Today is World Disability Day and here is a basic definition I got from the world wide web: Collins dictionary defined disability thus: “Disability is a permanent injury, illness, or physical or mental condition that tends to restrict the way that someone can live their life.”
Do I need to remind the world of my dis-Abilities? I wear hearing aids (and so what?), I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and suffered for two good years limping and downing meds (and so what?), I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD in 2014, indeed I used to be so messed up up there I attempted suicide in February 2009 (gimmie a big break here – and so what?).
Hello all, am back to bloggerville after a ‘supposedly two weeks of…staycation’ – vacation didn’t finally work out but I did relax some and really got to study me some more. My first post after two weeks could only be centered around what I learned about myself, and really wish to share same in order to inspire and motivate others in their own quest to learning more about themselves and living their truth…
We have probably heard this phrase thrown at us once in a while right? Some sage or elder advice to be true to thy own self. Now I used to think, that just meant running my mouth all over the place saying what I wanted, thought, and looked forward to about all and sundry, and doing pretty much the same… ah some stuffs stubborn teenage years can get one think and do?
I have finally come to know who I am and what my purpose is, I have grown spiritually no doubt, but I didn’t have the full picture of me until recently like 7/8 days ago – although I had sometime ago come up with my own self-definition. And guess where that all sunk in – in the Loo of all places – inshort the Loo has been crowned my ‘spiritual haven’ – and no, mine doesn’t smell because there are scented candles in there and co to make and keep it cozy.
So, because I needed to know all what I was made up off like what I really like, need and expect of myself so as to truly live my purpose and truth, I sought this by doing great introspection and paying attention to what people said and didn’t say in our interactions, how they behaved, how I also behaved and how I related to/in my whole realm.
The following are some 5 facts I can package about myself and be true to:
I am called Marie Angele Abanga and this name I am transforming into a brand one step at a time;
I am a simple spirit, not impressed nor depressed by latest trends, tastes, gossips and all things toxic…I can call those out, and work on my attitude towards that in all truth…;
I am a free spirit and an extrovert and I am finding more of a balance than not to my personality vis à vis any situation and or person and relationship I come across. I hold myself responsible and accountable for my thoughts, intentions and actions and I owe myself the utmost love, honesty and respect;
I am a very passionate, highly talented and equally emotional lady and I am ok with the fact that these could sometimes set me a little off balance…I love the lady I see and talk with everyday in the mirror and prefer to let her live her truth in these states whether any interactions as a result or consequence is mutual or not;
I have come to devise, embrace and effectively test my coping and healing techniques, and I am honoured and humbled to use same in my psychotherapy practice…a large part of being true to one’s self involves being able to deal and heal or heal and deal or else we are not being true to ourselves…my ego can as well get lost in the process with no regrets…what I know equally is that self care is the best care!!!
My Me Moment after work
Treating myself to some fresh roasted fish
chilling at home with Darling Donna
And I was thus very happy to spend two days and two nights in the atlantic city of Limbe with my Darling Donna – she is a sister soul and a kindred spirit; and I really wish us all a Donna in our lives…
And now over to you my dear gentle followers and readers, do you think it is worth knowing and being true to one’s self?
Have you discovered something about yourself you may want to inspire someone or us all with?
p.s: it feels so good to be back although I feel am getting blog matured a lot as the years go by hahaha. Thinking some style and stuffs will be reviewed in the coming weeks or months – but looking forward to with excited anticipation and not dreaded apprehension…
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)
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.
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…
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!!!
DDay I was all bliss lol
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…
Don’t worry about the price tags, am ok negotiating the amounts lol
David has started real business with his drawings too
Gaby is definitely coming up bigtime lol
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.
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
The year was 1999, precisely in July. I was at another crossroad in my thrilling life. I was already in the university and could thus fearlessly tell mum what I wanted. I was ‘fed’ up staying with her (oh this once troubled soul), and I asked to go live with my dad (I hadn’t seen him in 5/6 years). When she asked me what I needed to take along, I challenged her to get me 3 books. I didn’t know she’ll do just that.
She got me three once in a life time books:
The Purpose Driven life by Rick Warren;
The Way by Jose Maria Escriva,;and
Growing in Christ (not by J. Packer but by a Nigerian Author whose name I can’t seem to remember).
I still have The Way
The original in spanish
Mine the translated version published in Nigeria
My note back in 1999
with me, but sadly the other two got burnt alongside my other stuffs by my ex… another blog for this lol, back to finding my purpose…
That book (the purpose driven life especially) sparked a tsunamis in me…but it took me 19 years of dabbling to finding my purpose…I call this period now the gestation period.
Now no joking, but I got that purpose delivered to me in words of Gold while I sat in the loo my love, doing my business on the 7th day of stage 1 of this purification journey.
The papa up there (as I sometimes refer to God), was gradually ushering me there. My way was a really up/down bumpy one, but I now see it was all part of getting there – to finding and loving my purpose oh so much.
Below is what I wrote down there and then, and when I shared same with a mentor, we can read his feedback after my purpose in bold too:
To Inspire and Motivate people from different walks of life with my personal experiences
I truly like it. It’s personal and REAL. People will likely relate very easily and appreciate your honesty and sincerity.
It’s a wonderful feeling discovering one’s PURPOSE. It improves clarity and focus. It lightens one’s negative emotions while adding fuel to one’s passionate ones. It helps create greater MEANING in this thing we call LIFE!
Hmm, now that I have so spelt out, I am using this time in my spiritual and purification journey to take it all in and embrace it all dimensions. No doubt I have this mountain high of personal experiences. My papa up there/in here, is simply wonderful.
There really can be miracles when we believe. We have to search and keep doing, patiently, persistently, with all the perseverance we have. My 3 Ds can help too, we are determined, we work on being disciplined always and we stay dedicated. It takes time, yes it does. It is tough, yes it is, but it is fulfilling – none can compare to my joy right now…
And so dear gentle readers and followers, may I formally let you in on my purpose, inspiring and motivating you with my own personal examples of all things cool and shaggy, to find yours or keep at it for those like myself who have already found theirs.
How much more serene, peaceful and happy will the next 14 days be? See you on the 15th day and thanks for all the wishes. I have faith in the fast, I treasure my treasure so much, and love the path I see in the horizon carefully charted just for me. The entire path may be daunting, the journey initially lonely, the steps shaky – but in God I Trust and believe in Angels…
My sons, my GA and some of you have been so supportive! I am so grateful and carry everyone in my thoughts…
I have given up a lot including my choice to be angry like when someone stepped on my toes at the market, I can’t even raise my voice again anyhow hahaha
I have lost some relationships already, some are now simply put most shallow. That’s the price you pay when you don’t know how to belong or care about what others say, think or do in reaction to your actions be they for personal growth…which they sadly see as selfish, weird or self-absorbed…hush lady enough now, there we go… What did you learn from the movie The Shift by Dr Dyer?
I remember writing a chapter titled Alain my Treasure in my very first memoir. This Alain in not Alain my son, He was a boyfriend. The relationship over, I moved on to find another treasure. I have dabbled to call two others my treasures again since then before the final enlightenment…
What am I trying to say, we all (at least majority), seek something to cherish here below, to consider our treasure. In yester years, I sought that in men and sex was a good – welcome part of the search. Oh how I blundered and sauntered – strolling miserably through life with no particular direction and near losing my mind…
Could I have so failed to think I could be my own treasure?
And so, when I came to find the one and only true love I could ever truly possess here below; the infinite source from which I could genuinely give to all others on my path; the love that had been buried deep within thanks to all the happenings of life regardless of their source, I couldn’t stop crying.
I AM MY TREASURE! MY SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY ARE MY TREASURES!
And who am I? I already got the answer to this one, thank God – my source of all…
So, how do I take care of my treasure? In 5 lines shall I?
I keep it healthy and happy; no junk food, thoughts, actions or reactions so help me God;
I keep it clean and free from fear, worry, and all such in between;
I nurture it each and every moment by appreciating it and sharing its shine for in giving we receive;
I commit it to its great purpose as designed by the creator itself – by Grace I have found my path and purpose; even if I still have a long way to go; am in a much much better place and grateful for the purification journey just started.
And how much do I treasure myself, oh I am grateful to be alive – to not have left in 2009 when I picked up that knife– Thank you Lord
Dear all, in the above picture taken on the eve of my purification journey, I was on my way out to a birthday where I ate meat for hopefully my last time. I am a vegetarian now for health and spiritual reasons – and yes because that is good in safeguarding my treasure.
And so this morning for breakfast (day 1 of 3 days break) I fed my treasure the following: Small plate of mixed veggie salad, a bowl of soybean pap with some rice, ginger/turmeric tea with honey and a banana. I make much tea and keep in the flask to drink as needed during the day for my small cold lol
May I therefore encourage you to find yours and take good care of same…
I once read a memoir written by one of my heroines called Iyanla Vanzart. The book which was titled Peace from Broken Pieces… was a very intense memoir which took us via the author’s journey to find peace after she had seemingly ‘gained’ so much, only to lose twice as much including her daughter and all time soul buddie. I was no doubt left shaken when I read that and realized that it was possible to pull through after going through so much in life, and to find peace. (reminds me to do that book review…)
Peace I seek, peace is all I want to give. More than every material possession, my priciest possession is my peace. When I lose it even for a second, I can’t vouch neither for my ‘holistic wellbeing’ nor what I can offer to anyone else even in terms of the least courteous relationship.
