Standing Under Old Trees

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
―~ Rachel Carson

 

This morning, after a restless night, I slept late.

Instead of sitting in meditation, Harry Dog and I went for a long rambling walk.

We said hello to the cows.

We saw the old tree that cracked in half and fell over late last night.

We saw where the echidna has been digging, and where a new bush orchid has taken root, cradled in a hollow of a big old tree.

We walked and walked.

And when we came back to the house again we were happy.

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My Top Five Ways To Get Some Reflection Time

Image from www.elsbro.com

Image from www.elsbro.com

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
~ Søren Kierkegaard

 

We’re sitting in a terrific month for reflection, reinvention and connection.

So how do we do that?

Here are my top five ways to find that headspace where we can explore the past and imagine the future…

 

1 – Going for a solitary walk

A long walk gives us time to move into a space of quiet receptivity. Thoughts can bubble to the surface. Insights can find us. We get quiet enough to be open. Ideas come. You can walk in nature, through city streets or around your suburb. What matters is that you’re moving, and that you’re on your own so that you don’t need to engage in conversation. (Walking the dog is fine though!)

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

Image from www.wallpapers-jpg.net

 

2 – Time out for a coffee and some world watching

Find a coffee shop where you can sit on your own, with a view of the world. You might be facing a busy street, you might be at the back of the shop looking out over all the patrons, you might be perched at a window seat, or at an outdoor cafe under a tree. You could even sit in a busy shopping mall. Grab your favourite coffee (or tea) and then just sit and watch the world go by. Don’t read. Don’t talk. Just sit with the world and with your thoughts. Eventually you’ll find a meditative space that lets you think deeply. Let your mind ramble. It will go where it needs to. Pay attention to where it wanders. Explore that more. If you want, take that further with some journalling.

Image from www.vissershr.nl

Image from www.vissershr.nl

 

3 – Soak in a bath

Just you, some bubbles, and lots of lovely soak time. Let your mind wander, or just sit and soak and rest. Trust that you’ll be integrating and getting what you need from this time alone.

 

4 – Journalling, at the quiet end of the day

This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night when the house is quiet and you have time and space just for you. Pick up your pen, and write. Dump your brain onto the page and then keep going. Let the words flow. You might be surprised where they take you.

 

5 – Journalling time with some oracle or tarot cards for further reflection

Oracle and tarot cards are a great way to reflect on life. Choose a card. Think about what it signifies for you. Explore this in your journal.

Here's my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I'm going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

Here’s my own 2017 Planner, and my 2017 gratitude stone, my 2017 crystal pack, and the oracle cards I’m going to use for the year ahead. Pretty delicious, huh?

My Year of ME Planner is also a great tool for tuning in! And it’s not too late to join our year-long course and community or to get some more intensive coaching with me for the year ahead. More details here and in my Shop.

Make time for yourself this week. You’re worth it!

lots of love, Nicole <3 xx

Home at My Farm

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“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”Albert Einstein

 

I’m home, at our beautiful farm. The dogs and I have just gone for a ramble to check on the cows, and to see if we could spy the platypus down in the river.

There are branches down everywhere after the tail end of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, and the house is musty and damp after so much rain. But today the sky is full of sunshine, my windows are flung wide, and everything is slowly drying out again.

It’s hard to explain how full my heart feels when I’m here. How the green hills cradle me, and the cry of the black cockatoos comforts me, and the endless birdsong soothes me and strips away my worries.

I’ll make a pot of tea now, and sit down at the kitchen table to do some writing before breakfast. This morning we’re going down to the shed to hunt up some petrified wood from the tonnes of rocks and crystals I have in storage there. And then writing again after lunch.

Not much more perfect than a writing day, crystal time, and then late this afternoon a walk on the beach and fish and chips for dinner!

Hooray for being home. 🙂

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A Short Walk

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“Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors…disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.”
~ Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

 

I’ve been cooped up for days, and yesterday afternoon I just needed to be outside. I’m not up for walking far right now. One of the meds I’m on for my lyme treatment has a potential side effect of stiffening ligaments and tendons, giving them increased risk of tear or rupture. Getting into bed last week I did my knee. As I lifted it off the floor I heard it go pop, pop, pop like a zipper unzipping, and the next thing I knew my knee hurt A LOT, and then of course it swelled. Off to the awesome physiotherapist (Thanks Simone!) next morning and then my knee had to be iced, elevated, strapped and rested.

On top of everything else…

But isn’t that always the way? 🙂

Yesterday I took a short stroll (hobble actually) around my front yard. Just to breathe the air, fresh from rain. Just to feel the sun on my skin. To put my face against the bark of a tree.

I stood outside and drew some breaths deep into my body. It made me feel better.

Maybe a short stroll might help you too.

Here’s my walk, in pictures…

Lilies in the cattle trough.

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Orchids flourishing in a crevice of the fig tree.

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Gazing up through the branches of the fig tree, my face pressed to its cool bark.

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Blue sky peeking through the clouds.

