Miranda Leslau PR

PR in Black and White

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Miranda Leslau PR - PR in Black and White

The Meteorites of Life – As the rest of the world goes BACK TO THE FUTURE, Miranda is going back in time…

meteorite

The other day, whilst browsing my Facebook timeline before bed, I came across a clip of Adele’s new single. The title of her new song is “Hello” but listening to the lyrics it should actually be “Goodbye”! Adele’s perfect pitch, heart-rendering performance and carefully chosen words, pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I hadn’t listened to Adele for a very long time and it took me right back to my past.

So while the rest of the world goes BACK TO THE FUTURE this week, this PR is going back to the past for a short while, reminding her about life meteorites. So what is a life meteorite you might ask…? Well, if you consider the concept of the life curve ball, the thing or person that appears from nowhere in your world and catches you unawares, the life meteorite is similar. But intense, powerful and much more destructive.

Over the years I have experienced a few life meteorites but none so powerful as one that was combined with a curve ball: a person who came into my life some years ago, hurling me around the constellations and leaving me in a pile of meteorite dust.

At the start of my descent into space, the Adele album, 21, was my staple diet. For one whole month I sat and stared into space, more or less. And cried. And turned into a very morose Bridget Jones. And I haven’t met a new man whom I allowed to even get close since. The dust is still settling. Bowie would have just slapped me around the head and told me that “We know Major Tom’s a junkie…” and it might have made perfect sense.

The night I met this life meteorite and it was a man (of course) I wasn’t even supposed to be going out or going into ‘that place’. I went in for one drink. At that time. On that day. And there he was. All bright white like a meteorite in his tight t-shirt.

And like a meteorite, he lit up my sky for a while and then came hurling, crashing back down to earth to strike me. And there I was, with my Adele album sitting in a (useless) therapist’s office, trying to understand what had just happened to me. Me, the ultimate survivor and Sabra, disintegrated into dark ash.

This meteorite completely broke me. He changed me and turned me inside out. I allowed this, I do not type these words out of blame. I don’t point the finger at other people for my life or circumstances. They are MY life lessons to deal with. And what was even weirder… the night I saw the new Adele single on Facebook, a sponsored ad also appeared on my Facebook page for a clothing company with the meteorite’s name. It was like Facebook was reading my thoughts or thoughts by association.

So whilst most of the world will just carry on with normal life once the BTTF statuses have become non-consequential, I wonder where all that ash has left me. I also wonder where the ash has left Adele and the millions of other people who have experienced life meteorites but shut themselves away and listen to Adele rather than vocalise or move on from their pain.

Adele’s voice still ripples with hurt and fragility. She has a new family and is ‘happy’ but her meteorite ash still clings to her soul and ultimately fuels her creativity and bank balance.

For me, the brave warrior who has won more than her fair share of life battles, ash still sits on my heart and on my fingertips. Regardless of whom I meet or what I do, that meteorite dust touches all of it. But I always look forward… only a Phoenix can rise from the ashes. And now, for the first time in years, my wings are about to take flight. And I look forward to my own movie script, entitled, FORWARD TO THE FUTURE. Move over Michael J, Fox… I really AM an 80′s blockbuster.

People Power

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The word ‘power’ as referenced in the OED has a multitude of meanings, far too many to describe here, but all relate to both positive or negative power, even in Science. And when I refer to power I am not talking about world leaders, terrorists, The Spice Girls (‘Girl Power’) or Superman (although he will always be the best). I am talking about you, me, the girl who served your coffee this morning and the chap who let you through the gate at Euston as your Oyster card wasn’t working: People Power. We all have it but do we use it wisely?

This Monday morning, my words positively impacted upon the life of a stranger, helping her with health and bereavement issues. She found my words (this blog) supportive and relevant to the plight she is going through. Such engagement is positive… and powerful. I made a difference to one kind soul’s day – someone who is suffering. Each and every one of us has the choice and the power to help or harm someone else. We don’t need to be a preacher or teacher to help, engage and change. As Snap told us, “I got the POWER”! #tune and my beloved Luther’s “The POWER of love”.

