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

What Happens When Someone Believes In You

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

 

Memoir is a funny thing for taking you walking into places you would rather not remember. I was thinking, last night, of a time when I had all but given up on myself.

1987.

I was so young then. Barely just begun at University. In a body that was falling apart. In a life that was falling apart. An over-achiever who was failing at everything. And in that terrible place of not being believed when I said that something was wrong.

For something was wrong. Very wrong.

For months I woke bathed in sweat and wrestled fevers through the day. My joints ached and swelled. My heart thumped in my chest and missed a beat or two whenever it felt like it.

The music I’d been been able to read since I was a small child became a spaghetti tangle on the page. I lost my ability to remember information or to place things into a logical sequence of events. Numbers became meaningless.

I forgot where I lived, and the names of people whom I’d known for years.

I fell down in the street, my legs giving way beneath me for no reason.

My legs jigged and danced in bed at night, no matter how I tried to keep them still.

And there was pain. So much pain. Ice-picks being buried in my head. Nerve pain roaring behind my left eye and rendering me sightless from that orb for days on end. Cramping pain. Dull pain. Electrical pain. Sharp pain. It moved all round my body, making a liar of me. No-one has pain like that. Except that I did.

Then there were the rashes that came and went. Exhaustion so overwhelming that it was all I could do some days to lift my head from the pillow. Infection after infection.

So much of my life became blurred. Slowly I was losing myself. That much I knew.

Our family doctor told me that I had women’s troubles, and prescribed valium.

A second doctor suggested anti-depressants, and theorised that I didn’t have the heart for serious study. Why not become a shop assistant or a secretary instead? Or surely I had a nice boyfriend I could marry? Motherhood was very satisfying, I was told, even though modern girls thought they knew better.

When I continued to question my diagnoses, and to ask for my doctors to be more investigative I was referred to a psychiatrist.

Who sent me to a neurologist, just to be thorough. Where I promptly spiked a fever and collapsed. So the neurologist sent me to his friend, Doctor Richard Kemp, the Head of Infectious Diseases at the same hospital.

Doctor Richard Kemp was a man who listened. He was a man who cared. He took the time to conduct all manner of investigation over several weeks. Finally he concluded that I was suffering from an infection. His tests could not isolate it, but he was sure. It was like AIDS without the HIV he told me.

Doctor Kemp also told me, regretfully, that he was unable to treat me because he had no definitive diagnosis.

After which he said something remarkable. I believe you, he said. You know your body better than anybody else, and you know that something is wrong. I know that too. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Hold to your guns. Don’t give up. One day you will be proven right.

In my darkest days I have held on to that the way a drowning man would cling to a lifeline. To have someone believe in you and encourage you is a powerful thing.

Life-changing, actually. Because after that I began to fight, and since then I have never turned my back on me.

Fast forward to 2013 where I received a definitive diagnosis that proved Dr Kemp correct. I have lyme disease. It is an insidious infection that has rampaged through thirty years of my existence, and that – prior to my diagnosis – had almost killed me as I sat in cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, with a brain full of lesions and almost every major system in my body broken.

 

A big part of the reason I have endured is the encouragement I received from that kind doctor. I am still here. Still here, and now finally, because of treatment I am getting better day by day.

 

Who can you reach out to and support? Who can you encourage?

A few words, honestly stated, may mean more than you can ever know to someone who could use a self-belief boost. Destinies can be changed. Futures can be created. Lives can be saved.

 

And for those of you who are struggling? Please, don’t give up on yourself. You just never know when that breakthrough or answer or guiding light will come.

Holding you in my meditations and prayers, Nicole <3 xx

 

When Inaction is Actually Action

one-breasted-warrior-1

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”  ~ Michael E. Porter

 

It’s been a big Solstice we’ve come through this week, and an ending of Mercury in Retrograde, with lots of shift and growth for many. Throughout this time I’ve been watching friends and clients make major changes in their personal lives, and in their businesses. For many this period of change hasn’t just coincided with Solstice or the position of Mercury. These changes and upheavals have been coming thick and fast from the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. As the new energy of this era kicks in there has been a quickening, and so much of the old and outdated is falling away.

