Got another sweet question this week from Allie in Perth, Western Australia.
Firstly please let me tell you how much of an impact you’ve had in my business and life. I’ve only been following you for a couple of months, and I’m a part of the Goddess Circle and I am JUST SO INSPIRED BY EVERYTHING YOU CREATE!
Can you tell me how you create your videos you do for your blog and courses?
I just lovelovelovelove how you share with the world through video, and I want to start making my own!”
Awww bless. Thanks so much Allie.
And of course! Happy to help with the answers to this one! I know we’ve had a few more emails asking the same question, so I know it’s a popular topic!
Let’s get down to it!
First things first:
Why You Need Video In Your Business
So now we’ve got the technobabble out of the way, let’s talk WHY it’s so important to do video for your business.
1. Even if it is the most simple of simple videos, it instantly bonds people to you.
2. People trust a video over a photo, a photo over a page of words, because it’s like they’ve met you face to face.
3. It’s got tremendous power to include humour, energy, kindness, love, creativity + joy in it.
4. It really gets your message across.
HUGE! VIDEO! SECRET! HERE!
Start Where You Are
Now this is my number one piece of advice, it’s so so important.
I’m going to share with you the set-up I USED to have in making videos, the set-up I use now, and the set-up I’ll look at using in the future.
They all vary according to cost + ease.
Do what is doable NOW. Create what you can create NOW.
And work up to another level in time.
Don’t wait for perfection.
The most important thing is for you to create + share it with the world!
Level 1: How To Create Basic Videos
This is where I started out years ago… with what I had on hand.
Recorded With: I recorded using my webcam + inbuilt mike that came with my laptop.
Editing: To start with, I didn’t even edit my videos! I just made sure to record my videos without mistakes in them.
Here’s an example of one of the very first videos I made!
For quick videos, I’d even just use the video setting in Photobooth (the program that comes on Mac computers!)
Here’s an example of a quick video I made in Photobooth when my daughter was just born.
(Nope I wasn’t nekkid in this video… just looks like it! Hee!)
Sharing with the world: I always use Youtube – please note however that there are time limits to videos! Usually it’s up to 15 minutes for some users, and longer (I think under 30 minutes) for approved users.
Vimeo allows for longer videos, and you can also password protect them.
Level 2: Awesome Videos!
The first way to start making more advanced videos is with EDITING.
My favourite software to edit with is iMovie, the program that comes with all Mac laptops. It’s part of the reason that I am always recommending Mac computers — their range of creative software that comes installed on them is just fantastic, and so useful for business owners + creatives.
Even if you’re still recording on your webcam, you can make it look SO MUCH more snazzy + interesting using editing software.
Here’s an example of mine:
And a really fun one that took a whole lot of scenes and playing to do, but continues to be really popular:
And here’s a really good example of a Goddess Circle member on a webcam making her video SO funny + awesome + interesting to watch! Editing really makes videos POP and capture the eye and keep the attention!
Level #3: Incredible Videos!
To take videos the next level after that you need to invest in better equipment.
I also now use a Zoom H4N Voice Recorder – I don’t use it all the time, but it’s really useful when I want to make sure the sound is perfect and doesn’t have too much static or background noise. It’s much, much easier for me to get the sound a lot better since we have a soundproof music room in Paradise House.
I still edit with iMovie most of the time.
I also use some cheap workshop lights/garage lights on stands for when I make indoor videos to get the lighting a lot brighter.
Here’s an example video of this set up:
Level 4: Space Age Videos!
The sky is the limit when it comes to optimising your videos.
We’ve invested in Adobe Premiere Pro – a more professional editing suite which allows for much more flexibility. Right now I don’t use it a lot as it’s further down my list on stuff to educate myself up on, but here’s a video my hunko husband edited for me with it:
Before I share about our new home, let me catch you up on what lead us here… it’s been a bit of a whirlwind!
