Crazy Wild Weather!

“Suddenly all the sky is hid
As with the shutting of a lid,
One by one great drops are falling
Doubtful and slow,
Down the pane they are crookedly crawling,
And the wind breathes low;
Slowly the circles widen on the river,
Widen and mingle, one and all;
Here and there the slenderer flowers shiver,
Struck by an icy rain-drop’s fall.”
~James Russell Lowell, “Summer Storm,” 1839


It’s been so droughty-dry and unseasonably hot here at the farm. There have been storms but all of them have gone past us, leaving us with light shows in the sky, heavy winds and only the smell of rain.

The grass has turned dry and crunchy under our feet. Great cracks have opened in the ground. The dam has a few scant inches of water left amid the waterlilies struggling to stay viable.

Those dry storms have kept us busy – interrupting our power supply again and again, downing trees, stopping our landline phone and internet from working.

Last night we finally attracted a storm that had everything – wind, hail, lightning, thunder and most importantly rain.

Our internet’s down again. We’ve got broken branches littered everywhere. The ground is a carpet of leaves thrown down by the elements. The air is cool and smells sweetly of earth and moisture. There’s lots of mess to clean up.

Me? I’m blogging in the car, on the way to coffee with Ben and Cafe Dog.

The last of the rain is moving through now, and then it should fine up to a bright hot day before more storms again this afternoon. But we know that this kind of unstable and disruptive weather pattern is here to stay. So we’ve made some big decisions.

We’re just finishing the last of a massive solar installation that will see us self-sufficient for power and with a diesel generator for back up just in case.

We’ve got new internet providers coming to the farm to fit us out for a better system instead of relying on ancient phone lines that stop working with any hint of moisture.

All these storms have forced us to rethink and adapt.

What big changes are you making in your life right now?

It’s time.

Rethink. Adapt. Get ready to do it differently for 2017.

Being Held By The Universe

Image by Simon Beedle

Image by Simon Beedle

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
~ Anne Frank


I didn’t write a post on Saturday, although I intended to.

The Universe knew better. I’d had a huge week of work in the city, both paid clients and out-of-hours emergencies that are just part and parcel of my wider life in spiritual service. There was Alan on Monday night, a man on the brink of suicide. There was Steve on Thursday night – a man on the brink of dying. Steve had been involved in a terrible accident, and he needed my help. I’d hoped to tell you about it but it’s still so raw that I find the words aren’t coming yet. Only tears.

It was a crazy busy week of drama. On top of so many other people who have been in crisis or needing help with major life issues. On top of my Planner community and my regular readings.

I thought I’d been coping okay, even under a full load. I’d honoured my feelings, and sat in my emotions and done my best not to bottle anything up. I’d been gentle with myself. Psychic work is hard. It often drains me. And my tender heart is regularly bruised by life, even as I love and celebrate the journey we all share.

That’s me below, exhausted and shiny-faced with tears after helping Steve to pass over on Thursday night. A process which left me completely shattered. My new computer, which I still can’t use properly, managed somehow to capture a screen-shot of me just after I’d hung up from skyping Steve’s wife. It was about 5am, and I’d been talking with them since just before 11pm the night before.

As I wandered around my city home on Friday morning, packing to return to the farm, all I did was cry. Walk and cry. Clean and cry. Pack and cry. The tears kept streaming down my face and I couldn’t control them. They were just a release of all of the energy I’d accumulated as I spoke to the living and those in the place we go to after death. I was also in deep fatigue after experiencing my second night in four days of zero sleep while I did unscheduled psychic work.


I really thought I was okay, apart from the tears and the tiredness.

But when we got home to the farm on Friday afternoon I finally understood how emotionally bankrupt I was.

Mother Nature knew. The Universe knew. They whipped up an enormous thunderstorm, followed by lashing rain. After which came another storm, and more rain.

My little farmhouse was a sanctuary, surrounded by trees and cut off by flood waters.

I crept into bed at 4pm, and curled up under the sheets to the sound of thunderous rain upon the roof.  I lay facing the window, watching the play of lightning across the sky, and the trees  swaying and dancing in the wind. I felt safe and loved and deeply connected to the natural world. All night the storms raged, and I moved in and of sleep. In the morning the air was clear and the world was quiet.

Very quiet.

We’d lost phone connection and power.

I couldn’t blog or check my email or do any work at all.

‘See,’ my husband said, ‘even God thinks you need the morning off.’

So I spent my morning barefeet on the grass, sun on my face as I meditated or dozed, and by lunchtime I was completely restored to myself.

Thank goodness for my farm, and for trees and sky and rain and tempest, for birdsong and silence. Nature is medicine for my soul.

Today is my Wedding Anniversary, so I’m taking a day off to spend with Ben. The other fine medicine for my soul. We’ll walk on the beach, swim, rest, find somewhere yummy to eat a meal (and probably take Cafe Dog) and talk about life and all that good stuff.

It’s an incredible privilege to be here on this planet at this time. Even if some days do get hard for all of us. Take care of yourself today and always, and remember that nature is always there to embrace you.

Sending much love to you all. Nicole xx

Image from

Image from

After the Storm…

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“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


One of the things I love about our retreats at Sangsurya is that we are always so supported by the natural environment.

We’ve been doing some really big work these past few days – wrapping up the old energies of 2015, and doing lots of shift and emotional clearing to make way for the delicious energies of the coming year.

Of course a huge storm came in right as we finished all of that work. It was crazily intense with driving rain, thunder, lightning and wild wind. Even during my evening channelling session, and then late into the night as I meditated for the group, the sky was alive with lightning and the distant roar of thunder out over the ocean.

This morning the dawning sun has burned away the last of the cloud. The air is cool and fresh and clean. Everything feels settled and grounded and clear as we get ready to work with all of the possibilities of 2016.

I’m so excited for what today will bring. You can feel the gift of it in the air!

Here are a few pics from yesterday. Sending so much love to you, Nicole <3 xoxo

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A Cleansing Storm

“…I don’t just wish you rain, Beloved – I wish you the beauty of storms…”
~ John Geddes, A Familiar Rain


I came home late yesterday afternoon to our little farm.

The heat and humidity were oppressive and you could feel that rising tension that always signals a storm.

Sure enough, after nightfall a low rumble began.

The sky, which all day had been fringed by gathering cloud, was lit from behind with a light show worthy of a festival.

Still the heat clung, and the air was soupy and thick.

The rumbling escalated, and lightning arced between the clouds, or shot bolts down deep into the ground.

We waited.

Finally the rain came.

The sky shuddered and a gentle wind blew its cooling stream across the paddocks. The earth signed with pleasure and a slow rain began to fall.

I was lulled to sleep by that hypnotic pitter-patter of rain on the tin roof, the smell of damp fresh earth sweet and heavy in the air.

This morning everything is clean and calm. The air has a hint of Autumn to it.

It is so good to fill my lungs with peace and hope and goodness.

Wishing you a beautiful, heart-connected day today <3 xoxo


Storm Clouds and Other Magical Things


“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


As I finished my meditation this morning, sitting on the veranda overlooking the ocean, a lightning storm began. There was no thunder. The whole thing unfolded in the predawn silence. Great purple clouds hung over the ocean, lit from within with flashing ribbons of light.

I wondered who else might be awake to see the theatre of that moment, before I realised the storm was just for me.

A long time ago, when I lived in the Kimberley, my Aboriginal Aunties taught me that the landscape is a teacher – that it holds messages for you, if only you can be still and pay attention.

So I sat and watched the storm, and the slow creep of dawn. I took a short walk as everyone else slept, feeling the communion of trees, the companionship of the waning quarter moon, the fellowship of the many birds singing their morning song.

My heart was breaking and flowing over with love all at once.

We live firmly set within the midst of magic.

As dawn broke the clouds lit with pink and gold. The storm moved further out to sea, leaving behind the clean, soft beginning of today.

I have had little sleep, but I feel renewed.

There will be magic within the walls of my hall today. Magic for the participants of my retreat. I can feel it in the air.

I’m holding you in my heart, and sending you love and bright sparks of possibility.

What magic is around you right now? What messages?

Be open to good things. Know that you are in this life for a reason.

Much love, Nicole xx

Image form flickr

Image from flickr

The Return of Bandit


“Now they return home, their bones bruised and their spirit slightly broken, but they’re still alive, and they will be well sometime soon.”
~ Hannah Nikka Bryan, Soldier’s Descent


It’s been blowing a gale all night. The wind chimes have been ringing furiously, and the rustling of the leaves sounds like an orchestra.

Add to this mix the occasional crack of a breaking tree limb, or the thump of something large crashing to the ground. It has been an especially noisy night.

As I sat in meditation in the early hours, I head a new sound. It reminded me of a joke we used to tell at primary school. Q: What goes ninety-nine thump? A: A centipede with a  wooden leg.

Out on the roof I heard step step thump, step step thump. It sounded like a possum with a wooden leg. In fact I was sure it was a possum. This possum was tottering all round our roof in the storm like a drunken sailor on a sinking ship.

When my meditation was done I took a torch and went out to investigate. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Bandit!

Bandit is a big male brush-tailed possum. He used to live in our roof a couple of years ago, and then one day he wasn’t here anymore. We thought that he had either been eaten by Cedric, the twelve foot long carpet python who also lives in our roof (up the other end, over my desk in the front room – Bandit always favoured a spot at the opposite corner of the house, in the kitchen, right above a nice warm downlight!), or he had been killed in a possum fight or taken by a wild dog on one of his nocturnal ramblings.

No! This old soldier lives, and he’s come home to rest his weary bones.


I chopped up a ripe pear for him and passed it up using the long barbeque tongs. I watched him walk towards me. His right back leg is stiff and clunky. He uses great effort to move it, just like a wooden leg. But if he was wounded, his wounds are long healed. When he’d finished his pear he waddled over to the impossibly small hole under the eave and squeezed himself through. Time for bed!

