“Disability is just a fancy, long word for gifted which begins with D instead of G.”
Yesterday I found myself writing this sentence. But seven years ago, I would have written, “It’s amazingly burdensome to have a disability as the result of a birth injury. I just have to spend my life grinning and making the best of it.” (Of course, I would have been too nervous to make anything so truthful and personal public seven years ago.)
I wasn’t given the ability alone to see a life beyond my limiting beliefs.
It has taken a large community of magnificent people with great vision to help me heal from what I once believed about myself.
Last night, I was reminded of this as I shared the stage with visionaries including Greg S. Reid, Frank Shankwitz, and Mr. Awesome Speaker Erik Swanson of the Secret Knock community. Greg Reid created Secret Knock to bring together highly successful visionaries who are making a profound difference in the world.
Five years ago, this group welcomed me with open arms. They had a vision for me.
We were together again celebrating Carly who as part of her journey has been gifted with autism. (Yes, I said gifted with autism. Please refer back to the first line of this post.) We were also celebrating the incredible vision of her Mom Sandi Shaner who has created a foundation called Carly’s Cause which gifts kids with autism I-Pods so they can enjoy the freedom, sense of control and purpose that comes from communicating with more ease.
And this is not all. (This Facebook post is getting longer and longer, but when you are talking about vision, there’s lots to say.)
Which brings me to my brilliant friend J Shoop who had vision for me from the first day he met me and basically kept prodding me with humor until I did something with the magnificent gifts I’ve been given.
Heather Smith, Niki Hurrle Warner, Elizabeth Cullen and her husband came. Heather is my highly skilled speaking agent and together this group represents the Evolving Out Loud community and the vision of Kyle Cease. Kyle and this community has challenged me to speak from my heart without notes and reminded me that I’m naturally quite funny.
I handed out fresh, professional, fun business cards. (read the best business cards in the world) created by the master artist Rachel LaBarre.
I was in such a calm place for the event because I had had been given the gift of cranial sacral by expert practitioner Tera Incognita earlier in the week.
Of course, I wouldn’t have been on stage last night or even have had enough vision to move to California without the tireless support and love of Jill Johnson and Dan Johnson. Jill taught me Hatha yoga when I was brand new to it. And together they introduced me to the wonders of Laughter Yoga, which started to give me confidence in my voice and glimmers of recognition that my voice was powerful.
Finally, I wouldn’t be anywhere today without the vision of my parents who always told me simply, “You’re the best.”
Surround yourself with people who enhance your vision of yourself and your power to make a difference.
You’re the best! Believe it! Live it!
(Many more beloved friends and family member have helped me create the vision I have today.) ((But this post has to end somewhere:):)
My life has been transformed by the TV I haven’t had in my apartment for ten years or more.
Now, in the past, I’ve loved things on TV- sitcoms, basketball and football games, country music videos (yes, it’s not a misprint, country music videos), Law and Order, NCIS….
I imagine I could get kind of interested in watching 4 hours of TV a day.
Back in the day when I watched TV on a somewhat regular basis, I discovered I increasingly grew restless, and tense in my body while watching it. I started to gravitate towards going on more walks. Noticing my primary interests where shifting, I didn’t purchase a TV when I moved from living with a roommate to living in my own place in South Dakota.
For awhile after I moved to California, I averaged two yoga classes a day (which when you factor in driving time and being at the studio a little before and after class is probably more like 3 hours).
I wanted to make this time for yoga. Plus have time to spend with friends. Plus time to still walk. Plus time to do other activities that have helped in my journey like Landmark Education and regular bodywork (used to be massages every two weeks now it’s Cranial Sacral). PLUS (and this is the big plus), develop my own business from the ground up.
If I had added in watching TV 4 hours a day, there simply wouldn’t have been time for these activities that have made a night and day difference in my health, in my level of stress, and in my overall attitude towards life.
I guess I could have kept up with everything plus 4 hours of TV, if I had cut my sleep down to 4 hours a night. (But that ain’t going to happen. I love my sleep.)
There’s also the financial aspect. Not investing in a TV gave me money to put towards a monthly yoga membership. Not paying a cable bill gave me money to put towards Landmark and massages.
