Author Archives: Leanda Michelle

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Author Talk: Leanda Michelle

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My first author talk in Australia was a heartwarming and memorable experience, thanks to staff at the Mornington Library and the audience. Prior to this I’d been fortunate to do a shorter talk at a metaphysical bookstore in Elmvale, Canada in September 2016. Strangely, it seemed easier to talk to strangers in a foreign land than people on home soil.

My talk was about the themes of my latest book In Light of the Truth: belonging and love, as well as the therapeutic aspect of writing and what I’d learned.

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Q & A time was engaging and a tad easier than trying to remember the important aspects of my 49 years life experiences, and in sequential flow!

Here’s a couple…

I’d mentioned the importance of having a spiritual connection, and that my journey had ebbed and flowed from healing to writing, and on repeat, until I’d blended them together… so, did I have a daily routine that assisted me with that, like some other authors do?

‘Yes. My morning alignment—toning, and exercise regime that includes a smorgasbord of yoga, pilates, qi gong,  the Tibetan Five Rites and walking in nature.’

‘Were you ever concerned about your story hurting anyone you’ve written about?’

Another good question.

‘Yes. In part this is why it took me fourteen years to publish my first book. It is why the first memoir is still an eBook and not in print, but also because I didn’t know how to put it into print at that time. Now that I’ve completed my “trilogy of memoirs”… if there is such a thing… my quest is complete, and I’m ready to share my story about love and belonging. As for hurting a anyone, no, because my words are not intended to do so… and if a person is offended it will be their learning.’

My youngest son, Thomas, was in the audience. He had the day off work so he’d decided to attend, and offer his support. He knows my story, and that our life events are written solely from my perspective. So, when he put his hand up to ask a question, I found it deeply thought-provoking.

‘Do you ever feel discouraged, and if so how and why do you keep doing what you do?’

He and his brothers know more than anyone what I have sacrificed in order to continue with this writing journey, so my answer was of utmost importance, if only to him. I took a breath to centre myself, trying not to think about the utter meltdown he’d witnessed me have two days prior, and admitted to him and the audience that it hadn’t been an easy road.

‘Yes, I’ve faced discouragement on numerous occasions. Yet it’s my love for writing… how I feel when answers to my questions are revealed through my words… it’s how I make sense of my world. And as to what keeps me going? I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is,’ I said taking a moment to consider the question more deeply. ‘It feels like a deep inner knowing, that I have committed to this path. I know I’m being looked after.’

It felt strange saying those words aloud, as if I needed to pay more attention to them. Realising I have this strong belief of conviction, made me wonder why at times I had forgotten.

Another hand went up.

‘You talked about Sound Reiki, can you give us a sample?’

Thomas has heard my toning voice many times, yet I could see the woman’s request for a sample came as a shock to him, almost as it had to me. As if he were embarrassed on my behalf, he moved from standing at the back of the room and took a seat.

I silently set an intent and shared what came through as heart-centred tones. A couple of people who weren’t shocked by the experience shared their feedback, before the questions continued.

What’s Next?’ asked a friend in the front row.

‘Thank you for asking,’ I said smiling, feeling grateful to move on. ‘Now that my third memoir is complete I have decided I want to collaborate with a traditional publisher, and have sent it to a publishing house. In the interim I’ve returned to writing my fantasy novel, as I’ve realised from my Write to Know Self gatherings that as a child my favourite thing to do was be immersed in my imagination.’

‘And what’s your greatest wish?’

‘To see my fantasy novel made into a movie,’ I said. Gosh! I’d just said that aloud.

More than an hour had skipped by quick. The audience had been very gracious, and I’d learned a lot from the event. Above all, I felt grateful for the practice and experience in public speaking. Now, to trust in the magic of new beginnings. If you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know where I am… immersed in my imaginary world of adventure. Oh, and we haven’t yet secured a new rental spot… that’s another story.

Thank you for reading and sharing in this wondrous journey, called life. What question might you have asked me? Have you attended an author talk before? What did you learn?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥


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Getting Out There

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I write to you today from this wooden plank about getting “out there”.

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The tide is out, and I feel caught between two worlds; the noise of traffic behind me and the tranquility of the ocean before me.

