A Monday “Accident”

After a rush to get the kids off to school, I grabbed my diary off my bookshelf and rushed out of the front door in my white Converse.


I sat down at my corner spot at my local coffee shop, pulled out my notebook and turned to November.  Damn! Wrong notebook. Many years old.


I flipped through it and I looked at the words. 


List after list

Chest pains

Deadline after deadline 




More words

More deadlines

More stress


I recalled it all. 


I must tell you though, the coolest feeling in the entire world was as I realised that all that was in the past. 


…and that the crap we stress about today, will also just be old words and old memories in scruffy notebooks one day too. 


Shucks, that’s a lovely feeling! Don’t you think?




© Lee Mayimele


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Where we don’t know the origin of the pics used, all respect and due credit are hereby given where appropriate. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and A Heart Full of Stories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All media rights and copyright for the words reserved.







Dear Kids (A reflection from a greying Mama’s Heart)

Dear Kids


Whilst no parent has all the answers and whilst this mama is constantly, still learning, know this for sure:

  1. You are never alone
  2. Travel is the best teacher
  3. “No” is a good word. Use it often. It’s particularly lovely when there’s a dead silence and you offer no explanations
  4. “Please” and “thank you” never goes out of fashion
  5. Water heals. Oceans. Tears. 2 litres a day
  6. You have a built-built in “people” radar. Please listen to its beep beep beep when something feels offish
  7. Sleep is medicine
  8. Play, play, play. Never stop playing
  9. Less sugar, less screen time, more grass, more laughs
  10. God is inside you and no one one has a special hotline that you need to go through
  11. Betrayal is painful. Nothing can prepare you for that kick in the groin
  12. Go out and explore. You can always come home to cry
  13. Try and remember who you were before the world started pinning its labels on you
  14. Your body is beautiful. Exactly as is. Explore it. Admire it. Treat it right and it will reward you so much
  15. No one knows it all
  16. Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family
  17. Believe in magic. Those who don’t, never find it
  18. Your word is your honour. Do what you say you will. Always
  19. A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles
  20. Give freely. Of what you have. Of your time. And quietly please
  21. No one likes a show-off
  22. Learn to listen. To God’s voice in the early morning. To yourself. Certainly to people who you trust
  23. Shortcuts never work
  24. People will forget what you say but they will never forget how you made them FEEL. Be kind
  25. Books, music, thunderstorms and tea are good for lonesome days when you need your mama
  26. Abundance and prosperity are your birth right
  27. Look beyond the labels of race and religion, gender and social standing. How people treat people from whom they need nothing is where you should focus your scoring and grading
  28. Jealousy is when you count other people’s blessings instead of your own
  29. Love does not need to hurt
  30. Speak your truth. Even when your voice shakes
  31. What sets your soul on fire? Go there
  32. Learning is constant
  33. Messing up is okay. Intentionally hurting someone never is
  34. You teach people how to treat you
  35. You may have one “true love” or many or even none. Remember that you are whole anyway
  36. You have a story that only YOU can tell





© Aluta continua, as they say.  A Heart Full of Stories, 2017

How a toddler schooled me in SURRENDER

I’ve been observing my son and his CTRL-ALT-DELETE siesta system shut-down for a few weeks now.


After a 3 block walk home from playschool at noon, he gobbles down a hot lunch and then stumbles straight up to a sunny spot where he crashes for 2 hours.


He never looks across at his PlayDoh, nor does he squeeze in a quick trip to the fridge before he allows his body to melt. He never turns on the TV in case he misses a scene of Paw Patrol nor does he apologise in advance for being unavailable for the next few hours.


The dude simply surrenders to what his body needs most and in doing so, allows all systems in his temple to reboot. Routinely, of course, but most beautifully all the same.


I must tell you, today I am so very thankful for the lesson in self-care.  The tutorial in surrender is something I need very much indeed….


And the GRATITUDE that floods my veins is most delicious!


© Aluta continua, as they say.  A Heart Full of Stories, 2017




Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Whilst we don’t know the origin of the pic above, all respect and due credit are hereby given where appropriate. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and A Heart Full of Stories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All media rights and copyright for the words reserved.






Do you have a heart-wound after a LOSS? If so, come listen to my story….

All this talk about Mother’s Day has me feeling anxious, I must admit. My heart-wound has only just begun to form a scab and I have been taking good care of it.


My approach to its healing has been quite simple, actually. Like a good mother, I have looked primarily at INFECTION PREVENTION.


For starters, I took a conscious decision that I needed to keep the environment sterile and germ free.  And while I am under no illusiions that one cannot engineer every social environment or interpersonal encounter completely (particularly with family), I knew that it was indeed possible to focus on “access control”. So, I did.  Quite intuitively, I have been terribly circumspect about who I engage with, what I share, and how I could avoid people with energies that felt harsh to my sensitive film. The daily “disinfectant” through meditation and “fresh dressing” through prayer have helped tremendously.


