Leonie’s Best Books, TV + Shit I Bought 2017

Hola treasures!

It’s that time of year… my annual tradition of sharing my favourite reads for the year. You can read previous ones years here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

To be honest, I wasn’t planning on writing one of these this year – I felt like all I read was homeschooling books. But then one of my Academy members told me she was couldn’t wait to read this year’s booklist (thanks Jill!) and I got to thinking of all the good reads I HAVE had. And that it might not be as big of a list as in year’s previous, but there were still books that should be shared.

Plus, I thought, while I’m at it, I thought I’d share my favourite tv shows, podcasts + shit I bought.

First up: state of the read. What were my reading habits like this year?

I changed (again) my reading habits.

This year has felt like an intensive study into two new themes: homeschooling + network marketing.

I bought them in the truckloads, and consumed them as rapidly as I could.

I definitely didn’t have as much free time this year with starting homeschooling + a third company, and that impacted on the amount of books I read outside of those two topics.

I kept reading printed books 95% of the time, Kindle for uber trash romance/erotica that I didn’t need a paperback of.

I’d definitely like to get back into more of a pattern of reading more, and across more themes in 2018. This year has felt like a mad scramble to consume content!

Best book of the year:

Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time – Andrew Forsthoefel

By far, this is the best book of the year. I would even go so far as it entering my top ten favourite books ever (!!!!)

It was one of those serendipitous finds: a last-minute rush buy in an airport bookstore before a flight. That trip ended up being a disaster of comical proportions, but this book was its saving grace.

It’s the true story of a young bloke walking across America in order to get his shit together. Sounds a bit trite, but seriously: this book had me switching between laughing, madly scribbling vast swathes of it down in my journal, and sobbing convulsively.

Honestly, it was better than Wild for me (and I love Cheryl Strayed!) or any other “walking to fix your inner shit up” books I’ve read (I love that that’s a category of books now! ha!)

So much heart, and wisdom, and kindness, and hope.

General books:

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety – Sarah Wilson

The best book I’ve read about anxiety bar none. Poetic, beautiful, insightful, useful, haunting.

I am so grateful for Sarah’s honesty, vulnerability + courage in sharing this story.

Really, really good. Definitely top #2 book of the year.

The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need – Scott Pape

I’m a longterm fan of Scott… in fact, I bought this book about 10 years ago. It was the first finance book we ever read, and it really helped us get our shit together. Scott’s the reason we cut up our credit cards and started understanding money and how to make it work for us. He’s still the one I rely on most of all to increase my financial literacy.

He re-wrote and re-released the book this year, and it is beyond brilliant.He’s the real deal, the shit, the bomb dot com. I know I sound like a raving fan, which I am. I think EVERYBODY should get this book and do the steps in it. It will change your life.

Highly recommend!

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) – Gretchen Rubin

When I read Gretchen’s last (also fantastic) book Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits I was enthralled by a chapter of it on her four habit tendencies (or personality types). It was that brilliant, I wished the whole book fleshed it out more. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one to think this, because she did it! This book is the result of that. I couldn’t be gladder.

I reckon this book is excellent in helping to increase your productivity by knowing your tendencies’ weaknesses and strengths. Here’s a brief overview of the four tendencies, and you can also take the quiz here to determine which tendency you are.

For example, I’m an Obliger. I am great at meeting other people’s expectations, not as great at meeting my own at times. The way I get around it: I use public accountability and tell other people my goals in order to create outer expectations. It’s probably why I blog about my goals too! It’s all about seeing clearly how you work best, and setting up the structures to make it happen.

You’re Going to Survive: True stories about adversity, rejection, defeat, terrible bosses, online trolls, 1-star Yelp reviews, and other soul-crushing experiences—and how to get through it – Alexandra Franzen

This one is a brand new book-baby, but I’ve gobbled it up.

Honestly, learning about this shit has been a life theme for me for a while now. And I’m bloody DELIGHTED that somebody has written about it. It’s made me feel so much less alone in dealing with challenges.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – Brene Brown

Will read anything she writes, ever.

Pro tip: I prefer Brene books on Audible. It’s like a companionable chat with a down-to-earth mate who researches the shit out of the human condition.

Homeschooling books:

Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World – Ben Hewitt

I kind of resisted categorising this as a homeschooling book because it’s not really. It’s more of a reflection on parenting, simplistic living and making choices off the beaten path.

So beautifully written I had to stop at times just to breathe it all in.

Highly recommend whether you are homeschooling or not!

How To Homeschool: A Purse-Sized Guide to Getting Started – Sarah Janisse Brown

This was little but powerful. Really useful!

Plus: similar aesthetic to my style I reckon. I love whimsical illustrations!

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners – Lori Pickert

I don’t follow this religiously (I try not to follow anything religiously, to be honest), but I found parts of this so good I found it hard to breathe, and I had to put it down to think it through.

What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education – ED Hirsch Jr

I found it really useful as a base textbook to consider things to be teaching for the year. Good, clear, fluff-free. There’s one for every grade. I’ll definitely be getting the Second Grader one for next year.

Network Marketing:

So as you know, I just completed a 12 month experiment in network marketing + managed to become the fastest doTERRA business builder in history. It’s been a fun adventure learning a new business model, and I consumed a ginormous stack of books about the industry. Here’s some of the best:

Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional – Eric Worre

If you were going to read any network marketing books, you should get this one. I also got this one as an audio book and it was excellent.

The New Era of Network Marketing: How to escape the rat race and live your dreams in the new economy – Dave Nelson

Solid read from a young Aussie network marketer.

The Four Year Career®; How to Make Your Dreams of Fun and Financial Freedom Come True Or Not… – Richard Bliss Brooke

Good primer on network marketing, plus it’s got some good concepts and graphics in there that I like to share with my network marketing team.

