Today we’re joined by Angela Legh, a children’s author who has dedicated herself to helping children learn the tools they need to deal with difficult emotions. She believes her fairytales, The Bella Santini Chronicles, can be an effective upstream intervention for kids and pre-teens who need help processing their feelings.
Angela wasn’t always a writer, but once she began, she realized the significant role writing plays in her own healing. Angela openly shares the experiences of her childhood, marriage, and more. She reveals her own journey and how she learned to handle difficult emotions.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- How Angela became a writer.
- How her childhood experiences led her to difficult times later in life.
- What Angela didn’t realize about her marriage at the time.
- What Angela was most afraid of when she left her marriage.
- Angela’s first book and the theme throughout it.
- How Angela’s fairytale transformed into a story about managing difficult feelings.
- When Angela had suicidal thoughts and why they came about for her.
- Why Angela calls The Bella Santini Chronicles an upstream intervention.
- The role that gratitude plays in Angela’s life today.
- Why we need to simply feel our feelings.
- How holding up a timeline can help you keep your perspective.
- Why we should be careful with how we identify ourselves and our story.
- Where you can find Angela’s books (and when).
- How Pixar’s short “Float” inspired Angela.
- Why Angela would like to see her book in the school curriculum.
- Angela’s other work and what she teaches to adults.
Connect with Angela
Angela’s Website: https://angelalegh.com/
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
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[00:00:02] I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the Love Method and author of the number one Amazon best seller, Live Love Engage How to Stop Doubting Yourself and start being yourself. In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully, love deeply and engage authentically so you can create a life and business with more impact, influence and income. Welcome to Live, Love, Engage.
[00:00:37] namaste and welcome to Live, Love, Engage, I am your host, Gloria Grace Rand, and as you can see, for those of you watching on YouTube, I have a guest with us today, and her name is Angela Legh. And this lovely lady has been through the fire, as we should say. And actually, quite literally, in fact, we’ll be talking a little bit about that today. But she has come through on the other side and is now actually a children’s author and is really committed to helping helping kids. And I’m so delighted that she’s here today because she is really the epitome of being able to kind of come back and live fully and love deeply and engage authentically. So, so welcome, Angela, to Live Love Engage.
[00:01:28] Thank you so much, Gloria. I am so thrilled to be here. And, you know, I sometimes I wonder, did I jump off the cliff or did I pull myself up by the bootstraps one or the other? Maybe both. Who knows?
[00:01:43] Well, you know what? Whatever works. Right? So. So tell us a little bit about how you got. Tell us a little bit about your story and how you got into how you got into writing.
[00:02:00] Well, it was all set up by my childhood. And I was born in San Francisco in the mid 60s. So I lived and I lived in Haight Ashbury. So as a youngster, I saw a lot of Golden Gate Park was right across from my house. And so it was almost an idyllic childhood, except I had an alcoholic father who could be abusive. My mother, however, was very angelic and still is. All of that came to a head in 1969 when our house burned down. It was a flat, so there were three houses in one. And all of us lost our house at the time. My parents couldn’t find housing, so we were split up and the kids were sent off to different people. I was sent to a friend of my dad’s who we had never met, so it was effectively being put in foster care for three months while my parents tried to pull everything back together. And I’m pretty sure that the effects of my childhood, those things. Led me to place the value of others before me. So not loving myself enough and fast forward into my adult years, I married Young to an older man and everything was fine until we had a son.
[00:03:54] And that was about the time that he started controlling and emotionally abusing me and our son and. I believe that everyone is good in their heart and I believe that everyone deserves love, and I stayed for thirty two years in that marriage. Not something I would recommend to you, because I was, you know, intermittently miserable and, you know, still in love and happy and, you know, every marriage has its ups and downs. But there were times when I was screamed out for eight hours straight over his. His perception that I wasn’t supporting him. And so that kind of emotional abuse, I don’t recommend that anyone go through really and I was there because I was in a victim kind of mode. I was in that victim energy. He did this to me. What I didn’t realize at the time was I allowed him to do that to me. And it took me leaving the marriage, which was also surrounded by fire. So in twenty seventeen in Sonoma County, California, there was a wildfire and that destroyed our home as well as five thousand other homes. That was my wake up call. Yeah.
