Early to Bed, Early to Rise – Is this the secret to Health, Wealth & Wisdom

Early to bed

Early to rise 

Makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise 

Benjamin Franklin

This is exactly what our creator had in mind when they finalised my factory settings!  

Few things make me happier than going to bed early + waking up early. It has definitely made me healthier and since good health is our true wealth, I’ll be the first to say thank you for being able to check the “wealth” box too (while I wait for the billions in the bank).  

As for being “wise”, I guess being able to recognise what I have in this moment is the real measure of wisdom for me.  

Am I wise enough to know that I don’t know?

Am I wise enough to know that every breath is a gift, every second in this body precious?

Am I wise enough to ask for help, change course, learn, stretch, surrender to both pleasure & pain?

Am I wise enough to never call myself wise

And, most importantly, 

Am I wise enough to know when a carefully timed double shot of Espresso is required because life is not linear and mine is no boarding school?

I’m learning.

I encourage you to be you, to share you, to celebrate you. Imagine how dull life would be if we all loved our orange juice with salt?

Lee 

I just love this little doodle my 8 year old did of me! He sure knows how much his mom loves her some Ed Sheeran “Bad Habits” in those mom jeans. As for the cute eyes, well…what can I say?

Is passing the ball and sharing pizza too much to ask?

Sharing does not come easy to children. Well actually, sharing does not come easy to human beings I’ve decided.

This is my conclusion after standing on the side of the sports field and using every fibre of self-restraint I own not to run onto the pitch to grab the ball from kids who hog it. Pass the blooming thing, I shout inside my head, Open your eyes, dude…there are 3 free kids waiting in the wings. It’s a team sport!

I’m sure I’ve said that last bit out loud? Never!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Is it that we are all driven by some inner desire to be the hero? Or perhaps we’re just chasing the high that we know comes from scoring/winning? I don’t know what the answer is but I do think that when it comes to any group activity, understanding our role in the team is as key as understanding the overall objective. Imagine if every single soccer game had 8 Ronaldos, I say. Who would be the Ruud Krol (I’m giving away my age) to help the goalie in the back? I think I’ve made my point.

As for adults, we don’t easily master the sharing thing either despite our pretenses. True sharing implies empathy: the ability to get into another’s mind and see things from their viewpoint. How many of us can truly say that we can do that?

I’m working on less of ME and more of WE.

…unless it comes to leftovers in the fridge. Then it’s me, me, me all the way. Junior School-sport style:-)

Lee

Dear Barbara Streisand: “People who need people are indeed the luckiest people in the world”

What could go wrong on a morning when all the traffic lights are out?

Well, I packed some hot dog rolls into a Woolies shopping bag together with some cheese grillers and set off to gym. Stay with me – the hot dogs and gym visual is true.

The plan was to give the food away before it expired without my husband finding out. Long story…

I never quite made it to the gym (no surprises there) but I decided to sit down for some scrambled eggs instead. Just before I picked a spot, I saw someone I could give the food away to. The man sells Homeless Talk, a newspaper that I have seen a million times but never bought.

As I sat down at the cafe for my breakfast, I reached for my wallet to put the parking ticket in the spot where I always put my parking ticket and that’s when I realised that my wallet was in the black hot dog bag! The plan had been to stick the empty shopping bag into my gym bag, that’s how my purse ended up inside. Note to self: forget gym.

When I related the story to my children later that afternoon, sure I added some drama but essentially:

I had no cash to get out of the parking lot and had to make some decisions quickly.

So I asked the parking lady for a free pass. Sure, she said.

The cafe owner said that I come could totally have stayed for a free breakfast.

I opened my banking app to see if there had been any transactions. Cancel Cards/Not? Pause, I decided.

As I drove up the road towards the Homeless Talk seller, I saw him holding out the Mykonos blue purse with a look that said, “………..!”

The kids screamed “Nice hot dog lady!” but the man’s face really screamed “dumb blonde!” I was guilty as charged on both counts.

But here’s what this story is really about: people people, people.

We are all just people who need people. And that’s how we all get by. By needing people and by allowing people to need us. Barbara Streisand was right.

Lee

P.S. I couldn’t find much info online re Homeless Talk but the lovely guy selling his is at the garage near St Davids in Inanda close to Summer place:-) Didn’t catch his name. Don’t tell him you know me.

Summer Solstice & The Hero’s Journey Theme

Yesterday was 21/12/2021 – the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere; the day celebrated as The Summer Solstice.

