Tag Archives: disability

Nancy Bauser: “Recovery [from traumatic Brain Injury] is not only making progress. It’s taking one step.”

Nancy suffered a head injury in 1971and another last November. She demonstrates how people recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries must live. Thus rather than a conversation this podcast is a presentation Nancy has prepared for a Service Providers Conference in August…

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) is not new. They are the signature injuries of the current wars. There they are the result of explosive blasts. In civilian life they used to result from auto crashes. Now with the use of seat belts, they commonly result from head injuries occurring in abusive situations or sports.

TBI’s are classified by several scales. The easiest scale ranges from mild, thru moderate to severe. The mildest form is also called a concussion.

After her injury in 1971, Nancy returned to college and earned an MSW. She has won several awards for her work with others recovering from Traumatic Brain injuries.

Over the years she thrived, and struggled and survived. Although she earned an advanced degree, she could not function in the mainstream. She was unaware of her social deficits. She tells how she learned ways to function better in social situations.

Now she is a Disability Life coach. She focuses upon fellow suffers from Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Her conclusions of how to live with her disability can serve us well.

In this interview she shared three lessons she has learned:

  1. Choose to work on 1 goal at a time. This way you can put many small steps together into one large triumph.
  2. Choose different role models so you can try new things
  3. Believe in yourself.

She mentioned a handout: Thoughts to Remember

These are statements that I quietly say to myself all of the time. This first statement is at the core of all those that follow. It is;

  1. I believe in me & whatever it takes, eventually I will do it!
  2. Failure is Not an Option.
  3. Survivors Don’t Quit Trying to improve their lives.
  4. Take One Step at a Time
  5. Complete each & every task before moving on to another.

She has an upcoming book, “Accept, thrive and survive: a guide for caregivers and survivors”

You can learn more by visiting her website http://www.survivoracceptance.com/

When the Stress of Disability overwhelms you, what do you do?

Life can be stressful before the additional stress of a Disability. When many forms of stress exist in your life it can be overwhelming. How might you overcome these stresses?

What is Stress anyway?

In simple terms Stress is an imbalance of forces. The forces we face in life are many. I like to think of them in four categories; physical, emotional, social and spiritual.

The physical forces in our lives are those things that keep our bodies functioning. Food, water, rest and exercise are key among them.

The emotional stresses in our lives can result from the physical aspect of who we are. Emotions result from the release of hormones by our brains. The impulses our brains receive from our bodies and the environment determine which parts of the brain get triggered and which hormones are released.

Social stresses are those rules of conduct that come into play as we engage with others. We learn and re-learn them. They change as our social roles change.

Spiritual stress occurs when we are afraid we are out of alignment with the Universe. Religion taught us this system and our society reinforces it. Our life experiences reinforce our beliefs even further.

The presence of a disability adds more stress in all these areas of our lives.

We name Disabilities by the limitations they add to our lives. A broken leg impedes our ability to move. Thus the major stress it causes is physical. Yet, the pain and inflammation of the injury changes the hormones our brains release and then our emotions are affected.

These physical and emotional changes impact our interactions with others. If we are a parent, lifting a child and caring for them has new limitations which can cause stress. You can respond to your stress by teaching your child new skills or getting outside help.

We might ask the spiritual question, “Why did this happen to me?” One immediate answer a simple injury provides usually suffices. “This too will pass.”

The combination of normal stresses with those added by a broken leg will require changes. Since we know that the leg will mend in a few weeks or months, we allow ourselves to accept those changes. We rest and use crutches. Others around us step forward to ease our personal and social loads. We expect that we will return to our pre – injury life. There will be memories that will need integration into our brains. Those memories will not take over our brains or our identity.

A stroke or brain injury may give us a similar physical disability, but could create more stress. Recovery will take longer and may not be complete. We will always see ourselves as vulnerable. This episode will haunt us the rest of our lives. We may ask ourselves, “Did God play a role in this?”

If our leg was amputated as a result of the injury, even more stress enters our lives. We can’t hope to return to our pre-injury selves.

How do we handle the stress of Disability and life together?

First, we need to pause. The more overwhelmed we find ourselves the longer this takes. When we try to avoid this simple step we compound the problem. A parent worries their broken leg might cause them to drop their child.

