Leonie Dawson - Shining Life + Biz http://leoniedawson.com Tips, Small, Business, Marketing, Entrepreneur, Woman, Soul, Spiritual, Sacred Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:47:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 How to be a Goddess ~ meditations & musings on being a creative, wise, joyful Goddess... Brought to you by the creator of popular spirituality website, GoddessGuidebook.com. Leonie Allan no Leonie Allan leonie@goddessguidebook.com leonie@goddessguidebook.com (Leonie Allan) Meditations & musings on living a Goddess life... goddess, spirituality, new age, self help, inspiring, creative, women Leonie Dawson - Shining Life + Biz http://www.goddessguidebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/podcastcover.jpg http://leoniedawson.com The Birth Story of Beth http://leoniedawson.com/beth-birth/ http://leoniedawson.com/beth-birth/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:20:54 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=16941 (A long post ahead. 10 000 words. A novella of life, birth, motherhood, illness, sacrifice, joy. This is how many words it took to share the story of Beth. A cup of tea would accompany this nicely. I recommend chai or Celestial Seasonings.) * How do I tell you the story of Beth, without telling you all that came before it? How do I tell you of the great miracle that is her, when it also means telling of the great darkness that came before? [...]

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(A long post ahead. 10 000 words. A novella of life, birth, motherhood, illness, sacrifice, joy. This is how many words it took to share the story of Beth. A cup of tea would accompany this nicely. I recommend chai or Celestial Seasonings.)

*

How do I tell you the story of Beth, without telling you all that came before it?

How do I tell you of the great miracle that is her, when it also means telling of the great darkness that came before?

I’ve been putting off writing these words. Resisting the page, turning away from the screen.

It is months since she was born, and I am still squinting away from it.

All I want to do is soak in her loveliness and her light. Burrow my face into the golden amber of her hair.

Be here now in all that is good.

Forget what came before.

*

And I hold the story in me.

Write in my head a thousand times over.

Turning the words around and around.

Wondering what must be said.

I hold onto all the details though they pain me.

I hold onto them so they can be written.

Once they are written, I can forget.

They will be out in the world, speaking the story for those who need to hear it.

And I can forget. I can drop the heavy, lumpy, heaving weight of it.

I can let it go and be lighter.

*

I know I must write.

I know I must write it out. Tell the story that needs to be told.

Need to write it for her, so she knows just how much she is loved.

Need to write it for my daughters, just incase they inherit this awful pregnancy illness that overtook me. I get down on my hands and knees and pray in the dust that they don’t. But if they do, I want them to have my words. I want to weave everything that it took from me and everything it gave to me in one gnarled, soft rug incase they need the comfort of those words one day.

Need to write it for the women who were broken from Post Natal Depression.

Need to write it for the women who have been devastated by hyperemesis gravidarum.

Need to write it for the world, so its heart blooms in understanding for the sisters who walk through these dark nights of the soul, mind and body in order to bring a child into the world.

*

So let’s start at the very beginning.

It’s late at night. Beth is asleep beside me. Ostara is asleep in the next room. Stars are out. There is silence. Time to write.

Just over a year ago, I came out of the closet. I’d made the decision to only have one child.

Believe me when I tell you that there were very few moments in the three years after I had Ostara that I ever believed I could have another child.

I was battle scarred and weary from the very beginning. From the moment I became pregnant with Ostara, I felt like I was on a train I couldn’t get off of.

Don’t get me wrong – I dearly wanted her. It was very much a consciously chosen pregnancy.

But something happened to me. Something clicked over.

I just didn’t feel like myself anymore.

And I didn’t feel like myself for a really long time after.

*

I don’t really know how to explain it.

I found out I was pregnant with Ostara when I was nauseous. A nausea that worsened. It crippled me and overcame me. I’d vomit my pregnancy multivitamins up without fail each morning. I vomited all over our house. I would rock back and forth, too sick to even read. I’d stare at my hands on the sun lounge on our patio. Anything to stop the swells of pregnancy sea sickness that overrode my life.

I remember calling my mum about it. I’d cry on the phone and say I wasn’t sure how I could ever do it again, how any woman could ever do it. I asked if everyone went through this.

And she laughed that kind of dry laugh that mothers have sometimes, and told me that

yes, they do,

and

maybe i’d have to toughen up a little bit.

And maybe in some ways that set the stage of all that was to come:

the fact that I suffered,

the fact that it wasn’t easy for my body or my spirit,

the fact that I measured myself on how other mothers did (and would always come up lacking),

the fact that I didn’t understand my body had its own unusual quirks,

the fact that I had horrifically high standards for myself that were impossible to reach,

the fact that I felt immensely judged by my family (and that there was nothing I could do on god’s green earth to be seen as a good mother by them)

the fact that my relationship with my family of origin was about to become increasingly strained before it imploded.

*

Fuck mate, it was hard.

I’m crying writing this.

Onwards we go.

*

I got ante natal depression and anxiety. I freaked the fuck out over having a perfect birth. I knew I would fail no matter what.

My hips started displacing.

Walk, my mum said. Oh Leonie you just need more exercise.

And so I did until I was hobbled over in pain, breathless with it.

When I told my midwife, her eyes widened in horror.

Oh for god’s sake Leonie. That’s the worst thing you could be doing. You need to rest. Your hips are dislocating.

*

There was SO much I didn’t know about my body back then.

Didn’t know I had a body with specific conditions that needed another level of care.

Didn’t realise that I wasn’t weak.

If I had, maybe it would have been easier.

*

Ostara was born. It wasn’t the perfect birth. It was an induction birth.

It was, how the French say: Fucking painful. Horrifically painful. Painful for a long long time.

And god I wanted relief during it. I wanted to run screaming from the room.

But I couldn’t take pain medication. Wouldn’t.

Because to do so would make me a bad person.

I’d read all the books, you know?

I knew what was right for my baby.

And I would sacrifice myself on a spear to do the right thing.

The problem was…

when you sacrificed yourself on a spear…

who was left to tend to the baby?

A woman who had been through a war.

The memory of that birth traumatised me for years afterwards.

I cried almost everyday for the first year that my poor body had to go through that.

*

We moved back to my hometown when Ostara was six months old.

I thought it would be unicorns and puppy dog tails and family!joy!forever!

I thought I’d spend the rest of my life there.

I thought that was IT you know?

 

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But it wasn’t.

What’s more, it was so far NOT it, it was positively wrong.

We felt overrun by my family. Like we had no privacy. No time to ourselves. No space of our own.

Even though we had our own home, my family felt like it was an extension of theirs.

They would come without calling first. Let themselves in through the back door. Peer through the windows.

Even when I asked them not to.

Even when I asked them not to.

I felt like a teenager raging for my own privacy, space and sanctum.

But I wasn’t a teenager.

I was an adult.

A mother. A wife.

A woman with her own family who no longer could play the role of the good daughter and sister if that meant hindering and harming my relationship with own self, husband and daughter.

I had to break out of the old family tree in order to grow my own healthy sapling.

*

Oh god, loves, it was hard.

The hardest thing I have ever done.

To fight day by day to find the courage, wisdom and strength to have boundaries.

To not be swallowed up whole by the family I was born into.

To not revert back to every old pattern under the sun.

To not play the part that my family knew me as:

Leonie, the joker. Leonie, the one who is inept at practical things. 

I knew that if I didn’t, I would lose my spirit. My life. My relationship with my husband. And the kind of mother I wanted to be.

*

I went to counsellors.

We went to relationship therapy.

I learned a lot.

And I had to grow the fuck up, basically.

Had to give up being a kid.

Had to craft my own path.

*

I called it “Becoming An Adult.”

*

In the meantime, my parents split up.

All the other marriages in my family dissolved.

A great thrumming tornado was making its way through the landscape of my family.

Chris and I were the last ones standing still together.

*

On top of this,

I was fucking hard on myself, man.

I had completely unreal expectations of what a mother should look like.

I had no concept of self care.

I took not even an hour away from my baby until she was eight months old.

I took the concepts of attachment parenting and made it into a competitive sport.

I thought I was an awful person if I even took one step away from the formula.

I forgot the holy covenant of Leonie:

Don’t convert to any doctrine. Eat from the buffet of what is true and right for you and sings to your spirit. Leave the rest.

It works for me for religion. I needed to apply it to parenting as well.

*

On top of this, my darling, beautiful, bright, effervescent star beam Ostara was not an easy baby.

I didn’t know that at the time.

I just thought I was fucking weak for not dealing so well.

But she didn’t sleep very well. Ever.

Didn’t sleep through the night until she was two and a half years old.

I was chronically sleep deprived. Horrifically so.

She was a mama’s girl from the very beginning.

She just didn’t cope with the world if she wasn’t in my arms.

She didn’t cry… as long as she was on the boob.

She lived on there, guys. That was her world for a long, long, looooong time.

She breastfed for hours upon hours… rarely lasting more than an hour (two or most) without boobs.

For YEARS. It seemed that was her safe place.

If she was out of my arms – even in her daddy’s arms – it just didn’t work out.

I couldn’t shower/poop/eat with two hands/attempt to get some work done without hearing her cry.

My nerves = fucked.

*

Now trust me, I love Ostara. I love that girl to the moon and back. I have known since I was 14 that she was my daughter, that I would have her. She’s been in my dreams and visions since then, in every reading I’ve ever had.

She is sunlight and happiness and explosions of joy.

She is immensely sensitive, creative, gifted, passionate.

She is incredibly empathic and picks up on energy.

She has a built in radar and steers clear of any situation or person or animal that feels off to her.

She is so special to me.

I will always, always, always be glad that she is my daughter.

I will always, always, always be honoured that she chose me.

 

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And at the exact same time, I realise now that she requires a lot of energy to parent.

Her catchphrase is:

“Mummy, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed you”,

said while looking longingly, pleadingly with her wide blue sky eyes.

Every part of her little body and spirit feel that and believe that.

She neeeeeeeeeeds me in order to feel okay in the world.

And even though her daddy has been a beautiful, nurturing, kind, full time, loving, gentle constant in her life… it’s always, always, always mama that is needed. On a really high level.

*

And it’s okay that that’s who she is.

Absoloodely.

And at the very same time, I needed to learn

The Art of Understanding And Nurturing Leonie too.

*

Handy hint:

If you find yourself taking breaks during cooking dinner to have a panic attack on the floor,

it’s not normal, darling.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

*

I learned that after a few months of doing that.

The crushing feeling around my lungs and chest.

The constant wading chest-high through a sea of anxiety and adrenaline.

Feeling like at any moment a particularly big wave would appear and take me whole.

*

I just want you to know:

it doesn’t have to be like this.

*

I told Chris one day:

I don’t think I’m okay honey. I don’t think this is actually normal.

*

And it scared the shit out of me to say it.

It broke my heart.

And it also was the start of something beautiful.

It was the start of coming home.

*

So yes.

The counselling and therapy and intuitive healing and relationship counselling. The journey through eastern medicine – bushflower essences, naturopathy, acupuncture. The arrival at western medicine and medication to help it all come together.

And things got better.

Slowly, step by step. Slowly.

*

I mean, things were still pretty shithouse with my family.

But at least I wasn’t breaking apart at the seams anymore.

*

And ya know, I guess the thing I want to say is this:

None of it was a lie, ya know?

I think so often we think if it is hard, it all must be awful.

Or if it’s good, it all must be fantastic.

When in reality, life is so much more nuanced and layered and contradictory than that.

I’ve meant every single thing that I’ve shared on my blog and facebook and instagram over the years.

I’ve been fucking grateful for the good bits.

Because there were many, many, many, MANY.

I’ve always hunted for the positive, like a happy-hunting hound dog.

And they are so easy to see:

Not every day was a crappy one. Not every moment was awful.

Not everything was broken.

There were still so many blessings and miracles and joys.

Beach days with baby. Renovating our old cottage and caravan. Picnicking in the luminously green grass in our backyard.

I make loveliness wherever I go.

And it was all a pretty fucking awesome adventure, ya know?

We were on the biggest healing journey of our lives.

*

And then the time came when we realised:

We gotta get out of this place.

That Proserpine wasn’t actually our happily ever after that I so believed it would be.

That we needed more than that.

We needed a school for our daughter that felt good and true to our spirits.

We needed space from my family in order to thrive as our own family unit.

We needed to be closer to a city so my husband could thrive by studying his own passions at university.

We needed more.

*

I had to let go of an old dream, ya know?

A new dream was waiting.

And my old dream was tattered and falling apart at the hinges.

My old dream that we’d live in my hometown, the place I was born, and for everything to be happily ever after for everyone for evermore.

*

But I was different.

I wasn’t who I was growing up there.

I was fuller and bigger.

And the container there was too small for me.

*

So we left.

And sometimes (almost always)

you need to let go of old dreams that aren’t working

to discover and love a new one that does.

*

We moved north,

up into the jungle by the sea.

Lived (rented) in an amazing treehouse that was beyond my wildest dreams of what I deserved.

And not long after, fell madly in love with a beautiful home on an acreage.

Took a big deep breath and faced my fears and bought it.

*

And we’ve been making our home here ever since.

Me, my husband, our daughter.

And of course, our two fluffy (but sometimes naughty) puppies that frankly don’t get as much screen time on this blog here now we’ve got kids. But yes, they are still here, and we still adore them, and Charlie is still my dear furry mate, and Angel is still Chris’ besotted stalker.

