Pregnant Goddess Diaries: Week 19

Hola beautiful women sisters,

It’s that pregnacious goddess tradition again… my own honest, crumpled, lovely diaries of being pregnant.

This week, I talk about being a flexitarian, and other very important sharings from the pregnacious journey… so important that I’ve since forgotten in the 24 hours between here and making this video.

I used to have the memory of an elephant, now I have the memory of a goldfish, but I don’t really care. I feel like I’m floating along in a big wide happy soft ocean, so anything else doesn’t really matter.

And, as always the rules are as such:

1a.) I will make them as honest as possible

1b.) I will not make things sound deeper/better/lovelier than they are

2.) I will do them exactly as I am (hello bed-hair and inside-out-pyjamas)

3.) I will try really, really hard not to make any excuses about them (that I frequently forget things during them, that I may not sound grateful for being pregnacious, that my fringe is untamable)

But first… Gigglefest!

We were given our first baby sling yesterday… and I thought I really should get some babywearing practice in!

Thus I invented a new sport! Puppywearing! hee hee hee!

Angelcakes rather enjoyed it, and she was the most quiet & soothed she has ever been… hmmm… there must be something in this 😉 hee hee hee!

My 19 week pregnacious diaries…

Mama Goddess Journey – Week 19 from Goddess Leonie on Vimeo.

If you’re wanting to catch up on all the pregnacious stories and videos, head on over to the Mama Goddess page.

And guessa whatta?

It’s the best week ever!

20 weeks pregnant… my parents arrive Wednesday, on Thursday it is my birthday, we have our first ultrasound & we see merchild for the first time AND we find out what we are having!!! Best birthday surprise ever!!! Then on Friday my lil sis arrives, and my family womenfolk will be communing with my women’s circle for a sacred blessingway ceremony they are holding for me.

I am so, incredibly blessed.

big love,

The Importance of Regular Solitary Retreats

Hola gorgeous Goddesses,

Whenever I can, I answer an Ask Goddess Leonie question. To get your question answered, just add your question here.

A sweet and shining goddess asked this question:

Would you consider sharing some ways you focus on cave time?

I talk about having “cave-time” quite a lot… and it’s become even more important for me since becoming pregnant. I think we all need cave time – as women, and as souls, wherever we are on our journeys.

First of all… what is cave time?

When I was a kid, I did a whole lot of cave time – I’d go out into the world to go to school, then come back home and need some solitude to get back to my core again. I was a bit of a sensitive kidling {as I think we mostly all are} – I didn’t really enjoy too many outside connections, found it hard to make friends (I just wasn’t that interested) and would feel overstimulated when I wasn’t at home. I needed some of my own cave time at home everyday. My cave time meant reading piles of fiction books (Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl) , sitting in trees and spending a lot of time with my German Shepherd best friend Clancy, and my horses Dawn & Rebble.

When I went to boarding school when I was 16, I was in a dormitory of 20 other girls – we didn’t have rooms, we had dividers. Holy energy overload batman! I found cave time again by making my own little divided space a sanctuary of my own artwork, photographs, quotes and beautiful things. I’d escape back home to the farm whenever I could to eat hot bread with mum, sleep and be out amongst nature again, away from everyone else. It was like coming back home to myself.

I didn’t have a name for what I was doing – I just did it instinctually.

The Medicine Wheel

I first heard the words “cave time” in my first women’s circles. Finally – a name for that Thing I Knew.

I was taught this:

In the Native American spiritual tradition, the Medicine Wheel teaches us the four directions of life.

North – the place of earth – where we learn to walk our talk out in the world, supported by our ancestors.

East – the place of air – where the new day is born. It is the place of inspiration and new ideas.

South – the place of fire – the place of passion, energy, fertility. The hot summer of the wheel.

West – the place of sea – the place of introspection.

With each circle of the medicine wheel – where we walk our talk, gather new ideas and bring them to fruition, we return to the West, to go into our caves.

When you know it’s time to go to the Cave

Once I learned the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, those feelings & knowings that had always been inside me made sense. And as I began walking the Medicine Wheel within those circles, I learned how each direction felt. I’m a soul who loves to share and be out in the world, connecting & gaining inspiration. But after a while, my spirit begins to feel as though it has been out in the sun for too long. A little bit of soul sunburn maybe? hee hee hee!

How do you know when it’s time to go to the cave?

