Sleeping In My Own Bed!

“Don’t you simply love going to bed. To curl up warmly in a nice warm bed, in the lovely darkness. That is so restful and then gradually drift away into sleep…” 
~ C.S. Lewis

Ben and I arrived home from our little adventure last night. To the city house anyway.

Our flight into Brisbane was delayed. And then delayed again.

The luggage took forever to turn up on the carousel.

The line for a taxi was stupidly long.

We finally tumbled through the front door, dialled for some Chinese food, ate it in front of television in a sleepy blur.

And then, oh, meditation, a long hot shower, and bed.

Our own bed. With clean sheets.

Ben had thought me crazy making the bed with new linen at 3.30am on the morning we left home. I assured him he would thank me. Perhaps he would have too if he hadn’t fallen asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

I lay awake just a little longer, appreciating the perfectness of my own pillow, the softness of my bed, the scent of clean sheets, the familiarity of everything. And the quiet. It was heavenly.

We’re off to the farm this morning. I’m homesick for our dogs and the cows and for quiet country roads and big skies. I can’t wait to give Harry and Rufous the biggest cuddles. I hope they’re pleased to see us too!

It was only a short break, but we both feel renewed.

Much love, Nicole xx

Everything Or Nothing – Both Are Good!

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder

I have a delicious choice today.

I could go to the markets, hit the shops, check out a bookshop I haven’t explored yet, find an amazing cafe, catch a tram somewhere, take a stroll through town, do something cultural, meet up with friends. Everything. I could do everything!

Or…

I could do nothing.

Order room service and read the weekend newspapers in bed. Make the room dark and go back to sleep. Lie around all day and nap, sip tea and read a book or watch a movie in bed. Nothing. I could do nothing!

I’m not sure which one I’ll choose yet, or whether I might even do half a day of each.

Isn’t that fabulous? Well, I think it is! Having the power to choose and the freedom to do what I want is an incredible feeling.

I hope you find some time for yourself too this weekend,

Much love, Nicole xx

Weirdly Almost Famous

“I think she’s that woman off the TV.” ~Overheard at the Shopping Mall

Yesterday I went into a shop in the city to buy some face cream. As I paid for my purchase the shop assistant asked if I was a member of their loyalty program and then tried to find me on the database using my phone number.

That didn’t work so she asked for my name.

‘Nicole,’ I began.

‘Cody!’ she responded. ‘Oh my God, I thought you were Nicole Cody. Hi Nicole, I read your blog!’

The shop assistant, Marika, was kind and very charming and she loaded me up with lots of free samples, which was lovely of her. As I was leaving she asked me if she could take a selfie with me. Which was weird, but I obliged and said yes.

As Marika and I posed together another woman in the shop took a photo of the two of us and asked to have her photo taken with me too. She then hugged me profusely and left the store.

Outside the store the second woman showed her friend the pictures she’d taken with me.

‘Who’s that?’ I overheard her friend said. ‘Should I know her? Is she famous or something?’

‘Yeah, I think so,’ the woman who’d taken a selfie with me replied. ‘I think she’s that woman off the TV.’

Her friend turned around and took a surreptitious photo of me before they walked off.

Neither of them knew me, but they were hoping I was ‘someone’.

I’m still laughing.

If you DO happen to know who I am and you ever see me and want to come up and say hi, please feel free. I’m not the woman off the TV but I do write an awesome blog!

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

The Antiquarian Bookshop

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.” 
~ Jen Campbell

That was when I finally breathed out, and my body relaxed.

Not when the plane pulled back from the aerodrome.

Not when we took off into the sky and the world fell away behind us.

Not when we landed at our holiday destination.

Not when we sat at a little Italian cafe eating pasta and soup for breakfast!

No.

That moment where my whole body relaxed was when I walked into a musty, busy Antiquarian and Second-Hand Bookstore.