And it’s been really sweet, guys.

Really sweet.

*

Felt like we had to go through a whole lot of stuff and learn so much.

We had to face some really old family patterns.

And grow up.

And heal our shit.

And form a really strong marriage.

And create boundaries.

And really embrace that this is who we were, and this was our highest dream for creating the family and life that sung to us.

*

I’m a changed woman from all that shit.

Braver and more compassionate.

Stronger with more cracks.

Optimistic but with caveats.

*

And it’s been a real healing time too, ya know.

At long, long last, I worked out the secret for me to be a happy mum.

And it was all about taking care of myself and healing myself and giving myself time out and throwing out the books and just doing it my own way.

*

We found our groove here.

And it was gentle and it was glorious and it was all our own.

*

Chris’ parents came to live in our granny flat for a while.

And it was lovely to have another pair (or two) of hands for a while.

Made parenting our gorgeous spirited girl that much easier.

And with all this ease and joy and groove happening, I thought:

Maybe I could.

Maybe I could have another baby.

But only if I didn’t break myself next time around.

*

I had long talks with Chris.

Bless that beautiful man’s heart.

He always, always, always listened so compassionately when I cried about how broken I was from pregnancy, birth and baby. He would nod understandingly as I told him I didn’t know how anyone could ever have more than one.

Even though he wanted another child, he never, ever pushed it with me.

Even though he wanted another child.

I feel teary with love when I think about that. How much grace and compassion he gave to me.

He accepted wholeheartedly that it was my body, my wellbeing and my spirit that would be impacted most significantly by having another child.

And that I needed to make that decision for me.

*

I’m so deeply grateful to him for doing that.

It felt like his honouring of me choosing how many children I conceived this life healed so many ancestral stories from women in my family lines who didn’t or couldn’t choose.

Lineages upon lineages.

*

And so I chose not to.

And then I did choose.

One starry night, a beautiful baby came to see me in a dream.

Told me that I was her mama. That she belonged to me.

And that it would be different this time.

And I got this glimpse into the world where she was my baby,

and it was so filled with love and joy and calm and peace.

It was overwhelmingly beautiful.

And before the doors of my spirit could close, could snap shut with a hearty bang of

“OH GOD FUCK NO NOT THAT DISASTER AGAIN”

… I asked myself a question.

The question that changed everything.

What would I need to do this time in order for it to feel good?

I made a long list in my head of all the things that broke me last time.

And I made a plan of how to do parenting in a way that would sing to me.

*

And then, when I was ready, I told Chris I was ready for another baby.

He didn’t believe me of course. He laughed and rolled back over in bed.

But I was insistent.

And he was quietly delighted.

*

I became pregnant two bleeding moons after that.

I knew I was pregnant the day we had sex.

I knew I was ovulating.

I tested it within a couple of days.

Got a negative, cried with sadness. I was so sure I was pregnant.

Realised later that it was too early to test.

Took another test 10 days later.

Another negative. I threw the strip out. Cried. Had a nap.

In the nap, had a dream that I had gone back and checked the stick and it was positive. The dream told me I needed to wait ten minutes to see negative or positive.

Woke up, checked the stick. It was positive.

Checked the box.

Realised I am, in fact, a dickhead who should read instructions because it said to wait ten minutes to check.

Got another test.

This time, read instructions. Followed them.

Positive.

WOAH.

Who woulda thunk it, hey?

(Thank god my dreams tell me what to do.)

*

Bang on five weeks, the nausea began.

Just like with Ostara.

This time, I was ready.

Started going to acupuncture, eating protein and dry crackers, taking morning sickness herbal remedies.

Felt like I was coping. Wasn’t enjoying it, of course.

But, I was getting there.

And then… it kept getting worse.

I began going to the doctor.

Started more medication.

Ramped up acupuncture to be daily.

I remember my acupuncture saying as I shuffled white faced to her door:

“This is like a monster. Chop off one head, and it grows another.”

My wrists became bruised from so many acupuncture needles.

Did healing sessions with Hiro.

Researched hyperemesis gravidarum cures.

Tried them all.

It was an endless, mindless horror.

Looking back on it, it is hard to imagine.

Really, how bad can nausea and vomiting be?

Get over it.

So thinks anyone who has never experienced that particular hell of HG.

*

I began regular trips to Emergency for hydration drips.

After a few rounds of that, I was admitted for longer stays.

Slept with a drip in the fold of my elbow.

It became bruised.

My veins became scarred.

So many drips.

So many needles.

*

Days when I’d crawl out and lie on the grass, vomiting like a dog for hours.

Water would make me nauseous.

I couldn’t drink more than a mouthful without vomiting.

Food made me nauseous.

The smell of food was the worst of all.

Chris was banned from cooking.

We were one scent of fried egg away from another hospital visit for nine months.

*

At 10 weeks, we had an early ultrasound.

Doctors were convinced I was having twins because of how extreme my HG was. (It’s much more common with twin pregnancies!)

I was terrified.

I only wanted one. I only wanted one. I couldn’t bare the thought of two. Especially not when the first time nearly broke me. Especially not when this pregnancy was doing its best to break me again. I thought the world was betraying me.

I was an anxious, teary mess.

*

The ultrasound dude was Scottish.

The grey and white screen flickered.

“Please, please can you tell me there is only one in there?”

“Oh yes darlin, only one in there.”

“Are you SURE?”

“100% positive. No twins. Just one baby.”

I was so relieved I burst into tears and cried great big heaving sobs.

“Oh you poor darlin. Oh you poor thing. It’s going to be okay.”

Chris held my leg, squeezed it.

Ostara fetched me tissues.

*

Here’s something I wrote when I was pregnant:

Can I just say, it really is a shitty, shitty illness. I don’t know if anyone can fully grasp just how debilitating and miserable it is. It’s not just being bedridden – it’s being so wholly consumed by nausea that you can’t move, can’t think, can’t read. Any movement or talking can set off vomiting, and every vomit brings you closer to another hospital admission for dehydration and malnutrition.

At my worst, I can’t even stand looking at another person’s face because it moves and it makes me nauseous. I’ve been able to make very few phone calls over the last four months, and I can count on my hands the amount of times I’ve been out in the world for things that aren’t hospital related or absolutely essential.

I nearly gnawed off a doctor’s head the other day when he referred to hyperemesis gravidarum as morning sickness. It is not. Morning sickness of course isn’t nice to have at all… but it’s like comparing a sore toe to a broken leg. Hyperemesis gravidarum is chronic, debilitating and can be life-threatening when not treated. What’s more, it can’t be cured. Some women are able to get relief (hallelujah!) from medication, others (like me) find that HG can beat medication, and a constant juggling of a cocktail of medication is needed in order to stay hydrated enough to not need a 24/7 drip. Some women can’t even get that and end up in hospital for nine months. It’s fucking brutal, man.

It means I haven’t been able to see friends, run errands, go to the grocery store, walk for any extended length of time… do anything except lay in bed, on my side, trying not to hurl. That’s been my existence.

I’ve hurled in the hardware store. I’ve hurled in the car. I’ve hurled beside the car on the side of the road many, many times. I’ve hurled in the parking lot. I’ve hurled in the toilets at the mall. I’ve hurled on myself on the couch. I’ve hurled in most rooms of our house. I’ve laid outside in the grass on my side because I couldn’t move an inch without hurling again.

On really special times, I’ve hurled so hard and so convulsively I’ve wet myself thoroughly. On one special day I shat myself from vomiting. I’ve hurled so much I’ve got haemorrhoids.

I honestly don’t know how many women get through it – I had so much support. Chris has pretty much been a solo parent and my carer and looked after me, Starry, the house and dogs. Chris’ parents looked after Starry in the afternoons for a couple of hours each day. We didn’t have financial worries (as I shared here – my business can keep running well when I’m not well).

Many women don’t have that kind of support. If you know of anyone with HG, please be kind to them in whatever way you can. If you can help them with childcare or getting groceries or doing washing or whatever – anything – please do it. Also: advice probably isn’t helpful. Those with HG will have tried anything to claw their way out of their illness. At some point, it’s just accepting that it’s a shithouse situation that could last until baby is born.

And bless, I’ve tried every hippy remedy and healing technique under the sun. This baby is unfixable. I’m forever grateful to my intuitive healer Hiro Boga saying to me months ago “Leonie, I’ve done all I can do. You need to be in hospital.” And I cried, and faced my fear that going to hospital was failing. And I went. And I got the support I needed so desperately.

My wonderful acupuncturist too has been super pragmatic – at the early stages, she was able to help control it. And once it was obvious it was getting worse, she helped me make plans to go to emergency.

I’ve let go of all my hippiest dreams of having a “natural” pregnancy (and birth) this time around. I’m much more pragmatic:

My body needs medical support in order to survive. End of story.

And I look forward to giving birth however it happens because honestly, nothing can suck as much as this pregnancy. And I’ll know when I give birth that I won’t have to experience HG, the illness that sucks giant donkey balls, ever again.

I freaked out a LOT about doing birth perfectly the first time around. A LOT.

This time, I could barely give a shit. I don’t care how it happens.

Why? Because Ostara’s birth means nothing compared to how much I love her. It’s one day out of the thousands that follow. It’s not the culmination of our relationship. It’s just the beginning.

A common secondary complication of HG is depression. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can get through months of extreme nausea, dehydration and the rest of it without feeling like they were walking through the darkest night of the soul. There were many many days of sheer misery when the only relief I got was Chris helping me to the shower so I could lay on the tiles underneath it.

I’ve cried many many many tears during this. I have absolutely no idea how I would be able to cope with continuing to be ill. I feel like I am missing out on so much – my daughter, my husband, my life. I can’t parent. I can’t speak. I can’t type. I can’t write. I can’t think. I can’t do anything. Just let this illness have its awful way with me until it is done.

*

Pregnancy scrapbook:

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Around week 14, after 9 weeks of emergency visits and being bedridden, I told Chris that I was considering termination. Up to 15% of HG sufferers end up having a therapeutic termination because they (physically & emotionally) can’t cope. HG is not something to mess around with – it can cause death when untreated, organ failure, dehydration, malnutrition, chronic depression and a whole host of other physical complications that come from not being able to eat or drink and having endless vomiting convulsions.

Chris was understandably really upset by the idea of termination. Of course. And he also understood that I was suffering deeply and needed more help. This baby was and is very wanted, but I felt unable to cope with the constant, unrelenting illness. I felt scared, traumatised and very, very alone in this body that was rebelling against me. I had no way out, no moments with myself.

Chris and I went to the doctor’s together that afternoon, and I let our doctor know that I was considering termination. My doctor was very kind – he got that I was really serious about not coping, about just how horrific HG was, and did everything he could to get me more support. He said words I will never forget, not because I didn’t know them already, but because I felt like someone cared as much as I did:

“Please, please, let us get what you need. This pregnancy, this new life is a very precious thing.”

He began making phone calls to experts around the state. That afternoon, he got me transferred to a major city hospital to get a consultation with the OB GYN registrar. She was very knowledgeable and understanding, and started me trialling new anti-nausea medication which helped a little.

Every step of the way, we hoped it would end. The timeline was two weeks out. We hoped it would end by 10 weeks. By 12 weeks. By 14 weeks. By 20 weeks.

But it continued.

Right up to the moment she was born.

*

As I shared in this post, I went to a doctor again when it became obvious it wouldn’t end. I wasn’t coping. I was miserable. Deeply depressed. I’d lost any feeling of light.

She took me through the depression test.

At the end she said:

Leonie, I can’t even tell if this is depression or just the natural byproduct of this awful condition you have.

I added higher strength anti depressants to the piles of tablets I took each day to keep me and my baby alive.

*

Trust me, dearests, I tried everything.

I tried hypnosis. It was useful as a self help discovery tool, as a therapy, but ultimately, it didn’t have an effect on the frequency of spewing. I did feel less freaked out about spewing while it was happening, less gut-wrenchingly miserable, so that’s a ginormous plus. But it, for me, was not a cure for HG.

It was hard sometimes when people came up with suggestions for healing HG.

I know how much people cared, how much they genuinely wanted me to be better.

And I also knew that reiki, ginger, homeopathics couldn’t do shit for this horrendous thing I was going through.

The only thing that could fix it?

Was birthing the placenta that was creating such a horrific allergic reaction in my body.

The only thing that could keep me alive until then?

Some fucking die-hard medications and western medicine intervention.

*

I am finding it really hard to write about this.

I don’t want to think about it.

Don’t want to remember it.

It was the most horrific time of my life.

*

I fought against HG for a long time.

Inside my head, there would be a tape playing:

“Why is this happening? WHY ME? I can’t believe it! I am so angry! WHY ME? I am so frustrated! I can’t believe this is happening to me! When will it end? God, why? Please! I hate this! I hate this so much! This is fucking awful! Make it stop make it stop make it stop!”

I was really angry. I questioned everything.

One day, I went to have a nap.

“Please, please, please God, please tell me what I need to know.”

And just one word came back:

“Surrender.”

“I don’t want to surrender you fucking asshole! This is fucking awful! This should not be happening to me! Make it fucking stop! You are breaking me!”

There was silence.

And I gave up the fight in that moment.

I’d been so angry and questioning for so long. I’d denied the illness. I tried arguing against it.

It was immovable.

So I surrendered.

My body softened.

I took deep breaths.

I softened some more.

Surrender.

*

It became the mantra.

