Tag Archives: nature

  • 5

Life Experiences House Sitting

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House sitting has been quite a journey of delving deeper into self. The take away was discovering exactly where I want to put my roots down. If I had not branched out to different locations I may not have realised this truth.

My first house sit, in March, was in the leafy seaside suburb of Beaumaris. A quiet location, yet it felt pretentious. The vibe was more work-oriented than a balanced lifestyle, though, my summary may have been in haste as it was gathered from only four days. I haven’t included a photo of these two adorable pooches because we didn’t have time to create a close bond, though, they are no less memorable.

My next stop was Korumburra to care for my friend Gloria’s dog, Toto. When we weren’t walking or eating, Toto was keeping me company while I completed my third memoir.

I spent the following two months with two of my sons in Mornington and Mount Martha, before caring for three gorgeous cats in Rosebud. I love the name Rosebud, and while there is the old mixed with the new—seaside cottages and extravagant mansions—it was the land I felt connected to. Rosebud is cocooned between Arthur’s Seat—rolling green hills of abundant nature, and the sea. For me, it feels like the best of both worlds—a kaleidoscope of natural goodness that magically nourishes my soul.

My Beautiful Furry Friends… Love them all!

I then returned to my past… another eighteen-days in Korumburra and twenty-four days in Leongatha, both in the Strzelecki Ranges of Gippsland. I remember the first time I entered our first property in Mirboo North. I knew I’d been there before. It was home. Yet over the course of five years since leaving Gippsland, I’d experienced much change. What I hadn’t realised was the loss and grief I’d experienced when living there had left a scar, and I wasn’t keen to return. I wondered if I had taken a backward step.

Of course, I hadn’t. I came to understand, as new opportunities presented, that I would experience the opposite—joy. It was a balancing of the scales, so to speak. I continued to work on my projects, and found they all came to completion around the same time. Then friend and client, Jenniffer Button asked if I’d be interested in collaborating. I happily accepted the invitation, as we both work from a heart-centred space, and thought it could be fun.

Jenniffer played her crystal singing bowls, while my job was to channel a guided visualisation that led people into their own inner journey of self-discovery. We shared six sessions over a period of three weeks. At the final session I decided, with a prompt from Jenniffer, to tone with the bowls. That’s when the real magic of our collaboration took me to a whole new level.

Guided Visualisation sessions accompanied by Jenniffer Button playing her Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls… amazing sound!

The sound of the bowls and my voice became one. I saw and felt the resonance (frequency) vibrate in my vocal cords, as they mixed and integrated in the ether. It was such a joyous feeling that my eyes filled with tears, and I felt my heart expand with love and warmth.

This showed me that we are all instruments in the grand scheme of the Universe, and have the power to tweak, manipulate, sing a different tune, believe a new story, change an old pattern, than we’ve previously sung. In other words, we can be, do, and have anything we want. All we have to do is tune into that frequency. And we do this by playing, experimenting, exploring and creating.

Immersed in colour and fragrance in a private garden – Leongatha

Living in other people’s energy, I’ve no doubt, has broadened my creativity and view of the world. There is no place for judgement and how others live, only a deep pool of gratitude. I’ve loved photographing the herbs and flowers in every garden. Each time I ventured into the garden, I saw something new. And the closer I came in contact with nature, the more beauty I found within self! I’ve made new friendships, both from the animal kingdom and in human form, and my gratitude for their gift of giving and sharing fills my heart with abundance and joy.

One of the greatest joys is hearing about the people’s adventures. Everywhere I house sat, the homeowners went on a holiday: the Barossa Valley, the Greek Islands, England, the USA. And each involved a celebration: a special birthday, visiting family and friends, a marriage proposal.

This is why I love to travel, to experience the world and add depth and meaning to my life. Being free from financial constraints while house sitting has seen my life to be simpler and less stressful. Though, I would like to put my roots down because then there’s always a place to come home to… a point of grounding. I welcome the next stage of my life, however it may unfold. May new opportunities open for us all, to see, explore, dance in a creative world full of love, belonging and working together in balance and harmony, for the greater good of all.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle


  • 2

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 ♥


  • 2

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 ♥


  • 6

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 ♥


  • 4

Turning Point

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When I returned from Canada, foremost on my mind was my living arrangements. Most of my belongings were in storage, and the rest were being utilised by my sons. Wanting to complete writing my next novel, and knowing it would be a hard ask to write and work full-time to pay the rent, I decided I would give house-sitting a go.

Little did I know what gifts this activity would deliver.

Predominantly, house-sits involve caring for pets. Remembering what had happened with Archie was enough to make me feel a little apprehensive. But, the turning point arrived when I saw that I could give something back; to my friends, to strangers, to humanity in snapshots of time and place. I saw the upside of alleviating one or more pets from having to live away from the comfort of their own home, while their owners took a leave of absence.

Each house-sit presents another pet with their own personality. There are licks on the face upon waking. The tilt of a dogs head to show they are listening. I get to observe their innocence and play, as a leaf blows by in the wind. Then there is the frivolity of a game which adds laughter to my day. Their company is indeed a gift.

Yet there is more:

Part of their care includes daily walks, a minimum of one per day. Getting outdoors in the rain or sunshine, cold or heat, has resulted in a clear head which assists my writing ten-fold.

Here’s a snapshot of today’s adventures, in the Gippsland country town of Korumburra. The pooch and I embraced the wind, rain, cloudy skies and moments of sunshine, amongst nature’s treasure troves.

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One of many majestic trees

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A makeshift bridge over Olsen’s Trail

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Lured to the sound of running water

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A limb in the process of regeneration

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Flowing with the valley

Whether you’re a writer or not, do you enjoy walks in nature? And do you find it clears your head too? Thanks for reading. May you enjoy your next wondrous adventure outdoors.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