Category Archives: Coaching and Training

My once in a life time opportunity at the lone Psychiatric Ward as a clinical psychotherapist


 

 

Hi World, when you dare to follow your passion, with persistence and perseverance, it is a deep sense of fulfillment all the way – all the time. I bash you not but I am learning, loving and sharing so much in this once in a life time opportunity at the lone psychiatric ward in our city of Douala, Cameroon.

Needless to scare you with grueling details on say the numbers we receive each day, the number of shrinks available leaving out anything psychologist or therapist… nor the condition and resources of the ward… I got two months running from April 2nd – June 2nd 2018 and for that I simply put honoured, humble and happy. One of the first patients I saw wrote me a love letter on the eve of his departure and just yesterday another told me he was sad I was too beautiful for him. I mean isn’t this worth it?

You know, it wasn’t easy picking up psychology studies after I completed my CBT Training obtaining the first ever DISTINCTIONS note in my entire academic pursuit. But, and indeed, I was so motivated by this score and took an online diploma in psychology, dedicating close to 13 tough hours spread over two weeks, to have a merits score of 88%. Well there was lots of reading background too right? Anyway, below is what my records show:

Learner-Verification-Diploma in Psychology
Sharing just to inspire and motivate

I was now ready to for the once in a life time opportunity at the lone public psychiatric ward in my city, and considering the journey to get that opportunity, not even a nagging swollen eye nor any discouragement from ‘friends and foes’ could blur my vision.

I will just share a small portion of an email I sent to my soul family after two weeks at the ward:

April 20th: I call them my friends, I meet them before reading their records, most if not all have pure hearts marred by etc

Simply put, I am the first therapist seen there and I am fortunate to do it my own way. I am personal – calling names and not bed/room numbers; and I greeted and hugged a 19 year old girl and it meant the world to her. (She’s moved on to be my first ever private client, she is doing so well already and gladly her meds were revised … to read she’d been diagnosed with Schizrophrenia almost broke my heart)
Sadly, the meds culture is invading here and I have seen some zombies. But, many families don’t keep their patients here for more than a week because they don’t have money.
There is also quiet a high amount of addiction cases and I have already met and still work with 3 of them. Sad too many of their families have abandoned their patients and either care very less about them.
I generally see patients first and connect before reading their records, most records are filled with so much negativity and bias and bring out all things violent or pointing to need for incarceration and fierce treatment with ‘no mercy’ anti psychotic shots like haldol and valium oh my…
I take it in strides and many love me, indeed the lone bouncer there has started calling me to help him calm difficult patients ha. Some patients outright ask for me and some nurses too are not so pleased. But I go there only 3/week and the Major and Psychiatrist love me so and are so grateful I am there.
I mean, why would I pass on such a once in a life time opportunity to make a huge difference in my life and those of all these people hurting and suffering from all these debilitation, marginalization and stigmatization like my brother had, just because I am initially a lawyer and from a ‘noble profession and background?’

 

I have never doubted the intelligence my Almighty Father gave me. It is simply awesome all I sponge in, do, learn, love, share and embrace. No turning back for me, I embracing it all – all the way. His Amazing Grace is sufficient for me.

Gaby draws for a client

The boys are so proud of me and ask about my day. I tell them about my friends and sometimes they draw for them like Gaby did above for anty Love – she treasures that drawing and shows it off to everyone lol

Now, have you ever heard of an intern having an intern? Nadege above is a psychology major student who was sent to me on May 15th to train for two weeks before I leave. Here is a flash from our first day together. We took some pictures as she requested, and when she sent same to me, we had the following exchange (shared of course with her permission):

[14:08, 5/15/2018] Marie Abanga: Thanks for the pictures darling. Ravie de travailler avec toi (saying am happy to work with her)
[14:29, 5/15/2018] Nadege Psy: Don’t mention. Me too fière de bosser avec toi. Cette journée à été formidable (saying she is so happy too to work with me, and the day was a blast)

Our office is a hospital room, and we sometimes make a weary client to lie down for 15 minutes to the sound of some meditation music etc… we are out to help our friends as best as we can and am so happy to say I can give myself a 65% reach out. I go for walks with any I think need a walk or have that hot energy to burn out, I sit wherever with whoever, pray with them or sing or even just stare, hold hands, it’s all my spirit leading me. And it has indeed so done, I mean look at what one could manage to write on a worksheet I gave him

Another one who initially told me they don’t speak English, now greets me each morning as follows: “Hello lovely…” He gave me the large chocolate bar in the picture… many have given me little stuffs too, and it’s all so warm…

Be inspired and motivated with that passion and vision of yours regardless of your current circumstances or who says what around you. There is no doubt my just ended spiritual journey has fortified me bigtime for this once in a life time opportunity…

Happy midweek to all

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Their Budding Bicycle Business and Co


When Alain was 9 years old and asked for a bicycle, I quickly got him one because I remembered how he loved his tricycle as a kid and will carry David behind as the zoomed the house. I had left Cameroon when he was 8 years, and was still dealing with so much guilt. Anything he asked for (given that I had easier access to him and barely any to his brothers), I quickly bought.

That was how he quickly learnt to ride his bicycle at his granny’s, and became the ‘chef du quartier’ par excellence (translate this as neighbourhood hero by popular acclamation lol). He always had what I call 12 disciples following him around, negotiating for even only 2 mins on the bike. We don’t have a bike culture here, and most middle or struggling families can’t afford the luxury of buying bikes for their kids, not to talk of each kid having their own lol

So, I got one for Alain, and when his brothers started visiting, they’ll learn how to ride on his bicycle. Their dad the ever his type, refused to get theirs for different reasons. He said they’ll run into the road when I offered to send the money to buy them…his first reason had been he had no money…

Anyway, fast forward to 2018 of course, we now have 3 bicycles for three guys in another neighbourhood like at granny’s. David of all, the one his dad feared for most, is the chief errand guy in the area. He flies on the bicycle, he rides almost standing, and does business with his bicycle more than the others.

They (except Gaby oh lol) ride their bikes to school too, and that spares me some change for taxi etc. It gives them so much autonomy and empowers them, they even give me some coins every now and then. They are fast learning to save and manage their finances and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful.

Alain is now with his 3rd bicycle since then, and he takes immaculate care of his bicycles. David does too, Gaby is just Gaby.

The chain is still on this time around lol

He puts the chair and chain on each time hahaha, but he still has some clients too; just for smaller amounts like 25 frs a ride or even a mango in exchange for some time on his own bicycle lol.

Alain bargains the most and he is big guy now right, so his own generation use the bike for more serious reasons like going on a date etc. One paid 500frs just last Tuesday for 3 hours. You can bet he needed that bike, maybe to go impress a chap lol.

I also seize the opportunity to continue teaching them to save and manage their finances, save also for when the bike breaks down and a wheel needs air for example. Alain and David have been doing that so well, Gaby is still trying to get that right hahaha. They even try fixing it themselves sometimes too and from them I have learnt some parts of a bicycle like the chain, brakes, nodes etc

Talking about business further, David is what we call a real Bamileke man (These are like the super business minded in matters of business in our country – a tribe renowned for being business inclined and with all the pride we can give them). He also has a sticker business. Stickers are called ‘autocolants’ in French, and he gets a packet of say 20 at wholesale price, then retails them for a profit.

The small downside of this business atmosphere here is that they tend to neglect other stuffs like washing their clothes. Nope I don’t do it for them, and nope I don’t have a washing machine, and nope I don’t have a housemaid.

So one day when I got back home and they had all gone out wherever, I didn’t want to raise my voice on their return – see am also fasting from anger and attack thoughts etc. I therefore left them a note on the kitchen door, and went to the nearby lake to read in peace. On my return, my obedient sons had done their laundry and we were all so happy. All is well that ends well, parenting can be fun if we are creative and let the children be themselves too.

Be inspired and motivated all you parents especially single mothers in here

Pray: How did you kick off this year?


I remember a similar post I wrote last year on the 1st of January. I was bent on that day to kick off the year with sports, especially given all the lousy reasons I came up with in the wee hours of the day not to do same. For me, it boils down to a good start because even if (and yes even when) I lose some momentum during the journey, I can always motivate myself with the memories of a good start – and obviously very good goals lol.

This year is a very special one for me because I was inspired to declare it My Year of Grace. I mean given the success of last year which I had declared My Year of Gratitude and got so much to be grateful for including a Guardian Angel when I had thought I was too old for one, I decided to believe in the power of my own inspirations. No need to go see any tarot readers, soothsayers, Men/Women of God … You name them. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for January 01, 2019 right?

