Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct

“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

There is an unseen force that lives within each of us, and that connects us all.  We are energetic by nature, and that energy can guide us if only we can tune in to it.  One of the simplest ways to do this is by learning to honour our intuition.

There are many ways to do this, but today I’m going to focus on one: gut feeling.  Gut instinct or feeling is a primal response hard-wired into every human.

Gut feeling really does come from that area of your body – your abdomen.  It’s not a mind-based wisdom.  It doesn’t come from your heart.  It comes from that primal genetic material that is encoded and passed from parent to offspring.  In humans that is your original eight cells, which are located near your solar plexus. It is also the wisdom of the many bacteria and other organisms that live within the gut itself. We are not just our own consciousness. We are a whole co-creative biosystem that has evolved with an instinct to keep ourselves safe and to guard against threat.

So how do we tune in to this?  It’s easier than you think. Gut instinct does not use words or images.  Gut instinct uses emotions, and rockets along our central nervous system, which can also produce physical reactions.  It operates in 3 modes – neutral, forward and reverse. Some people call this the ‘sixth sense’. Some call it ‘intuition’.  Whatever the name, I’m sure you’ve all felt it and are familiar with it, whether you honour it or not.

In ‘forward’, we literally feel that we want to move closer to something.  We feel good about it.  We feel excited, happy and positive.  We can’t explain why, we can’t find the words for it, but we KNOW that something will work, that the person is good or honest, that this situation will be for the best, that this job/car/person/product/idea/food is the right choice.

In ‘neutral’ we feel indifference. There is no strong emotion or physical reaction either way.

In ‘reverse’ our gut is telling us to back away.  We feel unsure or uncomfortable.  The warning bells go off.  If it’s a mild response, this is where our brain often kicks in and invalidates our emotion (that can happen in ‘forward’ situations too!) by persuading our logical mind with rational thoughts and justifications.  In a strong response we may feel anxious or ill, we want to move back from this job/person/situation, we want to get to safety or a neutral space.  We can’t say why but we KNOW this won’t work well, this person can’t be trusted, something is wrong, it’s going to end badly…

This basic instinct is like a muscle – the more we use it, the stronger it becomes.  If we learn to trust it with the smaller things, eventually we’ll be able to hear and honour it with the bigger things.  This can be especially hard for people who are governed by their mind, which is why I recommend starting with small things that have no big ramifications in your life.

Here are some examples you may be familiar with:

  • Driving to work you suddenly feel like taking an alternative route.  You ignore that instinct and a minute past the turn-off you get stuck in a gridlock that makes you late. If you’d gone the other way you would have missed the traffic snarl.
  • In the supermarket you are drawn to a special: roasted chicken and a vast tub of coleslaw.  You really want to buy it, but that’s crazy.  There’s only you and that’s so much food.  You don’t buy it, and when you get home your sister and her family have arrived and that chicken and coleslaw would have been perfect…
  • You meet a guy, and your immediate reaction is one of dislike and distrust.  Everyone tells you how great he is, so you brush that initial feeling away.  Down the track your instinct is proved right when he turns out to be not-so-nice or trustworthy after all.  You kick yourself because you KNEW it all along!
If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll know that Master Yoda, the great Jedi has much to say about the Force.  Here’s some of what he told Luke Skywalker…

“My ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us… and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this… [nudging Luke’s arm] crude matter! You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock… everywhere! Even between the land and the ship.”

If Luke learns to master the Force, as other Jedi have done, the Force can provide access to even higher levels of awareness and intuition.  Yoda explains, “Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past…old friends long gone.”

Animals don’t question that Force.  And because of that they are guided in incredible ways.  They trust their instincts. This youtube clip illustrates that energy and trust.  It’s magical…

Postscript: I’m a channel, and often that connection informs my writing. It means I sometimes write about things I don’t consciously understand or remember, which I then go and google (welcome to my life!) to find out their meaning.  That’s how I found out about the eight cells.

