What INSPIRES You?

I always feel like laughing (I don’t!) when someone tells me I “inspire” them. It happened just yesterday.

Are you off your f$ing rocker? You really need to raise your standards, I always think. Here I am, with my overgrown under-arms, a dent in my car (shhhh, don’t tell the hubs – it literally just came back from the shop when I scratched it again) and a mountain of unopened bills. I haven’t had the time to clean out my daughter’s school bag this week and yes – you guessed it – the smell this morning led me straight to rotten pear. Yip, it was…you know….just hanging there in a little corner underneath the reading card. 


We celebrated our anniversary recently, and I posted a sexy pic of us kids on a night out. “Inspired” were you?  Well, I had my head buried in editing work the week leading up to that lovely picture and barely said boo to the man. So, I thought I’d surprise him with a lovely gift. When it didn’t arrive, I called to complain (in my best “Karen” voice). The tech guy’s slow “Uh…m’am” told me he knew I was grey. ‘turns out I forgot to click “check-out” and PAY!  Who does that?

Someone blamed it on Mercury Retrograde. I blame it on life!  

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

That said, I did remember to brush my teeth and to say THANK YOU this week:

  • Thank you for the gift of good health
  • Thank you that my son ate all the garnishes (read veggies) on his burger
  • thank you for the laughs over brekkie, the hummus, the WhatsApps of love, gossip and friendship

And most importantly, thank you because I feel loved, supported and accepted by those I share my life with.


So, I’ve decided: I’ll take the compliment the next time someone says that they are “inspired”. That’s how I will know that it’s okay to just be (messy) ME.


Perhaps you’ll do the same? I, for one, will be soooooo inspired!

xoxo

Lee

P.S. My book is now available on Amazon Kindle. See the link below for more info:

https://leemayimele.com/buy-my-book/

Here’s something to help you with that Green-Eyed Monster

It’s school award season and I’ve been watching something with interest.

On the one hand, you have the proud parents posing with their children and the congratulatory comments from happy friends. Then there’s the ugly flip-side as the parents whose children did not win the big awards, turn to their friend’s Inboxes to whisper their conspiracies.

Yip, the Green-eyed monster is alive and well!

I have not engaged: Neither to post about my children’s achievements, nor to throw shade where invited.

HOW?

Well, it’s easy for me: I have a little symbol to whack me back into line.

This little symbol has always brought me back in line, helping me to ground myself in humility and also to avoid the temptation to compare. Photo by Jumana Dakkur

The Evil-Eye is traditionally a symbol to guard against jealousy but I use it as a note to self.

The one I wear on my arm is my daily reminder:

  • Don’t boast – Nobody likes a show-off
  • Don’t draw unnecessary attention to your home/relationship/material bountyEnvy is a biatch
  • Run your race and let other people run theirs – It’s a win-win
  • Count your own blessings and there will be no time to focus on other people’sGratitude 101

I’ve also learned from watching with interest how my muslim friends respond to a compliment (whether it be about their looks or the talents of their children) with the response,  Masha’Allah, that is, “God has willed it”. Don’t you love that show of humility?

Perhaps this will inspire you the next time you find yourself edging towards the territory of the Green-eyed one again? It’s always good to remember that blowing out someone else’s candles never makes ours shine any brighter,

Lee

**If you’d like to learn more about The Evil Eye, I found this Wikipedia entry quite interesting:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye#:~:text=The%20evil%20eye%20is%20a,person%20when%20one%20is%20unaware.

I also love that there’s finally an evil-eye emoji!:-)

Some advice for kids…(of all ages).

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. 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
  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 and you owe it to yourself (and no one else) to express that story in the world. Your way!

xoxo

Mama

Copyright of Lee Mayimele 2020 – First published 2017, All rights reserved

The Power of NOW


I remember this particular morning. I had barely slept because our new baby was was breastfeeding on demand, and well…that night his demand was every 10 minutes. 

I had gone out walking and my husband had come to find me. I saw him coming towards me with my little girl in her stroller and my son strapped tightly to his chest in a sling when he reached into his pocket and took this pic.

We were in a little village in Spain for a few weeks in August in 2013 (can’t believe that’s already 6/7years ago!).

At the time, my head was always in TOMORROW. I looked forward to better days to come. A better body, more sleep, more freedom, getting back to my career, giving my vision board a fresh wipe. I thought that I’d dive straight back into my old corporate life and it would be fabulous! 

But honestly, I never did go back to my old life. The universe had already changed my shit around to align things to my new vibration. 

The Power of NOW

Now is where LOVE breathes – Rumi

When I look at this pic now, I think: NOW! NOW, girl! THIS MOMENT. Not tomorrow. Not after Covid-19. Not when your kids are grown or when you feel ready.

NOW is the perfect moment.

Always. 

xoxo

Lee

#tbt #musings #powerofnow #love #Gratitude

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

Dear Kids

23621584_10155903438564136_6002740028721333494_n.jpg

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

 

xoxo

Mama

 

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

Dear Children: This Life is Messy

Dear Children,

 

Yes, this life is messy.

 

One moment you’re getting a gold star for helping your teacher, the next your heart is breaking because your only friend chose someone else for their birthday ring.

 

Yes, crap is hard. I know.

 

And, I know that the books tell you how the hard moments are supposed to make you stronger but gosh, that doesn’t make the pain easier to bear. Right? I know.
caution-hard-lesson-ahead-300x276

 

The little things ARE the big things. They leave a dent, a mark, a stain that you have to live with long after the fall. Right? I know.

 

But, here’s the thing:

I’ll tell you what my own mother taught (not told) me: this life IS indeed messy but it is in that exact messiness that you will find your own unique talents, gifts, strengths. Those moments will reveal to you a survival kit of wisdom that you did not even know came standard with your model.

 

So yes, the “grown ups” around you may not have all the answers you seek, but you do happen to have front row seats to the messiness that is their lives and I assure you, you will learn simply by watching.
Aluta Continua, as they say. This life is indeed messy, but that’s how the rainbows reveal themselves. And rainbows are all around. I know. 

 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2017  Full copyright and all media rights reserved.

 

(And “grown ups”, we ALL need reminding now and then that we cannot (unfortunately) teach our children that which we are not living every day. Those little eyes and ears are learning everything about this life from watching us. Horror! But yes, that’s a story for another day…The only thing we can do is live honestly, authentically, transparently however “messy” that happens to be)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of War for Moms

My 3 year old locked himself inside a cubicle in the men’s bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times I said “do NOT lock that door” to him before he took the plunge and locked himself inside.

 

Why he was alone in the men’s room when he usually wees in the ladies’ one is a story for another day. One which includes “power struggle” as the predominant theme.

 

Actually, I think all he heard was “please lock the door to test your mother” when he committed the crime. And, I was adamant that he was going to “pay”.

 

Until I looked to my left and saw his 7 year old bodyguard with her arms folded, staring me down. They were united by a common enemy. Their army was looking strong.

 

I quickly tried to think back to The Art of War, to figure out my strategy while the men in blue overalls tried to knock the door down to rescue the felon. But, I drew a blank.

 

As soon as he was free, they both started crying like long reunited family on parole day. He was crying because he knew he had messed up. She was crying because she was overcome with stress about the situation.

 

I was just frustrated and exhausted. It was a crap day at Mama (Pty) Limited.

 

As I turned into the parking lot of their favourite restaurant, I saw my daughter in my rearview mirror “Ha Ha Ha! Shhhhh, she’s forgotten…” she laughed pointing forward towards my head. (I had threatened to go straight home after the fiasco but the lord knows that I needed the wine, so I played along and pretended I had forgotten my threat.)

 

That’s when I remembered The Art of War’s best quote “Appear weak when you are strong”. So, like a boss, I marched into the sushi spot and proceeded to use their pocket money to pay for the sushi (and wine).

