Spain

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I left London with a bit of nostalgia, the people of the city were so kind and friendly with their charming English way. Yet I would not let feelings of comfort get in the way of my grand adventure. Onwards to Spain.

I was presented with some difficulties arriving at the airport, flying with Ryan Air. I knew I had to pay for my extra baggage, which I was fully prepared to do. Yet I was charged over 200 euros for both flights for not checking in online and my baggage, twice. I let Ryan Air know that was outrageous and thankfully they reimbursed me for half of it.

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I arrived to Barcelona on the extremely affordable Aerobus that goes from airport and back for 5-8 euros. I was dropped off near the Gothic center where I was staying. It was warm and sunny with bustling activity in the square with fountains and throngs of people moving every which way. Walking through the small streets in the Gothic area I felt transported into medieval times with the winding, narrow streets with no cars felt like a maze of antiquity. I loved the location of my airbnb, right in the heart of Gothic center.  Sleeping like a baby the first night, I ventured out the following morning.

 

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My first stop was La Familia Sagrada, one of the reasons I chose Barcelona as a destination point, being a lover of Antoni Gaudi’s style of modernista and his ingenuis designs. I found the trains in Barcelona relatively easy to use, the people in Spain were nice and warm once they warmed up, and the Spanish there sounds different to the ear then what I’m used to, I found more ease with situations when speaking Spanish, which I know a bit of. Stepping out of the train stop Familia Sagrada meets you and is beyond mammoth and quite astonishing in large towers with carved, intricacy in the facade. I opted for the inside tour, which was mesmerizing with geometrical colors, fractal lights, carvings and intricate braids in the detail. It almost felt like a magical palace in some fantasy land. Quite unreal.

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I went to Guell park, on my way there was charging my phone in a cafe and met sisters from Algeria. We sat talking about our travels while our phones charged. One of the many reasons I love traveling, to meet people from all over the world who have their brilliant stories to share. Quell park had more of Gaudi’s colorful architecture. I walked around to take in nature and the quirky, unique structures.

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I decided to test myself that evening and made it a commitment to let go of my quick, expectant, insta-have it and went to dinner at a beautiful place that had an outside terrace, phone-less. In this gorgeous upper area I sat, looking around, feeling a bit awkward at first, I relaxed and took in the whole of the environment, seeing how much everyone was enjoying company and the setting. Myself included. The table sitting next to me and I started up a conversation, two couples visiting from Germany.  They were so gregarious, social and fun. We kept great company for the remainder of the evening. The food was exceptionally fresh seafood that tasted like it was caught that day, our server was sensational. Like in London a hot topic, apparently, international politics were brought up. It was quite fascinating to again hear the resounding opinions, people are afraid what will happen to the world if such an unstable person, like T—-, were President.

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To the beach I must go, I thought to myself, one outside of Barcelona city. There was a train that went to areas along the sea to Sitges, that took about 30 minutes. This became the first time I had actually missed a stop on the train, I realized after a lady came by asking where I was going. It wasn’t just me, there were two girls from South Korea who also missed the stop. We grouped together determined to get to Sitges and hopped on a train going back that way. We AGAIN missed the stop and ended back up in Barcelona, realizing the first train we took didn’t actually stop in Sitges! Quite the back and forth yet once there it was more than worth it.

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Sitges was like out of a mediterranean dream, walking through the Catalonian streets to find the beach, I was taken aback by the beauty along the sea, with the softly rolling waves and sun and restaurants, shops and homes up on the hills. A friend had mentioned to stop in Garaff on my way back. Which I’m so pleased I did. It had smaller beaches with less establishments, just as beautiful with cliffs and little cottages. I stopped at another Gaudi structure called Gaudi Garra which I walked up and through, this was more like a small castle with interesting structures and design.

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I walked through the city that evening, in appreciation, for life, for living, for now, and everything bringing me to it. I had released stress I didn’t realize I was carrying until it dissolved. The stress of doing my best to make my life work, so I am my best for self, life and others. I relaxed into the feeling of contentment with exactly how life is, right now, instead of how I’d like it to be different, or in some future reality. For what is meant to, will be. As someone recently said “Work smarter, not harder”

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I’ll be back with my adventures in Morocco….

xo,

Nicole

London

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Thank God I’m able to make this trip. I thought to myself on the plane from Montreal to London. I sacrifice many things in life to be able to travel and have for many years, yet I wouldn’t have it any different. A somewhat transient, Bohemian lifestyle, harldly planting roots til’ now. In my mind this trip was not compromise-able, well, almost not.

I’ve heard from several people in my life that I tend to be impulsively foolish, I like to think of it as intuitively living by listening to my heart. Of course, this way can sometimes lead me places unexplored, uncomfortable and I may feel underestimated, yet, I grow. I expand. I become who I am, constantly integrating everything I’m experiencing and learning. Which is why I travel. By experiencing other cultures, other lands and other ways of being, my mind expands and I become better at being me.

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I arrived in London and immediately felt I understood the lay of the land, in rapt fascination with the architecture and detail of the older gothic structures. The English accent sounds like musical notes to the ear, I was quite entranced by it and hearing the ease with which it was spoken, I took on a few words immediately. Loo. Trousers. Pint. The tube.

About half of my trip was reuniting with people I know. Which feels so yummy for my heart and soul, to be able to travel internationally and meet with people I have treasured bonds with. Amazing, I think to myself.

I visited with a family that I know from America and had such a cozy, connecting, reuniting time. Playing with a superbly special little one, while chatting and catching up with the family and having delicious, fun meal times.

Reminding me what an impact connections leave on a life, like an imprint,  leaving me feeling blessed to have the experiences. A reason, a season or a lifetime? I have found many connections in my life I don’t need to speak to all the time, yet they remain as close as ever and when reunited the bond is what is remembered.

 

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I was staying close to all the tube lines in an area of London. Yet now that I know the city more, I think I’d choose to stay elsewhere. The Underground, ahhh how easy it is to navigate in London, while I LOVE to walk as much as I can, I also like to understand the train systems and I bought myself an Oyster card for the week I was in London, I had so much use out of it.

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My screen was cracked on my I phone, which gave me the perfect excuse to go to the three story store in Covent gardens, where apparently used to be where farmers would sell their produce. I walked for a bit since it was too early for Apple to open and found Trafalgar square and the Mason museum which piques my interest of secret societies and such. I walked around and was given information about the different sects and clothing and symbols, which I find fascinating.

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While waiting for my phone I flaneused about, mingling with the crowds gathered around, watching street performers defy what seemed the laws of gravity. Finding myself wandering into the stores, sampling products, perfumes, delectables and falling in love with the bustle of the area. By being phone-less I immersed myself in the sensory outputs happening around me.