Since Solstice has finished and Mercury Retrograde is coming to an end I am suddenly reading messages from many coaches and spiritual leaders telling us that now is the time. That we must seize opportunities. That we must act! Hurry! You’re running out of time!

Because of this, some of my dearest friends are feeling pressured. Feeling that they aren’t doing enough, or being enough, or riding the wave that might be THE opportunity.

What if they miss out?

The guilt, the self-judgement, the fear and self-doubt are overwhelming.

When the truth is that they have already acted.They are in front of the main wave, rather than behind it.

So today I want to reassure them, and you.

After action, we ALWAYS need time to integrate.

Integration is work too! If we push too hard to get going again during this time when we need to rest and regroup we further exhaust ourselves. We come back to the game jaded. Or worse – filled with self-doubt, deflated, and without the sense of cohesion and strength that would have otherwise sustained us for the next period of growth.

It’s a form of self-abuse to keep pushing when what is needed is rest. This relentless drive to be busy isn’t useful or productive. It doesn’t honour the process, or what you have been through. It doesn’t allow you to truly own the knowledge, soul expansion and wisdom you have gained from these experiences. Instead of strengthening you, it can break you. What a waste of all of that struggle and courage and experience.

Integration and resisting new action actually takes A LOT of energy, and is a powerful conscious choice. Choosing to do nothing, or to go within and reflect on what has just happened for you, is an action in itself, and for you it might be the best thing right now.

Tune in to your own body, to your energy levels and enthusiasm, to your intuition. You’ll know if rest and time out is what is most needed.

Thinking of you and sending so much love, Nicole <3 xx

Image from Bplans

Image from Bplans

Loving my dinged up life-battered Self – Part 2

Image from www.95percent.com.my

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 
~ Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Are you just a bit mean to yourself sometimes?

I’m not talking about the sort of mean where you treat yourself in obviously bad ways.  I’m talking about that sneaky kind of mean you might not even realise was mean to begin with – the sort of mean where you are just waiting to be different to how you are right now so that you can love yourself a bit more.

Until a few days ago that was me.

It’s a big realisation, to find that part of you is holding their breath, waiting to return to how you were at some time in the past.  It’s also kind of funny, because, well… you know! You can’t ever go back.  The past no longer exists.  All we ever have is the present.

So how have I been doing this?  I’ve been expecting my current circumstances to be temporary.

Let me explain this a little better – maybe some of you will even relate.

Here’s me, in early 2005:

Things were going well for me, back then. I had a corporate communications business, but I was also in the thick of things spiritually – doing readings, running workshops, and working from my own offices.

I look at that picture of me, and I still feel her, that younger Nicole, sitting inside me. But I have changed so much since then.

By late 2005 a bacterial infection that almost killed me in 2000 came back.  It had been in my brain the first time round.  This time it was not just my brain but my heart. I wound up all my businesses, I cancelled all my events, I packed my life in boxes, and I went home with a miserable prognosis. I almost croaked it.

But I didn’t die. I began to stubbornly climb my way back to health.  It took a long time. I learned a lot. I was forced to grow.  More health problems came and went. It wasn’t easy. Drugs bloated me. Life battered me.  Each day I would look in the mirror and barely recognise myself. I used everything I could get my hands on – meditation, diet, herbs, energy medicine, conventional medicine.  You name it – I tried it!

Every so often I’d look at this earlier picture of me and think, I’ll get back there soon.  I’ll get back to normal. I held that picture in my head and worked towards it.

Then in November 2009 I had a heart attack, brought about by a virus.  My heart was vulnerable, after all it had already been through. I was totally floored.  But I didn’t die, although I came close. More drugs.  Limited exercise.  I just couldn’t get back to where I was with any sort of speed.

