Are You Protecting What Matters? – Monday Oracle 19 March 2018

“If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.” 
Cheryl Richardson

 

Hello, Lovelies!

March is a month for relationships, commitment to what matters to us, and for being unapologetically ourselves. The more we stay true to ourselves in March the more we will be able to manifest profound and/or quite magical changes! Keep that in mind as we look at the gifts of awareness which the oracle card The Three Little Pigs brings us.

Do you remember the story of The Three Little Pigs? They were terrorised by a wolf who was threatening to eat them. The first pig built a house of straw, and the second a house of sticks but both of these places, which should have been safe zones, were destroyed by the wolf who huffed and puffed and blew them down. Those two pigs ran for safety to the house of the third pig, who had built his home of bricks. The wolf couldn’t blow this house down so he tried to trick the pigs into coming out.  Finally he gained entry to the house via the chimney but the pigs had built a fire and placed an enormous cooking pot of boiling water in the fireplace. Through their own cleverness and strong boundaries the pigs remained safe.

This week the Three Little Pigs Card reminds us about having good boundaries. March is a month for being with the people we love, doing what matters to us, and committing to what is important in our lives. Do you have time for yourself and your relationships or is work taking all of your time? Can you pay the bills each month or is debt consuming you? Are people in your household or at work pulling their weight or are you doing everything yourself? Is there any time and space in your life for your hobbies and interests? Do you get enough ‘alone time’ to be by yourself or to work on your art  (whatever that may be)?

It’s a great week for creating strong boundaries in our lives. It’s a week for standing up for what we value and believe in, and for being a voice for those who do not have one. It’s also a week to put our house in order – making sure that our paperwork, insurances and licences are current and that we have smoke alarms, doors that lock properly, strong passwords on our internet accounts and anything else that makes our home, loved ones, possessions and intellectual property safe and secure.

Three Little Pigs heralds a practical week where we can bring our lives into better alignment with our values, and where we can make real changes to create calm, safety and space for ourselves. We are reminded that it is worth placing effort and time into building ourselves a strong and secure future.

Supportive crystals this week?

Black Tourmaline (pictured) helps us set and uphold strong boundaries, and supports us when we feel uncertain or fearful. Clear Quartz amplifies intuition and our ability to tune in to Universal and Personal Wisdom. Use it to get clear about what matters in your life! Amazonite helps us to live bravely, defending and protecting what is important to us. Red Jasper is a stone for mental, physical and emotional rejuvenation. Deeply grounding, it helps us connect to our heart and our truth and encourages a sense of safety. 

Black tourmaline

 

Helpful essential oils?

I’m loving Young Living’s Valor again this week. It has a woodsy, calming fragrance that immediately soothes me and helps me to feel grounded and strong in myself. Place a few drops on soles of feet, wrists, over heart, throat and back of neck to help you feel calm, empowered and safe.

Want to make your own blend? Each of these oils work well together or on their own: Lavender keeps us in flow and relaxed, Orange is uplifting, busts stress and helps us overcome self-doubt, Vetiver helps us feel safe and grounded, and reduces anxiety. Ylang Ylang opens our hearts and is supportive when we feel anxious or overwhelmed. To diffuse add 2 or three drops of each oil to your room or personal diffuser. You can find the oils here.

 

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

All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

PS: Monday’s oracle card, ‘The Three Little Pigs’, is from the Inner Child Cards – A Fairy-Tale Tarot. I use any cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book. 

 

Why You Need Time for Yourself This Week! – Monday Oracle 20 February 2017

“Don’t die with your music still in you.”
~ Wayne Dyer

 

Hello, Lovelies.

It’s a big week ahead for putting your own needs front and centre in your life!

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

If you read my forecast for February, you’ll remember that February is all about turning inwards, and tuning in to our own wants and needs, staying true to ourselves and our goals despite our fears or what other people may tell us. Keep that in the back of your mind as you read through the rest of this post.

 

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

It’s a big wake-up call!

Usually (especially for Lightworkers and sensitive souls) our first thought when we think of service is to serve others.

This week, we are on notice that service must begin with us – we must look after ourselves and our own needs and dreams. This isn’t selfish. You cannot give to others from an empty cup. It’s important to fill your own cup first!

If you’re coming into this week already exhausted, take action to get this sorted out before exhaustion becomes burnout. Stubbornness might carry you through in the short-term, but if it is employed as a daily coping mechanism to push past fatigue or misery, it will never end well. Cut back your schedule. Cancel or rearrange things. Rest. Retreat. Take a ‘mental health’ day, or at least a few extra hours for yourself.

cq4c4_iviaanxn4

This week is a good time to plan for or take action on personal maintenance issues too. You know, those things that are so easy to put off, and put off… Your yearly health check or pap smear, a dental check-up, a haircut or shopping for new clothes or shoes, fixing that broken thing that you never quite get around to, getting your tax sorted. Let yourself be a priority for a change. Go do those things you’ve been avoiding or making a low priority while you run around after everyone else.

Service also reminds us that the last day of our lives is not the time to realise that we never lived true to ourselves and our dreams.  Putting the hopes, needs and dreams of other people before our own is part of the problem. When we constantly put others first, we instruct the Universe that it’s okay for us to be second best, and for our own needs to go unaddressed.

But is that really true? Are we really okay with that?

I love Wayne Dyer’s quote at the top of this page, ‘Don’t die with your music still inside you.’  We don’t know how much time we have. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So, if there’s something inside you that needs to be expressed or experienced don’t keep putting it off. Because we all run out of time. Make a start. Let go of grand plans and just begin.

 

Image from www.fustany.com

Image from www.fustany.com

 

Supportive crystals this week?

Carnelian will support you if you are tired, unwell or plain burned out! Add White Howlite to this if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or overwhelm. Just pop them in your pocket, or wear them somewhere on your body. They are also good to hold in meditation or to place under your pillow before sleep. And if you’re looking for a stone to help you commit time and action to your dreams, you can’t go past Ametrine!

Helpful essential oils? 

Young Living’s Joy or Common Sense essential oil blends, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of Rose, Rosemary, Lemon, Vetiver and Lavender. The Joy blend is fabulous if you are feeling anxious or uncertain, or a bit sad or stuck. It’s reassuring and uplifting; wonderful for gently shifting depression and self-doubt. I often wear it as a perfume. 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. It’s my oil of choice in my diffuser this week.

 

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

‘Service’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.  I use any oracle or tarot cards shown as a prompt for channelled messages and my own intuitive wisdom, so my take is sometimes quite different to the meaning found in a book or traditionally ascribed to a particular card.

Rain, Birdbaths and Melbourne Breakfast Tea

birdbath

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
~ Victor Hugo

 

Yesterday was Friday.

Friday in our household is also now our official Nicole and Ben Day.

It’s a day that we have chosen to dedicate to spending as a couple. Not a day of leisure – that’s what our Unplugged Sunday is for. Nicole and Ben Day is a day where we sit together and talk about our plans. We discuss our long-term dreams and goals, and our shorter-term projects. We talk work. We talk farm stuff.

It’s a day for doing things together. Home maintenance, tax, business and creative projects. We get to go on expeditions – yesterday it was a trip to the Farmers Markets, and then into Lismore, our closest big town, so that we could visit an office supplies chain, the rural produce store and do a quick grab of some dry goods groceries. Which also meant lunch at Steve’s Bakery! (One massive cheese and salad sandwich and one egg and lettuce sandwich and a pot of tea for two to share – deluxe!)

Friday’s also a day where we can just be together.

I’m tired right now from all of these treatments I’m on. So after our busy morning we made a pot of tea (Melbourne Breakfast – it’s a robust black tea with a hint of smooth vanilla) and sat on the veranda, watching the rain and relaxing with Harry Dog at our feet.

