The Blog

Leonie’s Scrapbook: The Moving Edition

by LDI Team Members on August 27, 2015

scrapbook

Hola gorgeous petals,

Welcome back to the regular instalment of my scrapbook… pictures + words + rambly goodness of what I’ve been up to and what I’m thinking! Parts 1, 2 and 3 here.

This one is a bit of a long one… covering our final weeks in Hobart, our move to Canberra + our new home here.

Cup of tea? Sit down by a fire for a long chat? Yeah?

beth no more naps

This was me a couple of weeks ago:

Oh goooood. My 15 month old delightful terror has suspended her daily 2-3 hour naps in favour of all day long Crankasaurus Rex-ing. Soooo glad we aren’t moving or anything. It’s not like we needed a break for our sanity. PS I’m pretty sure Munch’s Scream painting is a mother whose kid isn’t sleeping.

Postscript: She’s still fucking her naps up. 18 month sleep regression much?

stuff found in the crevice of couch

Before we left Hobart, we packed and packed and packed.

And in doing so… I uncovered the archaeological dig of our past five years… I present you Shit I Found In The Crevasses Of Our Couch. An article from our days in Proserpine about the alternative school I tried to set up before we moved, crystals galore, guitar picks, Steiner toys, iPod, art pens, baby spoons & Zofran medication packets from #hyperemesisgravidarum with Beth’s pregnancy. There, right there, is my life.

hippy ootd

Hippy #OOTD. T-Shirt from magical Phoebe Wahl.

Leonie colouring book

A new drawing for the upcoming colouring book. Obviously inspired by my weepy week. (Get on my mailing list if you want the whole book for free!)

text to friend

Texted this just now to a friend. Then thought all my friends probably needed to hear it. Aka: you lovely lot.

peonies top books

A rallying cry for persistence, faith & commitment to your dreams. From Jimmy Jimbob Collins’ “How The Mighty Fall“. Highly recommend.

 

Leonie annoyed

Whoever invented children forgot to deactivate their BATSHIT CRAZY setting. Because they are. They really are. Love, Harrumphing Housewife in Hobart.

 

 

leonie dad and statue

Haha! My brother is travelling in Rome at the moment and found this bust of Wild Bushman Dad. We didn’t realise the legend had spread that far!!!!

another snow day

 

The week before we left Hobart we got delighted with the most amazing miracle… a SNOW DAY!!!!

It was so very peaceful and blissful.

Totally made me hanker for a White Christmas one day!

snow day

We woke up at 6am on the snow day to a Freaking Out With Joy Chris who couldn’t believe his backyard was covered with white. We played in it for hours, and walked, and made snowmen, and just delighted in the miracle of it.

2 years ago time

And a trip down memory lane:

Two years ago this month I was in hospital, horrifically ill with #hyperemesisgravidarum. I want to cry when I think of what my poor body and soul and family were going through then. It was a deep, profound trauma and suffering. One I am still healing from today. I have had so much support and therapy to help me heal, which I am so grateful for. But it still takes time.

If you ask me where I’ve been over the past few years, why it’s only now my writing has come alive again, I will point you to this. And say: this. Trauma.

One of a number that has happened over the last five years. Trauma that pulls your soul from your body and disrupts the very roots of your universe. We cannot rush the healing and grief journey of trauma. We can only give ourselves as much support as we can through it. And wait for the clouds to subside, knowing that when they do we will be wiser, stronger, more compassionate, more infinite because of it all.

I have two dear friends who are pregnacious right now. One who has just gotten out the other side of HG, and the other just beginning.

It is an incredible suffering that some women bear in order to produce. I wish it did not have to be so debilitating, so endlessly traumatic, so horrible to heal from. I don’t know how we do it.

Related reading: My hyperemesis gravidarum illustrated zine.

baby first haircut

Momentous day. De-birds-nesting Beth’s head.

 

now reading

Beautiful, honest, divine book on marriage. Recommend!

mermaid hair

A couple more inches and I’ll be back to Full Mermaid. #stylestatement

Leonie calm

A note to myself in Hobart:

Three more nights in this house. I’m feeling remarkably calm. Am I packed? Am I ready? I don’t know. And I don’t really care. I’m sure it will all get done. I probably have moving fatigue from doing it so many times over the past five years. Ha! I am still not quite sure that I believe yet that we are moving back to Canberra and will be returning to familiar land and so many familiar faces. It’s a strange, mostly wonderful thing.

before and after doll bed

I miss woodwork. Can’t wait to set up my new workbench + power tools in Canberra + get building again.  #chickswithpowertools

entering moving week

We now enter moving week. Moving States, moving homes, moving feelings. Onwards… Softly. With all of myself. The joyous and the weepy, the strong and the trembling, the certain and the unknown.

