed through my late teens and early twenties I hid more and more from the lens.

But here they are, these frozen moments in time. What strikes me is that the me I see is so different to the way I’d remembered myself. There was grace there. Elegance even. My own fresh young beauty. And so much hope, still. So much hope in those eyes of mine. So much life and love and emotion.

It made me fall in love with myself. It broke me open with tenderness.

How I wish all of us could reach back through time and whisper in our own ears that we are beautiful, and precious, so that we might live more fully and be more emboldened in our choices.

Too late for the past, but not for today. As I lay down to sleep tonight I will whisper that truth. I am beautiful. I am precious. My dreams are important. It’s never too late…

Is Your Self Talk Blocking Your Success?

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
~ William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

 

I’m on Retreat right now, teaching beginners how to channel. Yesterday was a big day, as the students worked through a number of activities to connect them to their guides and the beginning of being in that channelling space.

Most of the time they had their eyes shut while I guided them through meditations and visualisations. So they couldn’t see what was happening.

But I could. I can see auras and energy, and I was able to clearly see what was going on for each of them.

Everyone made a strong connection. I could clearly see the change in the auras, and in their chakras. I could see so much that they couldn’t. They could only go on trust.

I also saw something else. A couple of my students started running an old pattern of self-talk through their head. I’m sure some of you will know it. It sounded something like this:

Why am I here? I’m the only person who isn’t getting this? I can’t do this. This is stupid. I am stupid. Why did I even come? Everyone will laugh at me. I’m letting everybody down. I am never going to be able to do this. People are going to know I’m a fraud. I’m such a loser. I never get anything right. I should just leave.

So I’m seeing this battle going on inside their heads.

And I’m also seeing that THEY ARE DOING IT. That they have made a strong and true connection. I know that if the self talk stopped, they would be sitting in wonder right now, or curiosity, or excitement, or joy… But all they hear is their own voices, or that of a critical parent or partner or other non-supportive person. It’s a voice that starts off as a whisper and ends as a shout that drowns out all other thought, all other sound, it’s a voice that denies us truth and keeps us small.

This is my job. To see these old patterns, and to help my students break through that self-doubt and into a place of trust and expectation. So I quietly worked through this with a few people. I reassured. I gave feedback and suggestions. I called them on their behaviour. We talked about ways to do things with a sense of awareness of old unhelpful patterns so that if they slipped into that negative self-talk again they would recognise it and stop, speak helpfully to themselves and resume their practice. Or ignore that voice and keep going.

It got me to thinking.

Where in my own life am I blocking my success because of my doubts and fears?

Where are you running old patterns that stop you seeing that you CAN do it, that you ARE doing it, that you DO have talent and ability? Because I know that you and I were given our dreams for a reason.

I have great faith and belief in my students. My students also teach me. I sat humbled this morning after my meditation, knowing that this behaviour, this negative self-talk is something we all do. Knowing that it keeps us small. That it keeps us trapped. That it might make us stop trying, or walk away from something where we would have succeeded over time, or that would have given us meaning or comfort or pleasure.

Self talk can be a positive voice or a negative one. I encourage you to start paying attention to your inner dialogue. When it becomes critical and makes you feel inadequate, stop. Actively choose a better thought.

Better thoughts and positive self talk will change your world.

Thinking of you and holding you in my heart, Nicole ❤ xoxo

Image from notsalmon.com

Image from notsalmon.com

3 Affirmations to Change Your Life

“Sometimes, little things make a big difference…”
~ Nino Varsimashvili

 

Every morning when I wake up, before I get out of bed, before I pray or meditate, before I do anything else at all, I say a little affirmation.

In fact, sometimes I will chant it like a mantra. In my head, or if I really need the energy boost, out loud.

I have three favourites to choose from, and all of them have been life changing for me.

Let me share them with you:

  1. Something wonderful will happen to me today.
  2. Every day in every way I am getting better and better.
  3. I am stronger than this.

Three short and simple sentences that can change your life too.

I love the magical feel of number one. Something wonderful will happen to me today. It has brought many joyful opportunities and synchronicities into my life. It’s fun. It helps you celebrate life. It sets up a vibration of joyful anticipation, honing focus and gratitude.

Number two also opens me up to allowing. It unlocks my ability to expand and grow. It has attracted teachers, new directions, inspiration, breakthroughs, healing and miracles. Every day in every way I am getting better and better.

When I am in the hole, when life is weighing me down and my coping abilities are stretched to the limit I pull out number three. I am stronger than this. I am stronger than negative people. I am stronger than trauma or tragedy. I am stronger than ignorance or lyme disease or whatever other crappy life circumstances I am currently dealing with. I am stronger than this.

I also have an embarrassing affirmation confession. One of my most spectacular self-evident affirmation successes came from a challenge I set out to the Universe from a place of great skepticism. You can read about my ‘secret power’ affirmation here.

My Embarrassing Affirmation Confession.

Why not work with these affirmations over the following week and see how they work for you?

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xoxo

Reflections From A Cancer Clinic Waiting Room

Image from pixgood.com

Image from pixgood.com

“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft, Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

A small family cluster of us sat endlessly in the waiting room of a cancer clinic yesterday.

It was a busy place, at a busy hospital. On the way to the clinic, we’d passed a young woman who had lost her eye, a man in a wheelchair missing a foot, a series of shuffling and shambling patients of various ages.

There were hosts of worried relatives in thrown-together outfits, looking careworn and in need of coffee and a hug.

The waiting room was packed. We found seats underneath a television screen we could not see. But I listened to the running commentary.

The irony was not lost on me. Television spruikers talked about the importance of skin care and maintaining our youthful appearance. Life was better with young skin. You would be more popular, and get better jobs. You could look  like a movie star. Then there was a miracle exercise machine to effortlessly melt fat. It came with complimentary mineral makeup. Call now!

How truly offensive it was, listening to these paid presenters playing to our insecurities. Deprived of the pictures, the commentary took on a lewd ignorance.

Here I was, surrounded by people fighting for their lives.

For some, the fight isn’t going well. For some, the fight will be lost.

People bald from chemo, their skin fragile, bruised and thin, their faces bloated and round or gaunt and pale, looked away from the screen. I saw beauty in every single one. I witnessed the most tender exchanges of love and care. I saw how valued and precious each person was to their family and friends.

You are beautiful. Life is beautiful. This endless quest for youth and physical perfection is the ugly thing.

Hug your loved ones today. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. Don’t buy into that garbage on television and the media. What’s inside you will always matter more that big hair, white teeth or a perfect hip-thigh ratio.

I love you. Right now. Just as you are.

Nicole ❤ xoxo