There is a birdbath under the jacaranda tree, just across from where we sit. It’s one of my great pleasures, watching all the birds come down to drink and to bathe. All spring and into summer it has been unseasonably dry here at the farm. Ben or I have hauled a hose over to refill that birdbath every day. But the last two days there has been enough rain to fill it for us.

And finally, after I got my hands into the dirt and planted new seedlings in the rain yesterday afternoon, we went for a swim while it rained. The rain was cold. The pool was warm. It was glorious.

But what was most important was that we had an entire day to consciously connect, and to talk about and work on what matters most to us.

How about you? Do you have dedicated time for yourself, or time for being with your partner or family members, where you can deepen communication and focus on personal projects and plans? I highly recommend this as a practice.

Sending much love to you, on the wings of happy-dancing birds, Nicole <3 xx

2017-01-19-07-26-42

Filling Up The Well

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
~ Eleanor Brownn

 

This past week I’ve given all I had and then some. I was glad to do it, and grateful to be well enough to be able to sustain a high level of service and support for others. I’ve had days and long nights of being on call. High stress. Just a few hours sleep.

There were two spaces I lived in. The one where I was being strong for everyone else, providing guidance and love, messages and psychic insights, and endless support. There was the other space. The private space where I retreated late at night or early in the morning to rage and grieve and process all of my own emotions. After which I’d gather myself back together and start again. Crazy. Intense. Demanding.

No-one can work like that all the time.

Why do I know that? I used to try, and of course it always ended with me crashing and burning. Eventually. Or sooner.

I’d love to say that it’s all about balance. But I’ve found that life is rarely so organised. Sometimes it does demand all that we have and then some. Sometimes we’re twiddling our thumbs with time on our hands.

I’ve also found that making the time for self-care sometimes demands more courage than to keep driving the bus, crazy-eyed with exhaustion and white-knuckled from the effort it takes to hang on to that damned steering wheel.

When I’m in that place now, I pull over.

Image from apollo.tvnet.lv

Image from apollo.tvnet.lv

I’ve learned to be present when I’m needed, and to step back when it’s all over, making myself unavailable to others so that I can fill my tank back up again. I do that with rest, meditation, good food, time on my own, lots of hugs, and things that give me nurture and inspiration – music, books, movies, writing in quiet morning cafes. I do it with clear boundaries, and an awesome husband and PA (Thanks Ben and Dana!) who are able to maintain those boundaries – which sometimes includes them telling me to step away and rest! 🙂 I also do it by giving myself time to feel my emotions. To cry or be angry or sad or bereft or awestruck or whatever else is going on for me.

I no longer try to pretend to myself or the ones closest to me that things are okay. I no longer push through it. I no longer plaster on my happy face if I cannot do that. (Sometimes I can, and it is what is needed for that moment.)

Self-care is an antidote to burn-out. It’s the solution to relationship, job or care-induced resentment. It’s the magical tonic that puts the spring back in your step, the smile back on your face and the music back in your heart.

If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, cranky, short-tempered or lacking in joy, maybe you’d benefit from creating some space to unplug for a while, so that you can focus on your own needs instead of the needs of everyone else.

Filling the emptying well so that you can draw from it again is the only way you can ever truly be your best, and give your best to others.

What fills you back up?

Do some of that this week, or plan to do it as soon as you possibly can. You’re worth it. And your life will begin to change in unexpected and wonderful ways when you value yourself.

I’m holding you in my prayers and meditations, and sending you so much love, Nicole xx

Ten Ways to find ‘Me’ Time

Image from YouQueen

Image from YouQueen

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” 
Sarah DessenJust Listen

 

No matter how committed we are the love and care of others, no matter how much is on our plate, no matter if we are Kings or Queens of Leisure or have every last minute scheduled, we need to make sure we get some little windows of time completely for ourselves.