I was barefoot in the garden at sunset at a beautiful venue in JoBurg to host a writing workshop and Solstice Ceremony for 50 people. I was eager to get into my role.

Stories connect humanity. Without stories, we are empty. 

We listen to stories, so we can connect with others. We tell our stories, so we can heal. 

Every day, you are telling yourself a story from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep.

We tell ourselves stories so we can unpack and process what we have been through.

Everyone is a storyteller and I stand by my previous sentiments that everyone has a story that only they can tell.

So we wrote with abandon.

We worked with the classic theme The Hero/Heroine’s Journey because let’s face it, us Heroes have been weighed down by stuff (God, we are living through a pandemic and trying to keep our shit together!) 

Our hearts have been heavy

We have become well acquainted with fear, control, anxiety, jealousy, feelings of deep darkness 

We have lost people

Seen suffering on a level that we have not seen in our lifetime 

And we have been walking with a constant threat…Is this nightmare over yet? 

…And yet, there is the part of all our stories that will tell of crossing the threshold (as the Hero/ine does in the theory) and entering a brand new chapter of our lives where we truly are victorious.

That’s really what we all want and there’s really where the energy of the Solstice was guiding us.

Always towards the Light!

After our writing, we moved on to the Fire Ceremony where we burnt the words that poured from our darkness. I said, “Watch your letter burn. Watch the paper become ashes. Watch the smoke rise from the paper. Know that the materials of the ink and the paper have returned to the basic elements and you are free!”

And so it is,

Lee

If you would like to book me for your own Write & Burn Ceremony or any other Writing Workshops, my calendar for 2022 is now open!

Coronavirus, Anxiety & Thanksgiving

I was driving to my son’s Christmas market yesterday having just received notice from school about a Grade 1 pupil with Covid-19. My nerves were in a twist.

Since last Thanksgiving, about 5million people have died, South Africa is headed for a “fourth wave” and a new variant of the Corona virus (Omicron?) seems to be our next big threat. No wonder, I thought, No bloody wonder scientists have had to coin a new term. “Covid-19 Anxiety Syndrome” says it all. This pandemic has messed with our heads and we will have scars for many years to come.

Before we walked into the market, I spent some time alone to get grounded and centered. When I felt ready, I headed straight to the bar. That’s when I bumped into someone I haven’t seen for about 2 years. The first thing we spoke about was her cancer. “I heard you were ill,” I said, “How are you feeling?”

She generously took me through her journey, right from the lump she found in her breast and later her armpit to the double mastectomy, chemo and long road home. As she walked away with her two young children, something really stayed with me. She was so GRATEFUL! She told me that not only was she grateful to be alive but she was sooooooo touched people! Naturally, her friends and family were there to support her but it was the random meal drop-offs, help with the kids, kind words, flowers and support from people in her neighborhood that touched her big time.

The sense of gratitude helped to shift her focus from poor me to blessed-me! This despite the sadness, fear and trauma she is still working through.

Happy Thanksgiving Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

As the sun set, the sound of happy children, smell of boerie rolls, champagne glasses clanking and the odd glow in the dark toy lit me up inside. I was grateful for my good health, grateful for the wonderful night sky, my amazing mom friends and my tall, handsome boy who I watched laughing in the distance. But, like my old friend, it was the people that gave me the feels. Our community of love.

I wonder if scientists are going to coin a term called Covid-19 Gratitude Syndrome because just everything seems a little more special at this point in the game.

Lee

Would you hop on the Virtual PAY-AS-YOU-FEEL train?

When I lived in Amsterdam I used to go to a cafe called “Pay as you Feel”.

People would pop in, have a cup of coffee or something to eat and pay whatever they felt moved to. The kitchen was run by volunteers — often people with social/emotional hiccups — who needed to DO something. Their love language? Service, of course.

The cafe was on a busy high street with lots of tourists. I kept going back. At first because I’m a voyeur (don’t judge) and the cafe was a good spot to people-watch. Then I went back for another reason. It was the sense of satisfaction I got from giving. I mean, it’s cool to buy a cup of coffee (almost anyone can do that) but knowing that I was making a difference was something else entirely.

I’d cycle across to the other side of this icy canal to get to my little happiness cafe

The memory of the cafe popped up again this week when I received a lovely surprise. I’ve been working with a client on rebranding after a long hiatus of being home and uninspired. We came up with a fresh marketing strategy, she launched her brand and set off – quite excited to start doing her thing. She also wanted some advice on starting a blog and I agreed to help her get started. It was my pleasure to help her do that. (I remember when I first got started. There weren’t that many people willing to help me. I always said I would be different) Helping her made ME feel good. That was payment enough but she was not convinced. So, early one morning, I saw a ping on my phone with a payment.