If we as parents feel this way it is important to pause for a moment and let ourselves settle down. Taking time to be still allows our bodies to proceed thru several phases. First, our brains released stress or threat hormones. The stress hormones allow us to deal with the acute situation. They need about 30 minutes to get out of our systems. During this time we tend to pace and not think clearly.

Minor injuries recover during this phase. With a broken leg or stroke we are headed to the hospital. This will force us to take the next step.

Meditation and similar practices can help us transition to the next phase – focus and assessment.

We need to focus and assess our situation. Wearing a cast on our leg and walking with crutches will limit our mobility. A stroke usually means a stay in the hospital. Both interrupt our normal daily patterns. Our natural desire to return to our previous life activities will make us aware of the differences.

During these pauses we assess our situation and make plans. In the emergency room most of us can plan our lives with the broken leg. Strokes require more complicated assessments and plans.

The pain of a broken leg seems mostly physical. The pain responds to pain killers. Rarely do these medications cause serious changes although some of us become habituated or even addicted.

The consequences of a stroke or amputation seem more emotional, social and spiritual. Doctors and nurses have learned to address these “pains.” Clergy (inside and outside of the hospital) can help with the spiritual “pains.” All these professionals have a ways to go before they achieve the same quality of relief provided by the “pain meds.”

So, have we dealt with the Stresses of Disability and Life?

Only to the extent that we have been forced to do so do we deal with the Stresses of Life and Disability. The Stresses of Disability and Life can cause us to pause in other ways.

Instead of overwhelming us physically, it may take an emotional or social form. We have all gone thru emotional outbursts. We yelled at others when we did not mean to. We failed to meet social obligations. Sometimes others forced us to look at our situation. A boss might reprimand or fire us. A friend or partner may avoid us.

In all these situations we can use the same process: pause, focus, assess, plan and work with it.

When overwhelmed by Stress, Pause, let your self cry or get drunk. Then you will be focused.

You will ask yourself “What happened?” Usually we only focus upon the immediate situation, but to really heal we need to look deeper.

Why did that situation upset us? Did it upset everyone we know? Why not? What differences exist between you and the others who were not upset by the event?

These are the assessment questions that allow us to make plans.

Living out the new plans we made is hard work. Most of us need help. Family, friends and life Coaches can help with the process of assessing, planning and living the plans.

The Process of Overcoming the Stress of Life and Disability is this:
Pause and let the acute situation settle,
Focus your attention on what happened, (The more traumatic the more issues the focus needs to encompass),
Assess the cause and options,
Plan to go forward, and then live out your plan.

When you keep getting overwhelmed, get Help.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Resolved the Paradox of being Able when “Disabled”

Discovering that you are “Able” when disabled seems like a paradox. When we accept that we are “Disabled” how can we think of ourselves as Able, too? Let us explore this Paradox.

What is a Paradox?

A Paradox exists when two or more things that seem to be opposites exist at the same time. For example, many of us have contemplated why People do Bad things when they think of themselves as Good?

For those of us who accept that we have a Disability, trying to discover our Abilities seems like a Paradox. Knowing that we are not able to do some things makes us expect we cannot do most things.

How can we resolve the Paradox of Ability in the face of Disability?

Most of us just ignore our limitations. We struggle with the tasks of life never realizing what we can and can’t do.

For those born with their “Disability”, they discovered early that others could do things they could not. Most of us realize that we have some sort of limitation. A lot of us discovered we can’t be stars in the classroom or on the athletic field. Then we realize that quite a few of those around us are not Stars either.

When our limitations deprive us of a big part of what others experience, it has a different impact. Lisa Larges (in her podcast interview) discussed this. Being visually impaired became part of her identity, just like being female. She has the benefit of sharing blindness with her sister. Still they each have to make their way in a sighted world.

We might also choose to pick one label and ignore the other. Few can live thinking of themselves as Bad. We kill animals; yet think of all life as sacred.

We may choose to embrace one option and ignore the other. We run a red light and excuse it by saying;
we needed to get home early.

How many other paradoxes do you see people living with on a daily basis?

Trying to resolve a Paradox can lead us to deeper truths and understanding.

The two options might not be true opposites. There might be “Shades of Gray.” We all have different abilities to balance. Some are faster than others. Thus fast or slow are relative and – not opposite.

We might see exceptions to the rule. “It is Ok to run a red light if no one gets hurt.” Some sports even allow for this. Take the Advantage rule in Soccer… The ref need not call a fowl when there is no advantage gained by it.

All of these attempts are superficial. They don’t allow us to see how opposites might not be opposite in reality.

After World War II existential philosophers decided that good and bad were labels we placed on events. The events themselves – like War and genocide – were not truly good or bad. They happened for reasons some of which most people would label as bad but others label as good.

We might say that being able or disabled are labels we accept for ourselves. Few blind people havbe no light perception at all. Those that do are able to locate things around them by other means. Some have developed their hearing to the extent that they can locate objects in a room upon entering.

Others seem to know where they are by different means. I have a totally blind friend who can tell us where we are wile riding in a car. The sounds of the city change in so many ways. The car turns and swerves. How often do we get disoriented driving in a strange city at night? Yet she always seems to know where we are.

We might also resolve a paradox by looking at how the opposites came to be. “White Privilege” can be looked upon that way. In prior generations whites were able to assert themselves over others on the basis of race. Thus, white people have privileges they inherited. They learned that what others see as a privilege was the norm. White Americans saw police as friends. We now see that Black Americans do not view the police the same way.

Slavery in America led to this White Privilege. The Early Colonists had slaves of all races. As the number of slaves increased, it became hard to tell slave and free apart. Race became an easy way to divide people and their social roles and rights.

In time, we agreed to end Slavery. Many see Racism in America as one of slavery’s legacies.

Disability probably came about when some could not keep up with the crowd and needed other accommodations. The Term Handicap came about because those with disabilities were allowed to beg, “Cap In hand”.

Getting Social Security to classify you as “Disabled gives you protection under the ADA. Could this be a modern version of Handicap? A label of being “less than” gives you advantages.

Another way we might resolve a paradox is by looking at the outcomes. Political views are often strongly held. Both sides think they are correct and justified. They refuse to see the other side as valid.

We might see this political paradox as enabling us to get along with someone else’s viewpoint. If our opinion that those who receive Disability Insurance payments are drains on society gets accepted by others it will also become the opinion of the group who are rejected to receive disability payments. We end up in two camps. Those camps reinforce our views of Disability Insurance.

Being in one or the other camp meets our needs for community. At least until we become disabled and dependent. Then life has forced us into the camp that likes Disability Insurance.

Can a paradox teach us more?

We can look to what is common in the opposites. Political Party affiliation results in meeting our needs for community and affirms world views.

Racism enables us to anticipate others behaviors and backgrounds. We all need to be able to anticipate danger and find friends in a crowd. Most of our Prejudices do this poorly. We need to find other ways to do this.

Thus, pondering a paradox can offer us new solutions.

Understanding why people affiliate with one political party or the other suggests that we could also create communities around other activities or issues.

Pondering race and gender discrimination leads to other solutions. Experience with others of different races or genders allow us to recognize friends and anticipate foes.

Accepting the label of, “Blind” allowed me to make friends who were also experiencing blindness or low vision in their lives. My fully sighted wife does not enjoy the gatherings of my blind associates.

So we might ponder a paradox by asking:
How did the two opposites come about?
What are the benefits common to both of the opposites?
How might we gain the benefits without going to either extreme?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

When people disagree, they are questioning reality

We often disagree about what is reality. This causes us pain and leads to anger. Is it possible that we can resolve this dilemma by looking at what we know as reality?

What is Reality anyway?

If the majority of us are so certain that we know what is real then why do we disagree?

It is well known that when two or more people witness an event they often describe it very differently. Some times their descriptions sound like two different events. Why is that?

We take in the events from the world around us thru our eyes and other sense organs. But our eyes don’t see the same thing. Yes, we think we see the same things with both eyes, but the images our brains receive are actually different. Our eyes are located on two opposite sides of our faces. Thus they have a different angle on the object we are observing. This difference in the images allows us to track objects and catch them.

How we hear sounds is even more complicated. Our ears are located on two sides of our heads and they distort the sound. The shape of our earlobes helps us to determine if a sound is coming from in front or behind us.

IF you don’t believe this try an experiment. Close your eyes and focus your attention on a sound. Now turn your head and see what happens to it. Does it sound louder with your head in a certain position?

Next, cup your hands behind your ears. Focus on a sound and then move your hands. Does the sound change?

