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Sore Throats and Nose Swabs

Sore Throats and Nose Swabs

This morning I got a Covid test. I had a sore throat and, although my risk is low (I live in Queensland, Australia), I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

As I followed the yellow Covid Clinic signs to the intake desk, I thought about how strange our lives have become. A year ago, I was in Italy and the world had never heard of Covid-19.  Now it is our constant companion, sidling up next to you wherever you are on the globe, it’s presence always felt on the news, in our homes, in our relationships.

I watched the nurse give an elderly man advice about interstate travel. He is sitting  behind a Perspex shield and they both wear masks.

The woman in front of me is in dark blue scrubs, designating her as a healthcare worker. How many times has she been swabbed this year, I wonder. Does the thought of a possible infection disrupt her sleep or has she been able to create psychological distance from it all? I remember talking to friends in the healthcare sector earlier this year. An underlying anxiety and fear was threaded through their practical words. They saw what was possible and were preparing for the worst. So far, we have mostly avoided that outcome here. But other countries haven’t been as lucky.

I follow the healthcare worker’s example and don a mask before speaking to the nurse. He notes my symptoms then directs me around the corner to admin where my personal details are entered into the system. The woman is friendly in a professional, matter-of-fact way and she tells me my mask is upside down. I briefly remove it and notice my lipstick has stained the fabric. Will I leave this place with pink smeared across my face? She advises me to bend the wire more securely across the bridge of my nose.

Doctors and other staff are nearby, looking my way. Are they assessing my likelihood as a vector or admiring my outfit. I suspect it’s the former.

Then I’m in the tent. It’s partitioned with blue surgical curtains and each make-shift room is a couple of metres square. Three walls, one side open. I stand on the spot and wait my turn. I think of friends in countries where these tents are commonplace. From Columbia and the United States (US) to the United Kingdom and Europe, the numbers seem out-of-control. I’m lucky to be here on this island where I was born. But I feel the fear caused by this thing called Covid and I worry for us all. I know in my gut this pandemic is not over, not by a long way. We just need to keep our nerve and keep going, adjusting and hoping for the best.

I try not to think about those who have died, been diagnosed or in recovery. I remind myself not to think of those who have technically recovered but still experience serious medium and long-term health impacts like chronic respiratory difficulties, organ damage and so on. Why isn’t that reported more? Surely people would realise then that recovery doesn’t necessarily mean you go back to the way you were?

I bring myself back to the present as warm air from my nose leaks out of the mask and clouds my glasses with steam.

The man in the next makeshift cubicle gets his swab done then walks past. The doctor moves away to process the sample and then is standing in front of me. Mask down, he swabs my throat and both nostrils. It felt like he was touching my brain but the discomfort was brief and, let’s face it, far less invasive than the PAP smears women need regularly.

I get a letter explaining I must go home and isolate until I get my results. This could take up to three days. I have plenty of food in the house so I’ll be fine.

I arrive home and later see a frustrated Instagram post from a highly-spiritual and influential man in the US. He’s fed up with the anti-mask rhetoric and the selfish refusal of many of his countrymen and women to restrict their activities to stop the spread and protect others. The denialists make themselves known in the comments and I wonder how so many can deny the reality of 230K+ deaths in their own country. I shake my head and think, people are strange.

I’m not overly worried that my test will come back positive. I mean, it’s possible but the chances I have contracted Covid are low. Still, I’ll be at home until I receive the all-clear.

But, I am worried about the rest of the world and the people in it. I’m worried about the polarising of opinions and the way denialists have convinced themselves they don’t need masks and God or nature will protect them. I know a lot of souls who have passed over this year could convincingly argue against that point of view.

I catch myself thinking it would be easier to convince people they are in danger if the threat was more visible – bombs dropping from the sky like war-time or ugly welts on your body. But this threat isn’t visible until you feel it or it affects someone you love. Then it is too late.

People in our southern state of Victoria will emerge from their lockdown tonight after many months of isolation. They have stalwartly pulled together for the greater good of their community. The outlook for Australia is quite positive. Meanwhile, across Europe, countries are returning to lockdown as numbers rapidly rise. I watch the numbers increase and my heart breaks a little more.

Luck, tenacity and community spirit have helped Australia so far. I hope that continues to be enough. For those of you in other countries, stay strong, keep going and I hope you’ll be on the other side this next lockdown very soon.