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!

 

Why This Psychic Blogs About Cooking!

Raspberry Tiramisu

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
~ Laurie Colwin

“If you are careful,’ Garp wrote, ‘if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.”
~ John Irving, The World According to Garp

 

Someone sent me an email yesterday. I present an excerpt here for your interest;

Nicole, I’m really puzzled over your blog. You are a psychic. What the *#@^ are you writing about cooking for? Also, enough with the photos of your garden and your dogs. Anyone can write about that so leave it to them. More how-to’s about being a psychic and your psychic stories. That’s what I want.

Hmmm…

I made myself a pot of tea, went and hosed my vegetable garden, and thought about how to respond.

It’s true. I am psychic. And that is a very big part of my life. But it’s not ALL of my life.

Further to that, this person also wrote:

“It must be wonderful to be psychic. How glamorous and exciting.”

That made me laugh. Glamorous? Not much, my friend. Exciting? Not really the word I would have chosen.

It has been a big week for me – as well as dealing with my horror Lyme meds I’ve been reaching out to support a friend as she suffers a major health crisis, holding the space for others coming through grief and trauma, and guiding a student experiencing a major spiritual breakthrough. I also advised authorities over a difficult matter, comforted a client who had received a positive cancer diagnosis after finally going to the doctor at my insistence, and guided others through life’s major crossroads.

That’s a normal week for me.

I cannot speak for others who are psychic, but I can speak of what this life is like for me.

I adore what I do, but it is also a great responsibility.  Being psychic, being aware of the thoughts and feelings of others, having knowledge of situations and possibilities, being compelled to come to the aid of people – it’s exhausting.  I can’t turn off seeing auras and energy all around me.  I am constantly aware of things others cannot see, some of which, at times, I would rather not know.

And I am always, always on duty.

I’m not talking about the times when I am working with clients, or running workshops or retreats.  I’m expecting to do psychic work then, and I’m prepared and ready for that.

The truth is I cannot plan my days with any certitude. It doesn’t matter whether I am healthy or unwell, busy or on a day off.  It does not matter what time of the day or night.  If I am called to serve, I must heed that call.

I might wake from a dream, or emerge from a meditation with the need to contact someone, provide information and then support them. Perhaps I will need to try and prevent a suicide.  I might spend time helping a lost soul cross over, comforting a child and guiding them with their own spiritual and psychic connections, or helping an unborn twin save their sibling. My holidays get interrupted, even when I’m in the middle of the ocean, or I might be suddenly called to intervene with healing a past life trauma for a complete stranger.

The images, information and emotions are like constant background noise.  And then sometimes that volume gets cranked way up.

My main method of coping – besides tapping into nature, community and the grounded joys of everyday life – is meditation. Meditation clears the energetic debris at the end of the day, and I can reach out and send love and healing so that others feel supported. Meditation also starts my day.  I can set my intent, tune in and open myself to what most needs focus or support, and direct my energies to that end.  Meditation makes room in my mind, and it uplifts my soul. It’s one of the reasons why I include so many meditations in my blog.

Here's a particularly annoying photo of the blossoms on my lemonade tree. It's shame this isn't a scratch and sniff blog - these blossoms smell so good!  :)

Here’s a particularly annoying photo of the blossoms on my lemonade tree. It’s a shame this isn’t a scratch and sniff blog – these blossoms smell so good! 🙂

But that’s not cooking, is it? Meditation is still kind of psychic…

Here’s the thing. Every day I see humanity in all its glorious wonder, frailty, beauty, brutality and ugliness. I taste and feel life as viscerally as if it is all happening to me, and through me.

At times I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and at other times I feel uproariously free, grateful and alive. I am privileged to see and feel with this weird kind of subtlety and sensitivity.  It is an honour to peer into the fabric of the Universe and glimpse some of its magic.

It’s a path I take very seriously.

But it’s not glamorous, or particularly exciting. Instead I find it humbling, hard work and at times extraordinarily rewarding.