As we watch the news and witness the plight of thousands of refugees fleeing from a destructive form of ‘power’, the refugees themselves are hoping to empower themselves by taking ownership of their destiny and future. Whilst I understand mixed feelings about welcoming more people into countries when they/we can’t deal with their/our current socio-economic problems, the images displayed via the media are powerful and warrant an emotional and knee-jerk reaction. We all deserve a home and a place to feel safe. Who knows where my family might have ended up had the UK not welcomed immigrants into the UK in the 1930′s/40′s.

We all have a huge amount of power within us: the power to change our focus; to harm others and to heal. And then there is the power of emotion and belief. Last Monday, as I sat in Synagogue celebrating the Jewish New Year, tears rolled down my face as I joined in with the singing, thinking about my mum. She died 15 years ago and I still become overwhelmed from time to time. It is quite normal and humane. Why people tell us to “be strong” when we lose the people we love, I will never know. We just need to “be” ourselves. To experience what we need to feel to deal with the power and process of grief. And it is a process. And a powerful one at that.

Emotions can be extremely powerful and gripping, even at the most unexpected moments. Anger, joy, sadness, love, depression, fear… all have a powerful effect on our psyche as well as our physical being. I know from personal experience that words carry responsibility. Quite recently, a certain individual wished genuine harm on me and every aspect of my life. No chance in the long run but she (and it was a she) did her best.

We under-estimate the power of our thoughts and our words. “Be careful what you wish for” carries more truth than we might ever consider. This phrase should have an additional caveat: “Be careful what you think, it might just happen”. And you would be amazed at how often it does happen, both for better or worse (see above paragraph).

With the advent of people hiding behind social media, many feel empowered by belittling others. By putting people down or blatantly abusing them on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Celebrities must have a pretty thick skin to deal with all the crap that is regularly thrown at them – more often than not for just looking great!

These ‘haters’ need a hobby or should be looking in the mirror and dealing with their own issues. Many bullies, even killers and abusers, thrive on power and usually are acting out a need to exert some level of power in their lives, when they actually feel powerless inside. Just watch Criminal Minds if you want TV proof!

As David Cameron and his bunch of cronies use their power to try and run Great Britain (can you hear the irony in my typing?) we too, as citizens of the red, white and blue (it will always be a Union Jack to me), all possess an inner power that can change both ourselves and our environment. You don’t need to be a politician or Prime Minister to change, create or help yourself or others.

Entrepreneurs get up off their asses and make change happen. They have the balls to go it alone, despite the odds (more than not) and believe in their own power. They too feel fear or angst but the power of their positive thought and belief usually counteracts the negative. Light over dark, positive over negative and good versus evil.

I believe we all have huge amounts of power: lots of atoms together create energy (I think that is chemically correct, LOL). If we wish ill upon someone it comes back to us. When life deals us a powerful blow, we must fight back. Punch back. And that, my friends, is what I am doing tonight. In the ring… my boxing training that got me through Cancer and some of the darkest moments of my 45 years. Now THAT is power. The ultimate power. And it is all mine.

The Facebook Fast – Full Moon to Full Moon

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A month ago, the date of Full Moon July 2015 to be exact, I pretty much came up against a big full stop. I was working too hard, feeling dreadful (physically), sleeping 16 hours a day on some days and the walls started to cave in. I resigned a client, albeit with a heavy heart and burst into tears in front of my gynaecologist when he told me my one remaining piece of femininity was being crushed.

I came off Facebook and went inside myself to try and get my body and soul together. There was a dull silence. My phone was ‘shouting’ less. My fingers weren’t focused on the handset 24/7 and I stepped back.

