Love Letter – A Tuesday In August

Photo on 16-08-2016 at 10.09 am #5

Hey kittens…

I’m trying something new…

I just thought I might just start writing you love letters here… see how that feels… how it resonates with me and with you.

It’s a Tuesday. I’m sitting in Chris’ new office in our home. For so long he’s been sequestered in a corner of the living room, trying to do creative production work for me whilst crammed between a wall and a door and tumbling children’s bodies… all while we had a guest bedroom that lay still and quiet for 11.5 months of the year.

We decided in a fit of inspiration over the weekend that we had our values all wrong… that it is better for us to feel comfortable in our home than visiting guests… and so we moved the guest bed into Starry’s room so we can all jump on there to read books together… and made Starry’s old bed into a daybed in our living room with cushions galore… we’ll still be able to have guests (yay!) and they’ll still be comfortable (yay!) but in the meantime (all the time)… Chris has his own space. A room of one’s own… He needs it. We all do.

In many ways, Chris becomes a bit like the traditional wife in these situations… he holds the fort with the kids while I’m working on the business. He does his work around naps. He gives me the space I need to do what I love. He gave up his career as a Customs officer to support me and my dreams. I couldn’t be more grateful.

And dear lord, get the man a room already!

His room is now a gentle space filled with his guitar collection (12 and counting) and wooden desks and computers and books. And of course, being the loving, thoughtful, proud Papa Bear he is… he set up a desk up for Starry too and told her it is “Starry and Daddy’s office.”

But at least he has space now. Space for all of him, and all of his loves. No more trying to cram in around the wild shenanigans of family life and hoping none of his precious instruments got broken in the toddler maelstrom.

So this is where we are. More space. Moving things around to fit more of “us”… accepting the space that it takes without shame or concern. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing.

I’m visiting him this morning. A little co-working space. He is working on scanning in a mammoth illustrated journal I painted in India, to give out to all our Academy goddesses. I’m writing proposals and dreaming of a new way of moving forward into the next incarnation of myself and my dream and my business.

I’m set up on Starry’s desk, he’s on his.

The children are meandering in and out. Both of them are sick… the last vestiges of winter colds rolling through them.

And despite there being some wild waves and disappointments and heavy hearts around here lately… at its core, life is good. We are here. We are creating.

I hope you are well, dearests. I hope, at its core, life is good for you too.

All my love,

P.S. He just started playing guitar! SWOOOON! In my head, he’s totally serenading me. In his, he’s just playing.

Best Of July: Free Conference DVD, Election, Burnout Remedies & More!


Hola gorgeous ones,

I’m always making goodies for you over here in Leonie-land.

Did you see these ones?

Free DVD: Leonie Interviewed On Creativity, Money & Death

I shared a wee while ago that I was speaking at a Canberra Wise Women Creativity event alongside a Vogue photographer and a prolific musician.

It ended up being a deep dive into talking about:

  • money
  • death
  • angels
  • soul purpose
  • philanthropy
  • creativity
  • getting your head out of your own ass (the most important thing of all! Ha!).

I’m delighted to share it with you now as a special gift!

Get yourself a cup of tea… come sit down & join me!

9July A prescription for healing burnout

A Prescription For Healing Burnout

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.


Canberra Photographer

Election Thoughts

My thoughts on last month’s Australian election…

8 Ways To Survive School Holidays As A Mum Business Owner

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.

Here’s how I handle time off with the kids!


6 school in ghana
This Might Not Look Like Anything Special…

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.

Leonie’s Scrapbook: Beaaaaaaaaaaaach

We’re back in action with my regular scrapbook of sorts/walk down memory lane.

Between a US team retreat in Arizona, a management retreat held in Canberra, new staff starting, and a much needed beach holiday with my hunk of a husband and our gorgeous womb fruits, there’s been lots happening!