 

Aluta continua, as they say.  All is indeed considered FAIR in love and in war.

 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016

 

13419034_10154251149804136_5369958402083874546_nmama

P.S. Here are some more quotes from The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Yes, I agree, many of them do apply to my little war too 🙂  Shhhh….

  • “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him”
  • “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”
  • “All warfare is based on deception”
  • “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
  • “The wise warrior avoids the battle”

Survival 101 for the Gentle Among Us

So, I spent the afternoon at a kids birthday party recently and watched my daughter be pushed from number 2 in the queue to number 15 in a line of 16 kids.

 

I watched the whole thing unfold in ultra slow motion. First one push, then another 3, then another before she was standing at the back.

 

Now, you have to understand how that raised my blood pressure. In. Very. Slow. Motion. Until I could not any longer exercise further restraint.

 

So, I walked up to her and whispered in her ear “Darling, remember what mama told you….” I was referring to many a lecture I have given her about NOT allowing people to push her around, NOT allowing bullies to mess with her, speaking up for herself etc. You know, Survival 101 for the Gentler Variety?

stop

 

But, the girl was not concerned with my blood pressure in the least. She didn’t mind at all as she proudly said “Mama Stop!” She continued, “Mama, there will still be enough cake for everyone, you know?” pointing to the half a face of Elsa still left on the table.

 

The girl clearly had a point.

 

What struck me is that she had absolutely no problem with being shoved to the back of the queue and frankly, neither should I she thought to herself as she plonked herself down on the grass with the melted ice cream cake slice and the biggest smile on her dirty face. I watched the ice cream melt, along with my heart and I thought: Yes my girl. There is indeed enough of everything in this world to go around and surely what’s meant to be yours will most certainly be.  Fingers crossed.

 

Mama learnt her lessons:

 

Lesson 1:

Focus on the things you CAN control

 

Lesson 2:

There is more than one way to get things done

 

Lesson 3:

Don’t sweat the small stuff

 

And most importantly, Lesson 4:

Vanilla “Cake” can turn into the most delightful double thick vanilla milkshake if you have the time and patience to let the universe unfold exactly as it will.

 

So yes, I do consider myself duly schooled.

 

Patience and Surrender are not courses only for the “weak” among us. They are indeed courses of PhD level, which my little Doctor of IQ aces quietly each and every day.

 

Aluta continua, as they say. May the quiet ones among us know that their voices are indeed very, very powerful.  © A Heart Full of Stories, 2016

 

Sweeping Things Under the Carpet (A story about leading by example)

My 2 year old took a tub of black eye shadow and sprinkled it all over our cream bedroom carpets. He didn’t spill. He sprinkled. Liberally.

 

 

I was very upset. And the look on his face told me that he understood how I felt about his “magic dust”. 

 

 

After I calmed down, I took a small Persian rug and threw it over the black marks.  Out of sight, out of mind you know?

 

 

While I took a shower to try and calm down (it was too early for wine), my son called for help from his most trusted ally and together they got busy with Operation Clean-up.  They had it all figured out:

  1. Soap (Green dish liquid)
  2. Water (poured into a nearly empty cranberry juice bottle)
  3. Sponges x 2
  4. Tell Mama the good news
  5. Ask Mama if the sushi date was still on

 

Well, the 7 or so dry stains turned into one giant wet puddle of green/cranberry and MAC Carbon Black.

 

 

So, my daughter tells me (behind her brother’s back), they abandoned their mission after Step 3 and followed my example.  They took a rug and covered up the catastrophe.  Out of sight, out of mind you know?  

 

 

Well, let me tell you, I took the darlings for sushi.  Right after that shower.

 

 

 

I figured that some things are indeed best left swept and left under the carpet.

 

 

Besides, what’s a childhood without memories of “magic dust” anyway?

 

© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016

 

Aluta continua, as they say. This parenting road is indeed still long…. (for me) but gosh it can be funny sometimes.

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