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So possums!

As many of you know… we have philanthropy built into our business model. We support a range of charities monthly + annually, from helping to build a school through Pencils of Promise, to being in the top 1% of Kiva lenders in the world, to 4 sponsor daughters, to being UNICEF global parents, to donating close to 200 000 workbooks to charities, to supporting Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund + much more.


We as a team decided we wanted to do something extra this month to support the Syrian refugee crisis. Because of all of you, we were able to donate an additional $1000. It’s nowhere near enough to fix the problem, but every bit counts. We have the Starfish Story as inspiration to keep growing, giving + making each one matter. (Have attached the Starfish Story as an image if you don’t know it already!)

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

We’ll keep on finding ways we can do more, give way, help more. One more starfish. One more starfish.

Thank you for inspiring us, for being a part of this vision + this mission and for investing in you. When we step up to be conscious creators, we really CAN change this world.

Big Love,

Leonie, Grant, Joyce, Erin, Amber + the rest of Team Shining.


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Best of Shining September! Here’s what I shared last month…


Hi there gorgeous petunias

I shared a shit-tonne of good things last month.

Anywaysies… incase you missed any of the Good Things… here’s our radiant roundup!



Podcast: Coz I’m Procrastinating Like A Pro

In this podcast I:

  • get ranty + ravey about Facebook comments
  • talk about my freakouts trying to decide what to wear for the Gala Dinner at the Ausmumpreneur Awards
  • intro my new hairstyle (rainbow streaks, thanks to my ex-boss and Virgo dreamboat Lile)
  • I’m fairly sure I said some smart things too at some point. I can neither verify nor confirm.

Tune in here!


“How To Make Selling Art Feel Good (AKA How To Not Feel Icky Marketing Your Art!

It can feel really, really hard trying to make a living from your art online.

I know. I used to sell my art online too.

(Now I spend all my art hours illustrating my printed products [2016 goal workbooks + diary + to do list pad] and online programs. Kind of like licensing my own art to myself! It’s magical!)

Anyways, selling art online is both the most joyous thing – and the most disheartening thing.

Read my advice here.


Ausmumpreneur Conference – Illustrated Notes (Free E-book) + Round-Up

I was nominated in and was a finalist nationwide for two awards:

  • AusMumpreneur of the Year Award
  • Making A Difference Award

What an honour, yo!

I headed to Melbourne for the Ausmumpreneur judging, conference + gala awards evening.

In this post, I shared:

    • my illustrated notes from the conference
    • the video of my presentation
    • printable slides from my presentation
    • and the big, beautiful things I learned from business women while I was there!

Check out my amaze-balls-to-the-wall time here.

your questions answered

“I’m Not A Hippy/Creative/Coach/Woo Woo. Will I Still Get Use Out Of The Academy?”

So, I get asked this question a LOT.

I’m not a hippy // creative // woo woo // coach. Is the Academy the place for me? Will I learn REAL business + marketing strategies to help me grow my business practically?

Are you just going to be one of those hippy business coaches that tell me that “I know the answer already” and “Everything I need is inside of me”? Especially when I just need information on exactly what I need to do with my business?

Let me answer what I know here.


To The Lady In Row Behind Me [A Guest Post From Grant]

You. Yes, you. In Denver. At Rob Bell’s Everything is Spiritual just the other night.

You came late, you left early and very hurriedly.

I didn’t get a chance to tell you this in person, and I somehow doubt you’ll read this, but there’s something you need to know.

Your. Laugh. Is. Magic.

Yep, that’s it.

Read on here.

1 Leonie's Scrapbook

Leonie’s Scrapbook: Awards + Rainbow Hair

My usual scrapbook of photos + ramblings as of late…

Filled with family + fun adventures, and a my trip to magical Melbourne!

Enjoy it here!


How To Charge For Your Work (Without Feeling Icky)

When you start out, it can be really, really hard knowing how to charge for your work.

Do you pull a number out of thin air? Or do you work out your cost + projections + deductions + profits x headaches produced by lefty-brained logistics = perfect price?

This isn’t just about pricing your work. This is about every time we need to put a number value on our work. You don’t have to be an artist to have this question. Maybe you’re a healer. Or a coach. Or a massage therapist, a babysitter, or a designer. Or any sort of business owner, really.

So let’s circle…. And talk pricing.

what is leonie really like

What’s Leonie’s Really Like? [A Guest Post By Our Chief Operations Officer, Grant Andrew]

When you write a post about your boss – you really want to say nice things, right?

But, if you’ve been around Leonie and I at all, you might already know we make it a practice to be radically honest. Well, let me restate that – she makes it a practice to be radically honest and I’m just surfing along uncovered in her wake. Frankly, while I love the effects of this trait, often it scares me to death.