The secret to making radical, inspiring changes in our lives isn’t always doing more and having more.
Sometimes, it’s just deciding what has the most meaning to us and focusing on that.
What in your life has great meaning to you?
What are you doing just because you are kinda of, sort of interested in it?
What would it be like to focus even more of your energy on the great meaning things and less energy on the kind of, sort of things?
For years, I haven’t seen many movies or watched much TV
I guess I’ve become good at creating my own entertainment
Nothing is fixed about our lives.
For most of my life, I immersed myself in limiting thought patterns based on a disability I imagined I had. (This is like a Rosetta Stone course you avoid at all costs.)
Now that my mind is focused on creating utter joy for myself and those around me, it’s like my mind is running on a whole new operating system. This reboot took me a good seven years of playing with my old habits, of trying new things like yoga and meditation and fresh juice and so much else.
It all has been so worth it. I feel ten times better in my body when than I did I was twenty. I have twice as much energy as I did when I was 20.
I’m now flesh and blood living a life that I couldn’t even glimpse in my wildest dreams seven years ago.
What growth do you want to see in your life in the next seven years?
What dreams do you want to live into?
Find daily practices that you love that move you towards those dreams.
Find daily practices you love.
I found yoga. Everyday it literally stretches me closer to my dreams. AND I love it!
The game is constantly expanding. You must appreciate this and be gentle with yourself through it. You will not always know the next thing to say, the next thing to feel, the next thing to do.
You will seldom choose the perfectly right thing. FYI- This is near impossible. There’s always a left, always an up, always a down. What matters is that you choose. And then choose again and again and again.
Sometimes you complain about being stuck, about having to endure the same old, same old again and again. You are still sad about this or that. You are still mad about this or that and it happened last year or four years and five months ago.
You are not here to cling to old feelings as if they were your last dime. Old feelings are definitely never your last dime. As long as you are on this earth, you are a sensitive being. You are capable of feeling new feeling after new feeling after new feeling.
The small part of you wants to keep the big part of you under wraps like a mint Ferrari under a car tarp in the back of a old musty barn. Your small self will keep pooping on that tarp like a flock of pigeons who has just eaten a bunch of cracked corn with Ex Lax mixed in.
But through your small self may poop on the tarp, it can never take away that you are a Ferrari capable of beautiful movement, capable of feeling awe and inspiring awe.
Ferrari’s are of course built to move. Built to take off on courageous journeys.
The most dangerous place for a Ferrari is under the tarp because the wear and tear of not moving is exhausting. Things get brittle. Things get painful. Old stories play again and again like a rerun of Beverly Hillbillies on a staticky black and white TV.
Nothing against the Beverly Hillbillies once, but the hundredth time, is a good indication that it’s high time to fire the Ferrari up and go for a ride.
“Life is a highway” says a popular song by who knows who. Life is a highway and within you is the desire, the power and the energy to ride it (all night long).
Sometimes you need rest to heal what is causing you pain. More often you need movement. Fall in love with how you can move your thoughts. Fall in love with how you can move your emotions. Fall in love with how you can move your actions.
There’s no greater truth than that you are truly free. You are infinitely more powerful than the Ferrari. The Ferrari is just a metaphor. But you are love. You are energy. You are miracles. You are.
You’ve spent long enough fretting about what you are not. Today be exactly what you are.
I’m downright elated that I didn’t achieve the goals I set for myself 10 years ago. Why? Because they were small goals. They were goals that didn’t include living in San Diego, doing yoga all the time and feeling better in my body than I did when I was 20. They were goals that didn’t include being a public speaker and coaching people to be their best.
The future we craft for ourselves in our future goals seems to often be a future smaller than our true potential.
Why? Because life happens. We grow, practice, develop new skills and perspectives on life. We meet new people who help us as we help them. And opportunities come our way that we couldn’t even fathom. I say bet on your life turning out far better than you imagine today. Sure make goals and have a vision.
But also be open to something far greater!
What are somethings about your life that have turned out far better than expected?