When I tried this I noticed that sounds coming from a few feet in front of me are loudest. This is the area where people who are visually impaired are taught to position their white canes. Positioning the cane in this way informs the cane user what is in front of the user’s feet so they can determine where to take their next step. Using this caning technique prevented me from falling down stairs a number of times.

Thus the distortions our eyes and ears make while perceiving the world can help us. Our eyes assist us to track objects and catch things. Our ears prevent us from stepping on things.

If our eyes and ears distort what our brain receives, what else happens to the world as we become aware of it?

In our brains the signals from our eyes, ears, and other senses move along various neural pathways. First, they pass thru basic parts of our brains to determine whether or not the sensory input represents a threat. If a threat is detected then those parts of the brain that signal survival responses get activated. Our hands are already withdrawing from a flame before we realize they are being burned.

It is hard to overcome such reflexes. If we have a pain in our foot or knee we walk with a limp. By looking at how someone limps I can determine where the pain is before I even speak to my patient. Try it next time you see someone limp.

Next, the signals go to the areas of the brain where more complicated responses are elicited. These signals also serve to protect us. These areas (when activated) prepare us to fight or flee. We stop and focus our attention on the source of the stimuli. Hormones are then released so we can decide to either run or defend ourselves. We call this attention to the brain signals the startle and respond scenario.

For example the toot of a car’s horn can elicit this type of a response. It draws the driver’s attention to the events going on around him or her. The vehicle operator can then sort out what response to the horn blast is needed.

The response a driver chooses depends upon how he sorts out the additional information he receives. If it came from a car next to him, he might need to swerve to avoid colliding with another vehicle. If we are driving an unfamiliar car we might over or under steer.

Once I flipped a new car because I over-corrected while making a turn. If I had been in my old car I could have swerved a little less and missed the bicycle safely. In the new car I was unsure of exactly how far to turn to the left.

Thus what we sense from the world gets changed by the time we are aware of it. Psychologists have studied this in great depth. As a signal travels thru our brains it connects with more and more of the memories we stored.

This connecting a new event with past events enables us to recognize faces and greet a friend or avoid an enemy.

When we see someone who reminds us of a friend we relax and are more open. If the new person reminds us of someone who we fear we shy away. This constitutes a pre-judgment. If that person turns out to really be hostile we call it a good judgment of character. When the person turns out not to be dangerous we regard our assessment as a Prejudice.

Since the events stored in my brain are different from anyone else’s, the way I understand an event will differ from everyone else. This means I experience reality in ways unique to me.

If we see sticks as snakes, or even worse see snakes as sticks, there are problems. We won’t respond in an appropriate manner. We call those situations hallucinations.

Knowing how our brains filter what we see in the world around us enables us to understand why others don’t see things our way. It can also give us a glimpse into why others see things the way they do.

Next time you find yourself disagreeing with someone pause and ask yourself, “Why do I see it in my unique way?” What might be prompting the other to see it their way?

If each of us did this what would happen to the issues that divide us?

Could we use our perceptual information to discover our Prejudices and confront them?

As All Ways, Seek Joy

Spirituality Helps You Thrive when Disabled

When Disability grips you and there seems no hope, many find that Spirituality rescues them. What is Spirituality, anyway?

The spiritual world does not seem real to us. As we grow and developed we experience solid objects. They become the reality of our lives. We get hungry and thirsty. We get cold and hot.

Yet in the midst of a disabilities grip we experience more. We feel alone. We feel despair. We seek more.

In seeking more than the physical we enter the Spiritual or mystical realm. Yet this seems so unreal. Unlike the physical reality of hunger and thirst, the spiritual seems transient.

For some the Reality of the Spiritual enters their lives unbidden. Those who have had “near Death experiences” tell us that more than the physical exists.

I recently met such a person, Thomas Gates. A near death experience changed his life. In his story he tells what it was like and how returning to his body became unreal. You can learn more about it at his website.

How else might we experience the spiritual?

None of us wants to die. Yet in the depths of the Abyss of Disability we seek more than the physical.

Our society is at odds with the spiritual. The influencers of our Western Society encourage us to achieve personal profit and power. They provide entertainment to distract us. Entertainment struggles to express many things. Among them is the spiritual.

Religion attempts to institutionalize the spiritual for society. When it can provide a spiritual experience that resonates with the masses, religion grows in popularity.

