January 2013

How Planning Retreats Made Me Go Pro!

by Leonie Dawson on January 24, 2013

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One of my team members, Marissa is here.

40 hours of planes from frozen white Indiana over the North Pole to Hong Kong before landing here in lush, hot, sweat-dripping tropical paradise.

She’s here for 25 days, to review the last year and plan out the next big dream expansion of the company with me.

It’s a big investment for her to be here: of money, of time, of sheer effort.

And yet it makes the difference.

It was just over a year ago since I first came up with the idea of flying her from America to Australia for a planning retreat.

One night I had a vision of her in a room with me, taking dictation as I listened to whatever Great Spirit needed us to know next.

How to grow, how to expand, where to go next, what was needed next, how we could help more.

And at the first thought, I thought it was impossible.

But I decided it wasn’t so crazy, and in fact it was a genius idea… I just had to work out a way to make it possible.

Looking back, it was something that made us go pro.

It affected all of us:

Me, my team, the company.

Spending this amount of deep time in review, reflection + forward planning is the stuff that turns you from reactor instead of creator.

It gives you the space + time to see if you’re on the right track.

It gives you the chance to craft your path forward.

Plan out how you are going to get from where you are right now to that place where your dreams are, that place you can inhabit in a year’s time.

How We Structure Our Planning Retreat

Last year, I compiled a heap of questions for us to work through together.

This year, I took all those questions and turned it into the 2013 Create Your Incredible Year in Business workbook.

(It’s not a bad deal when you think about it – that $9.95 workbook contains the exact questions that doubled our business from $250k to $500k in a year. And we’ll be using it to plan out our first million dollar year this year! ROI (Return On Investment) is pretty dang high! Ha!)

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But What If You Don’t Have Staff?

Just because you don’t have a team, a business partner or someone you can do your business planning with, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it!

Because here’s the joy of it:

you get to do it with your very own best friend for liiiiife, YOURSELF.

The very best kind of company you can get!

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I remember deeply the first time I took a planning retreat for myself.

I didn’t have even an office to do it in, so I spent a full week (of my two hour work blocks) in cafes + at the park.

It made me get SO much clearer about where I was wanting to head, what I needed to do to get there + create the map to get there.

Then it’s just a matter of implementing the shit out of it, and waddya know:

The Dream Comes True!

I’m Not Being Superfluous Here… or Superficial.

Planning retreats ARE effing powerful on every single level… financial, business, spiritual, emotional, life.

If you’re not taking time to review, reflect + map out what changes are needed and what direction you need to take, you’re just getting swamped in REACTING instead of CREATING.

Ya get so busy studying trees, you forget to look at your whole forest and work out how it needs nurturing and expanding.

What’s more, it’s not just a left-brain analytical process.

My planning retreats are what I call “business attunements“. It’s like getting a reiki attunement – when you give yourself the time and space to allow yourself to expand into the next level, evolve and grow. For me, these planning retreats are like receiving the new download of the vision of my company, along with how I need to create it in the physical world.

And as the big expansion comes through, I often face fears and sadness inside me as parts of me resist the growth, change and transformation that is to come.

It requires a lot of tools to process through it: tears, journalling, intuitive healing, meditation, EFT.

In fact, I’m reading this with puffy eyes after a particularly huge day of reaching one of my “upper limits” (as Gay Hendricks calls it) and knowing it was time to let go of it. I know that those kinds of limits aren’t my soul’s truth… they are just fears that need to be heard and understood. So I listen and hear it out. Stay gentle with myself. Take a long bath afterwards. Lay down piece after piece of baggage that I’m no longer needing. Getting lighter, ready to fly higher.

Tomorrow I’ll wake up. And we’ll dive deep again.

Doing this huge, immense work of birthing a new miracle into the world.

all my love,

2013 Dreams Of A Nourished Business Woman

by Leonie Dawson on January 21, 2013

2013 dream extravaganza

G’day darlinghearts!

Today’s guest post is by the lovely Jodi Chapman. Jodi is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her husband, Dan Teck.

As you know, I very rarely accept guest posts, but each year I like to invite some gorgeous, passionate, inspiring women to share their new year dreams, goals + miracles.

The more we hear of women dreaming big dreams and making them happen, the more it will become the “new normal” and fuel us to do just the same.

Introducing Jodi!

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jodi and 2013 workbook

I absolutely love Leonie’s workbooks, and I have spent hours with them this year!

My business is my comfort zone, and so I dove into that workbook first. It helped me get extremely clear about my vision and my goals. With her guidance, I got specific and dreamed even bigger than before! And I feel great about where things are headed.

The life workbook was a bit harder for me to work through. I have focused on my business for so long, and somewhere along the way – I took a backseat to all of the excitement surrounding my success. If you’re an entrepreneur, you most likely will be able to relate to this – we work so hard getting our dream off of the ground, and we put everything that we have into making sure that happens. We work around the clock. We live and breathe our work. And it seeps into every part of our being, especially if we love what we do (which I definitely do!).

But… one day, you may find that you wake up after years of pushing and try to find yourself. You look around and instead of seeing YOU, you see your business EVERYWHERE. You’re so wrapped up in your business that you are no longer sure what’s you and what’s your work.

That’s exactly where I was, and so I was extra grateful to Leonie for separating the two workbooks to help us see that they don’t have to be so enmeshed.

Thankfully, once I got into it, I found that I was still here – quietly waiting until I came back to myself. And I love that I never actually left, and I could come back at any time. I made a conscious effort to try not to write about anything work related in the life workbook (although sometimes something popped in now and then). I focusing on ME – what do I want, what do I dream about, what do I get excited about, what vision do I have that’s just for me?

And this was really wonderful. I adore my business, but I also need to adore myself.

And this was a great step in getting clear about what an adored self looks like.

There were two parts of the life workbook that really stood out for me, and I’m happy to share them here.

My Word for the Year!

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I love choosing a word each year – it’s such a beautiful way to begin with a clear vision!

Last year, my word for the year was Soar. And that definitely came true! I pushed myself far beyond my fear and leaped right into my dream life! I connected with so many beautiful souls, and many of them have become my closest friends. I followed my heart and created goodies that would help others embrace their life again.

It was almost like I was in a creative, inspired whirlwind for the entire year! And I’m just now coming back to the ground. It was such an amazing experience, and I definitely am grateful that I chose that word. It was just what I needed to stop hiding and start living fully again.

When I chose Soar, I wasn’t thinking about balance or self care, though. I was just thinking that it was time to stop saying no to life and start saying yes. So I said yes to almost EVERYTHING. If someone wanted me to help them, I did. If someone wanted to collaborate with me, we did. If someone wanted me to review their book, I did. If someone needed support and extra love, I offered it to them. And these connections were wonderful and amazing and heart-opening and beautiful.

But… something happened along the way that I hadn’t anticipated: I went missing. I was so busy soaring and so busy supporting others and so busy creating products and so busy doing, doing, doing – that I forgot to refill my own cup. And so by the end of the year, I didn’t have anything left. Nothing more to give – to myself or to anyone else.

And that made me sad. So, out of complete necessity, I pulled way back from everything (as much as I could). I hibernated for awhile. I stopped posting as much on my blog, on social media. I stopped. And I slept. And watched movies. And slept some more. And during this time in my cocoon, I remembered something so important – something that makes so much sense – something that I had been writing about for years but finally got it so deeply and clearly:

I am of no use to anyone if I am unable to love myself deeply and take care of myself completely.

Period.

It’s such a hard lesson to learn – but absolutely essential.

I remember something that Leonie said last year when she took several weeks off to nourish her soul. She said that she actually made more money during her time away than she had in the same time-period when she was pushing so hard. Wow. That really hit home for me. The programming inside of me that was so deeply ingrained was that I had to work hard – really hard – in order to succeed. Push harder = be more successful. And so that’s exactly what I did. And it was working – I was succeeding and living my dreams! I was just too tired to enjoy them. :)

So this year, after some deep contemplation, I chose Nourish as my word.

I want to remember that my cup needs to be full. And as Lisa Nichols reminds us all: Give from your overflow. 

Nourish means that I will take care of myself. Not just write about it – not just talk about it. But actually do it. Get back into my body and move joyfully again. Stop working when I am tired. Start playing when I could use a laugh. This year will be filled with nourishment – bubble baths, couch time, yummy food, naps, chick lit and chick flicks, and time to just BE.

It’s going to be a year filled with self love and pampering and relaxation and fun. And I trust that when I come into the world with a nourished soul, the energy that seeps out of me will be much more powerful and inspiring. And that will seep into everyone that I come in contact with. That’s how it works! It’s time for grounding and nurturing while still succeeding and sharing. We can have it all, and I love that about this world!

Time to Celebrate ME!

This page from the workbook was a really lovely exercise. I got to think about how I want to celebrate myself this year, and it was fun thinking about what a fully lived life looks like for me.

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I’m just so grateful to you, Leonie, for creating such a transformational workbook. Going through it allowed me to really dive in and contemplate my life. I loved going within and uncovering the answers.

You are an amazing soul, and I’m so happy to be on this journey together.

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Thanks so gorgeous Jodi!

Such good, deep lessons + wisdom shared here… for every creative soul, every entrepreneur, every woman wanting to make her dreams come true.

All my love,

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On Crafting A Family (And A Life) Together

by Leonie Dawson on January 18, 2013

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I think I’ll always remember these long, tiring, tender days

of raising a little being together.

How much love and work and commitment and faith we’ve piled into it.

Crafting the life we wanted.

Pushing and pulling and talking it out and working out a way for all three of our needs to be met – for each to be given the intimacy, love, space and time they need to grow.

Between two creative, self-aware adults and one toddler, there’s a whole lotta needs that need tending to, and we’re always working out ways for everyone’s needs to be met as much as we humanly can. (We’re also very, very human, and we don’t do it all perfectly, and I’ve come to a certain kind of grace and ease with that truth.)

It’s been an effort… that’s the best way to describe it I feel.

Something that’s required a buttload of attention, energy and work to direct it in the right course.

but holy shit it’s worth it.

The big work. The good work.

The kinda work that crafts your very being:

makes you more patient. Compassionate. Understanding.

More deeply intimate with your own needs and the needs of the ones you love.

This is the work

Of crafting a family and a love and a life

that sings just to you.

I’m grateful we did it. I’m grateful we keep doing it.

Keep making art, talking it out, working out what works, committing to our own routine and balance of family time, study, work and adventure, of having artist’s dates, and of cultivating our souls along with our family. I often feel like talking + hugging is what constitutes the vast majority of our days: it’s the glue that holds us all together, keeps us happy and in the right groove. (Those two things are just as important for us adults as it is for our wee one!)

It’s just like our relationship counsellor (we called him “The Dude”) said right at the beginning when we went to see him with babe in arms.

“When a baby arrives, they scoop out your pie.

Where before, you had time for yourself, work, each other, friends… each sections of your pie.

A baby comes along and all that time is gone.

And so you begin the work of slowly, slowly building your sections back in, tiny piece by tiny piece.”

It’s been almost three years since our pie was scooped out (can you believe it?)

And our pie is filling out again, crafting it bit by bit.

I’m so glad I’ve done this work.

So glad I’ve done it with him (the wisest, hottest man I’ve ever known).

So glad I’ve done it for her (the daughter I knew I would always have).

So glad it’s made me even more of who I am.

With all my love from this side of the world,

from my little tribe to yours,