It’s completely impossible for a body to be disabled at birth. A baby is pure creation, pure ability. People only become limited when they start to imagine creating the life they want is impossible.
Know this- There is absolutely no disability that’s larger than the human potential to create an adaptation to overcome it.
Truly the only disability is the false belief that one is without creative options. So often out of fear, we believe we are stuck and convey this belief to others. But the truth is that it’s within all human beings’ power to adapt to any temporary disability.
When I was three years old, I couldn’t see the creative being that I would become in my thirties. The thing about creating beyond our limitations is that it’s a cumulative process. It doesn’t happen all at once.
As a toddler, Steve Jobs couldn’t see the force that Apple would become today. (Maybe I use so many Steve Jobs references in my posts because I type them on a MacBook Pro and absolutely love it.)
Beyond what we currently perceive to be our limits, we have the potential to create things others love. The best creation is creating a life for ourselves that we are deeply appreciative of and that brings us joy.
Why is this the best thing we can create? Because we want joy to become the new worldwide norm. As we become more and more in joy with who we are, this joy ripples out into the world much faster than the speed of light.
What thoughts does this post bring up?
For years, I was a hoarder (and I never even made it onto the show, what’s up with that?).
I was hoarding my writings. I would write and write and share a very small portion of it with anybody.
I was hoarding my ability to be physically active. Sure I would walk like a madman. But any other physical activity? You could about forget about it.
I was hoarding my stuff. I used to save stuff from old Coke Cans, to old ticket stubs, to papers I no longer needed.
I was hoarding my voice out of fear that what I had to say wasn’t valuable, that people would dislike how it sounded, and that I didn’t speak fast enough.
And I was hoarding my money, out of fear that bad things would happen in the future, out of fear that I would get old and sick, and out of fear that I would never be more than my disability. (Just to clarify, it is wonderful to save and invest, but I was doing it out of fear instead of love.
In my process of expanding beyond this mentality, I’ve invested over 50 thousand in different forms of business and personal coaching. 50K is a huge investment for me at this point in my career.
I don’t regret any of it. What I’ve found is as I invest in coaching, I grow, the world around me grows, and whole new realities become possible.
Last week, I spoke at a college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The original plan was that Kyle Cease was doing the gig and was going to invite me up to talk for 10 or 15 minutes during it. Well, it ended up that Kyle got stuck in Chicago. Suddenly, Kyle asked me if I could do the gig.
I’m so grateful that I had the skills to say YES with confidence. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have and the students at Wilkes-Barre would have been without a speaker.
What are your reflections on what I’ve said here?
I wouldn’t be anywhere without the gift of a wonderful home that my parents gave me growing up and then all the ways they have found to extend the benefits of home to me since I left home.
Even though I’m completely in love with living in San Diego, I still miss Sioux Falls and am fascinated to keep up with what’s going on in town. Mom understands this so she cuts newspaper clippings from the local paper and sends them to me. Dad calls often and even if I’m busy and can’t answer, he leaves a nice and often funny message.
Throughout my life, my folks have given me phenomenal gifts. Starting with the gift of my life. It probably goes with out saying here but I will say it anyway because sometimes I love to celebrate the obvious- Without my folks, I wouldn’t even have been born and that would mean that you would be reading some other Facebook post right now. I am lucky.
My parents are the best gift I could I have asked for in this life. The vast majority of my life I have been aware of the profound gift of my parents and thanked them for it. (I had a few rounds of teenage and then a few more rounds of twenty-something rebellion where I didn’t always remember to be grateful, but luckily I grew out of them relatively quickly:)
From the time I was born, my parents saw the best in me and the gift that I was. But once upon a time (many once upon a times in fact), I failed to see the gift that I was.
A huge part of my journey has been slowly becoming aware of the gift that my life is. Now I see that my life is a gift both for me (it’s so fun to have a body and a mind) and for those around me including my parents, my extended family, my friends, the groups I speak to, the people I coach (I could list individual names but that would make for an even longer post ((you get the idea)).
I believe we are called to 1. Love the gifts we are given. 2. To love offering others the gifts we can. 3. To love the gift that our own life upon this earth is. Of 1 through 3, which is most important to you and why?