When Religion fails to meet our personal needs we look elsewhere. Local religious leaders often fail to understand and express a theology of Disability that resonates with those of us who experience it in a personal way.

Many go from one community of faith to another. When we feel accepted and no longer alone, we stay. We have experienced a social bonding. Yet deep spirituality transcends social bonds.

All people can share their experiences of the spiritual. Leaders can try to create opportunities for us to experience the spiritual. Those communities create spaces for people to open themselves to the spiritual. For many, spirituality is not about the place but the mental space.

We receive some of the benefits of a Spiritual connection from Regular Spiritual practices. You can learn such practices from your local religious leader. IF this fails you can seek out your own spiritual advisor or teacher. If you feel comfortable with a particular tradition then look to that tradition.

Recently many have sought out other ways of accessing the Spiritual. One site where you can explore different types of meditation is The School of Light and Life.

Yet for many of us the Spiritual moments come unbidden and often unrecognized. This is when a spiritual advisor can help you. They can suggest alternatives and resources.

How did you discover the World of Spirituality?

How do you enter it?

As All Ways, Seek Joy

Does Disability give you a Zest for Life?

The thought that a Disability could give you a zest for life seems odd. For most of us the onset of Disability caused the zest we had for life to vanish. Yet, this is the opportunity to put real Zest back in our lives.

When Disability struck it took over our lives. What we thought we were able to do ceased. Weather Disability came in a physical or mental form it consumed us and became our identity.

Those around us no longer see us as more than our abilities. Rather they see us now as only the Disability, the Disability in a personal form.

Most people have no personal experience of human disability. They only have mental images of a disability and those images scare them.

When surveys ask what people worry about the most disabilities usually rank higher than traffic accidents. Yet traffic accidents are more common. The fear of disability is part of the fear of the unknown. Once it takes on a physical form, we become the living image of the disability.

Thus, we become our Disability in the eyes of others.

When others begin to see us as the Disability, they no longer see us for ourselves. Whatever we meant to them before we now become what they fear the most. No wonder so many friendships and marriages suffer with the onset of Disability.

This adds to the Disability spiral. First, others see us only as our Disability. Then we see the presence of Disability taking hold in our own lives and we begin to act disabled. The spiral continues as others see more of the disability than they see of us in our wholeness. It is possible, however, to use the interruption Disability creates in our lives to find the Zest for life!

Naturally we still want to do those things that used to put Zest in our lives. This desire provides us with the impetus to learn the new ways of doing things dictated by the presence of a Disability.

If a disability put you in a wheelchair you are aware that you can’t stand on the river bank any longer and fish. The good news is that there are wheelchair accessible peers where you can find modified boats. You can learn to transfer to a boat and fish with others. These are all processes that life with a Disability requires. These are skills most of us did not intentionally develop or develop as fully as crafting a life with a Disability now demands.

These are new skills we can use beyond coping with a disability.

When a person who is blind shows up to talk about plans for a park, he advocates that all will be able to participate. He forces planners to think of anyone who might come to the park. What would they want to do? How can they do it?

For those of us with a disability we now see that we are contributing beyond ourselves. We see that we are now able to contribute more than we did before.

Now our experience of disability has put Zest in our lives. Disability forced us to learn new things. We used those new skills to live beyond just being “Disabled.” We have reversed the Disability Spiral.

Our disabilities make us pause and look at life. Not only can we use the desire to renew our former activities to put Zest back into our lives, but it gives us the opportunity to try new things.

As we contemplate what to do next, we ask other questions. We ask the big questions of life. Now they have new relevance, as we have a new perspective.

In our adolescence we asked the big questions of life and found answers in terms of doing things. For many of us facing a Disability we found the answers in terms of acceptance.

Adolescents face life’s struggles as heroes. They dream of success and accomplishment. They are the center of their story. That led them to worry about how they will achieve those feats. They often found their lives consumed with stress. In order to achieve they had to do. They had to do more than they were able to do easily. They became overwhelmed by the “To Do’s.”

When Disability took our chance for success and achievement away, it also took our worry away. We can blame Disability for not succeeding an. release the stress. We now will achieve what we can achieve. This will have to be enough. The story will no longer be just about me, but my working with others.

We must accept limitation. Disability limits us. We realize that we had limits before Disability. In fact to be human is to be limited.

In accepting limitation we also accept the future as it will be, not as we want to make it. We can enjoy life. We can accept it as good.