Having lived most of my life as Superwoman’s cape, holding my hand up is a big deal for me. I have been ‘luchando’ since I was a wee nipper and I do find it hard to ask for help or say that I am struggling. This probably stems from having asked some people for moral support in the past and being rejected so I stopped asking. So there I was, a month ago, out in the cold, gripping onto my dogs for dear life but deep down inside knowing I would be OK. It sounds dramatic but I really did come up against a wall.

My very learned gynie, who sees medicine a la Ancient Greece, ie in the Holistic sense, recommended me to an Internist/Doctor, curiously where I live, to see if he could help me. I have been feeling like I don’t have the right motor inside me or as if someone has put in the wrong engine oil, increasingly desperate for some answers as I should be feeling better, not worse. I have been convinced that some of my specialists have missed something fundamental in their commitment to fending off Cancer. And I was right. These doctors are specialists in one area rather than looking at the body overall.

So I went to see Dr Hakman who sat and listened to my tale of on-going woe. I brought him piles of papers and results, reflecting my poor old insides crying out for someone to listen to their cystic plight. He agreed that something has been missed and set to task to ‘fix the Leslau’. So far (and I get all tests back this week) I have Lymes Disease (not recent) and am still hypothyroid, post-Cancer.

Dr Hakman told me that as a Thyroid Cancer survivor I need to be hyperthyroid(over-medicated) in my dosage (rather than hypothyroid, ie under-medicated) otherwise tumours will be created from the lack of Thyroid replacement therapy. How ironic. So in the Cancer specialist’s quest to keep the Cancer at bay, my little old body has been trying to create Cancer tumours because I don’t have enough replacement Thyroid medication. How insane is that?! So I have increased my dosage as the Thyroid controls the whole body and many of my symptoms may be because of the lack of hormone in my system. All TBC with the next lot of tests and results.

Alongside this diagnosis, I have continued my quest to look into iodine and the links between iodine, cystic conditions (non-Cancerous) and all types of Cancer, not just Thyroid. If you dig deep enough you can find WHO reports that confirm that a third of the universe is iodine deficient and that many Cancers (particularly breast and other female Cancers) can be prevented and treated with iodine. I have been saying this for a long time.

If you have lumpy breasts or cystic ovaries and fibroids, this can be attributed to being hypothyroid, ie not having enough Thyroid hormone (iodide) or iodine (the Thyroid converts this into iodine) within your system. Over the years, we have looked at the Japanese diet (and soy) as a reason why Japan has the lowest incidence of breast Cancer the world over. MYTH. The Japanese diet has over 100 times more iodine than any other – it is not because of the soy. Iodine has been removed from salt and due to production processes, many products are iodine deficient unless they are organic. The first thing that is done when crews go into a crisis zone is iodize the water.

I could actually write a thesis on iodine and I am trying to campaign for Eye On Iodine awareness, particularly for children and women. We are not told the facts; the war against Cancer and other chronic and acute illnesses can be reduced. We need to look outside the alkaline diet (for Thyroid Cancer patients), broccoli is not your best friend; chilli and garlic are better suited. There is a bigger picture here. The drugs companies and fast food conglomerates will always win, sadly, if we continue as we are. But I am on a quest. And when Leslau is on a mission… (just look at my dad’s 30 year obsession with Holbein!!)…

Many of my gynie problems could be attributed to my Thyroid function (ie hypothyroid post-Cancer, as well as pre-Cancer I am sure, even though I never showed as having a Thyroid condition (but my hair was falling out, I was bloated, my eyebrows fell out, I had gynie problems and my adrenal function was failing). I have upped my Thyroid meds so let’s see if my newly increased 7cm ovarian cyst reduces by way of a result. My solitary ovary is holding on for dear life to save me from being menopausal.

The other health challenge currently is Lymes Disease. Although it can mask other conditions (and I am still waiting on other results) it would appear I have had this for some time. It could account for many symptoms and unfortunately is chronic. I am not currently being treated for it until we know more.

