How to Manifest like a Bosssss in 2023

My Friends

2023 is just around the corner and I have one last story to share before we say goodbye to 2022:-)

I’m not really one to make “resolutions” but every year at Summer Solstice (21 December), I spend time on retreat. 

In 2021 I decided to do something slightly different and I hosted a beautiful Solstice Circle of Light for about 100 people in Johannesburg, together with Namaskar Wellness Hub. The evening was magnificent and everything was going according to plan as I guided everyone through the delicate writing process. We wrote about our Hero/Heroine’s Journey (yes, including the Covid shit show). Very gently around a bon-fire under the stars, we took turns to burn the words that poured from the losses, disappointments and fears. It was intense. 

The second part of the ceremony was “dreaming-in” the new but right before we were about to start part 2, I felt a bit faint and had to sit down.

That’s when I received the most special gift. I received a very clear message from my Guides :“First Give Thanks!”

It was incredible! But, I I had been so high on adrenaline and eager to get to the fun part where we made our wish lists for 2022, that I missed out on the one magical ingredient that always precedes great manifestation: GRATITUDE. 

I stood up and quickly changed gear. “Right everyone,” I said, “The next part of our exercise is to make a list of every little thing that made you smile this year. And thennnn……then we can get right on to drawing up our wish lists for 2022!” 

This year I wasted no time. I did my 2022 Stocktake in a little cove on the beach.

I wrote about what I had set out to achieve in 2022, how I slipped up along the way but kept my eye on the prize, the many allies/enemies/frenemies/traps/red herrings I encountered as well as the angels/heroines/superheroes and signposts that got me to the finish line. And my Gratitude List for 2022 was long! 

I was guided to share this story with you, just in case you aren’t really into making resolutions either but have been wanting to do something special to mark the end of the year. If so, perhaps you want to try my THREE part method?:-) I offer no guarantees of winning Lotto numbers but plenty assurance that the more you focus on giving thanks for what you already have, the better your chances of manifesting like a boss in 2023! 

I’m rooting for you,

xoxo

Lee

Do YOU have the courage to tell your story?

One of the first things people say to me when they hear that I’m a writer is “Oohhhh, I want to write a book too!” 

My response “You should!”

Followed promptly by, “…and you totally can!”  

The sad thing is that 99% of those people never write anything and I know why. It goes back to the lie that’s been told to us for generations: YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  

What rubbish!  

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on Pexels.com

Everyone is a storyteller.

Everyone has a story that only they can tell.

And everyone has a right to tell their unique story.

I’ve been working on helping other people find the courage to tell the story that only they can tell. To date, I’ve helped hundreds of authors get their stories out of the heads, into their hearts, onto their computer screens and then out into the world. 

The courage lies in the ability to go beyond the lies. That lies that say: Your story? Ha ha! Who are YOU to be interesting? What makes YOU think that YOU have anything to offer to the world? Give it up while you still have some dignity.

As a writing coach, I make it my business to take my clients beyond that self-talk. Take my dad, for example who has been creative all his life. He sang his stories as an Elvis impersonator in his early years, sketched his way through many a childhood trauma, created poetry through his woodwork and told of his heartache with his guitar. He would laugh if I were to tell him that his stories are still in draft because he is yet to WRITE them. I guess I would laugh too. But only because I know I am write..I mean right.  

I intend to win this one. And get him to write his memoir, Insha’Allah, as my muslim friends so beautifully say, “If God so wills it”.  

Lee

If you would like to work with me, submissions are open now until the end of January 2023. Please get in touch for submission guidelines.

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?

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!

Are YOU afraid to face your shadow?

If you suppress your pain and sadness deep enough, avoid your tears and hide your insecurities long enough… you will definitely achieve all your goals and master your life!  

Bull, right? This could not actually be further from the truth

When you suppress your hard moments you deny yourself something so, so vital. Doing this holds you back from moving in the direction of the light – the place where you flourish. Instead, the shadow takes up a bigger space in your life and begins to get to work right away. It sabotages your career, love life, health, and your sense of purpose. It robs you of achieving any of the stuff on your vision board. 

And the more you try and hide from your shadow, the more it thrives! Just like that yucky mould at the bottom of the veggie draw. The more you try and hide your feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, betrayal, and not being good enough, the more the monster thrives. 

I’ve got a doctorate in denying my feelings. (Not literally, you silly kids!) It is rooted in my difficult childhood. But I’ve been working on the unlearning for pretty much my entire adult life. There is a lot to get through! 

My unlearning has taught me a couple of things: 

  • You can’t break patterns you’re not willing to acknowledge 
  • Self-sabotage ruins relationships and stops us from growing 
  • You cannot escape your shadow 

Only when we finally step up to doing the work do we begin to break free of the cycles of victimhood, procrastination, and feeling like an imposter. That’s when we begin to LIVE! 

THANK YOU for listening without judgment and “holding space” for me while I continue my learning and unlearning.

I wish every success with breaking free from anything holding you back from living the life of your dreams.

Thank you again, 

Lee 

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

Are you scared to make JOB change? Maybe my story will give you some hope…

I had a really crap job as a dog’s body at an insurance company in Rosebank many years ago. It was right upstairs from Fournos — a fast-food-style deli and bakery. 

One of my jobs was to archive old claim files. From my spot on the dirty grey carpet, the faces of the happy people who had just bought their takeaway coffee and croissants were not really visible, but I saw the way they walked and that’s what I wanted! Freedom. 

I remembered this chapter of my life this morning while sitting at the very Fournos. I’d say it’s about 18 years later. I can still picture the unsure girl that used to hate her job and the grey carpet. 

My dream was to move into my own office at the insurance company but life took me in another direction. One morning, I took the risk of meeting a recruiter at Fournos. She offered me a temp position at a new IT firm for triple the salary. The only catch was that it was not permanent. I would stand in for someone going on maternity leave. 

My instinct is always to say YES. So, I did. 

The next thing I had to do was talk to my boss. I was sure I could catch him before his “secret” (not so secret since she told everyone) lover closed the door for their daily meeting.  

“Can I be honest with you?”, he said.  Ah, those famous words I hate so much; usually a pre-cursor to some bullshit. 

“Sure,” I replied. 

“I would not hire you. You are too young and…well, you are not good enough.” 

I prepared a resignation letter the next day and asked HR to let me use my leave in lieu of notice. 

“That won’t be necessary,” HR told me. “Here are the calculations for your retrenchment package.” 

 I did not know it was coming. 

I used the cash to buy a new car and drove into my new job like a mother-bleep.

xoxo Lee

Sunday Nights used to give me anxiety

I used to work in an office that sucked the life out of me. Come Sunday, my tummy would start doing somersaults.

 
This went on for many years. Now that I look back, I feel sorry for that girl. She became a victim. Didn’t she know that she had options?  


There are many chapters that come before the one I’m about to tell you about but I eventually had to make a choice. I could remain a victim or I could go where my heart was urging me to go. Thank goodness I chose the more scary option!


Working as a creative writer, ghostwriter and editor is my calling.
I literally go to “work” every day and think “Mannnnn, how did I get so damn lucky?”


I’ve been working with a client based in California for the last 6 months. She started out looking for an editor and at the end of 6 months, we are both wondering how we are going to get by without our daily rapport. We developed a lovely friendship along the way. She’s into astrology and cannabis, I’m into storytelling and grammar and somewhere in the middle, we are both into mystery/magic/alchemy. Not one day of our work has felt like a slog! We have both grown through our collaboration.  


I edited her manuscript and her book will be published in just a few short days.  


My heart is full. My gratitude overflows. For “work”, for the opportunities that flow into my life, and mostly for my ability to recognise every one of my blessings.


May I never take them for granted,

Lee 


P.S. My special client is Cara Carozza and her website is: www.caracarozza.com 

Follow her for an injection of magic! 

This is the cover for her book. How amazing?





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

A magical Part II to the Kind Stranger Story

Dear Friends

I’ve had so many responses to my story about the stranger who paid our bill yesterday. Thank you! How did I get so lucky to know so many wonderful people? I’m thinking about HOW I can get you all involved in something meaningful that we could do together. Thank you. 

That’s not why I am writing though.

Something even more wonderful happened after I published my story yesterday. One of my friends wrote a post on my Facebook early this morning to tell me how much she loved the idea of “paying it forward”. Like so many of you, she was also inspired. So, off she went to breakfast. She was sitting there, planning to paint the world with kindness today. She contacted me again a couple of hours later. Guess what happened to her? SOMEONE PAID HER BILL! I kid you not. 

I am absolutely blown away by the power of our intention. I know the theory. I just need to see it in the flesh every now and then. 

Don’t we all? 

xoxo

Lee 

ORIGINAL POST FROM YESTERDAY FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T SEE IT (plus a pic of the toastie you have been drooling over)

There are some really nasty people in this world. Trust me, I have had my fair share of them over recent months. From the word-twister to the gaslighter, from family members playing one against the other to the repeat cry-wolf types. 

But, damn there are some amazing human beings on this planet.And, again I didn’t really have to travel very far (not that I could) to find them. 

Just this morning, I was sitting with a friend having one of my most favourite meals : a piece of sourdough toast, slathered with a thick layer of hummus, topped with sliced avocado, grilled balsamic basted baby tomatoes, a couple of blocks of rich Danish feta, rocket and a poached egg. Yes, all on one piece of toast! 

If this be my last meal, make that a double portion of hummus, please! 

So, there I am, staring into my friend’s amazing emerald eyes (which seem to pop because of the absence of her hair which is tucked into her hijab) having a foodgasm when the waitress pops over to let us to knowsomeone paid our bill.  And, like every good superhero, they vanished without a trail. Can you imagine!?

My friend’s reaction was the one I want you to focus on though. She said “thank you. We’ll pay it forward!” 

I’m inspired guys! I’m inspired by what kindness can do. I’m inspired to give more and do more and be more. 

…and I think I am going to heed her call to action and pay it forward more than I usually do. With a full heart and grateful for all the moments that just land in my lap to remind me to focus on the things that matter. 

Will you join me?

xoxo

Lee