Time for ourselves is not some airy-fairy feel good concept. Time for ourselves is as necessary as breathing. It helps us to stay tuned into to who we are and what’s important to us. Time for ourselves recharges our batteries. It fills us with nurture and new ideas. It helps soothe and heal us.

Often it isn’t that we don’t have time, it’s that we’ve become a very low priority in our own lives.

Here are ten simple ways to claim some of your precious time just for you:

1. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of a grocery shopping trip to have a cup of coffee and flick through a magazine at a cafe. I have girlfriends who have become speed shoppers, racing through their chores to get lovely long cafe time as their reward.

2. Sign up for a class one night a week. Not to give yourself yet one more thing to do, but to escape for a while and spend time on something you’d enjoy learning such as dancing, mosaic making, chainsaw ice-sculpture or Italian cooking.

3. Get up half an hour earlier. Spend that time journalling, meditating, or planning your day. Enjoy a cuppa, take a big breath and then let the day begin AFTER you’ve had some precious time to yourself.

4. Turn off the TV tonight. Sit down and write a story. Or a poem. Or a song. Stories fire up our imagination, help us heal the past, and let us dream the future. If you enjoy the process, come back and write some more one night each week.

5. Go for a walk. On your own. You could ramble around the neighbourhood, drive to a park or beach, or wander through the city. You can walk in the morning, evening or even in your lunch break. Breathe. Look. Listen. And feel how your whole soul begins to unwind…

6. Plan a weekend date with yourself. Give yourself a few hours alone to see that movie no-one else wants to see, to go to the Gallery, or to wander through the Farmers’ Markets or the Artisan shops you love.

7. Go to bed early with a book. Books are like magical carpets that take you to other places and times.

8. Clear a day in your diary and choose your own adventure. Let the chores go for one day, get someone to mind the kids, do a little extra study each night so that one entire day stretches before you like some precious empty beach. Now, do whatever you want. Sleep all day? Fine. Catch up with old friends? Perfect. Sort out your record collection and then visit a craft show? Superb. A morning surf, good breakfast with the weekend papers and then the rest of the day working on your current restoration project? Soul Magic!

9. Start or recommence a craft or project. Maybe you loved embroidery as a child. Or scrapbooking. Maybe you’ve been thinking about putting a vegetable garden in the back yard, or researching the family tree. Take some time to put your materials together, and then spend a little time each week devoted to this craft or project. Let it become a kind of good medicine in your life.

10. Say NO to something you don’t want to do, and then let the time you would have spent with others be yours alone. How often have you found yourself out with work colleagues or friends, wishing instead that you were home on the couch, watching your favourite show and eating soup and toast in your pyjamas? Your time really is precious. Start saying NO when it feels like duty or hard work, and use that time on something you’d prefer to do!

best-ever-travel-quotes-south-beach

A little Solitude is good for the Soul

10-23a-006leaf2

“Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone.  And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”  ~ Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

 

If you’re energetically sensitive like me, then you might already understand the importance of time on your own.

Interacting with others draws energy from us. When we are speaking to others, emotionally supporting others, teaching others, healing, helping or even simply thinking about the needs of others, energy flows from us to them.

That’s okay. In fact, it can feel wonderful to give. For many of us, it’s a prime driver. We want to help, we enjoy reaching out and being here for others.

And of course we so often get energy back as we are giving. Especially with the ones we love it becomes a two-way flow.

Image from Transcendia

Image from Transcendia

Some people can actively draw energy from us too. Haven’t you ever come home from a social event, or ended a phone call feeling totally drained, and knowing that the other person went away feeling stronger and more uplifted?

Energy Vampires need to be treated with caution, or avoided, especially on the days when you feel weak, tired or unwell. You know who I mean – the people caught in their own dramas who constantly clutch at you as if they were drowning and you were their only support, people who undermine and criticise you, people who gaslight you, people who are totally self-interested, people who are always takers and never givers. Some of them may be co-workers, friends or the spouses of friends, but some of them may also be your own family members. Sometimes you may even need to end the relationship, or at least put some distance between you.

