Feathers for a Friend

raven crow magic dreaming talisman

Image by Sigi Dawn LoStimolo. You can find more of her beautiful work at her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SigiDawn

“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.”
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

 

 

This week I am enjoying some precious days at our farm, between rounds of city doctors and their clinical offices and dry predictions.

When you can’t see, you interface differently with the world. Right now my world is not one of darkness, but rather of indistinction. Everything is blurred, and there is not a crisp edge or a sharp detail to be found. Instead I find that clarity and meaning are coming in other ways. My senses are heightened. My awareness is crystal. Where once I saw, now I listen or turn my eyes inward. I let my soul see what my eyes cannot.

There is a large jacaranda tree in bloom to one side of the farmhouse. The tree is a favourite haunt of birds, and there is one huge limb that runs parallel to the ground. This week as I have sat quietly on my verandah a number of birds have come to visit me – strolling up and down that long limb as performers on a stage.

First came Madam Crow. I know this old bird well. She and her mate have a large platform of sticks at the back of the orchard and they return year after year to raise a new season of offspring.

She strode the tree branch, clicking and calling, regal in both her manner and mood. In some ways Madam Crow reminded me of a Shakespearian actor, aware of my presence and playing to me, but at the same time lost in her own world.

She preened herself and kept me company. Later that day Ben found two feathers on the ground underneath where she had sat. I knew that I was a custodian of these feathers, and that they had Crow Magic to them.

Torresian Crow - this image by Peter at www.flickr.com

Torresian Crow – this image by Peter at www.flickr.com

Over the coming days more birds walked that bough stage. There was a Magpie who came back again and again to that branch. She too gave a gift of feathers.

There were multitudes of Finches, Honeyeaters and Tree Creepers. A fat Wompoo Pigeon. A usually elusive Catbird.

My hoard of feathers grew. I began to feel the messages from each animal, and how to best create some talismans to hold the energy of each message.

Finally I went to the front room and choose some waxed thread, some crystals, and some wooden beads. I chose them based on their energy – their feeling in my hands.

beads, stones and feathers

My fingers know how to wrap and knot and bead. I don’t need to see what I am doing. This is something I have done for so long that my hands can find their own way.

Taking the first two feathers – one of Crow and one of Magpie – I made a beaded feather talisman. As I worked I sang the message from the birds into the stones and wood, into the binding thread, into the feathers. I felt the energy build and lock.

The finished piece rippled energy out into the world.

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This first one was a Writing Talisman – an encouragement for someone to share their personal story. An entreatment to go deeper, to be brave in sharing truth, at gifting this story in a way that might illuminate the way for others. The feathers are supported by banded red and black agate, bone, marble, black tourmaline, rosewood and a few chakra stones that support communication and flow of words.

As I held the talisman a friend came into my head. I knew it was for her.

Just five minutes later she sent me a text asking if I was free to chat. She called me. In the course of our conversation she mentioned that out of the blue she had been thinking about her memoir today. She’d found some new ideas and a way forward.

So, dear Carly, I’m bringing this to the city for you. I know it will weave a magic into your words. I know that it will help.

Ganesha has held this in his hand yesterday and today. It is charged up and ready for you. It feels wonderful. It feels like home.

Ganesha with feathers

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Ganesha

Carly and Ben giving Ganesha his yearly coating of wax before redressing him in his finery. Ganesha lives on our verandah, looking out over the jacaranda tree.

I still have a clutch of feathers, and I have begun my second talisman. I know that it is meant to go to one of you, dear readers and friends.

I’ll be giving it away next week.

I’ll let you know more soon about what it is for. I trust that it will find its way to whomever needs it most.

Much love to you,

Nicole <3 xoxo

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An Amazingly Ordinary Fabulous Day!

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“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
~ William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

 

Ordinary.

It sounds so boring, doesn’t it?

Except that it’s not.

As someone who has suffered chronic illness for decades, ordinary has long been a pipe-dream for me. To be ordinary, to have the energy of an ordinary person and to do ordinary things over the course of an ordinary day? Wow! WOW! That would be amazing!!!

Yesterday I had one of those days. An ordinary one. I woke early and meditated, helped my husband stack windfallen timber on burn piles, and then dragged the hose around my vegetable gardens and new fruit trees before we headed out to the markets and breakfast at a favourite cafe.

After breakfast we came home and I did a load of washing, and then worked on a new draft of my Year of ME Planner (stay tuned – it’s not too late if you haven’t started. I’m launching a mid-year intake on my course, and there is a June to December version of the Planner to help you make the most of the remaining half of this year! We’ll be launching Monday 23rd of May – or Sunday 22nd if you live on the other side of the world.).

