Today’s guest post is by the inspiring Linda Joy. As publisher of Aspire Magazine, the premiere inspirational magazine for women and host of the highly-successful Inspired Living Secrets series, Linda Joy’s passion permeates all of her inspirational multi-media brands. Reaching close to 30,000 women, each brand is dedicated to supporting and empowering women with a Universal message of hope, love and self-empowerment.
As you know, I very rarely accept guest posts, but each year I like to invite some gorgeous, passionate, inspiring women to share their new year dreams, goals + miracles.
The more we hear of women dreaming big dreams and making them happen, the more it will become the “new normal” and fuel us to do just the same.
Introducing darling Linda!
I just had to reach out personally to send you a great big luscious hug of Gratitude for creating the answer to my creative soul’s prayers.
For those who already follow one or more of my inspirational multi-media brands you’ve already figured out that I am a very creative, visual person who lives, leads and creates from my heart. So, the very idea of planning, scheduling and all of linear thinking stuff has been something I’ve had to work on –especially running multiple multi-media publishing brands serving close to 30,000 women that live and thrive on DEADLINES. (I must say I’ve done darn well with it but at times the entire linear process can leave a creative soul like me feeling boxed in.)
A little over three weeks ago I was organizing my desk and files in preparation for taking two weeks off over Christmas and New Years to enjoy the holidays with my family. (A big step for me to take that much time off –but that’s another story.) As you know, this time of year also means getting ready for 2013 and planning out my year both personally and professionally. Each year at this time I generally spend hours in the big box office supply chain looking through yearly planners that always leave me feeling uninspired.
Until I found YOU my visionary friend!
My good friend and Online Business Manager Kim Turcotte knows me better than most – especially the side of me that struggles with finding a planning system that resonates with the truth of who I am. So when Kim reached out to me on that life-changing day three weeks ago to tell me that she had found the PERFECT planning calendars for both me and my business I responded with my typical anti-planner response “Sure you have….” I was suddenly silenced when she mentioned the woman behind the system – creative visionary Leonie Dawson – yes YOU. I stopped in my tracks – now this was a planning system I was open to hearing about.
Knowing me so well, Kim (an avid fan of yours) said “Just take two minutes to visit this webpage & call me right back.”
I have never been so inspired and excited about a planner before –ever. In fact, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning and couldn’t wait to work on them.
During the December Full moon window of Dec 27-29, I curled up each evening in my office ‘creative nook’ with my Zen buddy “Baxter” by my side. I spent those three delicious evenings surrounded by my planners, markers, pens and excitedly filled in the pages in the “Celebrating and Releasing 2012” sections of BOTH planners. At the height of the full moon I did my closing ceremony while listening to Karen Drucker’s beautiful music, Baxter on my lap and tears in my eyes. What a powerfully profound way to close out the year.
(BLESSINGS to you for such a sacred gift!)
Setting my Intention for 2013 – In Life and in Business
On New Year’s Eve I couldn’t wait to get all cozy with my Incredible Life and Business Planners. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Invoking 2013 sections that spoke to who I am not only as a woman but as a creative business visionary who leads, creates and plays from a heart-centered place.
Again I thank you for creating such a powerful tool that resonates with, supports and inspires creative, heart-centered women like me. I wanted to reach out to let you know that you are another woman closer to your goal of helping 10,000 women create incredible lives.
I will be in touch over 2013 to share the beautiful magic of what unfolds for me over 2013 –both personally and professionally. I’m honored our paths have crossed, Leonie keep up the blessed work.
You are such a passionate, inspiring woman Linda!
Bless you for all your kind words.
Thank you for sharing your big vision and dreams with us.
May all of us be inspired to put our dreams into action and change the world.
We’ll supply both Life and Business editions – whatever you feel would work for your clients will work beautifully!
Every single year since the beginning of the workbook, we have been donating them to non profit organisations. I’ve also run a meditation + goal setting retreat at a local safe house which was such a beautiful experience. Sharing the workbooks is my way of being able to visit even more places, helping raise spirits and creating change in the world.
This year we want to help even MORE.
Some examples of non-profits we’ve worked with before:
domestic violence programs
organisations working with low income, underprivileged or disadvantaged women.
As an FYI, I specify this is for women because the workbook’s content is definitely aimed at women.
Please note: workbooks are PDF (i.e. not printed, physical copies). We’ll provide you with PDFs and a licence to print as many as you need for your clients.
To apply for free workbooks for your clients, just fill out the form here + my lovely support fairies will be in contact in the next few days.
I’m SO delighted to work with even more organisations this year to help even more women grow, evolve, dream, hope, transform + make their own miracles happen.
Together, we’ll change the world. Totally believe and know that with my whole heart.