Once upon a time my hunky love and I lived for many years in Canberra. And then we had a baby and realised that no thank you very much, a cold-weather city was not where we wanted to be. So we moved back to the little town I was born in, Proserpine to be closer to my family. And we spent a couple of years there, and realised it wasn’t the right place either for lots of reasons, including that ye olde sacred truth that you really can’t move back to the past. And I learned that we had to find first and foremost a place that was right for all of us. And we tossed up between Byron Bay (my idea) and Cairns (my husband’s idea), before I decided that it was smart to listen to my husband’s intuition because that man always be right. And we found an amazing treehouse to rent for a while, so we lived up against the mountain range totally immersed in the rainforest. And then we found and fell in love with a little farm that we knew was ours. So we bought it and two weeks ago we landed here and unpacked our boxes and nestled in and thought:
Home. Home at last.
Four houses in two years has been a bit too much for us two deeply rooted Scorpios. It’s surprised the heck outta me, the changes we’ve had to make. And yet, we knew we had to make them. And here we are. Here. Right where we were sent to.
The first thing to share:
this house amazes me.
We are on 2.5 acres, totally private + secluded with only glimpses of other homes if you peer really hard through gaps in trees like a stalker.
That, and the house was created by an amazing family who are builders and reiki healers and took 20 years to really turn this house into their dream home. So it’s got a gorgeous home office that looks over the pool and rainforest that’s just perfect for me, and a soundproof room I can record videos + programs in. And we’ve got enough bedrooms to run small retreats here, and eventually my lovely in-laws will make the trek across the country and live here with us for a while.
I’m kinda oozing with excitement and ideas about turning this into a really mellow, zen, colourful retreat. Me & Ostara have been painting huge rainbow-coloured canvasses to go in all the retreat bedrooms. We’re potting plants + yesterday I hung all of me and Chris’ art collection that we’ve been painting together since time began and now the house looks like an art gallery. I found this ridiculously awesome unicorn giant wall divider for our bedroom this morning that barely fit in the car but I couldn’t NOT leave the warehouse without it. I mean, REALLY.
It’s funny. In so many ways, for so many years I’ve felt like “making do” with everything. With not giving myself the time, support, boundaries, home and friendships I needed to really thrive. And then one day, I said: “Enough. It’s time for me to be supported.”
I’ve been pushing to make a lot of things happen, and now all of a sudden it’s no longer time for me to push.
I was having a deep share with my love yesterday. We have these dates where we take Ostara to the playground near us. And we call it The Happiest Playground On Earth – every single time we go there, it is SO full of kids, and they are all so happy and gentle and kind to each other. All the parents are hanging out, tending to their kids so beautifully. The playground is always filled with tourist kids of every nationality under the sun that usually don’t speak English, and lots of talkative rainbow tie dye clad kids, and lots of gorgeous Aboriginal kids, and everything just always works so happily. And me and Chris sit beneath the big old trees and eat noodles and talk talk talk our little hearts out.
And I tell my husband
“It’s like coming out of a bad relationship and accidentally falling into a really good one. And the thing is you thought that first guy? You thought they were the one you’d spend the rest of your life with. And then you realise, oh no, it’s not the right place, it’s not where we are meant to be. And it felt very freeing to let go of Proserpine and dream the dream of where we supposed to be. I felt free to make that choice as my own person for the first time in my life. And yet, my heart broke a little. And I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with here. And I feel like I didn’t even know it, but I was holding my heart back just a little. Treating Cairns like a holiday fling instead of a forever soulmate. But it’s just so BEAUTIFUL hon. I’ve never seen such a stunning place. And it has this very evident magic to it. And it just has everything here we have ever been. It’s like we don’t have to push anymore. All we need is right here in this very beautiful place. It just keeps making me fall in love with it even more.”
And he understood. As he does.
So we take it easy, and let this place seduce us and let us fall in love with it.
We take walks in the rainforest, and we stare out over the gorge. Slowly slowly a love dance.
Of course, there’s human stuff as well.
I felt pretty crotchety and not myself the first few days we were here – like my spirit hadn’t caught up to my body yet. And as kids often are, Ostara was unsettled by the move and needing a lot of energy during the day and night. It’s slowly settled back into place again. Transition ain’t easy, but it does end.
And as much as we adooooore our house beyond belief, we didn’t realise we’d hear the highway from here. So being all action-orientated as I am, we’ve got ourselves some delicious sounding wind chimes, and have plans to build a gorgeous rock waterfall pond to drown out the sound. Coz there ain’t no way on god’s holy green turf that we are moving. Leonie’s here to stay… and I’ll turn anything that’s not paradise into paradise.