Being the STARfish: 7 Steps to Sharing so People Want to Buy – Neal Anderson

If you’re in doTERRA specially, this is a good one.

Kids books:

Righto! Let’s talk about my kids’ favourite books this year.

As we’ve homeschooled we’ve knocked through quite a few, and I’ve adored going through them with my girls.

Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-28 – Mary Pope Osborne

A lot of homeschoolers recommend this series – it’s a fictional series that covers a whole bunch of topics including history, geography and science.

You can buy the books individually, or in small sets, or the complete set (which is what we did).

It goes onto another series as well for slightly older readers – Magic Tree House Merlin Missions. And… EXCITING! They are being made into a movie as well. I can’t wait!

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Oh gosh, how can I even say how wonderful this book is?

100 beautifully illustrated profiles of brilliant women throughout history.

We read this over dinner, with a globe out to find the country for each profile, and an iPad and Google Home to do further research (i.e. interviews or songs or poems) from the women my girls are most excited by. We’ve had such a lovely time together going through it.

Ostara is OBSESSIVE about this book (she is 7)… so much so, when we finished it, she said:

“WAAAAA! HOW AM I GOING TO LIIIIIIIIIVE NOW THIS BOOK IS FINISHED?”

Luckily, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2 has just been released… and it’s all wrapped up, under the tree.

Roald Dahl’s Collection

It’s been one of the biggest parenting honours + joys of mine to introduce my daughters to my most favourite childhood author. They do however have to intermittently wait as I sob through parts of it though. #sorrynotsorry

Magazine:

Flow magazine

I don’t love most magazines, to be honest. I always feel a bit disappointed by them, but I keep trying them again and again in the hope of hitting gold. This one is gold – decent, well-written, thoughtful articles written by people who haven’t had a lobotomy. Gorgeous illustrations, and delicious pull-outs. Hooray!

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the magazine that has been my #1 honey for nearly 20 years (!!!!): Weekend Australian Magazine. Comes free with every edition of the Weekend Australian. Current favourite columnists: Trent Dalton + Nikki Gemmell.

Blogs:

I mostly deep-dived into homeschooling blogs. Some of my favourites:

Art/biz blogs I enjoyed: both of whom took long breaks from blogging before returning to doing almost daily blogging. I like the immediacy and looseness of it.

And I always enjoy trying to be smarter by reading:

Podcasts:

Chat 10 Looks 3

Two journalists sharing what they are cooking, reading and watching. They make me feel smarter for being in their realm, plus their relationship enters the territory of… what’s the chick version of bromance? Let’s call it fromance. I don’t know. But they are adorable.

TV shows:

The Good Place

Oh MATE. MAAAAAAATE. Hands down one of the best tv shows of recent years. Starts off slow and takes a bit to find its pace… but holy cracker, it grows into something brilliant, funny, philosophical + stunningly smart.

Schitts Creek

ZOMG THE GREATEST. THE. GREATEST.

Evidence:

The Mindy Project

I stopped watching it in Season 4 when Danny + Mindy split up. SPOILER ALERT INCOMING! As soon as I read they were getting back together in the finale, I binge-watched the SHIT out of it. Still as hilarious as ever, with a brilliant ensemble cast. Can’t wait to see what Mindy creates next!

Taskmaster

British comedian gameshow at its finest. Also: Greg Davies.

Bachelorette

Ill-advised obsession. I usually refuse to watch reality TV dating shows (except for my beloved Farmer Wants a Wife #dontyoujudgemeIgrewuponafarmIcanthelpititmustbegenetic). But I got sucked into this one out of curiosity, then quickly fell down a rabbit hole of obsessively reading the live Twitter stream while it was being broadcast, and then reading all the hilarious blog recaps, and mostly becoming far too emotionally invested in working out who would win. Ask my poor friends, who were subjected to copious amounts of texting while I emotionally processed the situation, and also sent photographs as evidence of body language that indicated the winner. For the record: I was right in my obsessive Rain Man-ing calculations. But upon reflection, it was NOT a great way to spend a month of my life. Just to be clear. Ha! 

I should also state: my husband sat with me and watched the whole thing with me. Because: also long-suffering but understanding. He never spoke or judged, just sat and watched sweetly. And at the finale’s end, turned to me and said:

“What the fuck have I just spent the last month watching? What are we DOING with our lives?”

And then we both laughed and laughed and laughed.

I hereby promise myself (and my long-suffering husband and mates) to never commit my life to another Bachelor or Bachelorette season again.

Grace + Frankie

If you haven’t checked this out, run and binge to your heart’s content. Absolutely delightful.

It’s bloody brilliant seeing elders as leads. Plus, Frankie is my style guru fo sho.

The Office (US) binge rewatch

This was a rather large undertaking. We’ve already watched it before, but felt it was time to binge all the seasons back to back.

We emerged back into the world two months later.

Annual Rewatching: Pride and Prejudice. You’ve Got Mail.

Because… OF COURSE.

Shows we watch as a family: Oddly, my kids LOVE cooking shows. It’s not really our jam (ha!), but we’ve taken to watching them once a week or so together, and it’s adorable. Our family favourites: River Cottage Australia, The Great British Bakeoff and Donna Hays Basics to Brilliance Kids.

Kids TV shows

My kids love watching Magic School Bus + Wild Kratts. I love that they love them because SCIENCE!

Best Shit I Bought:

Happy Planners

I fell down a planner rabbithole in research with my own planner that I created last year. And when I knew I wasn’t going to continue creating them, I decided to find what I wanted to use for myself going forward.

I landed at Happy Planners because I love being able to easily add pages and cards with a special hole punch. Plus, because it’s a fairly simple design, it means you can pimp the fuck out of it rainbow style with washi tape, photos, collage etc. It’s basically scrapbooking your calendar. There’s accessories galore which can become quite addictive.

