New You for a New Year :: Day 4

New You for a New Year by Marketing Creativity

“G’day, Gorgeous Soul!”

That’s how the lovely Leonie Dawson regularly greets her viewers and readers, and there’s no better way to begin this post! I discovered Leonie a short month ago, when I stumbled upon her 2013 Create Your Incredible Year Calendar & Workbook ($9.95). It was a serendipitous find, and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. When Leonie agreed to this interview, it was one of my big successes of 2012, and I’m so thrilled to share it with you today!

Leonie is an AMAZING example of what you can accomplish in a year, as evidenced in her FREE e-book, Biz & Blog Star Workshop. Leonie turned her message (which she shares via her blog) into a company that’s now earning more than half-a-million dollars per year.

The video runs for just over 32 minutes, and this “cup runneth over” with beautiful advice and wisdom on making the most of your New Year. I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing this session for anyone who prefers to read interviews rather than watch them.

Today I’m sharing the first half of our interview, and tomorrow you’ll get to read the rest. At anytime, you can watch the full-length video here:

{If the video doesn’t appear for you below, refresh the page or click this link: Leonie Dawson Interview}

Leonie Dawson Interview from Lisa Jacobs on Vimeo.

Here’s the first half of the interview (to the 16-minute mark) transcribed for you:

Hi and welcome! It’s Lisa of Marketing Creativity, and today I’m here with Miss Leonie Dawson of leoniedawson.com. Her tagline is, “Incredible Business, Incredible Life,” and she has just that. She’s a soul-centered creative business owner from Australia, and she has an amazing story which we’re going to talk a lot about today.

I’m honored to have you here, Leonie! Thank you so much.

Oh thank you, beautiful Lisa. It’s such a joy, and I’m just thrilled to be connecting with everyone on this call.

Great. Today I thought we could look at the coming New Year as this spacious, expansive thing that’s about to happen. And we’ll think of each lovely viewer as somebody who understands the infinite possibilities in front of them, as if they’re holding moldable clay. And [they are wondering] what are they going to create with it? Do you agree with that idea?

Absolutely. It’s all there waiting for us to create it.

Perfect. Let’s start with that big expansive space and then we’ll dwindle it down to more actionable goals, if you’d like to follow that line of questioning.

Rock on!

Awesome! Let’s talk about “soul-centered,” which is part of your bio. I love that, and to me, the definition of soul-centered means you’re in tune and on purpose, just doing what you were born to do and loving that. That must be a glorious feeling because you’re rocking it; you really have a lot of great things going on. In case there’s a viewer who’s frustrated and misaligned, where would you begin? How would you help that person find their authentic calling?

I think the best way to do it is to create, and see what lights you up. And the only way you can find the path forward is by writing, or painting, or whatever is your particular medium or thing that you love to do. And if you don’t know what it is that you love to do yet, just try them all because the answer’s going to come through you.

I often find whether I’m writing, journaling, blogging, painting, or art journaling with my daughter, it allows me the space to start hearing the Divine messages, to start getting that feeling of being inspired and on purpose, and YES! this is the thing I was most born to do. So if you don’t know what it is right now, I just want you to know that it is there and it is waiting for you.

All you have to do is play until you find it because you can have fun while you do this. This can be the most beautiful self-exploration and joyful experiment of your Life.

I love that. Would you agree that the more you do create and play, the more you refine your message without even trying to? 

Absolutely! And things will change along the way. The best way to get in-step again and feel on purpose is to keep on creating, and keep on trying it out in different little ways and keep on adjusting until it feels right. So you can feel like, yes, that’s right. That’s right again. That’s what I most dearly love.

I want to caution people against staying too much in their heads, and about thinking, Okay what is it I need to do next? What do I think would make me happy? Because often the answer isn’t in there. We’re trying to force it out of our heads, when it’s supposed to arise through play and creation. That is where we find our answers, and that’s when we get sent our messages.