November 2010 I got a paralysis tick in my ear.  It triggered cardiomyopathy. Yeah, yeah – another near-croaking event. I spent months in bed, or with such limited mobility that I might as well have been in bed. I puffed up with fluid. I had a moonman face and a Michelin man body from all the steroids and the weight I gained.

But I stubbornly held that damned 2005 picture of me in my head.

Gotta get back there.  Gotta get back to being me.

Image of the Michelin man from frankophilia.com

I’m sorry, but that’s just mean.

Not me comparing myself to a creature made from fat white tyres. What’s mean is me expecting myself to be who I was pre all-this-other-stuff! And the idea that somehow I was less me for looking different to how I did before? Pffffh. That’s just stupid.

So, that picture of me has to come down. It’s not who I am, although I hold her in my heart. I’ve been split open since then, on so many levels. Not just from illness – I’m also changed by the psychic work I do, by the spiritual commitment I make to walk this path. It’s changed me. I’m wiser. I’m softer. I’m much more real.

Finally, I really truly love myself just as I am. I look at my face in the mirror and know that this is me. I can’t ever be that 2005 girl again. I actually don’t want to be. It’s good to stand where I am, and look through these wiser eyes. I had to earn this wisdom, but I’d pay that price again and again to be where I am right now.

It makes me a little sad too.  That’s the truth, but it’s not about physical appearance. I was so much more carefree then, so much greener and ignorant of just how big life can be, and how small I am at the face of it all. Banging up against the hard and rough edges of life has taken off a little bit of shiny and replaced it with grit.

This is just a skin suit – this body I’m in, and it’s getting pretty dinged up and battered by Life. But isn’t that kind of the point? I’m a Soul, in a human body that will change and grow and fade and fail. Why be so hung up about the vehicle when I’m here for the journey?

I think scars are like battle wounds – beautiful, in a way. They show what you’ve been through and how strong you are for coming out of it.
~ Demi Lovato

So, this is me, as I am right now. More joyful. More scarred. Stretched bigger.

More real.

I don’t need you to love me.  I need ME to love me.  And I need YOU to love YOU.  I’ll take real any day.  Real has a beauty to it that takes my breath away.

Failure is a winning strategy!

Image from thomasvan.com

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. ~ Benjamin Franklin

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan

As I ate breakfast at a local cafe the other day, a little boy pulled out one of his homework books to show his father. “Look, Dad,” he said, “I came third in maths.”  His dad gave him a big hug and replied, “well done, I am SO proud of you.”

Image by managedmoms.com

While the father went inside to place his order the little boy said to me, “I will never beat Alison.  She’s the best in the whole school at maths, but maths used to be my worst subject and now I’m good at it.”

Then he smiled shyly and said, “Alison’s dreamy.”

When I drove home, I listened to the radio.  A well-known motivational speaker was being interviewed.  He said “I won’t accept failure. Failure is for losers.  Winning is everything.  If you want to succeed get that fixed in your head. Winning. Is. Everything.  It’s the only thing that matters. Second place is all about being the first loser. Everything after first is irrelevant.”

Hey, something inside me screamed in objection.  What about kindness?  What about ethics and values?  What about friendship, and doing the right thing? And trying your best? Are they less important than winning at all costs?

As I went about my day, I kept thinking about this person and the message they were putting out into the world, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to champion failure.

I was no stranger to failure as a child.  Worst of all I would dread school sports days. As I doggedly ran along in my lane, other kids would streak past me, and I was almost always resoundingly, shamefully, embarrasingly last.

Image by entkent.com

What did that teach me? A few things actually.

  1. I am not a good runner.
  2. I might not be a good runner, but I can still be a team player.  Every runner earned a point for their house, though the first, second and third place getters amassed many more. Still, a point is a point, and I could do something to help my team.
  3. I learned courage and perseverance.  I hated running, I hated being last, but I didn’t quit, and that still counted.  Hey, I even got cheered for finishing! (Sad but true.)
  4. No matter how hard I tried I never got any better at running. I learned to be a gracious loser, and to appreciate those with greater skills and talents than me.
  5. Losing made me look for things where I might be able to excel, and eventually I found out that I could swim!