Next special event this year, I formally began meditation and I mean serious ones with knees folded inside. So far I have been able to keep still and fold the knees in place for 10 minutes – don’t laugh give it a try and maybe clap for me lol. But hold up that’s not the goal of meditation oh, the sitting position and brain bushing around; it is the meditation proper, the passage you read and what you retain out of that and how that helps you through out the day.

Now, I needed to be alone in my home on January 1st this year because I needed no distraction whatsoever. I literally locked Ella out of the Gate and locked myself in my room. I had not one but three books I was starting with:

  1. A book of Meditations by the one and only James Allen

  2. Attitudes of Gratitude …by MJ. Ryan

  3. A Mini Course for Life by Jerry Jampolsky and wife Diane, of Attitudinal Healing International

Those three books and the whole meditation concept were offered me so generously by my Guardian Angel. Am I spoiled lucky or what?

After an hour or so meditating and listening to flute music, I went for a long walk and then visited different neighbours on my return. One of them even offered me a chicken drumstick to appease my saliva glands (some spicy odour in the different homes visited were already leaving my glands in a rage).

And so dear gentle readers and followers, I couldn’t think of a more serene way to kick off this 2018 with Grace. Gratitude goes on of course, it brings me so much joy I can’t leave that alone (I love saying all the thank you I can, sending the notes and sms and calls to near irritating hahaha). I hope the steam mustered on Monday 01.01.18 sees me through out the year. I merely turning 39 in 2 weeks time so I should still be good to go right?

Well, enough of me: please Pray gentle reader and follower, how did you kick off this year?

p.s: Will be away for a week or more as we lay my grandma to rest this weekend and retreat as a family for a few days. My two siblings are coming in and am excited to have the bonding time even if under such morose circumstances.

What I love most about teaching is: Empowering my students and learning from them


Soon I’ll have taught close to 400 masters students in my Country in barely 2 years and this is Amazing to me. The students always have so much in them and once I breakthrough, we stay buddies all through the course and after. I pride myself in knowning each person by their name. Am ever so grateful.

 

Newman doing his thing during class presentations
Hassana our HR Assistant
Lydie our Lady

Teaching my boys to save and manage their finances


The above picture was taken on Alain’s ( my 1st son on the right) 14th birthday last October 8th. We had been saving for months for a Chinese Buffet and it was going to be a first for them. No one took this lightly.

They’ve their banks crafted or bought by them, and we earn points when we save more. I have mine too and it’s so fun when at the end of a month, Alain has saved more than me lol. They get money from chores, gifts, pocket allowance and gigs around. Alain gives Gaby extra lessons for a monthly fee etc.
I think it is imperative they start learning now and not later. What you think world?

Israel my Adopted Son and Hero


With Israel

It’s a long story but I adopted Israel last year. He is such a cute boy and so wise for his 26 years. He is so talented too and just launched with 3 friends a platform called FundandImpact. I am in awe at God’s Amazing Grace in our lives.

FundandImpact allows the world to reach out and impact one life at a time by donating to help and contribute funds for solutions to the problems faced as raised in the campaign. The notion behind the initiative is that together a bigger and better impact can be created in the life of others when we consider a problem affecting one person – as a problem affecting us all.

He calls me Mom and we love each other unconditionally. The boys love their big brother who is so happy to be part of our family. Israel has come from so far, last thursday was the first time he visited our home in Douala. He is ready to move on and said: ‘Yes Mom now you can Blog about me’.

I will write more about the other start ups he is working on eventually, and will sure be creating a campaign on FundandImpact very soon.

Have a great week everyone

How early is it to start having family meetings with your kids?


So this came to my mind because am musing about the absence of dialogue and understanding in my country and many other countries in the world. I may be simplifying stuffs but if we start teaching our children to sit together and dialogue instead of just dishing out orders and making decisions because we are the parents, if we let them know their opinions and voices matter, then I think they grow up learning to treat others same and to disagree and agree civily.

Anyway, as a parenting tool, this works for me so perfect. We have such meetings since moving into our home in February 2016, and the last one was on Sunday October 1st, because we have ordinary meetings every first sunday of the month.

We had an extraordinary one two weeks ago because following their negligence Alain’s pigy bank was stolen by a neigbour whom they let enter their room in my absence. We all agreed to contribute and reimburse same and the pinch has been felt by all. The decsions we take during these meetings we hold ourselves accountable to, and this helps me more than deciding alone and screaming at them would ever do.