2016-05-20 11.27.40Then I sat in the sunshine and coached two of my Deluxe Year of ME students via skype, and did an emergency reading for a client.

Washing off the line, the hose dragged up into the orchard to deep-soak a few fruiting trees, and a big pot of chilli made and on the stove for dinner.

Course uploads and a recording for one of my groups. A few facebook messages and comments on posts.

After dinner there was time to work on my memoir. A whole chapter rewritten before shower, meditation and bed.

It was a full day.

My brain worked.

My body worked.

I had energy.

I was happy and engaged and so, so positive and clear about my direction and my various projects.

At day’s end I wrapped myself in my blankets and promptly fell asleep. After a moment of worrying as to whether I had overdone it…

And this morning I woke after a great sleep, stretched, meditated and began the day feeling as good as I did yesterday.

Wow.

I think this is what well must feel like. Whatever it is, sign me up for more!

Ordinary is extraordinary. It’s deliciousness on a stick.

Hugs and love from a very grateful and slightly emotional Nicole xx

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Requiem For These Passing Moments

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

“It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 

Sometimes, life is so exquisitely painful that I can scarcely breathe.

Is it odd then, that I find those moments compellingly beautiful too?

I’m not talking about the human me. Not the me who is down there on the floor sobbing in great ugly gulps, or stumbling endlessly through the paddocks with eyes streaming and a great big hole inside me. Or the me sitting silent, numb from shock and horror.

Not, not that me.

There is another me. An eternal me. A me filled with wisdom and kindness and so much love that if all of that soul energy were to dwell within me I would burst open and be nothing but sparks and flame.

That eternal me sat with me last night and held my hand. As I sat at my kitchen table and wrote, earphones delivering me a steady stream of musical novocaine, tears blurring the screen, the keys, the outside world, I was able to slip into that wise observer me and see how alive I was in my pain. How aware I was of the fragility of life. How humbled and overcome all at once. How connected I was with all other souls in this journey of joy and suffering.

Oh lovelies, this is such a wild and mysterious and crazy ride, this thing we call life.

We are, all of us, okay. Even when we’re not.

Holding you in my prayers and meditations,

Nicole <3 xx

 

Home In My Own Bed!

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“I live in my own little world. But it’s ok, they know me here.”
~ Lauren Myracle

 

There is something so sweet and good about sleeping in your own bed after a long time away.

It’s a little crowded just now though. Harry and Bert refuse to leave my side. Not that I’m complaining. 🙂

The two weeks of rest is going well. I have napped and ready many books. I have sipped cups of tea from bed, and coloured picture books as a mindful meditation. Or just for fun.

My mind, free to roam, has surprised me with little extra treats and ideas for my end of year retreat, and for all kinds of other wonderful offerings. I love being able to be in a space of dreaming and creativity – and for me that process seems to work best when I am in my pyjamas. (Hooray for no more breezy hospital gowns!)

I’m doing really well, and the trick now is to keep resting and not overdoing it. (This is always the hard part for me. Do you find resting hard too?) Mind you, it’s challenging to overdo things when you are pinned to the bed by two loyal dogs, and you have a husband and a personal assistant who lovingly growl if I even look like doing anything workish.

Today I’m working on my pirates and fairies story, mapping out adventures and filling in some details about important things for this world I’m creating in my head. Of course that will be interspersed between more naps and cups of tea and cuddles with my boys. Probably my most important story development will happen in my dreams!

Please know that I’m sending you all lots of love. Of course you’re included in my healing meditations each morning and night. Thank you too, for all the healing, love and well wishes you’ve sent me. It has helped heaps!

Hugs and love and all that good stuff, Nicole <3 xoxo

Crazy Busy Writing!

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“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

There’s not much going on at my house right now.

Except this.

Reading. Underlining. Sighing. Crying. This book is all a pile of crap. Sudden bursts of stompy-footed door slamming and wandering around the paddocks. The clickety click of my keyboard. Endless kettles boiling.  Paper. Everywhere.

Ben brings me tea, and makes a hurried exit.

Thinking.

Reading. Highlighting. Sighing. Laughing. Hey, that bit was quite funny. Reading some more. Nope, it’s all still crap. Sudden bursts of stompy-footed door slamming and wandering around the paddocks.

Ben stokes the fire and stays out of my way.

Emergency phone calls to my sister. ‘Hi, can you remember when this thing happened? Great. Thanks. Bye.’ Hanging up to get straight back to writing.

Me reading over things thinking ‘Can I tell them that? Can I say that?’ Me wriggling in agony, ‘God, I can’t believe I’m writing that.’ Sitting under trees watching the black cockatoos flying overhead. The clickety click of my keyboard. Endless cups of tea. Words. Everywhere.

