Nicola Brown in one of the temples in Egypt. This photo was taken of her by someone’s phone which showed up to be more than an ordinary photo.
During my stay in Abadiania (January to March 2018) one day I paid a visit to the bookstore of Casa Dom Inacio. Standing in front of one the bookshelves I realised that I had just finished reading a little book called “A journey through the Rainbow and beyond.” Written by Ixchel. A lovely book that took me on a journey through nine different colours and their vibration. Some days later I had lunch with some ladies and guess what? One of the ladies around the table turned out to be Ixchel. And how did I meet her? Well, you can find out that by listening to the audio file above. Since I loved her book I decided to introduce her and her work on my blog. Enjoy her and her reflections which I have decided to share in two different blog posts.
Your name is Nicola Brown but you use the name Ixchel in your books. What does Ixchel mean? How comes that you use Ixchel and not your own name in the books?
-Some years ago I travelled to Guatemala to meet a group of women. We were to visit Mayan sites and make ceremonies with local shamans. The night I arrived, the rest of the group were already having dinner. As I walked in they were discussing their names and whether or not they felt it was their ‘real’ name. “I never felt that Nicola was really my name,” I said. “No, your name is Ixchel” one of the women replied. “How do you know that?” I asked. “It just came to me intuitively” she replied. “Yes,” I said, “Ixchel feels right.” I later learnt that Ixchel is the Mayan goddess of the moon. It also means ‘rainbow’ in the Mayan language. Since then, I decided that this is the name of my higher self. Whenever I write, paint or record music, I ask Ixchel to take over and bring through colours, sounds and words that need to be seen and heard. I believe that our higher self is the connection between our physical reality here on earth and the higher realms from where we came. The higher self is the rainbow bridge between the worlds.
Can you please tell us readers a little about who is Nicola Brown?
-I guess you could describe me as a semi-nomadic grandmother. I have always had a thirst for travel and seeing other countries and experiencing other cultures. When I was a child, the neighbours would ask my parents if I really was their daughter or had been left by the gypsies? I was unusually dark-skinned for an English child and liked to walk barefoot, as I still do today.
My first love was dancing and music, followed by a love of colours and writing stories. I also loved nature and preferred to spend time in the hedge or up a tree, rather than in a house. This developed into an interest in medicinal plants and all kinds of natural therapies, using colour, sound and aromatherapy. I also worked with children for many years and was known as the unconventional music teacher.
But my main work in the last years has been with sound and in particular with crystal bowls. I have given many concerts, workshops and healings and have recorded five CDs. And in my quieter moments, I illustrated and wrote the three books which we are about to talk about.
Why did you choose colours, flowers and light as a theme for your books and what are they about?
-A Journey through the Rainbow and Beyond (original version 2008, reprint 2012) was written after completing a two-year colour therapy training with Mark Wentworth of Colour for Life. I have always loved colours. My mother was an artist so I was brought up surrounded by art, vibrant colours, and the smell of oil paint and turpentine. In this book, I am tuning in to the energy of each of the nine colours we worked with, i.e the seven colours of the rainbow plus rose and gold. Colour is a vibration and each colour holds a different frequency or energy. Learning to perceive these energies through our senses, can help us to understand the world of vibration that we are living in, and also how these energies can be used in healing ways.
The Wisdom of Flowers (2012). At the time that I wrote this little book, I was going to painting classes using mostly watercolours and also acrylics. I love to paint flowers. For me, nature is the supreme artist. Painting flowers gives me tremendous joy and helps me to connect with Mother Nature or Pachamama. The vibrancy of colour held by the petals, stamens and leaves of a flower is quite extraordinary. The geometric designs and patterns connect us to the essence of the Universe, in the same way as the patterns and geometry found within the structure of music. I realised that the plants were talking to me as I connected to them, and this little book contains some of their messages.
Waves of Light was written in 2014 whilst I was in Abadiania in Brazil. I wanted to write a book about vibration and frequency, so I asked the many healing spirits of this magical place to help me with this project. Almost immediately the names of the ten topics came into my head. “Wow,” I thought, “those are pretty big subjects”.Light, Water, Angels and Beings of Light, Gratitude and Prayer, Healing, Inspiration, Colour and Sound, Crystals, Mother Earth, Love.
With all three books, I had thought that I would begin by writing, and then add the illustrations. But in actual fact in each instance, to my surprise, it was the other way round. I have since come to understand that as I paint, I start to tune into and feel the energy of the colour, flower or vibrational topic so that afterwards it is more easy for me to put this into words. Also, the other thing that the three books have in common, is that I let the information flow through me from a source beyond my normal thinking mind. This is why I use the name of Ixchel, as I feel that my higher self is bringing through the words effortlessly.
How was the creative process from Idea to the finished result?
-The creative process for me is always intense, fairly obsessive and quite painful. A little like the physical process of giving birth. To give an example of the creative process involved in writing these books; when I was writing about colour, I was trying to understand the energy of turquoise. I was in Cuba at the time, and as we were driving along I looked out to where the blue sky met the green water, and suddenly I felt and understood the energy of the colour turquoise. When I am in a creative process, it encompasses everything and can appear anywhere.
When I received the ideas for Waves of Light, I started to see the images of the paintings as I sat in meditation. Then I painted them, one per day. I left Brazil and returned to Spain where I was living, thinking that I could write the text to go with the illustrations once I was there. But it didn’t happen. Next, I travelled to Sri Lanka to do an Ayurvedic cleanse, and it was there that I received the format for the book in a dream, the order of the illustrations and the text.
I went back to Spain and eventually back to Brazil, where I received all the written part of the book. Back in Spain once more, began the long and sometimes tedious process of correcting the writing, choosing the font and layout of the book, working on the computer etc. etc. Until you finally see all of this contained within a tangible book. This is the moment when you feel amazed and wonder how all this happened! Then begins the process of marketing and selling the book, which is still a bit of a mystery to me, in order to get the information out there to some readers and complete the circle. It’s a long and sometimes arduous process, but it was something that one just had to do! One time when I was recording a CD, going into the studio and recording the music is usually the easy part, it just flows out of me. But it came to a moment when I had the mixed recordings in Spain, the illustrations for the cover being done by an artist in Hawaii, and the musical producers were in the UK. It all felt so scattered. I thought “How am I going to find the energy to bring all this together?” The only way that I could do this was to visualise and physically feel, a completed CD wrapped in plastic in my hands. I had to pull all these energies into a small package or CD, that I held in my hands. There are so many stories that I could tell.
By the way; what time of day is your favourite time; when you are most productive and creative? And your favourite food and country?
-I don’t really have a favourite time of day, although nowadays I do enjoy the early morning when things seem to be fresh, new and hopeful, rather like spring. My creativity can pop in at any time. It is always a welcome guest. Re food, I’m a kind of light weight being. I eat very light and pure food. I suppose I am a pescatarian. I love green organic vegetables and rice or pasta, but when I feel I need more strong energy, I nip down to the beach to eat fish. I am lucky enough to live near the ocean. I don’t have a favourite country, I just like some countries more than others and I go through phases. Recently it has been South America for me and especially the High Andes of Peru. But I am happy to return to the Atlantic Ocean of Portugal where I currently live. I am such a lucky lady!