Secondly, I focused my attention on creating a HEALING ENVIRONMENT for the heart-wound. Once more, led purely by my instinct, I began to draw on my good memories of my mother and to allow that positive energy to flow into my home, into my work and into my relationship with my own children. I have also played, laugh, rationed screen time and increased my reading time.  I began to seek out real experiences, people, food and music that made me smile.  And sure enough, the smiles came.


I am, of course, always mindful that with this sort of wound, research tells us that there is no prescribed time frame for healing completely. In fact, research tells us that there isn’t really a “cure” at all.  Like diabetes perhaps, one simply learns to “manage” the beast and one learns to adapt one’s lifestyle in order to lead a productive life.


So, adapting I am.

And it would seem that the wound is indeed closing up.

And the scab will fall off.

And all that will remain is the scar. 


How I will relate to the scar, is of course another story entirely, but I will tell you this honestly:  there IS always light at the end of the proverbial tunnel after a loss. Yes, even when you think your entire world has gone black forever.


You will one day be able to reflect on your scar and know for sure that every single day is a GIFT. (After all, no scar is able to form on that which is not alive). And like me, you will also be able to CELEBRATE not only on Mothers Day, but every single day that you are alive.


Aluta continua, as they say.  May you never take a day for granted.



© A Heart Full of Stories, 2017


Why I was late, why my iPad was pregnant and why I hate yoga

I believe in being punctual, well prepared and flexible.

I was on my way to a storytelling event. Although I had prepared well in advance, I arrived five minutes late. Now five minutes is no misdemeanor for sure, but for a time-stickler like me, it’s a self imposed spot-fineable offence.

I was late because my direction-bearings were off and I had taken the tram in the opposite direction to where I was going. Then, my Uber driver was grumpy, so asking him to speed was out of the question.

The first person speaker was a beauty. A dark haired woman with the biggest smile — the kind you see in toothpaste commercials.

I caught her story in the middle : her husband was having an affair. 

I listened attentively as she waved her hands while giving an animated (and very detailed) account of how that affair drove her into the arms of a lesbian lover and then right back to the arms of the new and improved version of the very same husband.

She radiated light, vitality and sunshine. I loved listening to her bare her soul. People were drawn to her light.

I was up next. It was a hard act to follow.

I turned on my iPad just to get to the right spot for my storyguide and it was dead. Just dead.  I had no backup notes and as I fumbled in my handbag to try and find a pen, the American voice called out my name.  It was showtime.

Instead of sharing the beautiful story I had written about how I was forced to confront my bully, I had to make some shit up. Fast.

I said “I believe in being punctual, well prepared and flexible. So, I am here to tell you why I was late today, why my iPad is pregnant and why I hate yoga.”

The laughter helped me to relax and I continued to waffle off a lot of crap.

After the event, the toothpaste commercial girl said “You know, your story and mine are pretty much the same.”  I wanted to reply that I had never had a lesbian affair but said “How so?” instead.

She flashed those sick pearly whites and said “In the end, we only regret the risks we did NOT take.”

And, she was right. The risk of telling that story opened up yet another door for me and today I am grateful.

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and http://www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

The Vision

I was on my way to Dubai for an important meeting.  I had prepared well and looked forward to the finalising a strategic deal.

I planned to drink lots of champagne on the flight and make use of the pyjamas. Afterall, flying first class was not something I did every day.

My eyes started getting red soon after boarding.  By the time dinner was served they were on the colour of tomato soup.  The woman sitting next to me said “What are your eyes telling you? What do you not want to see?”.  I laughed, had my nightcap, ran over my notes for the meeting and went to sleep. Lying flat!

I had a plan in my head.  I was sticking to the vision.  (No pun intended).

I arrived safely at my hotel and when I finally got to look in a mirror, I panicked. Just a little bit. My eyes were blood red.  I went to see a doctor immediately.  I needed to sort my eyes out pronto.

When I returned to the hotel, I could not shake the feeling.  I felt awkward and scared.

But, I had a plan. A vision.  I planned to stick to it. 

The first day’s meetings went well but I had to excuse myself from an important dinner that night.  I had to.  My eyes needed rest.

I went to dinner alone.  I felt like someone was watching me.  All the time.

My vision did not include this stupid twist.

My food did not arrive despite two reminders. They apologised and told me that that had never happened in the history of the hotel. They agreed to send the food to my room.

That creepy feeling increased tenfold.  

I went to my room.  The doorbell rang and my heart jumped!  It was only the food arriving but for some reason I was freaked out. I tried to eat but could not relax.

So, I went downstairs to the hotel lobby.  I thought that perhaps a spot of people-watching would distract me. Help me return to normal.  Help me to stop acting crazy!