So why blog recipes?

Cooking is actually very important to me. Sorry, that may sound a bit trite. Let me explain. It’s where I feel my grandmothers’ hands guiding mine – although they are now passed over. And I really miss my grandmothers! Cooking helps me feel them in the kitchen with me. Preparing food is one of the ways I can show care for my family, friends and community, and it’s the thing I do to stay sane in my often crazy world.

Cooking is often my lifeline, and the thing that normalises me when life feels so very strange. It connects me to my ordinary self. It’s a way to unwind, a form of moving meditation. It’s a way to nurture me and others. Plus… yum!

Also my Nana’s Curried Sausages Recipe beats Jamie Oliver’s and the Women’s Weekly’s in Google rankings. 🙂

Anyway, I digress…

Getting my hands into the dirt in my garden or rambling around my farm talking to the cows keeps me grounded too.

Nurse Bert!

Nurse Bert!

My dogs? They are sometimes the rodeo clowns who prevent me being trampled, sometimes my nurses, sometimes the ones who understand best what I need, and who give me love, comfort and reason to laugh after a hard day.

I’m glad you are keen to develop your psychic skills. But how’s your cooking? How’s your compassion? What are your coping skills? How’s your humanity?

How will you handle being psychic, and all that entails, especially looking after and guiding other people with wisdom and kindness, if you cannot also be rounded and grounded as a person?

Sorry, but I’m going to keep blogging my life – ALL of it – I hope you understand.

All the best,

Nicole

PS – I couldn’t help myself. I guess you mightn’t be reading my blog again after this, so I thought I’d better include one last photo of my awesomely magical dogs…unicorn dogs

Will You Join Me For Some Guided Meditations?

Image from Reginele

Image from Reginele

“Meditation is listening to the Divine within.” ~ Edgar Cayce

 

Meditation is one of the foundation stones upon which I have built my life. It is a twice daily routine for me, and I have practiced now for nearly thirty years. Meditation is not based on a religion, and many atheists I know practice meditation just as comfortably as those who have faith in something more, or a belief in God. Put most simply, meditation helps you to know yourself, and that quiet wise space within you.

Meditation has helped me to relax, to facilitate my spiritual and psychic development, to manage pain, to sleep better, and to connect to the Divine (or whatever you choose to call that energy if that is your belief). It has helped me to understand and love myself, and to develop compassion for self and others.

Over the next seven weeks I will be recording some simple guided meditations for you, starting from tomorrow. These recordings can be played directly from my blog, or downloaded. The meditations will help you to become familiar with the act of meditating, and are designed to get you out of your head, and into a connected, soulful heart space.

Guided meditations, where you listen to someone’s voice to take you into and out of the practice of the meditation, can help beginners and those who find meditating difficult, as well as those who already enjoy regular meditative practice.

These are the areas I will be covering:

  1. Orienting My Awareness with my Body
  2. Orienting My Awareness with my Mind
  3. Orienting My Awareness with my Heart
  4. Orienting My Awareness with my Soul
  5. Orienting My Awareness with the Earth
  6. Orienting My Awareness with Oneness
  7. Orienting My Awareness with the Expanding Universe

I do hope you will join me.

Much, much love to you, Nicole xx

Meditation-quote-David-Lynch

Girl, stop askin’ dem questions. Listen!

Wandjina by Lucy Ward

Wandjina by Lucy Ward

“Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.” ~ Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

 

The next installment in my Kimberley Story

Many years ago, when I lived in the remote Outback on a million acre cattle station at the top end of Western Australia I learned a number of important lessons. One of them was about questions and answers.

It took me a while to understand the etiquette involved in directing a question to an Aboriginal Elder. At first I just did what I’d always done. I looked the person in the eye and said exactly what was on my mind. Politely, of course. Respectfully. I would then wait for my answer. If they seemed to misunderstand I would reform the question in my mind and ask again in a slightly different way.

Somehow that didn’t work for me once I moved to the bush.

