Tag Archives: writing

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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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Peace of Mind

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You know that feeling when you’re far far away, deeply immersed in what you’re doing and something or someone, happens to disturb your peace of mind. I can see an analogy for this.

Imagine, you’re cocooned in a balloon. Suspended. Weightless. Content to be with your thoughts and ideas. Then along comes someone with a pin to burst your bubble. BAM! The air… your peace… fragmented. Your thoughts and ideas scattered in all directions.

That’s where I was, deep in my book with thoughts for inclusions, feeling inspired and motivated. In the flow.

When “said son” got out of bed, after a bite to eat he headed to the gym. Great! I’ll keep writing, I thought. It was only when he returned did I realise it was 10am and I was still in my pj’s and hadn’t showered! So, I left my seat eager to shower and dress, and get back to my project.

Ha!

As I stepped out of the shower, over the noise of the exhaust fan I thought I heard the thud of music infiltrate through the walls. Exiting the bathroom, the doof doof was accompanied by words of a song—a repetitive tune.

What to do?

I pondered. There were various angles from which I could respond. The space wasn’t solely mine. My sons and I shared it. I understood “said son” was in cleaning mode, and de-cluttering the mess in his room meant he’d find much needed clarity. I honoured this. I could take my work elsewhere and visualised sitting in my car, beachside. That would work, at least until the battery on the laptop ran out. I recognised that once-upon-a-time there would only have been my “my way”. Let’s not go there!

In seeking a solution, I found a compromise, something we could all work with to invite harmony and balance to our day. I saw that nothing “happens” to us, everything is an opportunity for self-development and growth. In this case it was an invitation for peace. I’m grateful I stopped to take notice.

In conclusion, I can say the music didn’t last too long, and I utilised my time with other chores, that I often pushed aside. When the house fell silent once more, I then returned to my writing project. Being flexible helps keep us in the flow.

Okay, time to get back to my bubble. I invite the thoughts and ideas to re-enter my head and heart, filling me with enlightening whispers once more.

How do you respond or react to interruptions?

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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Bookstores and Change

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‘Hi, do you read memoirs?’

Blank look. I need to give her an example.

‘Have you heard of Eat Pray Love?’

‘The movie?’ she said, knowingly. No! It was a book before it was a movie! I laughed. ‘Do you read self-help books?’

‘Err… time is an issue for me. I’m so busy… what with work, and all my commitments.’

I saw and felt her anxiety, the stress.

‘Do you actively address how you manage your time?’

‘Oh, sure.’

I waited, yet she revealed nothing further. We chatted until I offered to show her my book. I felt grateful she was willing to receive it. I saw in her eyes her attraction to the cover. Then she turned it over to read the blurb on the back.

‘Have you sought love and it still eludes you?’ she said with a lilt in her voice. ‘This is me for sure… and just about everyone I know.’

She read the rest and hesitated as she gave it back to me.

‘You know, the last thing I bought was a magazine… I work in the fashion industry,’ she said, her hands expressing the designer clothes that graced the stands around her. ‘It sat on my bedside table for two weeks before I picked it up… and then it was only for ten minutes. There’s no time for me anymore.’

I felt her despair, the resignation that any attempt to change her daily living was pointless… and reading… well, that took time and time was something she didn’t have.

This was just one conversation I had with a randomly chosen person in a mall in Mississauga. I’d set out to chat with bookstore managers with the intent to introduce ‘In Light of the Truth‘ and learn about their business protocols for consignment, author meet ‘n’ greets, and signings.

Two from three bookstores said author signings, or meet ‘n’ greets were no longer viable or popular unless alcohol and nibbles were involved, and it was set up as an event. The third bookstore’s manager was on leave and no one was able to speak on the managers behalf. So, rather than entertain the thought of disillusion, I set out to talk to retailers and random people while browsing the stores. The one thing that stood out to me was so many people are unhappy with the lives they lead, yet they’re not willing—or don’t know how—to step out of their comfort zone and make the changes they desire.

Why is it so difficult for people to take one step, no matter how big or small? If they did, they’d know one way or the other if it was the right or wrong move, and they’d be better prepared for the next step.

Each time we take a step, we are setting an intent to move forward on our path. It might feel scary to take, yet when we have taken that step there’s a knowing that we’ve made an effort to seek our truth, and we’ve shown our faith.

Courage comes from faith, bravery originates from fear.

Is there a situation in your life that you’d like to change? What action step can you take to bring about this change? Are you willing to seek your truth? Please share in the comments below.

Write to Heal and make your mark!

Blessings,

Leanda Michelle ♥