I felt every muscle in my body ease, the tension melt away, the fatigue lift. I was surrounded by books. The smell of them, the heft of them in my hand. The selection, too many from which to choose. I spent an indulgent hour there, and bought a volume of old letters and poems. Then I went next door to a cafe, and ordered a large pot of tea. I sat and sipped tea, and immersed myself in my book as the world walked past my table.

And it was good.

Much love, Nicole xx

How To Be A Traveller In Your Own Hometown.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

 

Hello, Lovelies,

This week’s energies support all kinds of travel, adventure and fun. Which is great if you happen to be on holidays or have plenty of free time up your sleeve to whisk yourself away at short notice. But what if you don’t? Try these solutions instead.

Happy Adventuring!

Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

1. Drive a new route to work, or anywhere else you normally travel in a routine way. This gives you the chance to see new things, and to stimulate your mind.

2. Eat out somewhere new. Try a cuisine that’s new to you. Try an ethnic place, or a tiny hole-in-the-wall Mom and Pop place, or that brewhouse or pizza place you’ve been meaning to try for ages but never got around to.

3. Be a tourist in your hometown. Go do the things you’d do if you were showing international visitors around. I bet you haven’t been to some of those attractions or destinations in a very long time, if at all. Trip Advisor can be your best friend here.

4. Wander around the city, or a shopping mall you haven’t been to before. Give yourself time to stroll, and to enjoy everything you see.

5. Visit a Farmers Market or a Food Hall. Buy something new and interesting to cook for dinner.

6. Tune your car radio to another station, or shake up your usual music mix. Sing a little. Dance if you feel inclined.

7. Go on a train trip, bus trip or ferry ride. It doesn’t matter where you go. Use the time to look around and see new things. Disembark and go for a stroll. Hop back on and go home again.

8. Check out what free exhibitions and concerts are on in your hometown. Museums, art galleries, public libraries and universities often have the coolest free stuff. Go visit one!

9. Pack a picnic lunch and go to the local park. Invite some friends. Take a frisbee, a football, or some music. Hang out, laugh and enjoy yourself.

10. Have a themed meal at home. Choose a cuisine or a destination anywhere in the world. Invite a few friends or family. Choose some food and music. Ask everyone to bring a plate if that’s easier. Add an extra something for yourself and your guests in the way of entertainment. Maybe everyone needs to dress ‘Tropical’ or ‘Italian’. Maybe it’s charades or a singalong. Or a crazy boardgame. Have fun with it. Party!

 

A Week Of Wonders

“Well, I always know what I want. And when you know what you want–you go toward it. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. I don’t know. I’ve forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn’t matter, so long as you move.” 
Ayn Rand

Hello, Lovelies!

Don’t you love the glorious blue sky (see top pic) that greeted me at breakfast yesterday on my last day in the Adelaide Hills?

I sat in a cafe and ate on my own, and spent time planning my week ahead. It was wonderful – my table was next to an open fire and I found myself with plenty of quiet thinking time and reflection on the week that was, before I went back to my room to pack and head to the airport to fly back to Brisbane.

Back in Brisbane as I waited at the carousel for my luggage I watched the people coming and going, and I marvelled that I was one of them.

In the past week I have run an evening event, conducted two days of private consultations, been out to dinner and all over Adelaide exploring with friends and then attended a very full-on three day conference that included one late night and very long days. I’ve also drunk coffee and enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages, eaten cake and chocolate and all kinds of other yummy things and managed to still feel good.

Somehow my health has held up for it all. More than that, I’ve enjoyed myself and felt like a normal human being for most of the time I was away.

Look – that’s me at the conference! (see pic below)

That might not sound very remarkable to you. But the truth of my life has been that most of the past fifteen years have been spent in my pyjamas, or in comfortable clothes – staying very close to home, and being in bed early. As someone with late-stage lyme disease and all sorts of other health complications, independent travel has not been on my radar. I’ve always needed someone with me, and I’ve needed plenty of rest and down days.

So this past week has been a glorious victory.

My brain has worked. My body has worked. And I’ve been humbled again and again to still be here on this planet when I’ve had so many close calls that I thought would have ended my life before now.