One of the first things I did was ask the Aboriginal Stockman what was so important about me seeing owls. At night I watched the owls as they came to the trees around our campfire. If I went on a moonlit walk they followed me. Owls had suddenly become a big part of my life.

He ‘hmmphed’ at me and turned on his heel, slouching off in the opposite direction. My question? Ignored. After that I was too shy for a long time to ask again.

As I became comfortable with Aunty and Grandmother, two Aboriginal Elders who came visiting, I decided I needed to ask about the owls once more. I was seeing so many of them now. There were usually seven at the camp fire each evening, sometimes nine. Two always followed me as I made my way back to my room or out for a walk with my dog. It seemed a bit weird.

“Aunty?” I started one afternoon as we drank tea in the shade of a big tree near the camp kitchen. “Can you tell me about the owls?”

Aboriginal Art - Image from Wikimedia Commons

Aboriginal Art – Image from Wikimedia Commons

Aunty ignored me. She sipped her strong sweet tea and scuffed dirt with her toe. After a while she took a hard gingernut biscuit and dunked it in her tea before slurping at it noisily.

I tried again. “Aunty, I did ask the stockman about it. I asked him several times in fact, but he won’t tell me.” I looked across at her but I couldn’t catch her eye.

Grandmother, who was much younger than Aunty, nudged my arm. “Not his place.” Her voice was gruff with disapproval. “Dat question for you to ask women. Dat question women’s business. You rude girl to ask him. Make him feel very uncomfortable.”

My cheeks burned with embarrassment. I’d made a huge cultural gaff. “I didn’t know! Oh goodness, I’m so sorry. I should go and say sorry at once.”

I stood up, and Aunty put her hand on my arm. “Sit, girl.” She laughed softly. “You aren’t to know our ways.” She went back to dunking biscuits in her tea. After a long silence she said, “Hurry-hurry answers no good for a big question.”

“Is it a big question?” I asked stupidly.

Aunty reached for another biscuit. She dunked it in her very sweet milky tea, turned it and dunked it again. Then slowly she nibbled around the edges in a neat circle. The remaining biscuit she placed on her spoon, lowering it into her mug of tea and watching it carefully. After a few more minutes she brought it to her mouth and slurped the soggy mess with great satisfaction.

I sighed. We weren’t getting anywhere.

“Aunty, I keep seeing owls. The Stockman asks me how many I see but he won’t tell me anything about it. No-one will tell me anything about it. Why is it important? Why is how many I see important?”

She put up her hand to stop me talking. “Girl, stop askin’ dem questions. Listen!” The old lady then resumed her biscuit dunking.

Image from yum2three

Image from yum2three

Listen? To what? No-one was talking. In the background I could hear the hum of the station’s big diesel generator. In the kitchen Cookie was clanking pots and pans and whistling badly to some tune on the radio. Down in the yards one of the men was breaking in a horse and I could hear the occasional crack of a whip. The afternoon breeze rustled the leaves above us.

I was really getting frustrated with this cultural divide. Why wouldn’t they talk to me?

“Need more tea,” Aunty finally said.

I took the empty pot into the kitchen, and was surprised when Grandmother followed me. “Girl, let me teach you how to do proper asking. Okay?” Her eyes were kind.

I nodded.

“Aunty a very old lady now. Elder for our mob. She holds many many things inside her. Big job to do that. You want to ask something? Go up to her, not looking in her face. That shows respect. If she sits, sit beside her, facing same way, looking out. If she stands, stand beside her. Not too close. Look out like she is looking out. Then ask your question.”

I’d been doing it all wrong. I felt sick with shame.

“One more thing,” Grandmother stopped me in the doorway. “If your question little question, not very important, Aunty tell you straight up. But if question big-time question, big important one for you, she make you wait so you will respect the answer. If it’s not your question she say nothing at all. She just look away. If not your time she look down. That tell you one day it can be your answer but not now.”