I often call blogging “taking dictation from God” because it’s like messages drop down through my hands. I’m like, Oh Shit! That’s what I’m supposed to do. Great! Thank You! Just what I needed to hear.  

I love that! So, going into the New Year, how would you begin to identify the results you want. You have the message, now how would you name your intentions? How do you define your motives?

By asking myself, “what’s true for me? What is it I deeply want to create?” It takes a bit of soul-searching to hear what’s inside you, to hear what’s truly calling you forth.

I believe that every single soul has miracles inside them waiting to be birthed, and all we need to do is choose which miracles we’re ready to birth right now.

Oh, love that. When you’re goal setting, how far out do you dream? Do you go this year, this decade, this Lifetime?

I have basic, structural ideas. I wasn’t a particular person that goes, I want to get married by the time I’m 25 and have three children within the next five years. My value was to be able to live a joyful and creative Life that felt spiritually aligned so that spirit was the guiding force always and forever. I wanted to feel like that every day of my Life.

I’ve cultivated my Life to be an expression of that and feel that has come true for me. And when it hasn’t been true, you just shift it. It’s okay if it doesn’t feel like that right now. Just shift. You make gentle adjustments, heal what it is that needs to be healed in order to get you back to that spot.

I talk about incredible Life and incredible business, and when I say “incredible” I don’t mean invincible. Life stuff will still happen to you, and you’ll be given medicine to be learned.

For example, when my daughter was born I underwent a dark night of the soul through post-natal depression. At that point, I didn’t feel like I was having an incredible Life, but I knew I had an incredible Life waiting for me still. So, I started doing the things that would get me back to that.

I went to a counselor and my doctor. I went through a great healing journey through both Eastern and Western medicine, and it was a great medicine and a great undertaking. What do you know? My incredible Life was waiting for me. It hadn’t gotten lost in the mail, it just needed me to take some steps.

I’m guided by those values of having a joyful, creative Life, and I also set goals every year that I’d like to meet as well. I don’t particularly know which month I’m going to make those goals or how I’m going to make them happen. But for the last four years I’ve been creating the Creating Your Incredible Year Workbook, and I fill that out every single year. I have a list of things I want to have happen that year.

It’s the most amazing thing because when you put that intention out into the world, and then you put action and energy into making them happen, they happen by miracle.

Gorgeous Sample Pages from 2013 Create Your Incredible Year
Gorgeous Sample Pages from 2013 Create Your Incredible Year

Oh, that’s lovely, and I’m a huge fan of that workbook. Your post-natal depression is an extreme case, but everybody has days where they feel down and out. You have a fantastic page [in the workbook] that’s a medicine bag, and the question it asks is, “What will I do on those days [to feel better]?” 

That’s good for extreme cases and small cases. If you wake up in a rut and know you’re not creating the things you want to create, how can you feel better today and realign with your intentions? It’s an excellent tool whether you need a higher level of healing or you’re just going through a [temporary] rut.

Big time. The reason a list like that is useful is that it’s a list of things to do when everything sucks. It’s useful to do that because when we’re in that state of everything’s sucking, all the blood is gone from our brain. We’re living with a reptile brain, and we’re grouchy and pissy and ready to strike out at anything.

[In that state,] we don’t actually have the brain capacity and hormones needed to have rational thought that goes, okay, what’s going to make me feel better right now? So having a list of things to do when everything sucks is like a guidepost for you. [It’s the answer to the thought,] I feel like absolute crap right now. What do I do in order to get back to my happy place? You can look at that list.

I even had a list on my iPhone because my iPhone was always around me. I had a list of things to do when my daughter was crying and wouldn’t stop crying. I’d be able to use that list, and before I’d even get to the end of it, she would’ve stopped crying. Had I not had that list, I would’ve just been like, “WHY is she crying? (laughing) I cannot think of reasons or ways to help her right now!”

When you’re so freaked out, you need that gentle guidepost to align you back to your good Life.