Allied moving trucks

Moving trucks in… And we head to a B&B for a couple of nights. Momentous.

beth leonie airbnb

Yayyyyyyyy got her to nap at last at our B&B. Think I might just stay and smell her hair for a bit.

Leonie deer in headlights

This is my best deer stuck in headlights impression. Feel like I nailed it. This also is how I feel right now. Tomorrow we fly to Canberra. And I am overwhelmed by change and transition. And also can’t quite believe I’m lucky enough to be moving back there. I have wanted to for a long time (we have been talking about it since we left five years ago).

This is the third time we have Officially Decided to move back. The first time we changed our minds and decided to have a baby instead. The second time my love changed his mind and decided he wanted to move to Tasmania instead (which I supported him about because dude needed to come here).

And now… We are on the verge of actually going back? To all my favourite friends and favourite places? It feels impossible and too big and wonderful and overwhelming all at once.

Love, Hopeful (but overstimulated) in Hobart.

bathtub

Hunky husband is with the removalists loading up the last boxes. We are at a beautiful B&B. This feels like a sweet little family retreat, a pause between the moments of mayhem.

thank you tasmania

Last night in Hobart.

last night in hobart

Our last night in Hobart. Tomorrow, our feet land back in Canberra after five years away. We left with one tiny baby and come back as a family.

Honestly, it’s been a bloody hard ride over the last five years with a serious illness and post natal depression and family dramas. And during the whole thing, I would think of how much better it would have been if we had been surrounded by our dear Canberra tribe. But it was the initiation we had to do alone. We have thought many times about returning to Canberra… To the people and places and land we loved so dearly and felt nurtured and safe around.

We even decided twice before this to move back, before changing our minds to have another baby, and changing our minds to take this sweet little sidestep to Tasmania. I’m glad we did both – We needed Beth to complete us, and Tasmania to heal us of our crankiness. And I’m also sorry to our sweet friends who got their hopes up each time that we would return. I felt like the boy who cried wolf. “Canberra! Oh no, woops… Baby! Canberra! Oh no, woops, Tasmania! Canberra!”

Third time lucky. I feel ridiculously lucky to be going back to our sweet sanctuary. I can barely believe it, really. I get teary when I think about it. I don’t quite think I’ll believe it has actually happened till we land.

Me & that hot Mr Dawson stayed up tonight. Talking talking talking into the softness. Spilling out the last five years so we could lighten our load. No excess baggage. Just gratitude for all the journey together has gifted us.

beth travel

Gosh, toddlers are a delight to travel with. #shitnomothersays #insaneinthemembrane

family on flight

One last flight to go.

the best is yet to come

Arrival into Canberra.

new home first look

Crazy optimists we are… We bought a house off the internet. We saw it the day after we landed in Canberra. It’s lovely!

anti princess club

Oh so cool! Post Office delights! Went & picked up our new post office box keys today… For some reason I never feel settled unless I have PO Box keys on my keychain. Anyways… There was so many parcels already in there… Including these rad girl’s books!

We have been hunting for ones just like these that aren’t too princessy… How perfect are these??? Thanks Samantha for sending them our way!!!! I’m so glad you are writing these babies!!!!!

Peeps if you are hunting for them they are called The Anti-Princess Club series by Samantha Turnball.

We have the weekend ahead in a B&B while we wait for our furniture to arrive… Hopefully we can get started on reading one.

starry in garden

Starry loves her new home. We are so relieved. Parents… You know what it is like… You can only hope the decisions you make sit gently and well with your kids. Move in day on Monday!

starry helping beth in garden

Our new home has gorgeous gardens… The fairies are in love…

Starry Beth garden

Spent our morning at our new home exploring the gardens. They feel like the sweetest surprise gift, a lovingly tended creation, a place for our fae children to explore.

And three sweet synchronicities that let us know we are right where we need to be…

1 // Chris and me have three favourite plants that we have planted in every garden we have owned: lavender, rosemary & curry plant. The garden already has all three of them here. What a blessing!

2 // In Kuranda, when we lived in the acreage in the rainforest we loved that the place came with FREE PETS – pademelons and goannas and birds galore. We felt a bit sad to leave them, honestly. But guess what? Our new house comes with FREE PETS! There are goldfish in a waterfall pond, and two very tame rosellas came and talked to us for an age. It made me so very happy.