I had to sign up for hot yoga classes and went to quite an obscure location yet loved the classes and heat and instructions, buying a pass for $30 I was able to use it 4 times. It was such a relief for my body, mind and spirit knowing all the traveling I was about to undertake.

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I went to Spitalfields Market, which I had heard was fun to walk around and barter in. Located in the more hip area of East London I was there more so for the experience that crossed section many streets. The sellers weren’t as aggressive as many markets I’ve been to in the world, which felt a bit more relaxed, instead of pressured.

From there I walked to the London Bridge to see a view of the famous Tower Bridge. Again reuniting with a friend we had a bite to eat in a pizzeria and walked around the South Bank, aged with preserved antiquity. We passed by what used to be an old prison. Places like that and more are so enchanting especially when so well preserved as we found to be along the Thames.

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Echoes rise up to meet us in the now, a time long past where women were in dresses and petticoats and men in their formal wear watching shows put on and meandering around as we were. A spellbinding sight along the Thames while moving through the crowds of people, the cargo ships lazily move. Across the way are buildings that are the epitome of English architecture, which I won’t pretend to know that much about, only that it’s quite unbelievable in scope of detail and design. In a spellbiding way England perfectly captures the old amidst the new, and I am quite in love with its style.

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Taking the bus to Chelsea, I was able to see more of the city and areas surrounding it. I stopped at Trafalgar, a pub, and tried light and flaky fish and chips and lots of malt vinegar and ketchup, and a beer. I find it important to try local staples wherever I’m at, it was so tasty and an added treat to my day of wandering.

I visited with a friend I hadn’t seen in years at a restaurant a friend of ours had opened. In a hip, quite cool area, walking around before arriving I found it fashion forward and fun. The food at Smokey Tails was so scrumptious, the ambience amazing, sitting outside with a view of the square and I had such a fabulous time meeting up with my dear friend. Amazingly I remember when the restaurant was in the beginning stages, to see it busy and taste how amazing the food is brought me joy.

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I went to Oxford St. to visit Liberty. On my way there I stopped in a pub to sit outside it for a bit, have a glass of process and watch all the people walk by while checking my phone since I could only do so while on wi fi.  This turned into me meeting several people, sitting at the nearby tables on this gorgeous, perfect sunny day. Which sparked the topic of interest: American and international politics and the opinions of many people around us, which seemed to be of a similar accord. If a certain politician is chosen, obviously since it’s a he, it’s given, internationally he doesn’t seem to be favored. Rather people fear what will happen with how he is. In the UK to run for Prime Minister, who is kept in check by the Queen, he/she must have had time in the political system of England prior to becoming PM.

One of the gentleman I was speaking with used to be a part of Parliament and he met many well known politicians throughout his time in it. I did research to confirm he was who he said he was,  I’ll call him Pablo. I learned a lot about British politics with of course, the witty British humour. Capturing a story, I tried to be as unbiased as possible during this incredible show of political intelligence. Pablo was speaking about how he would give talks at American and British Universities on several subjects involving politics and defense.

He then said, verbatim. “America could be the best nation in the world. It could be the ultimate force for good. But it needs to understand that it’s political system is damaged and outdated, until it does become a force for international good and relations it is potentially a threat, not a benefit to the order of the world.” He the went on to quote Winston Churchill “American will always do the right thing- After exhausting all the alternatives”

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I was asked to then to “pretend” that I worked for the American Embassy, while his girlfriend was there. I played along because I love to get stories and sometimes create my own, imaginative tales. Not quite deceptive, more like what an actress or a journalist would do. How perfect it was getting international opinions of many people from the UK, especially amidst the turmoil right now, in America and internationally, regarding politics, including Brexit.

I left the group of them feeling intellectually stimulated, pondering many systems, to gain understanding. I then meandered into Liberty. What a perfect coincidence given I love words, etymology and contrived or not so contrived meaning. Liber is Latin origin for freedom.

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My last night in London I met again with my dear friend Maria at the top of the Shard at Shang Ri La. Beautiful and opulent, the view was out of this world. We had such a blast, chatting, talking all the girly things over a bottle of wine and hor d’oeuvres, it was the perfect sendoff to Barcelona. Below was the view from above.

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l’ll be back with the next leg of this adventure in Barcelona.

 

xo,

Nicole

 

For more pictures please check out my Instagram account as it’s been quite difficult downloading them from phone to computer in a foreign country for some reason

14 Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

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Apple Cider Vinegar, also known as ACV has varying uses for health, beauty and green living. Found in many kitchens, it is an ancient healing modality, dating back thousands of years. ACV is made from fermented apples which contain powerful acids that give it a pungent odor and sour taste. If you can get beyond the initial nose- scrunching feeling it gives, the benefits are extraordinary. When purchasing it’s important that it is organic which unpasteurized still has “The Mother” what looks like webs or gunk at the bottom.

Since I have a tendency to Bragg about all the uses, without detail, in past posts. Here are some detailed ways it can be used.

 1. ANTIOXIDANT: After the sugars have fermented into vinegar, the antioxidant benefits are numerous. Some include catechin, gallic acid, caffeic and chlorogenic acids. Amongst many benefits, antioxidants assist the immune system and neutralize free radicals.

2. SINUSES: The vitamins, minerals and acids contained in ACV help balance the body’s PH level. The natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help the immune system fight off sinus infections and thin the mucus. Mixed with a dash of cayenne for more sinus support.

3. ENERGY: The minerals, enzymes, acids and amino acids in ACV can promote more balanced and higher levels of energy. ACV also helps to decrease fatigue and foggy-headedness.

4. SKIN: Using ACV on the skin as a facial toner or cleanser can balance the skin’s PH levels over time leaving skin glowing. It can also help fade bruises and ease burns.

5. DIABETES: ACV promotes healthy blood sugar levels and is anti-glycemic, which is beneficial for anyone with diabetes or blood sugar issues.

7. CLEANER: Mixed as a ratio with water 1:1, you can also add essential oils to this mixture. It has anti-microbial properties that kill pathogens and bacteria, studies have shown it to be as effective as bleach.

8. DIGESTION: Lack of digestive acids in the stomach leads to heartburn, taking a tablespoon of ACV in water improves the stomach acid, easing indigestion. It can also help the body break food down during the digestive process if taken before or after eating, due to the enzymes.

9. NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC: The acid, mineral and vitamin content of ACV make it a highly effective anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal when taken internally. It also has probiotics and magnesium to balance the system when combating an infection.

10. PETS: ACV helps to repel fleas from animals. You can mix a similar ratio of 1:1 as the cleaner, even adding in a few drops of oils like tea tree or clove and rub on your pet’s fur to get the little buggers off. 1x a day for a month. Diatomaceous earth, which I’ll address in another post is touted for pets too.

12. FOOD: ACV is super yummy in dressings, salads, sauces, soups, veggies, pastas and more. It can add the perfect touch to many dishes. It also improves the nutrient absorption of food, vitamins and minerals.

13: WEIGHT LOSS:  Taking a tablespoon a day in water can help with weight management.  “Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study finding that drinking it for just three months caused significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides.”

14. DETOXING: ACV assists not only the metabolic process but also the liver, lymphatic drainage and cardiovascular systems. It also naturally balances the PH and kills candida, the root to many health issues.

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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

These 14 that I’ve listed are of a hundred or so benefits of ACV. Which is why it is a staple in my life, for prevention and the all around amazing-ness it gives. Here are some ways to take it if you can’t stomach it alone.

2 TBLSPNS in 8 oz purified water with 1tspn blackstrap molasses or raw honey before a meal or anytime you need some energy. For more healing benefits adding cayenne is like super-charged ACV. For colds warm water, ACV and honey help immensely. If you’d like more advice, food and dressing recipes or ways to use it, please contact me directly.

xo,

Nicole

 

Related  articles:

 

10 Best Natural Antibiotics

1 TBSN ACV Eliminate Health Problems

Vitamins, minerals and remedies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebel With a Cause

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And I heard “Play safe, play by the rules. ” To which my soul whispered “Rules are meant to be bent. Therefore, I shall envision them as I see fit.”

I will play real.

I will play free.

I will play bold.

I will play smart.

I will play love.

I will play adventurous.

I will play light.

I will play wHealthy.

I will play fun.

I will play capacious expression.

I will play being human.

I will play comPassion.

I will play life, as it is lead.

I will play one hundred and eleven percent.

I will listen to my heart to understand what my soul’s calling is, as I unravel self through this multifarious existence.

For this is the game that I wish to play as my essence and path are elucidated.

My truth and rules reside within as I am a self sovereign being.

xo,

Nicole

10 Popular Essential Oils and Benefits

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Essential oils are amazing remedies, not only for health but also well-being. With a myriad of effects on the olfactory glands. Our scent glands are closely tied to our limbic system, which correlates to our instincts, moods and emotions. The glands access the amygdala and hippocampus; emotions and learning. This is the reason we tie emotions, memories and events to scents.

The use of essential oils dates, give or take, 5,000 years. Ancient. Below are some very popular oils and their benefits. I can say from personal use they are amazingly beneficial. I will highlight snippets of some benefits below.

1. LEMON OIL:  Lemon oil is made directly from the peel of lemons. It is a well-known disinfectant, killing the pathogens E.Coli and Salmonella when used on surfaces. It improves the metabolic process, aiding in weight loss and alkalinity: 1-2 drops added to water. Contains d-limonene, a cancer fighting antioxidant. Raises dopamine levels to improve mood, especially when diffusing in air. Nourishes the skin.

2. LAVENDAR OIL: I put a drop on the bottom if my feet every night. Promotes restful sleep, helps insomnia. Benefits nervous system through relaxation. Eases headaches, depression and stress. Stimulates blood circulation. Respiratory and sinus benefits. Hair care and hair growth. Cognitive function boost. Pain relief including muscle aches. Defends body against certain fevers. Helps restore hormonal balance.

3. ROSEMARY OIL:  A well-known herb, that is so flavorful and beneficial. Stimulates hair growth, add a few drops to shampoo. Relieves respiratory problems, especially when used with Eucalyptus oil. Helps indigestion. Detoxifies liver. Stimulates circulation. Increases concentration, memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown it can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s. Stress relief. Immune system boost. Put a drop on each temple.

4. FRANKINCENSE OIL: Sap from the Boswellia Tree. Promotes healthy cell regeneration. Useful for skin health, treats dry skin. Anti-aging. Strengthens gums and roots. Promotes mental peace and relaxation and stress relief. Helps digestion. Purifies the air. Speeds up the healing of cuts and wounds. Assists with symptoms associated with menstrual syndrome.

5. PEPPERMINT OIL: Peppermint is commonly associate with freshness and enlivening. Helps with indigestion, nausea and morning sickness. Headache relief. Joint therapy. ADHD support. Sunburn relief when added into a carrier like aloe or coconut oil. Natural energy boost. Promotes oral and skin health.

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6. SANDALWOOD OIL: A grounding scent that improves mental cognition and clarity. Boosts memory, especially when stressed. Promotes relaxation. Mild astringent and emollient when used in skin care. Natural aphrodisiac boosting libido, especially in men. Anti-inflammatory. Expectorant.

7. GERANIUM OIL: Sweetly smelling from the Geranium flower. Boosts immune system. Speeds up healing process of wounds and is a Hemostatic which speeds up coagulation. Helps heal scars and fades the skin. Promotes distribution of metabolism. Helps with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Helps with depression, anxiety and anger issues.

8. ROSE OIL: A personal favorite although good quality can be pricey. Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety. Promotes feelings of joy, love and well-being. Reduces fever and inflammation. Treats wounds when used in lotion or oil. Anti-spasmodic with the respiratory system, limbs and digestive tract.

9. TEA TREE (MALELEAUCA) OIL: It comes from Australia. Along with Frankincense is anti-cancer. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory. Helps infections and cuts. Oral health. deodorant. Kills mold. Anti-parasitic. Anti-fungal. Helps with eczema and Psoriasis. Treats acne. Use as a cleaner when adding 10-20 drops in water in a spray bottle.

10. EUCALYPTUS: An invigorating scent. The benefits are similar to all the oils I’ve included. Helps with cold and flu. Nourishes hair. Helps heal respiratory functions, including colds, sore throat and bronchitis. Mental stimulant, alleviating stress. Increases blood flow to the brain. Controls blood sugar when 1-2 drops ingested in water.

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The benefits I’ve mentioned includes diffusing, oil burners,  adding 1-2  into water or oil carriers like Coconut oil or using directly on skin. Some of the oils are not suitable for ingesting in water, including tea tree oil. I have found the oils I use to be suitable for using directly on skin, be careful with not getting into the eyes. I use therapeutic oils that are sourced, cultivated and pure. There are many types of brands and oils out there and can be found at any health food store. Try using some for now and see how you feel. If you’d like to order high-grade, therapeutic oils please contact me directly.

Use at your own risk, for more disclaimer please refer to bottom of About The Journey page.

xo,

Nicole

 

Young Living

DoTerra

 

 

7 Tips for an Empath

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When I first wrote about being an empath, there wasn’t much on the internet sans a few articles. I have come to much of my own discoveries though trial and error, which has been a dazzling, intense process.

I’m just scratching the surface with this as this blog is my service. I have yet to make money off of it, the ads come from WordPress, not me. To clarify, being an empath is different from being empathetic. All humans have empathy and can be empathetic, unless they’re a psychopath. Where as empaths literally take on what has and is happening around them, including from others. Like a mirror to the environment they can feel people, places and events, even things that may be hidden, transforming the energy to higher vibrations. If you’re an empath know that fortifying yourself inwardly is where your true power lies and that your gift will develop to more than being an empath over time.

