This might not look like a special photo – but it is. It’s the six room school built in Ghana, West Africa that me and a few friends chipped in to pay for with Pencils of Promise. Now those beautiful children have a safe, dry, cool, protected place to learn in… because education is everything.
It’s because of your workbook purchases and Academy memberships that we can do magical things like this. So thank you… thank you for choosing a company that is committed to changing the world.
I honestly had no bloody idea just how much my sharing about burnout would resonate.
I thought the pebble would fall into the lake with nary a ripple or acknowledgment.
Instead, I got a tsunami of:
Yes, me too.
Sometimes I think it’s just me.
And then I write and share about it… because that’s what I have to do… it’s in my DNA and it’s how I’ve always lived my life and was first writing poems like this:
My name is Leonie
I live in the country
I ride on a pony.
And while that poem has a fairly clearly defined target market of one… I forget that I’m not alone in the universe… I forget that what might be happening to me could be happening to others too.
And of course, it makes sense. Life gets faster, so much to do, so much to keep pace with, no downtime, no detachment… no quiet place. We care for so many, and our own needs are subjugated, both by others and ourselves. Of course we’re fucking burnt out.
I wanted to give you an update.
On how I am, how things have shifted, what I’m doing to heal.
And of course, as soon as I wrote that post… as soon as I wrote out the journey I was on… as soon as I voiced it… as soon as I said:
… things changed.
In divine timing, my team were on a US-based work retreat together… consequently I suddenly had a week of relative quiet and few meetings.
It was just the quiet and stillness I needed.
I started recovery in ways that didn’t look like recovery.
I cleaned my office.
I sorted through a year’s worth of papers in my neglected inbox.
I started a thrilling obsession with a label maker.
I put my financial papers into order in beautifully labelled folders.
I organised my bookcase.
Finally, in my most magnificent triumphant act, I organised all of my journals and papers into chronological order spanning 20 years.
I marvelled over my journals from my teenage years… in exactly the same blank paged A4 journal I use now… same handwriting… same art… same musings.
And I remembered:
This has been me all along.
I found my school report cards and I cried over how kind my teachers were to me, how much they believed in me even then.
I sent a package of my books to my favourite Year 4 teacher to tell him that even if he didn’t remember me, I needed him to know his work mattered and he was such a source of kindness and inspiration for me.
He wrote me back:
Of course I remember you. You were filled with joy and positivity and art even back then.
I started remembering that even though I’ve had some seriously shitty things happen to me this year… where I’d been treated horrifically by someone in my inner circle… that all along my life… now and back then… I have also been surrounded by angels too.
As I took stock, wrote letters, rearranged my life and personal history, soaked in the quiet…
the insights started flying fast and quick.
Within a few days, the exact prescription I needed had failed upon my mind. The prescription I would give myself to heal from burnout, and what I needed to do to create sustainable creativity going forward.
Because here’s the thing – I didn’t just want to take 3 months off and go on sabbatical.
I didn’t want to move away from the work.
I didn’t want to not be creating and sharing…
because those two things ARE the remedy for me.
I intensely wanted to find a way I could do this work for the rest of my life.
(That’s not to say this prescription may not need amending and adding to from time to time. It’s just the right script for me for right now.)
In order to be able to reduce my hours, I’ve had to re-evaluate all my tasks and decide:
do I delegate this to someone who already knows how to?
do I train someone up to know how to do this?
do I hire someone who already knows this?
do I automate?
do I delete it all together?
My staff already have access to tens of thousands of dollars worth of training in our training library.
I’ve also started creating LDI-specific training.
I invite my team to a team-only webinar on a date
I have to get the training complete by that date (deadlined tasks… the only way things get done! Ha!)
I record it with slides
We make it into a video that gets popped into our training library for future staff to use.
Examples of LDI-specific training we have made or will make:
I also made time in my schedule to have monthly meetings with some of our team to give them really clear feedback, guidance and direction about the future of the company and where I want to take various parts of it (i.e. design and copywriting). This has made a huge difference!
What’s more it’s a win-win-win for everyone… all my staff love it… the results are instant… and it reduces the workload on me! YAY!
I had some parameters set for how many meetings and calls and interviews I would do each week.. but invariably I would get overbooked anyway.
Instead, what I did was just block out time in my calendar as unavailable, so nobody could book me in for shit even if they wanted to. Ha!
Now, three afternoons a week, I have scheduled UNavailability. It’s time just to work, reflect and create.
It’s already revolutionary.
This is taking my scheduled unavailability to the NEXT LEVEL.
I got the idea from someone at my women’s circle, who shared they were having their yearly GOLDEN WEEK.
It was the week of the year they had off work while their kids were still at school. She would basically have a week long TREAT YO SELF:
Massages, movies, champagne at 10am, shopping.
And I loved the idea of Golden Week SO MUCH.
And I decided I wanted one. Not just one… but one… OFTEN.
So I booked out my calendar for the next 18 months.
Three weeks on, one week off.
My week off will be totally free of any appointments, meetings and tasks. I will work with my team to make sure we forward plan enough that no “work emergencies” or “urgent tasks” come up during that week. They either get it from me beforehand, wait until afterwards, or develop the skills to execute themselves. It’s enforced training! Ha!
They will be my little creative sanctuary… where I learn and read and reflect and journal and dream and strategise and make art.
I need to build in these buffers so I have the space to do the truly important work that both builds the company and delights my heart…
not just the work that is reactionary.
I cancelled all live events for the rest of the year.
The only one I’ll be doing in the future is our annual Shining Biz and Life Academy conference/retreat (only for Academy members) here in Canberra in February 2017.
As I shared in the last post, my public profile has risen quite a lot, and speaking at events can become fairly intense. While I love meeting peeps face to face, the sheer numbers end up being overwhelming. I love giving and being fully present with people… and it also comes at an energetic cost. Live events can leave me on the couch for days/weeks/months to recover.
I’m more comfortable with running my own events. Our event in February was actually fairly easy to navigate for me on an energetic and practical level – my team ran it brilliantly, and we had great boundaries established. I could set up rest times and control the environment. I also had a green room I could decompress in and get centred in… all things I need in order to turn up and speak and teach. It’s more difficult to control the environment when I’m not running an event.
I’m truly sorry if this disappoints you. I’m sorry.
I wish we could meet too.
But for me, it’s the decision to do that and impact my ability to do the rest of my work.
My priority is always to be able to help as many as people as possible through my work – my courses, group coaching and weekly Q&A in the Academy, and through my workbooks.
My first love has been to create things that help people. So I’ll be returning to focus just on that.
There’s nothing like the salt and sea to heal and reinvigorate.
That, and large bags of books and journals. Who needs changes of clothes or anything else vaguely practical?
How are we all coping with school holidays around these parts?
I thought I’d have a quick share with you about what we are doing to limit the crazies around here as we manage the shuffle of parenting and running a business.
We don’t currently have a nanny or babysitter, so we’re juggling it between the two of us.
How I’m handling these school holidays is this:
Mornings are relegated for family adventures and connection time.
Sometimes I have a call or interview to do in the morning. I book it in 7am-8am so we can still head off for an adventure with plenty of morning time.
I don’t cook.
Not on holidays. Not ever. Not anymore. It’s not something I love… It stresses me out & I yell at the kids. Instead, we order fresh meals delivered through Youfoodz. My kids share one of their meals usually a long with a platter of fruit & veges.
I’ve reduced my work hours back down to 12 hours a week.
I was up to 25 hours, but I’m moved it back down, and it feels like a good fit. I will probably continue with reduced hours even when school holidays ends… I’ve always worked 2-3 hours a day building my company, and it’s only been over the last year that I’ve moved up to 25 hours. It might not sound a lot, but it makes a difference to me & my family.
I lock the door while I’m working.
If I don’t I go batshit crazy. Chris looks after the kids while I’m working while he attempts to multi task and do audio engineering and video editing for me. Sometimes this is successful, sometimes not. If I didn’t have Chris at home, I absolutely would be doing anything possible to make sure I had childcare for a few hours a day sorted – nanny/babysitter/family/babysitting co-op.
I feel a LOT more sane when I am concentrating on one thing at once – when I’m at work, I’m fully focussed. When I’m not working, I don’t work.
We have plenty of lazy days where we don’t get out of pyjamas.
I’m fine with my kids getting a bit bored. I just encourage them to keep playing/exploring to find something else. Boredom is a good thing and essential for the development of imagination I reckon.
We try and balance everyone’s needs.
I try to take the girls out to run wild at the shops for him to get some Me Time as well.
You are royally invited to The Big, Wild, Cwazy Pre-Order Sale for our 2017 workbook collection… your ONE chance to score the complete collection at a MASSIVE DISCOUNT… including FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING!!!!!!!
It’s by far the CHEAPEST you will EVER get these workbooks
It’s a BRILLIANT time to buy Christmas presents for clients, friends, daughters, mums, sisters AND THE WHOLE DANG WORLD!!!!!!!
You will be BLOWN AWAY when you open the box in November and see just how much goodness we’ve piled in there for you… at a ridiculously amazing price!!!!!
Best part about this Save The Date? There’s no dress code + unicorn pyjamas are welcomed and encouraged!
TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!!!
P.S. This amaze-balls-to-the-wall Pre-Order SALE is only for July 20 – July 27th. After that… I won’t be offering them at this price again!!!!!!!!
Save the date now so you don’t kick yourself later!
P.P.S. Don’t miss out – jump on the mailing list here! They are the ones who get priority on our stock… last time we ran out of to do list pads within a week… those babies became like stationery crack on the blackmarket!!!! HAHAHAHAHA
We’ve just had a quieter month on the blog… there’s been lots happening behind the scenes – a US team retreat in Arizona, a management team retreat here in Canberra, two new staff started plus another one starting Monday… and another one in the hiring rounds as we speak!
Not to mention… we’ve just got 2017 workbook collection off to print, and are preparing for our big wild 7 day crazy preorder sale (if you want to find out about this and save a whopping 60% off books and get FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING – jump on our list here.)…
Probably a reason it’s a bit quieter in blog land as so much else happens!
Here’s the best of the blog for Joyful June!
FREE TRAINING: Marketing For Wellpreneurs!
This is perfect for you if you deliver any face-to-face health services including:
yoga or pilates instructor
In this fabulous training, you will learn:
The Big 35 Marketing DON’TS you’re probably doing right now that you need to STOP ASAP because they are damaging your business and income!
The Mindset Mistakes that wellpreneurs, creatives & earth angels need to heal in order to fulfill their soul’s purpose.
Easy, simple, fast ways to turn your cash flow around.
and… the checklist you want to make sure you’re doing the exact opposite of!
The Ultimate Failure Checklist: Exactly What You Need To Do If You Want Your Wellness Business To Make You Broke & Burnt Out!
We’re back in action with my semi-regular scrapbook of sorts. Between dealing with some burnout, our US team retreat and orgasmic cronuts, I invite you to join me on this nostalgic journey of the past couple of weeks!