I’m going to set that aside and give you an inside look at what it’s like to work with Leonie. Leonie, who asked me to write this post, but won’t publish it unless she thinks it’s really an honest look, so here it goes

hippy numbers

The Hippy Who Knows Numbers [A Guest Post By Grant]

If you’ve looked at the Academy or at many of my drawings and downloads, it’s possible you could come away with the idea the the Shining Academy is a drawing school for fairy godmothers, or at least the playground for a madwoman with a really nice set of colouring pencils.

Perhaps the addition of biz and life words might cause you to think about learning to draw whimsical images of copiers, standing desks, and laundry baskets.

None of this is true.

Read my experience here.


All Your Feelings Are Allowed

I want you to know that all your feelings are allowed and okay.

Not just the good ones, not just the “positive” ones. Allowing yourself to feel all your feelings does NOT mean you will “attract” “negative” experiences. I believe that is one of the most harmful myths in New Age ideology. Constantly brainwashing yourself to only say positive things and feeling guilty when you don’t is not healthy, truthful and it doesn’t allow us to feel at home in our bodies.

You are allowed to feel alllllllll your feelings.

Feel them here.

wordpress latest release

Latest Academy Release: How To Build A WordPress Website

We haz a new Academy course, Creating a Website with WordPress!!!!!!

This is the first of many tech courses to come, to help you actually IMPLEMENT + DO marketing for your business online without losing your tech shit.

Don’t miss this!


Where I’m At, Where I’m Going

I write these posts from time to time.

This one had been on my to do list for about… oh… three months now.

Recently, my sordidly bad internet decided to completely fuck itself, so I was afforded the gift of… not being able to do anything else BUT write. What a blessing! What a gift!

So, where am I at?

Shining Canberra

Shining Retreat: Canberra!

After the incredible response we had to last month’s Denver Academy event, me + Grant stayed up half (his) night to organise our next event.

So… important announcement.

Grant + I will be co-hosting a two day Shining Retreat + Mastermind exclusively for Academy members in Canberra this February!

Get the deets here.

May your day be big, blessed + bright,


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promo 1

Hola dearests,


Thanks for sticking with me during our Shining September Sale.

If you’re a new Academy member, I’m so glad to be serving you.

And if the Academy isn’t right for you at this point, that’s cool too.

We’re switching gears now + are so excited to continue sending you good and beautiful and wonderful things to inspire your life, soul, creativity + business.

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So… gift time!

I’ve been working on this one for about six months now… in the garden, at night, at conferences, as we moved from Hobart to Canberra, in hotel rooms…

Stolen moments of art… to make you…

A 100+ page colouring book

chockablock full of inspiration for you to colour

Our last colouring book was a huge hit for adults + children alike. And I know many of you are getting a bit tired of colouring the same 20 pages over and over again.

These 100+ pages will keep you going for MONTHS I reckon!!! As well as giving you some beautiful art to put on your walls + in your journals.

promo 2

I was just reading the New Scientist magazine on the dunny…

(I KNOW. I KNOW! But to be fair, you really should be used to these kinds of conversational turns from me by now!)


They have now done research into how the brain changes when colouring is being done + it’s actually bloody beneficial! (Carl Jung even prescribed colouring to patients!!!!!)

Colouring can help you:

  • calm the amygdala (the fear centre of the brain)
  • improve your vision and fine motor skills (and can delay or prevent the onset of dementia)
  • increase your ability to focus
  • causing feelings of relaxation + the reduction of stress
  • increase alpha brain waves (similar to those experienced inmeditation!)

pop pink bar

And do share it along with your friends too… double the joy!

Wishing you a gorgeous week…

I’m Running A Competition!



Your chance to WIN $4000 worth of hotseat business coaching with me + Grant!


  • Record a video sharing what changes you have seen in your life or business (or both) because of using the workbooks
  • Upload it on to Youtube + call it “2015 Shining Year Workbook Review”
  • Email us ([email protected]) by THIS SUNDAY with “Workbook Video” in the subject line!


  1. The person with the MOST number of likes on their video will win 90 minutes of business coaching with me + Grant (valued at $2000)! Ask all your friends + family to like your video!
  2. The person with the most scenic or creative video will also win 90 minutes of business coaching with me + Grant (valued at $2000)!


You CAN use your affiliate link for it + earn cash from any workbooks or memberships sold because of it! Sign up here to be an affiliate!  DOUBLE BONZA!!!


The competition will close THIS SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT.



P.S. Just remember… DONE is better than PERFECT.

Get it finished + get it UP… that’s the ONLY way you can win.

(Handy tip: This doesn’t just apply as advice for this competition either… it applies to EVERYTHING!!!!)

unfinished bird


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I’m Learning [A Guest Post From Grant]

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[A beautiful guest post from Grant our Chief Operations Officer + Shining Academy co-teacher. We’ve both been on a huge learning journey of becoming better business managers, better creatives + better people since we started  pressing each other’s buttons working together. I love this ode of his. And of course, wanted to illustrate. It’s a beautiful affirmation for all of us – still learning, still growing, still opening our arms wide to a sometimes thrilling, sometimes scary new vista. Enjoy. xo L]

I’m learning.

