Tag Archives: OPPORTUNITIES

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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 ♥


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Vlogging

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What is Vlogging?

It’s a blog, however the majority of the message is done via video.

Why Vlog?

  • You get to see the person behind the words. What I say (words) + my tone of voice + body language… you get all of me communicating with you instead of my words only… even if it is one-sided to begin with… I invite you to respond in the comments below.
  • Helps me to practise public speaking, and feel more comfortable in front of a camera… this is something I’d struggled with for many years.
  • To inspire others to share their voice.

Will this replace my writing?

No. I feel far more comfortable writing than I do public speaking. However, this is another aspect of shedding layers of the proverbial onion… taking self out of my comfort zone. It’s also in alignment with my latest book where I wrote about being seen, heard, felt and known. As an author, it’s easier to sit behind the cover of a book than it is to sit in front of the camera and talk. Though, to be honest, I feel vulnerable in both.

What’s my first Vlog about?

It’s about connecting with you… my readers, clients, friends and family. In part, it is a celebration of so many wonderful experiences I shared with geniune heart-centred people in Canada. While another aspect of it was to create a keepsake of the memories, of the magical moments and landscapes I captured on my iPhone… each has assisted me to grow and expand, and are friendly reminders to keep showing up.

Have you created a vlog before? If so, how did it go? What did you learn from the experience? Or have you wanted to create a vlog? If so, what subject would you like to talk about?

Please grab a favourite beverage of your choice and enjoy watching Leanda’s Canadian Adventure.

Nourish Your Spirit!

Leanda Michelle ♥

 

 


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Lefthand Drive

I can… in Canada

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Lefthand DriveWell, I can… in Canada, drive… even if it is on the wrong side of the road!

In reply to one of my lovely Australian subscribers on a recent blog post Train Trip to Toronto I wrote that I admired her for driving in the USA, and that it was on my to-do list to have a go here in Canada.

I didn’t expect to manifest it so soon. However, my host said to me one morning on her way to work, ‘When I get home this afternoon, you’re going to have a driving lesson!’ ‘Uh, okay… thanks.’

What brought that on? I hadn’t mentioned wanting to drive and wondered why the thought had popped into her mind. Later, she filled me in on the importance of knowing ‘I can, in the event that I have to.’ Good point.

So, how did I go?

Well, the first thing I noticed were the traffic lights. They’re positioned in the middle of an intersection, unlike in Australia where they are at the corners. My spacial vision must’ve been a little warped too as my passenger suggested I sit a little closer to the middle yellow line… ‘I don’t have a death wish you know!’ she said, lightheartedly and laughing. I learned I can turn right at any time with care, even on a red light, unless there is a sign to say it’s not prohibited. And the slow lane is the far right side of the freeway. Fast drivers pass by in the left lane.

So far, so good. Some old habits, though, die hard!

I alight from the car and stand at the curb before crossing the road, and automatically look to my right first. Wrong! The cars are coming from the left. ‘Watch out!’

Walking to the car after food shopping with the keys in my hand and I automatically head for right side of the car. Geez! I’ve done it again!

And when travelling on my own… I thank goodness for the GPS. This, though, presented other issues. ‘In 200 yards turn right’, said the woman’s automated voice. Yards! What is that in metres? And… ‘In half a mile keep right’ What do you mean keep right? Don’t you mean exit the freeway… and what’s with half a mile? Can you translate that into kilometres please!

All differences aside, I am so grateful for the opportunity and it didn’t take long for me to gain my confidence. For me, driving is so intricately connected to my independence (I empathise with the elderly who can no longer drive!)

My sincere gratitude to my host. I have so much respect for her entrusting me with her car.

Have you driven in a foreign country, on the opposite side of the road than you’re used to? If so, how did you go? If you haven’t, and you were given the opportunity, would you?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥

 


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Sculptures on Bloor Street East, Toronto

Train Trip to Toronto

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Sculptures on Bloor Street East, Toronto

Sculptures – All Walks of Life – Bloor Street East, Toronto

I’d set out on and adventure—a train trip to Toronto—to catch up with friends. To reach my destination would entail a one hour car journey, and a ride on the subway. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Unless you’re in a foreign city!

I’m happy to report it was easy. Although, once upon a time an adventure such as this was daunting.

Why?

It was the fear of stepping outside that comfortable cocoon and into the unknown. I was reminded of this when someone said, “You took the subway… in a foreign city, all on your own?” “Yeah.”

The fear of the unknown often stems from memories of previous experiences that have, in the past, played reruns to forewarn of possible dangers. The problem is, the longer one stays in their comfortable cocoon—carrying out the habitual ‘doings’—the stronger the fear and the harder it is to take new steps, and dive into a fresh experience.

On this occasion, I was eager for the adventure. The old reruns had worn out and were past their used-by date, as recent new experiences had shown me, there was nothing to fear.

With any new adventure, there will be interesting happenings along the way. Here’s a snippet of my recent train trip to Toronto:

I watched my host and driver as she pulled away from the curb. Above me on the building I read Indigo Bookstore, one of the shops at the Yorkdale shopping centre. I recalled where my host had said I needed to go. You’ll find the subway at the back of the store to your left.

I had plenty of time to wander and window shop, yet the stores hadn’t opened and wouldn’t for another hour. I found the subway and followed the crowds. People jostled in front of me, and it soon dawned on me that they drive on the right side of the road, so I needed to walk on the right of the path. Phew! It was much easier going with the flow than pushing against it!

I moved to the ticket box and asked the man behind the glass partition if I could please purchase a return ticket to and from Sherbourne Station. The look on his face was a mixture of amusement and empathy. ‘That’ll be $3.25 one way.” “Okay,” I said, waiting for a ticket. “I can give you change,” he said, looking at the $10 bill I held in my hand. “Oh!” I replied, and pushed the bill through the small opening. “Okay, put this in the collection box,” he said, pushing exactly $3.25 through the opening… and here’s your change. You’ll need to go Southbound to St. George and Eastbound to Sherbourne.”

My mind naturally wanted to reply with “Okay, thanks.” yet confusion arose and I stood rooted to the spot, wondering about my return ticket and trying to recall what he’d said. “Can you repeat those instructions, please.” He shouted a little louder, “Southbound to St. George, then Eastbound to Sherbourne.” Yep, that’s what I’d thought he’d said. “If you want proof you’ve paid for your trip you can get a ticket from over there,” he said, pointing to a ticket box.

Really? Thousands of commuters took the subway daily with no proof of payment?

I followed another patron to the platform where the signage indicated Northbound ← and Southbound → showing me which side of the platform I needed to be on. Easy!

Less than a minute later and I boarded a train. At each stop a loud and clear message came through the speakers until 10 stops later, “Arriving now at St. George Station… please disembark on the right.” That was straightforward!

The doors opened to an exit sign and another ‘Eastbound↔Westbound’ sign indicating I needed to go downstairs. Life is simple when we follow the signs. All we need to remember is to stay calm, breathe deeply, listen and be willing to look.

I met my friends, felt relaxed, shared my book and enjoyed their company over lunch. Then the return trip was carried out in reverse.

By the journey’s end, although tired, I felt empowered. I’d gifted self with another slice of freedom (my 2016 mantra). When we embrace a journey and set out with the intent to be open and to enjoy, trusting in the process instead of being guided by our fears, all is in alignment to flow smoothly.

Can you recall your most recent adventure? Was it scary? Did you feel apprehensive? Were you aware of any reruns from past experiences that played in your mind? Once you’d completed it, did you feel empowered?

What adventure does your soul seek? Please share in the comments below.

Thank you for reading. May all your future adventures be safe and showered in love.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥

 


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Word on the Street

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Word on the street can be found in the most interesting places.

Recently I was taken to downtown Orillia. To give you an idea of where that is, it’s 150kms north east of Toronto, Ontario. Originally a gathering place for the Huron and Iroquois peoples, Orillia is set amongst two connecting lakes: Simcoe and Couchiching. Known as ‘sunshine city’ it is a picturesque town with many a historical building, where tourists flock to music festivals and cultural events.

One of the town’s initiatives is their annual outdoor ‘streets alive’ event. Now in it’s 8th year the showcase of local artists who display their creativity boosts the local economy and offers a sense of pride to the community.

When I last visited Orillia in 2014 the theme was ‘Art Grows’… the planter boxes were amazing! This year – 2016 – is ‘Story Poles’. A nice incentive and reward for artist effort is prize money. Voted by people’s popular choice the winners will be announced August 21st.

I haven’t yet walked the entire five blocks to see all 32 sculptures, yet here’s a few I snapped to share with you… there’s a story behind each one!

Thank you as always for sharing the adventure with me.

Write to heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