The True Cost of Dreams – Monday Oracle 13 March 2017

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello, Lovelies.

The oracle card I have chosen to guide us this week is ‘Wisdom’ from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

If you read my forecast for March, you’ll remember that March is all about creating systems and structures which make your everyday life more supported and sustainable.

So, what gifts does Wisdom bring for you this week?

Wisdom reminds us that when we follow the calling of our heart magic happens. This week support comes from unexpected quarters, inspiration flows, and from the smallest of beginnings we can begin to create results beyond our wildest imaginings. It’s a strong week for intuitive wisdom and spiritual guidance. It’s the kind of week where miracles can happen.

It’s the kind of week where we get the job, get the lucky break, win the prize, meet the love of our life.

It’s a fabulous week for finding a coach, mentor or teacher. For joining a class or a mastermind. For signing up to learn more. Or for offering your own expertise in the world.

Wisdom is all about healthy boundaries, asking for help and practicing extreme self-care.

It’s about not apologising for your choices, or feeling that you need to explain or defend yourself.

Wisdom is also a reminder to build our lives and businesses in sustainable ways.

There’s no point reaching our goals or realising our dreams if we have destroyed our relationships, our health, our lives or our planet in the process.

Wisdom encourages us to recognise the price we pay when we don’t follow our heart. When we ignore our dreams life becomes colourless, our very life-force drains away, we waste our one precious life and become filled with regret.

The way forward this week is to take steps towards what makes our heart glad. Those steps might be small, but they are vital to our long-term happiness and wellbeing.

Our heart knows what it wants! True wisdom is paying attention to that, and creating action to make our dreams a reality.

Supportive crystals this week?

Red Jasper helps us to make decisions and stick to them this week. Tiger Eye is fabulous for clarity and creativity. Tourmaline in Quartz will build courage and help you to stand by your choices and decisions. Sodalite will help you to understand and speak your truth.

Helpful essential oils?

Young Living’s Believe or Common Sense essential oil blends are good choices this week. Believe works to boost our self-confidence and self-belief.  Common Sense oil is a super stress-buster that will help with allowing you to become clear about what you want, and to feel secure with your choices and decisions, especially around change. If you want to make your own combination or use a single oil, choose from grapefruit, basil, geranium and frankincense. Use one to two drops of each in your diffuser – they blend beautifully together.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, and intending for a you a life of abundance and joy, where you are no longer limited by your doubts.

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

Where have all the flowers gone? OR Vote for Variety!

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“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Right beneath our noses something sneaky is happening. Our choices are becoming more limited, even as it appears that there is greater diversity in the marketplace than ever before. Some things aren’t even what we think they are anymore.  Like milk. Milk has become a manufactured product, rather than a natural one.

Test me out, and see if I’m right.  Take a walk through your local supermarket. Are some of your favourite foods no longer being stocked?  Have many of them become available only as home-brand or generic brand items?

The truth is that fewer and fewer companies are producing and controlling more and more of our consumer take-home items. Small companies are absorbed into the larger ones and many of the brands we know and love disappear forever. Why, even my local lolly hangout, The Mullumbimby Chocolate Shop, is finding it harder and harder to source the old varieties of sweets.  Many of these companies produce their candies by hand, on equipment from the 1800s and 1900s. As owners die, or the companies are taken over, these old lines are phased out in favour of mass produced sweets. Goodbye Lemon Sherbet Bombs and Raspberry Twists, hello Skittles and Snickers Bars.

Add to this the global giant Monsanto, which dominates seed production and distribution throughout the world, and my world is painted a little drabber.

But I digress, because today I want to talk about flowers.  There is a link between the two themes though, I promise!

There is a dairy farm not far from mine where two elderly brothers tend a flower garden.  It’s not just any flower garden; they grow dahlias, and enter the blooms into the local Agricultural Shows every year.  The brothers grow an enormous variety of types, and they sell the excess flowers for ten dollars a bucket.  The buckets are placed under a tree on the side of the road, with an honour system, so that you leave your money under a rock in their letterbox. They ask that you bring the bucket back when you’re finished…

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At the end of each season the men collect the seed from their plants, including any variations from type or new crosses.  The seeds are then painstakingly placed into  labelled envelopes, catalogued, and stored in boxes in the shed until next season.

Some of the seedstock goes back to the men’s own grandparents.  Relatives brought a veritable garden in their luggage when they came out from England by boat, in the form of saved seed.  Other seed has been traded locally with neighbours who got their own seeds from family in Europe or America. And of course seed is often exchanged at shows and garden fairs.

dahlias

Every time I look at these dahlias now I wonder about the story behind them. I think of the people who tended the plants, saved the seeds, passed them on.