All my love,
P.S. If you know of anyone (social workers or organisations) this could help, please do share it along. Thank you so much!
And confronting every part of us that isn’t ready for it to be born.
It’s a great, deep vision quest.
Of course it’s okay and normal to be afraid of change. It’s understandable when parts of you quake in fear. You just don’t know what your world will look like at the end of this change, if you’ll be able to step up and do what is needed.
So I rise to meet (and crouch to hold) all the parts of me that aren’t yet ready.
I know all I need do is listen and their fears will be lessened.
Do the work that is needed to lessen the pain and severity of their fears.
Help them see that no matter what, they will be safe with me. Always. All of my selves.
I cry because I don’t fucking know what a million dollars is (as I said to Marissa “It’s like Monopoly Money! The only time I’ve ever glimpsed a million dollars is in that game! It’s like learning to speak a whole other language!”)
I cry because all the hurt, wounded, unresolved parts of me want to rise to the surface and be witnessed and healed and loved:
They are a part of me, but they are not all of me.
Just as the parts that are afraid in you are not all of YOU.
Because all of you includes the you that already knows how to do this. The You you will grow into along the way. The You you were destined to be. The You of profound power, grace, sovereignty and courage.
Whatever it takes – whatever works for you – do it.
You’re Not Meant To Stay Stuck In Fear
True shit, darlingheart.
You’re really not.
When parts of you feel fear, you’re not supposed to stay there, feeling it over and over again.
Ya gotta heal it. And then pull your big girl panties on, and do it anyway.
Your gifts and your biggest dreams are MEANT to come true in the world.
You are MEANT to play big and change the world in a BIG way.
You are destined to do this.
And it’s not always going to be a piece of piss. It’s not always going to feel like ease and comfort along the way. There will be parts that scare you, that take your breath away, that make you think “can I really do this?”
And then you do it.
You do it because it must be done.
You do it because it lights you up.
You do it to prove you can do it.
You do it because there is no other way.
You can’t just stay stuck. You can’t keep wondering. You can’t keep hoping that one day your ship will come in.
Instead, you become the best effing captain you ever can be. You set your course. You write your map. You make your mark on the world.
(It’s not a bad deal when you think about it – that $9.95 workbook contains the exact questions that doubled our business from $250k to $500k in a year. And we’ll be using it to plan out our first million dollar year this year! ROI (Return On Investment) is pretty dang high! Ha!)
But What If You Don’t Have Staff?
Just because you don’t have a team, a business partner or someone you can do your business planning with, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it!
Because here’s the joy of it:
you get to do it with your very own best friend for liiiiife, YOURSELF.
The very best kind of company you can get!
I remember deeply the first time I took a planning retreat for myself.
I didn’t have even an office to do it in, so I spent a full week (of my two hour work blocks) in cafes + at the park.
It made me get SO much clearer about where I was wanting to head, what I needed to do to get there + create the map to get there.
Then it’s just a matter of implementing the shit out of it, and waddya know:
The Dream Comes True!
I’m Not Being Superfluous Here… or Superficial.
Planning retreats ARE effing powerful on every single level… financial, business, spiritual, emotional, life.
If you’re not taking time to review, reflect + map out what changes are needed and what direction you need to take, you’re just getting swamped in REACTING instead of CREATING.
Ya get so busy studying trees, you forget to look at your whole forest and work out how it needs nurturing and expanding.
What’s more, it’s not just a left-brain analytical process.
My planning retreats are what I call “business attunements“. It’s like getting a reiki attunement – when you give yourself the time and space to allow yourself to expand into the next level, evolve and grow. For me, these planning retreats are like receiving the new download of the vision of my company, along with how I need to create it in the physical world.
And as the big expansion comes through, I often face fears and sadness inside me as parts of me resist the growth, change and transformation that is to come.
It requires a lot of tools to process through it: tears, journalling, intuitive healing, meditation, EFT.
In fact, I’m reading this with puffy eyes after a particularly huge day of reaching one of my “upper limits” (as Gay Hendricks calls it) and knowing it was time to let go of it. I know that those kinds of limits aren’t my soul’s truth… they are just fears that need to be heard and understood. So I listen and hear it out. Stay gentle with myself. Take a long bath afterwards. Lay down piece after piece of baggage that I’m no longer needing. Getting lighter, ready to fly higher.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up. And we’ll dive deep again.
Doing this huge, immense work of birthing a new miracle into the world.
My business is my comfort zone, and so I dove into that workbook first. It helped me get extremely clear about my vision and my goals. With her guidance, I got specific and dreamed even bigger than before! And I feel great about where things are headed.