This is where I’ll be for the next gazillion years, making art + playing under the mango trees.
Actually, that’s precisely what we are already doing.
And I have to share something really special with you.
This weekend, I had the BEST weekend for a long, long, looooong time. I’m talking YEARS.
We are starting to feel so much more settled in, and we spent nearly the whole weekend doing craft projects or making art outside, with detours for an outing to bush walk in the rainforest, and eat together, have a fire, read a book and have a nap.
And it pretty much resembled exactly how I used to live before we had a child. And for a long while there, many of those things couldn’t happen, or if they could, it was only for short stints. But now Ostara is old enough to be able to hang out for much longer and it feels much more effortless and tantrum free.
And on Sunday night, we were hanging out together in our rec room/Chris’ study/Ostara’s play room and I got out my watercolours and ink and got a whole painting finished before Ostara needed to head to dreaming land. And I can’t even tell you how happy I was. Watercolours and ink is my favourite medium of all. When Ostara came along, I realised that the persnickettty perfection required for watercolours + ink just didn’t jive at all with making art with a child around, so I swapped mediums to mixed media that embraces more the gloriously messy additions of a little one. And we rocked that medium and had a grand time… but oh. My dear, favourite medium. It’s back. Ostara’s now at an age where she can spend time with her own art, and can be gently guided away from my page. Oh, the joy of my watercolours! It’s unfathomable! It was very much a religious moment.
So all in all, the weekend was perfection… so much creating… and now I get to do it with my daughter. It’s funny. Ever since I was a kid, I knew one day I’d have a little blonde, blue eyed girl, and we’d be really close and we’d get to walk this creative path together. And I’m so so grateful to see it all come to fruition now.
All in all, I am grateful and stunned at the stunning.
My life has felt like a washing machine on a spin cycle of the soul the last few years. It was Saturn Return at its most quintessential and finest. It was my dark night of the soul, my initiation, my Post Natal Depression. It was seeing all my shit up close for the first time, and healing it. It was a catharsis. A healing. I dropped all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to hold tight anymore, so I could step into who I truly was. It was the Day I Became Powerful.
I always knew, deep in my heart that I would have a savage Saturn Return. That I would face my relationship, my family, my self, and clear out what had to be cleared. It wasn’t easy. Oh, how it wasn’t easy. I took a PhD in boundaries and baggage and clearing money mindset bullshit and family constellations stuff.
I cried many times, I lost my faith, I wondered where on earth my beautiful life went to. And yet a part of me knew that it was the medicine I needed. It was the operation I needed in order to become clearer, more sovereign, more powerful within my own identity.
And out the tunnel I emerge. And I find myself in the mountain, looking out over the trees. The storm took away the fog, and I see my life clearly. My husband and my daughter are out gathering fallen branches from the rainforest’s edge for our fire tonight. I am typing in my studio that is crystal clear and bright, ready to be created in. Ready for miracles to pour forth. My soul’s work.
It was exactly like the wide eyed Indian man told me one time in Little India, Singapore, as we crouched around my astrology charts on the floor.
“Oh Leonie. When you are 29, you will be reborn. Everything from your past, your childhood will be cleansed away. And you will be a pure soul.”
In just a few months, I turn 30. And it feels like every prophecy has come true.
Can I tell you I am grateful?
That it was all worth it?
(A reminder too – just a week left to get the Healing Goddess workshopbefore it goes away forever. This is the essential energy work that every woman should know to live their most exceptional life. If you want to know how to cancel negative energy, get yourself out of a slump, protect yourself energetically, and shine in the biggest, brightest way possible – check out the workshop now.)
One of the most popular questions I get asked is how I have created such a large, passionate + loving tribe of followers around my blog and business… this is the number one piece of advice I share about doing that!
How To Make Your Blog Posts (Books, Programs + Anything Else You Write)
Fall In Love-able!
Not only that, it’s going to tell you WHY it’s essential you do it…
from a business perspective
but also from a heart-centered soul purpose perspective.
And beware, hottie cakes..
there’s some pretty HOT TOPIC points in here…
not to mention some pretty damn hilarious footage in here.
It’s gigglesnort worthy material.
JUST WAIT TILL YOU SEE IT.
