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

Sometimes in life, you may have to smile differently and come another day…


 

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

 

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Posted in Coaching and Therapy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy, Spiritual Journey, Uncategorized

And my ego and body took a big bashful beating hurray…


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photo taken 17.05.18

Hmm, that picture was taken on the day my ego and body conceded defeat at exactly 3am. I looked at the time when the thought crossed my mind that ‘this is it for your ego and body’.

I was recently on a spiritual journey of some length, and indeed pressure was not only coming from the outside to give up you know. My ego and body were spearheading the naysayers. Let’s start with fella ego shall we?

Are you sure you can do this?

Nobody asked me the above question out rightly except fella ego. I quickly ignored him and set about with my preparations, mainly emotional and spiritual, then telling my entourage (especially the boys you know). But you know fella e, he lies in wait and pops again even in your sleep. Anyway, it’s all come to pass and I did it…big time and all the way…

What will people say?

Both fella e and the fella Es of a few ‘concerned’, asked me the above a few times. What if they say you are sick, be it physical or mental you know. What if they shun your services and you can’t survive like that anyway, what if, what if!!! I decided to write an official I need no one to believe in me post here on my blog to take care of that once and for all…

You are losing far too much weight and your health too you know

I should be weighing 70/71kgs which is 4kgs below my ideal although my ideal for BMI is 73kg. So what is the alarm? Yes I had some mild health challenges with an inflamed eye which all but shut down and some equally mild RA flares lasting 3 days each, but I mean spiritual journey or not, that could happen. So no all fella Es, the spiritual journey wasn’t going to be stopped. I took several different meds and products for the eye thanks to misdiagnosis, but thank God none was to be taken during the day nor mandatory with food – sorry this approach too didn’t work. I even told my GA when that eye started that it was but a distraction

Give them a piece of your mind like the real you would back in the days

At the start of stage 4, I faced what I will call the most emotional challenge I had ever faced since starting the journey. Fella E nagged at me to give it a piece of my mind and abandon the spiritual journey if it’ll cool tempers and let ‘peace reign’. Well, prima, I listened to my spirit and waited 7 days before giving a piece of my serene mind, and then when the challenge continued I shut down emotionally and said I felt that was the best option for this stage (turned out to be one of Grace – and that was the best decision I made from every indication). You see fella E, you don’t know any real me and you can’t lure me with any of your trapings. I wouldn’t even bother to give you any piece of my mind – let me address your sister body now

A nagging swollen eye

It could sometimes get worst
The worst of a distraction

It started like a joke on the 26th of February. I quickly felt in my spirit that was going to accompany me through out the spiritual journey and although it will be a distraction so no ‘unwanted’ questions are asked about the spiritual journey itself, it turned out to attract a lot of attention. I decided from the very beginning to deflate my ego by baptizing the eye “our healing eye”. I told God it was “our eye” and He knew how much we needed that eye. I however told Him what my spirit told me which I know He was aware of, the swelling or inflammation was a distraction and I treated it as such, stopping barely to sleep at night.

I went about my activities and took up riding the bicycle the more inflamed it got. I read An American Marriage the weekend the eye got to its worst (48hrs to finish that epic novel because I got it from a sister who brought same from the US and was yet to even read the cover)… the eye got its final dose of healing on the 13th of May 2018 and that was another exciting chapter closed in that thrilling journey.

Tiredness and Sour Mouth

The last ditch from my body to get me to stop this just ended awesome spiritual journey was to threaten to breakdown. The last week in particular was spectacular. My sleep was literally messed up. Sleep 8.30 pm – 2.27 am and then toss around with some REM sleep for maybe 30-45mins and then give up – and then embarrassingly nod off occasionally during the day on the spur. Three days after it started, while meditating, I got the aha, that is the last attempt. Even the sour mouth which I thought was due to meds was rather intensifying although no longer on meds. Well, I slept much better today and the sour mouth is getting better.

And so dear all, that in a nutshell is how my Ego and Body disturbed and and got a big bashful beating. The spirit was so willing to the point that no weak flesh could deter it.

Be inspired and motivated someone, hope you are enjoying the weekend like I am doing lol

Posted in Coaching and Therapy, My Heroines, Spiritual Journey

Cycling all the way to the finish line…it was worth it…thank you God, thank you Universe


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Picture taken 06.05.18 Healing eye was still taking its time too lol

God is God, God is not Man…He has done it again in my life period.