So for all of you who are currently struggling with health issues or anything else that is slowing you down I want to encourage you not to give up. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see a day again when I’d be well enough to venture forth in life on my own. Sure I’m still working within limits, and I still nurse myself along. I’m careful in my choices. But I HAVE choices, and that’s a miraculous and incredible thing.

It’s back to herbal tea and organic vegetables and early nights and my normal routine again today. I’m looking forward to it!

Don’t give up on your dreams, my friends. Miracles happen every day.

Love you! Nicole ❤ xx
(And yep, that’s me happily upgraded to business for the flight home – yippee!)

PS – Also, I just need to tell you – some days I just want to jump up and down and run around screaming I’M ALIVE AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Fun With Friends!

“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” ~ Richard Branson

 

Hi Lovelies,

I’m in Adelaide right now, which is cold and wintery and wonderful. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to my channelling event on Monday night. I love being able to hug people and put a name to the face of friends I have only known online.

This week I have a balance of work and fun, and I’m lucky to have one of my favourite families taking me around the sights and to delicious eateries and magical places.

Yesterday included private appointments in the morning followed by bookshops, pop-up crab spaghetti restaurants (no – that platter in the pic was not all for me!), ice-cream and lots of laughter, hugs and sharing. After dinner I had an early night back at my hotel room with meditation, a hot shower and then a long sleep beneath clean sheets.

July is a month that focuses on relationships, heart connection and soul nurture, and I’m certainly getting plenty of that right now! I hope you’re managing to find some connection time too.
Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

    

 

Holidays, Temples and Planning My Year!

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” 
~  Gloria Steinem

I’m on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean right now. There has been far less possibility for internet connection that I had expected, so I’ve had all of this lovely quiet time to myself to plan, to dream and to begin calling my new year into reality.

Of course to do this I am using my Year of ME 2018 Planner. I’m so loving using this year’s edition. I have the A5 spiral-bound version and I’ve dedicated a little of each day to listening to the Channelling Recordings from my Guides at the Pop Up Event talking about the energies of 2018, and filling in the first pages, and thinking about my year ahead.  Both the recording and the Planner are available in our Store here on the blog .

* Please note that we only have a very limited supply of these fabulous A5 hard copy Planners left, so if you want one we recommend that you order it as soon as you can, or contact my fabulous PA, Dana Hartnell at nicolecodyinfo@gmail.com so she can put one away for you.

The picture above is of my guiding card spread for myself for 2018. All the directions are in my Planner, so even if you have never worked with oracle or tarot cards as a reflection and self-discovery tool before you’ll find it easy to follow and do for yourself.

When we have ventured ashore I’ve been spending some time in the many wonderful Temples, Pagodas and Churches of Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan, burning incense or lighting candles and offering my prayers for all of you. It has been a holiday full of fun, reflection, meditation, adventure and fabulous food!

Here’s one of the incense and prayer offerings I made for you. I wish it was smell-a-vision as this incense was so richly fragrant:

And here I am planning out my year over coffee, sitting on board the ship one early morning. (Note my cute Studio Ghibli stickers I found in Honk Kong – yay!)

Only a few more days and our cruise will be over. Then we have a brief stop in Macau before winging home to Australia.

I can’t wait to share the journey again with you this year. As much as I have enjoyed my break I have missed you all! We have lots of surprises, treats and great content planned for our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community in 2018, and some really special online events planned for our YOMMERS (Year of Me course and community for 2018 – it’s not too late to join, all the details are in our online store on the blog – my YOMMERS also get great discounts on all our courses and retreats so if you are thinking of participating in an online course or retreat this year join up and enjoy big savings!).

Biggest love and hugs to you from some obscure little cafe in Keelung, Taiwan,
Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

Demon Banishing And Custard Buns In Hong Kong!

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous

I’m in Hong Kong right now, for the first part of the surprise holiday Ben bought me for my ‘Congratulations on turning fifty and thank you for not dying’ present.

We’re having a fantastic time. Every day is crammed with the wonderful, the unusual and a little of the outright bizarre. I’m in heaven!

