Things to be thankful for…

“Take time daily to reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have.” ~Germany Kent

This morning I’m counting my Blessings. Such a simple thing to do, and it always makes me feel richer. I like to count them off on my fingers – a tangible act, and a way of really anchoring their truth in my life. Blessings to me are always the simple things in life, and often the things we take for granted.  Even on the worst of days we can find something to be grateful for.  Counting blessings gets my attention OFF the things I don’t want, and back on the things I do. It’s an instant mood lifter that keeps things in perspective for me. It never takes much to find something that’s a blessing.

Today I am grateful for:

1. The sound of wind in the trees as I go to sleep, and birdsong as I wake up.

2. The warmth of the fire, and the sweet smell of woodsmoke in the cold morning air. (I’m also grateful for my husband, who chops the wood and loads the wheelbarrow, and stokes the fire for me!)

3. Chai tea, enough for two, sipped from big bowls, with just a dusting of cinnamon.

4. My Meyer Lemon tree, and its abundance of luscious fruit. And the fresh Lemon Curd I can spread on my morning toast!

5. Farmers’ Markets, and the dedication of our local growers to grow or make the best seasonal fresh produce.

6. My Kindle, and being able to snuggle under the doona on a lazy morning, sipping chai and reading books.

7. My dogs, Rufous and Harry, for their love and companionship.

8. Writing. It is my greatest love, and the thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night, brimful of ideas.

9. Red Jasper which grounds and nurtures, and feels wonderful to have tucked up within my aura.

10. Trees. My little farmhouse is cradled by hundred-year-old trees who whisper their secrets, one to another, and add an incredible energy to this place and to me.

How about you? What do you have to be thankful for today? Go on – count them off on your fingers!

Wishing you many Blessings, Nicole  xx

Slow Morning at the Farm

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“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” 
Eddie Cantor

It’s a slow start here at the farm this morning. The air is cool, everything is damp after the night’s gentle showers and all of us are feeling relaxed and mellow.

The strawberries are ripening.

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The passionfruit vines are setting fruit.

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In the kitchen there is another enormous box of peaches and nectarines being prepped for more pies, jam and chutney.

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I have a pot of tea on the go, and a delicious omelette finishing off on the stove, ready for breakfast.

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Life is good. Well, breakfast’s ready. Won’t you join me on the veranda? There’s plenty to share! (((HUGS))) Have a wonderful day. Nicole xoxo

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Things to be thankful for…

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles”

This morning I’m counting my Blessings. Such a simple thing to do, and it always makes me feel richer. I like to count them off on my fingers – a tangible act, and a way of really anchoring their truth in my life. Blessings to me are always the simple things in life, and often the things we take for granted.  Even on the worst of days we can find something to be grateful for.  Counting blessings gets my attention OFF the things I don’t want, and back on the things I do. It’s an instant mood lifter that keeps things in perspective for me. It never takes much to find something that’s a blessing.

Today I am grateful for:

1. The sound of rain on the roof as I go to sleep, and rain as I wake up.

2. The warmth of the fire, and the sweet smell of woodsmoke in the cold winter air. (I’m also grateful for my husband, who chops the wood and loads the wheelbarrow, and stokes the fire for me!)

3. Chai tea, enough for two, sipped from big bowls, with just a dusting of cinnamon.

4. My Meyer Lemon tree, and its abundance of luscious fruit. And the fresh Lemon Curd I can spread on my morning toast!

5. The Byron Bay Farmers’ Markets, and the dedication of our local growers to grow or make the best seasonal fresh produce.

6. My Kindle, and being able to snuggle under the doona while it’s raining outside, sipping chai and reading books.

7. My dogs, Charlie and Bert, for their love and companionship.

8. Writing. It is my greatest love, and the thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night, brimful of ideas. I am also grateful for my Sisters, who keep me loved up, supported and connected in this often lonely game.

9. Black Tourmaline  which grounds and nurtures, and feels wonderful to have tucked up within my aura.

10. Trees. My little farmhouse is cradled by hundred year old trees who whisper their secrets, one to another, and add an incredible energy to this place and to me.

How about you? What do you have to be thankful for today? Go on – count them off on your fingers! Wishing you many Blessings, Nicole xx

Simplicity is a choice…

Life is not complicated, only that we make it so.

♥ Nicole Cody

Yesterday, on my facebook page, someone told me that they longed for more simplicity in their lives. How could they make it so, they asked.

That’s a valid question given that we are surrounded, even bombarded, by media telling us we need this, we have to have that. To be successful our lives need to look a certain way, and we need to be able to measure up to certain expectations. Perhaps that is why shopping has become the number one pastime in so many countries.  And, of course, in order to have those things we need to work harder, and longer. We rack up more debt. We lose our freedom bit by bit, without realising what is happening.

I realised this after living in Palau. My life shrank down to one suitcase, an old but large hotel room, a smaller budget. Access to a car, but needing to go most places on foot. That smaller space, with few possessions was a major readjustment, but I soon found myself happier, freer, and filled with creativity. When I came home to Australia I walked around my house wondering how I had accumulated so much stuff.  There was so much to pay for, so much to keep clean, and I used so little of it!

Simplicity, like happiness, is a choice.

On first appearances that might seem unfair, or even impossible.  But think about where you are now.  Every single choice you made, every decision you took, led you to where you are.

And even if life has forced certain circumstances upon you (Global Financial Crisis, unemployment, illness) you still have power, because you still have the ability to choose your thoughts and actions.

If you’re in a place of complete overwhelm, I suggest you start here – with a post I wrote recently on burn out, how to recognise it and what to do about it.

Reverse Engineering

You could also try a process of reverse engineering.  This is where you pull something apart to figure out how it was made, so that you can copy or rebuild it, or even modify it. We need to reverse engineer your life, so that you can work out where to begin making changes.

Start with these questions:

  1. What is my daily routine?  Do this for each day of the week.  If there is no routine, just write down how much time you spend on the key areas in your life each day for one week by observing yourself honestly and recoding your actions.  It will average out. You can also do this for your partner or children too.
  2. What are my financial commitments? This is a biggie and some people have never taken the time to work this out. If you’re one of them I know it can be scary and confronting, but if you don’t have a true picture of where you are, you won’t be able to make sound decisions about where you go next.
  3. Look over your answers.  This is the critical part.  Is there time left over at the end of each week?  Is there money left over at the end of each week?Spare time is vital for a feeling of well-being, and for having adequate coping mechanisms for life. Being too tightly pinched for money generates great stress, which has a huge negative impact on health, relationships and energy levels.

Life is precious. It’s worth making changes to give you a more satisfying life. From experience I’ve learned that most stuff doesn’t make you happy. Certain stuff can make life easier and more pleasurable though.  Maybe you need a good computer, or a comfy arm chair, or a nice teacup, or a great holiday adventure. But what about the rest of your life?  How much of what you own do you actually use?

Can you get by with smaller, fewer or none at all? Are you giving time and energy to what really matters in your life. Maybe it’s time to actively simplify your life, bit by bit. Downsize, divest, say no to extra demands upon your time and energy. Look to places, jobs and people that support a more fulfilling lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be five-star to be enjoyable! Change doesn’t have to happen all at once, but when you have a plan it is far easier to create a new reality.

 

All change requires effort, but change is possible. In the end, imagine the choices and relationships in your life. Imagine removing them.  Is there a sense of loss or panic, or a sense of relief?  Sometimes it’s as simple as that.