Watch this 18 seconds celebratory clip lol

It has been with tremendous honour and humility that I cycled on, braving it uphill amidst sometimes intense emotional, mental and physical challenges, some from quarters hard to imagine; while also at other times, sometimes steadying my balance as I sloped downhill especially towards the end of each stage of the journey started last March 01 2018.

Spiritual Journey Notebook
These notes may make another memoir someday right?

Can we say this was a spiritual journey or what? It can’t be explained to anyone’s satisfaction – I just came to conclude; I can only share some to hopefully inspire and motivate so that anyone set out on any dear project of theirs, especially one of a ‘spiritual cum purification’ nature, will brave on and hang on … yes it was worth it. Let me try to sum it more…

So, this was a four stage spiritual journey dictated to me by my inner voice (call this crazy am ok with that – I do work in a psy ward anyway); and you could refresh on my preparedness for each stage by clicking 1, 2, 3, or 4.

I got to find out the names of the stages and the reason for their breakdown into 7, 14, 21 and 28 days on the first day of the 4th stage last April 23rd (this happened to be the anniversary of my beloved Grandma’s passing and I was real emotional). So, the stages were dictated to me to be:

Stage 1: Stage of New Beginnings (7 days were sufficient for me to see how new it would be if I persisted)

Stage 2: Stage of Determination (14 days was ample time to get real and hang on)

Stage 3: Stage of Discipline and Dedication (This was the make or mare stage and only perseverance for 21 days could take me on)

Stage 4: Stage of Grace (28 days to feel the Grace to my core amidst all what can go wrong and right full cycle)

Come on someone say wow, this happened and happens to me… am so in tune with my spirit and my world inside out, my prayers have been answered, I guess this is the price I was thinking I am very well prepared to pay, to benefit from and deserve to keep benefiting from all these gifts and responsibility and the accompanying Graces…I am so proud of me, I am my own heroine…dare to be yours for you sure can…

I will be writing more in the days ahead, today I am simply in awe of my tenacity and resilience; including the 3 days break in between stages; I fasted and watched myself like a hawk for 79 days…

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Eating some day with near fire and fury after I broke my fast – captured by Alain lol

I’ve got to learn to eat and do other stuffs again lol, but I don’t miss not shouting, getting angry and having attack thoughts…serenity and discernment are really my daily portions now… Aw I love this new me and am so proud of her…she is indeed a brave lady and will live her purpose in all faith…she self-evaluates herself at 85% and this is an A PERIOD!!!

For tonight, let me go and celebrate with my muskeets at this new Ice cream house (opened in January but we had to have a big reason to go check it out lol – with us it’s always about making memories out of moments) in our neighbourhood. We had decided in our last family meeting to draw a budget and save to go check it out when I crossed the finish line of my official spiritual cum purification journey.

I know it is a life time journey, and am ok with this… I am well passed lesson 100 of the student manual in A Course in Miracles, and taking it in strides with the other sections of the book. One day I may write about my journey studying and practicing all am learning in there…

A very soulful expression of deepest gratitude to all those who encouraged and motivated me with encouragements or otherwise. You may have been very few, but quality has always mattered to me over quantity.

I just got struck by Marianne Williamson’s quote on our deepest fear yesterday and I find it so apt to summarize this journey I so bravely undertook.

Some reached out to me, seemingly concerned about the length of the fast and the physical effect especially with an inflamed eye quickly confirmed by them to be a result of the food deprivation – come on, food was the least I was working on or fasting from. Others were scared I had joined a sect or was visibly mentally ill/challenged and should seek professional help – I think my Age and tenacity saved me. I was left in awe and near mute where all this fear came from, why some could be seeming led by fear to the edge of outright panic attacks? So what is this deep fear?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Be inspired and motivated everyone, have a great weekend

One of those inspiring & motivating feedback from a student …


With some students at PaidWa
With some of my first students: Sidoine is to my right. The dressing to near match was pure coincidence

My first lecturing gig was at the Pan African Institue for Development West Africa, in Buea South West Region Cameroon. That town hosts the famous Mount Cameroon and the School is not far from the foot of the mountain. SO yes it gets pretty ‘winter – like’ cold up there especially for someone like me with rhumatoid arthritis.

So, when you brave it there twice a week for two months; catching a good cold and fever along the way, leaving your city at 6 am to be there by 10 am ahead of a 4 hour lecture regardless of how you feel about that ‘calvary’ – and then a year later you get such an sms from a former student who also interned with your foundation, how else can you feel but super motivated to keep trying your very best?

March 10, 2017

From Sidoine Felix Paid-Wa and later Gbm intern

“Hey good day Mm. Long time trust you are fine. Sincerely permit me express my gratitude to you for all the invaluable knowledge and support you gave me during my stay with you. I can’t believe this but its true and happening. Since I left Douala I have been very engage in project proposal writings here. And Mm, the projects we work out together have been my guide and masterpiece in all the ones I am writing now. And guess what??? People are praising and appreciating the format and maturity of the project proposals. I haven’t done much but to contextualize these projects using what you thought me with. And sincerely I can’t go any further but to express my gratitude and joy. Thank you very much Mm. Hope the boys are all fine. My regards to them please”.

And as coincidence will have it, I was in Buea on that day for some work and had actually planned on checking on him – cause sure we have kept in touch. I offered him lunch and we had a good 45 mins of inspiring and quality time.

Such and many others from the others I have taught in my own city since then, keep me grounded and so motivated. The second batch I taught (and by grace they are all asters students) voted me the best lecturer they had ever had, and invited me to their end of year party, offering me a gift… it was all so emotional. I love teaching, sharing knowledge, relating with the students at any point, and simply trying to teach better than I was taught. I actually let them teach us all too and I have also learnt so much along the way. I actually dragged my mumps face to class last Sunday and braved an 8 hour lecture.

I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who taught me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day. Before I started teaching, I had a talk with my best undergrad lecturer and she inspired and motivated me along. Today, I consider teaching one of my top passions.

Is there any lecturer in the house? How do you feel about your work? Any student too? Have you ever thought how a small appreciation from you could mean the world to your lecturer? Much more than any salary raise? I have as often as I can told the lecturers who impacted me most that I was so grateful. I have visited a few who thought me even 15/20/30 years ago and oh my that made our day.

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Mental Health Advocacy

When I feel am running late… I’ll just take my time…


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Hello world,

Happy mid week. I wonder how I hadn’t gotten to this point all along. Ha, maybe because punctuality and anxiety over punctuality are so wired in my brain. Just the thought of me being even a second late could ruin my sleep. I prefer to be an hour early than a minute late. I have blogged about my obsession with punctuality over and again.

The paradox is that I have met and keep meeting people who are in love with what is fondly known as BMT or Blackman main time. You know that deal where you say the event starts at 5 pm whereas it actually kicks off at 9 pm, and well because you know no one keeps to time anyway. I have fallen several times for this and been there at 5 pm and waited my patience over hahaha

Anyway,  I started getting rather sick with my obsession with punctuality and decides last year to seriously start work on that. Especially with three musketeers gracefully occupying 70% of my time, how can I still be rigid with time keeping expectations?

So gradually but slowly I started finding a way to deal with such obsessive and compulsive attitudes.

Last Monday it hit me like BAM… I had got up at 4 am, hit my workout at 4.45 am and planned to be ready to get out at sharp 6 am. By 5.30 am, I hadn’t had my shower oh no…I’ll be so late… Big panic yellow lights waiting to turn red… But then I remembered in a flash how late and miserable and erratic I had got the last time I lost it for fear of being late. I decided to try it out a different way. I went into my room, took a deep breathe, had my shower and got ready without letting any panic thoughts ruin my consciousness. At sharp 6 am, I was ready and although I had to forego packing my lunch bag ( my fault now cause if I had done that the night before… Shush such thoughts now…) And big bonus, I wasn’t late to my 6.50 am appointment after all…

I know some people don’t worry about such things, but I know some do. I am thus sharing this with you to inspire you and to motivate you to keep working on yourselves.

Any other tips to share on how to take this anxiety trigger and their obsessive compulsive cousins?

Today being international women’s day, may I wish all the women who hop by a happy day

Posted in Journey to Coaching, Mental Health Advocacy

YES YOU CAN: DON’T GIVE UP


Dear world, here is some inspiration and motivation for us. I can only best use my own self to illustrate my blogs.

You see, in 2009/10, I played with a 115kgs mass and both my physical and mental health took great hits.

It hasn’t been easy nor quick fix, no no it’s a constant battle. 

You may not be struggling with your weight or health, maybe just your wealth or other life projects you know. You may be battling depression, fighting some phobias, trying to understand and be in control of your life, faith, love, kids and what else.

I encourage us all therefore, one tiny step at a time. Look one day, all I could do was fight to leave my bed, get out the door, walk to the gym, and walk back home exhausted. That to me was progress on that day. It was in Belgium in 2015, not so far ago right?

So to you and you and you, dream on; but remember: YES YOU CAN… DON’T GIVE UP

Posted in From Around!, Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Tell: How was your kick off?


That was 45 mins into the early am of Jan 01, 2017
That was 45 mins into the early am of Jan 01, 2017

Hello world: So, so far how far as we say in my country? Another new year has upped and met us, and sure we kicked it off differently. So, while I ask and even beg of you who hop by to tell us in the comments how you kicked it off this new year, let me share my own story and the why behind that tough kick 🙂

Robin Sharma’s Predictions

Truth be told, I love reading and listening to all these motivational and transformational Gurus (yes the likes of Les Brown, via Lisa Nichols to Ekhart Tolle); and I take their predictions for mini gospel.

I got an email with Robin Sharma’s predictions for 2017 and this is a summary:

“It’s vastly important that you start the next 30 days with deep focus, high passion and great game.

The way you begin 2017 will set up how brilliantly you live it.

So definitely make a few new decisions and steps to get the new results and dreams you want to experience over the next 12 months.

Nothing happens until you move Marie”. 

Although I had made up my mind the day before to work out on the 1st of January especially as I was going to do that on my mum’s indoor bike, I had already on waking up started to find excuses not to. I told myself I had done another 45 minutes just on the day before and my muscles ached, that the midnight fireworks had disrupted my sleep and my brain needed more rest… But then, I read his email and I got up, dressed up and sat on that bike – which as many will agree is not the best of work out friendly apparatus around 🙂

Anyway, glad I pesevered cause 45 minutes later I could smile and even be happy with myself. That was my impressive kick – off…

Are kick offs that important?

I am no football fan but I know about the kick off ritual. I just don’t know for sure the exact pscycho-logic behind kick offs. But, as we are having them and loving them, it probably means they are a good thing. Maybe the way the kick off sets the tempo impacts the game? Anyway, I am looking forward to a great year and am gonna strive to stick to some wise predictions like Robin Sharma’s above…

And now over to you my gentle readers and followers? How did you kick off this new year and why? Thanks for sharing

Posted in Journey to Coaching

Keep trying to step it up…


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My mini gym, less the skipping rope

Dear world, it’s been a while and I have been awol… OK so far so so…

I have had them series of wahalas, and a knee trouble could only but top it all. This has been going on for a week now, and I moved out and into my home with a bandaged knee. At that time it was least of my worries anyway…

This morning, I feel much better. I mean I just finished a 40 minutes work out in my mini gym. Am trying to step it up. I got those for myself as a moving in gift from me. OK the bottles are actually filled with sand right!!!

I can’t skip yet and oh boy how I miss that. But thank heavens I can walk, even jogged some this morning, and I did 200 steps wow… On Monday when I first tried, it was 100 steps in 2 lots with near faint…

Am not only trying to step it up physically, but also mentally. I am assuring myself everything will work out fine in due time, all the worrying wouldn’t precipitate their occurrence. For example, I am not so sure I can get my boys for the last term of school, but I am already in their neighborhood, can talk to them often, can even see them daily if I want and can, and gosh I can even go there and help them with their homework. I did this again yesterday evening and we were all thrilled. I have already taken permission to have them over this weekend, and my bid to recruit an English home teacher for them is being studied…

Aren’t these blessings to be counted? Aren’t such enough and more reasons to keep trying to step things up?

Dear all, whatever we are going through now, no matter how tough, let’s try to hang in there. When we can, let’s try whichever way we can to step it up one step at a time. Let’s also remember to be grateful for all, and always try to cheer each other up…

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Grace Revealed by Greg Archer


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Grace-Full Revelations Indeed