There are many skeptics in the world and people in status quo mindset and trying to explain what being an empath is can be futile, for you may be laughed at, as I have. Ironically, the same people who used to make fun of me, now copy off of me and my lifestyle. So, don’t let other people’s opinions of you make you become withdrawn, especially if you can feel their energies towards you and they’re not positive. You are an alluring, magnetic light with an amazing ability. Use it to empower and charge you and those around you. Just know that you know. You may attract people and become a trusted confidant, creating influence in individual and group connections, which I have seen in my own experience. I hope to see more scientific, metaphysical and psychological research into empaths in our upcoming future.

1. ENVIRONMENT:

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It is easy for empaths to adapt because of the ability to assimilate to the environment, making travel easy. Because empaths reflect others, getting sucked into other people’s fields and intentions can happen, discern the energies so as not to get swayed into something that goes against your principles. When out in public, hold and impress energy instead of always reflecting the environment. Once able to hold, presence becomes more purified, brilliant and stronger as the ability develops. Grounding and exercise are vital to finding peace within chaos and empaths tend to feel EMF’s. Be in nature if you feel bombarded. It’s understandable empaths may feel distracted even labeled add, adhd or other labels.

If you’re taking something on of someone’s  and it’s uncomfortable, you can notice it and don’t have to absorb it or play it out. It’s not yours to become. Of course we can sense douchebagery, bullshit, superficiality and misaligned intentions a mile away. That’s ok. Certain people may loathe you because of this, don’t take that on either. Just know others have their journey and stuff to work through, even if you can sense it, it’s not yours to judge. Instead, have compassion if you can.

2. PROCESSING:

 

01 Empath — Sensitive, Kind, Loving

Empaths may need more sleep than average because of the processing that is done in sleep and the levels we take on energy. Empaths may also be more in tune with other worlds, in dreamtime or even waking time. My brilliant teachers said, I travel the Lokas, or other worlds. If you’re an empath and working in these realms, our language is limited in these arenas, again, that’s ok, you know what is being worked on in those levels. When you need the hibernation and internalizing time, don’t be afraid to state that and set proper boundaries. Since we have such a caring nature it can also take a toll on our life force if our energy and boundaries are not properly respected.

3. SUBSTANCES:

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Be aware with substances. Because empaths are such high level processors of the environment and the influx of thoughts and energy it’s easy to want to mask that with alcohol or other substances. Empaths will take on the energy of whatever is being ingested if not careful, so it’s easy to become what you’re drinking, smoking, taking, eating, etc. There is a reason they call alcohol spirits, because the energy or “spirits” of it are not always the most pleasant. As many people do not understand empaths, you need to know this for yourself because the explanations won’t be understood as to why your behavior may change. Moderation is KEY. Positive energy or blessing what you take can help.

4. BE IN YOUR BODY:

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High vibrational energizing activities can bring your life force back into focus. Connect with someone who can understand if you need to be recharged and need positive encouragement. Other ways to be in your body or engage in the present are creative projects. Organizing. Painting. Cooking. Plant life like botanical gardens. Gong baths. Mantras. Sacred places. Music. Animals. Being around children. Foods. Yoga. SALT baths. Energy work like Reiki or Acupuncture. Parties. Exercise. Ocean. Nourishing, raw foods. Nature. Anything that brings you joy. Dancing. Laughing. Intimacy. Conversation. Connecting. Meditation. Making love. 1 glass of wine, in moderation😉

5. CLEARING:

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Altar with Clearing Tools

Many empaths are natural healers and find themselves drawn to their innate healing abilities. They may need to disengage to clear the energy they have taken on, at times, and have their space feel energetically safe. Sage is one of my favorite ways to cleanse unwanted energies over the past 10 years of burning it. Essential oils like frankincense and peppermint are really great for shifting denser vibrations into higher ones and releasing any energy that you may have taken on. Some nights I  douse my bed in lavender or frankincense spray before I get in it so that my sleep is restful and clearing. Crystals can help pull things out of the body when I lay them on me. Especially after driving in LA traffic😉

If you’re feeling uncomfortable or heavy with someone or something else’s energy intend on it to be released and somehow, some way it will. Love is a vibration that sets everything free. I will give an easy meditation in a video next post for easy release.

When you’ve taken something on visualize it burning out with a violet flame that purifies everything on all levels.

6. PROTECT:

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To protect your energy: Visualize a light coming out of either your head or your heart depending on what suits you until it envelopes your energy in an orb around you. My profound teacher, who is also an empath said to visualize golden light around you before you leave your house every morning. Once you have fortified your inner light you will be effervescent in your ability to understand and use your gift. For in it’s essence, it is a gift. And you can beam that gift forward into the universe to impress upon it instead of it always impressing upon you.

7. TUNE IN:

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My gift has manifested in a very clear voice, sometimes images, that knows. Learning to listen to it has been a lesson. On subtle levels we know what we need to give, or not give. Tune in and trust. If you’re an empath and have taken something on, feel into it, it may have a vision, feeling, thought or smell to it. Focus and see what it carries and the energy, then breathe light into it and LET IT GO.

As my fabulous teacher said “Do not allow yourself to become a victim to it. Find something to ground yourself into your body and bring joy to you”

 

Hope this helps and I will give some more links to articles I wrote in the past about this and meditations to help below. My next post will be a guided meditation for release.

 

xo,

Nicole

 

 

Vibing with an Empath

10 Ways To Raise Your Vibration

Empathic Repatterning

Dream, Play, Laugh and Create

The Rainbow Children

The Fall of the Feminine

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Once upon a time the God and Goddess stood together, hand in hand in love with one another and their creation in a balanced harmony.

Over time the Goddess has fallen, to her knees, weeping as she witnessed her lands and creatures wreaked by destruction. Perpetrated by bloodshed, with wars waged against her children. As she fell, she felt the pain sink deep into her heart and core, embedding itself into the genetic memory of all humans.

This became the fall of humanity’s hearts and intuitive minds. For as the feminine fell, we were thrust into harsh times. This harshness has encapsulated our race in a time capsule that censors our quest for sustenance that can be re-attuned to by going deep within.

Many hear the resonant chords in our hearts and minds of a time when the balance with the feminine was harmonious. When this suppressed information was understood, engaged with.

That which is suppressed must also be extremely powerful.

This post is not to place blame, nor focus on what has happened. It’s to uncover a deeply rooted story that has been hidden; the power of the feminine and loss of sacred knowledge and the connection to our natural cycles and rhythms. This includes the earth, all earthlings and ways of being in harmony with her and through her, the universe at large.