I’ve found it useful to lay it out visually each week – it helps me see where I might be overscheduling myself, plus my brain memorises it once I’ve made art about it. Plus, I’ve enjoyed trying out different colour schemes that I wouldn’t try ordinarily… I’ve even done (GASP!) some black and white themed weeks (!!!!!)

Marley Spoon

Last year I wrote about discovering Youfoodz which delivers fresh readymade meals. That worked really well for us for ages, until we got bored with the meal choices, and fell back into our regular meal habits: my husband cooking very basic meals on some nights, and ordering takeaway other nights. We decided it was time to make a change again, and start cooking and eating healthier at home. Maybe it was from watching cooking shows as our family TV selection! Ha!

Anyways, I decided to try a Marley Spoon box which is recipe cards with the ingredients you need to make it. We’re pretty massive fans… I’ve learned new cooking skills, and we’ve so enjoyed trying new meals. Plus, it’s helping our kids try new foods as well.

I dig that I don’t have to do that painful (to me) task of having to hunt for recipes, making a list of ingredients, then searching for them at the grocery store, and having leftover ingredients afterwards. No food waste and pain-free WOOP!

(Also: I should say, I know I sound like a sponsored ad. As always, it’s not. I’m just a raving fan!)

Recycled boatwood furniture

I think this is more of an inner realisation thing. I finally realised that I should just accept my taste in home furnishings, and not buy anything outside of that taste wherever possible.

What brings me joy is: recycled boatwood furniture. Kind of chunky, weathered furniture made out of old boats (or recycled wood). And that it can be bloody hard to find in furniture stores, but it’s worth the hunt.

When this bookcase arrived and we put it in place, my love noted:

Hey! It matches our artwork collection!

And it totally did. Old wood + turquoise + colours = my style statement.

(Paintings by Janet Lloyd. She builds her frames out of old houses, funnily enough!)

Pro-tip: I found good pieces on VidaXL. Ishka also has them in store as well.

My Books!

And where would I be without talking about my own favourite ritual to close out a year + set goals for the next.

These have been the rudder + sails of my life for the last 9 years, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. They’ve made a massive difference to me, my life + my business. I’m looking forward to drinking white wine in the sun in the backyard, watching my kids play in the sprinkler, and scribing out my deepest dreams for the year ahead.

Okay! That’s me done!

That ended up being WAY longer than I expected! Ha!

Turns out… there WERE good things to share about!

I so hope this has been useful for you, and that you find some good treasures in there.

Thank you for sharing this year with me. It’s been a big one. So big I can’t even find the words to speak about it, to be honest.

Over the next year, I’d like to be here more. Sharing. Creating. Turning up. Helping in whatever way I can, sustainably and joyfully.

Thank you for blessing me with your presence.

I’m wishing you a gentle, restorative holiday season, one of ordinary Christmasses and everyday blessings.

To 2018: Let’s create miracles together. I think that’s what we all need.

Love,


And some Leonie art from the archives… because why not?


 

Three Angels

 

I was in a funk last week.

Things not going to plan. Things that were going to plan coming with additional clauses of stress.

I decided wallowing in the house wasn’t going to change much, so I thought a walk would be best.

Outside there is movement and sky and a wander up a hill and maybe the chance to see things with a bit of space.

Outside there’s a chapel to talk to God, one I can’t seem to access inside a loud house of family. God sometimes takes her time to lay interventions in my wake so I can’t help but be transformed. Sometimes there is nothing but silence and itchy legs and I wonder why I have been abandoned. But at least I have to go outside and try.

So I laced up my offensively pink walking shoes and set off.

+

As I reached the end of my driveway, there was an older man walking along, pushing a pram.

He was headed in the same direction in me, and I wondered if I should do the usual city response of a head nod, and brisk walking away to ensure a large circle of personal space and silence.

But I thought: that’s not really my style. I’ve always been a “talk to strangers” kind of person. I’m the kind of person on public transport who will gleefully launch into conversations and make firm friends… then turn to another stranger and invite them into the stranger party. For a while there in my twenties, I was the main instigator of the “Bus 313 Crew” – a motley bunch of 10 or so hitherto unknown public transport strangers who became far too involved in each other’s lives and went to laksa houses for lunch and Irish pubs for dancing.

But then kids happened, and I stopped doing a lot of that spontaneity. And I miss that. I miss that part of myself, and that time of my life where it felt like miracles were around every corner.

+

So it was a decision that day:

Do the uncommon thing.

So I turned to Man with a Pram. And I smiled. And I talked.

First about the weather (of course), and then about his new grandson (just a few weeks old, a fresh new arrival on the planet). He told me what it was like to be a grandfather for the first time: “I enjoy it this time around. I’m relaxed. I’m glad I can be here for this.”

We start strolling together, with a tiny brand new soul asleep in his nest just before us.

It feels holy to walk beside the brand new ones: we get to glimpse the tender miracle it is to even be here and experience all this.

+

I ask him about his work, and he tells me he works in disability services. I tell him my brother had cerebral palsy.

And then he asked me how old my brother was.

At which point, I promptly burst into tears.

It was surprising. I didn’t know the tears were so close.

“He passed away 20 years ago,” I I said, gulping through the sobs. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying. I should be over it by now.”

He was kind, and gentle with me, and we talked about what it was to have a good life – whether it was length or depth.

We crept closer to the pram, to that vivid new light.

Strangers who’d walked just a few hundred metres together, but somehow managed to talk about the big things we forget to share: birth, death, grief still twenty years on.

+

It was time to take different paths.

He asked me for my name. I asked for his.

That was our goodbye: to know the basic of each other as we’d glimpsed the rare and vulnerable in each other.