You might have feelings of rawness, or soul sunburn. You might be taking on too much of other people’s energy/story/worries. You might feel like you’ve forgotten your soul’s own song and that you’ve been listening to others too much. You might feel exhausted and depleted, with nothing left to give to others or yourself. You know you’ve reached Cave Time when all you want to do is pull the blanket over your head, and hide out in bed for a while.

When I have those feelings of soul sunburn, I know it is time to gather my bundle, and head West again… to find my cave, to sit in silence, to be introspective, and feed myself first.

Then… when the time is right, and I feel restored in my soul, I feel the callings to walk North again. After time in the West, North feels like remembering how to walk my talk and stay in my own spirit.

How can you do cave time?

Cave time is a way of honouring your body and soul’s need to not be “out there” in the world permanently – and a way of remembering your own spirit, essence and wisdom.

I’m not a girl who does 100% retreats – the idea appeals to me, but if I waited for the time/energy/opportunity to do a silent, solitary retreat for three days, it just wouldn’t happen.

Instead, I do cave time intuitively, instinctually and as simply as I can. Usually it involves not answering calls, taking a few days away from answering emails, not doing any “shoulds”, staying at home, not reading websites and just being quiet.

Here’s some ways you can “do” cave time:

  • Give yourself a break from answering phone calls. Or let the phone go to answering machine, and only pick up if you really want to talk.
  • Put an autoresponder on your email explaining you are on retreat and will answer emails in a week (or however long you need).
  • Only watch TV that you know will be nourishing to you – watch inspiring documentaries, hilarious comedies or spiritual movies.
  • Stop reading other people’s websites. This is a big one. Stay in your own energy for a while.
  • Have a total media break.
  • Book in HOLIDAY on your calendar for at least a day. This means you can’t schedule anything in on those days.
  • Baths. Quiet time. Sitting in the sun. Meditation.
  • Feel free to not contact anyone at all. Maybe you’ll still want to contact your small circle of friends. Maybe there will be a circle of people you don’t want to contact at all. Honour what you need.
  • Read, write, journal, paint – but not for outside consumption. Just for you.
  • Give yourself a big permission slip to not care what other people think or feel right now.
  • Have what my love likes to call “LBWs” (Lazy Bastard Weekends). LBWs are sumptuous and fun. The rules: Do only what is lazy.
  • Close off as many outside connections as you can to replenish your own energy, and remember your own gifts.

But how do you actually make time for the cave?

Making Cave Time a cycle for you

I forgot about Cave Time earlier this year and had the suckiest of burnouts.

And then I remembered: There are four directions. Instinctually, I need to honour that a quarter of my time needs to be spent in varying degrees to the West.

How I make this a reality is that every month, I have a week where I don’t take appointments. I go to my cubicle job, but I don’t make a crazy to-do list outside of that. I don’t do coaching calls that week, and I don’t do too much work that requires me to give out too much energy into the world. I just get to sit and breathe and look at my journey from the safety, gentleness and protection of my cave again.

Here’s some ways you can make Cave Time part of your cycle:

  • Do Switch Off Sunday on weeks that you can.
  • Make it a priority. Repeat after me: Burnout sucks. I will not go there.
  • Have a LBW at the turn of each season.
  • Can you somehow incorporate some cave-time for 25% of your time – a day and a bit each week, or a week each month?

I so hope this helps you sweet soul…

brontosaurus-sized hugs,

Birthing Stories: Three very different, very magical births

I’ve been craving circles of women who have experienced birthing, wanting to hear their sacred stories. I’m so grateful & blessed that mamas from around the globe have agreed to speak their stories to me, and to us… I want to weave a woven wicker basket of mama’s birthing stories for us all to hear in our hearts.

This week, I’m so excited – the precious Goddess Nina Beana shares the beautiful birthing stories of her three chillens. Goddess Nina is a mama, doula, lover & artist.

I’ve been blessed to have three very different, very magical births.  Each child was born in a different city, in a different hospital, with a different caregiver.  Each birth says a bit about my child and their personality, and a bit about where I was at on my own journey as a mama.

My first birthing : Gray

Gray, my first, arrived almost 9 days late, and quickly. it was intense, and a journey that involved me learning to trust in the unknown.  As I was walking into the hospital lobby to be induced, which I was kind of bummed about, my water broke with a huge splash. I will always remember that wonderful feeling of release, and the bright red skirt I was wearing at the time.  I still think of that exciting, there’s-no-going-back feeling that i had at that exact moment.  I was clueless when it came to all things birth, but by choice.  During my pregnancy, I avoided any shows, books, or magazines about the birthing process.  I desperately wanted to trust in my intuition and not be influenced by any outside sources.