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I think about my visit to the hairdressers yesterday. While waiting, I’d picked up a magazine. Actress Rebecca Gibney was on the front cover. I’ve always admired her. What I didn’t know about, was her longstanding issues with self-doubt.

In the article she admitted that she doesn’t hide the fact that her hair and makeup are fake. Otherwise, she’s real, and loves her female friends as they’ve have helped her face her self-doubts.

It got me thinking about my upcoming author talk at my local library, and how the time has come to put myself “out there”. I’ve reached an important level in my publishing career… give it my all or get a job. And when a dear friend from my school days recently said to me, “You’ll have to put your high heels on and get yourself an $80,000 per year secretary job,” I almost choked on my Earl Grey tea!

As I sit here admiring the view, I marvel at how real the world is without my sunglasses. I broke them a week ago, sat on them as I stepped into my car. I’d never done this before. It was yet another nudge to get over myself, and get on with it.

It was an unveiling of sorts, to see the world as it really is.

I remember my first pair of sunnies. They were super trendy at the time… a white based frame speckled with bright colours — the designer, Jonathon Skeats. I wore them for many years. I think I replaced them simply to keep up with the fashion trends. Ray Bans came next, and I wore them until they wore out. These were then replaced with a cheap pair of black frames, with a touch of silver on the arms. While my sons laughed at these, I didn’t care, they did the job. Until I sat on them!

I’ve always had sensitive eyes and intuitively felt it was important to protect them. Though, I acknowledge now that for many years I wore them as a form of hiding. So, how long could I last without my sunnies, I wondered.

It’s been one week, and I’ve noticed a thing or two.

When I’m not looking through Polariod lenses the scene before me is real, the colours are not fake and unrealistic.

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I’m not hiding. People who pass me in the street when I’m on my walks stop to say hello, instead of rushing by, as though my eyes had sent them a greeting card. Young children especially, connect in honest and endearing ways… a girl sang while moving around me in a circle, not taking her eyes off mine. And a boy looked up to meet my gaze and said, ‘Hi and bye!’

It wasn’t until after these beautiful moments had passed than I questioned whether I had paid close enough attention. My eyes, though, were no longer shielded from the bright sunlight or people. I was and am being real.

This is not to say I won’t seek my next pair of sunglasses. Though, I’ll appreciate using them only when truly needed.

What about you… do you love your sunnies? Have you faced issues of self-doubt? Thank you for reading. I’d love for you to share your comments below. If you’d like to attend one of my author talks, you can find the info here.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥


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The Space In-between

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Before I left Canada in January I was gifted a set of the May You Know Joy Meditation cards, created by Adrienne Enns Edgar. I only opened them when I presented my first Write to Know Joy class in March, simply because they were about joy! Well, we’ve been using them as a homework writing prompt ever since!

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This month, the card — May You Know Space — really got me thinking about the space in-between so many things.

The space in-between my pauses for breath

The space in-between my thoughts

Today, I took a stroll to the beach and more spaces appeared, in-between the steps that led to the sand, and between the sparkles on the water…

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In-between the seagulls and the sand as they soared on the air currents.

In-between the clouds and the clear blue sky.

Then there was the space in-between the waves crashing onto the shoreline and between the beads of foam…

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I realised there was space all around me, for at one point I had the whole beach to myself. Why? I’ve no idea because it was a glorious sunny day!

Nature is full of wondrous spaces to explore. Equally wondrous, are the spaces within us.

To know space is to be present in the moment, and to be aware of how I feel. I love my sacred space for it where I am at peace with self, to ponder, explore, expand and create. I love sharing my space too, being in the company of like-minded people feels satisfying, rewarding, enriching.

What does knowing space mean to you?

Adrienne, Chief Joy Curator at May You Know Joy, will be a guest speaker at Write to Know Self, via Skype, in June… you can read all about it here.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda ♥


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Moving On...

Moving On

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We’re moving on. I sit at the dining table next to a large window and feel into the space, the house and land, with gratitude. Outside is a square patch of colourful gazanias, their petals partially closed to protect them from the rain. Two large pine trees in the front yard provide shelter for the possums. And along the driveway is a hedge of conifers.