+

I took the shortcut between the houses, strode out along the path between eucalypts, walked up the hill that smelt of Australian summer, walking beneath that bright blue sky, sobbing.

+

Sometimes grief rolls in like a wave, unannounced.

+

Sometimes, on walks, I feel held by angels.

I see things which make me believe they’ve placed gifts before me, reassuring me I’m on the right path. And they always seem to be sequenced in threes. Three gifts from the heavens. 1, 2, 3.

It doesn’t happen always, but it happens enough.

That day was one of those times.

+

First, a feather.

Large and black, glossy with purple.

So large it must be from a swan.

The winged ones are close, I think. The angels.

I lace it through my braid, and walk on.

+

Up where the path sweeps around the hill, there is a stone.

Black with a distinct white line around it.

The size of my palm, flat and smooth.

I hold it, palm it over and over again.

Gifted twice over by the earth.

+

This must be one of those three gift days, I think to myself. If there’s more than one, it’s always three.

First a feather, then a rock.

I wonder what next will meet me on the path.

+

I carried on, down through the paddock, through the narrow gate, tracing my way back down into the suburbs and in to home.

And I keep looking for that third gift.

The gifts always come in threes.

I drop down between the two houses, emerge onto my street.

The angels must have forgotten the third today, I think. It’s a double gift day. Maybe that’s a new thing they are doing.

Either way, I am grateful. It’s been a holy walk.

+

I never come back from a walk the same person as I left,

I think.

+

Funk gone, wiped clean by tears and kindness, earth and air.

+

It’s only later that night, sitting back over the day, that I see what was so true all along:

Of course there were three gifts.

OF COURSE.

A rock. And a feather.

And the miracle of tenderness with a stranger.

+

Angels wear good disguises.

This time they were in jeans, pushing a pram.

Love and tenderness,


 

 

My Experiment Results After 12 Months Of Starting A New Business

Hi poppets,

9am. Dog asleep in blue couch across from me. A quiet moment.

What to talk about next?

I guess the next thing to catch up on is this: I started another business this year.

What’s that been like? How did it go?

It’s been a worthwhile and a wonderful way to spend a year.

But first, a quick reminder why I decided to build a doTERRA business:

  • I wanted an extra income stream that was residual, recurring and mostly passive
  • I realised it was a really great way to fund philanthropic organisations as well
  • I knew it would be an awesome business model for so many people, and I was excited to help them reach their goals
  • I had a huge profound love of the oils after having experienced such a big shift in my health from using them, and I believed every home should have them.

Being the very goals-orientated soul I am, I set some really clear goals before I went in. I wanted to build to a 7 figure income stream annually within 12 months to make it worth my time. And I wanted to help 6 people build to 6 figures within 12 months, and help many more be on the path to getting there.

It’s my 11 month anniversary of starting, and I’m right on track with reaching those goals.

I’m one of the fastest people in history to build so fast. I reckon that record will be broken though, and I hope it’s one of you who do it!

How have I managed to get to my goals?

  • After years of using the workbooks, I know if I set a goal + follow through, it can come true. It’s a simple science.
  • I knew to leverage my strengths. I didn’t want to do the traditional MLM model of doing 1:1 training. I decided to create training videos and a full resource library for all my people who were building doTERRA businesses.
  • I did the same with webinars about essential oils – created on-demand training so people can learn as they were ready.

There’s been some extra lovely side-effects of those goals as well… and these are the things that really matter.

Remember how last year at Christmas we made a miracle happen together and built a well for Suluhisho Children’s Village in Kenya? This year, I committed to donating $20,000 of my doterra cheque annually to sponsoring the orphans who call Suluhisho home. It makes my heart very happy. And I also feel like there is more work to be done… I know my dear friend Jacinta who runs Suluhisho wants to extend it further to be able to take in more children who have no where else to go. I think doTERRA is a bloody great way to fund it.

I’ve loved learning about a new business model. It expands my brain in the very best of ways. I think it’s important to keep learning and growing and getting uncomfortable. It helps get stasis out of the system, and encourages you to look at existing businesses in a new way as well.

I’ve also had a bloody lovely time connecting and having fun with the beautiful souls I work with as my doTERRA team. It’s such an inter-connected business, and it’s brought me so much joy to see them reaching their goals.

Case in point: an hour ago, I got a teary voicemail message from one of them who has just quit her nursing job because doTERRA has now replaced her income. She said: “I’m so glad I just listened to that little nudge that told me this was worth doing… my dreams were worth having… and I pulled my head out of my ass and just did it.”

This is the graphic I created to remind myself of why my goal was important… the goal of becoming a doTerra Presidential Diamond:

So in terms of whether it’s been a good investment of time?

Damn straight. Delighted that I’ve done it.

A Short List Of Excuses

I feel like I’ve also gotten a master’s degree in people’s mindset this year. I think because doTERRA is a proven business model with replicable steps to success, it’s really easy to spot where excuses come up.

Often what happens in the face of pushing for our goals, we come up against so many parts of ourselves – our fears, our inertia, our subconcious beliefs. And when it comes to actually DOING the work and getting the results, we run to excuses as a way to make ourselves powerless again.

I think sometimes it can feel scary for people to realise they are 100% responsible for themselves and what they are creating… it can be easier (and I think it’s more socially normal) for people to just blame outside circumstances so they can stay firmly outside of their power.

But there’s great beauty and transformation that comes when we choose to step up and do the thing anyway: even when it’s hard, or scary, or we don’t know what to do.