This is my Philosopher’s Stone if you will and a taboo subject, as the information is quite hidden, some of it destroyed. The remembering of where we come from is vitally important to me in the quest for wisdom, attainment of higher consciousness and what it represents.

Let’s just take the story I’m about to present as an allegory, or a metaphor. One that can be interpreted in many ways, yet has a similar by-product seen by the denial of our intrinsically connected nature. This fall I speak of has been one of the most suppressed pieces of information in our history. I’ve been researching different parts of it for several years. If you are interested you can do your own research as I try to keep this simple because one can definitely get sucked into a rabbit hole of it. With this plunge it’s like we’ve been cut off, like an etheric umbilical cord, from our primordial source of nature and being. Our race as a whole.

What I refer to as the patriarchial rule is not men or males, it’s the dogma, control, sublimation, domination and suppression of humans and nature through religions and corruption. The subtle and not so subtle dishonoring and shutting down the “human being” more so the feminine. This is not to disregard men or males in any way by speaking on the patriarchy or where we are as a whole. There are many men I know who are undertaking the conscious evolution of our planet in their own ways and who are completely in balance with aspects of themselves. I like to think of them as the evolved masculine, what a glory that is to behold. There are also women I know who are way out of balance with their masculine sides, as we all have both within.

While this plunge may have caused damage to our genetic experience of awakening. If there is a fall that happened, wouldn’t it also be a part of the perfect cosmic cycle of experience?

 

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AEON SOPHIA

Gnostic traditions refer to it as Aeon Sophia. The story of this force is a fascinating description of how life came to be on Earth and the attainment of wisdom through knowledge on our planet. Aeon Sophia translates as the wisdom goddess, she who took the plunge to become an organic, living force.

“Alien Dreaming: The Enigma of the Archons – The Gaia Mythos describes how the impact of the Aeon Sophia upon the density of atomic matter produced a massive fracture, like the shattered pattern on an ice pond. The pattern has a center where Sophia is located (identified by the Mandelbrot Set), and a spider-web extension of fracture lines that run in all directions (the frozen sea of fractal waves)..”

“In the second stage of the unfoldment described in Trimorphic Protennoia, the Aeon Sophia “descends to empower her fallen members by giving them spirit or breath.” (NHLE 1996, p. 511) Thus the tensile forms morph from semi-rigid seahorses into rounded fetal forms with tails, but the tails, it seems, keep falling off and turning into other embryos. By this bizarre process of self-repeating generation, the neonate horde of the Archons emerges.”

“Human beings are on a journey of awareness,
which has been momentarily interrupted by extraneous forces.”
Carlos Castaneda, Magical Passes

This is also referred to as Shekinah in Judaism. Inanna in Babylonian mythology. Persephone with Hades going into The Underworld. Shakti in Hinduism and many other names worldwide throughout history. The story of Mary Magdalen and Mother Mary may also be alluding to the fallen goddess, along with the quest for the Holy Grail. I believe many of the stories are metaphysically metaphorical for the attainment of enlightenment. In many ancient texts, there are metaphors for the alchemical philosopher’s stone; to transcend and become awakened to inner illumination and the many symbols that represent that.

The Nag Hammadi from Gnostic traditions says that Aeons are like massive dancing conscious light and emoting energy from the center of the galactic core in our galaxy. Who revel in the bliss, play, love and excitement of creating and watching those creations come about. What is said is the living, organic life on our planet, including the human species happened with the conscious dreaming intention of the joining of Aeon Sophia and Aeon Thelete. Creating little spores of DNA that were shot out into the arms of our galaxy through a tube like tendril. They then released filaments of DNA and potential life down the arms of the galaxy to reach outer planets and nestle in and become organic life in warm environments and planets where life could thrive.

Aeon Sophia, like a mother, was curious and wanted to know how her creations would come about. She left the galactic center, which was unprecedented by Aeons before that. In doing this she fell from the center of cosmic light into more dense matter. Her plume, like a shooting star, mixed with matter in the Orion star system, creating a race of archons who are like our demented, degenerate cosmic siblings. Or so the story goes.

The earth hosting the DNA that her and Thelete dreamt up, she then came into the earth as a living breathing force that was once a dancing light from the center of our galaxy, with the ability to dream into form from her force, to protect us as well as oversee her archontic creations. We, as the human race and living earth and earthlings are the emanations of her lucid dreaming.

This knowledge and wisdom have been forsaken and hidden from the forefront of our collective perspective. What we have been taught instead, through much propaganda and the conditioning of our culture, is a misalignment by placing power outside of Self, instead of awakening the power within. Let’s just say these misaligned forces urge humanity to give intrinsic power away, to listen without discerning what truth it; truth is known within, there are many paths and teachers to light that way.

The organic force is a power so intelligent we can’t begin to comprehend it. The patriarchy shadow has consisted of brutality and control masking as superiority, attainment and collecting of materialistic urges. This is not to negate technology and living comfortably, for I simply love it yet it’s pertinent to create a balance for our future and future generations.

Do you think we use technology as a mask to a deeply un-rooted issue of having lost our connection to our sacred planet, who is alive and teeming with universal intelligence?

This intelligence can be seen in the simplest living thing like a shell or plant, holding the Fibonacci sequence, or golden ratio.

The wool has been pulled over our eyes for many millenia. Creating fear, separation, rifts of fearing what is different steeped so deep that it has disconnected us from our own essence, nature and connection to one another. This is displayed in the shadow domination of the collective in how we treat each other, animals and our earth if we sense there is a difference or something to be feared or the cruelty and abuse that happens.

Most human beings are doing their best given their state of circumstances and environment. This is not to say there aren’t the pathos, or mutations, which occurs in all living things on our planet.

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ORGONE

I wrote briefly about this years ago, links are below for some meditations to connect to this ether, orgone, prana matter. This earth energy I speak of has been scientifically studied, although no surprise, suppressed. It was harnessed and observed by scientist Dr. Wilhelm Reich who coined the term Orgone. In the US, where we are supposed to have free speech, Dr. Reich’s work was confiscated and destroyed because it went in direct opposition to the pharmaceutical industry at the time. He created an Orgone accumulator that could heal disease, with the harnessing of Orgone; Earth’s own erotic energy or Aeon Sophia.

“And shortly after arriving coined the term “orgone” – from “orgasm” and “organism” – for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God. “ -Wikipedia

“Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court.[n 2] He died in prison of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.[15]”

The shadow side of the elite, political system, banks and corporations are pawns to their own greed, corruption and pathology with the mentality that power lies in control, censorship and greed. True power does not control, nor deceive in order to gain materially. True power loves, gives and receives, being a source of itself

On August 23, six tons of Reich’s books, journals and papers were burned in New York, in the Gansevoort incinerator, the public incinerator on 25th Street. The material included copies of several of his books, including The Sexual Revolution, Character Analysis and The Mass Psychology of Fascism.”