Of course, I still struggled sometimes (and sometimes often).

But mostly, the tape inside me played:

“This is what is. You can’t wish for it to change until it does. This is what is meant to happen. If it wasn’t meant to be here, it wouldn’t be.”

*

It became a shrug.

When people saw me and expressed their sadness about how sick I was and how awful I looked, I would shrug:

“This is just how I am in pregnancy.”

*

Rolling back and forth. Grieving my life. Grieving missing my daughter and my husband so much. Grieving the ability to cook, clean, walk, play, write, draw, go out into the world.

I felt stricken with the grief. My daughter didn’t have a mother for nine months. My husband didn’t have a wife. I didn’t have a life.

*

Later in the pregnancy, about 3-4 in the afternoon, the crippling nausea would lift for about an hour. Not fully. Just enough to stand. To look at people’s faces. I’d try and play with my daughter, talk to my husband, and do what work I could in that hour. A tiny reprieve. And then I’d be sent back to the dungeon, my bed.

(I was fucking sick of my bed. Surrender and acceptance and all that shit, but goddamn I wanted to get away.)

*

Another important lesson unravelled itself:

I spent many, many long hours in bed. Most of nine months.

Many hours spent on my ipod trying to keep my mind off the nausea and body stuff.

I started reading bunches of gossip sites, of reddit. I felt like I was getting an education in how non-hippy people lived.

And dude, it fucking bummed me out. I got so fucking depressed about everything.

I talked to Chris about it.

Have I mentioned what a babe he is?

And how sage and wise?

He said:

Baby, now is the time to feed your mind with positive stuff. Now, more than ever.

He was right of course. He always is.

If ever I needed some positive thinking, it was now.

I think I gave up on it for a while there because it wouldn’t stop HG.

All the kind-hearted people who so wanted me to be better who told me to affirm my way out of HG.

And I couldn’t. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t hide, I couldn’t positive the illness away.

But I realised I needed it to actually survive.

So I deleted all the crap from my ipod.

Replaced it with dozens of affirmations and oracle apps.

And everyday, spent my hours there instead.

If it was going to be mindless ipod shit, it had to be stuff that actually lifted my spirit.

It made a difference.

A big lesson:

If you want to feel like shit, read shit.

If you want to feel uplifted, read uplifting things.

*

At 20 weeks, we had our ultrasound.

We knew we wanted to find out the sex again.

We adored doing it when we had Ostara.

Plus, I really needed something to hang onto.

Needed to hold on to that idea of bringing a soul into the world.

I absoloodely thought I was having a boy.

100%.

But I thought exactly the same thing with Ostara.

I might be a bit intuitive and stuff, but I have zero percent accuracy at knowing my own baby’s gender.

We turned up to the ultrasound. We took Ostara with us.

Our little buddy. Our little dearest.

As we walked in I told her we were going to find out whether she would have a little brother or a little sister.

“NOPE!” she said cheerfully. “I having a baby SISTER!”

*

The flashing grey and white screen.

I see the three dots again, instantly.

I know what three dots mean.

My heart jumps with joy and love.

*

“Girls! I am having two girls!”

I thought I would be disappointed.

I thought my heart would long for that boy I pictured.

Instead I felt soaring joy.

Two fairies. Two mermaids. Two sisters.

I asked Chris if he was disappointed.

He looked at me like I was a wanker.

“How could I possibly be? I get to have another baby. I love having a daughter!”

*

Apart from being all fucked on HG, that other weird hyper condition I have started rearing up: hypermobility.

(For those of you who don’t know, hypermobility = double jointed = overly flexible. Which can be fun in yoga class, but it creates massive issues when pregnant and breastfeeding. Dislocated joints = major bummer.)

My hips began displacing.

I found it hard to walk.

My midwife recommended going to see a man with medicine hands, Charley, a Bowen Therapist.

I’d never had Bowen Therapy before.

And by that stage, I was so jaded I was all:

“Yeah, fucken hippy therapies don’t do SHIT!”

(Because, you know, nothing was keeping this lady from hurling her breakfast up!)

But I went anyway.

Because dislocated joints suck balls.

And waddya know?

He really DID have medicine hands.

I ended up going to see him once a week.

I would go during his pregnancy clinic. There’d be a bunch of us sitting in his waiting room. When I started, I was the smallest belly in the room.

And week by week, the biggest bellies would fall off the cliff into no return, and we’d hear news of their new arrival.

Chris and Ostara would wait there too, in that great nest of clucking hens.

Eventually, I was the biggest belly there.

*

Throughout it all, I thought I knew her name.

I thought her name was:

Sia Hope.

Sia Hope Dawson.

We all called her Sia while she was in my belly.

We all thought it was it.

Then one night a month or two before she was born,

I was wrapped around, holding Ostara as she went to sleep when I heard a very clear knock on my spirit’s door.

“My name’s not Sia,”

she said simply from inside me.

I nodded.

The next morning, Chris said:

“Hon, I need to talk to you about something. It’s important. Please don’t be upset.”

“Yes?”

“Her name isn’t Sia.”

“I know. She told me too.”

Two days later, Starry said:

“Baby’s name isn’t Sia! I don’t call her that anymore!”

“Okay darling, I know.”

Message was received, loud and clear.

(Please tell me if you have a baby named Sia Hope! I want to know!)

*

What was her name to be?

We were instructed by our spirit guides for Chris to find her name. That she was earthy like him. Ostara was named by me, and has the same kind of astral energy I have.

Chris got to name #2.

So I tried not to annoy him about it. Stop trying to brainstorm it.

I had way too much time in bed thinking about things, really.

Eventually he said:

What about Beth?

Yes.

Softness and kindness. Ease and evening.

*

1476028_619840008078527_1912158002_n

There were many great soul lessons in my pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum.

That of surrender. That of filling my mind with positive hippy stuff (even if it wasn’t going to fix my body).

My relationship with Chris became threefold stronger because of it.

We became more deeply into a soulmate relationship.

He showed me in that pregnancy just how deep his love for me was, and how much he could hold the space for me.

He really stepped up to the plate. He was brave and big hearted and he held the space for me to break apart a million times. He carried the faith for both of us because I couldn’t anymore.

Here’s what I wrote during it:

I can’t even talk about how wonderful Chris has been the last six months without tearing up. Six months of him pretty much solo parenting, looking after me, Starry, our puppies and house. All the shopping, cleaning, washing. All the days he just pats my head as I moan and cry, saying “I know sweetie, you are doing good.” He has held the faith for us while I’ve been unable to. I can’t even say how much his support has held my boat from capsizing. I love him more every day.

I can’t imagine our relationship not having gone through HG. It’s funny, isn’t it?

It’s just different now. Even more solid, compassionate, loving.

Sometimes a tornado takes you away from each other.

Sometimes it brings you together.

*

I wrote more about hyperemesis + my pregnancy journey here, here and here if you want to read more.

*

1010063_590379127691282_797401248_n

Ostara holding me in the car after another hospital trip.

In the moments when I was well enough to sit up and talk, I tried to make up for lost time with Ostara.

She from all accounts was keeping it together during that long illness. She was so beautifully behaved, not overly emotional, so gentle with me.

I’d keep reminding her:

You don’t need to take care of me.

Your job is to be a kid. Your job is to have fun and play.

Daddy will take care of me and of you.

I’m going to be okay.

When I was well enough, I’d hold her in my arms as I said it.

She sensed that I had enough bandwidth for her to be vulnerable, and she’d dissolve into tears.

Tears upon tears upon tears.

I’d listen, and hold her, and ask her about her feelings:

Mummy, I’m so sad that you are sick.

I don’t want you to be sick anymore.

I’m scared. I miss you.

I know my darling. I know. I know.

And I’d hold her and kiss her sweaty little head.

And we’d sit together while all her feelings tangled their way out into the light, and she would be released and relieved.

*

And that’s how my pregnancy progressed.

Hyperemesis gravidarum. Hypermobility.

Both reeking havoc on my body, my spirit, my life.

Still vomiting at 40 weeks pregnant. Still feeling pretty damn depleted.

Not as horrifically ill as I was before. But not great. Not good by any means.

Still had the vast, vast, vaaaaast majority of my time spent laying in bed.

I started going to see my acupuncturist to start priming the body for birth, along with the Bowen Therapist Charley.

*

I looked like this:

1653622_679286822133845_434859157_n 1912330_679286718800522_47546122_n  1508519_679286642133863_1342304683_n  1900086_679286402133887_1689287247_n 1899887_679286215467239_1631185037_n  1900082_679286082133919_460083401_n

But mostly I looked like this:

1782115_679733612089166_1135004598_n

*

It’s three weeks since I gave birth as I sit down to write this. (It’s been five months now since I come back to finish it.)

Already, the story is falling away. Already, I can’t remember.

Shit, I should have written this down before.

But I didn’t. And I couldn’t.

So here I am, piecing together the story again from figments of memories.

This is how humans keep procreating, keep going, keep hoping:

they forget the sheer agony of the hardest parts.

*

So here is an important part to the story:

I asked people for their bets on due dates, and I wrote them down.

Mostly though, I listened to what Chris said.

He’s got a track record.

Last time he managed to get the day spot on.

He booked it in his calendar.

7 am, March 24, 2010.

And sure enough, it ended up being that I was booked in for induction at

7 am, March 24, 2010.

She was born 12 hours later.

I wondered if he could go two-for-two.

He’s a pretty damn intuitive man.

I figured he’d be right.

6 March, he said.

40+1 weeks.

Great, I thought. Why couldn’t he let me end the vomit misery end by forecasting for an early delivery?

But the man could not be swayed. He never is.

So there it was.

*

As we got closer to her arrival, I started shitting myself.

I didn’t want to be traumatised by her birth.

I was feeling as weak as a kitten after nine months of awful illness and bedrest.

My back and hips were pretty rooted from displacing so often.

Oh… and did I forget to mention our baby girl was breech. And I was doing everything I could to turn her.

More acupuncture. More hypnosis. More of everything.

I was fucking over trying so hard. Fucking over feeling so bad and so unwell and nothing working.

I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do natural birth. I didn’t want to suffer again. I didn’t want to have to actually work. I didn’t want to feel on tenterhooks about whether she would turn head down or not.

I’d done enough. My body had been through enough.

So I talked to Chris.

I talked to my acupuncturist and intuitive healer (they were my main support/counselling during this whole journey).

I felt so much deep, deep shame about the possibility of wanting a caesarean. So much deep shame about wanting to use pain relief medication this time around.

I had the inherent belief that I was a bad person if I took either of those options.

(By the way, I don’t give two hoots about what you choose for your birth. I just have ridiculously high, over-the-top, must-be-a-superhero expectations on myself. That’s a big ole soul lesson I’ve had to learn this time around. Expectations that suck giant wang trying to meet. Expectations that leave no room for my own humanity. Expectations that need a swift kick to the balls, frankly.)

*

My midwife said something which struck a bell in me.

She said during one of her own births, she was quiet.

And her doctor said afterwards “Gosh, you were just marvellous in that birth. You really did it well.”

And she said:

“Didn’t you hear me? I was screaming on the inside.”

And inside me there was a clunk, and a turn.

That’s what it felt like last time. I felt so very alone in my pain. And that I didn’t have any choices, because to even consider pain medication or a caesarean would make me a bad person. Because, you know, I should do everything perfectly!

*

Last time, I wanted a full blown hippy natural ecstatic birth.

I didn’t feel like my midwives even understood much about natural birth.

This time around, I had an experienced, natural birthin’, hippy-loving midwife.

And I’d decided I wanted a caesarean.

HILARIOUS.

The beautiful irony of it all.

*

I talked to her. I was SO fucking worried about doing it. I thought she’d argue with me about it.

But she knew. She knew I was tired. I was tired of the HG fight. Tired of my weird body complications. That I didn’t feel I had the energy in me to go through labour.

And she accepted it completely. She understood.

Having a breech baby made it even easier.

It was a great relief.

She booked me in for a caesarean. She talked us through exactly how it would go.

She checked me again.

Beth had turned and was no longer breech.

I didn’t have an “excuse” anymore to do a caesarean.

What would I do?

*

I sat with my choice to have a caesarean.

Having given myself a choice, I was now free to choose what was right for me.

I read into what caesareans meant for my healing process.

Obviously, I wanted to be healthy and well again ASAP.

I knew having a caesarean meant two things which ultimately helped me decide:

1.) I would need to be in hospital for a few nights. I couldn’t bear the thought of being away from Ostara that long. She had been through enough with my illness.

2.) I remember very clearly the rush of endorphins as soon as you give birth. It’s a joyous burst of hormones that made everything pain-free after that. I wanted that hormone high again to get me through the newborn days.

It was the glow factor that made me decide, honestly.

I decided that my own best decision for me was to have a vago birth.

*

It’s funny, isn’t it?

I just needed to feel like I had the power to choose.

I needed to feel like I could do anything I wanted.

*

I told my midwife my plans.

I told her that I was down with all the medication-free philosophy, after all, I’d done it the first time, but for fuck’s sake, you better give me some drugs to get me through it.

She agreed. Made a special note on my file:

Give Leonie all the drugs she wants.

*

I just needed to feel empowered to make my own decisions.

Not subscribing to any ideology but my own body and soul.

I think my midwife knew.

*

From 37 weeks on, I felt vague and disorientated, achy and sore.

I called my midwife weeks before I was due, sure I was having some strange contractions.

