Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Parenting

Sometimes go with them and listen to them to know how they feel…

When you look at Gaby’s smile can you tell he was afraid? I am so happy I walked with him to school on his first day of school and could sense some anxiety in him as we got into his school. His grip of my hand firmed up and he became so quiet. He was moving into a new class -G5, and was probably wondering how it was going to work out. I asked him how he was feeling ( not good to ask them what’s wrong or embarrass them by saying they are acting up etc), and he frankly told me he was afraid. Wow, the Gaby I thought I knew? Afraid of a new class? Wow really – as in what can we really know for sure right?

To make matters scary again for him after I had tried my best to make him face the fear and near overcome it, we just discovered the class teacher is the same who taught G4 last year and with whom he didn’t get along for the few days he spent in his class. Mr D is a ‘no nonsense’ teacher who even spanks oh my. So we quickly agreed on Gaby’s best option being that of greeting Mr D and behaving better in class, and we see how that goes. Gaby agreed with me that Mr D was not spanking those who were not rowdy in class and who did their homework. We had a plan and I had to help him out each day to the best of my ability…

And that is how I have added home teacher to my list of daily occupations, trying to get up keep up and even slightly ahead why not lol.

Current feedback: He likes his new class and teacher because the latter doesn’t spank him. He answers questions in class and is more attentive than playful and distracted, although his buddie from last year got moved to the 5B and he kept in 5A, he is getting to make new friends and can still play with buddy A at break time. At this age, such stuffs definitely matter big time lol

My point or prayer is that especially with our children who sometimes seem they got it all together, when they are transitioning, we should walk the journey with them. Walking that phase may be driving them/dropping them off each day for a few days or a week before they start taking the school bus, and listening to them/asking them how they feel everynow and then. And this is taking care of their mental health too, teaching them it matters and they can trust us to tell us whatever is going on in them at any moment…

Here is to a great week of bonding and listening between parents and children

Posted in Guest Posts, Journey to Coaching, Mental Health Advocacy

Roll out the Red carpet!!!Guest Post: Escaping the Nightmare


Hello World; I know beyond reasonable doubt that consistent and engagind actions yield succulent fruits. Join me ye all gentle readers and followers of mine as I roll out the red carpet for my first guest post of the season: Ms Talasi Guerra of the epic blog Braver than BeforeRead on and tell for yourselves if the title of her guest post and even that of her blog don’t resonate with each of us in one way or the other.

Her smile is so sweet, I just had to put her picture here for more effect as we read on

Have you ever had that nightmare where you are desperately trying to run away from something or someone, but no matter how hard you strain, you just can’t get your body to move fast enough? It’s like there are these invisible wires attached to all of your limbs, pulling you in the opposite direction as you exert all of your energy to move ahead one inch at a time. While you don’t know exactly what the danger is, you are certain that it is just behind you and ready to pounce at any moment! And in your mind, you are running away with all your might! But in reality, you are moving more slowly than a weary sloth.

I’ve had this dream many, many times in my life. It is such a frustrating and disconcerting dream to wake up from. And though I have never made the connection until this moment, I think that living with anxiety is almost exactly like living in this nightmare.

When you live with anxiety, it is like there is this mysterious danger constantly looming over you, coming at you from every direction. Fear kicks in and tells you that you must run in order to survive, but you simply can’t move. Sometimes it seems that the harder you try to get away, the more stubbornly your body refuses to cooperate.

And yet somehow, though you can barely move at all, the negligible progress you are making depletes almost all of your energy. It is all you can do to survive at this point, never mind trying to dodge the danger. But giving up is not an option either. You can’t stop trying to run or the threat will catch up to you and you will face certain destruction. So you are stuck in a state of constant torment—the battle between the danger you perceive and your inability to escape this approaching doom.

I’ve lived like this for most of my life. It is an exhausting existence. Always running; always trying to escape. But quite frankly, I am tired of running. I am tired of attempting escape when I don’t have the energy to move. I am tired of fighting with a peril that I can’t even identify.

So that’s it then. It’s time for me to turn around and face the danger. It’s time for me to look this thing in the eye and say, “No. I’m not going to run from you anymore.” And something tells me that when I do—when I finally stand up to it—it will lose a little bit of its power. Each time I take a stand, it will lose a little bit more, and a little bit more, until the tables finally turn and it becomes the one on the run. In that moment, I will be the one chasing it… until it is gone forever!

About Talasi

Talasi Guerra is the Director of Children and Family Ministries and Graphic Designer at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada. She loves to write, travel, and create. Follow Talasi on twitter @talasiguerra. We are welcome to her blog where she invite us to Journey with her through the day-to-day mess of anxiety and fear as she seek to cultivate courage each and every day. She is a fighter and survivor, and although she battled an eating disorder for 7 long damn years, it’s now 10 years she escaped from that nightmare – Amen!!!

Posted in Marie's Garden

An Area Girl in Abidjan Day 1



Hello World, Sunday was technically my day 1 in Abidjan but since it was travelling and settling in day, I consider Monday to be my first day.

First thing I did outdoors the am was go for a run around my neighbourhood. That’s one way of facing my fear of ‘insecurity in a new territory where I find myself’, and that was also part of the Lose It efforts I have signed up to commit to daily and hopefully lose this nagging 4.6 kgs by December (I joined the Wondrous Writers’ group of my friends Dyane and Brian). I am however already a bit sad that I used up near 3/4 of my calories budget for the day before it was even lunch time – another lesson learnt…

Secondly, I discovered some stuffs on my run like some ferry stops, the post office, one of the large bus parks, a miniature golf course and a mini gym all of which I am putting on my to do/check out/ go to etc list before I leave the city… I already discovered a neighbourhood called Chicago which I don’t think will ever be on a list of places to visit because it could be the ‘harlem’ of this city. I just walked and walked yesterday looking for where to eat and I found myself there, I even lost 1000 frs but couldn’t dare look down nor ask anyone… well I made it back safe to my hotel probably because I looked so area like too hahaha 🙂

The programme for the conference was hectic as I found out, and the online conference library filled to the brim, and the speakers oh so experienced … I am loving it but then that’s for my intellectual wellbeing – nothing much to be blogging about here…I did however find some good spots worth fotographing in the conference centre where we are and hope you smile at them… well sorry photos wouldn’t load. They are of a Laction room (I’d never seen one before, and a little floor garden named Jardin du Bonheur)

I hope and plan to catch up with a family friend of long date who lives and works in this city, whom I haven’t seen for near half a decade. She actually works in the same building where the conference is taking place just that the security and protocol may hamper meeting her in here …

P.S: Well I did meet her for like 10 minutes and then we agreed to have dinner before I return 🙂

Hmm, the guy I didn’t want to chit chat with on the plane yesterday, was actually coming to this conference too and is lodged at the same hotel. He is even related to someone I am related to by my father’s adoption when he was a kid… simple huh? We again met at the lobby this morning as we awaited the navette to the conference venue, and I just sucked my embarrasment in and went to him and broke the ice of our eyeing each other over breakfast and wondering in our heads what next now… So now from not wanting to chit chat, am conversing and laughing and he’s promosing to accompany me to my house when we fly back in at the ungodly hour of 00:30 on Sunday 02/10…

I will go out with Pape after conference hours and I’ll be extra careful on what I eat, but I’ll also be excited to sightsee and will flatter him to bring me to the famous Abidjan Cathedral. Ain’t it a gorgeous building?


P.S: I did go out to meet Pape at the chic restaurant where he works called Akwaba, and I must say I have definitely started off my Lose It program on a ‘lousy note’ (to put it this mildly). What was I to do with all the food served me there at near 8 pm? And in our African tradition, it’s an ‘insult’ to pick at food offered you by a generous host, and we do know how to be hospitable. And so I tried, and I haven’t yet even logged in what I ate, the scales should be screeching now oh my: I had this for a glimpse served with halal bread and fresh vegetables mix and etc etc

Such and much more for poor me seeking to Lose It
Such and much more for poor me seeking to Lose It




Posted in Marie's Garden, My Memoirs

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 1

Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Philophobia‘[fear]] of falling in love or emotional attachment. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be chronic phobia.


The Fear of Loving

This chapter is definitely one of the most delicate, sensitive and VIP chapters in this memoir of mine to the extent that I had to getaway to write it. I currently find myself in Limbe, a famous city in Cameroon with its coast to the Atlantic ocean. I wish I could insert a video or image of the waves hitting the creeks very close to the motel I checked into! I have finally taken the example and advice of dear Maya Angelou seriously, to retreat to a motel to write, although I don’t have the items she would take along. Talking about the waves hitting against the creeks, this is making me contemplate if that’s what’s been happening in my life and relationships? Do I start loving and only find my love waves bouncing off some creeks put there inadvertently by myself or what?

  1. I have had my fair share of relationships in this life and for my age that’s a wow. Indeed, for the sake of not sounding frivolous as Maya had once advanced as reason for not saying how many times she’d been married and divorced, I wouldn’t say the number of the relationships. I admit they are many, yep too many probably for an existence of barely a score and sixteen strokes. Today I think there was a pervasive like kind of element hovering over most of these relationships, which fear really prevented me from loving to the fullest even when and if loved in return.

  2. Oh my, when did this thing start? What is it really so I can face it once and for all and rise above it all? I really need to do that now and not later because I am simply fed up with this thing. No sooner do I start loving, than all kinds of doubts set in and nag on and on until I terminate the relationship. Truth be told, I have been the party who has put an end to almost all the relationships I was ever involved in. Almost just because there may have been an exception I am not aware of. This ain’t funny one bit and I am definitely sick enough about it to want to face that fear once and for all. So many false emotions appearing real whenever ‘love’ is in my air, causing me to fold my stuffs up and run instead of facing it all and rising.

  3. Why fear to love in the first place? Probably because of the fear to get hurt. I think we all agree that matters of the heart are very delicate and some people are more vulnerable and fragile than others. So, if I sensed that I was going to get hurt or maybe put in too much in the relationship and yet risk losing in the end, even if that sense was not real (which I wouldn’t know anyway), I’d rather take the closest exit and ‘cut my losses short’ as some say. I have done some research on this fear of loving and was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one having to deal with this dilemma. Indeed, this fear of mine around love, whether receiving or giving, is called philophobia (which I just discovered), and oh my I read that as far as unusual phobias are concerned, Philophobia certainly ranks high in the list. Source:

  4. That article goes on thus: “This phobia is more common in women than in men. The condition can greatly affect one’s life to an extent that it becomes difficult to commit or form healthy relationships”.

  5. Philophobia is an unwarranted and an irrational fear of falling in love. Sometimes, the sufferer does fall in love but it causes an intense emotional turmoil in his/her mind. There are many theories why this could happen:

  • Some therapists believe that an intensely negative experience in the sufferer’s past might have triggered the reaction. Parents divorce, watching them fight or separate or witnessing domestic violence in one’s childhood might be responsible for this phobia.
  • As stated before, many cultures and religions prohibit romantic love or term relationships between man and women as illicit under certain circumstances. This can cause intense panic in the mind of the sufferer since s/he firmly believes incurring the wrath of elders/society or God if s/he has feeling or thoughts about love.

  • Fear of commitment due to a few failed relationships, constant negative thoughts, anxiety and panic disorders are also linked to this phobia. People who are overly anxious or high strung might be more prone to it.

The nature, extent and causes of Philophobia all vary from case to case and sometimes it is a real mystery as to why it might have occurred in the first place… To be continued

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Am I intrepid? The Sequel with Jurasic World!!!

After watching this, I think Yes I am intrepid!!!
After watching this, I think Yes I am intrepid!!!

And now, my sweet Pammy got me really thinking about this word Intrepid. When she first asked, and I never checked, that landed me in a Cessna!!!

And I braved it, in all intrepidness???
And I braved it, in all intrepidness???

I therefore looked up the word this morning on the free dictionary and this is what I got :


Well, it’s been one long life’s journey to get to somewhere around these adjectives, but I sure am close…

In the Beginning
Selfie infront of the Cessna
Selfie infront of the Cessna

This woman you see here, started out scared of even looking out of the window of a ‘large plane’. I remember the first time I flew, although I was excited to go on a ‘large plane’, I was scared to open my eyes or look out the window. So scared so much that I kept going to the loo and even got lost altogether at the airport in Paris.  A few years later, I decided to face that fear by asking for a seat by the window. I coaxed myself to look down and to breathe as I did. Reminded myself that what ‘Don’t kill, only make dem stronger’. It was with this same spirit that I dared to go watch Jurasic World last night.

Daring to the Movies for Jurasic World

How intrepid was this? I had just landed from an awesome and full of adventures US trip, and yes although my brain hadn’t been ambushed, I sure knew I had to sleep right after landing. Sleep I did for like 4 good hours. Indeed, I felt like sleeping the whole day. But I was advised that wasn’t going to help my jetlagging. In short, I was invited to go to the movies so as to stay up the most I could. Which other movie but Jurasic World to keep me up even the whole night? And to say I am not a fan of these scary movies, is an understatement. I remember my second son chiding me to watch some Harry Potter one with them, telling me it was just a ‘Movie’ (like I didn’t know right?) And even then, I shut my eyes (and em ears already regulated by nature) almost all the time. And so I did go with friends to watch Jurasic World – gosh in 3 D – with those glasses which almost brought some of those ‘Dinos’ right under my blouse…

I Survive in all intrepidness

It’s now fun. I survived the movie and had no nightmares. Well, Tbt, I closed my eyes like a third of the time, although the sound couldn’t be dimmed even by shutting off my hearing aid… Anyway, I survived that one, and even if am not sure I’ll want to ever watch anything in that genre again, I am proud I braved it.

The Answer to Pam’s question
Yes I am intrepid. Yes I dare 2 dare. This is even a chapter in my last memoir. I believe in Facing my Fears, the earlier the better. Maybe, since I didn’t even have much choices growing up, and given my disposition to couragoeus ‘stuffs’, my personality is one of those right?

Dear gentle readers and followers, as I prepare once more for a big relocation back to Cameroon in a month’s time, I think I’ll need my ‘intrepid’ self more than ever. I am not fearless, but neither am I fearful. I fear for the unknown, and yet I know it’s there and there’s nothing much I can do but face it in all gallantry (my best synonym for that word intrepid). Wishing us all so much – thank you 🙂