We can find success in doing the little things. An artist friend of mine is learning to paint by holding a brush in her teeth. She is now quadriplegic. Getting the paint on the canvas to look the way she wants is success. That always is success for an artist.

IN What ways does Disability give you a Zest for Life?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Disability Empowers Creative Contributions

The thought that a Disability might empower your creative contributions might seem like a paradox. Yet for most of us the things that we struggled with lead to our biggest contributions.

Disability can be Your Muse

Muses lead us to create. Disability leads many of us to ask questions others have yet to ponder. Because we ask them much earlier and often feel alone in our questioning, we are more inclined to share our answers.

When we look ahead to our elders we see their abilities waning for us. When a disability hits we find ourselves with lessened abilities and are inspired to act like our elders.

We are guided by them to try to adapt and compensate. These efforts lead us to develop new skills. Skills which we can share with others.

If you pause for a second you can name someone in the middle of any creative endeavor that struggled with a disability. When we read or hear someone’s story we often find that their disability served as their Muse. The passion of Vincent Van Goh emerged from his depression. He felt it so intensely that it came out in his art.

Many musicians struggle in some way and that leads to their passion. Think of Stevie Wonder and his music.

In fact, playing a musical instrument helps to overcome dyslexia. Part of the problem that leads to dyslexia is the unbalanced communication between the right and left sides of the brain. The discipline of coordinating the right and left sides of the body forces better communication between the right and Left sides of the brain.

The obvious struggle of reading and writing also helps. Many writers struggle with dyslexia. The effort to master the written word made them better able to express themselves. Steven King explores a deep and terrifying world. Agatha Christi wrote about the twists and turns of human passions that lead to murder.

Why is disability a Muse?

Disability makes us stop and look at ourselves more deeply. Sport coaches are rarely the top performers. Rather the coaches are the ones who have to figure out how to perform better, just to stay in the game. They also can support athletes and other coaches who are tempted to quit. The coach learned to turn a failure into a “Learning Experience.” The star athletes rarely taste failure or have to change their natural ways.

Failure and despair come to all of us. Those of us who face our disabilities experience more of this than most. To survive we must create new ways to cope and express our creativity.

Louis Braille took his need to communicate without sight and created a way for Napoleon‘s soldiers to communicate at night. The soldiers no longer needed to give away their location by shining a light to read their messages. Thus he contributed from his experience of disability to support others.

Disability also forces us to look at life differently. As we age our abilities change. A disability changes our abilities sooner and often more dramatically than our peers. This can lead us to refuse to accept our limitations.

With the need for wider doors, wheelchair users have opened spaces for all of us.

As disabled persons seek to remain part of the community they force other changes. Using Wheelchairs forced bus designers to find better ways to get on and off the busses. Now many busses are lower and need no steps. Parents can get strollers on and off. Kids no longer have to step so high. And shoppers can roll their carts on and off the bus with ease.

We write about our pain. There are many works including a book of the Bible called Lamentations and many Psalms that express the language of disability.

For many questions arise. Why did this happen to me? What is the meaning of suffering? And these questions were the source of the Old Testament book of Job.

At first our questions cause us to turn to others including our elders and then to reflect on the spiritual. Like Job, we argue with our peers and then with God. Some of us will reject God and others of us will find solace in God’s answers.

Many of us have found a loving God. The view of an angry and vengeful God made us feel guilty. We looked anew at the texts and found other ways to understand our relationship with God. The message of a Loving God now dominates mainstream Protestantism.

Unlike our elders, we expect to live many more years. We often use Disability as a springboard to thrive. Many motivational speakers point to an illness or other disabling event that lead them to their insights. The insights they now share with others.

Previously, I mentioned Brendon Burchard. He tells of an auto crash at age 19. He realized that he could have died without really living. In that moment he found the three truths that he now shares, to have fully loved, to have lived fully, and to have found meaning in life.

How has disability forced you to create and contribute?

As All Ways, Seek Joy

Disability, an adventure requiring innovation

Seeing life as an adventure when Disability causes it to crash seems almost impossible. It takes innovation and effort. How might we get the energy to find adventure within Disability?

We used to like adventure. In fact theme parks and other vacation sellers promote it. Can adventure occur in our daily lives?

Where is the adventure of getting thru a day of misery?