[00:05:55] You know, so. So then what happened? Did you wind up then leaving your husband at that point?
[00:06:04] I started I went into a dark night of the soul and I started questioning my own existence. But also at the same time when all the things that keep us busy in life are removed from our life. There’s no house to take care of. There is no bookclub. There’s no stores to go shopping at. All of that is gone. And all you have left is a relationship. That’s when you have to look at it and say, does is this the way I’m meant to live? And the answer was no, no. So it took me a few more months to work up the courage. Not that he was abusive physically, but I knew that. He lashed out when he was hurt, and so I knew also that hurting I would hurt him greatly to leave the marriage, so I wasn’t sure how he would respond. And. I did leave and. I I actually ended up living in a small rental above a garage on the top of a hillside behind three electric locked gates, and it took me a while to realize why I was behind those three locked gates. And it was not that I was afraid he was going to come hurt me. I was afraid he was going to come and convince me to come back. You know, I didn’t yet value myself enough to be strong enough to say no. Yeah. So I moved to England,
[00:08:06] Put some distance between me healing
[00:08:11] Room. Now, if he tried to manipulate me back, which I’m sure he won’t because he’s none too happy with me, I would not. I would not choose his needs before mine at this point in time.
[00:08:30] Yeah, well, that’s quite a story. And so in the process of going through this major changes, is that is that what led you to actually start writing? Was that a way for you to be able to start even maybe even helping you with some of your feelings? I was, I guess is I was just on it. I was doing it. And I was being interviewed yesterday doing talking about the writing process and the woman interviewing me saying that, yeah, a lot of authors say that writing is a healing for them.
[00:09:09] Indeed. Yeah, I my first book was a compilation book and it’s called Ignite Your Life for Women I which is funnily enough,
[00:09:23] But fire just follows you around on it.
[00:09:27] But that was also the ignition of my writing, so it’s a good thing I wrote about the fire and leaving my marriage. But the theme of what I wrote was about forgiveness and what I needed to learn and what that whole process of writing that chapter was about me. Letting go of blame for him and forgiving myself for my choices.
[00:09:58] Yeah, that’s so important. I’m so glad you were able to do that.
[00:10:03] Yeah, it it made all the difference.
[00:10:06] Oh, yeah, absolutely. And all the work I’ve done on myself, I know that that’s that’s where it stems from. Because if you can’t forgive yourself or love yourself truly, then it’s going to be hard to be able to have those good relationships with other people. So so for those of you who are not able to see this on video, if you’re just listening, Angela has this lovely background that has a cover of a book, and it is called Bella Santini and the Land of Everlasting Change. So tell us a little bit about how that came about, that book.
[00:10:47] So it’s funny because I started writing a fairy tale for my friend’s daughter. Back when I was married, so this was before the fire, even, in fact, the fire destroyed the first version of this fairy tale. And I started over the story follows a young girl as she is taken from Earth and and brought to a strange world where she has to figure out how to maneuver and. Her goal in book one is to try and get back to Earth and her family. But I realized I was writing. My life lessons into the book and. At first, I thought, oh, this is about learning self-love. And then I realized that now these books are about. Staying out of victim perception and learning how to manage feelings, and that got me onto. Well, the right now I am. Working with other people to stop teen suicide and because my fairy tales are aimed at age eight to 11. It’s like an upstream intervention, teaching them self love and how to manage their own feelings. So when they get to the teen years, they’re not in this space of not knowing. Having these huge feelings and not knowing how to deal with them,
[00:12:47] Yeah, absolutely, yeah, because it is becoming more or less it is, you know, in the best of times, I think, especially even it’s it’s challenging and it’s even challenging. It’s challenging for kids who have two loving parents. But if you’ve got anything else going on that kind of creeps that a little bit, you throw something out of whack, then it becomes even that much more magnified. I mean, I remember my own adolescence. I also had grew up with an alcoholic dad and, you know, and there were some times I had fleeting moments of, you know, committing suicide. But I I never pursued it beyond that. I think partly because I one reason is I knew my mom had really had a best friend who was did that. And I was a little girl just seeing how devastated my mom was. And I felt as frustrated as I was with my mom at times. It’s like I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I devastator and I didn’t want to do that to her.