3 // and the one that means the most to me… My beloved grandmother Marion made her rainbow journey last year at the age of 97. We found out who owned the property before us… And it was a Marion of course. Of course. So we play in Marion’s garden, and we feel surrounded with love.

Leonie and Lile

Sat next to this girl for seven years. She was my boss & we spent a vaaaaaast amount of time being ridiculous, inappropriate and all the good things. She has been a loyal long distance friend to me for the past five years.

And today I got to rock up to her house for her daughter’s birthday party like it was something we did everyday. And I actually felt a bit nervous… A bit shy… In the moments walking up to her house. I know that might be hard to believe, but there it is.

But as soon as I saw her it was just like no time had passed, except now we have four children between us.

Love you Lile! Glad to be back. Glad to make you my neighbour once again. Xoxo L

happy dreamers

Happy dreamers.

Our new house feels like a home.

National Gallery

Morning wanders in the National Gallery & Sculpture Garden. I can’t even express how much it means to take our daughters to see Monet & Pollock & Nolan at one of me and my love’s favourite places.

And it’s not as easy to soak it all up with a toddler prone to running away, but just to get a breath of it is magic.

Time for a nap, I’m bloody exhausted. Beth has just hit 18 month sleep regression & our routine is mangled & tomorrow our furniture arrives & we begin the mammoth task of unpacking. One step at a time.

Leonie at National Gallery

Reflected in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden. So happy.

 

woman sculpture

In the Sculpture Garden… This beauty. Took my breath away. Ostara said “Mama, she looks like your drawings!” Bless her.

National Gallery notes

My art journal that night…

Malcolm Rands

Tonight’s reading. Useful + good.

Starry unpacking

Unpacking day. Sunlight spilling in over the flowering Rosemary.

sunny bedroom

I always pick the sunniest & most scenic bedroom for us. It usually ends up being the smallest. But sunbeams & green leaves take precedence over size.

beth squinting in garden

This ragamuffin elf. 18 months old. Hilarious and good natured. Likes to run away. Has no fear, just a joy for adventures. Gives me a good cardio workout chasing her, I tell you. Spends as much time outside as she can. She shows her big sister how to be brave. Her big sister teaches her how to be safe. They are a good match.

leonie shoes

Noo shoos! Cabello brand from Joe’s Boots, Kingston. Soft and buttery and wiiiiiiide. They even stock up to women’s Euro 43 size!!!! AMAZON FOOTED WOMEN FTW!!!!!!

leonie and deb

How life should be: talking in the sunlit garden for hours with my Deb. Words cannot express how important this woman is to me.

ariana huffington

Next up in the book queue… Reading Thrive while the girls play in the bath. Tie dye pants delight from Sunny Daisy Tie Dye. Exhaustion brought to you by moving.

austere likes canberra

“Mum, do you love Canberra?”

“I do, honey. Do you?”

“I DO!!! SOOOOO MUCH!!!! I LOVE IT!!!! IT’S AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!”

And me and Chris looked at each other all teary-eyed and knew it was all worth it.

leonie flowers

Sweetest housewarming present… Thank you darling Kate … Can’t wait to play IRL!!!!!

starry beth playing outside

I swear these two have spent more time outside in the garden here than anywhere else, comparatively speaking.

It’s the perfect adventure garden for fairies. Ostara makes endless “potions” made from flowers and leaves, rocks and dirt.

Beth climbs into the vege patch and digs away. They attempt to tame all the birds that visit and the goldfish in the pond. It’s funny how much easier it is to spend the day outside when you don’t have to worry about getting sunburnt to a crisp.

Happiness is a well loved garden!!!

email catchup with starry

I haven’t worked for a couple of weeks because MOVING. Catching up on emails tonight.

Sweet girl tells me she will keep me company and stay up with me because “you have very important work to do and you haven’t worked in a very long time.” She’s fallen asleep now.

The cutest little curled up kitten, keeping me company with her soft snores.

family portrait bush walk

Family portrait: Namadgi bush walk.

We have walked this so many times as a couple, and then once with a newborn Ostara, where I mostly just sat on a log and breastfed.

It’s a strange and wonderful thing to be walking it again, feeling so at peace, with our brood.

namadgi

Namadgi. The trees and rocks here have such friendly, gentle spirits.

Home.

I am here.

Canberra… thank you for welcoming us back.

It’s been a momentous journey.

But it already feels sweeter and easier for being here.

I’m grateful for every hard-won lesson, every scenic adventure, every piece of this beautiful land we’ve been blessed to visit and live for a little while upon. It’s been a wild journey, a half-decade holiday, the exploration of every possibility.

And now… here. Just here. There is only here.

My Canberra.

Filled with my people and my places. Utopia. A perfectly imperfect, divinely human Utopia.

Big love,

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10 TED spiritual talks that will change your life

by Leonie Dawson on August 26, 2015

ted talks

Hola dearests!

I went a’huntin for you… to find you the best spiritual talks that will change your life.

These are ones that touch my heart + share deep messages on creativity, faith, courage, vulnerability + stepping up into your light.

Special thanks to my hunky husbo, aka TED Talk Finder Extraordinaire. Mr D just rivets me with the glorious pieces he finds!

Enjoy!

Delicious, right?

Big big love to you all!
xoxo

The Chant That Changed Me

by Leonie Dawson on August 23, 2015

CHANTCHANGEDME

Loves,

Years back when I first lived in Canberra, a group of us from work would go to meditation + chanting classes at the Sri Chinmoy centre not far from our office building.

There was me, my Virgo boss, our adorable Ecuadorian salsa friend and two hacker tech boys. We’d get in the escalators, laughing, and wander across the city mall + work our way up through some tiny, ricketty stairs and find ourselves in this big, bare, light-soaked space.

Our teacher Prakesh was a white dude in a tracksuit. Sri Chinmoy was his Indian guru. Sri, like all good Indian gurus, was both a gifted prophet + total bullshit scammer. Even the gurus are humans. But still, we went for the teachings, and they were beautiful and perfect.

Prakesh would lead us through different meditations + chants. There was the usual “stare at a candle while you meditate” one (works pretty good) and the “stare at a picture of Sri while you did it” (a little too creepy guru for us, and it gave all of us the sniggers). Prakesh was very serious and earnest in his devotion though, and patiently ignored our ridiculousness.

One day, Prakesh pulled out this keyboard contraption that was powered by a large billow. And he played, and began to sing.

Usha bala elo
Dhire aji dhire
Hridaya gabhire

He taught us, and we sang with him. Let the sounds lift through our throats, thrumming through our vocal chords, to circle around the room like vibrating birds.
And it felt good and right and true.
And then he told us the translation:
Slowly, very slowly,
The virgin dawn appears
In the very depths of my aspiration-heart.
But even then, the translation did not speak of what it meant.
So Prakesh told us what it truly meant.
Once upon a time,
there was only God,
there was only love and joy.
And God said:
I want to experience all of myself.
I want to learn myself all again.
How can I love even more?
And God said:
I know.
I will forget that I am myself.
I will divide myself up into tiny pieces.
And I will forget who I was.
And my tiny pieces will be lost.
And will wonder where they belong.
And those tiny pieces will bang up against each other.
They will hurt + they will misunderstand.
They will discover every single part of themselves
and each other
until they discover they are me all along
and that all of us
all of us
are God and are love.

And so this is what the ocean of God did.
This is what all of us did.
We took the pledge.

Droplets of water evaporated up off the ocean.
Into clouds, heavy and small.
Rained out across the planet.

Some of us are rained out by the seaside,
and soon make our way home again.

Some of us are rained into a stream,
and bumping up against each other softly,
tumbling over the rocks,
we find our way back to the ocean.

And some of us get rained out into the desert.
And we become lost there for years.
We are desolate + dried up + so very very alone.
It is dark. Pure darkness.

We wonder around, not knowing who we are,
where we came from, what we are doing here.
We cry out in the darkness.
Please. Someone find me. Please. Is anyone there?
I am so very very lost.
I don’t know who I am or where I belong.

And it is there.
There in the depths of the unknowing,
there in the endless call of our heart
to know ourselves
to know each other,
there in the blackest ink of nightsky,
there in the deepest midst of suffering and sorrow,
there that the glimpse of dawn cracks through.

Can you think of how you would feel?
To be so deeply lost.
To not even see your own hands it is that dark.
To call out into silence?
And then…
for God to answer…
with the first ray of dawn.

And so it is there.
There that the first rays appear.
There that hope is born.
There that slowly, slowly,
we find ourselves,
and find each other,
and inch by inch by inch
from salt to rock to bird to stream to sea
we find our way home
to the ocean of God that was waiting
and that we were all along.

It may take some of us but a moment
It may take some of us an aeon
but all of us are heading home
and all of us
made this choice
together
out of love
to experience love once again.

I used to think often about Usha Bala Elo.
I don’t anymore. I don’t need to.
It’s a part of me now, a part that makes up how I see life.
If you are to know Leonie, you must also know
Usha Bala Elo.

Love,
The Ocean
+ Friends

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