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

*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

People Fatigue – WTF? I know, I know!

It was my sister in law who famously described me by saying “She gets PEOPLE fatigue”.  

She was describing my lively social nature that has such a short battery life. What can I say?  It’s only taken me about 100 years to accept that The Natural Habitat of this beast really is the quiet mountain.  

Now, it’s one thing to know something about yourself. It’s entirely another to know that someone else GETS it! Not that you’re seeking some sort of validation. H3%ck no, we’re too old for that!  It’s just so lovely to feel that gentle voice mirroring back to us those beautiful words it’s okay,

Okay to be weird.

Okay to different.

Okay to go at a pace that isn’t exactly textbook, but a pace that feels right just for YOU? 

Photo by Josh Hild

Isn’t that what we all want!?   To shine our Weirdo Lights bright so that other weirdos feel empowered to let theirs shine bright too?


I’m sending you thoughts of love this week and I’ll be looking out for your special light. Okay?

Lee

People will always SHOW you who they are

Some weeks back, I got into an altercation with a dodgy auctioneer. The joke’s on me, because I have known him for years and let’s just say he has never claimed to be a saint.   


I think human nature is always to HOPE. I have certainly fallen into the trap of thinking that if I am nice enough, if I perform better, if I say/do all the right things that I will be the lucky one who escapes the slaughter of the bullies and narcissists.  

pic by Josu00e9 Barbosa


But it never works out that way because people do the things they do because of who THEY are, not because of who WE are!  


I think I had forgotten this for a moment, as one lesson after the other in this vein kept popping up as though the Universe was saying “Hey Lee, I don’t think you got that lesson girl, let’s give you a double-dose next time bam $%*£!”


Now I can say with certainty, I GET IT! I GET IT!   


Take a leaf out of Maya Angelou’s book, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time”.


And stay woke,  

Lee 

P.S. The pic I chose today is just something that I love because her face is so full of stories. Don’t you think? Wouldn’t you love to meet her and just listen for while?

Teachers: The Good, the bad & the ugly

Some teachers will stay with you forever. 

Miss Brown was one such teacher for me. In a sea of unkind, cruel faces she smiled. That’s what I remember about her. That she smiled and sometimes all it takes is someone smiling at you when you are a little person overwhelmed by eczema, family conflict, and maths to know that the world is okay.  

My son may or may not remember his Grade 1 teacher but I will. She’s the kind that makes each child feel like they have their very own personal tutor and cheerleader. I have watched him grow and flourish under her covert strategy to “stretch” him.  Teachers like her are rare and we are the lucky few.  

Then there are those teachers who really should not be teachers and boy, oh boy, have I had some of those in my life. Back when corporal punishment was still allowed at school in South Africa (yes, I am giving away my age), one particular teacher who I still have the displeasure of seeing as an adult, took his role as “disciplinarian” so far, that many of the children that he beat up still have PTSD as adults. 

Another gremlin teacher was the one who in my last year of high school, when I called the home phone (again, I am giving away my age) of the young gentleman who I had romantic links to…took the phone away from him and spoke to me. Yes, she was at his home and she was not there to give him English lessons. She made that very clear to me.

It was World Teachers Day last week.  I wrote a couple of thank you notes. I also processed some of the old emotions related to teachers that were not so cool. That’s how these little memories came into story form now.  

It’s also the reason I need to give a shout out to my MOM friends who have to be teachers every day of their lives but have also had to formally become teachers this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Girls, I see you.  I see you struggling to keep yourself sane.  I see you carrying the emotional load of your family.  I see you trying to create balance. I see you dying of loneliness.  I see you having to put your dreams on hold for another year. I see you watching as things fall apart.  I see you cooking endless meals, doing endless shopping, providing snack after snack.  I see you trying to limit screen time while seeing the need for technology. I see you having to deal with your judgy in-laws, neighbours, and the rest of the peanut gallery. I see it all.  

…and I salute YOU!  This Teachers Day and always because we are all in the shit together.  

May history judge us kindly.  

xoxo

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

A Kind Stranger Part I (A story about INTENTION)

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 know someone 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

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 courage to tell your story

Have you ever noticed that the people who behave the worst, are the ones who fancy themselves the hero/ine in the story?

I’ve been going through my notes from a recent Writing Course that I taught. It was a deep emotional kind of writing in the genre Memoir. What really interested me, was that when asked why they chose not to publish or share their writing, that a range of people all said the same thing : FEAR. (I remember saying that too when I first started publishing).

I took the time to really look at the profiles of the characters that they had written about that they most feared would react negatively. It wasn’t the public. It wasn’t Twitter trolls. It wasn’t some overly critical readers out there in Cyberspace. No, the characters in their TRUE stories who my writers feared most were those closest to them! It was parents, siblings, loved ones.

As a result, the writers I am talking about became immobilised.

They were terrified of being called gaslighters, drama kings and queens, liars or being told that they were bringing up old secrets that were best left under the dirty carpet.

Sound familiar? I thought you would say yes.

The issue is universal and it does not only relate to writing. It’s a people issue.

As a writing coach though, my job is really only to facilitate a process, to guide and mentor, to edit and teach technical aspects. I would never push anyone to write or share that which they are not ready to do BUT I will (and did) say this:

  • It is YOUR story
  • You decide how you write the characters
  • The ones that have a problem with their characteristics, should have behaved better
  • How your truth lands is something out of your control
  • But tell your story, YOU MUST

Perhaps my little pep talk has gotten you thinking? Do you have a story you want to write or share? I offer a range of writing and coaching services, which you can see on my website www.leemayimele.com

Remember, this is YOUR story and we all have a story that only we can tell. Truth is magic!

xoxo

Lee