[00:13:53] And and I I had ideas of suicide as an adult in my parent because of the pain, my feeling in my marriage. How can I make this pain go away? Sure. I didn’t know how to deal with pain at that time. I learned the fire. How thank you. Know, I certainly understand the thought process. And, you know, I’m I am not saying that my fairy tales will stop a teen from suicide. What I’m saying is if we give them these tools ahead of time, we can affect the trend.
[00:14:44] Absolutely, and at least it gives them something else to think about and then perhaps then maybe they’ll be more inclined to reach out for help and to be able to not have it go that far. So so that’s awesome that you’ve been able to do that one. One thing I wanted to ask you about in all of the things that you’ve had to do. You know, you seem to be in a much better place now. So how does gratitude play into your life right now? What do you feel like the most grateful for now?
[00:15:20] I am so grateful for life. Every bit of my life, including all the hard feelings and the hard things that I went through because. I would not be able to truly understand what other people are going through. If I didn’t experience what I experienced, you know, I couldn’t I could speak with understanding to a woman who is going through abuse. I can speak with understanding to a child who is struggling with self-worth because I’ve been there. I’ve done both. And so. Life is beautiful. The world is beautiful and people are beautiful.
[00:16:22] Yeah, absolutely. Even the ones who don’t always treat us that way or maybe don’t seem that way on the surface. But it is important to remember,
[00:16:34] It’s one of the things taught in my book is that when we are triggered by what somebody else does or says, they are holding a mirror up that reveals within us a world that we need to pay attention to. And so if if we ignore that wound, we go through life and we get triggered and triggered and triggered and triggered. But if we pay attention and we seek to find, OK, where is where is that trigger feeling? Right. How am I feeling it? And then so when you can feel it and then acknowledge it, so I am feeling. Really upset over this really frustrated, really angry, really enraged over it. However you’re feeling. And then. Allow that feeling. Just allow it. Yeah. Because it’s OK for you to feel whatever you’re feeling.
[00:17:45] Yeah, absolutely, yeah. Don’t don’t ever let anybody tell you to, like, cheer up right away, because I’ve had someone do that to me. And it’s so frustrating because it’s like just just let me feel this for a moment. I will cheer up. But I’ve I’ve got to have this feeling you can’t just turn it off
[00:18:08] Because there’s a difference between. Well, first off, don’t cry, dear. Oh, you put a smile on your face. Those are all denial and resistance. Feelings and resistance only means that it will persist.
[00:18:28] Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:18:30] And. When we feel our feelings. We don’t need to wallow in them, true?
[00:18:39] That’s true.
[00:18:39] Yeah, and we. If we simply feel, acknowledge and accept that can let the feeling go when we grab on to a feeling and I talk about this when I talk, I talk about grief when I talk about this because we can all identify with someone who lost someone so bogged down in grief, they don’t see that they have life left in them. And when we identify with a feeling, I am angry. That claiming it I am creates. And identity for us, no, we are better off if we say I feel better. Yes. Yeah. And we don’t own it now and it is not us. And so, you know, it’s like I talked to a psychologist and she said that she had shown a timeline to a grieving man whose wife had died. He was sixty five years old and she showed him how much life he had left. And when he saw that, he realized he had made his identity that of the widower. Right. And he had determined no more life, no more fun, no more anything. When she she held up the timeline for him, he was able to see I’m doing this to me.