By Thomas Edison’s definition, failure is actually a road to eventual success if you keep sticking at something, learning from each failure as you go.

And what else does failure teach us? We learn that life isn’t always fair.  We learn that we don’t always get what we want. We learn the value of trying our best. We begin to find resilience, and backbone.  We find humour and the ability to problem solve, and to ask for help. We learn to get back up when life has knocked us down.  We learn self respect and courage. We learn to risk and to move outside our comfort zone.  We learn that there are things in life we need to walk away from, and other things where we need to stick with it, and believe in ourselves and our dreams.

We learn not to quit when something really matters to us, and to use failure to propel us on to success. And if we encounter failure early, we are not so frightened or overwhelmed by it as we become older.

Image from rochestersage.org

Failure prepares us for life.  Success is always built upon failure – it is our greatest teacher.

So the question we really need to ask ourselves is not whether we are prepared to fail, but, after having failed, are we prepared to get back up and try again?

Seven Gifts from Your Wise Self to You

Image from keithabraham.com

Who doesn’t love a gift?  One of my favourite realisations around journalling was that your wise self can present your conscious (and sometimes very confused or narrow-thinking) mind with all manner of gifts – through the form of realisations, guidance and new ideas.

Today we’re going to explore some of the treasure that is locked away inside you.  You might be helped by your subconscious, your inner child, your higher self, or divine guidance.  But no matter where that help comes from, trust that sometimes, with just a simple pen and paper, you really can map out a new future for yourself; one with clearer direction, that is more fulfilling and that better uses your talents and gifts.

Journal Exercise:

Start by writing this at the beginning of your page:

I trust that within me are the answers I need.  Within my heart lies a map to guide me along life’s many roads.  I am open to answers.  I expect to find solutions.  I am ready to change. Miracles happen every day. New ideas can come to anyone. I am open to receiving my truth. I am excited by the possibilities within my reach.

Now use any of the prompts below, to begin unwrapping these gifts from yourself to you.  Pick any one journal prompt that appeals to you (or repels your) from beside each image of a gift.  That way you’ll get seven answers.  Don’t expect to ‘know’ these answers.  Just start writing and see what happens…

Gift One:

  • One of the best ways for me to feel grounded is to
  • The easiest change I can make around my financial situation is
  • One person I really need to say to no to is
  • A tiny, achievable little business idea I could do part-time from home, and that would really suit me well is

Gift Two:

  • Music that always makes me feel good includes
  • The most satisfying way for me to spend spare time in a creative way right now would be
  • What my body most needs right now to feel healthy and energised is
  • If I was to work with one creative idea right now. the one most suited to my own talents and abilities, I would
  • I’d forgotten, but one of the things that best expresses me, and that I don’t do any more is
Gift Three:

  • The area I need to pay attention to, so I can get my stress under control would have to be
  • Some of the best chores and responsibilities for me to delegate include
  • If there is one thing I want to achieve, it is
  • The thing that would make me feel better about myself within the next six months would be
Gift Four:

  • Deep in my heart, I know that
  • Given a chance, I could shine at
  • If I was to put my energy towards one thing it needs to be
  • I am happiest when
  • If I was to leave a legacy, I would like it to be
Gift Five:

  • A terrific hobby for me would be
  • It’s a huge project, but if I start in this small corner over here, I could definitely
  • The things that most nurture and fill me up are
  • My deepest ambition is to
  • If I let go of
  • The thing I most want to share with the world is

Gift Six:

  • Once, I was shown
  • My inner guidance is pointing towards
  • This keeps coming up for me, that I need to
  • Every time I do this, I could keep doing it forever. I feel so positive and excited every time I begin to

Gift Seven:

  • In ten years time, when I look back, I want to be able to say
  • I keep forgetting how much I love to
  • In a perfect world I would be
  • My deepest, most carefully held wish is that
  • I try to hide from myself the fact that
  • If I had some good advice for me right now, that would help me get back on track, it is

And for a final piece of believe-in-yourself-and-your-dreams wisdom, watch this…

Hey Sister, You Okay?