Energy-VampiresThat’s why a little regular solitude can be so refreshing.

Solitude – time happily spent on our own – recharges us, strengthens our aura and allows us time for creative and spiritual connection.

You don’t need large amounts of time if you make solitude a regular part of your day. But then again, I also recommend a big chunk of solitude every so often to help top you up and bring you back into balance when your coping mechanisms are becoming thin and worn from too much connection with others.

For many years now I have found my solitude by getting up early, while the rest of the house sleeps. When people and animals are sleeping they are disengaged from us, leaving us free to concentrate on ourselves completely.

Try this for yourself. If someone else is home, but awake (whether they are in the same room or at the opposite end of the house), the energy will feel quite different to that of them being tucked up in bed, sound asleep.

I wake at four each morning, meditate, do healing work, spend time in spiritual communion, and then I go to my desk and write. It’s my quiet time, and it anchors my entire day. Far from tiring me out to rise so early, I feel that it recharges me, and leaves me free to focus on whatever I like, without the need to be thinking of others unless I deliberately choose to do so.

As soon as one of my family wakes, I feel it, and the spell of my solitude is broken

I may then put my boots on and go for a walk around the farm. Even if the dogs come they usually race ahead, and are caught up in their own busy-ness, and by then I am ready for their company anyway.

2013-07-26 14.20.32

There are many ways to find a little solitude for yourself:

  • Stay up a little later or get up early, so that the house is yours and you can have some quiet time.
  • Take a journal or your ipad and go to a park, cafe or a library. Strangers won’t have the same energetic pull as people who know you, so you’ll still be able to enjoy some solitude even if the world around you is busy and full of life.
  • Go for a swim, a bike-ride, a run or a walk.
  • Get out into nature.

If you’re in need of a bigger break, take a day off and don’t fill it with friends and family. Let yourself be refreshed by time in your own company.

Take a holiday on your own, or check into a motel for the night. Not to feel lonely, but to feel spaciousness and that luxurious sensation of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Note: this can be challenging for people who are used to making the happiness of others their constant priority but who aren’t in touch with their own needs. When faced with too much time on your own you may end up suddenly feeling lost, lonely and small, which is not the point of the exercise!

When we make time for ourselves, healing happens. Ideas occur. Creative inspiration visits. We remember what’s important and find clearer direction for ourselves, and answers for our problems.

A little solitude is a good thing. It restores you to yourself.

Wishing you some time for yourself today! Much love, ♥ Nicole xx

Image from freepeople

Image from freepeople

PS – You might also find these posts helpful:

How to deal with toxic people

Finding moments for yourself

Writing yourself into a brighter future

 

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

tumblr_lgcju8O8kw1qacp9jo1_500

Remembering to take care of YOU!

“Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Recently I received a message from a lovely lady, asking about balance:

I thought of you as I was reflecting on my past week & trying to set goals for the months ahead and wondered how you ‘balance’ yourself, between giving yourself all the appropriate time you need & still helping others. I struggle with giving me some time to myself. Any tips or ideas would be gratefully appreciated.

It’s always a tricky thing – this balancing act, and truth be told, there is no magic formula to create a perfect life where you can neatly tick all of the boxes.  Sometimes you need to go all out for other people.  Most of us are good at that bit.  Where we suck is in going all out for ourselves.

But do you know what? It’s YOUR life – this ain’t no dress rehearsal, and your goals and dreams deserve as much air play as all of those people you are supporting to achieve theirs!

Keith Urban performing on stage - he owul dnever have achieved his dreams without practice, and being brave enough to take a chance on himself. Photo: Daniela Rodriguez

Keith Urban performing on stage – he would never have achieved his dreams without practice, and being brave enough to take a chance on himself. Photo: Daniela Rodriguez

Find some time each day that’s just for you.  Even ten minutes is a help. Not to be productive, but to replenish! It could be a morning run, a meditation, a first cup of coffee with the crossword from the back of the paper, a picnic lunch and time with a book in the park in your lunch hour, a long hot soak at day’s end. It’s worth it to get up that little earlier to find a quiet moment.  Those quiet moments are what fill us up and help us get through the day.