[00:20:27] Yeah, OK. But let it go. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I actually just watched a movie recently on Amazon Prime and it was called The Bachelors, and it was about the same thing. It was a husband and he had a teenage son or a father of a teenage son and his wife had died and he led his grief, consume him so much that I mean, he even ended up in the hospital and his son, it was like, you know, OK, if you’re going to die, just die. But don’t make me go through this long, slow, agonizing process like I had to watch your mom die, who I guess probably had cancer or something, and he had to see his mom die and that enough of a shock. So he kind of realized that, oh, yeah, he didn’t want to be able to. Of course, it’s a movie. You know, it gets resolved quickly. And for the last act, I like it again. But but still it was. Yeah, it’s
[00:21:24] Like when you disassociate your identity from that, you can pick up and start. It doesn’t mean you will never grieve again. So you always have that loss of a loved one. It’s not about resisting the grief and it’s not about connecting in the grief. It’s about riding the waves and knowing it is a wave and that. Things will change.
[00:21:59] Yeah, absolutely. So important. I’m so glad that you know, that you’ve been able to do this work. I think it’s so important. Now, this is just the first book. You have like four books, right? Coming up a little bit about that.
[00:22:15] This is Bella Fantini in the Land of Everlasting Change is on Amazon. And I’ll put the links in the chat. And it is book one. I have book two poised. So any time in the next three months, it should hit Amazon and Barnes and Noble and all the other places. And then book three. I just finished the final edit. It goes to proofreading and then illustration. So by the end of the year I think Book three will be out. But I, I’m finishing the writing of book five. Oh oh
[00:23:04] Wow. OK. All right. So you’re just becoming J.K. Rowling. All right. That’s good. I like that every call. And if anybody listening, you know, Hank knows anybody who can probably make a video story of these, it sounds like it would be probably make a wonderful film or something to help kids because kids are so visual these days. I’m sure it’s
[00:23:28] True. And part of my contract, I’m now with Waterside Productions and part of my contract is involves them seeking video. Good. I told him, hey, I’d like
[00:23:44] Pixar to do. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, don’t ever stop. I’ve been watching Pixar short slightly to solve the other day. That was a float I think. Is that. Oh my gosh. Oh yeah. You know, it’s oh my God.
[00:24:02] I cried wrote a whole blog post about
[00:24:06] Oh that’s where I found it from. Yes. That’s why you were the one to tell me about it. I read it on your website. That’s right. Yeah. It’s so awesome.
[00:24:14] It’s so and at the front of my books, I have a little like six pages for parents. And I’m a little bit inspired by the message in float, because the message and float is let your children be who they are. Yeah. And so now the first six pages of my books are just little hints about how you can let your children be who they are. And then there’s a promise from the adults to the child that I will love you unconditionally. Mm hmm. And then there’s a promise from the child to the adult, I will love you unconditionally and I will love me unconditionally. And that’s kind of how I’m hoping
[00:25:24] Effect a little change.
[00:25:27] Yeah. And, you know, I think I and I’m just going to put this out there, too, as I was. I would even encourage parents out there to to read the book themselves first, probably before even giving it to their kids, because sometimes I think the reason that so many kids wind up not feeling their feelings is because the parents also have have these issues, too. And they were never taught how to write.
[00:25:55] And and it’s still not part of the curriculum. And I’m hoping that, you know, schools can grab onto my book and make it a part of their curriculum.
[00:26:08] Because one of the you know, if you think about substance abuse
[00:26:19] You know, just
[00:26:20] Meeting them,
[00:26:21] But it’s all based on not being comfortable fearing the feelings you’re having. So you’re escaping them.
[00:26:32] Yeah, exactly.
[00:26:33] And so how much of a change can we make? All of that, if we teach kids how to feel their feelings.