And if you find this workshop useful, make sure you share it on! Let it go on and help even more people write powerful + compelling content that will go on to touch the world + their business.
I’ve been writing this post ever since my world got tilted and she was born.
This is for you if you’ve been doing it for 1700 days, or in the case of my dear friend Lena 17 days.
Or maybe you haven’t yet begun at all.
This is for you.
Here’s what I’ve learned from 900 odd days of parenting (emphasis on the odd).
I’m adding my voice + my experience to the collective pool of mama wisdom.
Take from it what you will.
Some may resonate.
It’s all good either way.
Take what fills you up.
Let go of the rest.
Destroying The House is an acceptable (and even encourageable) hobby to cultivate your children’s interest in. You’ll even pull out a set of playing cards and a box of tissues and leave them in a tempting array on the lounge room floor, ready to be annihilated and spread to every conceivable surface. Reason? It can often buy you 20 minutes of time. You soon learn that buying yourself time is the best purchase you can ever make.
Every.single.cliche about kids is totally true. You think you’re the first to discover it, but it really is enchanting: Kids really DO love boxes more than they love the toys that are in them! They really DO manage to get yogurt in every nook and cranny! You will get pooed on! No matter how many times you get told, there’s just nothing like having it happen to you.
You will think your kid is ridunkulously adorable. Like stupidly cute. Like OMG I JUST MANAGED TO CREATE THE CUTEST CREATURE EVER CONCEIVED ON THE PLANET.
I remember seeing my darling soul sister and cousin-in-law Jodie after she had her first son. “Oh Jodie! He’s so beautiful!” I crooned.
“I know! I made him! I am so clever!” she beamed. And it was one of those true beams, ya know?
Of total pride and joy.
I JUST MADE THE CUTEST PERSON THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.
You will find random shit EVERYWHERE. It’s like the fairies uproot your home & then put it all back together… but forget some of the places. It’s normal for me to go hunting on the verandah for saucepans, to find a whole village of toys co-existing beneath the couch, forks in the garden, a solo shoe beneath the stairs, oracle cards wedged artfully into plant pots.
You will become more of a buddha than you ever thought possible. You’ll serve, help, love, kiss this other – even when it’s no longer fun or easy. Sometimes you’ll lose your shit as well. But, because you are a buddha, you’ll get back up again the next day & keep serving, helping, loving, kissing with as much as you have in you.
Breastfeeding. Let’s talk about the real truths about it, yeah?
I think there’s so much misinformation about breastfeeding & boobs & what it takes. So I’m really happy to tell you what I’ve learned.
(Usually) easy to settle babe
Excellent source of distraction when babe turns to kid & starts having meltdowns
It’s cozy & cuddly & connectiony & intimate
It’s an excellent way of being lazy. Here kid, here’s my boob, I’ll read a book on my Kindle while you go to sleep.
It takes a BUTTLOAD OF TIME. Ummm… like some days in the first four months, I would be breastfeeding for 16 hours a day. SCREWY. I remember crying with longing for my own hands to do shit. Like! Making toast! Without it being a fuc*ing artform of acrobatic proportions!
In tribal communities, there’s always a number of women lactating. So there are readily available working boobs, and arms to pass kids around to. Perfect for when mama needs to go walkabout before she loses her shit. In modern society? There’s just one pair of boobs per kid. Thus making only one person in the world who can feed their wee one. One person who may desperately need some Time Out, but finds it really hard to get. I wish I’d gotten into the habit of expressing and leaving Ostara with her Daddy-o for a couple of hours, and letting them work out their dance a lot earlier on. Chris said to me early on: “It’s just a bit silly really that I don’t have boobs. Not even little babycino ones that could just give baby a snack ya know? That would be really handy!”
Indeed, it would. BIOLOGY, PLEASE CATCH UP TO MODERN CIVILISATION!
Some kids are just boobtastic.
I have one of them.
I remember midwives talking about 2-4 hours between feeds. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
My kid never did that. Ever. Not until she was about 2.
At 20 months old we still breastfed every 2-3 hours.
If we’re out & about, she might go up to five hours without a feed – but this doesn’t happen often. She still feeds during the night.
At 2.5, she still boobfeeds during the day and at night.
At some point, I’ll need to consider weaning as I’ve got a medical condition that gets exacerbated by breastfeeding.
