Love Letter: A Second Tuesday In August

by Leonie Dawson on August 23, 2016


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Trying this again. A little love letter.

Penned from me to you.

Where I am right now.

A little bit like the olden days of blogging. Or penpalling. Those are my favourite.


I seek to create a little of that here.

So, a collection of where I am right now.

Right now…


Right now, I’m down for the count with a throat infection that’s left me vacillating between voiceless and hoarse.

I’m finding myself seeing all the places and relationships where I’m not being hear, not being listened to… It’s like a dream where I’m yelling but nothing is happening and nothing is changing.

I’m done with this story, I’m done with playing this role. I’m DONE.

Inside me there is anger and strength and confidence born from this state of being done. A stronger, clearer, more powerful woman is uncurling inside me.

Thank you, throat infection, for making it all so clear.


Right now I’m thinking of Changing Woman, and Susan Seddon Boulet‘s artwork.

I’m diving into the archetype of Shaman Woman in sacred circle.

I’m wearing black and I’m wearing red and I’m in the cave and I’m changing skins.

Right now I’m singing this song over and over at the top of my raspy voice in the car, spinning in loops around Parliamentary Hill, feeling all that rage and all that mess and all that hope too.

Right now I’m watching this:


I’m watching LEMONADE for the first time and marvelling at all that art and anger and beauty and love and vision.

And I’m hungry for the art and that one big flow of theatric, wild vision and I’m pocketing them in my cheeks like a squirrel for winter.


And right now I’m not making much.

And things aren’t great and they aren’t easy.

And there has been challenges and losses and “WTF JUST HAPPENED?”

Right now I am ragey and transforming and Phoenix and snake.

And I’ve learned to inhabit these feelings as much as the good ones.

Because if I push them away, they will turn to anxiety.

They will fester into shame, into some underlying song that says:

You are not allowed to feel this way. You shouldn’t feel these feelings. Only the good ones, only the good ones.

And I’ve been through enough now to say:

Fuck that.

These are my feelings. And I am allowed to have all of them. And it’s healthy for me and good and right to have all of them.


Right now, my love is my coach, my muse. Well, he is always. But it’s amplified right now.

He tells me:

Leonie, you used to make art and we used to do all those wild creative projects together.

We used to take photos and make videos together.

And we haven’t anymore.

And it’s all gotten so serious, and it’s not so fun anymore.

And he’s right.

And he sets up the cameras and lenses and charges them and tells me:

They are just there. Ready to go.

And he takes photos of my studio while I’m out, just to send to me in a surprise folder, just to say:


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Slowly I remember.

I’m in my Winter right now.

But there are tiny buds forming

on my naked branches.

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And my kid is wearing her big sister’s shoes, and she’s reminding me of my grandmother and great aunt.

I tell her this, and she stares at me studiously, her two year old eyes wide and blue…

and then she rolls her eyes so far back into her head that she looks possessed.

And I howl with laughter.

Because she’s my grandmother and my great aunt, but most of all, she’s herself.

All she’s ever needed to be.


And Ostara, our sweet fairy child wakes me this morning to inform me:

“Mum, there used to be a crystal on the nature table at school. But then it wasn’t there anymore, and Gill said that a cheeky gnome must have taken it home in his pocket for a visit. And then she told us that we weren’t to squash any spiders because they are Mother Nature’s pets. And Mother Nature lives under the grass!”

I love that my kid is living in an Enid Blyton story.

And it reminds me to go visit our our gnome garden, now overgrown with August bulbs.

Spring is coming. Spring is coming. Spring is coming.

All my love,


P.S. No reason for this, but… love.


Love Letter – A Tuesday In August

by Leonie Dawson on August 17, 2016

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.


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


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