Goals – identify them.  Go ahead and allow yourself some dreaming time. If you need help these try these posts:

Writing as a Manifestation Tool

Writing Yourself into a Brighter Future

Gifts to give yourself this Christmas (Valid all year round!)

When you’ve written your goals and dreams, pick three. Now pick one of the three and break it into do-able chunks.  Schedule a little time each day, or a bigger chunk of time one or two days a week, or one insane period of a few days and work on your goal chunk by chunk until it is done.  Give up on perfection and embrace action!!!

Carve out some time in your Schedule. Only you know how much effort you’ll need to get something done. If all you want is a few moments to yourself then find a way to squeeze some time in by starting later or finishing your day a little earlier. Maybe you’ll need to give yourself Monday nights, or Sunday afternoons.  Maybe you’l need to get bold and block out whole swathes of time in your diary.  It all depends on how big your dream is and how much you want to make your dream a reality.

Sleep! People who are juggling caring for others, paying the bills and a myriad other responsibilities usually cut corners trying to squeeze more into their day. It’s a false economy that leads to burn out.  Give yourself the gift of sleep.  Nothing will get you back on your feet and making good decisions faster than a solid night’s sleep. Say yes to some pillow time, and put everything else on hold. If possible take a whole weekend and devote it to rest. Can’t rest at home?  Check into a hotel or take your tent and vanish for a few days of sleep and soul restoration. You and your sanity are worth it!

Set clear boundaries.  When your dance card is already full, saying yes to more offers of dancing is insane. Know your limits.  Let go of things, or take a night off and let someone else be responsible. If you’re drowning, put your hand up and ask for help. When you need to say no, say no.

Eat well.  When you’re struggling to find space for yourself in a busy life, believe me that is the WORST TIME to skip meals, live on crappy take-aways or cupboard food (yeah, you know what I mean: instant noodles, corn chips, sweet biscuits etc) When we are under stress we need to fuel ourselves up with plenty of healthy, nutritious food and lots of good clean water.

Image from www.wilstop.info

Image from www.wilstop.info

Take proper time out to nurture and maintain yourself.  Get your hair done, visit the dentist, see a movie, go to the library and stock up on your favourite movies and books, enjoy a massage or something else relaxing and meaningful for you.

Get your support crew together. We can’t do this journey alone.  My support crew includes my husband, the Sisters of the Pen – my writing cadre who are also the dearest of friends and secret keepers, my online community, a few close friends (and yes some of these people live on the other side of the world and we skype, text and call each other!), my acupuncturist, herbalist, dentist, doctors, my accountant, my Guides, and a host of books, motivational videos, courses and websites. I will also add in a few good coffee shops, cafes and farmers’ markets for good measure.

Carrots – you need some so work them out and then dangle them enticingly in front of you.  We call them rewards for a reason.  What is hard work without some well-earned pleasure at the end of the road?  Have a range of small treats and bigger ticket items.  Never put yourself into financial hardship to reward yourself – sometimes my best reward is a coffee at a favourite cafe, a walk on the beach, or a new book and a whole Sunday to myself.

hammock-on-the-beach

I’ve done burn out. And nursed that deep resentment from putting everyone else first and me last.  Trust me, it isn’t worth it. It isn’t useful. All it does is break your spirit and your body and leave you floundering and exhausted.

It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and to honour your dreams.  If you don’t, who will?  Your life is yours to live, so be an active participant and make the days count.

Much love to you, Nicole ♥ xx

beach - wategos

Useful extra reading:

The Broken Robot Repair Shop

Simple Pleasures

Doing Nothing is Productive!

Simplicity is a choice