I have no idea when that will happen, or just how hard it’s going to be. I always thought we’d do child led weaning, but le medical condition has caused me to start considering it sooner rather than later.
(Please, no advice on this one. It’s a personal choice as to the length of time a mother breastfeeds her child, and we all must make the choices that are best for our individual needs.)
Again: whatever works for you is the right answer.
I have NO idea what the *real* average of sleep is for kids.
And I’ve taken to trying not to compare Ostara to the averages.
Up until she was a year old, she didn’t nap on her own without waking up every 20 minutes.
Since she was born 2.5 years ago, she has woken up on average 3-4 times a night. There have been a few terrible nights when she’s woken up 8 times a night. I can count on one hand the times she has woken up 1 or 2 times during the night.
A friend of mine said she’s cool with wake-ups until it’s after 4 times, at which point she starts to lose her shit. I’ve found this is true for me too.
As she’s gotten older, it’s taken less time to breastfeed her back to sleep. As a newborn up until about 3 months old, her breastfeeds lasted for an hour every single time, including during the night. Slowly it went back to 45 minutes. Then 30 minutes. Then 20 minutes. Then 15 minutes. (This is all over a year and a half). Now they last about 2 minutes and I don’t even really wake up for them.
Occasionally, I get her to go back to sleep without boob, but that takes a buttload more effort than flopping a boob over.
At some point, obviously, we’ll need to add more sleep-inducing rituals to our parenting toolkit, but for right now, this is what works for us.
We co-sleep. It’s a pain in the ass in some ways AND it’s a blessing.
Pain in the ass parts:
We don’t shag in bed anymore.
I don’t get to play starfish in bed anymore or roll around as recklessly. Sometimes I get sore from it.
I just feel super close and snuggly with her all night long. She’s always got a little hand reached out to touch my shoulder, and she wakes up with the biggest grin.
I don’t have to get out of bed when she wakes up. PRAISE TO GLORY BEE!
On the Partner Issue:
Chris is totally cool with co-sleeping
On the Practical Front:
Do we use co-sleepers?
No. We tried a Safe N Sound when she was a newborn, and it just felt REALLY odd to us.
We also tried her in a bassinet beside me. Both me & Chris ended up sleeping as crammed up to the bassinet as we could with our hands through the crib. I didn’t feel like I could hear her and tune in with her as well as I could with her beside me.
It takes time to adjust to co-sleeping and find positions that work for you. Best things I know about it is to have as flat & stable a bed as you can. Have separate blankets – we have 3 on our bed. Don’t put them near your pillow. Don’t co-sleep if you or your partner are heavily overweight, on heavy medication, are smokers, are drunk or overtired. The overtired part cracks me up – what parent of a baby isn’t overtired? Still, it’s handy to know that. I was extra cautious when I was overtired to make sure she had her own sleeping space in our bed, and put my elbows in such a way that I couldn’t roll towards us.
Research also shows that babies shouldn’t sleep between the two parents as fathers don’t tend to have the same anti-rolling instincts that mothers do about babies. For us, we tried that out, and didn’t like it. We checked in with our intuition and felt it would be fine to have her between the two of us. Chris is a very light sleeper and sensitive to energy, so we felt it would be fine.
It gets more awesome as it gets older as you worry less about a tiny wee baby who can’t move. It also takes more space when they do become active kidliwinks who spread-eagle over the pillowy planes.
We started with a King Size bed (with my side pushed against the wall). Once she was about 9 months old, I convinced my love we (I) needed more space, and we bought a single bed that we popped next to our kingsize bed and made a Kingdom bed!
Again: whatever works for you and your family is 100% groovy. This is just me adding my voice to the collective pool of mama wisdom.
Made me feel SO much better knowing that it wasn’t for NO REASON AT ALL that our kid’s sleeping patterns would go flippy.
The Bell Curve of Boobs
We hear ALL.THE.TIME. about how breastfeeding comes naturally, every woman should be able to do it, easy peasy lemon squeeze!
And THEN. Reality.
Here’s what I’ve seen and learned:
It comes with challenges. Butt loads of them.
And there is a bell curve of boobs.
Some boobs produce not much milk. Some boobs produce shiploads.
Within tribal society, kid sharing & wet nursing was totally normal. Which is awesome, because all our boobs are different and make different amounts!
Yus, they produced milk. Gallons of it. I remember the midwife squeezing my boobs just after I gave birth, and she was all “woah! you’re already lactating heaps there!”
And when a midwife visited us at home on Day 2, she warned me that my milk would soon come in.
“Too late!” I cheerfully said! “Already has!”
“No no, love, it won’t have come in yet. They’ll be like giant rocks when they do!”
“No seriously. Come feel my boobs!”
And so she did, and was pretty impressed at the Super Milk Bazookers my boobs had come.
And so began the weeks and months of The Jet Propelled Milking Boozwas. When we’d wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of milk. When I left puddles of milk everywhere I went.
Apparently it takes six weeks for milk production to settle down. Mine took six months. I’ve had countless rounds of mastitis (I think 8 was last count, 3 requiring late night trips to emergency) not to mention a gazillion mornings to realise that once again, the Milking Bazookas had jammed up with blocked ducts & needed heavy duty massage/hot showers/hungry baby/herbal poultices/fancy organic herbal creams/I can’t even remember everything else I did but let me tell you, there was no stone unturned as I attempted to stop Blocked Ducts from turning into Mastitis.
Wow. Isn’t this fun to talk about?
I actually feel really, really tired thinking about newborn period. Does anyone else feel the same way?
I still think to myself how awesome life is now Ostara is over that whole first 12 month period.
I could have fed four kids with my gushers. That’s definitely what they were trying to do. I wouldn’t have gotten mastitis so many damn times if we were all tribally and spare kids could have been harvesting off me like a cat feeding a litter.
SEE? BELL CURVE!
Where I had buttloads of milk, other women might have had exactly the right amount for their baby, and other women wouldn’t have enough. And we’d be able to average each other out in the Land of Tribal Boobs.
I think this calls for a Very Beautifully Designed Leonie Infographic.
(FWIW, if you have limited milk supply, you may be able to induce more through the use of galactagogues (I adore that word) – lactation inducing foods and herbs or a lactation consultant.)
We’ve talked boobs. Let’s talk shagging. Natural progression, you know.
It takes boatloads of time for sex life to get normal again.
I sniffed at the thought of 6 months without sex. “Yeaaaaaah RIGHT!” I thought.
It’s amazing how much you know it all before you have a baby.
For us, it took over a year for it to be actually somewhat fun again.
My vajayjay needed to heal. I’d had an episiotomy. I was totally touched out from so much hands-onning.
Plus, there was that whole time thing – we had a baby that didn’t sleep for longer than 20 minutes on her own.
What I most want to say is this:
It’s okay for it to take time. It’s going to be okay. It will get better. Your vajayjay will heal.
In the meantime, keep communicating with your love. Be creative with how you both get *cough cough* your needs met.
And most of all, big cuddles.
I remember thinking “my maiden vagiiiina!!! it’s gone foreverrrrrrrrr!!!! i am irreparably damaged!!!!!!”
I wasn’t. It just took time.
Actually, the best thing I ever heard about this was from my intuitive healer, Hiro Boga.
“Just remember Leonie, the deva of your vagina still holds the perfect pattern for your cells. And it can begin to realign it and heal it and bring it back to normal.”
So whenever I’d feel scared about my vagina disappearing into the Land of Forever No-No, I’d pray to that deva, and have a happy lil smile on my face knowing that it knew the way back to Happy Healed Vagina Land.
And it did.
Me and my vagina say YAY!
Not me and my vagina. But me and something that came out of it.
I don’t say vagina on my blog as much as I do in everyday life.
Maybe I might change that.
(When I have the courage.)
If you find any spelling mistakes or weird letters (aka kkkkieii9999999999;.;;;;;;;;;;), you know the cause of it. Just found Ostara prising open the laptop lid, opening this document and typing slap-happy away. SUCH a helper!!!!
If I ever comment on your Facebook post with something totally irrelevant or unintelligible, you’ll know it’s NOT ME. It’s my iPod being commandeered by baby fingers.
I think that about rounds it up.
Everything I have to say about babies and kids.
I’ve been writing about pregnancy and parenting for over 3 years now, and I think I’ve got everything off my chest I needed to share about that whole pregnancy and baby era.