I wrestled the information in my head. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. It wasn’t how I’d been brought up. I grew up with teachers and libraries, encyclopedias and dictionaries. I’d been encouraged to learn, and to seek answers everywhere. I was used to information on demand, or as a result of how hard I worked. How could I succeed in a system where I couldn’t make things happen as and when I wanted them to happen?

Banging through the screen door I brought the teapot back out to the table. Aunty was still sitting in her chair, so I dragged mine around to her side of the table. I looked out to where some lorikeets were playing noisily in a blossom-laden tree.

I poured more tea and we watched the birds. I waited, agonizingly patiently, before starting again. When I spoke I looked out at the birds, and kept my voice calm and moderate. “Aunty, why are the owls important?”

She blinked and nodded her head slightly, indicating that she’d heard me.

“Well?” I wanted to yell. “Why can’t you just tell me?!!!” But of course I didn’t. I sat there patiently all afternoon.

Aunty never gave me an answer that day. When they said goodbye she put her warm hand on my front, over my heart. “You got to listen. Dat big heart of yours can listen. Dat heart know tings. Too much head, too much hurry-hurry no good. No good for you.”

As I lay in bed that night all I could think was that somehow my question was a ‘big-time’ question. But she hadn’t looked away, and she hadn’t looked down. She WAS going to give me an answer. Not in my time though. In her time.

Sigh.

How long would it take?

Image from White Wolf Pack

Image from White Wolf Pack

To be continued…

Unblocking and Grounding your Foot Chakras

“In a flash of wonderment she saw firm, continuous ground under her feet, stretching from back then to right now and on and on as far as her eyes could take her.” 
~ Ann Brashares, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Ever felt any of the following?

  • Vague, disconnected and disoriented.
  • Spaced out, especially when doing meditation or other forms of spiritual connection.
  • Full of ideas but either can’t make a decision or can’t follow anything through from concept to completion.
  • Don’t hold healings, or chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture treatments etc for more than a few hours before the good results all dissipate.
  • Feel like you are exhausted even after a good night’s sleep.
  • Slow to heal.
  • Can’t seem to work out who you are or what you want.
Image from Humanity Healing

Image from Humanity Healing

If you answered yes to any of these you could be experiencing blocked foot chakras. On the underside of your foot, in your instep, is a large energy centre known as your foot chakra. This chakra works strongly to earth your base chakra. When the chakra is open, activated and grounded it also helps balance and energise all other chakras in the body.

These simple steps can help you to unblock and activate the chakras in your feet.

1. Take a large tub of warm water and place a number of smooth stones or tumbled crystals in the bottom.  Place your bare feet in the water and roll your feet over the stones until they feel energised.

Image from Urban Goddesses

Image from Urban Goddesses

I like to use a variety of crystals that work with each of the major chakras so that I have a rainbow of colour. But I always advise you just to use what you are drawn to. Trust that your own soul knows best what it is you need.

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2. Dry your feet and then stand barefoot upon the earth. Look down at your feet and visualise the chakra in the sole of your foot spinning and opening and energetically connecting into the energy of the Earth. Really allow yourself to feel this connection.

Image from Banoosh

Image from Banoosh

3. Shake the tension out of your hands, loosen your shoulders and give your body a good energetic shake out.

4. Now raise your arms up to the sky and draw that energy of the sun and the moon and the stars down in through your hands and the top of your head.

Image from News Press

Image from News Press

5. Draw the energy of the earth up through your feet and your base chakra. Feel strong like a well grounded tree, roots deep down into the earth.

toonaciliata

6. Have all of the energy meet at your heart; healing, balancing and empowering your entire body.

7. Finally, nurture and nourish your foot chakras and help anchor that grounded energy by rubbing a few drops of pure sesame oil into the soles of your feet. Sesame oil also helps us open to abundance and to be comfortable with flow and positive manifestation.