I was so grateful to have my husband, a beautiful scottish nurse with a thick accent, and a midwife who kissed my face at my lowest moments (sounds inappropriate but really saved me).  What worked best for me was closing my eyes the whole time, and going to a deeply primal place.  There’s something so amazing about being handed your first child on your chest-  I remember feeling this huge “here she is” kind of feeling and having all the pain being swept away as soon as I saw her.

My second birthing: Joey

Joey, my second babe, began his journey a bit early, while I was Christmas shopping.  I look back and laugh because I remember being in the store, knowing I was in labor, and just thinking “I have to get this one last gift!”.  Then, still knowing I was in labor, I went to a pizza party, and then proceeded to make my best friend look at my bloody show in the bathroom (totally best friend worthy material!).  This time around, I knew what I was getting myself into as far as labor and delivery and I was pretty stoked.  I took a shower and labored in the bathroom at home while my husband ate leftover pizza from the party and my best friend gathered up magazines and things to take to the hospital.  I kept jokingly yelling through the bathroom door “I’m in labor here!  But you guys just chill out and eat!  No problem!”.

Joey also came fast and furious once we arrived at the hospital.  This time around, I used lots of walking around and depended on the kindness of the nurses to get me through.  I used an OB for Joey’s birth and it was a very different kind of experience for me, especially since I had been trained as a doula.  His birth was special and unique in its own way, teaching me to cultivate strength and courage from myself and a support team, other than the OB.  I learned the importance of having a loving support team in place!  The second time around, I felt more confident and less afraid of what lay ahead.  Joey has a big, beautiful head and I still remember thinking, “If I can birth him, I can birth anything!”.

My third birthing : Lulu

I’m still reeling from Lulu’s birth, my third.  She’s just nine months now, so it’s still somewhat fresh.  It was the kind of birth I had always dreamed about.  The third time around, I had gathered my tribe, and was supported by my friend Shannon (mama of four little ones and acting as my doula), my nurse (who was also a mama and a doula), my husband (who was a seasoned birth coach at this point), and my new midwife who was literally sent from above.  I also collected objects that I could draw power from during the labor from mamas in my life –  a bundle of sage, a necklace, a mama bear bead.  Just having these things next to me while birthing made me feel stronger.

While things didn’t go as planned (i was induced, had high blood pressure, and there was some worries about Lulu’s health), I learned to bask in the help offered by my team, and to let my body be open to any possibilities.  We walked as a group, we used the birthing ball, we all rocked together.  I had visitors in and out during my labor – my dad even came in at one point to give us some laughter and town gossip!  It was pretty magical, if I do say so myself.  Lulu arrived after a brief, very intense active labor.  Safe, healthy, and much bigger than originally anticipated.  Her head, however, was smaller than Joey’s (of course!) and she felt much easier to push out. 🙂  My midwife snuggled in my bed afterward, debriefing about her birth.  Her taking that time with me, even though it was 2am and she had to be at her office in the morning, made me realize how lucky I was to have found such a perfect midwife the third time around.

What I’ve learned from birthing…

After birthing my own children, my work as a doula feels so much more intense, in the best way possible.  While circling my friends and clients during their own births, I feel myself opening up for them, feeling along with them.  It’s really one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Through each of my own births, I found that my best technique was trusting in myself.  When I learned to trust in the process and say affirming things like “I can do this,” instead of negative things like “I can’t do this any more”, birthing felt easier.  Trusting that my body knew what to do made the process feel more manageable.  And of course, holding those sweet babes on my chest at the end of labor was the sweetest, sweetest reward.

Thank you so much dearest Goddess Nina… for your wisdom, honesty, authenticity and courage. Your stories are precious, and touch my heart. Thank you for adding your birthing stories to this womens wicker basket so we may all learn from them, and hear what we need from them…

To check out more Birthing Stories and the rest of my mama goddess posts, head over to the Mama Goddess page.

Women are amazing!

Five years in a Goddess’ life (and blog)

I’ve been blogging for over five years ago… a true journal of my journey.

Tonight I went back and found one post from each of those Novembers that are signposts from my journey.

In November 2004, I walked a labyrinth.

It was my first time in a woman’s gathering, and we walked a sacred labyrinth in the bush on a divine, womb-like retreat.

Joining that women’s circle is the single thing that has changed my life. It awakened within me a knowing that women’s work was what I would do for the rest of my life.

Blissful and soulful and true.