Adventures are new and novel. If you do the same thing every day, no adventure exists. You end up with little hope or any prospect for a better tomorrow. When you think today is miserable why should you look forward to tomorrow?

Take this failed day and make it your springboard to a better life. Trash your failed strategies and innovate. .

Let Disability lead to innovation and adventure!

Disability means we can’t do things like others do. Even when we used to do things the same way others did, we now need to innovate.

We innovate by understanding what we are trying to do and collecting the materials to do it.

When I was a kid, I used to build houses out of blocks. I would first get the idea of what I wanted in the house and then I would spread out the blocks. Which pieces would make for a good foundation? What pieces would help to outline the door and windows? Which blocks would top the window or door? How would I make the roof slant and not collapse? There were different pieces that worked best for the different purposes.

In getting thru each day we have many options, too. Have you ever stopped to consider what those options are?

I just paused and for a minute was overwhelmed. So let’s take a brief look at them.

First we have to get our bodies going. That means putting our night time things behind us. Physically we have to get out of bed and change clothes. So dressing becomes a tool to get us thru the day.

Then most of us wash our faces and care for our bodies. That means self-care.

Next we eat and drink. Food and hydration are essential tools. Our bodies are about half water. Most of the things that happen in our bodies happen with water. Thus adequate amounts of water are essential for proper functioning of our bodies. Don’t worry, our kidneys are designed to fine tune our water balance. They can’t work if they don’t have enough water. So drink as much water as you can during the day.

Our food provides the nutrients that our bodies need. Many of us don’t get the variety of foods that will provide all those nutrients. The traditional Western diet seems to not be as balanced as our bodies would like. A diet higher in fresh vegetables and fruits provides a better balance for our bodies.

To help our bodies use those nutrients we need to exercise. When we are stationary blood tends to sit in our muscles and other organs. By moving and exercising that blood moves about and the stuff that pooled around and in our cells also moves. Our bodies get to re-balance the fluids in and around the cells.

Stretching our bodies moves the fluids around. Getting the muscles to contract and relax with more vigorous exercise gets the materials that have accumulated in the cells to rebalance. Our muscles are like coiled springs. In their normal state they are tense and ready to contract. If they sit in the ready position too long they become stretched and like a spring will not release as much as they could. Thus they need to be put thru their paces.

After exercise we all feel the need to rest. Some rest and rehydration will let our bodies complete the rebalancing.

Times of rest are good opportunities to exercise our minds. Like our muscles, brains need exercise to function best. This is where we can innovate. We can ponder the things that don’t work well. What might we do differently? How might those new ways lead to better outcomes? Maybe we need to use these times to read or study.

Reading and study are just two ways to let the outside world in. Meditation also lets the world in, and communicates with our brains. While most prayer is a semiconscious dialogue with what is spiritual. Meditation opens our minds more fully. If you don’t know how, I would suggest that you look for training in meditation.

There is a more immediate source of energy and innovation. That is friends. They have different experiences and abilities. What can they provide?

Life Coaches will push you to look in new directions. They are skilled in asking the questions we are afraid to ask. Those questions get us looking in new directions. That can be a major source of innovation and adventure. They also help us to see the attitudes and beliefs that disable us.

For some of the things that disable us there are medications. Medications help to restore or maintain the balance our bodies need. When I was a physician it seemed that was all people wanted. Now as a life coach I see that there are so many other tools to get us out of Disability.

Which one will you choose to try first?

Then when you get out of Disability, were will you go?

For most of us our pre-Disability lives failed us in many ways. Using the pause that Disability provides can let us overcome them in our future lives. Here too life coaching can help. But, that is a topic for another blog, or many blogs.

As all Ways, Seek Joy,

Kathleen Murray, You can recover from Panic attacks

Panic Attacks disabled Kathleen Murray after she moved to a small town. Self-help and several professionals failed to help her. Thence discovered how to face them and recovered.

In the process of recovering she found four Keys to get past the panic. She talks about them in this podcast but tells more in her book, “4 keys to Happiness” which you can download here.

The process of getting your life back on track is like cleaning out your junk closet. There is so much stuff that you can easily get overwhelmed with the mess, but when you are finished it is so much better.

We expanded on the Spiritual aspects of her recovery and The Law of Attraction. Two books that helped her were May Ann Williamson’s “A Return to Love” and Pam Grout’s, “E squared.