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The Hoop Pine in our front yard. Just beyond the fence is the eucalypt glade where Mr Grunty, the big male koala hangs out.

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Late afternoon view down to our front gate.2014-03-31 17.26.03Thanks for coming with me on my little stroll.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

 

Afternoon Walk on the Farm

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“For [Jane Austen and the readers of Pride and Prejudice], as for Mr. Darcy, [Elizabeth Bennett’s] solitary walks express the independence that literally takes the heroine out of the social sphere of the houses and their inhabitants, into a larger, lonelier world where she is free to think: walking articulates both physical and mental freedom.” 
~ Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

I’m home. I celebrated that fact by taking myself for a walk through the paddocks yesterday afternoon. Of course the dogs came with me, and we ambled about in the late afternoon sunshine, enjoying the drop in temperature and all the busy-ness of springtime on the farm.

The jacaranda is starting to bloom and already there is a fine carpet of purple blossoms on the lawn.

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We could do with a good shower or rain, but the rainforesty bits of our property are still lush and green and full of critters.

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The calves are looking fat and are quite happy to come up and say hello. The dogs and I sat down in the soft grass and waited. Up came the curious calves to sniff and investigate. I was very impressed that Harry and Bert managed to remain sitting, even if they did make a few squeaks of frustration that we let the calves come so close with no chasing involved!

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We had a quick dip in the river, which was FREEZING COLD. Bert and I were straight in and out, but Harry raced around in the water like a mad thing. I’m sure he’s part seal. I would have loved to have taken a photo of him but water, phones and mad dogs just don’t mix. 🙂 I left my phone back up in the fork of a tree at the top of the bank.

On the way home we pushed the cows into the front paddock so they could munch down the sweet spring grass. There is a noisy male koala high in the branches of a gum near the gate. We’ve got quite a colony here, and it’s lovely to see them looking so healthy.

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When we came back from our wanderings I spent a relaxing hour watering the gardens around the house and filling up the bird baths so our feathered friends can have an easy swim too. It’s so good to be home! Thanks for coming on my walk with me.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

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An Afternoon Walk On My Farm

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“When I woke up I was changed.
The land had recognised me again.” 
~ George Djilaynga, Neil Murray, Warumpi Band

I’m home again, at my little farm at Possum Creek. Yesterday I went for a walk in the late afternoon sunshine.  The wind was rustling the branches, the giant wedgetail eagle flew above me, fat pigeons feasted on ripening berries, and black cockatoos sang to call in the rain.

I pulled on my purple gumboots, called to the dogs, grabbed my iphone to take a few snaps, and captured the energy of home with these shots. I hope you enjoy them…

 

 

The Magnolia, all twiggy digits, reaching for the sky. The light breeze loosens the few remaining leaves and they drift to the ground one by one. You can already see the silky green flower buds forming.

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Brilliant blue blooms and trailing jasmine.

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The stand of huge old Bunya Pines, full of pine-cones the size of cannonballs. It’s going to be a great harvest this year!

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Sweet clover, ankle deep through the paddocks.

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My ancient Meyer Lemon tree, groaning with fruit.

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Gate into the cattle yards, between two majestic Sydney Blue Gums.

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Wildness and streaming sunshine.

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The river, slowly flowing past the back boundary of the farm.

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Hungry cows – nom, nom, nom.

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Purple gumboots and a barrowload of wood for the evening fire.

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Thanks for walking with me!  Bless ♥ xx

My morning walk…

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“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”~ Dolly Parton

A good friend sent me an urgent text message yesterday to let me know that a shop called Rivers in Lismore had just received a shipment of gumboots, but they were selling fast! It’s been so wet in our part of the world – 3 floods in the past two months – that gumboots have been impossible to buy. Right now at our farm gumboots are the only suitable footwear, and my old pair has holes in them from when Bert was a puppy! So I always have one cold wet food and one toasty warm dry one.

Of course we went straight to town to buy new boots! I finally settled on two pairs – a celestial purple set and a bright pink pair.

This morning I took them for a test run, in my pyjamas of course. Who is going to see me out here except the cows? The one great thing about the rain is all the flowers are blooming and everything is lush and green.  So here is my morning walk, in pictures…

Harry, accompanying me on my adventure.

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The view looking past the cattle trough to our bottom gate. It’s quite misty and rainy right now, but the weather is supposed to clear.  Fingers crossed.

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Jolly Jumper, the naughty steer who keeps leaping over the electric fence to get into my vegetable patch.  He was quite perplexed at my purple boots!

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Moss growing on the path to the pump house.

 

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The front paddock.

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Is that blue sky I see peaking out from behind those clouds? This is the little freshwater spring we pump from.  The water is so beautiful and clean – truly delicious. You can still see the remnants of Ben’s chainsaw work from the massive storms over the Australia Day long weekend that put trees and branches down all over the farm.

 

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And home again.  Blue sky!!!  Time to put a load of washing on and get it on the line to dry before this afternoon’s showers…

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