Nope, turned out I had a hypersensitive uterus.

Which made me laugh at the irony.

Why oh WHY do I have everything that’s hyper? Hyperemesis gravidarum, hypermobility, hypersensitive uterus.

It’s like my body wants to do TOO MUCH. It’s default setting is to go above and beyond.

I am sure there is a deep soul lesson in there. In fact, I know there is.

*

At 40 weeks plus one day (aka the day Chris had written down as Beth’s birthing day), I spewed as I did everyday, and then I went to the Bowen Therapist.

I was the biggest belly in the waiting room.

It was time for me to fall off the cliff.

He did his magical woo-woo thing with his hands.

“That will put you into labour”, he said.

*

At 2pm I sent a message to my sisterhood of close friends.

I’d asked them weeks beforehand if they could hold the space for me when I was in labour zone.

I let them know that all was quiet in my uterus-land.

*

At 5:00pm, I started feeling cramping.

Is this it? I wondered.

Downloaded a contraction timer app.

Five minutes apart. Regular.

I laid in bed with a heat pack.

I was cheerful:

Is this what induction-free birth is like? LOL SO EASY! These contractions are nothing compared to induction ones!

Chris didn’t really believe me.

It’s really happening? Really? Ya sure?
This isn’t like last time!
Your waters haven’t broke!

Waters don’t break at the beginning of labour usually, hon. Only for 5% of pregnancies. That was just how it happened for me last time.

Oh.

*

At 6:00pm, I sent a message to my girls:

“Don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I’m in labour.”

Called our midwife.

“You sound too happy to be in labour, Leonie.”

“Nah, look, it’s happening.”

“Nah, call me back when you’re cranky.”

All around me, peeps weren’t thinking it was getting exciting.

But I knew I was going to have a quick labour.

*

I waited for Ostara to go to sleep.

Kissed her goodnight.

I had already decided weeks ago that I would give birth after she went to sleep and before she woke up, so that she didn’t miss me.

Stared at myself in the mirror.

Contractions were getting more intense.

I wasn’t so happy anymore.

*

Contractions were getting harder and faster.

I called our midwife back half an hour later.

“Oh, you sound cranky now. See you at the hospital.”

*

I heated up heatpacks to get me through the 30 minute drive to the hospital.

Got the last of my things together.

Called my acupuncturist/doula.

“Hey Leonie, what’s happening?”

“Did you get my text messages?”

“No, sorry love! Have been on the computer!”

“I’m going to hospital right now.”

“Right. I’ll go through my clothes in the car. I will see you there.”

*

I guess this is a good time to explain the setup:

We had a doula last time.

It was wonderful.

Highly recommend.

This time around, I knew I wanted a bit of something else.

When Kellie my much loved acupuncturist mentioned that she did doula-ing and brought her needles with her, I was all over it.

She had been with me on the journey of my body since the beginning. She was intuitive, kind, compassionate. She got me. She was perfect.

*

We’d thought about birthing situations.

Again, I decided homebirth wasn’t the right choice for us this time around.

I needed quiet space to birth.

Being at home with my 4 year old, barking dogs and parents-in-law wasn’t the right space.

We thought about going down the mountain to the city hospital.

In the end, we decided to go to the country one because it was a closer drive, and because I’d already been admitted there so many times with my illness.

*

To my surprise, I discovered I’d entered into one of the best-known natural birthing midwife-run centres in the state. I got one of the most highly experienced hippy-leaning midwives of all.

They had large birth pools and were pro water birth.

They were used to seeing Kellie do acupuncture doing births, and were really happy to have her there.

They had a midwife training to do Bowen therapy during birth to assist.

It was a perfect fit.

*

So that’s what we ended up driving to that night, exactly nine months pregnant.

Somewhere behind us on the highway was my midwife and the acupuncturist, all of us making the 30 minute drive to the hospital.

As soon as we got into the car and bumped down the highway, my contractions sped up.

2 minutes apart.

90 seconds apart.

1 minute apart.

At this stage, I started my chant, my mantra that I kept up for the rest of labour:

SHITFUCK! SHITFUCK! SHITFUCK!

By this stage, contractions were riding on each other.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? AM I GOING TO GIVE BIRTH IN THE FUCKING CAR?

I tried calling the hospital. Tried calling the midwife. Tried calling 000.

Both our phones had no reception.

We were in the long black hole.

I started panicking and crying.

Chris was mostly silent, driving as safely and quickly as he could.

You’re going to be okay. We will make it honey.

*

I consoled myself with the thought:

Even if you do give birth in this car… Gabe and Kellie are right behind you.

*

We hit the outskirts of town. We got reception. I called the hospital, told them what was happening.

As we sped up to the dark building, security guards and a midwife were waiting to bring me in.

They offer me a wheelchair.

I hobbled in.

Swearing. Breathing. Walking.

Having contractions against the wall.

SHITFUCK. SHITFUCK.

I tried to swear quietly.

Sick people were sleeping.

Why oh why do they fucking put the fucking midwife ward right at the back of the fucking hospital?

Contractions keep coming a minute apart.

*

They let me in.

I lay in the waiting room.

My midwife walks in.

I’m between contractions.

“HULLO!” I say cheerfully! “I’m here!”

A contraction washes over me.

“SHITFUCK! SHITFUCK!”

“That’s what we like to hear! Baby is coming then hey!”

“My contractions are only a minute apart.”

“You still have a while yet.”

“Can we please get in the fucking birth room?”

*

It is 9pm by this time.

*

I have a few more contractions beside the bed.

I hear Kellie walk in.

When my contraction is finished, I look down at her feet.

She is wearing socks under her sandals.

“I see you’re wearing your tropical winter shoes Kell!”

She begins laughing.

We talk some more before the next contraction washes in.

*

A few more contractions in, and shit is starting to get real.

As in: real painful.

I jump in the bath.

The relief is immense, immediate and palpable.

All the pressure on my hips releases.

“Oh thank god. THIS IS HEAVEN!”

*

More time goes on.

It keeps getting more intense, more painful.

I can’t get comfortable.

I’m being split apart.

“You are, you know Leonie” my midwife says helpfully. “It’s one body becoming two. It’s hard work.”

“This is fucked.”

*

“SHITFUCK. SHITFUCK. FUCKING SHITTTTTTT!”

In my first labour, I didn’t speak a word.

Silent as a buddha.

In my second labour, I swore like a fucking trooper.

I wasn’t out to win an award for Most Peaceful Birther anymore.

I was pissed off that I had to do this stupid fucking birth thing AGAIN.

*

“Kellie, I don’t want to do this anymore. This is fucked. I fucking hate this.”

“I know babe.”

“I hate it all.”

“I know.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Why don’t you next breath, just say yes to it? Just try that? Say yes to the contraction instead of no?”

I do. I feel it opens me a bit more.

It takes more courage. More stamina.

I don’t know if I have it in me.

*

I continue.

*

“I must go on
I can’t go on
I’ll go on.

- Samuel Beckett

*

Chris is there during all of this.

As he always is.

By my side.

He’s an extra part of me now.

*

Anytime I begin to scream or be high pitched, my midwife Gabe pulls me up.

“Be as loud as you want, but just make it low pitched. Screaming closes you up. Moaning opens you up.”

*

A nausea wave rushes over me.

Oh no, not this. For fuck’s sake. For FUCK’S SAKE. Please just let me birth without you, motherfucking hyperemesis!

I yell for the spew bag.

Chris holds it to the side of the bath.

I lean out and hurl, and hurl, and hurl.

*

I am getting tired. My body has lost all energy with that hurl. I can’t keep this up if I’m going to be vomiting too.

*

“It better be finished fucking soon. I’m fucking over it.”

The midwife thinks it will be some time yet.

I think it’s close. I know I’m over it.

*

I need to go to the toilet.

I go, and I think I’m going to give birth right there.

Gabe and Kellie help me back into the room. I drop on the floor.

I tell Gabe to check how far along I am.

“If I’m not nearly there, I want some fucking medication. I’m over it. I’m done. I want out.”

She checks me. She is surprised.

“Leonie, you’re at transition. Baby isn’t far away.”

“Thank fuck.”

*

The next contraction is searingly awful.

“I want some fucking medication! Now!”

“Yes, I’ll get it for you now.”

She holds it to my face, and at the last moment I turn away.

“No!”

I am red hot and burning and being utterly shaken apart by the contraction.

I can’t concentrate enough in that second to have it.

My water breaks in that instant.

The midwife disappears from my shoulder.

The next moment, she swims back up.

“Leonie, there is meconium in your waters. It is old. Baby is distressed. We need to get her out now. I’m sorry, I can’t give you medication. I need you right here, right now. I need you to be here and I need you to push your baby out.”

A mirror shatters inside me. Beth needs me. Beth needs me to be here.

I will do anything to have my baby here. Anything.

I will do what it takes to bring her into the world.

This last effort for me.

I will do anything for her to be okay.

All I see, all I want is Beth.

I turn my head. I vomit again.

I push up onto all fours.

And I begin to push.

Just like last time, I feel my baby moving down my birth canal.

I can’t move my hips wide enough. I feel like a horse pushing out a foal.

It is harder than last time. I can feel she is bigger than Ostara.

Don’t care. Don’t care. Let’s get Beth here.

I moan and yell and buck and push.

Everything is fire red and pain and body.

Nowhere else but here. Nowhere else but here.

I am fury and anger and a mother’s love.

I am a bear. I am a wolf. I am this whole contraction.

I am nothing but a body, a writhing contorting mother’s body.

I am being split apart.

I am one body becoming two.

I am blood and fur and bone.

I am mindless and snorting. Pain, push, red, fire. Buck, pant, push, groan.

The world bursts open in song.

I feel her slip from me.

I see her slip into my midwife’s hands, then slip out of them.

She is on the padded floor between my legs.

My baby. My baby. My Beth.

She is crying.

I curl down and pick her up.

She is still attached to me, her cord still linking our bodies.

After the mammoth journey of bringing her into the world, through pregnancy and birth, it feels right that I am the one who catches my own baby. I’m the only one who could have done it.

Chris helps me to roll onto my back.

I lean back and hold her to my chest.

That sweetness. That face. That everything.

She is here.

At last, she is here.

She is worth it all.

“What time is it?”

I ask.

“10 minutes past midnight.”

I look at Chris.

“I’m so sorry hon! If I’d given birth ten minutes earlier, you would have been right! You would have guessed BOTH girl’s birthing days!”

The midwife and Kellie laugh.

He laughed and shook his head.

“I can’t believe you’re even thinking about that now. It’s okay honey. It’s totally, completely fine.”

And it was.

And that is the story of how Beth was brought into the world.

With a lot of vomit. A lot of tears. A lot of love, faith, courage, endurance.

I was given so much kindness to make it through.

The biggest job of my life was done.

And I was given the biggest gift of all.

A healthy, sweet baby girl.

One who entered the world, and stunned us with her softness, quiet soul and loving light.

She is everything we needed and more.

The perfect completion of our family.

*

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*

Can I tell you it was worth it?

All the tragedy. The pain. The illness.

Every single goddamn vomit.

Every shitfucking contraction.

Because every one of them brought me Beth.

Beth, beloved Beth.

*

I find myself looking at her.

Tears well in my eyes.

How close I was to never having number two.

How close I was to terminating the pregnancy.

How hard it was to navigate so much difficulty with hyperemesis gravidarum and hypermobility.

*

Thank you,

I whisper, watching Beth.

Thank you.

Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for telling me I was your mama, Beth. Thank you for making it.

Thank you to my husband, daughter, midwife, acupuncturist, intuitive healer, doctors, emergency room nurses and my tribe of kindreds – you all, my friends and the playgroup mums.

I did it alone.

But I had a whole team to get me through it.

So much kindness and compassion got me through.

*

I can’t imagine a life without her.

Worth it?

A million times yes.

Over and over.

I would do it again just for the wild, magnificent gift of loving her.

Her sweetness, presence, grace, ease.

She has healed my heart over and over.

Ruptured me with joy.

Made my life a sweet sailing ocean.

*

We did it.

*

I will open the comments circle here for once. Can’t imagine not having it open after telling one of the biggest stories of my life.

I will share more soon too, if you like, on what it’s been like adjusting to being a parent of two.

*

Thank you, as always, for sharing this journey with me.

Bringing Beth into the world took more out of me than I ever thought I could give.

And along the way you were there, sharing so much support, love and compassion.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

She is such a gift.

Always love and blessings,

 

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Where I’m at, what I’m doing… http://leoniedawson.com/im-im/ http://leoniedawson.com/im-im/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:45:56 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19438 Hi treasures, It’s been a long time since I just wrote one of those long, windy posts, ya know? Sometimes I miss the world of blogging pre-social media days. Blogging was the only way you could write + share. So consequently I’d bottle up with all these ideas and sharings until I could hit the PUBLISH button. And then I’d feel this gorgeous, glorious, flying sense of relief. But now with the ole Instagramme and Facebookerywookery, I can hit the Publish button all the bloody [...]

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loveletter

Hi treasures,

It’s been a long time since I just wrote one of those long, windy posts, ya know?

Sometimes I miss the world of blogging pre-social media days. Blogging was the only way you could write + share. So consequently I’d bottle up with all these ideas and sharings until I could hit the PUBLISH button. And then I’d feel this gorgeous, glorious, flying sense of relief.

