Be unstoppable, dream a new one if the first failed to yield.- Lukonge Achilees

Your life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for the person you are, for who you will become, and for what happens next.

When a chapter ends, another begins and is in our own hands the possibility to write a new and more beautiful story.

Therefore, it’s up to us to focus all our energies not in trying to change our past but to focus all our energy in creating our present moment. The situation doesn’t determine your response. YOU determine your response. Take a moment to pause and remember who you truly are. Take time to reflect on the things that have real and lasting meaning in your life and you wouldn’t guess but…….

DEVELOP THEM

Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending Is really a new beginning.

Why actually matters is that you leave the past where it belongs so you can make the best of the life that is still available to be lived. This ending you have experienced is not THE END; it’s just your life beginning again in a new way. It’s a point in your story where one chapter transitions int the next.

YOU get to choose to live in your present and use it as a canvas to create the life that will bring you happiness and joy. No matter how loud those voices call for you. You don’t have to change the scene. Make a difference in your life first and… Keep going. Be hungry for change. Break down those hard-hitting barriers in your life. Push through the hurt you don’t look back. Get out and stay out. Above all, this is not going to be easy but is achievable and beyond worth it.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and every experience that I encounter makes me stronger and challenges are just part of my everyday life. They make me stronger and without them, it becomes somewhat meaningless because I have nothing to compare the good times to. Facing them is a way for me to push myself and see what I am capable of.

Slowly I began realizing the stories I told myself where a key to unlocking my ability to control my internal narrative and how I arrange the plot points of my life into a narrative can shape who I am, — this is a fundamental part of being human.

And from here, in telling the story of how you became who you are, and of who your way to becoming, the story its self becomes a part of who you are.

One thing I always try to remember is that each sunset is to have a new sunrise, so, what story are you telling today?

Your life is what you make of it, so make it a good one

There are certain moments in life that defines you. During those moments, every action and reaction defines how you are going to progress from the point you are currently at.

When things get tough, you seem to have two choices – let your moments define you or get out there and define your moments. For the longest time, I always choose the first one.

I always choose to let everything define me- the events of life, the moments of life, and the tough parts of life. I played victim, simply because that’s how I would always let the big part of life be my story… when in fact, I had the opportunity to make my story WHATEVER I wanted. Nothing defines me, unless I allow it to.

We all have our own story to tell about our own lives. Hearing someone tell their story is quite incredible, very rarely will you hear someone tell their story- a story drenched in truth, seen through their eyes and told through their words. However sometimes, hearing someone tell his or her story can be incredibly heartbreaking. Especially if that person has written their story off as a sad story, full of negativity and no hope in sight.

A simple conversation with a girl friend recently changed my view on how my story could be told. I was down on my luck at the time, I felt like a certain situation had taken control of my life and I began to feel like my story was “sad” and that’s when she hit me with her knowledge.

“There is nothing sad about it” was a quote was one she had come across years ago.

She then explained why she sent it onto me “it’s a thing where I went from self-pity and hating myself to still struggling, sometimes even daily, but fighting against any though of any part of my story being sad. Are there sad parts, yes? Does that make my life sad, no?”

 Things happening in life make m want to fall back into those old patterns of thinking that my story. But it’s not. I have to actively choose to define my moments, to be UNSTOPPABLE, to be a force of nature, to not let the tough part of life defines my actions. Sometimes you simply have to take a step back and evaluate the things that are putting you in that mindset.

Do you take the victim route because you are hurting? Do you take it because you don’t know any other way? Do you take that route because it’s easier for you to play victim instead of dealing with things? That was my thought process for a long time. I would play victim, I would allow myself to revel in hurl, and I would allow myself to throw pity parties. I am not saying that I am perfect and that I don’t want  to think that way, but the one thing I know is that type of behavior will not get me anywhere in life.

People seem to want to take the easy way put when it comes to their emotions, but expect other people to do the hard work and face their emotions, fears and frustrations in mature manner.

Don’t be like that.

Don’t be a victim

Don’t be a vindictive person.

Don’t be contradictory with your standards for human emotions. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature.  Stand strong in your beliefs. Stand strong in your actions. Define your life, don’t let it define you.

And always remember, parts of your story may be sad and life might be in a tough spot – but in the grand scheme of things..There is NOTHING sad about it. Your story is unique, your story is you and ultimately your story is what you make it.

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Lesson I learnt from Bobi Wine, Arnold Schwarzenegger, & Peter Dinklage is You only achieve and succeed when you learn to fully commit- this is to all my fellow social scientists, and everyone around the world.

Arch gallery

It doesn’t take much to accomplish “decent” results. Entering into the top 25% of your field actually isn’t that hard. Most people are content with “good enough,” and don’t try hard to improve what already works. With a few small tweaks, you can actually make enormous progress.

But most people never get any better than that. Few people ever get past this “good-enough” mindset. Good enough, is, well, good enough. No need to put in any more effort. “If it aint broke, don’t try to fix it” right?

In short, most people settle for good instead of working to achieve greatness. Jim Collins Wrote in his book, Good to great:

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for good life.”

Most people will only ever have a “good” life because they are not willing to commit to putting in the effort for a great one.

That’s fine, not everybody needs to work tirelessly for greatness. But if you want big results… truly incredible results that will make you marvel at your life, you must move past this mindset.

No more “dabbling”

No more screwing around.

You must choose to.

This is the only way to get the results you truly, deeply want.

“If you are interested, you come up with stories, excuses, reasons, and circumstances about why you can’t or why you won’t. If you’re committed, those go out the window. You just do whatever it takes.”- John Assaraf.

The only way to become a leading man is to treat yourself like one

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was just beginning his acting career, he received many offers for lesser roles like Crude villains like Nazi officers, evil henchmen with no lines, and the like. All everyone saw was a foreigner with a thick accent and big muscles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

His agent begged him to take the roles. He refused.

Years after becoming the most famous leading man in Hollywood, he wrote: “The only way you become a leading man is to treat yourself like a leading man, and work your ass off.”

The same case here, Robert Kyagulanyi aka “Bobi Wine” Ugandan Afro-Pop star who in 2017 transitioned from being only a mere musician into elective politics, Bobi’s stagnant life from a young shabby looking young boy to a dreadlocked singer, Parliamentarian and he is committed to stand for Presidency yet he was most known to use drugs and smoke, living in slums of Kamwokya, with gangs of hooligans he self proclaimed Ghetto-President, Surviving only on “Kikomando” (Chapati/Loti with Beans) Day in Day Out.

Briefly about Wine for those who don’t know him

Wine rising hand In his slogan sign People Power Our Power

He was born in Mpigi District central Uganda, but came of age in Kamwokya, one of the poorest suburbs of Kampala the capital, where he launched his music career in early 2000s after he graduated from Uganda’s oldest university, Makerere University with a degree in Music, dance and Drama. He came to be famously known as “Ghetto President” for persistently speaking out about the struggles of the lower classes and the urban poor in Uganda.

His lyrical genius and courage to drop songs that hit directly at government failures and excesses made him spectacularly popular among Ugandan youth. He insisted that Ugandans had many questions but few answers from the corrupt dictatorial leaders

His outspokenness and growing popularity made him target of government censorship, particularly after current President Museveni who has been in power since 34 years 1986. In 2016, Wine rejected president’s offer to join fellow musicians whom were paid by the government to compose a song praising President’s efforts and to campaign for him.

In 2017, Wine seized the opportunity to contest in Parliamentary election in Kyaddondo East, a constituency on the outskirts of Kampala, he won the seat in a landslide victory despite Government’s all. After he was sworn in as an MP, Wine didn’t stop, he then embarked to raise ghetto life flags high in Parliament, at the height of debates on the constitutional amendment that would later remove the age limit for the president, allowing current aged president Museven to run for yet another re-election, wine released “Freedom” “Peace” “Stand up and we go” “we will be crowned” “Kyalenga” and many strong hits to the government.

Together with the oppositions parties, he led “Togikwatako” (Do not touch) movement which protested the changing of the last clause in the constitution that stood in the way of 74-year-old President holding into power for life. During one of the parliamentary debates, the army stormed parliament and several MPs we assaulted. Wine continued to put pressure on the govern by rallying young people to protest against new social media tax, mobile money tax, and laying out strong firing words and statements to government.

So the more clear you are on your goals, the easier it is to say no to irrelevance.

Before Peter Dinklage Joined the case of the globally popular show Game of Thrones, he refused to play leprechauns or elves, the only parts he was offered for someone his height. He held out and treated himself like a leading man.


Peter Dinklage

If you want to be a leading man or woman, you have to treat yourself like one. Otherwise, no one will take you seriously.

If you do not predetermine what you will (and will not) do, you will always end up taking good not great opportunities.

I remember during college or university times, our class comprised of all different categories of people with different characters and personality. Watching most of things from the distant, because it was my character, my personality, my nature born cool soft heartedly,  I am introvert by nature. Watching extrovert students in many fields, many positions, like in politics, clubs, football, and many other areas of their dreams, where their potentials and abilities lied.

 Marion Akatusaasira, Kirabo Joan and Kizito Abdu were good in leadership, (Politics) we trusted them to be our coordinators, for three years, they didn’t stop there, they were even elected on Guild Cabinet in the reign of Engeneer Lumu Jessy, Guild present. 2015-2016.

 Kasibante Gilbert, Okot Ben, Elipu Bruno, Matovu Stephen and Ssembatya Deo, were good in Sports and many other friends, who were very popular. I wasn’t in any of those positions, even though I was talented in some like; Football because it is in my blood, more than any other game and politics. I would have participated in one of the above, but Why Not?!

 Because I discovered myself, I knew myself from beginning that my dream was to be a writer, my dream was to be a therapist, to be an educator and lastly to be a traveler (Geography was my best done at higher level before joining Social science at University).

I spent most of the time in library, reading books of all categories, chatting with few friends I was close too.. Like Waliggo Kenneth and Luswata Shafik , and my roommates Ibrah Lukwago, Jacky Nabulonge,  and John Bosco. Consulting Lectures like Mukiibi Andrew Adrian, and Lwanga Edward to develop my research capabilities, interacting with professions, Doctors, Writers, Authors, and Therapist.

Therefore if you do not predetermined what you will (and will not) do. You will always end up taking good not great opportunities.

When I finished my Studies I moved to Kampala to teach, heal, and manage young mothers in one of the top organization helping mothers and vulnerable youth called Pelletier Teenage mothers foundation (PTMOF) I told myself I was going to use all my spare time to create my ideal life, running my own business as a writer.

When the wrong opportunities came knocking, it wasn’t hard to say no. in fact, it was a no brainer. It didn’t matter how much I was being offered to be teen mother’s trainer, counselor, therapist, administrator, and field officer… these things weren’t going to help me reach my goal, so the answer was obvious.