Working with your foot chakras is a simple act of self nurture than can give lasting benefits and improved well-being on all levels.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

My Winter Solstice

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Yesterday was the Winter Solstice – the shortest day; grey, cold and wintry. A perfect day for bonfires, for eating the luscious golden fruits from the orchard, and for curling up in front of the hearth to sleep away the longest night…

‘The Shortest Day’ by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

Every day a little longer now.  Every day a little lighter.

For you I’m wishing wonders.  Bless ♥ xx

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2013-06-20 16.34.46

Finding moments for yourself

A1.17JUN.COFFE.C.EL

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha

 

Life can be hectic. Sometimes we just have too much on our plates; life can thrust responsibilities and duties upon us that eat up our day, deadlines get suddenly crazy, or sometimes we’re the one driving ourselves.

I want to remind you that even on the busiest of days, that especially on the busiest of days, it’s important to find moments for yourself.

Even the smallest moments can be restorative.

But Nicole, I hear you say, you don’t understand! I’m just too busy…

My friend, if you’re too busy for even a few snatched moments you’re in real trouble! And the fact is, this frantic pace you’ve set yourself is an illusion – it pumps you full of stress and adrenalin, it fills you full of resentment, it pulls you out of the flow of life, and it leaves you broken in body and spirit.

If you want to be able to cope, even on the busiest of days, you need to find small moments just for you.

Here are some restorative moments to include in your life:

  • Take a moment to feel the sun on your skin.  Close your eyes and drink up the warmth and energy. Pull the sun’s blessings and power right into your body.
  • Take a short time out and really enjoy a refreshing cold drink, or a nurturing warm one.  No thoughts of work, no to-do lists.  Just a few quite minutes of genuine respite.
  • Go for a short walk.  Walking gets us back in rhythm.  It soothes the jagged edges, gets rid of some of the adrenalin, and clears our minds.
  • A quick phone call or skype call to a friend or loved one. When I got stressed back in my corporate life I used to call one of my grandmothers, just to hear their caring voice, just to remind myself that I had a life outside all of the madness. Now I ring my sister.  She’s always encouraging.  She makes me laugh.  She reminds me I can do this. *Note – it can be an equally restorative act to phone and support a friend.
  • Eat lunch away from your desk.  Go to a park, or the little cafe around the corner. Sneak into a booth somewhere and hide from the world for a while.
  • Soak up the view. In the bus on the way to work, from your office window, from the kitchen sink, in the park outside the hospital – look for the beauty, feel the wind in your hair, hear the twitter of birds, see the dance of sunlight on water, or the kick of leaves with the gentle breeze.  Anchor yourself in the now. Be aware of your surroundings and drink them in.
  • Lose yourself in a book for a while.  Books take us places that help us escape from the grind, drudgery and pressure of our everyday lives.
  • Put your headphones on and give yourself the gift of a favourite song.  Listen to every beat, every lyric, and every message.  Let the music get right inside you.
  • Find a few minutes each day to work on a craft, hobby or project.  Carve out a little space in your life just for you and your interests. A little time often works better than a lot. A friend of mine is finally finishing a quilt she started for her son when he was born.  He’s married now and expecting his first child! My friend started out allowing an hour, and found that in that hour she’d make tea, thumb through a magazine, let her mind wander.  Now she gives herself ten minutes a day, right after breakfast. Ten minutes and all she does is quilt one small piece, by hand. In a short time she’s made huge progress because she’s applied energy consistently. And she deeply looks forward to her quilting time each morning, even thinking about how she will best use that time, in odd moments throughout her day.

You need to treat yourself well, especially when life stretches you. Don’t wait for a reason to be kind to yourself, don’t promise yourself a break as a reward for getting the job done.  I know you, you’ll have your next mission booked in and the break will be forgotten, or you’ll cut corners on yourself to give your time to others, or other priorities.

Start with small moments. And build from there. Those small moments are life-saving, sanity-making, and best of all, they’ll help restore something magical in your soul.