But now with the ole Instagramme and Facebookerywookery, I can hit the Publish button all the bloody time. Consequently I get to share the story in microchapters, ones that are hard to find and keep track of and know that people can find easily.

So yeah, I wanna get back into the habit of this, ya know.

Sitting down, like I’ve always done for the last decade (!!!!) of my life, and letting the letters, words, soul songs pour out through my words.

I’ve always regarded this space as being my wooden writing desk. Opening up a cache of beautiful paper. Writing a letter to my spirit sister. Saying: this is where I am. This is how life is finding me. This is what I’m learning. These are the things that are keeping me awake at night. These are the bulbous, shining moments of inspiration.

And I wonder where I’ve been, ya know. Wonder when I forgot to write these dawdly long letters. And I know a large chunk of it is thanks to those nine-ish months of my life that are missing from the horrors of hyperemesis gravidarum. And also because sometimes I think I forget I don’t have to be “professional”, ya know? That it’s good to just keep writing these love letters. Doesn’t always have to be brilliantly thought out and polished out the assery.

So here’s where I am, right at this very moment.

It’s nearly 10pm.

The rest of the house is slumbering.

I have no idea how long I have until the baby awakes (again).

I am:

  • happy. Blissfully so, content and radiantly glad to be done with illness and back in step with my life again.
  • adoring with wild surprise how easy having a baby is second time around. It’s like night and day different. Easy and kind and joyous and thankfully PND free. What a blessing!
  • overwhelmed at the moment. I have a to do list a mile long. I feel like I am trying to catch up on a lost year. My life has sped up on two fronts: I’ve got TWO beautiful daughters now to devote lots of love and energy to. And my beautiful business made a glorious, exciting change – I hired my first local full time employee. The Divine Donna is a real blessing, and I get SO DAMN EXCITED from having someone to talk to face-to-face all the time about my wild ideas. And everything feels like it has sped up, and I have SO much to learn. And at the same time, I’m reminding myself that I can set the pace. I can slow it down. There’s no rush. It will all happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And mamas always have unfinished to-do lists.
  • grieving my grandmother. As much as I know all is well. As much as I know her spirit soars. As much as I know the spiritual truth of death… I have come to realise you can’t self-help your way out of grief. It takes time. Time to feel all the feelings that rise. Time to get over the shock of a change in the physical world. Time. Gentleness.
  • I feel immensely supported. I’ve been doing intensive healing work with Hiro Boga for over five years now. She’s a wonderful, wise woman that I feel privileged to learn from. She’s taught me so much about crafting the container for my life that is most supportive. And she’s held me through the wobbles and worries and mishaps of making that happen. I feel like I’ve graduated from Sovereignty Primary School in a way. My life and business feel so wonderfully supported – I know I can choose what I want, ask for it, and receive it. HOLY FUCKING LIFE CHANGER!
  • Related: I have a cleaner and it is the BEST THING EVERRRRRRR! Holy shit, I had no idea how much this would change my life. I’ve been wanting one for years, and badgering my love. And after Beth was born, housework increased yet again, and I was spending every spare moment of my day rushing just to get the laundry done. And I put my foot down, hired a cleaner, and told him about it afterwards. Tracey comes every week for five hours. It’s pretty much ecstasy.Me and Chris walk around afterwards every single time saying “LOOK HOW CLEAN AND PRETTY THE HOUSE IS! LOOK HOW SHE FOLDED THESE TOWELS! LOOK IN MY CUPBOARD! MY CLOTHES ARE PUT AWAY! LOOK HOW SHE MAKES THE BEDS!”It feels like being cared for by the universe, and mothered, and nurtured. And it means I don’t spend all my free time trying to cope with the mountains of laundry. Gah, I can’t even talk about it without tearing up. If you don’t have a cleaner, you are probably thinking this is the most ridiculous thing ever… I get it, I really do. But I just can’t believe how amazingly spiritually supported I feel from having a wonderful fairy come in to nurture my home every week.

Hmm, what else?

I still have to write Beth’s birth story.

Well, to be clear… I have to FINISH writing it. I’ve already started and put a thousand or two words down on the page.

But to be honest, I’m just glad she’s here and all that hard stuff is done. All that illness and craptastic pregnancy and all that. Plus, I’ve come to the realisation that I just don’t think birth is that fun. It’s kind of a bitch, actually. And even though we had a quick, medication-free birth with a fantastic midwife and acupuncturist doula… I still think birth sucks. HA! It’s kind of liberating and hilarious to say that really. I don’t find it empowering. I’d so fucking rather make art or write a book that push a bony football out my vagina any day. I think birth is a really dumb invention. And then I think maybe I should be more enlightened in order to feel like a wild goddess giving birth. But the truth of it is, I feel exactly like a horse pushing a foal out of me. Like a real bloody animal. And I don’t enjoy it.

HA! How liberating!

But I don’t really think about it now. Don’t think about the pregnancy or birth. I’m a bit enamoured with Beth’s babyishness really. Her chubby legs and her mooncheeks and her CANKLES and even her WRIST CANKLES (WRARMS?) Oh god, the fatty fatness of her is just delicious x a million. Me and Starry coo about her chubby baby bottom when we give her a bath… giggle wildly and squee “WOOK AT WIDDLE BABY BOTTOM!! EEEEEE!”

I’ve honestly never been so damn clucky in my life. Beth’s made me fall HARD for babies. What a cute little pixie she is.

I mean Starry was a fucking ADORABLE baby, but I don’t think I really could just ENJOY it first time around – I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing or who I was as a mother or what kind of mother I needed to be (hint: self care is important) and I was chronically sleep deprived and wading in a pool of anxiety. And lots of crappy craptastic craparamo life stuff was happening at the same time and I was going kaboomy inside me. So I don’t know if I could really relish her cuteness then. And that’s okay. I was doing the best I could. We all were.

But yeah, Beth has me hanging for more babies. And of course, I can’t, ya know. That whole being actually allergic to pregnancy and shiz, all the crazy syndromes I get. I’ve even been hitting Chris up to talk about surrogacy or adoption, such is the compelling hypnosis of Beth’s cankles. But he’s not called to make another family leap. And that’s okay. I’m down with that. He totally accepted my wishes to only have one kid for so long, even though he wanted two. And honestly, we’re just so bloody blessed with our two fairies – one full of starlight and one full of earth.

*

I really should write that birth story soon, hey?

*

Oh, and I found an adorable local graphic designer to work with.

I’ve been working with US contractors for SO many years, and after finding Donna to collaborate with face-to-face and realising all the magic was being created there, I wanted to find someone who could do the same on the design front for me here.

And of course, Donna already knew someone, and she’s perfect, and we’re having so much fun!

We’re doing a full membership site redesign for the Academy, and I have SO many ideas for where it’s going to be heading, and all of it feels so expansive and exciting.

*

In other news, I’ve been collecting big beautiful original painting from Janet Lloyd – a local artist here who just happens to also be from the same hometown as me. Nude mermaids everywhere in my house. It makes me happy! I don’t get into diamonds, handbags, shoes or expensive jewellery… but find me some mermaid art and I WILL GO TO TOWN ON THAT SHIT.

Amen! Hallelujah!

*

A plane just flew overhead. Every single time I hear one, I wonder (illogically, I know) if it’s the missing MH370. There seems to be so many strange, awful, painful things going on in the world right now. And if I think too much about it, it breaks my heart. So I focus on what I can do. Give more. Volunteer more. Donate more. Be kind to everyone I meet. Sponsor another girl. Run over to help strangers in the carpark. Pick up other people’s rubbish. Fill up the animal refuge box with dog and cat food. Give money every which way I can. Tell my children a million times over that I love them. Get creative with my kindnesses.

Whenever my heart breaks for the world, I know the two things that will heal it:

Giving. And staying grateful for all the immense good that is happening.

*

Things I’m digging:

I’ve been doing pilates.

Pilates/yoga/fitness classes has been on my to do list forevaaaa.

And of course, having kids makes it that much harder to actually get out of the house.

Plus hunky love wanted to do it too.

And the possibility of both of us leaving the house weekly to do it?

Nada.

So I ended up calling a pilates teacher.

And I asked her if she could come to our place and do a class for just the two of us.

And she was delighted to!

And it wasn’t that much more expensive than if we’d both gone to class!

So every Monday morning at 8am, you’ll find me and him, and Ostara between us, and Beth on her bouncy chair watching us… huffing and puffing and stretching.

I feel a massive difference. It’s a total changer.

Very, very helpful post-partum and with hypermobility.

*

Also digging:

  • Lots of offline time (kinda imposed by my eyes which broke a little bit from putting the 2015 workbook to bed for the printers!)
  • Woodwork. Bought myself a scroll saw as a present for finishing the 2015 workbook. Feeling like a real #chickwithpowertools now!
  • Apple cider vinegar in soda water. Got meself an ole style SodaStream. It’s like uber healthy soft drink! BAM!
  • Magazines. Especially Dumbo Feather, Renegade Collective + Success.

*

For now… it’s time for me to head to bed.

Nestle in between my girls.

I didn’t think I’d be co-sleeping this time around, but that’s what’s working.

And Starry has been having sleepovers. It’s becoming quite the girlfest.

*

I’m sending out this letter to you, whisking it away into the night.

To be delivered to you, dear friend, out there in the world, looking for a friend’s story.

I wish you great kindnesses and love.

I wish we could meet for tea.

So much love always,

2014leoniegoddesscolour

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The Leap Back To Spirit http://leoniedawson.com/leaping-back-spirit/ http://leoniedawson.com/leaping-back-spirit/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 05:04:45 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19262 It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. We decided months ago, at the beginning of her death journey, that we would rather see her alive than go to her funeral. So we made the hike across the countryside with six week old Beth and our dear Starry. Spent some days with Gran, soft and quiet. She was as beautiful as ever, all done up in green flashing eyeshadow and a gash of pink lipstick. Even with an oxygen tube in her nose, she was [...]

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leaping back into spirit gran

It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral.

We decided months ago, at the beginning of her death journey, that we would rather see her alive than go to her funeral. So we made the hike across the countryside with six week old Beth and our dear Starry.

Spent some days with Gran, soft and quiet. She was as beautiful as ever, all done up in green flashing eyeshadow and a gash of pink lipstick. Even with an oxygen tube in her nose, she was fancier dressed than I. She held Beth, cooed over Ostara. Ostara is usually our shy girl, hanging by the edge (or under) her mama’s skirts. This time, she sensed something else. She dove into Gran’s arms and kissed her. She must remember her days as a toddler when we’d go to visit her to garden and eat and sit on the porch and marvel at Gran’s green thumb that I sadly did not inherit.

“Gran, how do you keep your pot plants alive so well?”

“I don’t know dear. Just water them when they are half dead. And talk to them, of course. They always like that. I talk to them everyday, pet.”

There are photographs of her with the girls, with me. Her with her youngest great-grandchild. At nearly 97, she had many. But at least Beth has that. She was held by her eldest matriarch. At least she can carry that forward into her life with her.

So that was the last time we saw Gran. Not as a photo on her casket. Not as a eulogy. Just her, as she was. Her as she still is.

And the truth is, I couldn’t bear to go to the funeral. I haven’t spoken much of this because it is so deeply personal & is not just my own story, but the family I was born into ruptured some years ago. Ruptured, imploded, became amiss with so many hard edges. The only thing we could do for our own peace, sanctity, sanity, was leave. Find our own place in the world that ruminated with stillness, kindness, ease – those very soul qualities we so carefully create together. And of course, we hoped upon hope that all the souls in my family would find their own peace, place and pace that would bring them home to themselves too. No more divorce, control, crisis, cataclysm. Hoping upon hope that hard edges would soften, that boundaries would be respected, that we could eventually recreate relationships that were respectful and right.

It is still in that process.

And I felt grief and sadness and pain that my gran left the world when the family was still on this path of learning. That is my human side, of course. My soul knows that she chose this, just as we all do. And that her soul knows and understands that all is right. That she knows that love surrounds her now – and always has.

So on the day of her funeral, I carried all these feelings with me. I wasn’t sure how to celebrate her. How to bear witness & ceremony to the path her spirit was taking back into the ethers. How to honour that vital, strong, hot-legged body that had carried her through life, and recognise as its job as vessel had ended. A new beginning was opening for it. Soon, the hottest legs in Proserpine will become part of that rich loam that feeds the sugar cane fields. She will become part eagle, part ladybird, part volcanic mountain. But that is just her body of course. Her spirit is here, there and everywhere. It is home with the light.

How on earth to speak to this? To honour this?

I can only trust that the day will bring forth what is needed.

I trudged my girls up the long stoned path up to the top of our acreage. It’s a sharp slope. To push a pram up it requires a heaving, huffing body at 45 degree angle. And I did, we did, triumphant. And on our soft, sliding journey back down to home, there we passed the mandarin tree. There was one mandarin there, perfectly ripe, radiant, scented.

“Mama!” Ostara shrieks. “MANDARINNNNNNNNNNN! Can we plleeeeeeease eat it RIGHT NOW? And throw the peel on the ground?”

She is filled with the ripe, florid, vibrant essence of four, when everything is a wonder and a wild excitement.

She is the perfect guide, the incandescence of life and beginning.

She will teach me how to say goodbye.

So that is what we do.