As I sit here at the kitchen table, typing this in front of the fire, I can hear Bandit in the roof, snuggling down above the pantry. When he scratches himself it sounds like a miniature dog banging away in the ceiling.

I wonder where he’s been and what adventures this old possum has had?

Anyway, I’m glad he’s home!

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Storms and Black Cockatoos

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“Nothing ever goes to plan, Nicole. You should know that by now!” Ben Phillips (husband)

It’s a gorgeous sunny morning here at the farm, but oh, what a storm we had last night. Thunder, lightning, hail, ferocious winds and then we lost power, right at sunset. So my day of enforced rest rolled on into the night.

Today there are trees down everywhere, and among other things our modem and telecommunications are fried, and will be days in the fixing.

Hello, Universe, I hear you! Me, resting? Well, obviously.

But the black cockatoos sang me to sleep and woke me up again as the sun was just peeking her head over the green hills behind us. What vivid and magical dreams I had!

I promise to share them with you soon. 🙂

There’s nothing else for it. We’re heading to the beach for a swim and then some breakfast while we wait for power to be restored. Just as soon as we have cleared enough fallen trees to get to the road…

*This post brought to you by iphone!

Big Winds and Blackouts

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“You never know what’s around the corner…”

I had intended many things for today’s blog, but they will have to wait. We had a day of strong winds and high temperatures yesterday so we decided to go down to the beach for a cool down swim, a walk, and then fish and chips for dinner. As we were driving home from Byron Bay to the farm we rounded a corner to find a huge tree down over the road. I was so glad Ben was driving. He braked and slammed the car into a sideways skid to slow us down and we stopped about six inches from it.

The tree had brought live power lines down and they were hanging just above the roof of the car, flapping madly in the wind. We managed to clear enough branches away to make a safe passage for a single vehicle, and a driver who’d come to a halt on the other side of the tree called the electricity company who shut off the power.

When the road was safe for other drivers we came home to our dark little farmhouse, where the torches always sit just inside the front and back doors for just such an emergency and lit candles and made ourselves comfortable.

We’ve had a blackout ever since, and it seems quite a number of power lines are down in our area, so I’m not expecting power to be restored any time soon. Instead I’m blogging on my iphone.

It’s okay. We’re all safe and I’m sure the power company has things under control. And anyway, I had a lovely time out in the back yard with the torch last night, spotting owls. I also spied a HUGE magpie nest in the top of the hoop pine. And I counted a gazillion stars.

It was wonderful to sit in our sheltered part of the valley, hearing the roar of the wind above us, but to feel safe and protected. Ben and I made chai tea on the gas stove, lit candles and talked as we sat outside on the chairs under the tree he’s wrapped in fairy lights. The dogs had a great time running around on the grass, hyped up from the wind and the novelty of being out late.

It made for a magical evening.

Life. It never goes according to plan. But I’m beginning to see the blessings in that. I hope the unexpected turns in your road today bring positives too.

Much love to you all, Nicole xx

Listening to the Wind

Sanibel Night Storm by Dr Roger Sauterer

Sanibel Night Storm by Dr Roger Sauterer

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.” 
~ W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire


Midnight at the farm.

After an unseasonally hot Spring day and a very warm night I’ve woken to a cool change coming through.

The wind has picked up, and the trees are positively dancing with the energy of it all. Everyone else is asleep now that the house has cooled, and I’m walking the floorboards, placing one bare foot after another in the dark like a stealthy Pirate Queen, trying to avoid the creaks that might wake someone up, so that I can steal outside on my own and commune with the coming storm.

Distant Night Storm by Marek Uliasz

Distant Night Storm by Marek Uliasz

Out here, on the veranda in the dark, I can smell the promise of rain. Every so often distant lightning brightens the sky for a moment and I see the dark bloom of sullen clouds. And all the while the wind is tearing down the valley, the limbs of the trees are thrashing, and the chimes are tinkling and clattering like some mad percussion orchestra.

The cows have all pushed into the thickets to take shelter, and the owls have holed up safely. The only thing running wild tonight is the wind.

This dark, mysterious nightscape is so alive. And I feel that same primal life force running through my veins, illuminating every cell in my body. I’m thrilling with this feeling of being alive. A year ago my prognosis was grim. But I am still here, gathering energy like this storm, mustering my powers and quietly building in intensity.

I’ll sit here now, snuggled into my prayer shawl, legs tucked beneath me on the old cane lounge, cracked open with awe and wonder, and wait for rain.

Rain - Image by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Rain – Image by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Stormclouds, Music and Melancholy

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“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” 
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


The air is tinged with cold and that strange electricity that comes before a storm. I am watching from my upstairs bedroom, stuck in the city and longing for home.

The new meds I am on to treat the lyme and other bacteria are having brutal effect these past few days.  Seems I have my own storm raging inside me.

I am wracked with fever and with pain. My eyes are fogged and my brain has turned to cotton wool.

It’s hard to type. Hard to think. Hard to read.

So I am mostly lying here, watching the sky and listening to music.

And somehow, there is so much beauty here.

I am profoundly grateful for my life.