I was walking across the room when I heard someone making a sound. A catcall kind of sound.  I turned in the direction of the sound and it was a man. An Arab man in a long white cloak and a veil on his head.  He winked at me. 

I knew something was wrong.  I felt INSTANTLY nauseas.  My beautiful vision was gone.  Instead, I was filled with fear, disgust and paranoia. 

I decided to sit down.  For God’s sake! This was a famous hotel with cameras everywhere, plenty of tourists and my business associates were staying in the same damn hotel. What could go wrong?

So, I straightened my shoulders, gave myself a mental smack and walked across the room to another part of the hotel. I looked around for the man.  I did not see him.

I took two steps forward when I heard the man make the sound again.  By now I was officially freaked out!  He was hiding behind a plant and he stuck his tongue out and licked his lips.

Through my sore eyes I saw fear. Big time!

I planned to go straight to reception and alert them to my fears but my phone rang and I took the call.  When I looked around again, I saw the man talking to the people at reception, laughing and looking like they all knew one another.

I could not go to reception. I definitely did NOT want the bad pervert to know that I was scared of him. That was not an option.

So, I went to my room. Bolted the door. Texted my colleague in the room down the hall to find out how the dinner had gone. I didn’t care about the dinner, actually. I just wanted to know that he was there if I needed him.

My eyes insisted on closing. I could not sleep but my eyes needed to be closed.

About 3 hours later, the room phone rang.  I answered and there was no one there.

I called reception. I asked them if they had called.  They said no.  I check with my colleague. He had not called either.

Two minutes later, there was a knock at the door.

I did not answer.  My eyes refused to open. Literally.  

I did not know if it was the bad man, my colleague, reception, security or some other extra terrestrial!  I guess I will never know.

On the long flight back home, I let my emotions flow.  I just burst out crying!  Those tears acknowledged that I was pissed off that my body had failed me at such a crucial time, that I had let some stupid man play games with my mind when I was not feeling well and that as a woman, I was such a soft target.  Most of the tears were about the vision.  The vision that had gone wrong. Literally.

When I arrived in Johannesburg my eyes were cleared up.

And, instead of keeping an open mind, guess what I did?  Yes, another vision.  The vision I had was of eating hot dinner with my husband in the safety of my home, telling him my story with my eyes sparkly and white.


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 12 Year Old who melted my heart (and then broke it)

He was 12 years old. He had lost both his parents tragically.  His grandmother was looking after him but he was really the one looking after her. She was very old and very blind.

This kid was exhausted.  Mentally and psychologically drained. 

Each morning at 6am, he dressed himself for school and then walked one hour to the bus stop. The bus took another hour. School was very important to him.  His parents would have been so proud.  He missed his mom every day.  She wanted him to be a doctor.

I felt his warmth instantly.  He was so full of dreams. 

He did his sales pitch within 12 seconds in my presence. He offered to wash my car.  I suggested once a week and he suggested the price. I tripled it and we had a deal.

My heart melted.

The deal lasted one and he never missed a day.  We talked about his doctor dreams and laughed lots.  My car was never really clean, but I was happy.

Around the 1 year anniversary of the Sunday sessions, he did not turn up at our agreed time.  I knew something was wrong.  The next week I waited again but my car was desperate for a wash.  I took it to a professional car wash in the area.  I recognised one of the guys who worked there. I had seen him talking to my favourite 12 year old before.

The other washer told me exactly where to find the 12 year old and I rushed straight to the local soccer field.   I had to find out why he no longer wanted to clean my car. 

It was worse than I had imagined!  Much worse.

His grandmother had died.  There had been a fire in their home and everything had burnt to the ground. He had nothing left and was living on the streets.  He did not turn up because he was so distraught!  I felt sick.

My heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces.    

When I finally got home that evening, I realised that something was missing from my car.  My house keys!  Damn!  I went back to the car wash.  I met the same washer who had done such a good job earlier.  He said “So?  Did you talk to him?” and just as I was about to say “Isn’t it sad? What on earth can WE do for him?” he said “His mother and father have to be strict, you know.  He needs to focus more on his schoolwork and spend less time doing bad things. Next time he will go to jail!”

It turns out my little friend had played me.  His parents were still alive.  His grandmother too.  She was not blind either!  And, their family home was in perfect shape, just 3 minutes from the local school. 

I felt numb.  Just numb.

I did not confront him.  I did not need to.

To me, the story was tragic enough.  I did not need reasons.  I did not need explanations.

To understand his motives would be to open my heart up again.  Fortunately, that was not an option. 

I reckon my 12 year old is in his twenties now.  I wonder if he still dreams of healing and saving lives.

The end

© Lee-Ann Mayimele & A Heart Full of Stories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lee-Ann Mayimele and www.aheartfullofstories.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.