I wanted to become a top-tier writer, so that’s how I treated myself. That’s how I saw myself. After a year of treating myself like this, I did a thing which even my bosses didn’t aware of;  the fact is I used the little time I got to pen down at least 5+ pages every day, By the end to 2018, the book titled “Make Me Understand Family, Parenting and Health” https://www.spreesy.com/archileeslukonge/2 Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J1PB2ZG Was already written, and published on Amazon.

It is very hard to say no to an opportunity if you don’t know where you’re going.

But its extremely easy to say no if you know what you want.

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster”-Stephen Covey

If you want the lifestyle of a leading man or woman, you need to treat yourself like that and (work your ass off) – look at Bobi wine

Otherwise, you will constantly be unsure and uncertain in your decision-making, often making choices that pull you farther and farther from your goal.

The higher the standards you set for yourself, the more likely you will finally land the leading role.

“We are kept from our goal not by a clear path to a lesser goal.”-Robert Brault

Why it’s so hard to commit? but even harder not to

“We all must suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”-Jim Rohn

It’s hard to commit. Really hard. But the alternative…never committing is even worse.

It’s exhausting to stew in mediocrity. Constantly wrestling with mental anguish, uncertainty, and apathy will drain the energy from anyone.

It takes monumental effort to get up out of the bed every day, knowing your day is going to suck.

You are spending energy anyway; why not spend your energy on upgrading and improving?

Why not focus your thoughts and efforts on making a better life?

I was so broke, we grew up in poor family, and my father was addicted to alcohol for almost 3 decades! Alcohol became part of his daily routine, internal organs like Lungs, Liver, Heart, Kidney was at risk, and last year he severely fell sick repeatedly nearly to death he was rushed to Kampala for specialized treatment.

 We grew up knowing that, he was bewitched to drink alcohol, bewitched to keep him and his family in Poverty, but what happened after diagnosed by a doctor, shocked us and those knew him. Doctor told him to quit Alcohol otherwise he will die early, it was impossible to believe that a person who relied on alcohol for thirty years, can one day stop drinking alcohol. It was a miracle from God!

 I being broke, I hated every part of my life, but one day I knew it was time to get serious. So I stopped fooling around and decided I would do whatever it took to kick away my feelings, my perception. Committing was really hard. But now that I have had several years sobriety, I can look back and see how insanely harder it was to stay in such life.

I woke up everyday hating myself. I couldn’t even look at my eyes in the mirror for more than a couple seconds without turning away in shame seeing my friends better well off, looking at others families living in better life. I was always thinking ahead about how to get this fixed. I couldn’t relate with people, because internally I was totally empty. That was my life everyday living in state of loneliness, doubt, sadness, mourning and whatever you can call.

Committing was hard, yes.

But years of poverty, and never being willing to do whatever it took were infinitely harder.

It may seem unthinkable now to commit to whatever you aspire to do. But know this; your future self would probably look at your life right now and remember just how much harder it was back then.

Why most people will never avoid mediocrity?

Real, substantial change only comes in two ways:

Either you raise your standards high enough to inspire change, or……

Your pain becomes bad enough that you are forced to change out necessity.

The reason most people will never avoid mediocrity is because they never experience either option.

Most people never raise their standards to substantially high levels; on the other hand, these people work just hard enough to avoid experiencing real pain; the pain that would inspire change.

This is why I am so glad I have hard to struggle: I am glad I had a speech impediment that got me bullied as a kid though out higher levels. I am glad that I had to go to therapy and counseling for my father issues, young mothers and many people I changed their lives. In a weird yet powerful way, I am glad I languished as a mediocre writer for nearly 2 years before finally getting it somehow right. I have come to understand my struggle is what gives me fuel to become extra ordinary.

Mark Manson Wrote in The subtle Art of not giving a f*ck:

“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth”

So be glad that the pain is bad enough for you

Because for many people, the pain is never bad enough to inspire change. The pain Is never bad enough to make them raise their standards.

In conclusion

“People are always asking me about the secrets  and tricks I used to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you: there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple. Ask yourself where your now, and where you want to be instead”- Tim Grover, personal trainer of Michael Jordan- (abensero mumumanyi)

If you want big; truly big results; you’re going to have to commit.

No more screwing around. No more half-assing or half-measures. Otherwise, you will never avoid mediocrity.

1 year ago, I positioned myself toward my goal to be good writer, but I bet there is improvement, reviews, and comments about my publications are inspiring, it’s too early to say that I am an awful writer, your there to judge, whether I am fooling myself there Is still a long way to go, or close to the big names of most known Authors. 5 years ago I was broke, but rich at heart, I was depressed, and hopeless.

I decided to commit. After university, (MRU) I was Lucky to start working in top organizations without months of volunteering (from fresh graduate to start earning is the difficult transition in the life of the graduate)But God was on my side, I was enrolled in three major positions (Administrator, secretary, and field officer) at Pelletier Teenage Mothers Foundation (PTMOF) .  How did I manage to effectively and efficiently balance all pressurizing positions and working on my first book?

Being committed, to chase my dreams…. only that, You can, too; if  you’re willing to fully commit

Lukonge Achilees

Youth and women, Breaking the silence convention


SAVE THE DATE:6-7th September 2019
10.00-16.00 CET

Location: Canada Toronto ​

Registration $250​

#GIRLSVOICES: OUR LIVES, OUR GOALS

Pelletier Teenage mothers Foundation (PTMOF) IS organising youth and Women convention on the above stated date, in Canada Toronto.