Post script: The test was negative.

Don’t let your fear win this round

Don’t let your fear win this round

‘Rona is bringing all the shadows into the light, isn’t it? Conspiracies, aggression, denial and misdirection seems to be increasing. Facebook seems far worse than Instagram for some reason – it is a place I’ve seen the vicious shredding of people by individuals who were once heart-driven and kind people but now appear to be no better than rabid dogs frothing at the mouth and baying for blood.

For me it comes down to this: do you believe the world is a fundamentally good place or a bad one? Do you believe that most people get out of bed in whatever country they live, work and practise their faith (whatever it is) and go about their day trying to live a good life, or not?

I believe the former in both cases. There aren’t whole swathes of people out to get us. There are a small handful that will challenge us to stay in alignment with the light and love that resides in all our hearts. The rest is down to us as individuals.

There are leaders right now showing us what heart-led leadership looks like – Cuomo in New York and Ardern in New Zealand and are just two. One is faced with trying to keep everyone as safe as possible as the virus kills horrific numbers of his citizens, the other is trying to prevent this happening. They are calm, fact-driven and empathetic. They are faced with a serious problem, take advice from the experts and lead from the front. They aren’t interested in division and work from a mindset that we are all in this together. Their primary concern is that people live. Surely this is a fundamental principle for humanity?

Other leaders don’t seem to be doing so well. They actively sow division and use slight of hand and redirection as much as possible. Their messages are confusing, ill-informed or simply inept, then they blame others. Their focus seems to be more on dollars rather than the people who need to live first so they can make the money second.

Meanwhile, the shadows dance to the surface as our minds grapple with the truth that we cannot control all that we thought we could. We never could. This is too terrifying to deal with so people look for some faceless, evil individual or group to blame. There isn’t one.

Where this virus came from no longer matters. It has its own agenda and the best way to defeat it is to come together. Denying its existence or severity is like denying the sun still rises every day.

When your fear rises, look at it, find the root of it and pull it out. It’s not about anyone else. This is about how you show up and choose the light when the shadows dance to the surface.

The world is not out to get you.

We are all in this together.

Blood-curdling Curlews and the Messages They Bring

Blood-curdling Curlews and the Messages They Bring

The curlews keep screaming outside my window and I don’t know why. This week, I’ve heard them late at night, with their blood-curdling calls and their squabbling on the pebbled drive below. When I look out they are either standing stock still, calling, calling or silently and swiftly hurrying this way and that. It’s hard to discern any obvious purpose for their movements but I daresay it makes sense to them.

Whenever I hear them, I stop what I’m doing and move instinctively to the windows to chat. They are no doubt here for a reason, I just haven’t got the message yet. I’ve asked them repeatedly what they have to share with me but the meaning of their visits remains opaque.

In my life, birds that arrive so obviously and in such an attention-grabbing manner inevitably have a message or two for me. A frogmouth owl used to arrive at my old house late at night and sit calling on the fence until I ventured out into the night to talk.  It spoke to me of the wisdom of words, my writing and my books. Obviously.

Then there were Mr and Mrs Plover who would casually loiter on the footpath in the daytime or sometimes scurry down the middle of my suburban street at midnight making a hell of a racket until I ventured out on the front steps. One was so determined that it stopped its progress up the street abruptly, directly opposite where I was standing, looked me straight in the eyes and chattered on for quite some time before dashing off to the nearby intersection and veering right. The plovers spoke to me of love and direction and using your voice to defend what you want. Strangely, I had forgotten those messages until this moment.

I only realised that birds were messengers a few short years ago. A shamanic friend was mentoring me at the time and helped me to understand that messages come via multiple messengers including animals, the plants, the sky, the wind and other formations chosen by spirit. The Universe sends us messages in so many ways yet we often miss them because we are too busy thinking and analysing. We don’t realise that all that analysing switches off our intuitive knowing.

Analysis blocks our ability to see the intuitive signposting going on right in front of us as the Universe tries to get messages through via any means at its disposal.

Someone asked me recently, how do I know if my intuition is working? My answer was you must trust the messages you receive and let go of the logic your mind determinedly seeks. Intuition is not about logic. It is about a feeling within you; an inner wisdom that circumvents reason and just is. It will usually come for a place that is still and quiet. It is rarely fraught with emotion and is usually a quiet but insistent voice rather than a screaming banshee.

As I write these words, I am beginning to suspect this is perhaps why the curlews came to call. It is so I will tell this story of talking to the birds that visit me at night and demand my attention through the windows.

Procrastination…fear, foe or laziness?

Sometimes we procrastinate on things because we really don’t want to do them. But more often than not, I see amazingly talented women procrastinating about the one thing they really want. They will be incredibly focused and dynamic in other areas of their life – family, friends, work, university, etc. But somehow they keep procrastinating on the ONE THING THEY REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE/DO/BE/CREATE.

A lot of people dismiss procrastination as “laziness” and “lack of focus”. But is there something more formidable lying underneath?

The reason for this is fear. Fear of standing out, fear of failure, fear of what people might think, the “Who do I think I am?” story playing in our heads and the negative self-talk.

Sound familiar?

Then of course, you don’t do the thing your really want and berate yourself because you didn’t do it! And so the cycle continues and it’s no fun.

The next time you procrastinate about something I recommend you pause for a moment and ask yourself, “What is the real reason I am not moving forward?” Thank your mind for its opinionated and somewhat negative perspectives then put them to one side, and tune into your inner voice instead. Intuitively, you will know the real answer.

Our awareness of the patterns that are holding us back is the first step towards breaking them. If you’re ready to take action and move forward then check out Nights for Spiritual Beginners. You will learn how to tune into your intuition, kick your indecision to the kerb and get yourself on-track so you can Live Your Soul’s Mission, Create Change and Serve Humanity.

Doors are now open for the next program beginning in early January 2019. Spaces are limited so stop procrastinating, take action and get ready to step into a life that lights your up! Email for more details. 

When strangers help strangers, we all win

When strangers help strangers, we all win

It’s been a heck of a week and a heck of a long time since I’ve written a blog post. As a writer I’m not one of those who is gifted at writing day in day out. I can’t always fit it in around everything else in my life. As I am also frequently challenged to find balance in all things (I am a Libran after all), I guess no one could be surprised by this state of affairs.

So if any of you have been wondering where I’ve been, my answer is, I’ve been off seeking balance (somewhat unsuccessfully). For those of you reading my work for the first time, welcome and  feel free to stay a while.

My week began with an incident on the train that, in retrospect, could have escalated into something quite terrifying, very quickly. I saw someone being intimidated and felt compelled to take action. I was on my way to work when a man began racially abusing a young Chinese man sitting a few seats away. The intimidator was, of course, twice the size of the young man (bullies so often use their size in a negative way) and was soon standing over him, seeking a reaction. The young man continued to focus desperately on the phone in his hand and was no doubt terrified.

It was awful and something inside me just said, no. I got up, walked over, and sat in the seat opposite. I didn’t look at the intimidator and I didn’t say anything. But I wanted that young man to know he wasn’t alone. I also wanted the intimidator to know that his actions were being witnessed.

It’s unlikely that my move went unnoticed by the intimidator and he shortly returned to his seat. The young man got off a stop or two later but I had to stay on for another few minutes, feeling the intimidator’s angry energy pushing up against me, until the doors eventually opened again and I could make my own escape.

Another man in thirties disembarked at the same time and as we walked along the platform it became clear he had also witnessed the interactions. “I’m so glad to be off that carriage,” he said. “I’m not a fighter, but I knew that if something happened I would have to step in.”

“I felt exactly the same,” I said. “I mean he’s twice my size, and I’m female and can’t fight, but I couldn’t just sit by and allow that to happen without doing something.” He nodded his agreement and we went our separate ways.

Fast forward to a few days later and I found myself watching some of the doctors and nurses at the hospital where I work, help my colleague and friend Cate* during her medical emergency. The professionalism and above all, kindness, showed by all the staff involved was an almost overwhelmingly beautiful thing to witness.

The fact that they do this type of thing every day was really beside the point. They were of course, effective and highly-efficient, but it was their compassion and care for Cate*, and even for me – just a friend who was waiting until Cate’s partner could get there, that struck me the most. These are people who do their jobs because they want to help others and so they use their amazing skills to help strangers every day.

In few hours I’ll be sitting at a community meeting in Hawthorn with a bunch of strangers. The event is being run by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the focus of all attendees will be on people most of us haven’t met yet – refugees. We’ll be focusing on how we can help the strangers who arrive from war torn countries and repressive regimes seeking safety and a new life often with little more than the clothes on their backs.

When I think about the incident on the train, the medical emergency with my friend and the meeting I will attend this afternoon, it is the theme of strangers helping strangers that stays with me. There are also strong elements of kindness and compassion.

I believe we are at our best when we use kindness and compassion to guide us. But it’s not always an easy thing to do. Just like everyone else, I struggle with this concept when someone pushes my buttons or does something I vehemently dislike and would fight against. We are all human after all.

But when we put aside everything else and come from a place of kindness and compassion to help strangers, that is one of the most amazing gifts we have to offer each other and the world.

When we help strangers, we help ourselves. Because one day the stranger being helped might be you.
*All names changed. Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Lucretia is a writer and psychic channel who helps women access the greatness within by claiming their intuitive power, managing their psychic gifts and living their purpose.



“Does being psychic make you happy?”

“Does being psychic make you happy?”

Someone asked me today if being psychic made me happy. I thought it was an interesting question and I had to sit for a moment before I could answer.

The truth is, my psychic skills are an incredible gift but they have also brought quite a few challenges along for the ride.

As a psychic channel, I have the ability to sense things that aren’t in the physical world. This means I can smell, feel, know, taste or hear things that a rational, logical mind would dispute. I can be in a restaurant and feel the anxiety of the man sitting at the next table; I usually know immediately when someone isn’t being authentic (with me or themselves); and I’ve smelled roses in my house when a female spirit dropped by for an unexpected visit.

These are just three ways my gifts have revealed themselves and they probably seem quite benign. Some might even say, “Ooh! That would be really cool.”

And it is. Sometimes.

Once you understand what’s going on, then yes, it can be cool because you can begin using your psychic skills to help others and yourself. This is one of the things I LOVE about being psychic because I can use my abilities to help women connect to their intuition, manage their psychic skills and start living their Divine Purpose. This makes me feel joyful because I know those women will go on to create change and serve humanity because they are in alignment with their purpose.

However, learning how to manage your psychic abilities initially can be very challenging if you don’t have someone around to explain what the heck is going on. I certainly floundered around in the dark A LOT and occasionally wondered if I was going a bit crazy. I even asked my Mum if she thought I should ask the men in the ‘white coats’ (at the asylum) to come and get me.

She said, “Lucretia, I don’t think you’re crazy. I just think you see things other people don’t.” Thanks Mum.

Thankfully, I eventually connected with the right people to help me on my journey and I worked a few things out. Going through this experience also made me passionate about helping women to understand and manage their own psychic gifts.

But of course, once you feel like you understand how to manage and work with your skills, the Universe will inevitably send you some new abilities (I call this a ‘psychic growth spurt’) and you have stop, re-calibrate and then move forward again. Just like every part of our lives, we’re always growing and evolving, and expanding our psychic abilities is just part of that journey.

Sometimes being psychic has made me feel uncomfortable and different from others. But I guess that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from having my extra-sensory gifts – it’s okay to be different.

As a psychic channel, I have an incredible capacity to tune in and help people on their life’s journey. I can connect into their Soul’s Purpose and shine a light on their Divine Life Path. This makes me different from people who aren’t psychic.

And here’s the other thing…all psychics are different too.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Every person on this planet has a different purpose and a different path to follow. That is what makes human beings completely extraordinary and unique.

So in answer to the question, “Does being psychic make you happy?” my response is this.

Being psychic is part of who I am and I claim it wholly as part of me. It has made me feel profoundly uncomfortable and has pushed me to expand in ways I never expected. But it also enables me to empower others and that is a gift I am incredibly grateful for.

I look forward to the day when every single intuitive, energy healer, shaman, psychic channel and energetically-sensitive person can accept, manage and claim their unique gifts openly. That is the world I am helping to create and that makes me feel incredibly happy.

Lucretia Ackfield is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who helps women understand, manage and use their unique gifts to live their Divine Life Purpose. For more information about her programs and passions, check out her website, friend her on Facebook or join her private Facebook group Rock Your Inner Channel for lots of videos and other posts about being psychic, self-awareness and intuition. You can also find her on Instagram as imnotaweirdhippiechick