At the 3 day spiritual retreat I just completed, peace kept coming up because each time I’ll admit I was in search of peace. My spiritual director asked about when I felt so nervous and turned to food for comfort, didn’t that bring any peace? I said no. He asked if my friends didn’t help? I said no. He asked if even my sons didn’t bring me peace and joy? I agreed they did for some time but I equally admitted to getting irritated with them and how I sometimes bought them stuffs so they should focus on that and let me find some peace in my aloneness. Gradually, with his direction, I came to realize and admit that peace could never come from without.
The times in my life when I had ever felt peace, it was because I was spiritually whole above all. It never had to do with my material standing or even who my partner or friends where nor what they thought about me. Even my family in both the nuclear and extended sense could not bring me peace. No Fame nor Fortune, Friends nor Foes oh my nothing from the exterior could give or bring me peace…
Aha, my Peace came from making peace with my Almighty Father. No matter what seemed to be my outward show of strength, stability and even shape, I went through real tough times of restlessness within – synonymous to having no peace of mind and mine… No doubt I couldn’t give Peace… all my deeds brought such headaches and heartaches I was damned and almost thought myself doomed…
But alas… there it dawned on me… I could finally answer Father’s question when on the 28th of of October I felt such peace I had not felt in years. I had just made an amazingly big peace with my Almighty Father, He who had never relented/nor given up on me; and who like the Prodigal Father was watching out for my return. Father I cried, MY PEACE COMES FROM WITHIN! Alleluia I was Rahabilitated and I was rightly the woman in Jn 8 v 1-11…
My spiritual director helped me to see that peace doesn’t need any material attachments. The evidence is that, on that day I was ‘bare’. In a very modest surrounding, with the barest necessity and away from all the ‘vibes’ of modern day life, yet I could find such peace I hadn’t found even the previous day in the same setting, nor the previous years in far better off settings.
Dear all, the Peace I now have is really that one of total Abandonment to my Almighty Father’s will. I will in the coming days share with you my legacy and prayer written on that day. Oh how I have so much Peace now, the type that surpasses human understanding. Materially, financially, socially I am struggling; but spiritually I am riding high and I know that He who is in me, What I have in me, is stronger than anything that can come against me or seem daunting as is. Peace indeed be Still Marie it is well with your soul…
Oh join me praise my Almighty Father as you reflect on where your peace comes from… Shalom
Today is the feast of all souls… I thinl of my brother dearest Gabriel but I have peace within and the pain is sipping and sipping away with each passing day
When for an introduction picture I have not one photo but a gallery, it means I am short of words. Yet, the writer in me will type on…
Sherry my Heroine
I met Sherry in Vienna in 2013 and fell in awe of Sherry. The above is a photo we took at a Diversity Ball and you could read the post I did on Sherry back then. Could I imagine then I’ll ever set foot in America? I mean after three denials of this ‘prestigious’ visa? Could I dream I was going to be invited by Sherry to spend a night at her place? And ride her “Mercedez bicycle” while she bravely made it on her son’s? What kind of luck or charm do I have for such good tidings?
Once Sherry read on facebook that I was coming here, she invited me over to spend a night with her. She said she was going biking just then, and I playfully asked if we could do it together when I came. Oh my, Sherry said yes! I was in bliss, and I really wish I could swim – there was this cool pool in her complex:
Biking in Arlington and drinking Sherry
Arlington, Crystal Palace, hmm for an MJC and a newbee biker. I did it, only telling Sherry later how scared of ‘screwing up I was’. Biked 30 minutes on the Sunday I got there, and one good hour on Monday Morning. And then there was my meeting with China. We went for each other the minute I walked in there, and she cuddled on my feet as I enjoyed my sleep. And yes before sleeping relunctantly that night from exhaustion, I devoured from Sherry’s barbecue, ate sweet potatoes (which I could never dream was eaten out here), and drank Sherry. Probably a first time too for drinking sherry, cause I don’t recall ever told I was drinking that 🙂
We equally had some real woman to woman conversations, and I just don’t know what to do to show Sherry how much all that meant to me!
and that wasn’t all to this invitation…
One other good tiding
Now, I had met a professor in Spain the previous month at a workshop, and he said we could have lunch if he were in the US when I came. So now here I am and I find myself on a Monday in no other city but Arlington where he lives. Oh my once more, he picks me up, takes me to some Island not far from the RR Airport, shows me a place or two like the Pentagon and co, and treats me to some deli salad.
Someone really tell me how to say thank you!!!
I don’t know why I had not written this post before, maybe I was saving it for the weekend. But now, after meeting Richie, Marilyn, and my own Shoop baby, it was all too good not to share and keep saying thank you to my stars and angels. This weekend is coming up with activities and although the coming week will be emotional as I go to Boston (where my brother toiled and died), I am sure going to smile when I think of my angels like Sherry…
Dear gentle readers and followers, count your blessings name them one by one… keep record of such good tidings cause they’ll cheer you up in those dark moments which are equally sure to rode around
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences