My Handicap Miracle

My Handicap Miracle

3 lessons I learned from a fractured ankle…

Your living is determined not so much by what Life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to Life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
— Kahlil Gibran

My word for 2019 is Expansion. When I set an intention and consistently focus on it, the Universal Law of Attraction rarely fails me. Though I’ve learned the delivery system can answer in such a way, that at times I miss seeing the gifts, clues, and lessons all together.

A couple of weeks ago Life gave me a huge opportunity to stretch myself and I didn’t even see it coming.

I was up at the ranch, eager to finish chores and feed the horses so I could head home to finish packing. My husband and I were leaving early in the morning for our trip to Cancun, Mexico. I’d actually packed most of my suitcase already which was a rare accomplishment for me. Seems I’m usually still stressing about what to take at the 11th hour.

As I bounded down the snow path to the barn my boots slid on the ice underneath. I flipped up, then landed hard. I could hear and feel a slight snap before excruciating pain ripped up my right leg.

Slumped over I held onto the rail of the fence, willing myself to breathe and assess what had just happened. There was no one there to help me and no one but me, was going to feed the horses and close the upper gate.

So I did just that. I could feel my boot growing tighter as I limped around the paddock, filled the Porta-Graziers with hay and then made my way back up through the pasture to close the gate.

Then I got into my car and drove the 30 minutes back to Evergreen. Many times I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. The only option I knew was to hold it together, get home, ice my ankle and get to the airport in the morning.

Probably the worst part of this whole experience was that day after. I  pushed my bruised, aching, swollen stump into a snow boot and then dragged myself through DIA to our gate. I propped my foot up on the back of the arm rest of the seat in front of me and slept for our 3 1/2 hour flight.

Next I stood and snail-ed forward for 90 minutes through customs in Cancun. My husband and I talked about a wheelchair while we watched several folks go to the front in the handicapped line.

Handicap is defined as…a circumstance that makes progress or success difficult, a condition that markedly restricts a person’s ability to function physically, mentally, or socially.

I certainly qualified, though identifying myself as such was a new concept.

In hindsight, I know I made the right decision to still go to Mexico in my altered state. The following morning our Concierge arranged for a trip to the ER at a downtown hospital, where I was treated with professionalism and care.

X-rays confirmed a small fracture and I returned to El Presidente and our vacation, wearing a heavy black boot and sporting crutches.  

Here are 3 Lessons I learned from my fractured ankle:

1)  I learned how moving more slowly offers a rich different perspective of a familiar experience.

Being handicapped -being limited in movement, awkward and obvious in my big black boot and maneuvering on crutches, I felt less than my usual self. I appreciated the attention and support people offered, yet I hesitated to actually ask for help. I experienced a true empathy for myself and for people who live in vulnerability at the mercy of others.

2)  I learned surrendering to my situation allowed me to really take care of myself and be present in my Life.

I spent a lot of time in our room. I turned off the air conditioning and enjoyed the warm breeze that accompanied me through the open door. I sat in a steady rolling desk chair which I used like a wheelchair to push myself around. In between writing and doing Mastermind homework, I took naps. Real siestas. I enjoyed practicing my Spanish with Adriana each morning when she came in to clean our room. And sometimes, I’d just sit quietly, look out over the ocean, and be still.

3)  I learned being grateful can attract and reveal miracles.

Many people, including my husband, truly want to help if I will just tell them how. The entire week, the staff at the hotel were graciously accommodating. The two men who pushed my wheelchair at the Cancun and Denver airports were kind, attentive, and skilled in their service.

On our way home I felt a kindred connection with all the other handicap travelers. I was even grateful for the heavy boot as it legitimized my right to move through the handicap line.

My healing has been remarkable since returning home. I am so grateful for the love, prayers, and support that continue to buoy my spirits and remind me that all is well.

When I reflect upon my experience, being handicapped was one lesson that taught me to be open and receptive to the everyday miracles of Life!

 

PONDER THIS:

What is one miracle you learned to recognize through personal trauma?

 

Our Sacred Dance

Our Sacred Dance

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW, what a ride!”

— Mark Frost, The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed

Last week I attended the memorial of a dear friend. She and I were introduced over 30 years ago. We had one of those instant connections. One where no barriers or expectations existed.

Over the years our friendship continued to breed mutual respect and admiration for each other.  We recognized each other’s gifts and unique offering, and respected the style in which we navigated and celebrated our own lives.

Though we rarely met just the two of us, we enjoyed sharing in the social activities that brought us together. Periodically we’d have an opportunity to exchange a personal story that both entertained and deepened our connection.

We truly appreciated and cherished each other and our friendship.

Late last Spring my friend pulled me aside to confide she had made a Life altering decision. She had decided to cease treatments for her cancer and Parkinson’s. She was done with those endless doctors appointments and their well meaning advice. She was giving up the battle and the contest to stave off disease and prolong her Life.

She was clear and accepting of her conviction and prepared herself for Life to move forward, however that might look. Although she expressed compassion for her husband’s argument, my friend was unwavering in her decision.

In the ensuing months, her body began a rapid and drastic decline. Like a cruel joke, my friend began to visibly struggle for the words to express herself or the ability to walk to the bathroom.

As this physically beautiful woman began to morph into a shadow of herself, my friend held a steady positive attitude while generously flashing her winning smile.  

Will you think me morbid when I tell you that the last 6 months of her Life were the richest and most meaningful of our friendship?

I visited her regularly which gave her husband a short respite from his 24 hour responsibility. He could trust she was in good hands and would slip off to Costco or run a necessary and overdue errand.

I learned to treasure these times together, alone with my friend. We had no where to go and time held us no prisoner. We shared whatever came in the moment, without haste or desire for something else.

Sometimes I would read my book Celebrate! to her and she would offer her thoughts or a story it prompted. She loved the foot massages I gave her. We often would moan in unison at how good it felt, then giggle like a couple of school girls talking about sex.

When a lively jazz tune flooded the living room, she’d smile and follow me bright-eyed, as I danced dramatically around her bed. Never have I danced so joyfully uninhibited, as I did to delight my friend.

We shared uninterrupted and unashamed; our deepest secrets and our soulful desires.

We laughed and we cried. And when verbally expressing herself became too challenging and eventually impossible, we’d hold hands, stare into each other’s eyes, and share peacefully in contemplative silence…

I am so grateful to and for my friend. She demonstrated such grace in embracing the end of her Life.  It was during the last journey we shared together- that we transcended our friendship and we were invited to fly!

Ponder This

Where in your Life have you elevated
your understanding to a new level?

Success is an Inside Job

5 Questions to Assess, Acknowledge,
and Celebrate your Life in 2018!

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Youth strives for outer signs that
demonstrate success.
The sage sees success as an inside job
and has learned to value attitudes
rather than temporary trinkets.

If today you seek to increase your net
financial worth,
you may or may not succeed.
If today you seek
to increase your serenity and wisdom,
I guarantee you will succeed.
— William Martin, The SAGE’S TAO TE CHING

There’s really no magical line that denotes the end of one year and the rolling into the next, except those we’ve created on our calendar pages and spread sheets.

Yet many of us still focus on establishing a measuring stick for time. We engage in a variety of mental gyrations aimed solely at defining this year as a personal success or failure. Our judgement of the year is based on a metering system that evaluates our external world.

In the aftermath of the holiday season, whether we feel joy and peace, or exhaustion and relief, we find ourselves anticipating the promise of a fresh start.

To make any change or transformation, I know it is essential for me to first assess and acknowledge what is true for me now! I do that by shifting my attention within and asking myself questions. 

Self-inquiry (partnered with breath) is the most effective way I know to summon the clarity and guidance of my inner wisdom. The answers that come- help me discern, what about my Life expands me and what aspects have served their purpose and are ready to be shed.

I invite you to ask your inner sage to illuminate a new level of your awareness, to grant you love and acceptance, and to partner with you in the celebration of your Life as reflected in 2018.

Begin by looking at 2018 in retrospect. One at a time,
ask yourself each of the following questions out loud.
After you have asked, take in a deep breath
and be open to receive the answer
that comes with your exhale.

 

PONDER THIS:

  1. Which of my personal accomplishments brought me the greatest satisfaction and self-respect?

  2. What discovery did I make about myself through my surrender to an aspect of my Life that was painful?

  3. What contribution did I make that elevated the Life of another?

  4. How did I demonstrate taking personal responsibility for my choices and behavior?

  5. As I acknowledge my abundant blessings, for which am I most grateful?

 

 Thank you for being part of my journey in 2018, for showing up
and for being you!

I wish you love and acceptance, Peace, Joy, and Harmony.

Listen for the Whisper

5 Questions to Ponder to Help you Navigate Holiday Energies

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With a thousand different voices ringing in my ear
I listen for the whisper that only the heart can hear.
— Jana Stanfield

It’s that time of year when everything appears to accelerate even faster and Life’s chaos is expressed more fanatically than ever!

 It can be especially challenging to find the joy, love, and peace that I believe- are the true gifts of this season.

 Whether with family of origin or of choice, holidays can bring out the best and the worst of behaviors. The oughts and shoulds blare loudly from both outside and in, no matter how we might have grown or now live our daily lives.

A strange phenomenon occurs when we come together to celebrate holiday traditions. Stranger still, can be the experience we create for ourselves by the cyclic thoughts and triggered feelings of old wounds and beliefs of our past.

If you find yourself in secret agreement with me, know that there is hope for all of us! 

When I notice I’m getting sucked into the holiday frenzy, I remind myself of  the tools that can help me navigate this volatile period. There are things I can do to support myself and the experience I want to have.

Here are 5 questions I ask myself. Asking myself questions connects me with the heart of my best self. The whispered answers offer me courage, direction and support. All that is necessary is to give myself permission to show up and interact from this place.

 Try it for yourself: Ask yourself a question aloud, take a deep breath, and allow your answer to come with the exhale.

1)        What one thing can I do to demonstrate self-care?

Consider adding conscious periods (even moments) of Being Alone.

Escape to the outdoors, focus on the gifts of nature, Breathe in…Life.

Excuse yourself to the restroom if that’s what you can do! Give yourself a time out from people and situations that activate you. Take a breather/ break from any negative energy-  especially if that energy emanates from you. Do anything in the moment that shifts your focus to self-care!

 2)  What invitation or obligation can I graciously decline?

Saying yes when you really mean no - is one of the greatest ways you can sabotage your happiness and fuel your self-judgement. Without needing to figure out why you do it, could you honor your inner voice? It is enough to graciously decline without needing to offer excuses or explanations.

 3)  Where can I give of myself to others?

Giving of yourself does not mean depleting your gifts or ignoring what you value. Giving of things is rarely what brings Joy. And if it does, it is short lived. It is not the thing itself that generates a hold on our hearts, but the feelings and the act of sharing that continues to live on in our memories.

Look to see where you might give of yourself differently this year.

Be what you love and give that to others.

 4)  Which holiday tradition or activity do I choose to celebrate?

My Mother use to say that the holidays were “Moms Big Production.” Trying to do it all to please everyone can leave you exhausted and perhaps feeling resentful . Yet there are those specific traditions that fill your heart and represent what you love about the holidays. Give yourself permission to selectively choose to participate in those. Listen to the whisper to create new ways to celebrate and generate fresh joy in your holiday traditions.

 5)  Where can I accept and be compassionate with myself and others?

Most of our angst and hurt feelings come from unresolved issues and embellished memories of our past. So it’s easy to see how holiday events and reunions with families could naturally aggravate our bruises.

When we recognize that others might be having their own challenging and uncomfortable experience, our need to judge and resist them diminishes.

And when we let go of judging others, we feel less judged ourselves.

Choose to accept that everyone is doing the best they can in the moment, including you. Choose to be compassionate and discover ways to demonstrate that this season!

 With love & light, I honor the place where you and I are one.

 JMM

Deliberate Effort

Your relief has come in response to some deliberate effort that you have offered. For when you are able to consciously find relief, then you have regained creative control of your own experience, and then you are on your way to wherever you wish to go.
— Abraham-Hicks

Whether it be an escape from a negative relationship, reassurance while taking a risk, or simply the alleviation of a persistent irritant, we all want to experience a sense of relief and freedom.

Yet rather than trust the clear voice of our intuition, its gift of Good Orderly Direction, we sometimes feign ignorance. We justify taking the easier, softer way. This particular path rarely makes us feel better or changes anything.

We lose sight of the direct correlation between our conscious participation and our ability to affect change. We fall into complacency and begin to complain that we are the victims of our situation.

The truth is we are not limited or immobilized by any circumstance. It is our state of mind and our need to judge, that has us believing we are powerless.

Gandhi tells us, “Happiness is when what we think, what we say, and what we do, are in harmony.”  

It is essential to actively take charge of our thoughts and the language we use with ourselves and others. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our actions, to listen to our inner guidance for our next right step!

We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and stay focused on what we want. When we stay the course and are willing to do what it takes to plow forward, new possibilities and rewards abound!

And here’s the really good news:  When we make conscious choices and take action that honors and respects ourselves, we create and set into motion ~ the highest and greatest good for all others as well.


Ponder This:

Where in your Life are you ready to consolidate your efforts to take back your creative control?