[00:26:46] Absolutely. This has been amazing. And I think I feel like I might even have to have you back another time sometime because there was like more things I wanted to talk to you about that I felt I may save it for another time just because we we went down an interesting road today and I’ve been enjoying it before we go. Is there something maybe maybe even do you have an example of someone that perhaps you’ve helped actually even through your writing of these books? Have you have you had any feedback or anything from that?
[00:27:28] Well, I haven’t had feedback from my fairy tales other than, you know, I’ve gotten really good reviews. There’s a lot of five star reviews on the fairy tales. But I, I did two years ago, I spoke in Mill Valley at I forget the bookstore name, but it’s not good of me. But anyway, a book passages I spoke at book passages in Mill Valley about writing the Ignite Your Night, Your Life for a Women book. And a woman in the audience heard my talk and was inspired to write her own story. So she joined. The Ignite book is a series of books, and so she joined one of the Ignite books and wrote her story. And I was really pleased with that. Just, you know, I don’t think of myself as an inspiring person. And yet I did make a little difference right there. And that’s the thing, because we all can make a little difference.
[00:28:42] Absolutely. And I would I would say that I would urge you to reframe that because you are an inspiring person, because when you look back at all that you have survived and overcome and now here you are, you’re writing five you’ve got five books essentially just about done that. You’ve been in addition to your others and you are making a difference in the world and being alive light. So you are inspiring so that, my dear. And so before we go, if someone wants to be able to learn more about you and other, then of course, I will definitely have the links to the books on Amazon. But do you have a website or something? How can people contact you?
[00:29:28] I do have a website. It’s it’s Tepes to slash slash Angela Lee and e l a li l h dot com. There is no I in li.
[00:29:44] It’s very good. All right. Well I know we will have insurance too so. Yeah, I didn’t even actually ask you. So are you doing any other work in addition to the writing to do any other type of adults let’s say.
[00:30:03] Of course I do, I, I teach adults how to connect into their inner child because childlike wonder is the magic of life, love, curiosity, playfulness. These are components of childlike wonder. So I have an online class that I teach adults how to do that.
[00:30:30] No. Wonderful. All right. Well, see if they can get all that information, I’m sure, at your website. So it is on my Web site. Yeah, well, we’ll make sure that you check that out because, yeah, it’s been fun. It’s been a certainly stressful year, year and a half since the pandemic here. And we need more fun in our lives to overcome so about. So if you need some help remembering who you were as a kid and having fun, go check out this website I encourage you to do.
[00:31:05] I also want to say one more thing, and that is it’s so important for me to get my fairy tale into the hands of children that on my website is a link to the book for free. So people who cannot afford to buy the book can still get it for their child. And that is just that’s how important this is to me to help children.
[00:31:35] Well, that’s awesome. It’s very generous. And I really wish you. All the luck in the world in getting you into more schools, because it sounds like a wonderful way of being able to gently and creatively encourage kids to not be afraid of their feelings, but to be able to learn how to manage them. And it’s such a good skill to have. Well, thank you, Angela, for being with us today. I am so glad to have met you and to have had you hand live love engaged today. It’s been a pleasure.
[00:32:10] Thank you so much, Gloria. And look for further conversations.
[00:32:15] Absolutely. Definitely. And thank you for watching and thank you for listening. Make sure that you are a subscriber. Wherever you are listening. Whatever podcast platformer, subscribe to us on YouTube. And until next time, as always, I encourage you to go out and live fully, love deeply and engage authentically.
[00:32:43] Did you know that a majority of entrepreneurs tend to discount the importance of their work and a good number feel their success is simply due to luck? I know from personal experience that self-doubt can keep you from having the kind of life and business you desire. That’s why I’ve created a free guide called Uniquely You How to Move from Self-doubt to Self-love in four simple steps to claim your free guide. Go to live, love, engage dot gift. That’s live love. Engage dot g-i-f-t.