Yesterday we met our lovely friend Amanda Cook, who is an expat currently living here in Hong Kong. Amanda is a herbalist, wellness coach and an excellent tour guide! (Find out more about Amanda here)

First we lunched at Dim Dim Sum, a brilliant little hole-in-the-wall dumpling cafe that is renowned for its delicious and innovative food. We drank tea and caught up on all the news in each other’s worlds over many many kinds of Dim Sum, and some of the cutest yummiest custard buns (shaped like little pigs) that I’ve ever eaten.

Then we went for a stroll through streets of fresh food markets. I loved the rich variety and freshness of the food and saw all kinds of things that were new to me.

Finally, under a gloomy overpass we came across some Villain Hitters. Villain Hitters are older women who practice an age-old Cantonese tradition of banishing demons and outcasting bad spirits and other energies that cause harm to you. It can also draw good and helpful energies and people to you as the bad ones are displaced.

Why not? I thought. So I paid my money and wrote the name of the demons I wanted banished on a paper package that the Villain Hitter handed me. She then had me sit opposite her beside her makeshift shrine. She said some prayers and I did too, and then she took small effigies (pieces of paper with human shapes on them)  to represent my demons and hit them vigorously with a shoe until they began to fall apart. The she screwed up the paper scraps and placed them in the mouth of a paper tiger, which was set alight and burned.

My Villain Hitter then cleaned my aura with a piece of paper on which were written prayers and invocations. It felt surprisingly good. The paper was then burned too.

Finally we made an offering, some more prayers and we were finished. Of course I then hugged my wonderful Villain Hitter for a job well done.

The Villains I wanted banished? Bad bacteria, ill health and lyme disease in my body.

Let’s hope they’ve all gone, banished by her shoe and her mighty intentions that I prosper and do well.

I’ve also been making a little gift for you for Christmas. Stay tuned. I’ll post it Christmas Day. Remember too that we are in a period known as The Lull right now, which will last until 16 January. It’s a time for resting, recharging, connecting with our friends and family, and having fun. Wherever you have the opportunity simplify, slow down, and take time for what matters most to you.

Sending heaps of love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

 

A Taste Of Vietnam

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“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” ~ Bill Bryson

 

So, here I am in Vietnam, and our first day has been quite an adventure! We’re staying in the old section of the Grand Hotel, Saigon. Somehow we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite right beside a tranquil swimming pool and green oasis. It’ s a refuge from the heat, and a fabulous spot for writing. After an early morning stroll around the neighbourhood I enjoyed a refreshing swim and then some time working on my book before lunch.

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Ben and I are blessed to be travelling with an Australian-Vietnamese friend who is introducing us to a taste of local life. There’s nothing like having a tour guide with family in the area and inside knowledge! First up we tried local coffee – strong, sweet and good. Then after our swim Thanh took us to a simple noodle shop near our hotel and ordered us lunch. I got to enjoy my first ever bowl of authentic Pho – rice noodles in broth with thin slivers of beef and vegetables and a host of fresh herbs. Delicious!

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Next was some crystal shopping and a wander around some local markets.

So much of today has revolved around food. In the cool of the late afternoon Thanh’s Dad and three of his mates turned up on their motorbikes and took us for a tour of the city, and a visit to the oldest cathedral in Saigon.

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Travelling by bike is a great way to take in the sights, smells and atmosphere, although I must admit to being a little white knuckled at the craziness of the traffic until I finally relaxed into the flow of it. To a western eye it seems so disorganised, but if you step into that zen space and just go with it, there’s a strange logic and beauty to it.

After our city tour we finished up with dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant. So much food. So much fun! The pictures below are rice vermicelli with fresh shrimp (prawns), garlic and chilli, and then a tofu and egg savoury custard topped with a meaty mushroom slice and some shellfish in a seafood bisque sauce. Oh my goodness, that was amazing!!! There was more too, but I was too busy eating and talking and laughing to remember to take photos! Sorry 🙂

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Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Sending much love your way, Nicole <3 xoxo