Leigh Joy Mansel-Pleydell

“When I was four and a half years old I was given up for adoption after the brutal death of my mother. I felt unwanted, unloved, and unseen. Later, I would treat myself the same way through my addiction to alcohol and drugs to try and anaesthetize the pain and trauma of abandonment and rejection.


At 33, on 30 September 2007, I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Hope Street Cape Town South Africa and I am now over 13 years sober. I went to a few rehabilitation centers. Coming into the light of recovery and out of the darkness of addiction has given me the gift of changing the mess of my life into a message of hope, joy, authenticity, and vulnerability.


Today I am the chief visionary officer of a heart-driven, impactful, soul-led consulting practice. I shift and activate you on your journey of becoming and embracing your essential nature of authenticity. I create non-judgemental spaces online or in-person where you are offered the privilege of having a 360 degree look at your life, to rewrite the narrative so that you are the author of your reality and not a victim of your past. I have walked this road myself and have the embodied experience of this shift thanks to my mentors, coaches, and supervisors. I continue to do this work in my own life because I believe I am not able to take you where I have not been brave or courageous enough to go myself.”


1. What’s your biggest achievement / Something you’re proud of yourself for?

“My biggest achievement so far is being in recovery from alcohol, drugs, codependency, love and sex addiction for over 13 years. I work the program which means that: I have an active relationship with a sponsor, I have a great relationship with my higher power, I do service in that I help others to recover in and outside of the 12 step rooms, I continually work the steps in my daily life and also do the written work. I am on my 8th stepwork book, I still go to meetings at least 3 times a month and am looking for a new home group.”

2. What’s your biggest fear / something that holds you back?

“My biggest fear the drives me, which I don’t allow to hold me back is: Speaking my truth. I fear speaking my truth will cause people to reject and abandon me so I used to be quiet. Now I use this fear to propel me to excellence, courage and authenticity. I filter my truth through 3 gates: Is it kind, is it necessary, and is it true for me? “

3. What’s your biggest contribution / Something you like to share?

“How I live my life as a wife, mother, friend, coach or stranger, to express joy! The gift I offer most is compassion, love & joy. My mantra is: Life is too short to not leave sprinkles of magical joy everywhere you go.”

4. Fun Facts:

“Fear of fucking frogs; Echo Ravine in Clarions is my heart home; My nickname growing up was Lulu; My son has made me a Glammy (I am far too young to be a Granny so I am Glammy i.e. Glamorous Granny; My alter ego is a 3 way combination of Wonder Woman/Mother Mary/Madiba; My favorite colors are pink & red; My favorite restaurant is Saints in Sandton; I cook a mean lasagne; My favorite perfumes are Chanel and Mademoiselle.”

Thank you for being you!

“Where do you find inspiration? In all the ways, but mostly, inside.” – SOW

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