For shits and giggles, here’s my list of the most common Totally Unique + Valid Reasons doTERRA Won’t Work As A Business Model For Them (aka Just kidding, they really are just bullshit excuses):

  • “That’s nice for LEONIE… but she has a huge following! It doesn’t work for normal people.”
    Fascinating excuse there, but how do you explain my friend Em who has built to half a million dollars a year in 2 years without a following? Or that 4 out of my 6 leaders (i.e. in 6 figure positions after less than a year) didn’t have a following either? Or that the vast, vast majority of successful doTERRA leaders have no online following either? It’s a system designed for normal people to succeed. 
  • “It won’t work in my town because it is too remote/lower socio-economic/religious/small/large/nobody likes MLMs here.”
    Whatever your excuse, I can show you examples of people succeeding in that exact circumstance.
  • “MLM IS EVIL! ARGH!”
    Sure, you’re welcome to have that belief. I totally did as well prior to researching it. You’re most welcome to read about my judgments and how they stacked up against reality here. It might also be useful to think about your judgments and ask: “Are these my lived experience, or second- or third-hand opinions of others?” When I started looking at the business model, I realised how much of my preconceptions didn’t belong to me at all. Of course, you’re most welcome to keep having those beliefs and judgments as well. Whatever works for you!
  • “Can’t! I have a baby/small children!”
    Again – so many examples of people making it work in your exact situation. One of my top business builders started with a 3 week old baby in her arms! You can listen to her story here.

I think it’s been really interesting to witness how mistakes and excuses can trip up so many people… and it’s good to just cut through it with real talk.

It’s helped me understand how people are in ALL businesses, not just doterra, and how much getting rid of excuses + cultivating a great mindset is pivotal to success.

Am I going to quit any of my businesses?

Nope: I’m happy with my current stable of three (Academy, workbooks, doterra). I’ve got ideas for a fourth, but that will come in time. I think 2018 will be the year of growing and blooming my current three. I’ve got ideas to make them all more delicious. I know three may seem like a lot, but they all interweave so beautifully together.

Oh holy fuck, I just had a big lightning bolt of awareness:

The one thing that all of my three offerings have in common is this:

I help people reach their goals.

Well, fuck. I think I need to go for a walk and sit with that. It feels like the thread of my work has just shown up.

Will you ever shut up talking about essential oils?

No idea. Probably not at this point. It’s going to get folded into that mix of everything I talk about: business, life, parenting, soul. I tend to talk about whatever I am passionate about, and whatever hobbies and interests get thrown into the mix.

After experiencing the huge healing I had with essential oils, I felt (and continue to feel) called to remind people of the power of plant medicine, and be a voice for the plant devas. There’s so much healing to behold there, bringing us back to an ancient way of being. So yeah, I’m going to have to talk about ’em coz it’s too sacred not to.

It’s always fascinating to me how people react to change. I remember 5 years ago when I decided I wanted to start talking about business and money as well, and how some people were so resistant to that change. They just wanted me to keep on writing about “only spiritual” things.

Which reminds me of this drawing that my mastermind buddy David Cohen from DoodleJoy did of me back then as I was going through that transformation.

If the oils stuff doesn’t resonate with you, you can either cheerfully ignore, or unsubscribe. Totally fine either way.

I can only hope that if you resonate enough with the soul of my work, you’ll extend me the grace to speak about every subject I’m passionate about. Talking about a MLM business isn’t that different from traditional business – and I believe there are great personal + business lessons to learn from it as well.

What’s next?

Completing one goal feels good… and it’s just the beginning for my doTerra team as everyone continues to grow their businesses and returning these divine oils to their rightful place in every home. You can read about some of my team’s success stories here.

And I’m ready and looking for the next 6 people who want to go 6 figures in 12 months.

Is it you?

I’ll bring the training, coaching and an incredible mastermind of women who are doing it together. You bring your big, ready heart and willingness to work.

If you want to be one of the next cohort to hit 6 figures next year, all you need to do is follow the instructions here to enrol. I can’t wait to connect + start now on making 2018 an abundant, life-changing year with you.

It’s been a delicious year.

I’m excited for what’s next and who I can help reach their goals over the next year!

Okay, time for me to go for a walk in the mountains. It has been a wet, stormy Spring and the world now seems overflowing with lurid blue and iridescent green.

Love,


 

What It Was Like To Have 6 Months Off Creating

Hi loves,

I’ve got 45 minutes before our Thai dinner gets delivered. OMNOMNOM.

What to write about today?

I thought maybe I’d share what it was like to take 6 months off creating in the public arena.

For me, it felt like an eternity and deeply unusual: I’ve been blogging since 2004 and have published a blog weekly for years. On top of that, I’ve been slopping about on social media daily.

It’s been such a joy in so many ways. After all, creating is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s where I feel most at home.

So what led me to decide to take a break?

It was the culmination of a few things:

I was bloody tired after the ginormous clusterfuck that was 2016.

I felt exhausted by being “out there” publicly. I was tired by trolls, tired by the toxic culture of social media, tired by another offensive comment. I wrote more about this here.

I went to a Michael Leunig talk for my birthday, and he said words that reminded me so much of why I decided to take a break:

“People are so close to anger these days. But, when I look at their lives, I understand why. They live lives at a pace that is stressful. Even just starting your day driving to work through traffic is stressful! And so the last vestige of energy in them is anger, and they open their laptop lid and let it all out there. It’s the only thing left for them to feel.”

At the same time, I also wanted to step deeper into the nest of motherhood and be more present with my children instead of putting out the latest internet fire or wracking my brain of something witty/funny/insightful/beautiful to feed the endless content monster that is social media. Our journey into homeschooling started at the same time, and it was beautiful to swap one thing that no longer felt good to a task that felt worthy of my time and attention.

Mostly though, I just needed a good break. I hadn’t taken one for an age. I hope that one day I’ll get better at taking breaks pre-emptively, before I hit the wall + it all feels hard and painful.

I thought I’d just take a month off. But by the end of the month, it felt too good and sweet to end.

So I extended it without a deadline, and decided not to return until I was ready.

What was it like to not create publicly?

It was great and it sucked, all at once!