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve just wrapped up our big, wild, cwazy 7-day presale. We will be opening up the cart again in November! Make sure you’re on the mailing list here to be notified when we launch again!

Tune in here.

Have a beautiful day, dearests!

Big love,
Canberra Photographer


[leonie_show_posts ids=”24421,25146,12864,25385″]


Leonie Dawson International Donates $10,000 To Build A Library In Vietnam


Hola gorgeous hearts!

One of my BIG WHYs for why I do what I do is because I adore philanthropy. I believe that business can be a huge force for good in the world and I love sharing the abundance I receive with the places and people and planet and animals that need it most.

Above my desk, there are the pictures of our eight sponsor children, plus all the beautiful thank you cards from organisations we are able to support.

It makes my heart sing with joy and it makes me weepy and it fills me right up.

It keeps me motivated to keep making big magic in the world.

Recently, we were able to make one of our largest single donations to date… a cheque to build a library in Vietnam through Room To Read.

I asked one of my team to write & illustrate the adventure for you so you could follow along!

Let’s pay it forward and make miracles happen!



Wednesday 4th May was a high point in my life. After working through the morning I excitedly closed my laptop and saddled my trusty steed (aka my Black Vespa, lolz!) and adorned myself in my wonder woman outfit (NOT!!) and ventured into the city with my sword held high (which was actually a brightly coloured cheque rolled up into the shape of a sword, ha ha ha!).


It was an awesome day and I was ready to take on the world.

One of the amazing benefits of working for Leonie is the ongoing commitment she has for giving back. Leonie is a passionate advocate for a number of not-for-profit organisations and I had the privilege of handing over a SUPER HUGE cheque to one of our fav organisations, Room To Read.

Considered mandatory reading for all LDI staff is “Creating Room To Read” by John Wood tracks John’s transition from high powered Microsoft Executive to the Founder of the not-for-profit ‘Room To Read’. After travelling to Nepal, John was so moved by the lack of books in local schools and their hunger for knowledge and education that he vowed to do something about it. And he did!


The story hooked me from the first page. In 2016 I travelled to Nepal for 3 weeks and was able to support a children’s refuge with donated funds and clothing. Anything that allowed me the opportunity to give back to developing nations I was onboard with and any book that covered how to do this on a large scale, was amazing!

Side note… Leonie and I are both self proclaimed book-whores who love books beyond comprehension. We visit all book stores. We plan entire trips around book stores. We want to live in Amazon or Booktopia FOR REAL! Most books Leonie puts on my radar are a friggin HELL YEAH from me without hesitation! I scored a copy for $5 on ebay – but this book is now priceless to me because John changed the world and invites us to do the same – I’m TOTES down with that!

And I’m back…


Room to Read” believe that all children should have access to a good education and learning opportunities which we as a team FULLY support. Originally working in Nepal, John’s organisation provide educational resources for schools in developing nations and are now present in Zambia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam and Nepal. With a focus on literacy and gender equality, Room To Read supports communities by helping them to support themselves to achieve long term change. Instead of simply handing over the keys to a new building or leaving donations behind, they invest in training and support and make sure the community is involved and participating at all times. It’s pretty frigging amazing really!

“If every child received an education, 171 MILLION people would be lifted out of poverty”

Room to Read Australia’s representative was the lovely Janelle Prescott who informed me that the office space they occupy in the Sydney CBD, the location of our photo opp, is in fact donated and they were technically ‘squatting’ with permission, which I so loved.

After our initial introductions we set up for the big moment and I unrolled our uber colourful and stylised cheque.



Janelle’s eyes sparkled. I was grinning from ear to ear. Of course our cheque was covered in sparkles and unicorns – always on brand! I think Janelle loved it. Hee hee.

#teamunicorn handed over a $10,000 donation to fund the development of a library in Vietnam – and I got to do the honors – EEK! By supporting the efforts of John’s team and our local touch point, Janelle, we are changing the future for these children, and their children’s children, and the local community at large. What a huge ripple effect this creates!

Totes amazing!

Here was my big moment with Janelle.. I was all starry eyed 😀


All day I had been messaging Leonie and the team letting them know of my progress and finally I was able to send this picture as I handed over our $10,000 cheque.

*happy sigh*

Life is grand when your are a #teamunicorn representative… seriously grand!

I rode home wonder woman style knowing we had just done something really huge to change the world and it was Leonie, #teamunicorn and the amazing supporters of Leonie’s work that made it possible – so that makes you AWESOME!

For more information about ‘Room to Read’ and the work they do around the world head to their website here!

Ciao for now!
– Sonya
Team LDI




I used to think
I was divine
Barely human
All that messy life stuff
Did not apply to me
I could see the stars and the moon and the sky
And the reasons behind it all.
It was easier and softer back then.
And I thought I had known heartbreak but I hadn’t. I thought I had felt grief but there was more to come. I thought my tapestry was strong and woven
But it all came undone.
Most of all, the thing that I was to learn was suffering: profound physical suffering, suffering of the heart and mind and soul, suffering when I was sure my life was over.

One by one by one
Over the past seven years
My angel feathers were plucked from me

As I became a mother, witnessed my parents marriage disintegrate and my family of origin implode, felt my life and sanity careen wildly out of the light and into the dark, relationship struggles, post natal depression and anxiety, falling pregnant with #2 only to experience nine months of the hell that is Hyperemesis gravidarum.
I lost my innocence of the world. Lost my belief that people were always good and honest and kind. Lost my belief that it was safe to share my stories online without being attacked brutally & savagely. I’ve experienced so much profound sadness when people have not been who they said they were… In my life & in my business.
Over the last seven years I have lost my innocence.

Angel feathers plucked one by one by one
And now I’m almost fully human I reckon.
And it sucks and it is painful and it is hard
But I think I understand people more now.
I couldn’t run from my suffering…

And now I’m okay with sitting with people who are suffering too… Not trying to make them better because I know I can’t… But telling them what I know to be true:
I know. I’m sorry. I am so sorry you are going through this. This sucks. I love you. I’m here. You don’t have to feel anything but what you are.

I’m not looking just for the light anymore. A heaving sky on a moonless night has just as many stories and wisdom to tell.

And I’m naked and I’m plucked and I’m shivering.

And I don’t know how to tell the stories like I used to.

But I am here.

And this is my story now.

Always love,



[leonie_show_posts ids=”25179,24089,26502,21381″]


Upcoming Academy Workshop: Boundaries Bootcamp

upcoming_course announcement_1

Gorgeous ones!

I am DELIGHTED to invite you to the LIVE unveiling of our new Shining Biz & Life Academy course…


This is an ACADEMY EXCLUSIVE course that we won’t be sharing with anyone but our glorious members of the Shining Biz & Life Academy! (Not a member yet? Sign up now!)

Join Leonie on the most highly requested course of the year – a bootcamp on boundaries.

This workshop will teach you:

  • exactly what boundaries are
  • why they are so needed
  • how to install them into your life and business and
  • what to do when friends, family or customers don’t respect your boundaries!

Join us Wednesday, August 17 at 2:00pm US PST / Thursday, August 18 at 7:00am AUS – Canberra!

(And of course -if you can’t make the live call, all Academy members will receive the recording!)


Not a member of the Shining Academy yet? No problem, but you are missing out on these fabulous member perks…

  • 100+ courses
  • Free workbook collection delivered to your door
  • Access to a mastermind of thousands of spirited, creative business women to brainstorm with
  • Monthly coaching calls with Leonie (the only way to get coaching from her)
  • Shining Discount Centre ($2000+ of savings)
  • New upcoming workshops (including Everyday Sex Goddess & The Anxiety Workshop!)

Join today!

Big love,

Canberra Photographer


[leonie_show_posts ids=”24421,25146,12864,25385″]