“But why?” I texted her.

“Think of it as a virtual Pay as you Feel Cafe, Lee.” (She remembered my story!)

My only thing left to do this week is to find a way to pay it forward. Why, you ask? Well, because I FEEL like it.

Perhaps you FEEL like joining me?

Lee

Shock-Horror! Ghosts can Write

“What, Mama?” *insert shock-horror on the cutest faces you can imagine here* “So YOU write the stories…and they take the credit?”  (“Do you at least get money?”)


I don’t know how it came about that I even brought GHOSTWRITING up with them. Or why…

Perhaps it was on that morning I was nearly bust being the Tooth Fairy and I grabbed a book in a lame ass attempt to show them something more “interesting”. 


I’ve been a GHOST WRITER for many years – taking ideas and rough drafts, weaving and channeling my ideas around them and then handing them back to authors to publish.

I’ve never thought about the credit bit. I guess that’s not why I write.  I write because it gives ME pleasure!


Have YOU figured out how to turn something you love doing into a business?  I’d start with what brings you JOY.


That’s always the way. 


xoxo

Lee

For more stories like these and a list of my services, please visit www.leemayimele.com

*CONFESSION*: I used to be a YES-Girl too

When last did you say NO?

As a recovering yes-girl, every single time I do this, I still get goosebumps. No, honestly.

Just last week I said no to doing the social media content for a campaign to help find jobs for people who had lost theirs because of Covid-19. The organisers wanted the job seekers to hold up placards describing their plight and to pose for pictures. The placard captions were to read Hungry. 2 Kids. No Food etc. I knew for sure that not one of the people – who by virtue of the way the dice had fallen in this lifetime – would have been prepared to hold up such a placard (nor would I), and so I walked away.

I just love this photo by Arfa Talib from Pexels. Isn’t it wonderful?

Then, I also said no to a bully in the family recently. Now, if you know anything about families, no is the ultimate swear word! Don’t you think? But, I was willing to take my chances. This time, I was guided by the fact that my little people are watching and learning and that if I want them to learn how to assert themselves, affirm their boundaries and stand their ground, I am going to have to walk the talk!

Perhaps you’re battling a little bit in this arena too? If you are, here are a couple of things to remember:

  1. You teach people how to treat you
  2. No is a complete sentence
  3. You get what you tolerate
  4. The only people who get upset when you assert your boundaries are the ones who benefit from you not having any

I wish you love, my friends. And the courage to say NO!

Grateful always,

Lee

Two Kinds of People in This World

There are two kinds of people in this world.

The first are TAKERS. They walk into a room and you feel the energy drain. They are suckers of information, time, energy, resources and will leave you feeling depleted and frazzled if you let them in. Ask the kids. They will tell you who these people are.

The other are GIVERS and it is these people who I have plenty of in my life. This week, the givers were in top form. Compliments, free dresses, information pertaining to a legal matter, girlfriends calling just to say thanks, logistical help with the kids, a cleaner with a thing for sneakers. Gosh, I even saw a fresh hot cake come into the front door, fresh out of the oven of another and straight into my heart for no reason but kindness,

I’m rooting for my GIVERS all over the world. I think we’re going to find each other and I think we’re going to beat the takers to the finish line.

…besides, they’ll be so busy causing their own storms they won’t even notice the rainbow when we bank it.

Love you my Givers and and I never ever take a moment for granted!

Grateful always,

Lee

Burn, Baby Burn!? – I need your suggestions

Hey Friends

As you know, I practice GRATITUDE daily but I also have a weekly practice that I want to share with you.  I’ve been practicing this for over 15 years now.  


Every Monday morning, I wake up just a little earlier than 5am (which is my usual prayer and meditation hour).  The extra 15 minutes gives me time to time to write down stuff some.  

I look to the week ahead and ask for special help with all “challenges” that are imminent.  Deadlines, people, …things that I know are going to be hard!  I write them down and I BURN that piece of paper.  


The act of burning doesn’t make the challenges magically vanish! Don’t be silly.  It simply empowers me to see them for what they are. Things that can be sorted. Some by me, some by others, some in the skies in ways I may never understand.  Right?!

A Monday “ritual”

Here’s where I need your help, friends:
I’m looking for a NAME for this practice of burning the piece of paper.  
Let me know if you have any ideas.


And do let me know if you are going to try it too.  I would be so honoured! 

xoxo


Lee