“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. ” ~ Lucille Ball

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Loving myself lopsided…

“The play is done – the curtain drops,

Slow falling to the prompter’s bell;

A moment yet the actor stops,

And looks around, to say farewell.

It is an irksome word and task;

And, when he’s laughed, and had his say,

He shows, as he removes his mask,

A face that’s anything but gay.”

~ William Makepeace Thackeray

I’m having trouble with my face.

It started quite a while ago, perhaps fifteen years, and was so trifling that only my mother noticed. “Oh,” she said as I was going off to have some professional photographs taken for a work assignment. “You know you have a funny eye? You look uneven when you smile.  Don’t put that side of your face toward the camera.”

Thanks for the heads-up, Mum.  As it was, when the pictures came back she remarked that I was squinty.

It’s become worse over time, and now I know what it is.  It’s not natural ugliness or an inherited facial flaw.  I have Bell’s Palsy, courtesy of Lyme Disease attacking my cranial nerve.

When I smile, only one side of my face responds.

2013-03-14 15.52.22I tell myself it makes me look whimsical. And the upside is that one side of my face is quite free of smiley eye-wrinkles and laugh lines. Which side of my face should I put to the camera now, Ma?  The smiley side? The smooth and ageless side?

Actually, I think it’s time to face the world head on.

I’ve decided that I’m beautiful just the way I am.  If I get droopier, at least I know I’m smiling on the inside. It’s almost like a botox experiment without the botox!

If I let fashion magazines and our society’s obsession with youth and perfection define me, I’d be out with the trash. But I have something much more powerful that that – I’m grateful for my body, and I love that it has hung in here with me. I’m comfortable in my skin and I hope that in my self-acceptance I can encourage you to begin to feel the same.

Just in case you are uncertain as to my smiley status, here’s another pic, modified with the help of my index finger to get that pesky under-performing cheek into position.

2013-03-14 15.53.45I have a message for you:

Beauty begins in the heart.  Beauty is kindness and compassion in action. It’s wearing your passion and living your values. It’s being authentic and REAL. Beauty is YOU just as you are, being yourself and accepting that Self with love.

Quit judging yourself. Don’t hide from the world, wanting to be something other than who you are. Know that you are perfect in your imperfection, that your body and your life will continue to evolve and change, and all of that will be reflected on your face, but more importantly in your heart.

In the end, when we remember someone, it’s the time we spent together and the way they made us feel that is important.  So dress up in your best smile, share your love, practice kindness and do all you can to embrace your life with joy. 

I love you! Bless ♥ xx

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New Moon Creation Ceremony

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~  George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday March 12 is a new moon. This is a powerful energy for creating positive change and manifesting your heart’s desires. It is also a great time for connecting into your own intuitive wisdom, and deepening spiritual connection.

Everything is created first in the zero-point field, that place of potent emptiness that resides as the spaces between the fabric of existence.  The New Moon is potently linked to this space of possibility, where our thoughts and intents begin to shape matter itself into our new reality.

I’ve created a simple guided meditation and a ritual to help anchor your intentions using the transformational forces of the moon as she moves from this place of darkness back into light. It’s symbolic of the journey we take from nothingness to thought-form and finally to manifested reality.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper and pen
  • A glass of water
  • Two small tumbled crystals of your choice
  • A shiny coin (you can use a couple if you like!)

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The first part of the New Moon ritual can be done at any time during the day, or you may choose to do this just before the Ceremony.  Sit in reflection, and then write down a list of what you are ready to manifest or create in your life.  You can be as broad or as specific as you like, but your list should genuinely reflect your innermost desires and your hopes for the future.

Words that can be useful to help strengthen that state of creating or manifesting include the action words: claim, invoke, manifest, intend, believe, draw to me, welcome into my life, create, become, do, transform, embrace, love, adore, cherish, make, construct, transform.

Here are some examples:

I welcome to me new opportunities in the workplace.  I find employment that best utilises my talents and that pays me handsomely for my efforts.