Ha!

Firstly: the immense relief. The pressure cooker lid removed.

I no longer had to catalogue my life online. I no longer had to think of things to say. I no longer had to think of how to carefully craft words in a way that offended nobody (an impossible task).

I didn’t have to be important to anyone except my kids and my husband. 

My life wasn’t fodder anymore for the Great Online Content Monster with its insatiable appetite and its fiery temper of judgment.

I could sit around a table with friends and laugh until my lungs hurt and know that I wasn’t going to be misunderstood, that I was safe and I was loved and I was known, really known, in a very base way, for all my foibles and oddnesses and human-magic. That their opinions of me, formed over years of skin-to-skin lived experience, was worth more than a hundred randoms furnishing an unthoughtful judgment online.

And I can sit around a table with them and laugh any old time, but in the quiet of no internet opinions, it felt all the more in contrast.

I’d like more of that, please.

More life. More quiet. More love that is real and true.

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So it was glorious and healing and scrumptious.

And then after a time, it also started feeling constrictive and un-fun.

I felt like I was hiding away from the world. I felt handcuffed and cut off from my own source of power.

As I talked about in my Haemorrhaging Sack of Uterus letter, I started to pine for the one thing that has helped me heal + make sense of the world more than anything:

Creativity.

Would I prefer a quiet life away from the public’s eye, not creating and sharing? Safe, but not truly alive?

Or would I prefer to create and share, birthing the things I feel should be in the world, knowing that it can bring with it occasional fuckwittery in the comments section?

And the first one felt far too small for me. And dull. And not a very Leonie way to live at all.

+

There’s a quote a friend once read to me when the trolls were biting. And I thought it was by Thich Nhat Hanh, but I can’t find reference to it. So it might be just one of those pieces of wisdom that took seed and flourished into something else more meaningful to me.

“If I believe you when you say I’m an angel,

I would also have to believe you when you say I’m a demon.

And so I don’t believe you whatever you think of me.”

I think that’s the odd thing about the whole fame thing: you have to give no weight to anybody’s opinions, whether good or bad, except for the ones that truly matter.

And of course, I love that a monk can have his critics too. There really is no way of being in this world without pissing off somebody!

+

I should say here: I’m remarkably “lucky” with how few critics/trolls/haters I have had. I don’t think I’ve done anything particularly special to attract their attention anymore than crossing that magical threshold from unknown to some level of popularity. And of course, the 1 fucked up comment always has 1000 utterly lovely ones surrounding it.

The thing that is my gift: the paper-thin skin of sensitivity to the world, feeling it all so I can understand and create from there, is also my greatest challenge. Someone I worked with once wrote: “Leonie’s got a great big open heart. But throw a grenade in there, and the effects are devastating.”

So I need to work out a way to balance the sensitivity + the pain.

I think I need to recommit to stronger boundaries around potential contact with fuckwittery. And I also think I need to develop a stronger, more resilient kind of spirituality and self-worth.

As Hiro said to me: “Leonie, when you can experience these things and not immediately leap to doubting yourself, wondering what you’ve done wrong and how you need to fix yourself, then that will be progress.”

+

But mostly, returning to this is about my great love affair with creating. I love it more than I love hiding from the potential repercussions of it. Life started to not make sense anymore when it was all unwritten and tangled. The writing untangles it, weaves it into a tapestry of understanding. I can see the flecks of magic in life when I write it out.

Thai food has arrived. Pad Thai awaits.

In love and art,


 

On Head Pats

In the spirit of flexing my creative fingers and getting into the habit of pressing Publish again, this:

Earlier this year, we had a dear friend staying with us.

She’s one of those good types in the world. Here is how we fell in friend-love, because I love love stories, including those about not just bonking-type-love:

She’d known my work for years, and thought: Yeah, I dig this Leonie chick. So she came along to an open meet up I ran in a rainforest village, and I plonked myself down at the middle of the table, just across from her.

And I looked at her wide blue eyes and those kind faces where you know you are safe and I thought: Oh cool, we’re mates. I just didn’t know it yet. Instant friends.

We ended up working together in one business for a few years, then started working together in another one. And we rub together well that way in business, but at its core it is vividly personal.

But this isn’t a story about that.

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She was staying with us.

We’ve fallen into a familiar pattern now: drink tea, engage in vast quantities of talk, take her on trips to visit questionable tourist attractions (i.e. the highly memorable “Turd In The Grass” sculpture). She listens enraptured to my children’s stories and fetches them repeat glasses of water and snacks in a way that only other mamas get.

She soon realised that my youngest daughter, Beth, WAS in fact endlessly hungry. Beth would pause mid-meal to tell us she was hungry: I hungry! She would finish meals to announce she was hungry: I hungry! She needed food like dolphins need to resurface for air: a strict limit of 15 minutes or less: I hungry!

Parenting Beth was mostly just feeding her. At night, after the very hungry caterpillar + her elder sister were put to bed, exhausted after endless snack-providing, my friend + I would bookend our long red couch, top to toe sharing a weighted blanket, and I educate her on how to binge watch television.

But this isn’t a story about that.

+

“Leonie, I’m going to tell you the best parenting secret I know.

When my first kid was a toddler, a wise mama friend told me:

Take care of them like you would a friend who is high + is totally tripping balls.

I took that advice to heart, and everything changed for me. I realised that for them, with their brain development stages, it really WAS like they were tripping! 

And when they did really fucking weird things that made no sense whatsoever, I knew it was just because they were high as kites on brain development. And it just becomes funny instead of exasperating, and I could be more kind and compassionate in all that trippiness.

Toddlers really ARE just little trippers!”

But this isn’t a story about that.

+

We were at the table, engaged in long + loud discussion about something that I’m sure was very important at the time.

And little Beth rolled up, and we braced ourselves for the familiar refrain:

I hungry.

But this time, this one blessed moment in history, she was not hungry.

But she had another request.

PAT PAT PAT

she demanded.

My friend leaned in closer.

“What is it you need sweetheart?”

PAT PAT PAT

was the insistent response.

My mate looked at me, questioning eyes, wondering if I could Mama-translate.

I shrugged my shoulders:

I only know what I HUNGRY means.

She looks at Beth again.

“Can you show me what you need?”

And Beth, exasperated with our stupidity, picks up my mate’s hand, places it on her own head and said insistently:

PAT PAT PAT.

“OH!” we both say in unison. “YOU WANT YOUR… HEAD PATTED?”

Triumphant, Beth smiled and nodded.

So dutifully, my friend comfortingly pats my daughter’s head, while cooing “Awwwww! Awwwww! Head pats! Awwwwwww!”

Satiated, Beth nodded and strolled off, happy.

We looked at each other and laughed:

Sometimes, you really do need a head pat.

+

What strikes me is how much this resonates with the science of comforting.

Dr Kristin Neff teaches that in order to feel comforted, we can set off our mammalian care-giving system of endorphins with warm touch or strokes (either given to yourself or provided by others).

And my mate double-dosed the care chemicals without even realising it by saying the comfort word that most mammals + every human, despite their culture + language use:

Awwwwwww.

Head pats + comforting noises. A 3 year old boldly declaring what she needs, and receiving it.

+

Now it’s become a kind of secret handshake between us, a code, a metaphor.

Even across the ethers of text, there is the exchange of head pats.

When things are hard,

PAT PAT PAT PAT.

When days are painful.

PAT PAT PAT.

When we’re feeling overwhelmed.

PAT PAT PAT.

And on and on.

Offering pats to each other, and ourselves, when we need it most.

Because all the science + books under the sun might be out there and we’ve read our body weight in them, but at the end of the day, we learned about empathy from a (hungry) 3 year old.

And that’s what this story is about.

Love,

P.S. I just texted my mate this piece of writing.

Her response:

 


 

The Complete List of Courses I’ve Added To My Academy This Year

Hi lovelies,

I know it’s been quiet over the past 7 months or so here on the public-facing creativity + sharing front of blogging + social media.

But behind the scenes, it’s still been all systems ago-go! I’ve been still sharing, teaching + working with my customers + clients in both my Academy + doTERRA businesses.

In my Academy in 2017 we released more courses than ever…

  • 14 courses from me
  • 4 courses from guest experts
  • 5 beginner tech courses from my VA Emily
  • plus monthly group coaching calls with me + regular Ask Me Anything sessions.

I thought I’d update you with what I’ve been creating behind the scenes there.


E-COURSES: WHY YOU SHOULD CREATE THEM + HOW TO CREATE, BUILD + RUN THEM!

Learn:

  • Why you should consider creating an e-course
  • How to present your e-course
  • The tech parts of how to create + share your e-course
  • Success tips from an e-course veteran
  • How to market your e-course

WHY LEARN FROM ME ABOUT E-COURSES?

  • I’ve been creating e-courses since 2008.
  • I’ve created over 150 e-courses.
  • I’ve earned well over 7 figures from selling my own e-courses.

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


Burnout: Do you have it? How can you heal it?

Burnout is the prevailing condition for the modern day woman superhero: the mother, the healer, the empath, the carer, the giver. We are taught over + over to give more, be more kind to others, to be compliant, to never say no, to be a martyr, to ignore our physical, emotional and spiritual needs, to do MORE…
And then we wonder why it all comes crashing down, and our bodies refuse to work anymore. We lose our lifeforce, our energy, joy and motivation. We feel anxious, irritable, easy to tears and easy to anger. We are beyond exhausted. We are depleted, deprived, done.
There is a way out however. I promise. I promise, I promise, I promise.
As a serial entrepreneur, serial giver + serial burnout sufferer (and healer!), I promise there is a way through. Out to the other side where life is sweet again. Where your once-overdrawn energy bank account is brimming again. Where you are wiser and more loving to yourself.
In this vulnerable, honest course, you’ll learn:
  • my own story with burnout, what caused it and what saved me
  • how to recognise if you have burnout
  • the healing menu of how to recover from it
  • the hidden blessings of burnout and its deep spiritual gifts.

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


THE POWER NAP MEDITATION: GUEST TEACHER PREM ROSS

Learn how meditation can help you to manage stress, and why the Power Nap Meditation is unique. Discover the enormous benefits of this easy and enjoyable meditation, and really supercharge your practice with some special tips. Then give it a go – lie down, chill out and relax with Prem Ross.

About Prem

Prem Ross is a highly qualified meditation, relaxation and yoga teacher. She is the founder of Every Body Yoga, and the creator of 3 meditation albums.


How to become a network marketing success!

Learn:
  • why I’m doing something I never thought I’d do
  • my journey with building a multiple 6-figure income part-time in 6 months
  • the common misconceptions about network marketing and “pyramid schemes”
    (I know because I had them!)
  • how network marketing works as a business model and why it can be a great income stream
  • whether you can get rich quick from network marketing (spoiler alert: nope, it takes work like any other business model!)
  • how to choose a good network marketing company
  • how to succeed in network marketing
  • my recommended resources (I read 50 shit network marketing books, I’ll tell you the 3 that were actually useful!)

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


self-publish-successfully

Want to learn how to self-publish your books successfully?

Learn from internationally best-selling self-published author Derpy McDerpface… I mean… me… ha!

  • the pros and cons of self-publishing
  • how to choose between self-publishing and getting a publishing deal
  • the two self-publishing paths you can choose from
  • the nitty-gritty details of how to get a book self-published
  • how to market it successfully!

I can’t wait to see your books out in the world, doing the work they need to do!

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


npd

Do you have a relationship or connection that frequently leaves you reeling and feeling like YOU are crazy?

You may be suffering from narcissistic abuse.
Learn in this short intro workshop:
  • what is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
  • symptoms and behaviours displayed by someone with NPD
  • why empaths can be suckers for NPDs
  • how to protect yourself from it
  • recommended resources + reading.

I so wish I didn’t have to create this workshop, but I knew I had to. Knowledge is power and can protect you!


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How to use social media to grow your business abundantly WITHOUT driving you crazy or taking all your time!

“Join Leonie Dawson, million-dollar CEO with over 300,000 followers across social media as she shares with you her powerful, time-saving and abundance-making tips on making social media work FOR YOU.”
You’ll learn:
  • what NOT to do on social media
  • what social media platforms you should be using
  • what to be sharing to increase sales and customers!

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


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BODY LOVE WORKSHOP

Let’s be honest here: 

Body love + self love can be bloody difficult.
Especially for women. Especially for women in Western countries.

During this raw, emotional workshop, I’ll share with you:

  • the reasons why it’s so hard
  • how to look at self love + body love differently
  • why self love + body love can change the world
  • her own personal journey with self love + body love
  • how she learned about body love from her nonagenarian elders and brother with cerebral palsy.

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


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Art Journaling Workshop

Discover the magical hobby of art journaling… a creative window to your soul!

Join best-selling author + illustrator Leonie (i.e. me!) and her impish offsider, Beth (aka, my favourite 3 year old) as I share with you my favourite kind of meditation and self discovery… art journaling!
Art journaling is:
  • a safe place for you to explore creatively
  • a sanctuary for enlightenment
  • a relaxing, blissful hobby
  • and a space of one’s own.

During this workshop you’ll be given four practical art journaling assignments to get your creative juices flowing! Perfect for creatives + those who are sure they aren’t creative at all. Art journaling is for EVERYONE!

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


Cultivating Personal Power with Guest Teacher Melissa Prince

Join emotional intelligence expert Melissa Prince in this bonus Academy class and discover the top 3 reasons why big hearted women stop taking actions of their desires (plus how to feel inspired, confident and free again!).

Dive in and explore:

  • Personal Power: what is it? why is it important? how do we increase it?
  • the creation formula: revise this foundation formula on the process everyone uses – whether they’re aware of it or not- that creates their life.
  • Emotional Intelligence: why you’ll stop moving forward without developing a relationship with your fear.
  • Body intelligence: the missing piece for many healers, helpers and creatives that stops them from embodying their leadership potential.

homeschoolingsml

Homeschooling: How + Why We Do It e-book

In this ebook I share:

  • why we decided to do homeschooling
  • how I fit everything into my day
  • the style of homeschooling we do.

 


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How To Create Your Own Needle Felted Painting

Join me + my favourite 7 year old daughter in this short introduction to needle felting!

Learn how to make a quick, gloriously colourful, eco-friendly + earthy wall hanging for your home, your kid’s rooms and for gifts!

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.

Copywriting That Sells

Copywriting is king. It’s the stuff that turns business ideas into gold, the words that turn a stranger into a raving customer, the makings for a business empire.

And it’s all 100% learnable.

I should know. I did it.

Once I realised how important copywriting was to business success, I devoted myself to learning all I could about it.

The results were spellbinding. Copywriting is without a doubt the linchpin behind me growing fast-growth, high-profit million dollar companies.

In this workshop I’ll lead you the essentials for copywriting that sells, including my sales page checklist that is, as other well-known entrepreneurs have declared: “worth its weight in gold. Literally!”

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


Spirited Relationships Workshop

It’s time to talk about LOVE. Relationships. Partners. Communications.

How to navigate these human connections.

How to grow deeper in love.

I’m going to share my story of not being great at love… how we nearly broke it… how we restored it, healed it, and made it stronger and kinder than ever.

In this workshop I share:

  • The greatest spiritual teachings our relationship counsellor ever taught us
  • Practical tips to increase love + connection
  • How to communicate your way to better love
  • Resources + relationship counsellors to help you along the journey.

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


Product Marketing Workshop

Learn how to turn your products into gold.

  • How to market your products to get increased sales
  • How I sell a million dollars worth of product annually
  • How to increase distribution for your products
  • Case studies of successful product marketers!

If you sell physical products like:

  • handmade goods
  • craft
  • clothes
  • bricks & mortar business
  • books

this is the perfect course for you!

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


How To Grow Your Business Intuitively by guest expert Karina Ladet

Join intuitive channel + entrepreneur Karina Ladet in this workshop as she teaches:

  • Getting clear on your vision & what you desire
  • How to clear your energy & release fears and blocks
  • Connecting with your intuition & letting it guide you
  • Calling in the right support & your soultribe
  • Growing yourself & your business with joy & ease

And bonus meditation from Karina as well:

Release, Ground Yourself & Create Loving Boundaries Meditation!


Tech Basics Series

My VA Emily created these easy-to-follow video tutorials to cover a range of social media tech basics including:

  • How to create a Facebook Page
  • How to set up + use Pinterest
  • How to set up + use Instagram
  • How to set up + use Twitter

Available exclusively to Academy members. Enrol here for access.


As always, Academy members also received digital e-books of both the Life + Biz Goals workbook for 2018 as well!

Available free to Academy members along with 100+ other courses. Enrol here for access.


I’m looking forward to a glorious 2018 with my Academy members…

Lots more courses planned (at minimum, they are released monthly!) plus my monthly group coaching calls (the only way you can access me for business coaching).

And if you haven’t checked it out already, here’s the list of the other 100+ courses already in the Academy on top of these ones!

If you want to dive deeper into learning from me, the Shining Biz + Life Academy is the way to go.

Love + blessings,