Image from holmsteen.dk

I was looking forward to Saturday. In the last few weeks I’ve supported a friend through the end stages of terminal cancer, holding her hand til she passed, ridden the roller coaster of supporting an addict in recovery, and juggled my daily work and writing. Saturday was this wonderful window of calm in front of me like a soft pillow to lay my weary head.

Nothing went to plan for me. My do-nothing day of leisure and self-replenishment which I had so looked forward to became about helping others through various crises and melt-downs.  It’s okay.  The Universe obviously cleared my calender so I’d be available for the people who needed me most.  But it was an emotionally draining day, capping a difficult few weeks, and it left me wrung out.

I was driving through the inner city late yesterday when the traffic suddenly slowed.  Cars tooted their horns.  People yelled and gestured. I though there must have been a dog on the road.

The traffic slowed to a stop.  I couldn’t see what was happening, so I said a quiet prayer, asking that the animal be okay and be guided back to safety.  Finally the cars began moving again, swerving around something in the middle of the road.  Some stopped to hurl abuse as they drove past. I craned my neck, trying to see what was obstructing our way.

Imagine my horror and disbelief when I saw an elderly aboriginal woman in the middle of the road.  She was just sitting there, a shopping bag beside her on the ground, one shoe off, grazed knees.  I pulled my car over to the side as soon as I could find a park and raced back to check on her.

“Hey, Sister,” she croaked at me as I got closer. “Can you see me? All the rest of your mob think I’m invisible.”

“Hey, Sister,” I called to her.  “I see you. You okay?”

She swung her head towards me, squinting in the sun, but said nothing.  I waited for a car to pass and crossed over to her.

“Hi, I’m Nicole.  Are you okay?  Do you need some help?”

She nodded her head yes.

I helped her up, and over to the footpath. She was unsteady on her feet and I wondered if I should call an ambulance.

“Sorry, love. I’m real sorry.”  She leaned heavily on my arm.  “I just live along here. Too late eating lunch and my strength’s gone. I came over all dizzy. I’ve got sugar,” she said weakly.

“You’re diabetic?” I asked as we walked up some steps to a small flat.

“Yes.”

I got her inside, and she asked me to make her a sandwich, while she ate some jellybeans.  Then her neighbour popped in and said she would make her friend a cup of tea and stay with her until she came ‘right’ again.

Before I left I asked if there was anyone I could call, or if she wanted me to take her to the doctor.

The old aboriginal lady patted my hand. “I’m alright now I’m home. You know, you’re a true nice girl,” she said.  “Brought up proper. Your mother and grandmother, you do them proud. Here….”  Reaching over to a box she pulled something out. “This is for you.”

She opened a small drawstring bag and put the contents in my hand, one by one.

A bag full of treasures

“This shell, it’s from up my country.”

She placed it on my palm, and tiny grains of sand stuck to my fingers.  I wanted to hold it to my nose and smell the sea.  Suddenly I was homesick for my little farm at Byron Bay with a physical ache.

“Got this stone from the river.  See how nice and smooth it is.” It was a piece of clear quartz, tumbled milky, and still luminous. I felt such comfort, and thought of Angels.

This one,” she held up a twisted grey rock, “I got this one off the beach. It reminds me of a baby wrapped up tight in his blanket, trying to talk to you. Feels real nice in your hand.”

“This one – it’s coral.  Looks like an alien head with them two eyes.” She chuckled. “Friendly fella for watching over you.”

“And this last one, he’s a fossil crab, real old from the old times.  Good for protecting your soft heart.”

I left with brimming eyes, embarrassed by her kindness.

And I never asked her name.

Today I’m holding these precious treasures in my hands and feeling humbled and awed. I wonder if she knew how much these things would mean to me, or what they symbolise after so hard a day, so hard a week.

Hey Sister, you okay?

I feel like it was HER watching out for ME.

Rainbow Dreaming. Rainbow Tribe. We are One. ♥