In November 2005, I had my first day at work as an artist.

After wandering around my dreams, I took a big, deep breath and a leap.

I started working part time so once day a week I could paint, and write, and grow, and share… doing the thing that filled my heart with bliss.

In November 2006, I celebrated my birthday on a mountain.

(Picture above)

I had started running my own circles, and was becoming my own best friend.

I did what any best friend would do, and organised a birthday celebration in the mountains.

In November 2007, I posted namaste from India.

My dream come true.

I remember writing that post:

We were staying in a marble hotel in Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal. Across the road, there were families living beneath tarp, and dredging the gutters with water buffalo. The internet access was a tiny shack beside the hotel where most of the computers didn’t work, and the internet kept dropping out.

All my life, I knew I had to go to India.

And I was finally there.

In November 2008, I ran my first Creative Goddess workshop here in Canberra.

After running my first three-day retreat, then one-day retreat, the Creative Goddess workshop was born in Canberra one year ago.

It was a precious day filled with paint and children and circles and revelation. Pure joy.

That workshop became the inspiration for the online Creative Goddess e-Course, which began Goddess School… and the beginning of a whole new story for me and my spirited business dream-come-true.

All these things… all happening in November, my birth month.

From one small labyrinth, a whole journey of spirit and art and love and dreams-come true unfolded.

I couldn’t have known how my life would be changed in five years, and what blessings I would find.

And I cannot know where the next five years of this journey will take me either… I only know that wherever it takes me,

it will change me,

and it will all be perfect.

It’s true.

Excited to announce… the next big dream! Crystalbrook Retreat

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

I’m so so so so so so so excited to announce the next big beautiful dream that we are creating!

It’s bigger than big… wild big… ginormous big…

My family is converting part of our farm into a spiritual community with acreage blocks that people can build their own sanctuaries on… and eventually, I’ll be living there too and creating a retreat centre!

Our little place in the world is such special land, and we really believe that it would be so beautiful to be able to share it so that others can live there too and experience it and be blessed by it. I know that land forms a huge, huge part of who I am, and it has been a healing place in my life since I was born. And it would be amazing to create a spirited, joyful community there – of healers, artists, teachers, families, spiritually-minded people and people who are passionate about natural living.

Crystalbrook Retreat video

Crystalbrook Retreat from Goddess Leonie on Vimeo.

Part of Crystalbrook Retreat has been reserved for a retreat centre that will be used for workshops and retreats. Eventually, we would love to host teachers from all over the world to bring their beautiful teachings & healing work to Proserpine.

We’ve already created a meditation labyrinth and crystal grid at the retreat, and we are working with the animals, trees and angels of the land to make it the most joyful, spirited space.

How you can be a part

You can buy your own part of Crystalbrook Retreat and build your own sanctuary there. Blocks available for sale range in shape and size from 5-15 acres and include rainforest, woodland, bushland, watercourses and open land including areas for council approved house sites.

If you know of anyone that is looking for their own sanctuary or might be interested, please, please do let them know about Crystalbrook Retreat. We really, really want this beautiful dream to become true!

You can also become a fan of Crystalbrook Retreat on Facebook.

About Crystalbrook Retreat

The retreat is nestled against the Clark Ranges, near Proserpine and Airlie Beach in the beautiful Whitsundays.

Crystalbrook Retreat is a special place – it is a haven for native wildlife including the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby, butterflies, lizards, possums and gliders. We’ve also got so many gorgeous birds – including rainbow lorikeets, kingfishers, kookaburras, parrots, honeyeaters and rosellas. The retreat land has seasonal natural watercourses, a healthy ecosystem and untouched virgin fertile rich black soil.

You’ll be able to grow your own vegetables, keep horses, be hobby or organic farmers, create habitat for wildlife… or just keep beautiful space & earth around you.

We so believe that we need more communities of conscious, joyful, positive people… living closer together & closer to the land.

We’re really excited to be able to open up our farm for other people to share in… and believe this is the beginning of a big, precious new destiny.

Want to know more?

To find out more about Crystalbrook Retreat and the community we are creating here, check out:

  • What it’s like to live here
  • Land for sale
  • Photos
  • Our Vision
  • About the area
  • About us
  • The Crystalbrook Retreat blog
  • Subscribe to our mailing list.

And if you’d like to know any more information, or find out about how to buy your own part of Crystalbrook Retreat, please do contact us.

To big, big dreams

Thank you so much for being you…

I’m so excited and blessed to share this new unfolding with you ~ do let me know what you think!

Big love,