It saddens me a little. Most people get their gardens from the Nursery section of a supermarket or a mega hardware store these days. There’s so little choice – a predictable selection of propragated plants, multiple cheerful punnets of a few common annuals, one or two special varieties being plugged by TV personalities.

Few modern gardeners save seed.  Most people don’t even know how to plant or care for a garden anymore. So many simple skills for sustainability being lost. I do consider growing flowers to be about sustainability – sustainability of our soul and our creative heart, and sustainability of relationships and ties throughout history. Sure we need fruits and vegetables for survival, but an existence without flowers would be so much less satisfying.

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Perhaps there is some small pocket of space where you can create a friendship garden or help keep heritage varieties of plants in existence. Join a garden club, or talk to the oldies in your local area!

You can also buy heritage plants and seeds from the following places:

The Diggers Club – Australia

Eden Seeds – Australia

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – America

Landreth Seed Company – America

The Real Seed Catalogue – UK

Thomas Etty Esquire – UK

It’s gardening, not rocket science.  Truly it’s not hard, and it can be very rewarding.  If you’re time poor, or have no space to garden, at least buy produce from your local farmers markets, and support the growers who care about biodiversity and quality food.

And while we’re at it, why not vote with your dollar, and support the many other small businesses that provide us with variety, quality and employment in other areas of our lives? Avoid the large and no-name generic brands.  Ask for your favourite brands by name. Your purchasing power keeps these businesses alive, and allows us to enjoy freedom of choice.

At times you may feel powerless in this world, but as a consumer your dollar counts.  Use it to vote for variety! Bless ♥ xx

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Pumpkin Soup Recipe and the Writing Disease

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. ~ Anais Nin

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~ Ray Bradbury

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Ernest Hemingway

I’m deep in a story right now.  Whenever writing grabs me by the throat like this I forget to eat, it becomes too much bother to cook, and when I do suddenly remember that I’m hungry I want something I can eat fast. It’s like an illness, this kind of writing. I breathe story, dream story, bleed story.  It’s all I can think about. Food? Yeah, when my stomach aches and grumbles I want to eat something that fills me up and nurtures me, but that also lets me get back to work again with a minimum of fuss.

The answer to my problem is soup!

I like to make an industrial-sized vat of the stuff, so that there is plenty to feed me, and anyone else who happens to be around, for at least one meal. In truth, if there is enough soup, and enough bread, I can exist in this writerly state for days…

My soup of choice today happens to be pumpkin.  Why? I have a triffid-like  jap pumpkin vine taking over my vegetable garden.  Jap pumpkin is sweet and buttery, easy to cut, and a great all-rounder in the kitchen. Once this writing frenzy subdues a little I might whip up a batch of pumpkin scones and share that recipe with you too.

Of course I also got to leave my desk and wander up the hill to pick a pumpkin, and some shallots (green onions) for my soup. I already had garlic hanging in the laundry from summer’s harvest.  Gardening is a very healthy and grounding pastime for writers!

Pumpkin Soup Ingredients:

Vary the quantity to suit the size of your crowd, but for four hearty serves you’ll need half a jap pumpkin (about 4 to 6 cups of flesh – you can also use any other kind of pumpkin with good flavour), a large onion, two bay leaves, stock (at least two cups, or a quality stock powder and some water – if I have none of my own stock in the freezer I use Massel brand chicken style stock – great flavour and it’s 100% vegan!) 3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to season, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of honey.

To serve you’ll also need some good bread for toast, some plain yoghurt or sour cream (if you’re vegan or dairy-free try coconut yoghurt!), and some fresh herbs such as green onion, chives, coriander (cilantro) or parsley.

Method:

Take a large saucepan.  Peel and chop your onion and garlic roughly. Then skin and de-seed your pumpkin and chop into chunks. Dump into the saucepan with the onion and garlic.  Barely cover with stock, or a good stock powder and water.  Season with some salt and pepper, and add in the cumin and bay leaves.  Bring to boil and then reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for twenty minutes. Take off the heat, and allow to cool a little.

If you have a stick blender you can puree the soup directly in the pot.  Otherwise transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Return to a saucepan to reheat.  Test seasoning, and adjust if required, adding honey if necessary.

To serve, ladle into a bowl.  Add a dollop of sour cream or natural yoghurt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.  serve with hot buttered toast. Enjoy!  ❤

Feel motivated to grow your own pumpkins or herbs? It’s easier than you think. Maybe this will inspire you: