Warning: Kindness is Dope

I met someone recently who thanked me for something I did for her 20 years ago.

I kid you not.

To be quite honest, I did not recall the detail or that act of apparent kindness at all. She tells me that it came at a time when she desperately needed a strong mother figure and that young-me stepped up.

I must say, our exchanges back then never did feel like “rescue” or “help” to me. In fact, I reckon I was the one who felt good. I was the one who felt useful. I was probably the one who felt high from the endorphins that make us drunk with purpose. That’s really all I remember about our interactions ~ how lovely I felt around her.

How cool?

Her testimony has since inspired me to write some random “Thank You” notes of my own. Because the stars know that there are plenty of people who have touched me over the years. And just like that, I’m part of an energy that keeps the magical vibration of GRATITUDE in motion.

Perhaps you feel inspired to hop on the train and thank someone today too? If so, I can tell you without a doubt that the wise ones were right: It is indeed GIVING that we RECEIVE.

Try it. Thank me (29 years later).

Lee Mayimele

Chief Storyteller

Happy Endings (A story about a dirty old man and a misunderstanding)

Knowing that I love all things vintage, a friend reserved a skirt for me at a vintage clothing store. She said that it had my name written all over it and from the picture she sent, she was spot on.


So, off I went to try on my longgggg, old no-doubt, new best friend.


As I arrived, the parking in front of the store was full, so I drove to where I found a spot and hopped out of the car.


My phone rang and I answered. My colleague was calling to discuss a new business deal. I was pacing and talking, talking and pacing, all the while thinking about that longgggg skirt.


An old man winked at me and I winked back, still pacing and still talking. He was 100 years old.


When I got off the phone, he called out to me. “What’s a nice lady like you doing at a place like this?”


“Well, it isn’t everyone’s taste, that’s for sure” I replied “but for me, the older the better” I said, my mind rushing off to thoughts of the treasures inside the vintage store.


My phone rang again and I had to pace again. Damn! My vintage fix was on pause again.


The man continued to hang around while I talked. As I hung up, he said “So? What turns you on?” to which I replied “Anything long and olddddd actually”. (That long skirt was now just moments away)


When I finally made it to the vintage store door, the woman inside said “Oh, I am so glad you are inside” before getting my reserved skirt off the rack for me to try on. “There are some real perverts hanging around there” she said pointing to my car and to the sign that said Adult Sex World in flashing lights.


Grandpa’s questions jumped back into the fore of my mind. Gosh, I had just told him that I loved anything “old” and “long” and with my mind now clearer, it occurred to me that he was not asking about the vintage store or my taste in skirts at all!


I heard a commotion outside and my car alarm was going off. Every one standing around the vicinity of the car quickly disappeared, including old gramps. So, I am glad to tell you that my story had a happy ending. (Pretty much the opposite of poor, old gramps’ story, I guess) 


But that’s life huh? Happy endings are never guaranteed but damn, they can so happen at the most unexpected of times.


Isn’t that a wonderful thing?


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016




P.S.Talking about ENDINGS, aren’t you glad to see the back of 2016?  I sure am!


I have suffered tremendous loss this year and it is with the heaviest of hearts that I watch the curtain come down on this show. But, I do know this honestly, loss and mourning are two dark islands that we all need to visit in this cruise around this planet.  So, let’s hold each other in kindness, knowing that the just like the dark, the light islands exist too and that visiting them and enjoying their pleasures is our birth right. I know this without a doubt.


Allow me to wish you light in the year ahead.  May your days be bright!


I look forward to sharing many of my stories with you in 2017, the biggest of which will be the publishing of my book, which I took a decision to postpone this year in order to observe a period of mourning.


Thank you for reading, for sharing and for telling me that your hearts are connecting. Nothing in the world makes me happier! (Well, maybe there are one or two things…but that’s a PG21 story for another day!)


Aluta continua, my friends.  Please remember that:

YOU are enough

You have always been enough

You will always be enough

The end.





One of thosssssse days

I woke up feeling strange.


I knew that I had not slept well because my son was up lots, but it was not that.  I felt off- centre.  Just not myself.


Instead of allowing myself just 15 minutes of gentle writing and meditation time (which I know works for me), I jumped straight into my work in the kitchen, of preparing things for school etc.


After everyone had left the house for the day, and still feeling slow and low, I jumped into my car with no plan of where I was going.


As I set off, I received an SMS from my housekeeper reminding me that I needed to buy toilet paper. I responded “Okay”.  She knew I would forget.


Because habits are hard things, I got the urge to send some work emails so I swerved right into my local country club to use the wifi. I planned to rush in, send the emails and go straight for the toilet paper. You know, get the shit out of the way, so I could enjoy my day off work.


While I was signing into the club, there was a knock on my window followed by my door opening. A 100 year old man got into the car and said “Oh dear, would you give me a ride to Gate 1” pointing to the gate in the distance.


He was already halfway in the car. So was his walking stick. It was too late to do anything but drive. So, I smashed the old McDonalds Happy Meal box off the front seat and said “Yes, sure.”


The security guard was laughing hysterically. It must have been my face.


Gate 1 was not where he thought it was. In fact, it was Gate 2 to be precise and it was far, far out of my way. Thirty minutes later, I dropped the old man off at the cricket stadium, right in front of the entrance. Yes, thirty whole minutes later. That’s how long it took me to find his Gate 2.


He kissed my hand and said “Thank you, dear. Now go on and do something fun. You are only young once!” 


