G’day dear ones,
SO. Paradise House. How goes it?
Before I share about our new home, let me catch you up on what lead us here… it’s been a bit of a whirlwind!
Once upon a time my hunky love and I lived for many years in Canberra. And then we had a baby and realised that no thank you very much, a cold-weather city was not where we wanted to be. So we moved back to the little town I was born in, Proserpine to be closer to my family. And we spent a couple of years there, and realised it wasn’t the right place either for lots of reasons, including that ye olde sacred truth that you really can’t move back to the past. And I learned that we had to find first and foremost a place that was right for all of us. And we tossed up between Byron Bay (my idea) and Cairns (my husband’s idea), before I decided that it was smart to listen to my husband’s intuition because that man always be right. And we found an amazing treehouse to rent for a while, so we lived up against the mountain range totally immersed in the rainforest. And then we found and fell in love with a little farm that we knew was ours. So we bought it and two weeks ago we landed here and unpacked our boxes and nestled in and thought:
Home. Home at last.
Four houses in two years has been a bit too much for us two deeply rooted Scorpios. It’s surprised the heck outta me, the changes we’ve had to make. And yet, we knew we had to make them. And here we are. Here. Right where we were sent to.
The first thing to share:
this house amazes me.
We are on 2.5 acres, totally private + secluded with only glimpses of other homes if you peer really hard through gaps in trees like a stalker.
That, and the house was created by an amazing family who are builders and reiki healers and took 20 years to really turn this house into their dream home. So it’s got a gorgeous home office that looks over the pool and rainforest that’s just perfect for me, and a soundproof room I can record videos + programs in. And we’ve got enough bedrooms to run small retreats here, and eventually my lovely in-laws will make the trek across the country and live here with us for a while.
I’m kinda oozing with excitement and ideas about turning this into a really mellow, zen, colourful retreat. Me & Ostara have been painting huge rainbow-coloured canvasses to go in all the retreat bedrooms. We’re potting plants + yesterday I hung all of me and Chris’ art collection that we’ve been painting together since time began and now the house looks like an art gallery. I found this ridiculously awesome unicorn giant wall divider for our bedroom this morning that barely fit in the car but I couldn’t NOT leave the warehouse without it. I mean, REALLY.
It’s funny. In so many ways, for so many years I’ve felt like “making do” with everything. With not giving myself the time, support, boundaries, home and friendships I needed to really thrive. And then one day, I said: “Enough. It’s time for me to be supported.”
I’ve been pushing to make a lot of things happen, and now all of a sudden it’s no longer time for me to push.
I was having a deep share with my love yesterday. We have these dates where we take Ostara to the playground near us. And we call it The Happiest Playground On Earth – every single time we go there, it is SO full of kids, and they are all so happy and gentle and kind to each other. All the parents are hanging out, tending to their kids so beautifully. The playground is always filled with tourist kids of every nationality under the sun that usually don’t speak English, and lots of talkative rainbow tie dye clad kids, and lots of gorgeous Aboriginal kids, and everything just always works so happily. And me and Chris sit beneath the big old trees and eat noodles and talk talk talk our little hearts out.
And I tell my husband
“It’s like coming out of a bad relationship and accidentally falling into a really good one. And the thing is you thought that first guy? You thought they were the one you’d spend the rest of your life with. And then you realise, oh no, it’s not the right place, it’s not where we are meant to be. And it felt very freeing to let go of Proserpine and dream the dream of where we supposed to be. I felt free to make that choice as my own person for the first time in my life. And yet, my heart broke a little. And I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with here. And I feel like I didn’t even know it, but I was holding my heart back just a little. Treating Cairns like a holiday fling instead of a forever soulmate. But it’s just so BEAUTIFUL hon. I’ve never seen such a stunning place. And it has this very evident magic to it. And it just has everything here we have ever been. It’s like we don’t have to push anymore. All we need is right here in this very beautiful place. It just keeps making me fall in love with it even more.”
And he understood. As he does.
So we take it easy, and let this place seduce us and let us fall in love with it.
We take walks in the rainforest, and we stare out over the gorge. Slowly slowly a love dance.
Of course, there’s human stuff as well.
