Tag Archives: story

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Learning to Sail – Part 2

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It’s late November, 2017 and a blissful evening for a stroll along the Mornington Esplanade. I capture the sun as it sets across the bay, and then sit on a large rectangular rock to gaze at the sea. Voices mix with the traffic behind me. Then I think I hear music and I’m lured by its distant melody. I’m led to a hall where a band is practicing. I marvel at their collaboration, and am reminded of when I used to play the trombone. The sound spurs me on and I smile and hum to myself.

An unusually warm breeze rich with seduction caresses the exposed parts of my skin. It’s freeing to have no destination and I feel content to meander for the pure pleasure of it.

Where I end up is on a cliff that overlooks the marina. I watch the people, out in their droves, boating, jet-skiing, canoodling… before I turn my attention to the toffee marbled sky.

A question pops into my mind, ‘How do I want to celebrate turning 50?’

Another question follows, ‘If I were to die tomorrow, what would I feel I’d missed out on?’

Easy… ‘Sailing!’

I was eleven years of age when I first went on a yacht. My parents confirmed the year was 1979, along with a few finer details. We left from the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron, Outer Harbour for afternoon tea on-board a yacht that had once sailed in the Sydney to Hobart race. Though, the name of it can not be recalled, it was owned by my Dad’s boss, Jack Winter.

All I remember was sitting at the bow with my legs dangling over the edge, hanging onto the silver railing and being in awe of the dolphins who were joining me in my joy.

I have wanted to experience this again, ever since.

I arrive early so I can climb into the wetsuit. In my nervousness I put it on back to front… take a deep breath, remove it and have another go. Success!

Then I meet Matthew on the grass in front of the Mount Martha Yacht Club to get the Pacer ready… that’s the name of the two-person sailing boat that I’m to learn on.

Of course, the numbers are the first thing to grab my attention… 2523… reduces to 3… perfect, we need clear communication to learn how to sail. Moreover, it’s a soulful opportunity.

Find out what happens on my maiden voyage in part 3.

Do you have a fond memory of doing something you thoroughly enjoyed in your childhood? What’s the first memory that pops into your mind? Do you still do this today? Or have you yet to invite it back into your life? I invite you to share your thoughts and memories, below.

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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Why Memoir?

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On rare occasions I”m asked ‘Why memoir?’ And this is usually followed by ‘What’s so special about you?’

This happened recently when a woman introduced me to her husband. ‘What genre are your books?’ he asked.

‘I write memoir.’

‘Oh, like your autobiography—’ Well, no. ‘—are you well known are you?’ He scoffed.

Memoir is not based on self-importance.

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this and possibly won’t be the last. And while his wife chastised him for being rude, I pondered from which angle to address this.

Did I match his arrogance and share a snippet of the worst parts of my life story? Or did I take the time to educate him in the hope that he might listen? Fortunately, or not, I didn’t have the opportunity to respond either way, as the doorbell rang.

It did prompt me, though, to investigate this further and answer this question.

What is memoir and how does it differ to an autobiography?

A memoir begins at a significant point in a person’s life. From there, the story flits into the past allowing one event to naturally lead to another like building blocks until a pivotal moment is reached. A memoir has one or more major themes woven through the story and is based on life experiences set over a period of time. Similar to a novel the author has a distinctive voice and the story can be manipulated to improve it by moving events around, merging characters or changing a scene or event to create more of an emotional impact/or climax.

An autobiography is written in chronological order and includes the person’s whole life.

Why write a memoir?

A memoir helps us to make sense of our world. Story connects us with others who may have felt the same feelings, or experienced similar situations. It can be a comfort for the reader, to discover they’re not alone.

Life is story and we create it daily in each and every moment. When we connect our current circumstance with the stories we’ve been selling to self, we understand we’re in a position to change our story.

When we share the action we have taken, the reader is invited to formulate an opinion which tests their values and beliefs.

In many ways, I see memoir as a mystery—my life’s mystery, where I gather the fragments of conversations, and pieces of events and landscapes, to complete my individual jigsaw puzzles. In each, I discover meaning and truth, which in-turn dispels fear. Eventually, at the end of this incarnation I would like to think one complete picture will remain.

Memoir may not be seen as imaginative or literary work of genius, yet it is about life and how one person has lived. Everyone is here to live. Not everyone will want to share their story, yet this is not to say it’s an egotistical pastime. It is an in-depth soul searching exercise that heals the writer, from the inside (psychologically dissolving hurt, anger, betrayal and guilt), and the outside (where physically, mentally and emotionally they are able to live a more balanced and harmonious existence). When we write, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow.

I believe everyone lives an extraordinary life, and each has a unique story to share. For me, writing has turned my life into a journey worth living.

It’s never easy to re-create a difficult experience or to admit a heartfelt truth, though the enlightenment is tantamount to living in peace and joy.

Do you read or write memoirs? If so, do you enjoy the journey they take you on, and why?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥


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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 ♥