That’s brilliant! That is such a lovely practice. This is great! We’ve talked about intention and big goals. Now, how would you convert the results you want for the year (because you can shape it, it’s yours to mold) into actionable goals?

The first thing is to write a list. I get a page out and for each goal I want to undertake, I say, “What is it I need to do in order to make this goal happen?” Just write a really long list of action steps that will get you from where you are right now to the place that you’ll be when that goal is completed.

Having those little micro-steps along the way is so much easier for you to implement than if you were just taking on a huge goal, like “write a book.” And then start aligning dates to the micro-steps as well. Schedule them into your calendar.

One of the things I talk about in the workbook is ritual days. I knew over the last year that I wanted to have days where I wasn’t on the internet, and so I switched off. I actually took time off from thinking and work, so I implemented “Switch-off Sundays.” I wanted to make sure I did yoga as a regular practice, so Tuesdays became “Yoga Tuesdays.”

Wherever you can implement that into your calendar, into your week, into your daily routine, it’s going to be so much more useful to you than having those lofty goals that are so far out and scary.

I love that, and it reminded me of Google Direction. Have you ever used Google Directions when you need to get somewhere?

Yes.

They start from your neighborhood, and everybody makes a joke like, “I think I know how to get out of my neighborhood to get where I’m going, can we maybe start from the highway?” 

But it’s true, when you’re doing something that you’ve never done before, you do need to know how to get out of your neighborhood. If you were physically mapping what you’re about to do for the very first time, the basic steps (like where to turn on your street) are important. You need to know that.

So, I like that because those itty-bitty tasks are often what stop your progress or intimidate you from getting started in the first place.

That’s a beautiful analogy, I really like that. It’s very visual of you getting from where you are to the place that you need to be with your goals. And it does, it takes street by street by street.

Yes! So, you just mentioned this, and [I wonder] if you might add anything to it. Do you have any daily practices that keep you fluid and keep everything flowing. You mentioned Yoga Tuesdays. I’m curious about you because sometimes I get too caught up in my head. Is there meditation you might be doing, or anything that helps you wake up and connect to the present moment?

I don’t actually have a daily practice as such. For me, creating is that daily practice, and the best way to create is to switch off. When I say switch off, I mean, when you go to work, when you go to create those miracles that are inside you, when you go to carve out the strategy for your Life and your business, you turn off from the internet, let all distractions move away, and instead listen to what’s inside you.

It’s so important that you don’t go out and compare yourself to other people. Often you go into Google reader to gather some inspiration, or create something by going onto Pinterest, and we get caught up in this cycle of consuming inspiration and other people’s energy.

Two things happen to us then: (1.) We think, other people have created it so I don’t really need to. Why do I need to create and put this thing into the world? Self-doubt begins to set in. And, (2.) We become so fueled with creative inspiration that we become creatively constipated, and at some point you’re just going to need an enema. (Laughing)

You will feel better when you create because creating, whether it’s through blogging, writing, painting, or whatever medium, you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to push your way forward because that’s the way you bring the new vision of your world to you. It’s the only way you can change your world deeply and perceptibly.

{This ends the first half of our interview. Tomorrow I’ll post the second half.}

Review

If you’re just joining us for 7-Days of Review and Resolution, here’s what we’ve covered so far …

:: Day 1

:: Day 2

:: Day 3

The interview with Leonie offers a lot of goal-setting wisdom to digest. So, for Day 4 of the reflection and resolution series, we’re going to keep it simple and sit down with just one question:

  • What do you want to focus on in the New Year?

Here are my results for 2012:

What do I want to focus on in the New Year?

Mine is about homecoming. I feel as though I’ve been away from home for a long time (physically, I have), and this year is going to be about arriving. I’ve set the stage, and now I’m ready to present myself!

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve!! I’ll share the second half of the transcribed interview with Leonie Dawson, and together we will set an intention and name our resolutions for the New Year. Bring your notes and have your journal handy! Until then and all the best~

Continue on to :: Day 5

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