Once again, we’re counting down the weeks and days before we relocate. It was always going to be a temporary situation, though, we weren’t aware of the owner’s plans until a few days after we’d signed the lease.

It’s an old community. Daily happenings have become predictable. Monday nights, a choir gathers next door. Many a senior walks by regularly to buy the daily newspaper from the corner store at the end of the street. Young mum’s push strollers, and people walk their dogs. In the summer months Friday night appears to be fish ‘n’ chips or pizza night, as families walk to collect their order.

At the front of the property are two wooden beams that make a fence. A row of red geraniums poke their flower heads through the slats, inviting little tackers to stop and pick one or two.

Today the wind blows, leaves quiver, and I feel grateful to be indoors. The house is old, though it’s been a safe haven for my sons, and me since my return from Canada. Although cold air seeps in around the door and window seals, and the plumbing shudders and shakes, it’s sturdy and well-built and has served us well.

The backyard is a vista of green, lush grass, patches of weeds, dotted with dandelions. An old Hills hoist sits in the middle of the yard and reminds me of my childhood, when I’d swing like a monkey from its steel frame. In Australian suburban tradition the backyard wouldn’t be complete without a lemon tree. Its ancient roots protrude above the earth, and its fruit is prolific with green and ripe lemons, unsure of what season we’re in.

Neighbours tell me there was once a magnificent vegetable garden that adorned the backyard too. The elderly owner was a man well-known for sharing his produce with all the neighbours. In the harvest month, we were fortunate to pick a solitary zucchini from a self-sown plant.

It’s a big block of land, and like a precious jewel, they’re becoming rare. Soon, the house and trees will be demolished as developers move in and replace the old with the new.

Maybe I’m being too sentimental and sensitive to my surrounds. Though, energy is present wherever we are and it feels good to sit in the gratitude. I say a silent prayer of thanks for the shade and fruit the trees provided, and for the roof over our heads. And as the gentrification process takes over, I send my blessings to the elderly folk in the neighborhood. Like us, they too will eventually move on.

Have you ever lived in a house that was earmarked for demolition? How did you feel about it? Do you live in an older community?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥


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Peace of Mind

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You know that feeling when you’re far far away, deeply immersed in what you’re doing and something or someone, happens to disturb your peace of mind. I can see an analogy for this.

Imagine, you’re cocooned in a balloon. Suspended. Weightless. Content to be with your thoughts and ideas. Then along comes someone with a pin to burst your bubble. BAM! The air… your peace… fragmented. Your thoughts and ideas scattered in all directions.

That’s where I was, deep in my book with thoughts for inclusions, feeling inspired and motivated. In the flow.

When “said son” got out of bed, after a bite to eat he headed to the gym. Great! I’ll keep writing, I thought. It was only when he returned did I realise it was 10am and I was still in my pj’s and hadn’t showered! So, I left my seat eager to shower and dress, and get back to my project.

Ha!

As I stepped out of the shower, over the noise of the exhaust fan I thought I heard the thud of music infiltrate through the walls. Exiting the bathroom, the doof doof was accompanied by words of a song—a repetitive tune.

What to do?

I pondered. There were various angles from which I could respond. The space wasn’t solely mine. My sons and I shared it. I understood “said son” was in cleaning mode, and de-cluttering the mess in his room meant he’d find much needed clarity. I honoured this. I could take my work elsewhere and visualised sitting in my car, beachside. That would work, at least until the battery on the laptop ran out. I recognised that once-upon-a-time there would only have been my “my way”. Let’s not go there!

In seeking a solution, I found a compromise, something we could all work with to invite harmony and balance to our day. I saw that nothing “happens” to us, everything is an opportunity for self-development and growth. In this case it was an invitation for peace. I’m grateful I stopped to take notice.

In conclusion, I can say the music didn’t last too long, and I utilised my time with other chores, that I often pushed aside. When the house fell silent once more, I then returned to my writing project. Being flexible helps keep us in the flow.

Okay, time to get back to my bubble. I invite the thoughts and ideas to re-enter my head and heart, filling me with enlightening whispers once more.

How do you respond or react to interruptions?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