The word disability might mean something different depending on who you ask. To me, I consider myself as having a disability but I’m not disabled. Although I have limitations due to my injury, I have abilities as well. I have the ability to speak my mind; the ability to choose the way I want to live my life. I have the ability to access whatever means it takes to show people that “I am me” despite my disability. It doesn’t define who I am as a person or individual. Read more
In a country like Pakistan where civil unrest is commonplace, society was looking for someone to look up to (whether it was conscious or not) and could inspire them to find their own inner strength, and that person was Sarmad Tariq. Read more
Jenni Taylor is a radiantly positive woman who is also a C1-C2 vent dependent quadriplegic, artist, college student, motivational speaker and former Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. She was injured in a car accident at the age of 16. We were honored to film her for our “Life After SCI” video series! Here is a sneak peek of what Jenni shared with us about her life. Read more
In episode #81 of No Free Rides, I am joined by Jennifer Longdon, a fighter of a paraplegic. Hear her take on everything from accessible realty and passe attitudes toward disabilities, to bringing diversity to Project Runway. Read more
Hello Friends! Are you looking for a little inspiration, a little motivation, or a little fuel to get you through the day or a challenging moment in your life? Look no further than your past for that jumpstart that you need, that we all need from time to time. Recently, I was asked to give a motivational talk to the Seton Hall University’s Men’s Basketball team and knowing that they are a fairly young and inexperienced team, I shared with them how important it is that they reflect on those moments of success, moments of courage, and moments of resilience to push them forward. The same applies to people with disabilities, the parents and siblings of people with disabilities, and even caretakers from time to time.
No matter what challenge you are experiencing at this very moment, you have a huge arsenal of courageous moments from which you can use to combat those feelings of sadness, depression, unworthiness, hopelessness, you name it. In any moment, you can close your eyes and take yourself back to not just an ordinary moment, but an extraordinary moment in which you or the person with the disability has overcome some type of challenge and has emerged even stronger on the other side of it.
Considering that the majority of people with physical disabilities acquire the disability at some stage in their lives, I am convinced that if they have endured the initial hospital stay, several weeks or months of inpatient rehabilitation, and probably some outpatient rehabilitation, then they can conquer the world. If you are the parent of a child with a disability and/or the caretaker and have endured these same challenges, you are in a position to conquer the world as well. Now I am not just saying all this to make you feel better about yourselves. This stuff really works, but like anything, you have to take action and practice it…daily.
You may have heard of creative visualization or imagery. Well, I am here to tell you that Olympic athletes, musicians, artists, students, you name it are using this powerful method. Let’s try it. First, close your eyes and take yourself back to a moment where you demonstrated a pretty good dose of courage. If you need a little help, how about that first time you stood up in your EasyStand. Now that you probably think nothing of it as it has become of your daily or weekly routine, recalling that first time that you went from a seated position to being back on your own two feet is one monumental accomplishment. Recall not only how that must have looked, but most importantly, how that made you feel. If you are like me, you probably said to yourself, “If this is possible, anything is possible!”
Bring back those and all the other moments in which you went above and beyond the fear, doubt, and disbelief. How about all those moments in the hospital and rehab when you transitioned from a place of weakness (when you first arrived) to a place of strength and courage when you left the facility. These are just some of those magical and powerful moments from your life that you can reflect on to get you through a challenging moment or as you may want to call it, a bad day.
You can also use creative visualization or imagery to create what you want in the future. Begin by closing your eyes and bring in all the sights, sounds, colors, and most importantly, the feelings that are associated with this masterpiece you are creating in your life. Some of my clients with disabilities visualize themselves standing (without assistance), walking again (without assistance), and even running again (without assistance) and with huge smiles on their faces describe these powerful and transformational visuals with the greatest of detail. Not only do they start to see what it is that they want to create, but just as importantly, they begin to believe that can create it! A great speaker, Les Brown, once said, “Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you will be among the stars!” Enjoy the journey!
Read my story “Standing, Cycling & Coaching Success”
What extraordinary moments came to mind as you were reading this post? Does reflecting on those moments help you work through the challenges in your life?
So here’s a cool piece of trivia: It recently came to my attention that the Vice President of Ecuador is a paraplegic. I LOVE to hear about politicians with disabilities – FDR, the Mayor of Vancouver. It is awesome to see someone with a disability being respected and with power. What can I say? We need more of it! And VP Lenin Moreno, 58, is showing just how its done; helping his fellow disabled brothers and sisters in a country that once shunned disability, but now thanks to Moreno, is slowly changing. Read more