Tag Archives: write to heal

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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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Easter Reflections

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This message, Easter Reflections comes from writer and artist, Renata, who I met in Canada last year. The background art that the words have been printed on is also by Renata, and represents the Divine Mercy—blood and water, love and forgiveness, flowing from Christ’s heart.

As Easter rolls around for another year, may we pause to reflect on what this means to us. If you asked me to reflect on Easter, I might have shared fond childhood memories spent with my cousins on a farm in the Riverland. Or recounted a happy occasion inland from Karratha, where our three young sons, hubby and I shared a picnic alongside a riverbed. Floating Easter eggs downstream, the boys would wait at the bottom of a short waterfall and catch them.

While many may go camping, devour a chocolate egg or two, and feast on a few hot cross buns with the view to celebrate and enjoy some time away from their busy life schedules, there is a deeper introspection that we may like to ponder.

It is said Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Some have even renamed Easter as Resurrection Day. What’s interesting to me, is scripture says Jesus died on the cross and came back to life. Don’t we see the same cycles in nature, with birth, death and rebirth throughout the seasons? I see our human life as the same, we learn and grow through cycles—for example: birthing new projects, seeing them to completion, before beginning anew.

I feel it is humbling to remain open to various viewpoints and listen beyond judgment. May you enjoy the read, and share your thoughts with Renata in the comments section below. What does Easter mean to you?

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle♥

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Why Write Memoir

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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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 ♥