When I was led to ordering a copy of this memoir by a friend (Dyane Leshin-Harwood over at proudly bipolar) , I couldn’t immediately reconcile the cover image to the title. Why is half of the face red although with sketches of flowers in gold on some spots? That is the graphic interpretation I gave to this thrilling memoir from the moment I started turning its pages. And this cover page actually guided my reading and understanding. A Simple but loving family existence catapulted by Stalin’s manic and cruel explosion, forced into a gruesome existence and ironically saved ‘indirectly’ by Hilter’s own manic and cruel exploits. The Grace that leads them from there via Iran to Africa and finally the US, the Grace that sees them settled but for ever unsettled. Everything changes but none dares to look at that squarely nor talk about it because the crucial thing all along has been surviving not speculating on why, what or even what if. The utmost Grace which through a series of signs, twists and turns leads author Greg Archer to though slightly hesitantingly, go searching for stories and answers even in the graveyard. To me it’s simply Amazing Grace. To live through that, get through that and stay sane through that is what makes this memoir captivating. The notion of predisposition to mental challenges is equally ilustrated herein, and I also find that appealing just as I do the historical narrations and revelations. Sometimes, after such traumatic experiences, there is need to deal and heal no matter how painful. That is therapeutic in the end and yes I admit Grace is needed to get there. It is for these reasons that I give this memoir a 5 whooping star and gracefully recommend it to all.

P.S This is one of those books I read and wished I didn’t. Thank God for Greg’s writting style which made more paletable if I could use this term. I read it in December but wasn’t up to doing a review just yet. I mean I don’t think I’ll ever have the grace or nuts to review the books I read on Hitler or the Holocaust

About the Author

Greg Archer_ Greg Archer is an award-winning journalist, humorist and cultural moderator. His journalism and man-on-the-street coverage of agents of change, arts, culture, travel and the entertainment industry appear regularly in The Huffington Post, San Francisco Examiner, Jetset Extra and on his popular YouTube portal. He has been a contributor to Oprah Magazine, The Advocate, VIA Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Bust, Prevention, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monterey Herald and other publications and media outlets.

In his latest book, Grace Revealed: A Memoir, the author takes a step back from Hollywood to explore his Polish family’s past. In the process, he exposes one of the most under-reported events of the 20th Century: Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of nearly 1 million Polish citizens to the Siberian gulags in the 1940s and the life-and-death events that followed. But the author’s quest takes a dramatic turn. As he walks an emotional tightrope between the past and the present, can a serendipitous overseas adventure become a saving grace, heal the ancestral soul and bring justice to his family and their forgotten Polish comrades?

“A powerful, haunting and heartfelt tale about one man’s attempt to embrace his Polish family’s past, shed light on the forgotten deported Poles of the 1940s, and expose the emotional ripple effects that remain. A story that resonates with all.” –Kristen Houghton / The Huffington Post and bestselling author of “For I Have Sinned” and “And Then I’ll Be Happy.”

In 2010, after writing about body image and eating disorders for Oprah Magazine, Greg Archer co-wrote and edited the popular health and wellness book “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!”

Visit http://www.gregarcher.com

Posted in From Around!, Journey to Coaching, Marie's Garden

Perseverance Pays


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Oops keeping it real, no lights out here and just rounded a workout 

My people, hear me oh – Perseverance Pays. Let me share a little giddy giddy while cooling down this pumped up adrenaline.

You should, I guess, (if you hop around this street often, know how fan cum fanatic I am with exercise… whichever oh) remember my love for early morning workouts. These moments are so precious to me that I hate skipping them for any reason whatever especially the lousy ones . You know, these do such magic to my mind and mass (being the matter I swag around in), that I feel guilty, frustrated, sad,shameful and even angry at any and myself included if I miss out.

Yesterday morning,  after almost a week of ‘disruption due in part to traveling for work, I realized to my embarrasment that I had lost so much of my skipping groove. You needed to see me silently cry out loud as I painfully skipped 30 or less at a go.. I cheered myself up and promised tomorrow will be a better day.

When I got up today @ 4.28 am (that internal clock beats the alarm by 2 secs) and realized Eneo (Nepa for my Nigerian peeps) had done it again, I wasn’t to be discouraged. I relied on the torch of my phone and went onto the veranda. Some warm up and first go at the rope… 100 non stop. Oh I was happy. Next skip, 150. Say fired? Two more 150s and a final 200 skips at a go. Isn’t this a good enough pay for perseverance  my people?

Dear You and You and You, currently battling whatever oh my whichever ‘demon’ both big and small… please don’t give up. It may not be overnight like my skipping  groove, and yes there may be numerous relapses… even with these workouts I’ve been there to many to count…

Wishing us merry and merrier as the season’s fever pitches…

Love from mosquitoes and sweat… well here is my son’s picture to add to your chuckle

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Taken in my office yesterday, he goes by gentleboy for now says he