You see, with a calm mind and less chaos, I could focus on what I needed to focus on. I have also started going to an amazing Holistic Clinic in San Pedro (also recommended by a learned traditional medical consultant) who is also helping me. I won’t talk about this too much as many people I have shared this with have been negative and dismissed these practices. One of my consultants reminded me himself that many centuries ago, a medical doctor could only claim to be so if he was also an expert in theology, astronomy, astrology and natural remedies. So go figure.

My dear friend Nina came out to stay, to look after me. I went out for the first time in ages and was singing along to Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ on the mic with the DJ at Olivias in La Cala and Salsa’ing away in my white stilettos. I will talk about Olivias in another blog but I had the energy to go out and have a good time. That is my point.

I organised, with my co-conspirator Louise, a leaving do for my dear boxing trainer, Mick Ham. Mick has been the most valuable of friends and drivers for me. His friendship and training inspired me to ‘fight’ Cancer, as well as helping me find me again. I love boxing training. In my darkest moments and however bad I feel, I will almost always go to boxing. It is like oxygen. And we all know that in some countries, including Israel, they use Oxygen treatment to treat Cancer and other illnesses. I also made a cheesecake for Mick and anyone who knows me, will appreciate that I can’t follow recipes or instructions (so this is some testament to the man!). I actually followed the recipe, bought an electric whisk and weighed out the ingredients. It really tasted delicious too!! Just call me ‘Miri Berry’. AND it was Lactose and Gluten-Free. It would definitely sell in the shops!!

The current state of play is good and bad days. I am working, boxing, swimming, reading some fabulous books and focusing on my clients, interspersed with some ‘me’ time. I booked my NYE Holiday to Thailand – my first two-week holiday in 10 years! And bought myself MY perfect dress of all time, by Ralph Lauren, in three colours. They fit me like a silk glove and I can’t wait to see some people’s faces when they see me in them!! Skinted rather than minted but the money will come back to me. I am in the right mindset to attract it back. With low energy I was operating on the wrong frequency.

In the last month I have witnessed the utmost in selfishness, ego and narcissism and, on the flip side, the kindness of Angels. And this, my friends, is the nature of Life. Light and dark; good and bad. And all within 30 days of a Facebook fast. A month is a long time – a landmark for change after death and loss; poignant in relation to some religious festivals; instrumental in the growing, reaping and harvesting of crops as well as the female reproductive system (well, 28 days) and the lunar cycle (in which I 100% believe). Things reveal themselves over time if you look up and see the signs. The sun continues to rise and the moon waxes and wanes until the next cycle begins. My Facebook Fast was worthwhile, not because I was off Facebook per se or that my friends missed my on-going tirade of nonsense. Moreover, because I wasn’t looking out and reacting to work, life and love. I took time to look inside me and to look up from my phone. Never a bad thing and one that I can highly recommend.

 

 

The tides of life…

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The Big Blue… not only one of my favourite films as some of you will already know, but also my favourite place to be. I could live and die in the sea. She holds no prisoners when it comes to selecting whom she ‘takes’ and the miracle of how tides ‘ebb and flow’ is one of the greatest wonders of the world.

I took a day off yesterday. My thyroid hormone levels are messed up and I feel like I have been run over. But swimming out to sea, actually quite far so I couldn’t hear the white noise from the shore, helped me re-connect with myself. The ‘Poniente’ wind from The Atlantic is keeping the water icy cold and clean right now (and the jelly fish stay away). It is pretty perfect.

My dad taught me about the sea. I was a Fish and Sea fanatic from the age of two, probably. Jacques Cousteau, Royal Dotty Backs (only found in Australia), fishing and dolphins were like oxygen for me. I must have been a fish in a past life (as well as a February born Piscean, with the ‘watery’ eyes) as I learnt to swim when I was really small and was totally fearless. I didn’t eat fish for years after I went to a trout farm. I felt like my cousins were being slaughtered. Never felt like that about cows, mind you, before anyone makes a wise crack.

