That was in Paris on none other than Valentine’s day 2014. How can I forget that day, when I had so wanted to leave my gentleman alone and instead come spend it with you and family in Paris? When I got to Belgium and settled down, of course my first out of country visit was to you. We laughed when I narrated how it was a ‘Paris a tout prix trip’ (Paris at all cost), because I was prepared to hitch hike if I din’t find a car share online very fast…
Ah My MC, we were as thick as thieves growing up. I didn’t even know you were almost 2 good years older than me.
You taught me so much especially concerning guys. Yes, no shame to say it now, you taught me how to give a wet kiss – what a practical lesson that was. Now you are gone before I did a post about you my heroine par excellence…
Aw My MC, we last spoke in April and you assured me in that same voice I have always none, that you were trying your best and that C wasn’t going to get you. I mean not after barely half a decade plus 1 in marriage right? What is my beau to do with those two toddlers now?
Oh death, oh life, oh my…
My MC forever in my soul till my own time is up … Thank you for all, I am so grateful I could show you barely 10 days ago with my token, how much I loved you
p:s I lost my… (words fail to describe my MC) this 7 am and yes am still in some sort of shock. Writing steadies some trembling, I will be ok eventually because love is eternal and I need not view death as fearful. The pain is what threatens to numb
Thank you for all sympathy and prayers for the entire family
Working out has, was and will hopefully always be a constant in my life
That is the famous Don’t Quit poem
DDay I was all bliss lol
Wow I have come so far and have learnt so much. I am transformed inside out I mean I just wish I didn’t have to keep talking about it and just guard it all jealously in my heart and soul. The spiritual journey cum purification I undertook from March 1st to May 18th with a 9 days break spread out in 3 intervals of 3 days each, was indeed a once in a life’s time opportunity. I was prepared for it, deciding to go for it with the mantra of: “Forging ahead with Faith and Trust and not Fear and Doubt“.
It was never an option for me because I believed in my Higher Power who inspired me to undertake the journey in the first place. I have always been a seeker and love being spiritual. I was inspired to dedicate this year as my year of Grace, and since January it has been from one Amazing Grace to another. This explains to a large extent why despite all the emotional and even physical challenges throughout the journey especially during stage 4, I was prepared to pay the price as foretold.
Some Lessons learned
Everything works out for the good of those who fear God. It did and does for me big time, I can’t ever doubt that one bit again. It took some serious self-discipline to fast from all I was fasting from, but I knew it’ll all work out. I am still in ‘recovery’ from all the fasting and even though some challenges still abound like with food (ha eating hurts some), I know it’ll all work out – even the shaky and shaggy relationships will sort themselves out either and in back to good or good to go;
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I mean, whose strength could I be using other than Christ’s? A friend agreed with me I was connected to spiritual energy because I kept doing all I do without any siesta, and starting feeling weak only in the last week of stage 4;
It’s ok to let it be in the process. I was fasting from anger, attack thoughts, and more. Some like my usual drive to have it all clean to the drop, justify myself or defend my stance, just had to be let off. They were replaced with empathy, compassion and even prayers for the other person. Hmm, I think of the me of barely 5 or so years ago and I look up and tell God, YOU ARE GOD INDEED;
Fasting is the fastest way to lose weight but the most delicate. You must have faith in the process and be committed throughout to obtain maximum results. Although I didn’t fast to lose weight, losing weight was an inevitable result. I have lost 7 kgs and I weighed 70kgs just this morning. I would love to gradually scale up to 73/75 kgs my ideal, but am letting the process take its time. I fasted for 70 good days unsupervised, I just took my vitals every now and then and trusted my own inner compass. I did drink lots of water and home made smoothies, and eat as much as I could after 6 pm each day (don’t ask me how much was that – those who have fasted know how difficult it is to eat much when you break the fast)
I had a healthy reading appetite all through and was even amazed at how much I sponged in. Books I read included An American Marriage (uh huh an Americana friend brought their copy and lent it to me, and by 48 hrs I was done), TigerFish, Born For Love, The Boy who was raised as a Dog,Keep Moving Forward: Memoirs of An Abandoned Child and His Triumph Over Abuse and ADHD, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count your Blessings, The Old man in the Hospital Room, 33 days to Finding your Soul Signature, 35 days redefining yourself for success, a poetry handbook by Mary Oliver, 2 Peace Pilgrim books, Fasting for health and Wellness, and I started Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyers. I was interviewed by VOA Africa, TV5 Monde and Stv on the foundation work and my advocacy in general. I also continued religiously with meditation, using James Allen’s writings, A Course In Miracles, A Mini Course for Life and Attitudes of Gratitude. For movies I watched The Shift, Earth: what on earth will it take to thrive, and Carving your Destiny. I can’t track documentaries and YouTube’s lol. One eye wonder woman I was indeed for all this journey save for the last week of stage 4. Indeed, my ego and body could do nothing but take a big bashful beating hahaha.
I wanted to share this because I think people need to know what the odds and possibilities are if they embark on a project dear to their soul with a ‘Don’t Quit’ Attitude. It could happen you have to re-strategize and draw back some, but go for it like Diana Nyad lol (argh I wish I could figure out how to get myself an autographed copy of her bestseller – maybe a kindle is the most I can get after all)
Hmm world, I have got lots and lots of experiences in life, I don’t know when I’ll be done sharing them lol. I learn too from all of them and find it fulfilling to share these lessons with you all dear gentle readers and followers.
So, I wanted to do an internship as a clinical psychotherapist at our lone public psychiatric ward in our city which happens to be the economic capital of the country, and boy was it tough to get that. I had to go through two interviews. First with the Director of the Hospital, and when he was ok with my head lol, he sent my file to the head of the psychiatric ward who also had to be ok with my head.
Well, I don’t think this happens only in my country, but if you want to get to see any of such caliber of persons, you need two main things in my opinion: A good reference, and a very meek smile which could take you past their secretaries. Of course, the secretary should even be disposed to look at your file/reference and at your face. This is another feat because you are to drop the file off at the ‘mailing service/service courier in french’ and then follow up whichever way you can.
I did you know, because I love following procedure. But I knew waiting for normal procedure to take its course will get me no where. I kept a copy and went out looking for a reference. The first I got didn’t serve the purpose although ironically had once occupied a high postion at the same hospital (talk of life’s shenanigans lol), so I sought for a second which thank God did the magic. In each case, I was received twice by each secretary and given an appointment twice to meet their bosses. You could say I prayed and fasted, and practiced different smiles.
First meeting with Director, barely looked at and told to go wait, but second meeting, different smile, different day, different temperament, Director was very impressed with my credentials and head, and the fact I was coming to start here and not run off to set up private practice or only work with international organizations and think only money money money (his words lol).
Over to psychiatrist, secretary not so receptive first time, but my persistence and perseverance paid off. I even wore my pinky plush superstitious jacket given me by dearest Rachi, and didn’t fear my swollen eyes would sell me out behind the sunshades lol.
Fast forward to today, I am a favourite of both secretaries who call me affectionately ‘ma fille’ (my daughter), and the Director’s secretary recently helped me do up to 100 copies of different worksheets I use. What will you call this now? Wasn’t this worth all that smiling and patience? This is good for our mental wellbeing if you ask me, I am so happy for all these lessons.
Be inspired and motivated everyone especially during this weekend as you muse about life
A) I lost my grandma and her burial was this weekend in fontem- Anglophone Cameroon hence no network while I was there. I lost my voice somehow and here are 4 inspiring takeaways from that:
1) Always be grateful for the miracle of life, of sight, of speech, of hearing, of walking etc. When you lose any, you can then know what those in similar situations are going thru
2) Appreciate the virtue that is silence. Silence whether intentional or unintentional, if appreciated opens you up to good meditation, observation and enhances your listening skills. When silent, you learn just so much.
3) In everything give thanks and keep a cheerful attitude. I learnt small to make gestures and write some more, I got some more loving from my family especially mum who bought me a bucket of ginger, garlic and lemon lol to be mixing daily until the voice returned. I ate just one small ginger last night and the voice is returning…
4) No condition is permanent here below…we are all on a journey. Even the blind man gets better once he by feeling accepts and adapts to his condition knowing even that is not permanent. When we die, all those disabilities and etc die too. And this is why, I have embraced my hearing deficiency with Grace.
B) And yes, before that, I blogged here near daily of my struggle with insomnia. Indeed, a friend had to stake his money on me to let me know he had confidence I was up to the challenge. Ha, so this is how that ended: After Granny was burried, I told her now in meditation that I had not been able to sleep right for the past days but that I really needed to sleep starting from that day which was a Saturday. And guess what: I went to bed at 8.30 pm and woke up at my normal 4 am. I decided to monitor my sleep again last night, this time we were back to Douala at my mum’s.
I went into Granny’s room and lit a candle and I told her I wished to sleep in her bed. I put on the nightie she had on the day she died ( uh huh daring right?), and I told Insomnia aloud, dare show up – you know I don’t fear sleeping in Granny’s bed wearing her nightie. Oh boy did I sleep so sound. From 9 pm to 4 am as routine.
And that’s it, I beat insomnia without drinking Camomile after all. I was a worried when I first lost sleep last Tuesday , and some advised I go see a doctor. I followed my intuition which urged me to wait it out a week first. I put all my faith in that, and saw a therapist for psychological help with that wait. It was worth its wait in Gold.
The lesson I get here is that sometimes patience is so vital, identifying the source and not just treating the symptom is also vital. Finally, having a positive and grateful attitude and sourcing alternatives and not just looking for a magic pill is also worth it.
C) Does the above picture say it all or what? Dad has been telling her friends stuffs and three of them thanked me for taking care of their friend lol. I am just showing him ( the only dad I have anyway) some love while he is still around. Wouldn’t want to write my feelings in a mass and tribute booklet if I couldn’t show them to him while he lived.
With the above, I wish us all be inspired and motivated to have a great day and week.
Hello world, I now know what it means sitting in a cell. I sat in one for a few hours yesterday, yes an incident of domestic violence. But hmm, sometimes you need to let your anger and frustration out and not suck it up till you snap. Your mental health also comes at a price so it seems.
I lost my cool because I was provoked, but I am responsible for my choices. I made one, conscious it could lead to the cops being called for a final resolution in civilized terms of the impasse. Well, as I tweeted yesterday afternoon as if by instinct and anticipation: “to make a pig a pet, you might as well have live in the pigsty”. In other words, speak their language. It hurts that I had to stoop that low, but it soothes that he got my message. I wouldn’t be physically or emotionally abused again especially when it concerns my sons.
There has been quiet some understanding especially from quarters I least expected, and some ‘surprises’ too. But all is well that ends well, my sons and I got back home safely by midnight yesterday.
This nightmare may not be over, but I know now for sure I have to stop for a few years in thinking they boys could have a relationship with their dad. He is not there for them one bit, packs them up as soon as I send them his way, and sends them to his village until 48 hours to schools resumption.
Now, a few lessons and maybe someone going through something similar may be inspired or motivated who knows:
1) The cell is a sad place no doubt, but your state of mind even while locked up is the determinant. I was so serene, not because I am a lawyer but because I knew there was going to be an outcome and some formal engagements made with regards to the boys and our respective relationships with them or each other;
2) Kids can get traumatized, but talking with them during and after the ordeal is more reassuring than trying to blackmail one person to them, sheild them, scold them or even ignore them. I was fortunate maybe because the boys asked for, to get them with me in the cell;
3) life is to be lived, emotions and feelings are to be felt in the process and handled how best we can. The choices we make to navigate through this all have consequences. We shouldn’t seek to stuff up our anger and frustration, but let them out in the least damaging way. I have resorted to writing, venting, crying, shouting, etc but yesterday I felt only a stronger statement was going to help me. Sadly, I only saw damaging property as a satisfactory way of making that statement. I stopped when I felt I had made a clear enough one.
4) Make peace with what you are dealt: I was prepared to sleep in that cell and make myself as comfy as possible. Indeed, I dozed off while he was giving his one hour long statement, narrating even what was of no relevance to the case at hand, dating as far back as 2008. I was done in 15 minutes. I was so serene even the cops were surprised. All the poems and posts I have written this week seem to have been leading to last night’s saga…I also thought of the poem where I wondered if for the sake of peace was a one way street.
And so all, I hope I haven’t scared anyone with my write up, I write to put this unfortunate incident behind me and to inspire someone who knows. even if only my sons for posterity…
Have a nice week and happy labour day in anticipation to my Americana peeps in the house…
P.s: Inspired by an event this morning; I said as it is and am ok with me. I hope this poem inspires so many, to start or keep living true to themselves. Above all, minding my mental health is supreme for me. In return with saying it as is, I pray for the Grace to be more emphatetic and patient with myself and others…
What a blogging break I brokered: Am glad to be back!!!
If I have learnt one thing during this blogging break, it is that I really love blogging and the break was not effective.
Primo, I wrote three updates when I had bragged of a month free of blogging. Ha, who was I deceiving? ME it turns out;
Secondly, I didn’t even open the book I was hoping to finish writing during this break. Ha again, who was I deceiving? ME once more;
Thirdly, did I read as much as planned? I bow my head to look at my feet and whisper loudly NO – blogs I follow and 3 or so books and social media fake news etc don’t fill my reading reservoir sorry Marie try harder;
So dear world, I admit I may have brokered a bad blogging break. Indeed, I had hoped to take away to ‘blogging birb’ of thrice weekly and turn that period to reading and writing ‘beck’. I didn’t get any close to achieving that and I realize that although the break from regular blogging did usher in some small mental release, I didn’t really need it. To be honest, I kept counting the days the ‘officially announced’ blogging break will be over and I kept writing down stuffs I would have been excited to blog about.
My evaluating this blogging break is the same way I have for some years now been able to candidly evaluate myself and stuffs in my life. It is the same way I encourage my clients and those I mentor and coach to evaluate their too.
Not wanting to write a long post today on my ‘official first day of new blogging term’, I will conclude with a few updates:
I am working on officially setting up my law firm; another big leap of faith, sometimes collaboration is not for you;
Today my last son Gaby turns 8 and yes he will forever remind me of miracles. His conception was one and he kicked me from the womb when my desperation was its peak and I was holding a knife to my heart. I can never forget that. Coincidentally, I am coaching today on Developing a positive attitude and I am full of positivity and gratitude for life especially on this day. Eight bonus years of living with so much gratitude and I am authentically ME inside out… To God be the Glory Great Things He has Done…
It was therefore a bitter sweet break overall, and there were some moments of ocean breeze and village life – but also some stress inducing and charged moments… life happens
My one resolution with regards to blogging is that no more pressure on myself to maintain any blogging routine, my mental wellbeing is primordial and this is also living my mental health advocacy
I am back from 5 days in Dakar, where I was attending the 3rd African Epilepsy Conference – I am so tired. I have equally been nominated to lead the national chapter of the IBE and so you can imagine.
This post was actually started while still in Dakar just so I don’t have much writing to do on my return.
Yes: I have Dared Dakar and I am more armoured to Dare Life or better put Dare the business of Living. Before I proceed, I want to say like all dynamic business men, I want to make a huge profit out of this business and invest in society starting with my family.
Daring Dakar Day 1 -3
I have to greatly summarize so as not to write this post in 3 parts.
Might as well
Going back to the beach each evening to watch the sunset
Day one (Thursday 4/05/17) was literraly spent flying over Africa and doing Airport hopping. There are no direct flights to Senegal from my country; so – I left my home at 6 am and finally checked into my hotel in Dakar at 10 pm thanks to the cab driver who knows no where and no French… The national language in Senegal is Wolof …
Day 2-3 (Fri&Sat 5&6/05/17)
I start off very tired, curiously still jet lagged although the sports I get to do from 4-5 am on Saturday morning boost me up plenty. Friday morning was really tough and some emotionally taxing situation nearly nailed me down. I am so grateful for my support network and coping strategies. I learn a lot though and yes I make so many contacts. Some area people (from the doorman via the receptionost to the room cleaner etc these are my best); a student and some VIPs.
With Falima whom I met at the university
With Couma my darling Fati’s sister
Sightseeing on the boat
The conference is at the famous Cheikh Anta Diop University by the Ocean and my my my… I meet Falima and we click. She is a 3rd year student and in love with Cameroon ha – some things we think are despicable are other peoples dream… And you could refresh about my heroine Fati here, Couma on the right is her kid sister now my friend too ofcourse
On that friday evening, we have the official opening ceremony followed by a cocktail. I am very pleased to make friends with Ella & Lola
Day 4&5 (Sun&Mon 7&8/05/17)
I sleep much better and I go for sports at 5 am. Baam I run into a Petit gang arguing over their booty but I refuse to let fear take me back. I walk right through them with a dare me stare like a commando. It tells them, am an area girl minding my business, mind yours. One of them whistles at me “yowa (yes in their dialect) mama” but I dont smile back. I instead make the ‘buddy fist gesture’ and continue my way.
I zoom through the morning and soon it is closing ceremony. There is a planned city excursion with a restaurant reserved for those who opt. It ain’t free and nope am done with those 3/4 star stuffed scenes. I also have to be economical so I chart my way to Fati their family home. Going to such areas makes you know life indeed has several shades. Talk of bumpy ride…
The bus ahead is a scarpie for passengers, people are parked inside like sardines
to go to my dear Fati’s family, you go until you can’t no more, even through the sea lol
To get there you just keep going right through the sea lol. The VIP friend who brought me here told me in all their life they’ve never been to this area nor where I am lodging…
It was already past 3 pm and I was scared lunch will be over; but nope just in time… See me enjoy famous Senegalese rice the Senegalese authentic way …
In typical Senegalese style, all men one way and all women the other way and then the whistle is blown: try your best while talking non stop lol
Gosh I was hungry
On my way back to the hotel I dare a scarpie and enjoy 2 hour plus of cheap sightseeing and listening to Wolof being rolled off from all angles. These people greet each other for at least 7 minutes. How romantic? Am loving it and today being a Sunday there aren’t that too many passengers… Wrong it pick as it goes, hop out as you wish… I sit, stand up for a grandma, sit again elsewhere when someone leaves, stand up again for a pregnant woman and when next I mange to squeeze somewhere I dare not look up again who comes in …and, I still treck for like 15 mins because the final bus stop is no where close to the hotel…
On Monday I quickly do sports and then check out of the idealistic hotel by the beach, to the area where I can drink chai by the road side. I can count on Coumba to go shopping for souvenir gifts. Here is the address Coumba gave me, sorry it is in French so use google translate maybe it’ll give you a more precise address:
“Bjr marie tu diras au chauffeur que tu vas au golf rond point marché jeudi terminus 38 à la cité des enseignants …”
Look my people, when a Senegalese tells you it ain’t far, hail a cab immediately. When they say they are just stopping by to greet, cancel other appointments! Simple
And I did it, dared dakar again one last time, dared to go to the infamous Goree Island. How could I come to Dakar and not visit that island? The emotions you leave that island with – am speechless
Weighing room, any slave less than 60 kg had 3 days to weigh up or …
Cell hole for delinquent slaves
What cheer can you have or keep walking up that street?
The slavery monument in Goreé
Flying until finally landing and getting back home in one Peace/Piece – Amen
I hope I have been able to visually take you to Dakar and back, inspiring and motivating you to Dare Life and Dare Yourself
David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.
And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.
With David, you talk less, do more, and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.
I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.
Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.
David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now. My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.
A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together, what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.
Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.
David and buddy Ella notwithstanding her pose lol
David doing his own kind of things – that should be a bow and arrow lol
All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.
If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it.
Sometimes it is difficult for me to articulate a post; and well I just go with my spirit. Last friday I was faced with one of such posts, and today again here comes another.
I have written a few posts on gratitude; and I end each day I can with enteries into my gratitude journal. It’s made such a tremendous impact in my life. I learnt that from Oprah.
So when someone wondered if they were being acknowledged enough, I quickly recalled pondering at their own lack of appreciation I had personally witnessed on some ocassions.
What goes around comes around. When you can’t bring yourself to say thank you, why expect someone else can? When you can’t be grateful for life and being alive, why expect life to be grateful to have you alive? You’ll find it difficult to live on and that’s just what you’ll keep noticing – the frustrations and adversities.
I am grateful to be alive and to get a second chance at life – seven years into what I call my bonus. I seize all opportunities to show gratitude and I don’t expect it in return – yet get it too so much…
I want to share how moved I was to read a post by Talasi Guerra who struggles from several issues and yet could still be grateful for life – after yet another difficult night.
Wishing us all lots of reflections this week, some bliss and wow moments full of gratitude
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences