About Lee

My name is Lee Horbachewski, to many, I am known as SimpLee Serene. With a last name like Horbachewski I needed to be creative.  SimpLee Serene is derived from the words simplicity and serenity, both of which I highly value and hopefully inspire you to find.  One of the definitions of serenity is “shining bright & steady.”  I believe that no matter where you are at, or how you are feeling you can shine bright & steady, even in the face of depression and anxiety.

I know too well how you feel.  In 2004, I spiralled down into the dark pit of both depression and anxiety, which led me to be hospitalized in a psychiatric ward and resulted in numerous attempts on my life.  My journey is captured in my new memoir A Quiet Strong Voice.

Thankfully, I am here today, alive and well, filled with gratitude that I chose life.

I am playful, goofy at times,

love community, real, authentic, loving,

loyal, generous, grateful and kind.

Oh yeah, there is a bit of a cheeky rebel in here as well.

Music is a big part of my mental health regime – I affectionately refer to Josh GrobanJana StanfieldJohnny Reid,Jann ArdenJael JohnsonJaylene Johnson and Jon McLaughlin as my J-Team.  Josh reminds me Don’t Give Up in times of darkness, Jana inspires me with If I Were Brave, Johnny encourages me to Change the world one day at a time, Jann Arden inspires me to be Transparent, Jael Johnson is THE most beautiful 15 year old rising star who is Unconditional, Jaylene Johnson reminds me to embrace my Butterfly Girl and Jon McLaughlin lets us know We All Need Saving.

And then there’s the amazing Michael Buble, his kindness and generosity is evident when he granted my best friend Sandra’s wish before she passed away.  He is a source of inspiration to ask for help.

Most importantly, I am a Mom to two beautiful daughters, a loving wife, daughter, sister and loyal friend.

And did I tell you how much I love butterflies?  So much so, I have a beautiful butterfly with the words Serenity and Purpose permanently etched on my shoulder.  Why am I so passionate about butterflies and the transformation from caterpillar, to chyrsalis to butterfly?

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly.”
~Proverb ~

And that is exactly how I felt going through the darkness of depression, I thought the world was over, and then over time I transformed to spread my wings and fly.

The Chrysalis was introduced to me years ago, by my then 6 year old daughter.  As my daughter eagerly took me through the Calgary Zoo Butterfly Sanctuary, with glee and excitement she explained the chrysalis to me and what it was all about.  I have studied and researched the beautiful transformation and have seen this play out in my own personal journey…

The Caterpillar: a time of Growth

As the caterpillar suspends itself, life is dependent on the grip of two hind claspers.  The basic template of the chrysalis is evolving from the “caterpillar that once was” to the “butterfly that will be.”

The Chrysallis: a time of Change

Everything has its plan, purpose and function.  About two weeks go by from the time the caterpillar turned into the chrysalis.  The inward workings have been orchestrating the makings of the destine butterfly to come.  As the butterfly colors become vibrantly clear, time of emergence is at hand.

The Butterfly: a time of Emergence

As the butterfly slips free of the Chrysalis, it’s abdomen is large and filled with fluid it must pump  into its wings.  It twists side to side to help the transfer of fluid into the wings.  As the wings become fully expanded they are very soft and vulnerable, the butterfly folds the wings together and hangs freely, vertically and downward.  Within two hours, the butterfly can take the first flight of freedom.

Where are you in your life?

Are you in the process of growth, change or emergence?

It’s your time to spread your wings and shine bright & steady!


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