Song of the Sisterhood

Image from www.new.vk.com

Image from www.new.vk.com

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”
~ Isadora James

 

 

These past few days have been hard. It’s been one thing after another. Then there’s the pain. It’s unrelenting. Drugs have helped take the edge off but it’s ground me down. The pain, and the worry.

Sleep is eluding me. I’m so tired but I’m wired too. I can’t get comfortable. My body throbs and hums and stabs and aches. Late at night my head gets crowded with the wrong kinds of thoughts.

I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. After thirty years of poor health I’ve become an expert at downplaying everything. At diverting attention away from myself. At convincing others that it’s all good. Especially when it’s not.

If Ben asks me, I tell him I’m fine. Just a bit sore and tired. We smile at each other and hug a lot. Sometimes we catch each other’s eye and shake our heads because… fuck… we can’t seem to take a trick. So much stuff seems to have been going wrong all at once, after it had all been going so right. But that’s life sometimes, hey?

I’m okay, I tell my mum. I tell Dad the same.

I tell my sister I am a little worried, but okay.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

And I am. Honestly.

 

Yesterday I met a group of dear friends for a birthday lunch. We celebrated, and ate gorgeous food, and laughed and talked about all manner of interesting things.

I’d thought I’d gotten away with it. Not talking about myself.

But after our meal had been cleared away and all the presents opened, the birthday girl leaned across the table and fixed her steady eyes on me.

“So, Nic,” she said. “What’s going on with you? With your health? We’re your friends. We need to know.”

I couldn’t keep the stupid tears from overflowing my eyes. And I told them. I told them everything. Not just the facts, but the fears too.

My dear friends listened as I gave up all my pain and terror. They hugged me and patted my arms and held my hands and passed me tissues.

Then we traded stories. We held space for each other and the messiness and uncertainties of life. We worried for each other, and we cared.

 

Afterwards I felt so much better. So much lighter.

I hadn’t realised what a burden it was to be lugging all of that around on my own.

 

It’s true, you know. I’m okay and I’ll be okay. I really mean it.

Besides, something beautiful happened yesterday.

I was lifted up by angels.

 

Feeling blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life. <3 xoxo

The Perils of 2AM Thinking

Image from Star Medical

Image from Star Medical

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
~ Corrie ten Boom

 

Have you ever stayed up all night stewing about something?

Or woken up in the middle of the night, beset with worry?

Ah, sweetkins! I’m here to tell you that the thoughts and ideas you have at two o’clock in the morning – especially the ones where you decide radical action – are not among your finest cognitive moments.

Image from The EvoLLution

Image from The EvoLLution

Trust me on this. After a bout of 2am thinking don’t write that letter. Don’t send that email. Don’t stay up for the rest of the night and then madly wreak destruction in your life once morning breaks.

Instead I counsel you to keep a notebook by the bed. Get it all on paper. Or iPad or phone. Perhaps there is a nugget of truth here, embedded in the muck. Perhaps the genesis of something which will, later, become more.

But what you need most right now is rest and a clear head.

There’s a reason why they call it the cold hard light of day. You may need time to re-evaluate your nocturnal genius.

Image from Vgames

Image from Vgames

When you are rested, review those notes from your middle-of-the-night brainstorming session. Is it more storm than brain? Be totally honest about what you see.

Maybe you can let the whole thing go. Maybe it doesn’t even make sense to you anymore. But maybe it really is time to leave the job/relationship/sharehouse/country, or say what you feel. Give it another day, after a good night’s sleep has elapsed. Let yourself be sure. Then draft that email if you must. With some solid restful hours elapsed between you and that 2am place you now have a couple of things working in your favour.

A rational mind and timing.

Sometimes we realise that our 2am thoughts were the result of hormones, too much wine, fatigue, or a serious lack of holidays. No harm done. We festered, but we never popped.

Sometimes we see that nugget of truth, and know it for what it is. Now we have the luxury of planning and strategising. We will find a new job FIRST and then tell the boss what we really think of them before our glorious resignation. We will seek counselling or legal advice and work out the best way for us to exit our relationship in a way that minimises harm to us and others rather than storming out the door with just the shirt on our backs. We make timing work for us!

We will check our facts BEFORE we react to the gossip that kept us up all night, sick with worry or roiled with anger.

We will realise that someone else already invented that thing we dreamed up, AND did a better job, and anyway, why did we want to make that thing in the first place? Oh yeah: alcohol, too little sleep, I hate my job, sugar rush and too many Marvel comics.