“It has been cited as one of the worst examples of censorship in U.S. history.[n 2] As with the accumulators, the FDA was supposed only to observe the destruction.”

Over the past few millenia our sexual natures have also been suppressed. Whether looked at as taboo, sinful or carnally objectified to the physical through porn; this suppression has stripped away the exquisite sensations of learning the presence of mind/body/spirit and the art of sacred sensuality/sexuality as one of the many pathways to enlightenment, the human body as a tool through inner alchemy.  There is a great power in this alchemical process this that seems to be purposely concealed and diluted.

Has this information and more that we may not ever know, been hidden to keep us locked into a disempowering cycle?

To shut down our potential of aligning the neo cortex with the reptilian brain or hindbrain, in doing so activating higher centers and the evolution of our DNA?

By using breath, it can open up energy pathways to what’s known as nirvana, or Turiya which rise up the energy channels. Breath is connected to Orgone and being grounded in the body with the many tools that connect one to it, allows for clarity of life to present itself and know what truth is internally by accessing the higher states of awareness.

Perhaps allow the memory of Aeon Sophia to re-surface. I urge you, don’t take my words for it, feel what is true to you.

It’s simple and doesn’t have to be convoluted to a point of breaking down logically, for this is a sensory, intuitive and intelligent living force that is a cosmic play of life as we experience it.

If one just lets it happen, the intentionality is enough to open the doors to the inner realms and taking the step will be up to each person who is willing. Using the will with intuition becomes the sacred marriage, doing with being, ultimate alchemy.

I have a book/movie idea that I am writing that ties into this. Fingers crossed.

xo,

Nicole

 

 

https://nicoleciccarelli.com/2011/12/13/intuitive-opening/

https://nicoleciccarelli.com/2012/05/24/kundalini-awakening/

https://nicoleciccarelli.com/2012/05/02/divine-feminine-christ-consciousness/

Authentically Empowered Woman

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An Authentically Empowered Woman:

Knows thyself therefore can connect authentically to others and resides in her inner knowing, a knowing that propels her in motion.

Needs no validation from the outer world to draw from the reservoir of inner self and action. Knows that true beauty is exuding an inner radiance that lights the inner and outer, towards self and others. True validation starts within.

Has forged a path for herself through her own gifts, resources, diligence, resilience and patience, not needing to rely on those around her. Pulls creativity from her deep inner well spring, one that is eternally hers and unique to her experience, sharing it with others to build upon.

Has gone through the dark night of her soul, to come out complete and awakened to her light of self-awareness. She honors herself and those around her, coming from a place of pure inspiration.

Pushes forward against all odds and listens to her inner for what she knows to be, for within self the answer rings with clarity.

Knows that completeness is in the moment and holds space from that awakened sense for others to find their own essence. Gives from her empowered sense, not expecting, instead standing in what she deserves.

Speaks her truth from a place of genuinity and strength of being. Knows that being vulnerable is an expression of wisdom and in that there is a softness of connecting.

Magnetizes what she needs to learn from life and the people who support her highest state of being. Understanding the inter connectedness of life and as a beloved friend states:

“As she listens to the signs and sounds of that and those around her which inspire influence and suggest, she hears, for it is in the mirror reflection that we find the guided alignment because in all of our individual work lies the collective”

 

xo,

Nicole

Little Trouble in Big China

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I have a more rebellious take on life. This comes from many years of practice. Not always following tradition, rules or codes. I follow my heart and internal guidance, which seems to steer me in the direction I need to go. My inner intellect knows, you could call it good intuition. China is no exception. To some this may sound foolish, to me, well, it pushes my envelope.

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HONG KONG:

The flight from Tokyo was a breeze in comparison to the flight to Japan. I’ve met some memorable people in my life on planes, trains and automobiles. Surprisingly it seems to comfortably in an awkward yet social way, help one to open up. I’ve found that these connections on PT&A are brilliant and ones that somehow create new destined paths.

Here’s what I did with two and half days in Hong Kong:

Kowloon:

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The side of Hong Kong I was staying in at the Hyatt, which was so luxurious. Needless to say, a little exploring goes a long way. The Kowloon side is busy and the roads criss cross a lot in a non linear fashion, making it easy to get lost. Never fear, there’s always a map, dear. Use one. I have learned to always have one handy. It’s easy to get lost meandering in and out of stores from jewelry to shoes to herbs to food. Especially when directionally challenged as I sometimes am. There’s always a way to get back though, that’s sometimes the fun of getting lost, is it not?

Hong Kong Island:

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Taking the ferry to the other side it’s visibly more busy, modern, think Wall Street with some of the lovely British charm still intact. I visited pubs while also eating dumplings and Chinese. Even though in a big city, the hills give it a cozy feeling. Hong Kong is quite international and most people speak english well. If I was to compare this to an American city, I think San Francisco would be the easiest comparison. Hong Kong is much smaller than Tokyo.

Ladies Market:

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Visiting the ladies market. It’s worth it to see this market at night, to get lost in the rows after rows of cheap knock offs, clothes, little gadgets and some amazingly good finds. “Here, you like this?” is asked at almost every stall stopped in. If you’re not prepared to say no, then you may spend a lot more than you bargained for. I give less than half of what they’re asking and then see. It’s ok to walk away if you don’t like what you hear.

Tian Tan Buddha:

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I was hesitant to see another Buddha since my time was so short in Hong Kong. Yet I am always allured by the spiritual principles of any practice and religion. I find truths within all of them that connect to the core of being human. The trip to Lantau Island is definitely worth it. Even after an hour and a half wait to go through luscious mountains by cable car. This twenty-five minute cable car ride is stunningly beautiful, once over several mountain tops you can see the Buddha from many kilometers away, it is a sight to behold, in an illusory way. Once there, walking through the shops to embark upon a staircase of hundreds of steps. Walking up the Buddha is larger than life, before him are the six devas, each with their offerings of flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. Symbolic of the six perfections which include generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation and wisdom, all necessary for enlightenment.

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Indonesian 1968:

I met with friends I met on the plane and had dinner at Indonesian1968, which also has a Michelin star. Our scrumptious dinner of tasty satay was mouthwatering and savory with different sauces to entice the palate. Along with a bowl of yummy rice and curry with the spicy, warming and distinct flavors. What an incredible ambience this authentic Indonesian restaurant has, the owner came to our table and explained how his parents started the restaurant in 1968, now it’s quite epic.

After eating, why not go party a bit and see what the nightlife has to offer in Hong Kong?  Playing pool, posh lounges, watching craziness ensue in Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham St area of Hong Kong. Fun, wild why not? I’m on a trip.

Thanksgiving:

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I wanted to experience the North American traditional holiday overseas and I was impressively inspired with my day of thanks. Before eating I went strolling and shopping in the local boutiques. Stopping to peek in at local art galleries. For this special dinner I chose Lily and Bloom, after reading article below. Lily and Bloom caters to those wanting to experience this western holiday as authentically as possible. I was treated with exceptional friendliness by the staff, noting it was the holiday and I was alone, which I purposely liked to experience a new sensation of breaking out of my comfort zone. The chef there hails from Chicago and prepares the menu and holiday meal in a meticulously, well-thought out manner. Everything was locally sourced. The flavors were extraordinary. Turkey perfectly moist, stuffing just right. Mashed potatoes and gravy with a unique twist of herbs and distinct flavorings. I even had pumpkin pie! It felt oh so homey.

I wish I would’ve had a bit more time to spend in Hong Kong, especially to have seen Victoria’s Peak which I didn’t make the time to do. Alas, the two days I was there were amazingly packed with juicy experiences that I’m super happy about. My impression of Hong Kong: Magnetizing.

 

SHANGHAI

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Shanghai immediately felt much different than Hong Kong. Busier, faster. Like NY if I had to compare it to an American city. Staying at the Marriott City center. Comfortable, business, international with a an array of a buffet that suited my every taste. The cab there from the airport was about 50 dollars. Around the city, cabs are relatively cheap.

Walking through Shanghai it’s like a glittery, colorful wonderland. Stimulation overload, very modern, futuristic almost. Someone said perfectly it’s like back to the future. In mainland China, be prepared to not use Google, including Gmail, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Unless you have access to a separate server, which I wasn’t able to finagle in the short time I was there. At first it was disconcerting. Then it felt like a break so my mind could be present to the trip.

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The pollution is obvious. This isn’t just Shanghai, it’s happening to major cities all over the world. It has hit hazardous levels in Delhi according to the BBC. I had a vision while in Shanghai of these little drone type like machines, like street sweepers. Maybe something like that could be invented? Ones that are filled with filtration and go around and clean the air? Just an idea. It really made me think about our reliance on fossil fuels and how it affects us. The monopoly on it is advantageous to those who win (money? really?) from it, but at the cost of earth and earthlings? To that I say F off and let the minds that create new technologies be allowed to create their masterpieces on our planet. Hong Kong has major stimulus if people buy electric. Fantastic. How about The Venus Project and several others who are in the (healthy) futuristic agenda? Why don’t we hear more about these types of ideas? For us all to then decide upon. Why isn’t there more collaboration happening on a global scale for a more sustainable resource based future? Why is there not more talk about this in our upcoming elections in America? It’s all of our future and planet. Do you think that’s fair? To all of us? To our planet?

I think the Paris Agreement is a start.

We have time to remedy it, I hope. Sorry to go off topic, just pondering.

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What I did with a few days in Shanghai:

Silk Museum

For many millennia, China has been known for it silk production and the silk museum highlights that. Fascinating little stop to see how silk is made. The lady who showed us was so nice and she briefly touch on the history of how silk came about, going so far as to show the silk worms in their cocoons and how the fibers are created. It’s so very silky.

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Unico to Le Chapeau (Mansion)

I went From Unico, a more upscale high energy club to the mysterious Mansion, which isn’t that easy to find. Once inside it’s like a maze of people and different rooms and crazy, unique spaces that have music ranging from EDM, minimal to trance and all the in betweens. It was packed and felt like a head spin going up and down the spiral stairs where each room had a different vibe, music, decor and it’s own element of eclectic debauchery. A very international and local group of people. If you can find it, and like to dance and take in an eccentric space, I’d highly recommend it.

Ziajiajiang

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Again firing off my navigating skills, I headed on the trains out of the city by myself, to visit a water town on the outskirts. It took about an hour and 10 minutes to get out to this preserved old city. Once there it is busy, occupied with people moving in little alleyways with ducks hanging, meats cooking, veggies boiling, selling and bartering in all the little shops one can go in. There are gardens and waterways with gondolas. It has a historically preserved history amongst the modern buildup of more industrialized Shanghai. Beautiful in an authentic Chinese way. It was tranquil and peaceful walking through the gardens.

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KTV

A trip to Asia would not be complete without trying KTV. Otherwise known as Karaoke. It’s very popular. In Shanghai I finally got a taste with a group of European friends I met. The bedazzled hallways, with mirrors and carpet makes one marvel, it’s almost decadent in a fun way. There are separate rooms that groups rent out to sing in. We sang many, many songs, most of them 90’s to now. I was belting out to Oasis. By the time I was done I felt like a superstar. Even though I probably sounded like a dying cat, it was still a blast.

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My take on Shanghai: Busy and fun, cool and weird all in one.

On that note,

I like to think of myself as adaptable, my roots aren’t always grounded in a  particular tradition, label or convention. I strive to enjoy the culture of anywhere I visit. Letting normal dispositions dissipate as I venture, to integrate and understand what is around me.

Traveling isn’t always easy and sometimes pushes me out of my comfort zone. It challenges my perceptions by expanding my horizons.Which I love.

I’m grateful to have traveled so far in my life. I know that what lies next is just a new now version of life intricately overlaying itself with mind blowing experiences.

I no longer believe in the old cliche Too good to be true, for I believe the best comes to those who are true to themselves.

xo,

Nicole

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/1882088/lets-talk-turkey-eight-places-go-hong-kong-thanksgiving-feast

Adventures in Japan

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As soon as I arrived I heard, why Japan? From a local.

Well, because there is such a graceful elegance to the culture. A politeness in efficiency that makes navigating easy and there is so much to experience from the food, to the sights, to the culture, lots of shrines and Sake.😉

All in all my flight from LA to Tokyo to Hong Kong and back was 750 dollars. A price comparable to what I’ve paid traveling to the midwest or east coast from LA. Good job Kayak.

After getting off the plane, my friend, who I’ve known since I was 15 met me in the terminal as she came in from Chicago.

Ah, the train systems. Yes.

Where the F do we go? It felt like a video game. Ding ding ding. At first it was like a puzzle in disarray, then all the pieces fit into place.

 

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DAY 1: TOKYO

We stayed at the Prince Park tower for a relatively good rate. Little did we know it was a holiday and were wondering why everyone was dressed so snazzy. 7-5-3  is a traditional rite of passage and festival day for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. How jubilant. We saw many people dressed up with their children in traditional colorful Japanese Kimonos and outfits.

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We stopped at must see Shibuya crossing which was a bit slower than usual given the observance of the holiday, nonetheless it was still busy.

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We then took the train up to Shinjuku and walked around the Shinjuku-Gyoen gardens, peaceful, zen-like and intricate classic Japanese gardens. We walked over to Hanazono shrine, hidden between the city scape. Peaceful and moving as families were there celebrating.