In the convention we shall discuss on the following:

  • B.E.E. YOU
  • Building for the Future
  • Dance Another World
  • Defining My Values
  • Don’t Follow Trends, Be A Trendsetter
  • Dream Out Loud
  • Express Yourself: Finding Strength and Meaning through Writing and Art
  • Female Superheroes of Science
  • Growth Mindset: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
  • Healthy Living for Queens 
  • Her Frontline
  • How to be a REAL Success
  • How to Use Your Superpowers to Change the World
  • Human Trafficking Parenting Workshop
  • Identify & Create your Vision Plan
  • I’m Different… Yep I’m Different
  • Mind Your Mental
  • Mindful Mom Powerful Girl
  • Mirror Mirror on the Wall
  • My Changing Body
  • My Community and My Voice!
  • On Target
  • Parent Breakout Session
  • Practice Mindful Spending: The Importance of Personal Responsibility
  • Reach your Inner Queen
  • Save That Money, Honey!
  • S.M.I.L.E (Self-Esteem, Motivation, Independence, Leadership and Excellence)
  • Star Power
  • STEAM Tour Around the World
  • Tear and Care Your Heart
  • Teen Dating
  • The Beauty in Our Flaws
  • The Four Girl Way
  • The Magic of You
  • Use Your Voice: Create Your Story
  • Using Lego’s To Explore Friendships
  • We Can Fly!
  • East African Dance
  • What’s YOUR Story?
  • What Role Does the Government Play in our Communities?
  • Yoga for Body + Mind
  • You ARE Enough!
  • Youth Awareness Workshop – Is it love or is it Trafficking?

Please friends it will be massive, lets join our hands to explore, learn, educate young girls and women for bright future, i will be there, lets meet, chat, brainstorm, and explore ideas together, lets know each other, lets build future friendship, therapists and counselor’s, people of all profession, your presence is of greater advantage.

How to register?

SOME OF THE VISA DOCUMENTATION YOU MAY NEED.

Convention invitation Letter ($250 USD: Non refundable)

A valid passport 6 months before expiry date

A valid bank statement

A job letter if employed

Trading license if you own a business

Certificate of incorporation if you own a business

Land titles or agreement (if there are in Luganda put translate cover letter in English)

Marriage/Introduction Certificate if you’re married

Birth certificate for children if you have children

Car log book if you own a car

Air ticket travel itinerary (don’t pay until you get visa this is just a booking)

Travel history (photo copy of all your travel history)

Hotel booking (do not pay the hotel until you get the visa just do the booking)

Student: get a school letter and sponsor letter.

If sponsored your sponser should provide all of the above documents.

Visa fee (check on Canadian website)

Canada accepts visa application within 45 days before your travel date, hence you to submit your application 45 days before travel dates.

You need to book an appointment to submit your application at the Canadian visa website provided below

Note: for visa application please visit citizenship and immigration Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/englishinformation/applications/visa.asp and get the legal visa requirements based on your home country; hence the Canadian embassy has a sole discretion of your Visa application.

The Ugandan Canada submission embassy address is at 10M (international organization migration)- Kampala plot 41-59 Mackenzie Vale, Kololo, and Kampala.

PTMOF does not issue Visas and we are not responsible if you are denied the visa, Canada has a sole rights to approve or deny you the visa. Registration fees are non REFUNDABLE!!!

For more information about the youth convention due September 6th – 7th please visit our website www.ptmof.com 0r contact direct to Director +16477131441

Lets connect on twitter https://twitter.com/achileeslukonge or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/lukonge.achilees or on Linkedin https://ug.linkedin.com/in/lukonge-achilees-086a14b6 facebook Fan page https://www.facebook.com/muteesa1royaluniversity/ Or lets reach me via E mail archileeslukonge@gmail.com or Director Email snanvule@gmail.com for more detail

Good Luck…………….

Meet Director (Middle) and her colleagues

Briefly about the host organisation.

Pelletier Teenage mother’s foundation (PTMOF)

Some pictures of young mothers at the center

Pelletier teenage mothers foundation (PTMOF) is a nonprofit organization legally registered both in Uganda and Canada with a vision to help young mothers and vulnerable youth through nurturing the positive mental health, physical and social development of traumatized young parents of through helping them to integrate back into their communities in health and research, education, counseling, economic development, food and nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene among teen mothers and youth. Over the last 10 years, Pelletier teenage mothers foundation has reached and served over 1000 teen mothers with their children between the ages of 14-24yrs in around suburbs of Nansana Wakiso district in Uganda

Vision

  • Is to nurture a healthy, mental, physical, spiritual, and social development, of pregnant teenagers, teenage mothers and their children.

Mission

  • Is to provide a safe place where pregnant teenagers, and teen mothers with their children, will feel accepted, supported, and empowered.
  • Provide education and services, which help in providing informed choices for the members. Services include birth control, parenting skills, self-defense, training, adoption, std tests and counseling.

Core values

Respect of human dignity– we affirm the dignity, potential and contribution of target communities, stakeholders, donors, partners and staff.

Integrity and reliability in all operations– we shall at all times maintain honesty and trustfulness or accuracy in our actions, routinely perform and maintain our functions. Commitment, we work together with stakeholders, partners and target groups to effectively serve the larger communities.

Social justice- we work for development of a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.

Equity- we work to be fair in our operations and interventions for the benefit of humanity

Wholeness and inclusiveness- we work to serve without limitation and involve stakeholders and partners in our activities for ownership.

What they do

Hair plaiting mothers in class

They aim to offer these young mothers access to education and economic empowerment through training and skills building. They are counselled to help them make informed choices and to choose either to,

 Vocational training (where they learn Tailoring/ Sewing, Hairdressing/ Plaiting, Baking.) 

Entrepreneurship training (they are instructed on how to develop a business plan, start a business and save money)

  After successful entrepreneurship and vocational training the teenage mothers are able to setup small businesses including,

  • Hairdressing
  • Baking
  • Bead working
  • Tailoring
  • Shampoo making
  • Liquid soap making
  • Book making
  • Petroleum Jerry etc.

Other activities they do

Tailoring Teen others show their products to visitors

Voluntary HIV/AIDS Testing

 Sensitising mothers with HIV/AIDS for testing to prevent later problems and to acquire compressive HIV/AIDS care and support services offered by different organisations

Capacity Building. Pelletier teen mothers foundation empower teen mothers through training to assist them have access to financial resources so as to enhance their capacity, further it assist in resource mobilisation, by linking its members to other like minded agencies and service providers in Uganda and outside.

Vocational training and life skill training. Pelletier teen mother’s foundation train teen mothers in saloon hair dressing, cookery, tailoring, beads, beads making, candle making, necklace making, designing, tie and dye crafts and drama.

Counselling services and motivation. Pelletier teen mothers foundation, provide counselling to teen mothers to erase away stigma and other related health problems, like stress, depression, anxiety, and mental illnesses that affect their day to day life.

Children sponsorship. Pelletier teen mothers foundation support teen mothers children by providing for them basic education through sponsorship and support, these children were taken to good schools that can shape their bright future.  

Legal and family advocacy. In trying to fight for teen mothers rights, Pelletier teen mothers foundation, work hard to settle matters concerning, rape, negligence, abuse, through acquire legal procedure, further they seek equality in all aspects, like service delivery and needs of teen mothers.

Volunteering. Pelletier teen mothers foundation with help of volunteers from within and outside Uganda do carry out community work, help people in need, to give back to community.

  • Finding and raising of skills and talent.
  • Entrepreneurship and micro finance training
  • Community development, empower leaders to become teenage pregnancies prevention educators and advocates
  • Support for health, medical care and nutrition
  • Scaling up advocacy initiatives and respond to gender based problems.
  • Adolescent behaviors support and training
Some of young mothers at the center
Anita Fabiola NTV Tv anchor at Ptmof, with mothers
Business AND Economic empowerment lessons going on at PTMOF,
Young mothers in the class learning
These are some of mothers during counselling session
mothers at the center during counselling
young mothers receive lunch
Homeless young mother Zam Namatovu taking lunch
The happiness of young mother, at lunch hour
The happiness from our mothers, is observable, they found new hope
Lukonge Achilees Author (left) during event at Ptmof
The loving heart of Lukonge Achilees Author holding two children of young mothers at Ptmof
Director and mothers
Lukonge Achilees (left) with some of mothers at the center

50 Powerful Reminders From Actual Therapists To Encourage Your Personal Growth

1. Imagine you are standing at a train platform and unhelpful thoughts are the trains that pass, you don’t need to get on every train, acknowledge them and let them pass.

2. Before you spend your time and energy solving a problem, make sure it’s your problem.

3. Stop expecting to find closure. There are times when it just won’t happen. The fact that the relationship ended is the only closure you’re going to get.

4. Your time and energy are valuable and spendable just like money. You don’t go and blow all your hard earned bucks on things that are shitty and make you feel terrible, so stop blowing all your time and energy on people and things that are shitty and make you feel terrible.

5. Name as many embarrassing moments for someone else as you can in a minute. You probably cant think of much. This is how people view your embarrassing moments.

6. Treat yourself as you would treat a small child. Would you only give them fast food? Deprive them of sleep? Let them lay on the couch all day?

7. You are in control of your life. Not your parents or friends or boss or society. You may be shaped by them but you can’t live your life blaming them for everything and not doing anything to improve your situation.

8. Just because someone doesn’t buy a million dollar house, it doesn’t make the house worth less than it is.

9. It’s not moving on, it’s moving forward

10. Do not blame everything on yourself. The way you turned out to be is not 100% on you so stop feeling bad about it, stop trying to go back in time to fix it. You can however learn to manage the outcome.

11. This is your circle. Decisions you make go in this circle. You can consciously let people influence your decisions, but even that is something you did in your circle. That’s their circle. You are not responsible for what they do in their circle. You cannot live your life doing things in your circle to keep people from doing things in their circle and vise-versa

12. You can’t blame someone for how they were raised and what they experienced, but you can absolutely hold them accountable for how they treat others because of it.

13. Stop trying to understand feelings, just feel them.

14. Don’t beat yourself up for not making leaps and bounds of progress. Progress is progress no matter how small.

15. Don’t hold things in. Think of yourself as a balloon, if air is released slowly, it’s much more pleasant than if the balloon gets too full and pops.

16. Be with yourself rather than by yourself.

17. Your past may influence who you are but you do not have to be tied to it like an anchor.

18. Comparison is the thief of joy.

19. What if you just walked away? Did you forget that you can choose what you do?

20. You cannot rescue people.

21. You’re never going to be happy if your whole personality revolves around trying to be likable.

22. Be around people you want to be like.

23. Don’t live within a negative emotional moment. Negative feelings like hatred, jealousy, self doubt, anger all pass eventually. So wait for these feelings to pass before making decisions or do important tasks.

24. Your anxiety symptoms are uncomfortable, but not deadly. Try to treat them like a cold. Treat yourself, but it will also need time and patience.

25. Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.

26. Good people can do bad things.

27. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. If you start overanalyzing your regrets, acknowledge the negative thoughts, and then move on to setting a goal or thinking about something you’re looking forward to instead. Try to focus on the positive, and eventually you’ll ‘retrain’ your brain to think that way more naturally.

28. As long as you’re still breathing … there’s time to change.

29. Replace bad old memories with good new memories.

30. When people want to kill themselves, they very rarely actually want to die. They want the pain to stop, and are so desperate they can’t see the difference.

31. Every family is dysfunctional, just in different ways.

32. Pick your battles. Life is too short and your peace is too precious to martyr it over arguing or worrying about the battles that don’t even matter.

33. The only thing you can change is yourself.

34. Accept your problems and try to live with it. Because life is not prefect you will always get some of problems. And be thankful for life even if you don’t feel good. Positivity is the only thing that makes us happy.

35. Life is happening for you, not to you.

36. Just because they are family doesn’t mean you have to love them and be apart of each other’s lives.

37. If crying really is your only option, it’s ok to do it.

38. Think about what’s most likely to happen instead of what’s the worst thing that could happen.

39. Try to enjoy life and not just ‘get through’ it.

40. Yes, you are going to feel like shit for a while. But you will get over it.

41. If there’s a lion behind you, keep walking. Just because it’s behind you doesn’t mean it’s attacking. Deal with the problems currently attacking you.

42. Throughout the day, when you’re not focused on doing anything, just focus on nothing for a second. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath.

43. Never take on the emotion of the situation. If you do, the situation controls you.

44. You’re not responsible for your father’s actions or behavior.

45. If you think you don’t need your meds anymore, they’re working. Keep taking them.

46. You didn’t always (specific behavior). So, you don’t always have to. You can go back.

47. Counseling is not necessarily meant to save a relationship, it’s to help you figure out what you want and what’s best for you.

48. Fuck what they think. You don’t need approval.

49. You should not rely on other people for you to feel happy. You will only burden them with your problems and put your issues on them. Same goes for them. They should not rely on you to feel happy.

50. It doesn’t sound to me like you really want to die, but that you just don’t want to suffer. That is a perfectly human reaction to not want to suffer, so let’s work on some ways to minimize that.

You Should Fire Your therapists/counsellors right now if they do these things i observed from those i work with.

After spending time in therapy of all kinds, testing with various therapists and psychiatrists, documenting my own life and conditions and staying permanently informed about therapeutic methods, I’ve put together a list of 20 most common things a therapist should never do in relation to their client. This list is not exhaustive, but it’s based on my own and my friends’ experience, clinical support studies and advice from good therapists I have met. 

1. They can’t or refuse to give you information about the type of therapy or method they use. 

This is actually the first question you should address a psychotherapist at your initial get-to-know-each-other session. They should be able to introduce themselves thoroughly from a professional point of view and explain their work method and type of the therapy they specialise in. First sessions are not just an exchange of information between the patient and the specialist, but also the negotiation of how the therapy will be assessed, how long it may last and what are the expected results based on the addressed goal. If your therapist can’t or won’t disclose such basic information, you should rather book a couple more appointments with other specialists and decide afterwards who’s best for you. First encounters in therapy are like job interviews, where you are the client and the therapist is your service provider. Make sure you know well who you want to hire!

2. They talk too much.

The focus in therapy is supposed to be on you – the client. You’ve reached your therapist’s office to seek advice, help, to understand or better yourself as an individual. A therapist should know when to open a different topic, how to guide you through a difficult emotional situation, and mostly, when to shut up. Unless they’re giving you important information about your treatment, progress or are asking more relevant insight from you, they shouldn’t be making the session about themselves.

3. They don’t keep a file or they forget important information about your case.

Naturally, therapists are humans and with the dozens of patients they see each week it’s normal to sometimes forget this or that. However, if your therapist makes a track record of forgetting crucial information about your situation, you should ask them whether they keep a file of your case. A patient file is mandatory and relevant in the sense that it contains all the important information about your past and current situation along with the progress your sessions make. If they don’t keep such journals, it’d be advisable to look for a therapist with a greater degree of organization.

4. They give unsolicited advice.

This is code red for leave, now, and it’s the one thing psychotherapists should never, ever do. Giving a patient life advice is unethical. The whole point of therapy is to become aware of your own thoughts, emotions and needs, and to be able to make decisions by yourself, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes to reach that level of awareness. Seeing a therapist who acts like the sympathetic friend or parent who always knows what’s best for you to do is not only completely counterproductive, but can be dangerous if you’re on unsteady ground/don’t know what’s best for you.

5. They get too close to you…

…be it physically or emotionally. The relationship you develop in therapy should respect healthy boundaries. If your therapist touches you, hugs you or initiates other types of physical contact without having your consent, you are right to wonder if that’s okay, especially if you feel like they’re pushing too much into your personal space.

6. They make sexual advances to you

Run. Now. Or call the clinic they work with and tell. This is under no circumstance acceptable and your therapist should not even be allowed in his field of work.

7. They are late. Constantly.

Being sometimes late for a good reason is human, but if your therapist makes you wait for them constantly, and don’t offer extra time in the sessions, consider finding an alternative therapist who respects their clients.

8. They don’t talk at all.

Therapists don’t do much talking in general, because the focus of the sessions is on the patient. However, a mute therapist can be confusing and infuriating for most people. If they refuse to answer any of your questions, make no input and simply leave you to talk endlessly without any kind of guidance or attention, you may consider fishing for a different approach.

9. They abuse you, harass you or insult you.

I once saw a therapist who said my body lines are an ugly way of trying to make myself special, and that they remind him of the iron stamps put on cows. While I was about to burst into tears, I stood up, kept myself composed, told him he’s an embarrassment to his profession and elegantly left. If something like this ever happens to you, know that you are not there to be judged upon your body, life choices, sexuality, health or general decisions. You are there to learn about yourself and heal with the help of a professional who is not allowed to hit you when you’re at your most vulnerable. From that experience, I learned I always have a choice, and my choice was to leave and never look back.

10. They don’t respect your personal point of view.

I used to be in therapy with this lady who liked to make recommendations for my love life. When I told her I am seeing someone new and that I’m not yet sure how the relationship will evolve, she leaned back on her chair and blurted the infamous “Well, you should date more people then”. Your therapist should never question your decisions or try to influence them, unless you are hurting yourself or thinking about suicide. She couldn’t seem to relate to my desire to date monogamously out of respect for my partner, so we parted ways.

11. They constantly avoid to talk about your progress in therapy or lack thereof.

Your therapist should be able to talk openly to you about your progress. If they refuse to debate on such matters, or keep you in suspension, be sure you can end it. Knowing your own progress is crucial to functional therapy.

12. They suggest they are the best therapist for you.

No one can tell you that. Period. If you are unsatisfied with the therapy, or you want to look for a different opinion, your therapist should be able to discuss this with you and assist you in making your own decision. If they threaten you, or say you won’t find anyone like them, you are very right to leave.

13. They don’t answer/return your calls.

If you’ve agreed that you can contact your therapist on their phone between sessions, they should be able to answer or reach back as soon as possible, especially if your case presents great attention or if you’re in the danger of hurting yourself. If they simply don’t return your calls or emails repeatedly, bring up the issue in your following session. If the issue persists, you know what you have to do…

14. They say your struggles are not real or undermine your problems.

Oh, Lord. How I like these scenarios. Basically, when a therapist says something like “Your struggles are not real”, they not only fail to understand you in any way, but they essentially fail at their job. A therapist is trained in determining the gravity of your issues and in finding the best solutions for overcoming them. If they say something like that, fire them mercilessly.

15. They focus only on the cognitive/emotional side of therapy.

Therapy is a process that in its very essence helps connect the rational and the emotional. While some therapies rather focus on one of these aspects, they should never eliminate the other from the therapeutic equation.

16. They don’t protect your confidentiality.

Therapy is confidential according to law in most countries. You should be signing an agreement with your therapist/clinic when you begin working together on your case that states everything you present the therapist with will remain confidential. They’re not supposed to give away information about your case neither to family members, your employer, or other people or organizations. Should they wish to discuss or collaborate on your case with another specialist, they should have your permission.

17. They criticise your statements or decisions.

A therapist is not your parent, friend, or any other random person you meet on the street who might have something to argue about your choices or remarks. They may ask you why you consider a certain decision – but never tell you that you’re wrong, because their mission is not to influence you, but to support you into taking the right decision for yourself at a certain time.

18. They want to befriend you.

Friendship between a client and therapist is completely non advisable and a good therapist should always refrain from taking in a patient whom they know in real life. This is simply because the therapist must be able to assess your situation objectively, without any external influences that can interfere with the therapy. Steer away from being friends with them on social media or in real life, for your own good.

19. They make you feel worse.

This is widely common in therapy, but it’s more difficult to determine. Therapy means exploring bringing to surface deeply hidden or unknown emotions. This can result into you feeling more depressed, worried or anxious, as purging repressed feelings is often a painstaking process. However, you and your therapist should be able to assess the effect of therapy after the first 5-6 sessions. If you’re constantly feeling uncomfortable, inadequate or anxious about therapy, bring this up to your specialist. Unfortunately, if there’s no conciliation or satisfactory outcome, you may have to look for a different professional. Therapy is not your key to happiness and it definitely doesn’t mean you walk in there, leave your problems and then feel instantly healed – but it should make you feel more relaxed, confident and in touch with yourself after a couple sessions. If what happens there doesn’t make any sense to you, consider opting out.

20. They won’t admit whether they can help you or not.

I once had a therapist who sighed whenever I asked her if she thinks she can truly help me navigate my anxiety. This gave me the creeps in the beginning, then it made me feel much more nervous and insecure. I started to wonder what was I doing, whether she was refusing to answer on purpose or because this was a therapy technique, and why do I keep paying her. Ultimately, I gathered the courage to ask her upfront why she avoids answering. She replied she has yet to determine that. We were on our 7th session when this happened and back then I didn’t know so much about how therapy should happen or what a therapist is required to do. Now I know: they are supposed to discuss this with you in the first session, and if they determine they can’t assist you along the way, they should tell you so. Not all therapists might specialize in your situation, but you have the right to the best service and assistance, and a therapist who just keeps you in limbo to cash in more money from you or says they’re undecided is briefly playing with your time and health. Stay informed, and don’t shy away from asking anything you’d like to know. It’s your right.

Online Counseling, options that really work

Often, by the time someone mentions counseling, the marriage is already in a rough place. Few couples think to get counseling to prevent issues so when they finally admit they need help, they want help right away. Most of us turn to the internet when we are desperate and those looking for marriage counseling are no different. In the cyber world we live in, it is easy to believe that every need we have can be taken care of over the internet. Believe it or not, online marriage counseling is possible for couples who want to become closer or work on issues in their marriage.

Before you decide that online marriage counseling is the best option for you and your spouse, you need to realize that for counseling to work, you need to have the right counselor. Many people believe that anyone who is a licensed counselor can provide marriage counseling, too. However, the best marriage counselors often only do counseling for couples. Marriage counseling is quite different than any other type and requires the focus of the counseling be on the relationship, not on the individuals.