As I swam out yesterday and then started to venture back into shore, the following struck me. It is so much harder to swim back into shore than it is to go out to sea. And thus a life analogy presents itself… “The tide is high…” Blondie told us; “If leaving me is easy…” sang Phil Collins.

If you fall down, you have to pick yourself up or you just wallow and stay down; coming back or fighting for a relationship is so much harder than walking away; re-building your business is like climbing treacle when you are at a low ebb (excuse the pun). Life constantly presents us with a different sandy or pebbly shore to reach and tide to swim against.

During my swim back into shore and the humdrum of ‘beach life’, I felt every muscle working in my body; I know the cold water is great for my circulation and skin tone and salt water is one of the best forms of lymph drainage around (apart from Epsom Salts, of course). I was conscious of every stroke and breath, particularly as I have a 50% vocal airway. Sea water is great for sinus infections, eczema and allergies, as well as all manner of ailments (The Dead Sea where I used to live is a separate blog in itself!). Yet we don’t respect the sea enough. Or is it that we don’t respect ourselves enough?

I would actually like to be buried at sea. Not being morbid, simply a wish. Having a bit of a ‘submariner’ adventure could be brilliant and giving my soul and energy back to the Universe via my fishy ‘cousins’ would be far better than rotting in a NW London cemetery (sorry Mum, I know I promised we would be buried together). Just don’t bury me with my shoe collection. A shoal of tuna would end up with the most horrific indigestion trying to munch on my stilettos and ‘bling bling’ heels.

I swam such a long way out yesterday. The space beneath me was infinite. I could see everything clearly – lots of fish swimming about, minding their own business and also me, I could see me. But I had no concept of danger. Dry land, yes. Heights, yes. The sea, never. Even when I know that there are sharks around. Sharks are far less dangerous than humans. At least you know what a shark’s teeth look like from afar!

During a visit to Israel one year, I went on a ‘wild’ jeep ride with a Bedouin to Nuweiba, in Egypt, to a ‘deaf and dumb’ (inbred in layman’s terms, I am guessing) community that was ‘befriended’ by a dolphin in the wild in the 90′s. I could feel vibrations all through (and under) my body as I was led into the sea by a mute gentleman… the dolphin swam up into my arms from below and we played together for a while. It was one of THOSE precious life moments, totally unexpected and natural. But I never looked down or felt scared. I just knew I would be OK.

And I think this is what we all have to believe: that whatever we are going through or however strong the tide is against us, if we keep swimming, we will get there. No need to look down or panic about the unknown and as my dad wrote in my Spanish dictionary when I was 18 - ”No rendir la bandera” (don’t give up). Which is quite fitting on Father’s Day. My dad would have appreciated my ‘moment’ yesterday. Keep swimming, people… everyone knows it is harder to damage muscle in water than on dry land.

For the love of money…

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Today, I am thinking about money. My relationship with it. A lack of it. How to create more of it and envisaging what my longer term financial future looks like. Why you may well ask? Well, two of my clients and friends, John Lee and Vincent Wong, have written an amazing new book called “The Wealth Dragon Way: The Why, the When and the How to Become Infinitely Wealthy”. Aside from skim-reading it from a work perspective, I have taken time out to read it with fresh eyes. From the outside in, if you like.

In simple terms the book is brilliant and a must-read. For some of you reading this blog you will throw popcorn at the screen and shout “Self-development… pah”. For others, a few cynical comments about wealth and money and for others, you will actually go onto Amazon.co.uk and buy a copy. I would stick with the last group if I were you. And here is why.

This book opens our eyes to our personal relationship with money and wealth. Many of our self-limiting beliefs are borne from those of our parents or peer group. Who remembers their parents telling them “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “Money is the root of all evil”? Such negativity is usually felt by those without money. One of the lines in the book so far that has resonated with me most is… “Money solves the problems that not having money creates” (Source: page 32, “The Wealth Dragon Way”). Interesting thought…

I have grown up and known a LOT of people with A LOT of money. Whilst my mother came from a relatively successful middle class NW London Jewish family, my mum and I were homeless when I was five, albeit briefly. My mum’s charm acquired us a Council house in NW London (may the Lord bless the Councillor who shall remain nameless who helped my mum) and she did three or four jobs to keep me fed. I would sit by the window and cry every day for fear of abandonment so she got a job at my junior school (as well).

On the flip side, other members of my close and extended family and friends were extremely wealthy – ‘cinema-in-the-top-of-the-house’ kind of wealthy. I always wanted that life. I was ashamed of living in a Council house and would spend time arranging furniture and cleaning because I thought it would make my lovely little house more desirable. I was bullied at school for not having money (in junior and senior school) yet I worked every weekend from the age of 14 to make sure I had nice clothes and makeup and perfume: all the stuff that teenage girls want. I thought it would make me feel worthy. And ”money” is something we are not taught about in school, sadly.

I never understood about saving or investing. Even though my mum’s father had ensured I had my Post Office Savings Book and I got £5 pocket money from my dad every week, I was never taught how or why to save or invest. I just wanted the quick fix I guess to make me feel more accepted and also to help my mum. I was a spender because I didn’t know any better. I wanted to feel rich rather than be rich. I used my savings to go on holidays and have nice things. And ironically when I have been most “wealthy” in my life, I have been most unhappy and isolated. If I had that money now I would use it very differently and invest. Life lessons are life lessons.

Roll forward to today… I am not rich per se. I earn good money and I work extremely hard for my clients but I am not financially wealthy with assets to show. Emotionally and spiritually wealthy, yes. I know how to be a “débrouillarde”, a great French word that I can also attribute to my late mum as well, but that I cannot 100% find a translation for and I give to charity as much as I can. I can juggle finances well and manage/survive. I can buy prudently and I do a lot with what I have but the gaping hole in my life is passive income, which is one of the areas that the book covers.

I work with many, many successful property investors and entrepreneurs. I ghost write about property and business. I did an amazing deal with a developer to buy the property where I live, I have great property contacts if I wanted to invest (particularly in Spain) and I find many properties that are a steal. My life dream is to have a boutique hotel/house with a pool, fruit trees and an organic vegetable garden. And to make it the best boutique hotel in Spain – and I know it would be. BUT and there is a but here, I ask myself why I don’t have what I dream about…? Because ”I don’t have the money” is my usual answer or this is what I tell myself. Which is the wrong attitude. I know this. It annoys me. I annoy me.

I don’t have the wealth that I deserve or should have in relation to the hours I put in or the age I am. Having had Cancer last year and five operations in 16 months, I also worry about money. If I am not well, whilst medical insurance will cover my medical costs (and I have the money to pay the monthly subs), what happens if I can’t work? These are concerns for all of us and the only way to ensure that these “life concerns” are minimised is through taking ownership of our own financial future. And this is where this book can help people from all backgrounds and regardless of their age or where they live.

“The Wealth Dragon Way” talks about “moral wealth” versus “monetary wealth”. I have high “moral wealth” just not the latter, ie “monetary wealth”. This must change in order for me to be able to do in life what I need and want to do, in order to create the space in my head to enjoy the rest of my life (and so you guys can come and visit ‘Pucci Palace’, the boutique hotel, LOL – just don’t steal the name). When you are told you have Cancer, you realise that life can change very fast. With no warning and you see very clearly that a day has 24 precious hours and that each second counts.

When you have more money you have more choice. Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, and I can vouch for this having also seen lots of very unhappy and lonely rich people. BUT money and infinite wealth can and will grant you more freedom within your lifetime, if you use it wisely. Not just for you but also for your family and loved ones. And in this respect the value is infinite. Wealth becomes infinite in its very essence. And that, my friends, is priceless. “The Wealth Dragon Way” is a must read. I wish John and Vincent every success with this book.

 

I will be giving away one FREE copy of this book on Twitter this week if you follow me @MirandaPRGuru