IMG_1213 (1)We walked around parts of Shinjuku and found alleyways with grilling Japanese kebabs.IMG_1236 (1)The Tokyo tower lit up for France. I was holding intentions for peace, healing and love. For Paris as well as the many attacks that have been happening worldwide.

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DAY 2: Tokyo

We decided to head to Harajuku, famous for teenage pop culture and quirky, colorful displays in fashion. Walking down Takeshita. We stopped at several stores, fashion forward.IMG_1283 (1)

IMG_1327 (1)Then we meandered over to Meiji Jingi shrine and observed a classic wedding taking place. Meiji Jingi sits on hundreds of acres and was built during the time of the enlightened era in Japan by Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.IMG_1291 (1).jpgIMG_1308

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped at a street vendor. I had to try Takoyaki after my curiosity was piqued, it was super scrumptious, melting in my mouth. Octopus rolled and topped with cheese and spices and sauces that I have no idea what they are called.

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After resting and regrouping we went to dinner at a European restaurant where we met a group of Japanese guys, who were a bit toasted and all kept exclaiming “Pasta”. Which may or may not have the same meaning translated from Japanese to English. We chimed in, still trying to figure out what it meant.

IMG_1246 (1)Day 3: Kamakura

A beautiful reprieve from the bustling and busy city. Again navigating the trains we took one an hour outside of the city to Kamakura, which was once the political center of Japan in 1192.

IMG_1354 (1)There is much historical significance and when walking through the quaint and cozy streets it feels much different than Tokyo. Below are Samurai swords.

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We went to Hasedera temple, devoted to Kannon, the Goddess of mercy and the Great Buddha, which both were quite impressive in their size as well as antiquity. There were tunnels we had to bend down into the dark into several passageways, twisting and turning, each stop temples and tiny statues everywhere. It was damp and earthen with smell of antiquity. IMG_1389 (1)

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Day 4: Kyoto

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With our well used purchase of the JR ticket we headed to Kyoto on the bullet train. I was excited to experience the bullet train which averages about 200 mph. We arrived and it was raining and a bit chilly, for lunch we went to a nearby place called Kamo which had vegetarian options. I then went wandering into Kyoto and found several bemusing shops and had an acupuncture treatment that was so very thorough.

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We ate at a little treasure that night, what we found out was an old Geisha house turned into restaurant. This special place had different rooms, sliding doors and maintained a quietness, it felt very decadent, secretive and elegant. Which is fascinating given that Kyoto is known for its prestigious Geishas. They are trained in various traditional Japanese arts such as dance and music, as well as in communication and entertaining.

 

Day 5: Kyoto

 

IMG_1419 (1)We started the day early, as seemed to be our ritual. The time change made it feel much later as we usually woke up around 6:30 am. We went to Nijō Castle, which was built in 1601, parts burnt down and was again rebuilt. It’s intricately impressive in its history and architecture. A time when empires ruled society and caste systems were more common. We then went to Kinku-Ji, the golden pavilion. It’s a golden inlaid Buddhist Zen temple and popular for tourists. While extremely busy, it was well worth the crowds to see the grandeur of this temple and its gardens.

 

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Audaciously, I wanted to find an sento onsen, to at least try it. There is a fine art of bathing which I find rather intriguing and I wanted to experience this classic tradition. I ventured alone after a recommendation from an ex-pat we met, the spot was a bit off the popular path in Kyoto.

I followed the traditions by watching how others were, not wanting to be too obnoxiously American, but also not knowing what I needed to do to follow suit. Once inside men and women are separate and there are 5 baths. One has a jacuzzi, one is electric a few are hot and they all come from hot springs below. There was an outdoor area with a cold and hot bath amidst a garden which was lovely. I felt like I left the womb when leaving, all soaked, softened and ready to go.

Day 6: Kurama 

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I wanted time to meditate and have a solo journey, navigating to me is a test of my mind and I like the challenge at times. It’s knowing where to get off and on and there are signs in English. I took the train up to Kurama. I am a Reiki master and felt the pull of this mystical place calling me to it. It is where Mikao Usui meditated for 21 days and received the Reiki healing energy.

IMG_1514 (1)Taking the train up is quite magical as one leaves the city, with tall trees and waterfalls. Walking up and through the mountains to the top shrine I meditated while a zen ceremony was taking place with a monk giving blessings.

IMG_1555 (1)It was serene and gorgeous with the autumn leaves. There were shrines to stop at on the way up, tranquil and deep in the mountains. Afterwards I went to a traditional style Japanese lunch/dinner sitting on the ground, in quiet contemplation and another onsen set amongst the mountains. Like I said, I revel in the art of bathing.

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I ate Kebabs and had Sake with friends whom I met from Japan and Taiwan after wandering into a place in Kyoto once back.

Compai!

Day 7: Tokyo

We took the bullet train back to Tokyo where we were staying in Ginza for two nights. We decided to go out in Rippongi which is the cool, hip, club area. It was fun, crazy, a bit over the top glittering club frenzy.

Day 8: Tokyo 

The food. Yum. Sushi, of course! Yet, it’s the other foods I wasn’t as familiar with that impressed me the most.
I met new friends again from wandering into a Monjayaki grill in the Tsukishima district while waiting for my Owl cafe appointment.

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It surprised me this street I found, filled with Monjayaki restaurants I went into a couple. Monja as it’s known is chopped veggies, fish or seafood, with a batter that is poured on it once the chopped portion is grilling, with a pancake like consistency, it looks wary but is delectable.

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A gem, yet again from venturing into new terrain. What an amazing way to experience a more local sensation.

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Fukuro No Mise: Owl Cafe

What a cool experience that was. Owls are one of my spirit animals so to experience so many in one place was pretty intense. All eyes on me, or so it felt, with their penetrating gazes that stare deep into the soul. I felt many things from these majestic creatures. Images and ideas of times long ago, deep in the forests and nighttime exploring.

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IMG_1497 (1)The vibe is so very Zen while bustling and busy, yes quite a paradox indeed. The people are exceptionally nice, gracious and helpful. Unbelievably so.

I feel I can let my mind escape and dream and not have to explain why I’m dreaming here. I have my setbacks show up sometimes but that’s life and traveling, is it not?

IMG_1621 (1)While dreaming and wandering in my dreamscape, especially on this trip which unexpectedly turned into visiting many temples and shrines and tuning into the realms of my spirited nature. Also, from not having my phone always connected, I felt present to the tactile world, which helped me to be with each experience, just as it was.

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Magnificent if you think about what takes place to experience what we do, the organizing structure of our universe. From the macro level, to the atomic and quantum level. We are the dreams of what came before us, those of our ancestors and creator. Conscious of creation creating in and around.

Oh glory of creation you astound.

What is your moment and can you bring it to its glory?
xo,
Nicole

I’m off to China and will post when I get back! You can also check out some of the same pics and more on my Instagram account. nicole_astara. Compai!