All the time I’ve been writing and working in this beautiful space, I’ve been learning.

I’ve done a lot of work in my life. Perhaps, instead of being scared of hard work, I’m not scared enough. I’ve not been scared enough of difficult things to make sure I was using my gifts well. Not been scared enough of wasting my time to prevent me from, well, wasting my time.

But that’s behind me now. I’m here. Here is a place where my gifts are welcomed. All of them. Astounding.

laughing grant sepia grant

Last week, I met some of the Shining Academy members in person and we talked and cried and worked together. And I sang songs. And they said amazingly wonderful things about our work. And some beautiful things about my gifts to the day.

im still learning SML

I’m still learning how to accept that. How to say “Thank you” in a normal voice, when inside, part of me is wanting to scream “I NO RITE?” and part of me wants to tell you about the pitchy note I couldn’t hold, about the questions I wasn’t sure how to answer.

I’m learning that all of this is part of the work. I believe we all have gifts that are beautiful.

It’s not just a few of us. We all carry fingerprints of greatness.

We have been touched by God. Call it what you want, but there’s stardust in us.

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The little kid in me wants to just stop there.

To start and stop with amazement. That’s not so bad, really.

“Water, stories, the body, all the things we do, are mediums that hide and show what’s hidden.” ~ Rumi

This life is a fickle thing. Either we hide our genius, ‘I’d rather work behind the scenes.’ ‘I’m more of a support kind of guy.’

Or, we show it, and then feel the sting of so much nakedness. Like we’ve ripped away the covering on something, yes, beautiful, but also new, and raw, and intimate.

It’s like your genius is your dominant arm. I’m left-handed, so I’ll go with that. (Why does it feel revealing to tell you that?) For part of your life, you’re using your non-dominant hand. Turns out, that shaking hands with people is a right-handed thing to do. And so, it’s like a non-choice, you just extend that sort of thinking further. Everything can be right-handed. Save your left arm for something important. Save that strength, you can use it when you really need it.

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Pretty soon, you have a rule. Only use the left hand when the right hand won’t work. And now, you’ve limited your genius to helping out only when the rest of you is failing. “Lead With Your Weakness” is your new slogan. It’s so safe. When you fail to deliver, just blame it on your weakness. When you succeed, think of how amazing it is you did it with your non-dominant hand. And when you’re shaking hands with your odds-defying right hand, think of how clever you are to have adapted to the world in such a fashion. Only a genius would come up with this plan, you think.

Only thing – it isn’t true. It’s not enough. At some point, life is going to call for all the strength you have, in both arms. In both hands. At some point, you won’t be able to fake it with your weak arm. You’ll need your strong arm.

And not just for you. There will be a time when all your strength is required to save someone. Someone you love. There will be a baby floating by in a basket and you’ll need your left and right arms, spread wide, to bring the little one to safety. There won’t be room for excuses about how it’s a right-hand world, or how you wanted to use your weak-side first so it would grow. Or how you really hid your strength to avoid the dilemma of using it.

im still learning SML

The world needs strength, even if it comes in the ‘other’ arm. We need open hearts. Strong hearts. Hearts beating on passion, not on the pursuit of success or some small idea that won’t go the distance.

But, when you take a step in the direction of your dreams, watch out. That left-arm can be really weak. It’s been hidden. Covered from the sun, kept underwraps from exposure. It’s tough to wake up every morning and know that you’re working on a dream. Right now, like a doctor doing surgery on an infant. Like a good guy cutting the blue wire off the bomb.

So here I am. Left-arm exposed. Heart open to all the beauty and challenges of this road. Some days, I’m fascinated by the strength of what’s inside me. How can I be this strong, I ask. Some days, I’m just a puddle. All the brilliance, the schemes, the ideas, the passion, dissolved into some weak concentration beneath the tires of a passing car.

Maybe you’re still learning too.

This is good. Always learning. Always balancing our weakness and our strength. Always aware of our place in the world and our next challenge.

The world needs learners. People strong enough to adapt. To pursue new outcomes in new ways. Us learning, is just practice. It’s good for us and good for the world, so keep it up.

And the sting of fresh skin exposed, it leaves with time. Pretty soon, you start looking for more hiddenness to reveal. More of yourself you can out. Because part of the strength of our beauty is its weakness.

“We’re not a strong as we think we are.”
~ Rich Mullins

Who wants a steel heart? Who wants a person that never blinks? We walk these lines between solid and liquid, hard and soft, strong and weak. The hardness of our muscles and the wetness of our cheeks. Both are human. Both make us real. Both are signs of life. And it’s all of this bothness that the world really needs.

“Use me while you can.”
~ Bruce Cockburn


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