We break open that fragrant peel, large dewdrops of it frisking into the air. Pungently citrus. And suddenly I remember all the times on the farm my Gran would disappear, and we’d find her, bucket in tow, cutting gallons of cumquats to make into jam. There is something about her that is so perfectly fruity, juicy, tart. Citrus. Perfect.

And so we eat that mandarin. And I gaze at that turquoise sky.

“This is for you, Gran. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. Blessings on your journey.”

And I see her dance across the sky. Joy glitters in the sunlight.

And I know all is well in the world.

And that, my dears, is the story of my grandmother, and her great, luminous leap back into spirit.

2014leoniegoddesscolour

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This 1 Tip can put YOU in the Top 1% of Achievers! http://leoniedawson.com/how-to-achieve/ http://leoniedawson.com/how-to-achieve/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:06:12 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19077 G’day gorgeous souls! Let’s talk GOALS for a moment, shall we? Oh, what’s that?  It’s not January, you say? Coz you know, goals do NOT happen JUST for New Year’s. We shouldn’t be talking about them just then. We need to start getting more intimate with them than that! Guess what? Good goal setting happens ALL the ding dang time. Not just January 1. And, actually, if you think about it for a mo, it’s kinda the perfect time for some good goddess goal getting: [...]

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achievers

G’day gorgeous souls!

Let’s talk GOALS for a moment, shall we?

Oh, what’s that?  It’s not January, you say? Coz you know, goals do NOT happen JUST for New Year’s. We shouldn’t be talking about them just then. We need to start getting more intimate with them than that!

Guess what?

Good goal setting happens ALL the ding dang time. Not just January 1.

And, actually, if you think about it for a mo, it’s kinda the perfect time for some good goddess goal getting:

  • We’re halfway through the year.
  • It’s just past solstice
  • We’re in the throes of full blaze summer/winter {depending on what side of the globe you hail from!}
  • 7 (as in July) is a lucky number my favourite number

OK, I’m stretching a bit with that last one!  But I firmly believe that goal setting is a year-round practice.

So let’s have a little mid-year goal-a-palooza.

But first, let’s talk about why I’m such a goal goddess.  I saw these stats from a goal guy {aka a goalie – geddit? geddit?} named Dr. David Kohl who studies these things.  He said:

  • 80% of Americans claim that they don’t have goals
  • 16% of them have goals, but they don’t write them down
  • Only 3% actually have written goals, but they don’t review them regularly
  • Only 1% has written goals and they review them regularly, and these are among the highest achievers in the US

Or for those of who you read in images like moi:

goals infographic part 1

OK, so whether you’re in the US or anywhere else in the whole wide world, if you’re one of that 1% that’s writing down your goals and reviewing them, HOLY MOTHER!  You’ve just raced to the front of the line, haven’t you?!?

And, I mean, for what? For making a doodly little list!!!

Yes, there’s more to it than making a list, but writing down your goals is the first step to success.

May I suggest you pin that, tweet it, print it out, hang it up, and stick it to your forehead, because it’s THAT TRUE.

 

My hunky hubby once asked me how many goals I had.

And my answer was in the triple digits.

I don’t think he was expecting that!  HA!

Yes, it’s true that I have more goals than the average person. But I also achieve a lot more than the average person!  I think there’s a correlation there, don’t you?

 

3 step solution to your dreams coming true!

So if you really want your dreams to come true… here’s your three step formula to success. Around here I’d make some fancy dance reference, but I am really fucking uncoordinated and can only dance The Running Man and The Leonie Crazy Dance. But pretend I’ve made a punny dance reference, and we can both pretend to be cultured normals, okly dokly? HIGH FIVES!

Enough of the ridunkulous, here’s the juice…

goals infographic part 2

 

Step 1. Write down your goals.

Step 2. Review them.

Step 3. Achieve amazing, mind-blowing success

Your Mission This Month

So wanna be successful? Wanna be that top 1%

Schedule in a goal-check THIS MONTH.

If you did do some goal-setting in January, maybe in the form of the 2014 Create Your Amazing Life Workbook, go back and look at them this month.

You can:

  • do it RIGHT NOW
  • schedule an artist’s date with yourself to check-in
  • or see if your mastermind wants to review together (PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY ROCKS!)

How many have you done? How many have you started? How many just don’t even resonate with your path any more?  What’s the next one you should tackle?

And if you HAVEN’T done any goal setting in a while, then let’s have a little reviewsie of how to do it properly!

teadate

Goals keep my actions in line with my intentions.

If you haven’t written any goals lately…

or you haven’t achieved any of the goals you did write…

or you honestly don’t KNOW if you’ve achieved the goals you wanted to… (It happens!!)

Chances are, you weren’t being specific enough, my lovelies.

Goals are like small children: they need very specific instructions!

If you wrote down, “I want to rock my launch this month!” how will you really know if you rocked it?  I mean, what does rocking it look like? Is it 100 sales? 5 sales? 5,000 sales?  And what if you got a good number of sales, but not quite as many as you hoped for, but you did get some good press from it, and a few new signups to your list, but again not as many as you’d hoped and—

WOAH.

Maybe it would be easier to have a goal like:

I will reach 300 people who need this product with this launch.

Boom.  Done.

And will you know when you’ve reached that goal? You bet you will!  Cross it off and pop the champagne!

What about personal goals?  Should your goal say, “I want to spend more time with my family,” or—

I will have switch-off Sundays when I step AWAY from the computer and spend the day with my family.

It’s a lot easier to tell if you’ve achieved that then “spend more time with” right?

So let’s review our steps again:

Step 1. Write down your goals

Step 2. Make them über specific

Step 3. Review them

Step 4. Wild, amazing, unbridled success!

Once you know the specific goal – the number, the time frame, the people – you’ll know when it’s tick-off-able.

And let’s be TOTALLY HONEST: there’s really nothing better than crossing something off your goals list, is there?

I don’t think so!

So, look at this as your friendly neighborhood reminder to get off your duff and get yer goal setting on!

Get out your Create Your Amazing Life Workbook (or go get yourself one!), review your goals, and make them happen!

Goal setting is practical magic, my lovelies, and you can make it happen today.

To all your biggest dreams,

2014leoniegoddesscolour

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Goodbye to the Grand Mother http://leoniedawson.com/goodbye-grand-mother/ http://leoniedawson.com/goodbye-grand-mother/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:50:37 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19211 My grandmother made her rainbow journey back into the light a few nights ago. She was a month away from turning 97. My father sat with her, holding her hand, as her breathing faltered, then stopped in the twilight. He tells me this with tears. “I‘ve never been with someone as they died,” he says, crying, soft, still. I am proud of him for bearing witness, for tending the woman who had been his mother-in-law since he was 21. Proud of him for being a [...]

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goodbyemygrandmother

My grandmother made her rainbow journey back into the light a few nights ago. She was a month away from turning 97.

My father sat with her, holding her hand, as her breathing faltered, then stopped in the twilight. He tells me this with tears. “I‘ve never been with someone as they died,” he says, crying, soft, still. I am proud of him for bearing witness, for tending the woman who had been his mother-in-law since he was 21. Proud of him for being a son to a woman who wasn’t his mother, but was the grandmother of his children.

I’ve shared about my grandmother before here with you many times.

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She, the one who taught me one of the secrets of the elders. She, the one who put the grand in grandmother, who rode see-saws like a whooping cowgirl when she was a much younger ninety (!!!) year old.

My grandmother was a Grand Old Dame. She taught me so much about the keeping and cultivating of happiness. She was naughty and irreverent and sharp as a whip. She carried sexiness and brashness into her nineties. She flirted with men three decades younger than her. She dressed better than me every day of her life.

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Some of my favourite memories of her:

14 years ago, when I first brought Chris home to meet my family. She proceeds to tell him over lunch about the new black bra she just bought and lifted her shirt to show him, laughing raucously.

Having to have her ladder confiscated from her because she’d climb the pawpaw trees everyday at precarious angles to get some fruit for breakfast.

At her ninetieth birthday bash, she rolled up in a vintage classic. She flashes her legs as she get out, dressed up like the queen with pearls. We wolfwhistle. She lifts her skirt higher:

“I’ve got the best legs in Proserpine! Always have!”

She was right.

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But it wasn’t just her showgirl sense of humour, her refusal to grow old, her determination to live life on her own terms.

She was more than that. She was a consummate carer, an earthy earth angel.

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She still worked three days a week up until just a moment or so ago, volunteering at the op shop.  She was intuitive and knew everything that was happening for everyone before they breathed a word of it.

She had a way with children and adults alike. She coaxed them with lollies and smiles and laughter and compliments. She cared for everyone within arms reach. She touched thousands of lives with her kindness, her spark and her smile.

I made this artwork about her many years ago:

grandmotherart

Whenever I’d mention I was from Proserpine, people would invariably know my grandmother, that lovely happy lady at the op shop.

And of course, you know, she was human too.

She was “splendidly imperfect” as the author SARK would say.

As she would always remind me,

there’s a little bit of bad and a little bit of good in everyone.

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She began her journey of dying not long after Beth was born. When Beth was just a few weeks old we decided bundle up our precious bundles for one last hurrah with her. It took us days in the car to see her. And it was worth it just to lay her newest great-grandchild in her arms. A crying Beth fell fast asleep there in the embrace of ancient kin.

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Then opened her eyes… soft, awake, comfortable again.

*

My love and I talked about the joyous homecoming Marion would be having this morning. How she’d be embraced by her parents, her large clan of siblings, her two husbands, her two sons, her grandson (my brother) but most of all her beloved dog Toby who will be just beside himself to be by his one true love and light’s side again. Toby was a consummate pest to everyone except her. He nipped at all heels except hers. Marion was his queen. She was everyone’s queen.

Marion Lucy 1998

Granny & her beloved sister Lucy… in the nineties…

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and not long before Lucy passed…

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ninety odd years of sisterly love…

There must be one heck of a party happening up there.

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She was the triple of my goddess. With her gone, I’m no longer the maiden.

And as much as we knew she was dying… as much as I know she was ready to go… as much as I know she had the greatest innings a person could have…

Still, it is a different world without her here.

A quake has taken place in my world. A hole where her strength, compassion, vivid spirit resided so loudly and unequivocally.

What is a world without my grandmother?

A great tree has fallen in my forest.

So grief weaves its soft ways throughout my days. I know this old song by now. I’ve lived it many times before.

There is nothing to do but be with it.

There is no way to self-help your way out of grief.

Just listen. Let it weave its way through your life.

If you turn away from it, it will wait. It will wait until you cannot turn away from it anymore.

So I try and take it slower. Give the stillness a chance to heal my heart.

Give my breath a chance to be caught.

Give the forest some time to mend.

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Gran, we will miss your sweetness, your silliness, your humour and the way you showered us with love.

But we will always, always be blessed that you were born and that you lived.

Always love,

granleones

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How to Motivate Yourself to Take Action (When You Feel Like Staying in Bed) http://leoniedawson.com/motivate-take-action-feel-like-staying-bed/ http://leoniedawson.com/motivate-take-action-feel-like-staying-bed/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:01:57 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19085 We’ve all been there. On the days you might feel unmotivated and uninspired. Days when you feel like it’s hard to get yourself going and excited about tackling your to-do list. So: what to do? How to fix it? How to get yourself back into the swing of things? First step: Are you unmotivated or are you burnt out? One is when your world is feeling depleted and you actually need to fill up your inspiration well, or get out of the house and stop [...]

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howtogetmotivatedevenwhenyouwanttostayinbed

We’ve all been there.

On the days you might feel unmotivated and uninspired.

Days when you feel like it’s hard to get yourself going and excited about tackling your to-do list.

So: what to do? How to fix it? How to get yourself back into the swing of things?

First step: Are you unmotivated or are you burnt out?

One is when your world is feeling depleted and you actually need to fill up your inspiration well, or get out of the house and stop working.

The second is what I call the common flu symptoms of procrastination.
This is really important for you to check in and work out.
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Because I can give you all the motivation tips under the sun. But I’d say about 10% of you who are reading this aren’t actually unmotivated, you’re burnt out. And it’s just not the season for you to be pushing.
No amount of pushing will heal burn out. Here’s what will.

So check-in to yourself. Are you burnt out? Or are you unmotivated?

If you are feeling truly depleted and burnt out, you need to honor that feeling—even if it means not getting that thing done today.

So first and foremost, make sure that you’re aware of whether you’re actually in a place of needing a legitimate break to restore your energy, or if it’s just common flu procrastination and you just need to get some shit done because you’ll feel better about it afterward.

Here’s a helpful flowchart:

Why Am I Procrastinating SML

If you’re just feeling the common flu symptoms of procrastination, the best cure is to get some shit done!

To me, if I’m just having common flu symptoms of procrastination, I always remember that I actually feel a lot better after I get something done.

If I sit around in procrastination all afternoon, I am going to feel kind of pissy and grumpy and grouchy.

So I ask myself:

“What could I do now that I actually feel interested in doing?”
or
“Do I just set a time to work on this one thing I’m really putting off?”

I’ve talked about Brian Tracy’s great book, Eat The Frog before, and that’s what he calls doing that thing you’re putting off – eating the frog.  The old saying goes, “If the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you all day!” In other words,

Do the thing you want to do the LEAST, first.

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I notice when I’ve got something on my to-do list I’m kind of avoiding because – I don’t  feel like doing it, but I know it’s really important and needs to be done, I just gum through and get as much done in an hour, because it feels SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better to have things finished than for it to still be on my to-do list and have done sweet frickall nooooothing!

Example time: something I put off for MONTHS was rewriting all of my email auto-responders. I knew it had to be done, but I avoided it and felt grumpy about it.
I just knew I’d feel so much better after rewriting these 30 emails - it was messing with my creative mojo! So one day I told my accountability partners that I was going to complete them THAT DAY, I turned on my Self Control App, sat down over a two-hour block and just hammered them out. And guess what? I did feel so much better when they were done because they were out of my world.
They were finished, they were done, they’re out doing what they were meant to do.
And I was onto the next thing, instead of still procrastinating and being in major avoidance mode.
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Set a timer to help you eat your frogs.

One of the things that works best for me is setting a timer to focus on that froggy I don’t want to eat.

  • You can use a plain, ordinary kitchen timer, or the timer on your phone if you like!
  • I like the Self Control App because it actually blocks access to websites that are time wasters.
  • If you just want to time how long you work, the Awareness app is nice, because it sounds a Tibetan singing bowl after you’ve been working for an hour, to prompt you to take a break!

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Break big hairy scary tasks down into smaller bites.

If you’re really, really procrastinating about something, break it down into really miniature to-do steps because they’re so much easier to complete, and they’ll give you momentum to keep on going. When you put something like, “Launch new program,” or “Build website” on your to do list, that’s not helpful at all, duckies!  I mean, that’s like saying, “Be a better person,” or “End world hunger.” Yeah, that’s lovely, but HOW?? So when you have a big hairy, scary thing you’re procrastinating about, try breaking it down into much smaller tasks.

So if the overall goal is “Launch program,” you might have, “Write an outline,” “record one audio” or “email friend about offering a bonus” on your to do list. The other awesome-o thing about these smaller tasks is that when they’re done, they feel like a win!  They are little itty bitty successes that make you feel GREAT as you work towards your bigger goal.

Very, very important to give ourselves these wins, as it will increase our motivation to keep going!

Because remember - Momentum builds momentum!

momentum

Add the time to your to dos.

When you’re breaking down your list into smaller bites, make sure that if you’re procrastinating, you drill your to-do list down into bites that can be concluded in 20 minutes. If you’ve got a whole list of emails that need to be written, then you say I want to do 5 emails, and I’ve got 20 minutes to make that happen. That’s what works for me. That way, when you’re looking at your list you don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I only have an hour and that thing will take too long!” You can say, “I have an hour, so I can do these two or three things.” BOOM!  Done.  Success and forward motion!

And that’s what it’s all about, darlinghearts!  Forward motion.

Eat one frog a day and you’ll be well on your way to success!

Don’t care how ya need to make it palatable — whether you saute in garlic, deep fry, or create a vegetarian beanlog shaped into a frog… as long as it’s done, that’s what counts.

To your shining, divine success,

P.S. Six days before we begin!

Want to know how to shine your light even BIGGER + BRIGHTER in the world? Want to know how to help even more people with your gifts? Want to have a bigger impact? Want more financial abundance to nourish you, your family, your community, your world?

DOUBLE YOUR BIZ starts in 6 days!!!!

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Are Your Friends Setting You Up To Shine or Stumble? http://leoniedawson.com/friends-success/ http://leoniedawson.com/friends-success/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:08:54 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19080 Yo yo lovies, You know, as much as I would love-love-LOVE to just draw up a beautiful poster that I could give to every single one of you that would have IT – the single key to success in mastering the perfect biz and life — well, there’s just no such thing! There’s no ONE key to success, gorgeous. There’s lots of them. And that’s a good thing!  It really is, because you get to try as many keys as it takes to open the [...]

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SHINEORSTUMBLE

Yo yo lovies,

You know, as much as I would love-love-LOVE to just draw up a beautiful poster that I could give to every single one of you that would have IT – the single key to success in mastering the perfect biz and life — well, there’s just no such thing!

There’s no ONE key to success, gorgeous.

There’s lots of them.

And that’s a good thing!  It really is, because you get to try as many keys as it takes to open the doors you need.

But there is one freaking massive ole style brass success key that I’ve used many times, and it’s never done me wrong:

If you want to be amazing, surround yourself with amazing people.

There’s a famous quote from ze motivational speaker Jim Rohn aka Jimmy Jimmy Run Run aka JimBob aka No Not Really I Just Give EVERYONE Nicknames In My Head! Rightio… anyways, J-Ro said:

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

jimrohnquote

It’s sort of a law of averages thing: The people you hang out with the most are going to rub off on you a bit.

Have you ever hung around with a friend so long that you started talking like her?  Or maybe you have a fave biz person on the Internets that you follow, and you start to do things a lot like the way she does them.  Or you meet this woman you admire somewhere, and the more you hang out with her, the more you start thinking the way she thinks?

Law of averages.

Who do you spend the most time with pandabears?  I’ll wait while you make a list….

(And let’s leave off toddlers and pets for the time being.)

Now ask yourself: Do you like who’s on your list?

Do you like what that guest list says about the party you’re throwing with your life?

The type of people you surround yourself with tells the universe:

  • what level of consciousness you want to live at
  • the kinds of activities you spend your time doing
  • the ambitions you’ll have
  • the goals you’ll set
  • the goals you’ll achieve
  • what you’ll expect of yourself

It’s pretty flippin’ powerful stuff when you think about it.

And it’s something that loads of successful people understand.  Check this number out:

Warren Buffett Quote

Behind da scenes goss

I wrote a big ole behind-the-scenes of how I’ve used masterminds to double my biz for that thing I’m doing in a few weeks. And it made me remember how much J-Ro had inspired me with that quote.

Coz I remember looking at my list and thinking that as much as I adored my friends (and still do), I didn’t have many business friends that were at my level of business or higher. Not only that, I was the biggest income earner.

So I couldn’t really talk as much about where I was at, the next level I was coming up against, and how to tend to the next level of abundance.

Because here’s the thing – every step of this journey is a learning one. You don’t one day wake up and know everything about business. Even where I’m at – doing nearly 7 figures a year (!), I come up against stuff on a weekly basis where I think:

Ummm… WADDAFA? What does that mean? How do I do that? What do I do with this?

So it’s always learning, learning, growing, healing, evolving, implementing, all that stuff.

Anywaysies, I realised I was at a bit of a growth stalemate because I just didn’t really know other peeps who were headed in the same direction as me, and were at the same place, or were further along the journey with me.

So I ended up contacting a few women who I respected and who were in similar places to see if they wanted to connect more and have a little online space to connect. And we really cultivated it into a beautiful, empowering, dynamic space (i.e. turn the fuck up and share and help each other out every.single.day)

If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together

Anyways… it helped in soooo many ways.

Because all of a sudden I was surrounded by women who were doing better than me in lots of different ways.

Some of them were totally clued into investing. And I totally had to get my shit together and start learning about that because I felt a bit like a n00b.

Some of them were waaaaay smarter than me about business systems. So I totally learned so much just by osmosis. We all shared our resources and checklists together to bring all of us up together.

It became my new normal to be surrounded by a bunch of spiritual, successful, positive, empowered women entrepreneurs who adored their lives and were creating exactly the kind of life they wanted.

It’s a gamechanger to have changed my friend average to be set at such a high level.

(I gotta say too :: it’s really not a shallow thing either. The kinship I have with my mastermind is deep soul stuff too. We started off with talking spreadsheets + ended up with total kinship, kindness, support and love.)

surround yourself

Friendship Red Flags

I have a personal system for working out whether I can keep having a close friendship with someone.

I’m always talking about red flags. If they pop up, I either need to create some distance or step away completely.

I’ve definitely learned this the hard way. If I ignore my intuition, it ALWAYS comes back to bite me on the bum, and I realise WHY the red flags were popping up for me to begin with.

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Some red flags to be aware of, and be wary of:

  • If you feel physically or emotionally drained after seeing or talking to them, it’s NOT a good sign.
  • If your friend is always going through drama or negativity, it’s probably not a “hey I’m just going through a difficult time right now” and more of a “drama and stress are my preferred lifestyle“. That can get really tiring and no fun at all.
  • If you don’t feel supported.
  • If they only spend their time critiquing, judging or gossiping about other people — it will mean you’ll subconsciously become afraid of doing anything or moving forward incase they judge you too.
  • If you don’t feel like they can genuinely celebrate your successes and happiness with you.
  • If you don’t know people who are smarter, more successful, happier, creating bigger things or thinking bigger than you… you are in the wrong room.

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What do your peeps say about you?

When you look at your list, what do those people say about you?

Are they positive? Successful? Ambitious? Generous? Happy? Fulfilled? Soulful? Warriors?

Are they sleepwalkers? Energy vampires? Negative Nancies? Eeyores?

If you’re not loving what you see on your list, that can be a little disheartening.  Because those are your peeps, right?  They might be friends, coworkers, family members?  They might be people you feel like you don’t have any choice about associating with.

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What do you do when you don’t love what your 5 say about you?

Lovebugs, I know what it’s like to have people in your life that aren’t resonating at the same level you want to be at.

It can be soo freaking painful.  Just because they’re not in the same space as you doesn’t mean they’re bad people.

But if they’re not in it to be successful, or happy, or generous, or soul-centered, or whatever you hope to be…

They could still be holding you back.

It doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your lives completely.

It just means that you need to be intentional about how much time you spend around them, and how much time you spend cultivating relationships with the people who are headed along the same path you’re traveling.

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Who would be in your perfect inner goddess circle of 5?

I love this idea.  It’s like imagining the perfect dinner party, where the food is delicious and healthy, the weather is perfect, the table is beautiful, and nobody has to do the dishes!

At first you’ve got to ask yourself:

What kind of person do I want to be?

What are your goals? What are your dreams? Where do you want to be next year? In 10 years? What do you wish you had more of? Less of? What do you wish you knew how to do?

Then you might ask:

Who has walked that path before me?

Because guess what, darlinghearts? There’s nothing new under the sun!  And that’s a good thing, because somebody’s been there and done that before you! Somebody’s walked that road, fallen down, gotten all messed up, picked themselves up, and made it to the finish line!

And that means you don’t have to freaking redraw the map to get where you want to go.

You just follow somebody who’s already been there.

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Make your Goddess Circle List of 5:

Figure out who you want on your list and then plan ways to spend more time with them:

  • If it’s someone you know in real life, ask them round for tea, or out to lunch or whatever. Set up weekly emails with an accountability partner. Call somebody on the ding dang phone!
  • If it’s someone you’d like to know better, join a group they run, introduce yourself in person or via email, join them at yoga class or women’s circle or wherever they hang out.
  • If it’s an expert or a guru, read their books, subscribe to their blog, purchase one of their products, go to their lectures and conferences, participate however you can.
  • If you don’t know of any soul sisters who fit the bill, join a mastermind to find those who tread the same path as you.

All these intentional interactions with people who lift you up are going to raise your own vibrations.  They’re going to raise your own expectations of yourself, your life, your achievements.

Minimize the time you spend with the people who pull you down and hold you back.  Maximize your interactions with the people who lift your soul and feed your spirit.

Do that? And you can’t help but succeed and shine your light BRIGHT!

To your wild + divine success, my lovelies!

Want to know how to shine your light even BIGGER + BRIGHTER in the world?
Want to know how to help even more people with your gifts?
Want to have a bigger impact?
Want more financial abundance to nourish you, your family, your community, your world?

DOUBLE YOUR BIZ starts in 17 days!!!!

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Wanna double YOUR Biz? http://leoniedawson.com/wanna-double-biz/ http://leoniedawson.com/wanna-double-biz/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 06:53:01 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19089 Panda bears, As ya probs know, I’ve doubled (or even tripled!) my business, income, reach and impact each year since starting in business. And I’ve done it all working 15 hours a week because I have two sweet mermaid daughters to make art with and a hunky husbo to perve on and beaches to visit and all that scrumptious life stuff. I’ve learned a metric buttload of the actionable, practical things that make a massive difference in business. And I’m happy to share them with [...]

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Panda bears,

As ya probs know, I’ve doubled (or even tripled!) my business, income, reach and impact each year since starting in business.

And I’ve done it all working 15 hours a week because I have two sweet mermaid daughters to make art with and a hunky husbo to perve on and beaches to visit and all that scrumptious life stuff.

I’ve learned a metric buttload of the actionable, practical things that make a massive difference in business.

And I’m happy to share them with you, so you too can share your gifts on an even bigger level, help more people and receive more financial abundance for it.

It’s SUPER practical — like a massive to-do list of stuff you can start taking action on RIGHT NOW to see your business shift and grow.

My business colleagues have been teasing me about how cheap I’m offering this, but honestly, I don’t care. I would so much rather be able to help more people do what they love and earn a beautiful abundance from it.

It’s called

(funnily enough)

DOUBLE YOUR BIZ.

And it starts in 24 days.

Head on over and check it out, dearests.

I’m very, very proud of this offering.

And I’m honoured to share it with you so you can see a real change in your business and life too.

Big love,

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How To Hand Email Over To A VA http://leoniedawson.com/hand-email-va/ http://leoniedawson.com/hand-email-va/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 07:18:17 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=19061 Okaysies, so lately we’ve been talking about biz systems + organisational stuff in the Academy mastermind forum on Faceybookiewookie. And one sweetheart asked this question: How did you hand over your email to someone else to handle? Logistically, how did you do it and then how did you look after the bits that you actually would need to respond to for example; I work w my clients 1:1 and part of that is communicating with them directly over email as well as real estate agents. [...]

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howtohandyouremailovertoava

Okaysies, so lately we’ve been talking about biz systems + organisational stuff in the Academy mastermind forum on Faceybookiewookie.

And one sweetheart asked this question:

How did you hand over your email to someone else to handle?
Logistically, how did you do it and then how did you look after the bits that you actually would need to respond to for example; I work w my clients 1:1 and part of that is communicating with them directly over email as well as real estate agents. how would I manage the things I need to while outsourcing the rest?
Also what about subscriptions? Sometimes I want to read someone’s article/newsletter other times I don’t. How does my email fairy sort that out for me
How would you “check” to ensure all your emails are being answered by the VA and secondly that they are being handled the correct way!

My guess is a bunch of you are wondering the same thing.

So I thought I’d create a little how to to help ya’ll along on the path.

Here’s how to work it:

1. Decide it needs to happen. Preferably before you want to neck yourself.

At a certain point in your business you’ll realise you need to stop being the bottleneck in your business. That you simply can’t keep up with the emails. That they are stopping you from creating the strategy of your business and growing it intentionally.

You might also find these articles useful: 13 Steps To Hiring An Exceptional VA and How To Hire Staff When You Want To Do It All Yourself.

Either set yourself a date for making enough money to hire a VA.

Or come up with a plan of what you need to do in order to afford one.

Or if you are just procrastinating because you’re afraid… you’re going to have to jump and do it.

2. Hire ‘em

Use the steps in the hiring program to find your right team member.

3. Create your email Standard Operating Procedures

Write up a set of instructions on how to answer the common questions that come into your inbox.

Write the answers exactly how you want them answered. You want to get tone across as well in that personal style of how you like your customers to be treated. I prefer mine to verge on joyful sovereignty with love.

4. Automate

You can also make this a bit more automated by using canned responses in Gmail, or using a help desk email system like Help Scout.

5. Train ‘em

You’re going to need to have a convo (preferably over the phone/Skype/Google Hangouts) where you can communicate exactly what you want, including:

  • how often emails are to be answered each day/week
  • where they can find the email Standard Operating Procedures to use
  • what to do with emails they don’t know the answer to.

6. Be prepared for training time

It’ll take at least a couple of weeks before your new VA hits their stride in confidently answering emails. Be prepared for a lot of emails from them asking what they should do with emails that aren’t super simple.

7. Either pre-check or retro-actively check responses for coaching purposes

Either get your new VA to save drafts of emails for you to check before they are sent out, or go through and check email responses after they’ve been sent. Do this for at least for the first couple of weeks. Coach your new VA with what needs to change in order to make them the best they can be. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

8. Set up your own private email

This should only be given to peeps who absoloodely must have direct access to you.

For example, the only peeps who know mine are:

  • my team
  • my family/friends.

My team will answer emails to me for me – they either ask me for a response during our weekly team meetings on Google Hangouts, or I’ll send it from my private email to my VAs to send on.

9. How to handle email coaching clients

If you have private coaching clients who have email access to you, you can either give them your private email, or set up a coaching email address.

I’d suggest setting up a separate coaching email address. That way you’re less inclined to think “ohhhhh I’ll just check my email before I go to bed…” and wind up staying up half the night thinking about a response or deciding to just stay up and work.

That way you can have some lovely self-boundaries in place that you only check it once a day or three times a week and set aside time to respond then and there with some great, thoughtful responses. (Of course, you’ll need to communicate with your clients about your time frame for responding.)

10. How to deal with email subscriptions

Get your VA to unsubscribe from all that end up in your main email account.

Then – here’s my challenge to you – you can only sign up for ones to go to your private email account if you can remember them off the top of your head and still really enjoy them and find them useful.

Don’t look back on what you’re already subscribed to.

Just resubscribe to the ones you remember, use and love!

11. Have boundaries

Do NOT go into your business email account everyday after the training period for your VA is complete. Once you trust they are doing a great job, you need to either decide to not go in there at all (and instead just get updates about potential issues/changes to be made in team meetings), or do a review once a month or so and see if there’s anything that needs optimising on the customer service front.

12. You can also automate your customer service quality

My mate Laura Freaking! Roeder taught me this trick – if you use a service like Help Scout, you can install Team Hively to imbed a customer satisfaction rating in your emails. And then you can review that each month to see how your customer service is going!

13. Now Enjoy The Faaarrrck Outta Your Free Time (But Don’t Get Bloody Well Distracted!)

Make sure you don’t fill the vacuum of email-less time with other unimportant bullshit (social media, Imalooking at you).

Make sure you stay FOCUSSED on creating passive income, creating what needs to be created, driving your business forward. Put your CEO hat on and go to town!

You’ve got some big dreams to make come true.

Now go do ‘em!

Your loving fan,

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Master The Art Of Getting Unstuck & Into Action With These 4 Techniques! http://leoniedawson.com/how-to-get-unstuck/ http://leoniedawson.com/how-to-get-unstuck/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 06:56:52 +0000 http://leoniedawson.com/?p=18981 A coupla weeks ago, I challenged you to look at where you were feeling stuck in the details. (P.S. Did you do it? If not, try it right now!) A lot of times it’s things like: I can’t decide on a photo for my website - or - I don’t know how to write my bio - or - I can’t decide what colors this product should be - or - I don’t know which festivals I should go to. And if we just sit [...]

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howdoigetunstuck

A coupla weeks ago, I challenged you to look at where you were feeling stuck in the details. (P.S. Did you do it? If not, try it right now!)

A lot of times it’s things like:

I can’t decide on a photo for my website

- or -

I don’t know how to write my bio

- or -

I can’t decide what colors this product should be

- or -

I don’t know which festivals I should go to.

And if we just sit ourselves down and have a little CHAT and say, “It’s time to make a decision, goddess!” we can work through it.

And sometimes we are more deeply stuck.

Sometimes we are banging our heads against the kind of stuck that we can’t even articulate. We can’t give it a name or figure out what the decision we need to make even IS.

That is a deep, spiritual stuck.

I looooooove this quote:

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Stuck can be a lot of things. It can be coming against a wall of your own fear, where frustrations and self criticisms surface.  I have been stuck many times.  I have felt vulnerable and afraid and uncertain. I didn’t know how to face Athena, goddess of courage. I didn’t even know how to ask for what I wanted!

But every time, I have been able to come unstuck, and in doing that, I have found that it has broken my heart open to the world.

Here’s how:

1. I get honest about my stuckness.

And being honest about it helps me get unstuck.

You have to be honest about it with yourself, yuppers, but many times that means being honest with someone else.  OUT LOUD.

Sometimes I would go to my women’s circle or my mastermind and say: I’m stuck. I don’t know how to do this. I’m afraid.

And every time EVERY DAMN TIME those wise women would say exactly what I needed to hear.

You don’t need to learn it in two weeks, Leonie.

OR

Gentleness, gentleness.

OR

Speak your truth

OR

I believe in you.

That’s why I’m such a freaking advocate for developing these kinds of relationships. You DO have to spend time and energy in creating it for yourself. But the rewards of becoming an integral member of a mastermind or women’s circle is HUGE. Profoundly wonderous for you, your life, your spirit and your business.

If you haven’t found that kind of tribe yet, or if you have but don’t know how to maximise results from it, there’s a whole section in the upcoming Double Your Biz program devoted to it.

I’m such a devotee of those kind of powerful circles, and I really want to help you and women everywhere realise how much power, joy and love there is in creating and maintaing spaces like that.

So yus, tell someone else when you’re stuck. Shining light on it starts scaring the fear monster away.

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2. Make a plan.

Once you’ve come out with it and let it all out into the world, it’s time to do something about it.

Don’t just get bloody stuck in the circuit of feeling stuck.

Because, while I am all for tapping and affirmations and positive visualizations and meditation and yoga and so on, I am also even more for getting shit done.

Once you have figured out and acknowledged that you are stuck, you’ve gotsa make a plan and take a step to get UNstuck, pandas. Because guess what? Sitting around feeling stuck sucks balls. It’s unfun. It’s unexciting. Inertia breeds more inertia. Whereas movement creates more movement. Dreams come true when you get outta Stucksville. It’s a shitty town and nobody wants to live there. Don’t buy a house there. Just rent a hotel room for the night and then make a plan to get the frick out.

(I say that with love. Of course. Ha!)

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3. Pick ONE THING you can do right now, today, in the next hour, that might move you out of stucksville.

Notice I said MIGHT – you don’t have to be sure! You don’t have to know 100 percent that this thing will work.  You just have to bloody do it. Movement breeds movement. Movement makes miracles happen.

Here’s some ideas of shit to do to get you unstuck:

  • Do that one thing that you have been putting off.
    Have you heard the phrase, “Do the thing you want to do the least, FIRST”? It’s pretty true, and mighty empowering. Because if you can get the icky stuff out of the way up top, you’ll have way more space for the good stuff. Once you get it outta the way, you’ll free up way more energy and get excited to make more stuff happen. Brian Tracy (productivity guru + delish voice bearer) calls it eating the frog. Watch a video about eating ze frog here.
  • Declutter.
    Whenever I’m feeling tetchy and stuck, I look around me and there’s usually some clutter hanging around that’s harshin’ on my mellow. Ha!
    My desk is a big one. If it starts looking less like a flat meadow and more like mountainous terrain, I need to level it.
    Cleaning something out, getting rid of something that’s not serving you, making space for something new.
    And cleansing with sage/crystals + the usual hippy dippy methods work wonders for me too.
    (If you’re one of my Academy members: Use the Sacred Space Clearing Kit or Goddess Haven e-course)
  • Go for a walk.
    When I interviewed one of my creative heroes Julia Cameron, she said something that stuck with me. She said whenever she’s feeling stuck, she goes for a walk. That when she moves a muscle, she moves her mood. And it’s bloody true. Just try starting off for a walk feeling pissy. After just five minutes you’ll return in a different headspace where you were before.
    This is also a good hint for mamas out there. When my lil mermaids are having a freaking horror of a witching hour at 5pm, I pop them in the double stroller/Ergo, and we hoik it up the hill to go say hello to the horse down the road. Starry yabbers the whole way, Beth stares at the sky, and I take big ole gulping lungfuls of air. And things are always better by the time we turn onto our gravel road again.
  • Journal or goals time.
    It’s never the wrong time to make a goal! If you used our Create Your Amazing Life Workbook back in January, pull it out! Look at what you wrote. Tear it up and do it again if things have changed. Start fresh. Blank sheet of paper and your favorite colors. Get out your favourite journal. Let it all pour out. Things will change.
  • Get some education into ya.
    If you don’t know where to start with getting unstuck, then I suggest education. Learning from someone who has done what you want to do gives you a whole new perspective. It literally rewires your brain. Education FOREVA!!! (Like right now, I’m doing a graphic design program, a self help course and revisiting a business program. Learning is everything!) Of COURSE, I think the Academy is a pretty rad place to start coz I pour so much into it, but only you can decide what you need.
    And DO NOT just buy a program and say you’ll do it; schedule time for education into your life and make it happen, whether it’s reading a book from the library, or doing an ecourse, or signing up for something at your local uni.

Try something. I can guarantee you will feel better simply for having moved.

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4. Know your limits (and get some support).

Now, all that sounds la la la lovely in a perfect world.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, love bugs.

We live in a world of depression and anxiety and hyperemesis gravidarum, and downsizing, and breaking up, and endings, and stress, and all SORTS of things that can throw us for a loop.

These are NOT your fault. They are NOT the universe punishing you or any of that kind of shit.

But they ARE real, they are important, they are notices from the universe that you’d better slow the fuck down and take a look at what’s really going on in your life.

And they are almost always a time when you need to reach out and get some support.

You’ve got to be honest about the support you need.

I think sometimes we believe we’re supposed to be able to do it all. We’re supposed to heal ourselves and be perfect at this thing or that thing, and never get angry, and never need help, and -

BULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLSHIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!! (I’m saying that in a loud, sing-song voice.)

All those shoulds are SO not true. They are misconceptions. And they can cause such pain when we believe in them.

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You are who you are.  You need what you need.  You must ask for the help you want.

My hunky hubby and I have a pretty amazing relationship, and a big huge ginormous part of that is being able to say to each other, “Hey! You’re acting a little bonkers! Do you need some help?”

But if you don’t have someone in your life that knows your particular brand of crazy well enough to call you out on it, you’re going to need to say to them:

I need some help.

Such big, scary, amazing words.

Maybe you need some help with childcare, or housework, or work-work. Maybe you need someone to talk to like a coach or a therapist or just a BFF. Maybe you need some medication to make all those chemicals in your brain function the way they were meant to. Maybe you need a massage or some acupuncture or whatever woo woo works for you.

Whatever you need, I’m here to tell you right now: it’s OK!  It’s OK.

It’s so very normal and human to not be able to do EVERYTHING all on your own.

It’s 100% okay and totally wonderful to accept and invite support into your life.

Because here is the secret, lovebugs:

When you do the things you need to do to get unstuck, the whole world will break wide open for you.

You will see that you had the courage you needed all along.

You will realize that you were able to be honest, even when you were afraid of speaking your truth.

You will see that the THING you thought was insurmountable, was totally doable.

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You are amazing.

Don’t sell yourself short by allowing yourself to stay stuck.

SO much love, movement + magic to you,

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