I felt pretty crotchety and not myself the first few days we were here – like my spirit hadn’t caught up to my body yet. And as kids often are, Ostara was unsettled by the move and needing a lot of energy during the day and night. It’s slowly settled back into place again. Transition ain’t easy, but it does end.
And as much as we adooooore our house beyond belief, we didn’t realise we’d hear the highway from here. So being all action-orientated as I am, we’ve got ourselves some delicious sounding wind chimes, and have plans to build a gorgeous rock waterfall pond to drown out the sound. Coz there ain’t no way on god’s holy green turf that we are moving. Leonie’s here to stay… and I’ll turn anything that’s not paradise into paradise.
This is where I’ll be for the next gazillion years, making art + playing under the mango trees.
Actually, that’s precisely what we are already doing.
And I have to share something really special with you.
This weekend, I had the BEST weekend for a long, long, looooong time. I’m talking YEARS.
We are starting to feel so much more settled in, and we spent nearly the whole weekend doing craft projects or making art outside, with detours for an outing to bush walk in the rainforest, and eat together, have a fire, read a book and have a nap.
And it pretty much resembled exactly how I used to live before we had a child. And for a long while there, many of those things couldn’t happen, or if they could, it was only for short stints. But now Ostara is old enough to be able to hang out for much longer and it feels much more effortless and tantrum free.
And on Sunday night, we were hanging out together in our rec room/Chris’ study/Ostara’s play room and I got out my watercolours and ink and got a whole painting finished before Ostara needed to head to dreaming land. And I can’t even tell you how happy I was. Watercolours and ink is my favourite medium of all. When Ostara came along, I realised that the persnickettty perfection required for watercolours + ink just didn’t jive at all with making art with a child around, so I swapped mediums to mixed media that embraces more the gloriously messy additions of a little one. And we rocked that medium and had a grand time… but oh. My dear, favourite medium. It’s back. Ostara’s now at an age where she can spend time with her own art, and can be gently guided away from my page. Oh, the joy of my watercolours! It’s unfathomable! It was very much a religious moment.
So all in all, the weekend was perfection… so much creating… and now I get to do it with my daughter. It’s funny. Ever since I was a kid, I knew one day I’d have a little blonde, blue eyed girl, and we’d be really close and we’d get to walk this creative path together. And I’m so so grateful to see it all come to fruition now.
All in all, I am grateful and stunned at the stunning.
My life has felt like a washing machine on a spin cycle of the soul the last few years. It was Saturn Return at its most quintessential and finest. It was my dark night of the soul, my initiation, my Post Natal Depression. It was seeing all my shit up close for the first time, and healing it. It was a catharsis. A healing. I dropped all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to hold tight anymore, so I could step into who I truly was. It was the Day I Became Powerful.
I always knew, deep in my heart that I would have a savage Saturn Return. That I would face my relationship, my family, my self, and clear out what had to be cleared. It wasn’t easy. Oh, how it wasn’t easy. I took a PhD in boundaries and baggage and clearing money mindset bullshit and family constellations stuff.
I cried many times, I lost my faith, I wondered where on earth my beautiful life went to. And yet a part of me knew that it was the medicine I needed. It was the operation I needed in order to become clearer, more sovereign, more powerful within my own identity.
And out the tunnel I emerge. And I find myself in the mountain, looking out over the trees. The storm took away the fog, and I see my life clearly. My husband and my daughter are out gathering fallen branches from the rainforest’s edge for our fire tonight. I am typing in my studio that is crystal clear and bright, ready to be created in. Ready for miracles to pour forth. My soul’s work.
It was exactly like the wide eyed Indian man told me one time in Little India, Singapore, as we crouched around my astrology charts on the floor.
“Oh Leonie. When you are 29, you will be reborn. Everything from your past, your childhood will be cleansed away. And you will be a pure soul.”
In just a few months, I turn 30. And it feels like every prophecy has come true.
Can I tell you I am grateful?
That it was all worth it?
(A reminder too – just a week left to get the Healing Goddess workshop before it goes away forever. This is the essential energy work that every woman should know to live their most exceptional life. If you want to know how to cancel negative energy, get yourself out of a slump, protect yourself energetically, and shine in the biggest, brightest way possible – check out the workshop now.)