What is your story? Or, in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
My story: I was born in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, CA. My dad was an abusive alcoholic; my mom a force of love in the world.
One morning, when I was coloring in a coloring book, I thought I saw a merry-go-round of dancing lights in the laundry room. The merry-go-round turned out to be a raging fire. My mom got all of us kids outside, but the house was destroyed. I was four.
My sister and I were sent to live with a stranger for two months. Though the family treated us well, the experience taught me I wasn’t worthy of love; I had no value. I felt abandoned by my parents. I grew up not knowing my own worth. I married a man whose method of loving me included disrespect, control, and criticism, meted-out regularly. I valued his and the kids’ needs more than my own and stayed in the marriage for over 32-years.
I took a government job, but I was lost in the hierarchy and did not feel valued. My adult life reflected the fact that I did not love myself.
All of this ended one night in October 2017, the night the Tubbs fire destroyed 5000 homes in the wine country of California. One of the houses was ours. I lost everything except my relationship with my husband, which I knew didn’t serve me. I sunk into depression, began examining my life, what I stood for, and how I wanted to live. It took six months, but I finally got the courage to leave my marriage, quit my job, and move away. I moved to the UK! I began writing books for children. I found my purpose in life: to open the hearts and minds of children and adults to the magic they have within.
What message do you promote?
You are made of magic, a magic that lives within your heart. The magic is love, laughter, playfulness, and curiosity. Sometimes parents, teachers, ministers, or other well-meaning people crush that magic. Your life may be controlled by people, some of who you don’t remember and don’t care about. Occasionally, we take their words to our hearts and make them into rules for living. But these words, these rules, reflect the thoughts of someone else; they are not your thoughts. Feel into your heart and know the truth about you. You are made of magic. You are a valued member of humanity. You matter.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I am giving away 150,000 eBook copies of my children’s fairytale book: Bella Santini in the Land of Everlasting Change, to help kids navigate society’s troubled waters, especially under Covid restrictions. The book is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart. Aimed at ages 8-11, Bella Santini teaches children how to process emotions through a strong female lead character. A book club question section at the end of the book promotes deep conversations between parents and children about difficult topics. I am gifting 150,000 e-copies of this book to children in need so they learn they are love and are loved.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to
I worked in government for 11 years; I gave my all - staying late, working through lunch, giving 120%. I realized the more I gave, the more they expected. At one point, I covered three full-time jobs, taking on the tasks of other positions recently vacated. I was doing three times the work of the other employees for no additional income. I did this for three months before I decided leadership was taking advantage of me. I sought a similar job in a different department, thinking I could reset employer expectations in my new position. But I was who I was, and I ended up again giving 120%, working through lunch, and staying late. The reset only worked for a little while before I began expanding my leadership’s expectations of me through my overt dedication to the job.
I took the next step in valuing myself when I opted to retire in 2018 to pursue the life I wanted to live.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I love being creative, and writing is a beautiful way for me to express my creativity. The thing I love most is writing books, not for me, but with love for all children. I believe children are a gift to the world, and too many children don’t know they are. The only reason I write my books is to remind kids they are magical. To let them know they are of infinite value. To tell them the world needs their love. My writing is all about the children. They deserve love.
Another aspect of work I love is advising adults on how to find magic in their life. I have an online course launching in February, entitled You’re Kidding Me! Building Blocks to Reclaim Your Wonder. The course is designed to reconnect adults to their inner child. Magic is carried within our hearts, but as we become adults, we let go of many aspects of the magic, trying to fit into others’ expectations. By connecting with our inner child, we can reclaim much of the lost magic.
I will be marketing the course to parents; because through the course, they can build a deeper connection with their children. When I am working with adults, all of my work is for the benefit of children, even if it is the inner child we all have inside.
How do you SHOW UP?
My goal is to show up in the world as a force of love, to remind everyone of their infinite value as a member of humanity.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business, what would that be?
Self-love is the key to living an extraordinary life. Know your value. It is when you value yourself others can see your value. Expect to be treated as a person with tremendous gifts to share. Know you are magic and magical. Remember: the magic is in your heart; magical is when you express it!
Contact Angela Legh
Angela Legh, Author of the Bella Santini Chronicles
Creator of You’re Kidding Me! An online course to connect adults to their inner child