I’m working on the final edit of my Kimberley story. How stupid was I to think that it would be easy to write about myself! A memoir? I’d rather scrub the bathroom with a toothbrush. Hemmingway was right.

More tea. More writing. More sighing.

Let’s hope this is all soon done, so that normal life may resume.

A New Journal Challenge For You!

Image from artleo.com

Image from artleo.com

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
~ Rumi

Writing a journal is something I’ve done since I was a child. I don’t mean a simple diary, where you record the events of the day. You know what I mean… I ate this. I did this. Someone said that. No. I mean a place where I could explore ideas, talk with myself, and find my own answers.

Over the last few years I’ve created several journal challenges here on my blog, and I’ve just made a new one for you, to take advantage of the fabulous energies August and September bring for truly going deep within, in order to know and understand ourselves better.

Would you like to join me?

We’ll be starting next Sunday, August 2nd, so that you have adequate time to gather your resources together. Each Sunday for September and August I will have a new journal activity for you to complete during the week. You’ll need a minimum of ten minutes to set aside each week for writing, and an additional five minutes per day for five out of seven days for energy work. (If you can do more, great. If you can only find ten minutes then we’ll flow with that too.) There will also be an optional guided meditation each week.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A new journal. Choose one that feels right for you. Make sure there are enough pages to get you through 9 activities.
  • Some pens and pencils.
  • A small stone to use as a gratitude rock.
  • A larger rock or crystal to use as a guidance stone.
  • A deck of oracle cards.
  • A sense of adventure and a readiness to explore your inner world.

NB: A note on choosing oracle cards – choose cards whose pictures and messages are meaningful to you. Avoid cards such as tarot decks that show only coins or cups etc. Instead choose a deck whose imagery really speaks to you. It’s the pictures that matter. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use them. I’ll be showing you.

That’s my own journal, cards and stones in the picture below. I’ll be right beside you doing each week’s activities too. My gratitude rock is a small citrine, and my guidance stone is a labradorite. The oracle cards I’ll be using are Colette Baron-Reid’s Enchanted Map cards

Who’s in? Pop your name in the comments or let us know over on facebook. If you post a pic on the facebook page during this challenge, you’ll be in the running to win a cool prize! Stay tuned for directions.

Much love, Nicole <3 xx

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You’ll find all the journal challenges for August and September here:

Week One Journal Challenge

Week Two Journal Challenge

Week Three Journal Challenge

Week Four Journal Challenge

Week Five Journal Challenge

Week Six Journal Challenge

Week Seven Journal Challenge

Week Eight Journal Challenge

Week Nine Journal Challenge

Join Me For A Letter Writing Challenge?

Image from imgkid.com

Image from imgkid.com

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”
~John Donne

“Only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink.”
~ A.S. Byatt, Possession

“Harry picked it up and stared at it, his heart twanging like a giant elastic band. No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to him. Who would? He had no friends, no other relatives ~  he didn’t belong to the library, so he’d never even got rude notes asking for books back. Yet here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:

Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 

Hello, Lovelies!

Today I’m asking you if you’d like to join me for a letter writing challenge.

In the top drawer of my desk I have some very precious letters that have been sent to me over the years. One of them was penned by my mum, when she went into hospital to give birth to my little sister. That’s my earliest letter. I  have cards and notes from old school friends, love letters, and precious letters from my grandparents – all of whom are now deceased.

I treasure a box full of letters and cards from clients and students.

At my lowest or loneliest moments I have found solace in those scraps of paper and card. They have made me laugh, they have made me cry, and they have waltzed me down memory lane in a way no text message or email ever could.

There is also a special timber box at my farm full of letters for my Secret Dream Project – a project where I invited people to write me letters, so that I could support the space for their most secret dreams to come to fruition. I read the letters, and then programmed a crystal for each one.

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Letters can be transformative for both the writer and the reader.

Over the next six weeks, every Monday, I shall post a theme and ideas, and ask you to pen a short (or long!) letter to someone, and then pop it in the post to them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your favourite pen or writing implement
  • Writing paper, cards or postcards
  • A small crystal or stone
  • Between five and thirty minutes each week to sit down and write your letter.

Will you join me in sending some love and positive energy into the world?

If the answer is yes, write your name below or pop over to my facebook page and say hi. (Of course you can always just join in the challenge and be anonymous, but it’s so much fun to connect and join the party! – Either which way, I honour you.)

Lots of love, Nicole xx

I’m-just-a-little-pencil-in-the-hand-of-a-writing-God-sending-a-love-letter-to-the-world.―-Mother-Teresa-Quotes