Shaking my head, I found myself laughing and then crying as I drove back home to do something “fun”.  I climbed into bed with some ginger tea, a Mr Delivery menu and my notebook.  I also gave my housekeeper the day off.  (Because ain’t nobody got time for toilet paper dramas on their day off!)


© 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.


Do YOU Over Promise and Under Deliver?

I believe in under-promising and over-delivering.

But, if truth be told, I never really feel like I am on top of my game as a parent.

There is always a sock with a hole, a teacher’s birthday I forget or a tooth fairy duty that nearly slips my mind.

As I stood at my kitchen counter, I stared at the half-eaten chicken pie that no one said thank you for. I looked around at the yoghurt smears on my curtains. I read the note in my daughter’s diary, reminding me of an outstanding indemnity form and I thought: Gosh girl!….are you sure you are qualified for this gig?

I couldn’t dwell on the thought because I needed to give my kids a bath. They had jumped into the mud, right after I told them to stay clean.  We were on our way to a dentist appointment.

I snuck in a quick photo (who doesn’t love a muddy face?) before I turned on the bath tap.  There was no water. Our cleaner reminded me that if I had read the letter on the fridge, I would have, and damn right should have, known. Boom!

It was a rough day at Mom HQ.

As I walked into the dentist with the two kids from Mudville, the nurse and I got talking straight away. She was a lovely old woman with a round back — an observation pointed out to me by Miss Mudville herself.

The old lady had lost her daughter 50 years ago. She had been standing on a pavement, minding her own business, when she was knocked by a car. She died instantly. She was just a young girl.

I asked her how she ever found the strength to live and she said “The memories! The memories are all we have in the end!”  She pulled out a small album and shared her most prized possession with me. Her pictures of special family milestones.  I saw muddy faces, spilled drinks, and grazed knees. The other thing I noticed was smiles. Smiles and kisses, hugs and laughter.

I drove home, observing the fighting and moaning coming from the back, and thought: “Of course I am qualified for this gig. The giver of life chose ME by name! Remember?”

We stopped off at the ice cream store and my daughter said, “I thought you said NO ice-cream because we are muddy?”

Now, how do you explain the under-promise and over-deliver concept to a child?…

© 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.

Trust Issues

I walked into the room and I could tell that they had been talking about me.

The tension told me that it was not good things.

One of the girls was my friend. The rest of the people I hardly knew.  Someone said “So, how was your weekend?”

The spotlight was on me. 

I saw a few shoes shuffling, heard a few throats being cleared.  The anticipation of my response was causing shifts in the room’s energy.

I said “It was relaxed. I did a bit of reading.” 

The next day, my friend called me up and told me that she was “concerned”.

She had been hearing rumours. Over tea, my friend began to unpack her concerns.  She started with my account of my weekend.  The truth is, I had donated some money to a charity and they had published a picture of me in the local newsletter. I did not know this.  She did and the fact that I did not see it fit to tell a group of strangers how charitable and wonderful I was, was a clear red flag for her.  She ended off by sharing with me that she had spent “some more” time counselling my boyfriend. They were near a breakthrough and hopefully he would “change”.


I was stunned. 

Firstly, I believed in my right to privacy, especially around philanthropy. I also knew nothing of my friend and boyfriend’s Dr Phil meetings and I most certainly knew nothing of MY hand in “pushing him over the edge”.

I was seriously stunned.

Fortunately for me, that chapter ended many years ago and I was both friendless and boyfriendless at the end of it, by no proactive choice of my own.

But who knew that in my middle-aged days of nappies and botox considerations that I would have to revisit the story.

You see, last week I sat in a room where everyone was talking about someone else’s husband and she walked in.

Someone asked her a leading question. The spotlight shone brightly. The energy in the room became greyish brown. There was shuffling and throat clearing. The tension made me start peeling the gel off my nails.

I was stunned.

Although they were all complete strangers to me and I was merely an observer sitting at the next table, I was seriously stunned.

So I closed and eyes and said “Thank you” for every weed that removed itself from my garden.  And then I continued to watch the dear woman proceed to answer to her audience.

© 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.

Same Movie, Different Set

We sat in a circle. The people were taking it in turns to introduce themselves.

The lady next to me related a story about being hijacked at gunpoint, losing her husband to a younger tart and her fear of heights.  A grey man with a huge moustache said that he was having a hard time with a power hungry son.

The workshop facilitator nodded.

I felt like I was on a movie set.

It was my turn next. I felt like I had to say something deep and meaningful. Something that would gain the trust of the fellow enlightened people in the room.

But, my brain wasn’t fast enough with the creative stuff.  So, I went with the truth. 

I said that I wanted to learn the art of vulnerability and intimacy.  I also wanted to learn to “be myself” and meet people who were “real”. 

That Louise Hay workshop was in Johannesburg 15 years ago.  And, as life would have it, I got to relive the scene from that weird movie set again last week. Only this time, the movie was set in Amsterdam. 


I was the one listening to the 20 year old girl this time.  She said “People are so fake! You never know who is who anymore”.  She was just a waitress on her lunch break.  I was just a mom who had 20 minutes to spare before my school run.

I wanted to tell her what I wish someone had told me at that workshop 15 years ago.   I wanted to say:  “There are many beautiful people out there. The sooner you drop your mask, the sooner they’ll drop theirs. That’s the only way you are going to connect authentically, intimately, magically”.

But I heard the school bell ring and I used that as my cue to run.

I do hope we meet again.  I don’t think my heart will rest until I touch hers.

© 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.