Tag Archives: nature

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Learning to Sail – Part 3

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Matthew rolled the trailer with the 3.8 metre Pacer across the sand and into the water. My job was to pull the trailer back up the beach a little. It was surprisingly light. Then I took a few steps into the water before climbing into the boat.

He’d shown me how to put the Pacer together. Remove the coverings. Unwrap the main sail. Secure the mast. Thread the main sail into the mast. Secure the wire stays.

‘Can you please pull the centre board back?’ asked Matt pointing to a plastic handle in the middle of the boat. As I did this, the Pacer floated freely away from the shore and the wind caught in the single sail.

I sat at the bow (front) and Matthew at the stern (back). I watched, listened and asked lots of questions.

The tiller that was attached to the rudder, and steered us on a ninety degree angle to the wind. While he maneuvered a rope on a pulley system that controlled the boom and how much leeway he gave to the sail. One minute we were gliding up the waves and crashing down the other side, the next we were almost stationary. Sprays of salty sea water splashed my face and wetsuit… I loved it!

When we weren’t conversing, I thought about the wind and the water. Together they were a powerhouse of unpredictable energy. It was imperative one worked in harmony with these elements.

I went with the Pacer’s uneven rhythm, my body tuning into to the trust and flexibility required to go with the flow. When we were I don’t know how far out, Matthew said,  ‘When I say “tacking” duck your head under the boom and move to the other side.’

‘Okay.’

Moments later… ‘Tacking!’

As the Pacer navigated a 180 degree turn I ducked under the boom and slid across the seat. Matthew added, ‘You always tack on the up of a wave crest.’

‘Right.’

‘Today is an onshore breeze,’ he said.

‘Which means?’

‘The wind is blowing toward the shore…’ Of course, I thought to myself.

‘…we won’t get blown out to sea,’ he said laughing. That was good to know.

As far out as we were, I noticed I could still vaguely see the ocean floor.

Matthew had intended for me to have a go at the tiller and tacking, but the winds grew more unpredictable. We were flying toward the shore. Then we were stationary, and Matt was standing to keep us balanced. At one point the wind caught Matt by surprise and I felt us almost tip. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said. ‘I’ve got it. You’ll know I’ve lost it if I swear!’

So I settled with ‘being’ instead of doing, and was reminded again of enjoying what is. Having no destination, we sailed toward the shore and out again on repeat, several times over.

With each leg of the adventure I grew more comfortable with my connection to the wind and the water. Even the stories he told of when things hadn’t gone well didn’t deter me. All that was missing were the dolphins.

Have you experienced sailing? Or would you like to? Do you love the water and the wind?

I hope you’ll join me in part 4 where I’ll share my personal experience of captaining the Pacer.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥


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Learning to Sail – Part 1

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The forecast is set for 19 degrees. It’s cloudy with a 10% chance of rain, and 23 kms/hr ssw winds — perfect conditions for learning to sail says my 18 years young instructor, Matthew.

I feel like I’m 18 years young again too, and not about to turn 50, such is the excitement I feel bubbling in my energy field. I’ve noticed the Universe has my back on this too, as my first task in preparation of this adventure is to find appropriate clothing.

I need a wetsuit, and if I don’t have one of these then shorts, tee and vest will do. The shorts and tee aren’t a problem, but I don’t own a vest or a wetsuit. I ask a friend who surfs on the off chance she knows where I can get my hands on one. Then I decide to commit to go regardless.

That’s the thing about not being attached to the outcome. It allows your flow to weave its magic. A few days later, my dear friend gets back to me. She’s found a wetsuit. Thanks to Prue from East Coast Surf School I’m ready. I’ve never worn a full wetsuit before, the closest was shorts from when I’d water-skied on the Murray River — many moons ago.

 

I make the decision to watch a tutorial on how to put on and take off a wetsuit. I know, it can’t be that hard, right! Though, it’s not good practice to think one knows it all. From my experience this can bring one unstuck. I’m glad I listen, because what I learn is fingernails can damage the wetsuit fabric… and I have nails!

Being mindful to use the tips of my fingers and not my nails, I wriggle into the wetsuit. I can’t stop smiling. There’s excitement. Anticipation. And I feel safe in the knowledge that I will wear a life jacket. Do I feel any fear? Yes and no. Yes because the ocean far exceeds me… it’s power, mystery, energy, and magnitude of space. No, because I place my complete trust in my quest for learning and remembering.

I’m a mermaid! Just kidding. Though the thought is a happy playful one.

So, why sail? Find out in part 2.

What’s new for you? Have you sailed before? Share in the comments below.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Leanda Michelle ♥


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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


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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 ♥