It is also a big bonding time and sometimes I buy popcorn so they enjoy the whole process. On lucky days, Ella sits in for the first 5 or so minutes. David often takes the minutes because he has such a smooth handwriting, Alain is the discipline master and I am the CEO of course hahaha. Sometimes it get thick and I have one on one meetings too lol.

Last Sunday, an obvious item on our Agenda was Alain’s forthcoming birthday as you can see below. We all agreed to treat ourselves to Chinese and although am the biggest donor to the fund, all three chipped in 1000 frs.

Ignore my scrawny handwriting, David was tired yesterday and charged an arm and a leg lol

When they were toddlers and I’ll ask their opinion, my ex will chastise saying they have nothing to say. How sad right? Gabi has made some great suggestions like concerning fone credit and school transportation and he actually loves the meetings more than his brothers of course. All issues are raised, and then solved in harmony. How cool is this? I’ll rather spend time with them like this once or twice a month than regret not relating with them years later.

Be inspired someone in here, maybe too late for our current presidents but not for parents especially starting out the parenting journey.

Any other tips anyone?

P.s: I wrote and scheduled this post before reading about the Las Vegas Shootings. Senseless, Speechless, Sad. My prayers especially for grieving families.

Book Review: Speak Up Stand Out and Shine by Regina Huber


Stand Up Speak out and Shine

Hello world, call it review fever if you please: but, this girl here reads books like you’d drink milk lol; and she likes to share her thoughts on those books when they get to her soul. For me to start a new week with a book review speaks for itself – that is if the title of the book doesn’t do it enough justice.

Let me just dash in, this because on a Monday morning we all want to get it started and off to the maximum we can before the ‘blues’ set in right? I mean this is one of the many powerful things I learnt in this book (I never knew I could fall in love with a self help book), you can zap from ‘freaking out to freaking amazing’ with determination and dedication. You may need help but it is possible. You will need to be authentic and confident always, and know today if you never did or were not sure of it, that your vulnerability is a strength and not a weakness. Come on now give me more vulnerable situations…anytime anywhere…exploit them and let them catapult you to speak up, stand out and shine… I mean why settle for victim and throw all those endless pity parties while people around you who may have even gone through worst are now making a healthy and wealthy living sharing their stories?

Now, have you heard of power dance? Regina introduces this in her book. Give it a try, musn’t be an entire song and that can be anywhere anytime. And when you are one of those I used to be…you know the one who will shake and panic and worry about all what will, would, could go wrong right up to outright freezing on the podium, be it because you forgot your message or one ‘vampire’ in the audience shot you that ‘stare’; you will witness a radical and permanent transformation after reading this book.

All in all, this book is not only for those starting out into their speaking journies whichever category, but also for those of us some where in between. I give this book a 5 star because I honestly feel Regina wrote way too much to get anyone even in elementary school to be able to speak up, stand out and shine.

About Regina Huber

Regina Huber

Regina Huber, is the Founder & CEO of Transform Your Performance http://www.transformyourperformance.com

Drawing from my extensive corporate experience in six countries, I have developed a top Transformational Leadership Practice for Business Women, and I am now known as a Power Shifter and Career Accelerator, Diversity & Co-Creation Advocate, Speaker with a Passion for Dance, and Author of Speak up, Stand out and Shine – Speak Powerfully in Any Situation, as seen in this Huffington Post article:

With her signature system, Powerful Leadership Transformation (PLT), she works with companies to transform top female performers into top leaders so they can make a bigger impact and generate more business for companies, clients, and themselves. With her guidance, organizations can unlock the strengths of the talent they already have, to cut down on turnover costs. Regina focuses on driving fast results for her coaching clients by emphasizing an empowering mindset and a compelling, confident presence, enabling them to accelerate their careers, while making an outstanding contribution to their organizations.

She speak five languages and has over 18 years of international experience in the corporate business world, including management positions at The Boston Consulting Group in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, where my primary focus was on HR; career & performance management; training & talent development; operations & budgeting; and office build-outs. At BCG, she also had a leading role in opening two new offices in Portugal and Brazil, as well as several international projects throughout Europe and Latin America. As an entrepreneur, She has owned two businesses in Argentina and Brazil, and has translated 12 books on dance, culture, politics and science. Her eclectic background allowed her to develop a special skill set that flows into herunique transformational approach.

She is a Certified Leadership Ambassador by Take The Lead Women and serve as Co-Chair of the NYC Financial Women’s Association’s (FWA) Distinguished Speakers Committee. It is her honor to be a trusted advisor of UN Global Champion for Women’s Empowerment in Entrepreneurship Alysia Silberg’s Fireside Chat and Pitch Camp communities for global entrepreneurs, and a leading member of Alysia’s Global Women Game Changers group. Studying Judith Glaser’s “C-IQ for Coaches” Program (Creating WE Institute) has allowed her to enhance her current focus on co-creation and to coach team leaders to navigate successfully through conversation. She am also a Premier member of Women Speakers Association (WSA) and a member of West Coast Speakers Coalition.

P.S: Ok world, I stop at that, Ms Huber’s profile is clearly longer than my review of her book and am jealous. I have already audited with her you know, and I will be signing up to be coached by her once a fortune cookie is left by my office …

Trusting To Tell


Hello World, let’s see how this post unravels. I often always trust myself to tell whatever is in me, but cunningly or curiously I don’t know how to tell it this time around. I am therefore trusting the universe to inspire me to tell it as it types out, and that you my readers trust what you read or make of it.

Gladly for starters, I am in the Atlantic city of Limbe in Cameroon, where even the rain doesn’t steal its magic. I trust those who live or have visited such Atlantic cities feel what I say or mean…

Now, my intention with this post is three fold:

  1. I want to share some how I got to Trust To Tell;
  2. How you can work at Trusting To Tell;
  3. Why you should work at Trusting to Tell.

The above aligned, let me start by recalling that I know deeply about this issue of Trust because I have had to face it, deal with it, been dealt by it and finally made peace with it…kind of being able to define it in each situation, review my expectations, appreciate or let go, and tell only so much or tell/do it all with no self recriminations or regrets…

To get to the above, I had to figure out how to Trust To Tell not only my story so far, but all my issues with Trust in the first place. I had to learn to Trust my own self to tell it to myself and my face without literally pulling my hair or self harming in any way; I also had to figure out how to Trust To Tell others without Fear of their actions or reactions… To keep this part brief, I will summarize that I worked on the different issues with various professionals including a life coach and a psychotherapist and of course with myself and my God…some friends and family contributed directly or indirectly.

My journey I share so as to inspire you to work at Trusting To Tell.  We all have something we want to tell, that is human nature. Yet, if we can’t Trust, then telling is near impossible… We must be willing to be vulnerable over and again, to even anticipate hurt, I know I know this ain’t easy but what is? It is so difficult especially if we tried to trust as children and felt shut up, ignored, abused, ridiculed and etc. Trust has to be accompanied by forgiveness or should I say ushered? You forgive yourself, you forgive those you feel took your trust for granted, and you prepare to forgive those who may do so again… That way you give yourself permission to even consider Trusting all over again…

Thirdly, we all need to Trust To Tell or else we could lose our sanity at some point. Another point I want to make is that who we Trust To Tell may be trusted for one and not for another issue and so on… It ain’t with any given formula. We also have to be prepared to trust the unknown, the un familial, the stranger because we mere mortals can’t tell who is the vessel of our Grace and  redemption.

I trusted to tell it to the world and I trusted myself to tell it as is… I forgave myself for all, forgave any I thought had taken me and my story and life for granted, and I already forgave the world if I was going to be misunderstood, taken for granted once more etc. In the end, my Peace of Mind was my priority in my journey to Trust To Tell. I wish you same.

Shalom – dare to Trust to Tell however you figure it out and no matter how long it takes…

When a smile was so hard to come by…


Marie June 1991

I have looked at several of her childhood and teenage photos and not been able to find even half a dozen where she smiles…

Was it some unwritten photography rules of the era or just her life as it was then? Nothing worth smiling into the camera for? …

Ah indeed a picture they say conveys a thousand words… I stumbled on this one today and it dates 8 June 1990… O had just turned 11 years that January… That picture was my school portrait…  It is when I wrote the common entrance examination into secondary school…no comment about what was happening at home back then – inside me …

I marvel at the laxitude with which I smile today. Could smiles really have been so hard to come by then?

To all those therefore not able to smile today, know it will and can come to pass…

I am very grateful I can smile now so much and feel it and love it and love me so…

The above was taken yesterday on my way out to the Startup Grind Douala launch… I had fun, networked and all… Smiling when coming from within is the best thing can happen I hold…

Happy Sunday to all