Tag Archives: OPPORTUNITIES


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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 ♥


  • 4

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 ♥


  • 21

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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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 ♥