Let there always be a decent amount of clear-headed time between 2am and any actions you take or decisions you make.

Most importantly, if you find yourself in a 2am frenzy, or down a deep dark 2am hole, remind yourself that this will pass. That what you need most right now is some sleep. Write down what’s bothering you, and promise yourself that you’ll devote some time to it tomorrow, or the day after, when you’re fresh.

Our most difficult situations require our best thinking, not our most limited.

And nine times out of ten, it will be brighter in the morning.

Image from Quote Frenzy

Image from Quote Frenzy

How Synchronicity Happens

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” 
~ Charles de Lint

Have you ever wondered how synchronicity happens? It’s a wonderfully magical concurrence of events that leads to an opportunity, a ‘chance’ meeting, a lining up of the stars in some way advantageous to you.

I was at the opposite end of one of these events recently. Let me explain…

Our usual pattern in the mornings here at our farm (when I am well enough) is that I wake up early, meditate, blog, feed the animals and then my husband and I head off to a favourite cafe for some writing time. We’re usually in and out of Byron Bay or Bangalow well before the tourists are even on the march.

But last Friday that didn’t happen. I felt quite average (after a horrible couple of days) and so we stuffed around at home doing one thing or another, and didn’t leave early. In fact we almost didn’t go at all, until Ben decided that a little outing would do me good.

Then we quite spontaneously drove in the opposite direction to price hay for our wiener calves, after which we headed back into Bangalow for a cuppa and some writing.

2012-06-04 11.06.04

We’d totally forgotten that it was a) Friday and b) school holidays. By this time it was mid-morning and town was packed. We were almost about to go home when a parking spot opened up miraculously in front of us. Happily we pulled in and then crossed the road to a local haunt.

A girlfriend we haven’t seen for months waylaid us outside the cafe for a chat. People stopped to admire Harry and to pat him. It took ages just to get to a table.

We ended up getting next to no writing done, but had a lovely social time. Then Ben decided on the spur of the moment to go to the Post Office, and I got the idea in my head that I might as well go to the butcher to get some soup bones. By now it was lunch-time, and the main street of Bangalow was thick with people.

“Nicole Cody?” I heard someone say. “I just knew I’d run into you today!”

Something-Fabulous-Quote-Note-1-1_original-309x400

The face behind the big dark glasses looked familiar, but I was having a bad day, and I struggled for a moment to place her except for her name; Karen.

She’s a beautiful client of mine who used to live here in Australia, but who’s now relocated to the United States. She was down in our part of the world for a few days and decided to come to Bangalow for a look, hoping to run into me.

And I can tell you that on a Friday at lunchtime in school holidays the likelihood of that should have been totally negligible. And yet here we were, in perfect synchronicity – exchanging hugs and happily catching up.

I felt like I’d been pushed around a giant chess board to position me in the street in front of the butcher just for her. And I didn’t mind a bit! 🙂

The Universe has a magic to it – not to be understood by the head, but known by the heart.  Trust in that! Who can say what magic awaits you?

Much love to you, ♥ Nicole xx

I am open to the guidance of synchronicity and do not let expectations hinder my path

Sometimes Your Only Job is to Ask for Help

Image from lingualift.com

Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem. ~ Virginia Satir

I have a friend going through a tough time right now. For her everything seems to be going wrong. There are substance abuse issues, and she thought by cleaning up and getting that out of the picture, somehow everything would be fixed.  But the addictions only masked pain, hidden traumas, and a deep inability to cope with problems from the past.

We all have our strengths, and we all have our breaking points.  What cripples me might be a walk in the park for you. Still, comparing ourselves to others never helps.

When you have gotten to a place in your life where something isn’t working, where nothing is working, where you feel backed into a corner, helpless, weak, angry, resentful, disempowered or worse – when your self esteem is through the floor and you just can’t think straight anymore…

YOUR ONLY JOB IS TO ASK FOR HELP

IF you could have fixed it, if you’d known what to do, you would have done it.  The pain you’re in is because you DON’T know how to help yourself.

That’s okay.

YOUR ONLY JOB IS TO ASK FOR HELP

There are so many wonderful people in the world who have trained specifically to help you with your problem. They may have even been in your shoes.

When you’re this far down, and you are just not coping, there is someone out there who will know what to do.  Reach out you hand.  Ask.

Whether it will be a quick fix, or something that takes time to sort out, you don’t need to know what the answer is, you only need to know that someone else will. Whatever you are going through, someone else has walked that road before you.  And one of them will have a map to get you out of there. In fact, it’s probably their calling.

One day, it might be yours.