The life workbook was a bit harder for me to work through. I have focused on my business for so long, and somewhere along the way – I took a backseat to all of the excitement surrounding my success. If you’re an entrepreneur, you most likely will be able to relate to this – we work so hard getting our dream off of the ground, and we put everything that we have into making sure that happens. We work around the clock. We live and breathe our work. And it seeps into every part of our being, especially if we love what we do (which I definitely do!).
But… one day, you may find that you wake up after years of pushing and try to find yourself. You look around and instead of seeing YOU, you see your business EVERYWHERE. You’re so wrapped up in your business that you are no longer sure what’s you and what’s your work.
That’s exactly where I was, and so I was extra grateful to Leonie for separating the two workbooks to help us see that they don’t have to be so enmeshed.
Thankfully, once I got into it, I found that I was still here – quietly waiting until I came back to myself. And I love that I never actually left, and I could come back at any time. I made a conscious effort to try not to write about anything work related in the life workbook (although sometimes something popped in now and then). I focusing on ME – what do I want, what do I dream about, what do I get excited about, what vision do I have that’s just for me?
And this was really wonderful. I adore my business, but I also need to adore myself.
And this was a great step in getting clear about what an adored self looks like.
There were two parts of the life workbook that really stood out for me, and I’m happy to share them here.
My Word for the Year!
I love choosing a word each year – it’s such a beautiful way to begin with a clear vision!
Last year, my word for the year was Soar. And that definitely came true! I pushed myself far beyond my fear and leaped right into my dream life! I connected with so many beautiful souls, and many of them have become my closest friends. I followed my heart and created goodies that would help others embrace their life again.
It was almost like I was in a creative, inspired whirlwind for the entire year! And I’m just now coming back to the ground. It was such an amazing experience, and I definitely am grateful that I chose that word. It was just what I needed to stop hiding and start living fully again.
When I chose Soar, I wasn’t thinking about balance or self care, though. I was just thinking that it was time to stop saying no to life and start saying yes. So I said yes to almost EVERYTHING. If someone wanted me to help them, I did. If someone wanted to collaborate with me, we did. If someone wanted me to review their book, I did. If someone needed support and extra love, I offered it to them. And these connections were wonderful and amazing and heart-opening and beautiful.
But… something happened along the way that I hadn’t anticipated: I went missing. I was so busy soaring and so busy supporting others and so busy creating products and so busy doing, doing, doing – that I forgot to refill my own cup. And so by the end of the year, I didn’t have anything left. Nothing more to give – to myself or to anyone else.
And that made me sad. So, out of complete necessity, I pulled way back from everything (as much as I could). I hibernated for awhile. I stopped posting as much on my blog, on social media. I stopped. And I slept. And watched movies. And slept some more. And during this time in my cocoon, I remembered something so important – something that makes so much sense – something that I had been writing about for years but finally got it so deeply and clearly:
I am of no use to anyone if I am unable to love myself deeply and take care of myself completely.
It’s such a hard lesson to learn – but absolutely essential.
I remember something that Leonie said last year when she took several weeks off to nourish her soul. She said that she actually made more money during her time away than she had in the same time-period when she was pushing so hard. Wow. That really hit home for me. The programming inside of me that was so deeply ingrained was that I had to work hard – really hard – in order to succeed. Push harder = be more successful. And so that’s exactly what I did. And it was working – I was succeeding and living my dreams! I was just too tired to enjoy them. 🙂
So this year, after some deep contemplation, I chose Nourish as my word.
I want to remember that my cup needs to be full. And as Lisa Nichols reminds us all: Give from your overflow.
Nourish means that I will take care of myself. Not just write about it – not just talk about it. But actually do it. Get back into my body and move joyfully again. Stop working when I am tired. Start playing when I could use a laugh. This year will be filled with nourishment – bubble baths, couch time, yummy food, naps, chick lit and chick flicks, and time to just BE.
It’s going to be a year filled with self love and pampering and relaxation and fun. And I trust that when I come into the world with a nourished soul, the energy that seeps out of me will be much more powerful and inspiring. And that will seep into everyone that I come in contact with. That’s how it works! It’s time for grounding and nurturing while still succeeding and sharing. We can have it all, and I love that about this world!
Time to Celebrate ME!
This page from the workbook was a really lovely exercise. I got to think about how I want to celebrate myself this year, and it was fun thinking about what a fully lived life looks like for me.
I’m just so grateful to you, Leonie, for creating such a transformational workbook. Going through it allowed me to really dive in and contemplate my life. I loved going within and uncovering the answers.
You are an amazing soul, and I’m so happy to be on this journey together.
Thanks so gorgeous Jodi!
Such good, deep lessons + wisdom shared here… for every creative soul, every entrepreneur, every woman wanting to make her dreams come true.