I draw to me a new and loving relationship – a soul mate to love and to cherish, a union for our Highest Good.

I embrace my ability as a writer, and I now create published novels that inspire and delight.

I love these positive changes and new ideas that are returning me to full health.  I attract to me the best people, products and knowledge to transform me in joyful and lasting ways.

I transform my relationship into one of closeness, intimacy and trust.

I am ready to embrace my life purpose as a healer with my own business, helping people to understand and embrace healthy eating, and food as medicine.  I will earn at least $2000 per week, and work hours that allow me to be with my children before and after school.  I will create multiple streams of income from seminars, e-books and speaking engagements as well as face-to-face appointments.

When you have finished expressing what you wish to create keep your list handy – ready for the second part of this ceremony.

On March 12, 2013 (or for any future New Moon), step into the night.  Ensure that you have your list, your crystals and glass of water and your shiny coin/coins.  Allow yourself to become calm and centered.

Ideally set aside a minimum of fifteen minutes, but for those of you who enjoy meditation and reflection allow up to one hour.

If the weather permits, do this healing ceremony outside, once the moon has risen. Do not consume alcohol or recreational drugs prior to this process. If the weather or your situation doesn’t permit working outside, you can work beside a window that allows you to see the moon and feel her energy. Even if it is raining or the sky is obscured by cloud, know that the moon’s energy will still reach you.

Celestial Mandala by Maggie Rose Ryan

Celestial Mandala by Maggie Rose Ryan

Place your glass of water where it can absorb the energy of the moon. And put your crystals and coins where you can access them easily.  Sit or stand quietly and raise your hands above your head.  Draw the energy of the moon down around you like a dark and comforting cape, wrapping it around your body.  Then allow the energy of possibility to fill you up, feeling your body becoming relaxed and peaceful.  Say:

I honour You, and I am grateful for everything.

Let these words really resonate within you.  Stand or sit in communion with the Moon, letting her energy fill you with grace and healing.  Allow yourself to honour your emotions, and know that whatever you feel is necessary right now.

When you are ready hold up a crystal in each hand.  Allow yourself to become filled with hope and anticipation. Say:

I open myself to the potential within me. That which I have written I now desire to be made manifest in my life. I recognise that I am a force for Good in this world and that it is my natural energy to create, to enhance and to multiply.  I claim all of my hopes and desires, made real. I claim abundance of all Good Things.

Now stand or sit in meditation, feeling the energy of the moon, the cosmos and the Universe pouring into your body and magnifying in each of the crystals.  Draw your hands down to your chest and hold them in front of your heart, cradling your stones.

Visualise your list of intentions being absorbed into the fabric of the Universe, as a set of instructions for your life.  Open yourself to any visions, words, ideas or messages that come to you.  You may wish to journal these later so that you don’t forget them.

To conclude your ceremony place your crystals on the ground beside you, lift your arms up to the moon again, and then draw her energy down into your heart, finishing by drawing your hands together, as if in prayer, in line with your heart.  Bow your head, and say

Thank you for the Blessing of Creation.

If you feel moved to say anything else, you may do so now. Trust in yourself and in your own intuitive abilities.

Image from www.innerus.org

Image from www.innerus.org

When you are ready to choose one crystal as a personal Abundance Stone. You can carry this in your pocket, put it beside your bed, or hold it in meditation.

Place the other stone with the shiny coin/coins and say I now manifest abundance in my life.  Money and opportunity comes to me with ease and flow. My wealth is multiplied from many directions and in many ways.

Leave the crystal with your money in a bowl or on top of a windowsill to charge up for a full twenty four hours.  Then you can put the stone with a bowl full of change to energise more of your money, and place the charged up coin/s in your wallet, bank account or savings jar to attract more money to it.

Finally, take your glass of water.  Say I honour the change that is now coming to pass in my life. I welcome this new energy of creativity and abundance.  Then drink the glass of water.

You may want to sit or lie quietly now to integrate this new energy.

Bless ♥ xx