Why Choose Online Counseling

Many couples choose online marriage counseling because they are too embarrassed to go to a therapist when someone might see them and wonder why they are going. It is not easy for a person to ask for help and to have the added stress of wondering who may start rumors about their mental or emotional health may keep couples suffering instead of seeking counseling.

Online marriage counseling takes the worry away that you may be seen in the therapist’s office, even though you have no reason to be embarrassed. Asking for help to save your marriage takes courage and should be commended. Another reason many couples choose online marriage counseling is the convenience of completing the program at their pace. They may also feel it is easier to work on issues with their spouse than open up in front of a stranger, even with the guarantee that nothing that is said will be repeated.

Whatever your reason for checking into online marriage counseling, it can work for some couples. Many programs are available that offer the counseling you want so the first thing you and your spouse need to do is find the best option for you.

Online Marriage Counseling Options

When you begin your search, you may be surprised to find you have several options for marriage counseling. Before you make a final decision, you and your spouse need to discuss what type of program you want.

You can purchase sets of CDs or DVDs that will lecture you for several hours about working on marriage issues. Some sets of discs will come with a workbook that can help you understand their program while others may offer an online assessment. You may even be able to sign up for weekly (or daily) e-mails that offer marriage advice or tips to help you work through your marital issues.

These programs can be wonderful tools if you and your spouse are both willing to sit and listen (or watch) many hours of speeches. Even if the programs are well-done, this type of counseling can seem pointless if you do not like being lectured to. Many couples prefer to talk to a person and to have some give and take in the lecture. The ability to ask questions is also very important to most people. And, frankly, watching someone talk for hours could be very boring, even if that person is entertaining and knowledgeable.

Another option you have is to purchase books or download lessons to work on together. Again, these might help, but both people need to read and understand the books and agree to use the suggestions. Books are a great place to get ideas to help your marriage, but it is hard to stay with the process. An email can be ignored easily.

For those couples who want to talk to a counselor, you can even do that online. You can either use the phone or a video conference call to talk with a counselor. Many people choose this type of online marriage counseling because they maintain their privacy while still getting the help they need to save their marriage.

The costs of each type of program vary widely. Purchasing books is usually the cheapest option, but unless you are both willing to read and study the books, purchasing them could be a waste of money. CD and DVD programs can range from $50 to close to $1,000. Remember that the most expensive is not necessarily the best.

Live online counseling is usually charged by the hour. If you choose this option, make sure you ask how the hours are billed and what happens if you go over your “hour” (which is often 45-50 minutes). Do you get billed a specific amount or an entire hour?

No matter which option you choose for online marriage counseling, whether it works or not depends a lot on you and your spouse. You both need to be dedicated to saving your marriage or working out your issues before they can ruin your relationship. You may find that books or workbooks do an amazing job of helping you consider different solutions to your problems or you may need to talk to a marriage counselor. 

https://www.marriage.com/experts/

I’m a Young mother but Learning slowly by slowly what It means to be a Mother> Zam Namatovu

Zam Namatovu with Lukonge Achilees during enterview

I’m slowly learning that I will never feel alone ever again because I am the mother to twins and that will never change. As far as realizations go, this is both liberating and terrifying. Liberating in that living with unconditional love in your heart frees you from seeking love out. Terrifying in that loving someone so hard makes you vulnerable to hurt and pain. Along with every memorable moment, there’s the possibility that something might go horribly wrong at any time.

I’m slowly learning that my life has changed. I’m no longer able to do the things that were once easy, mostly for logistical reasons. I cannot meet a friend for coffee or a drink at the last minute because socializing requires quite a bit of forethought. I can’t indulge a whim to hit the town at night without planning far in advance, or paying for a babysitter. My day-to-day existence has shifted permanently to accommodate my little one. But I’m not at all resentful. I want to be with my twins pretty much always anyway. i want to forget scary memories.

I’m slowly learning that my own needs are secondary to those of the tiny creatures I’ve created. Not because I’m an especially generous or kind individual, but because that’s what being a mom entails. There’s no avoiding it, really. When your babies needs to eat, you instinctively feed them. When they need a new diaper, you don’t let them sit in their soiled nappy for longer than absolutely necessary. When they cry, you work to soothe them.

I’m slowly learning that when you’re a mom, you can no longer be so particular about things. You eat what you can, when you can. You won’t always be entirely sated, but you’ll barely register lack of satisfaction since there simply isn’t enough time. You get your nails done and your hair cut far less frequently than before, not because you’re any less vain, but because you forget to care about your own appearance. You exercise if and when you get the chance, if and when you have the energy. At some point, it becomes easier to recall how many poopy diapers you changed the day before than what you ate for lunch that very afternoon.

I’m slowly learning that being a mom is all-consuming. You never get to stop being a mom. Ever. And that’s the beauty of it. Parenthood is a cloud that hovers over you at all times—sometimes bright, fluffy, and purely innocuous, other times suspiciously dark and foreboding.

I’m slowly learning that I’m a different person now. And that that’s okay. It would be impossible to remain the same. I am my former self, plus motherhood. I am not saying that being a mom requires abandoning every aspect of your former identity, or becoming better in any way. But it does require making tough choices, and learning. It demands stripping your old self down to her core, and choosing which pieces of her are worth preserving, and which pieces you’re better off jettisoning. It requires taking a hard look at yourself through the eyes of the person who’s pretty much programmed to adore you and to mimic your every move. It requires softening your heart, and toughening your soul.