Is it Really Hate or a Lack of Self-Love?

Let me begin by saying I hate the word hate. Sure, hate exists and we can see it all over if we look for it, but I personally rather spend my precious time focusing on all the love that’s out there.

Yes, you’re welcome to call me a Pollyanna. I’ll take that any day over a “hater.”

I came across something this week that made me decide to speak about this subject.

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Maysoon Zayid is a talented actress and comedian, who happens to have cerebral palsy. She has a funny, light-hearted, yet incredibly insight view of living life with a disability. You see this come across in her interview with Marie Forleo. Maysoon’s TED talk, “I got 99 problems, palsy is just one of them,” is also a must watch.

Last week the Huff Post did an article and interview with Maysoon about the hateful comments she received after appearing on national TV.

I have to say it still amazes me that people take the time – their precious life time and energy – to spend on exhibiting hate. My initial reaction and yes, it’s a snarky one, but my honest reaction is, “Really? You don’t have anything better to do with your time??”

Then after this reaction, I pause and try to reflect…and remember the ONLY answer I have found for hate. To me, hate boils down to a lack of self-love. If the “hater” was truly happy with himself, would he ever want to strike out against one’s difference?

Once I remind myself of this, I can then begin to feel compassion for the person struggling so to accept differences, which is ultimately the expression of people with disabilities.

So I’m curious…..what’s your take on cyber-bullying and how do you counter it? Share your wisdom below.

Post Script: After I wrote this post, I watched last week’s TED talk from Monica Lewinsky on “The Price of Shame”. If you watch the entire talk, you’ll find she has great insights and perspectives on the effect of cyber-bullying.

Posted in All We Need is Love, How Others React, Strategies/Techniques | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dating Advice: You’re Not for Everyone

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During the many years I was single, the best advice I got was “You won’t be for everyone.”

This came as a relief and it still surprises me that it was news to me at the time. Well, of course, I’m not for everyone! Duh!

The person who said this to me actually conveyed it in a very loving way and with the intention of helping me to let go of my arduous efforts to impress all potential partners. And it worked!

I began to breathe more deeply and relax into who I am, rather than what I was putting out there.

I don’t know if other people with disabilities think this way, but in my dating years, I believed in the impossible – that potential dating partners could work through their resistance toward my disability.

I look back now and sigh at my ignorance, as well as my arrogance. “You’re not for everyone” holds true for everyone. How on earth did I think I get a Disability Pass on this? Ugh, arrogance!

After all, I go through life, knowing that certain people in general will just have difficulty accepting my disability…and people who would have a more intimate relationship with me, would not?! Ugh, arrogance!

When I received this gentle slap in the face of “You’re not for everyone,” it was actually welcomed. Ahh, this meant I could focus on those who were for me and let go of my false need for the others.

Relaxing into this knowledge helped to foster my Power to Attract, meaning I put my focus more on what I had to offer to the dating/relationship scene, than trying to draw someone to me.

By focusing on our gifts and abilities,
you draw the right people to you.

On some level when you live with a disability, people will always look at what you don’t “have.” For better or worse, it’s human nature. Our job as people with disabilities, I believe, is to be open to all the gifts and lessons we bring to the many who are open to us.

If you’re out there dating, know you’re not for everyone. It really helps clear the way for those who are drawn to you.

The comment area has been pretty lonely lately. Take a risk, begin a discussion, your choice – tell about a dating or non-dating experience in which you clearly knew when you weren’t for everyone and that was okay. See my story below in the comments.

Like this post? Know someone who could benefit from it? Please share it on your social media sites.

Posted in Believe in Yourself, Confidence Builders, Dating Resources | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why Embracing Our Imperfections Empowers Us

Can you take a guess as to what this is? The first three guesses posted in the comment area below get a free e-book of Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities. Honor system applies here, enter your guess and then keep reading.

Followers of me on Twitter or Facebook have an advantage as I posted this a couple weeks ago.

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Before I explain the picture, let me get to the lesson:

A significant step in feeling fully empowered as a person with a disability is embracing that things won’t look perfect, but the experience is.

This was my attempt to make Valentine’s cut-out cookies with my three-year old son, Jaden. They look nothing like the cute little frosted pink hearts they were intended to be.

To be honest, while I love to bake and I bake a lot, I avoid making cut-out cookies at all costs. They’re just so frustrating to make with my fine motor challenges. I struggle so with keeping the shape of the dough and trying to get it out of that darn cookie cutter and we won’t even get into the challenge of spreading frosting – I know, obvious from the photo!

Nonetheless, I wanted to give Jaden the experience in the “fun” of making them. I try hard not to let my physical limitations put constraints on his life experiences, even if it’s just making cookies.

When the cookies came out of the oven in there amorphous form, my husband and I could only laugh and be inspired to share my creation on Facebook. Surprisingly, my share got the most comments and likes than I have had in a while.

Why? Surely, not because it could have been on the cover of Cook’s Illustrated.

Maybe it had something to do with my ability to accept my imperfections and see that the PROCESS and EFFORT have so much more value than something looking good.

I have learned over the years that actually doing whatever it is I want to do (i.e. having the experience), rather than focusing on perfection, allows me to live life more fully.

I hope I’m passing that along to Jaden!

Posted in Confidence Builders, Lessons Learned, LIVE your life | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rising Above the Inner Doubt

How you doing with that whole Power to Attract thing that I spoke about last week?

If you’re feeling energized, a boost in confidence, and beginning to see people respond differently to you, go, go, go, and keep radiating that power!

If you’re feeling some self-doubt, overwhelm, and inner voices that say, “C’mon, be real,” YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

Last week, I promised to discuss some steps for countering the negative pull of critical self-talk and self-defeating beliefs. It can be daunting to pull away your focus from the strong pull of negative, but it can always be done.

When you working on fostering your Power to Attract and feel the negativity creeping in, consider these four steps to remind you of your beauty that is always within you:

1. Honor all of you One has to carefully consider the entire body all its unique characteristics – muscle movements, different facial features, size and form, spasms, intellectual difference, and other effects – and begin to teach people to honor them as distinct parts of one’s attractiveness.
2. Release the shame Releasing shame is the most effective way to enhance body image. Talking about the shame someone feels is actually one of the best ways to begin the healing process. Giving a voice to it helps to lessen the weight of shame and free up a person’s energy to focus on their attributes and what they offer to relationships.
3. Know you’re not for everyone This is a very freeing thought! Not everyone is drawn to us and that’s just fine. It does not mean that you’re unattractive. It just means a particular person is not attracted to you. Boy, this was a hard one for me to get in my personal life, but once I did, it turned up my Power to Attract a few notches.
4. Flip the switch An easy way to help people think of your Power to Attract is like a light switch. You walk into a dark room and can’t do much or get very far without flipping the light switch on. The Power to Attract is turning the light on, radiating it to others, and finding the way. Remember, your Power to Attract may be dimmed but can never be extinguished.

Try these steps and I assure you, you’re going to feel the Power to Attract emerging in you. Let it roar!

Hey, check the comments for one of my most powerful affirmations when dealing with someone who’s having a hard time with your disability.

Posted in Believe in Yourself, Confidence Builders, Strategies/Techniques | 1 Comment

How to Radiate the Power to Attract

It does not matter if you use a wheelchair, drool, or have muscles spasms.

You have the Power to Attract.

The most influential factor that can either promote or hinder one’s healthy sexuality (reading last week’s post on sexuality may help define this for you) is people’s ability to own their Power to Attract. This power relates directly to your recognition and ability to bring forth your strengths and most endearing qualities.

For example, if you are a good listener, make thoughtful decisions, have a great sense of humor, and soulful eyes, that’s what will draw people to you. The Power to Attract feeds your sense of sexuality and ultimately gives you your power to shine because you are focusing on your strengths and abilities.

Your body, how it functions, looks, what it does and doesn’t do, holds nothing on your Power to Attract because this power comes from within you. There’s very little we can do about the body, except take good care of them and love them as they are.

Sad, but true, there are far too many people in the world who focus on the negative aspects of their bodies and theirselves. When you focus on what you don’t have, on what you are not, and what you think you need to be better, you’re putting all your energy into what is missing.

It’s when you focus on the positive attributes of yourself, that you naturally draw people to you. This is because people see the value you place on yourself and want to be around that energy.

The Power to Attract has never ending potential to grow stronger and stronger, if you allow it to.

With love and positive attitudes, healthy sexuality and relationship blossomed. When you nourish your positive qualities, this is key to accessing a healthy sense of sexuality and the power to attract.

It can be daunting to pull away your focus from the strong pull of negative self-talk and self-defeating beliefs, but it can always be done. Next week I’ll discuss some steps for countering the negative pull.

Remember, your Power to Attract may be dimmed but can never be extinguished.

So, go ahead, take a risk and pick one positive attribute that helps radiate your Power to Attract and share it. Draw more people to you. You’ll see mine down below. To see the comments, just click the comment link below after the tag links.

Posted in Believe in Yourself, Confidence Builders, Dating Resources, Healthy Sexuality | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Most Important Action to Unleash Your Healthy Sexuality

So what exactly does that mean – to unleash your healthy sexuality??

As I have said before, we still don’t talk enough about sexuality and disability. The reasons for this deserve a blog post of its own – perpetuated false belief that sexuality does not apply to most people with disabilities, society’s own sexuality issues projected on people with disabilities, lack of dating opportunities, and on and on.

With Valentine’s Day this weekend and so many people focusing on love and relationships, I’d figure we could spend a bit of time on this. Let’s begin with talking though about how to enhance one’s healthy sexuality.

Healthy sexuality encompasses these components:

Our ability to open our hearts to people and consciously be intimate with them, emotionally and physically.
Understanding that sexual intercourse is just a small piece of being intimate and allowing people inside our emotional selves is the more meaningful part of sexuality.
Honoring that as human beings, it’s our basic need to be close to others. Our lives are enriched by sharing ourselves with others. That’s how we grow.

Because of this, we are all sexual beings, no matter what our life circumstances may be and no matter what form our abilities take on.

Like nearly every other issue I teach about, the most influential factor in your healthy sexuality is YOU. It took me years and a lot of frustration before I got this for myself.

I was always looking for other people to find me attractive and see my sense of sexuality within me.

This only diminished its power. I don’t think this issue is exclusive to people with disabilities. I believe our society and in particular, the media, has a way of subtly and overtly teaching us to look outside ourselves for someone or something to determine us attractive. After all, businesses and advertisers have got to make their money.

I really found a healthy sense of sexuality when I stopped looking for others to see it in me and recognized it within for myself.

The ability to recognize your own sexuality and acknowledge it within yourself is the single most important action you can take in unleashing it because it frees up your focus from trying to get something from others to becoming more aware of what you have to offer.

From this, you then enter into much more empowered relationships and foster you Power to Attract, which I’ll get into next week.

In the meantime, share with me just one attribute you have within you that fosters your healthy sexuality, using the definition above. You’ll see my answer down there as well.

Like this post? Know someone who could benefit from it? Please share it on your social media sites.

Posted in Believe in Yourself, Dating Resources, Healthy Sexuality, Transforming Your Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why We Should Do What Scares Us

What’s the one thing you need to do, but it scares you?

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who famously said, “Do something every day that scares you.”

In the our final look at Three Questions for 2015 – Evolutions not Revolutions, I am encouraging you to take more healthy risks this year. By healthy, I mean nothing that might place you in danger or jeopardy, but something that would definitely move you out of your comfort zone.

We certainly grow when we push ourselves (or are pushed) out of our comfort zones. Being challenged, even to the point of being scared, is a great way to discover new abilities within ourselves. Once we find a new ability, it can spur on new areas of growth that ripple through our life. This promotes change. I’m a firm believer that change is good because it’s an excellent way to feel you’re more fully living life.

If you check out my comment to Three Questions for 2015, you’ll see the scary venture I need to do this year is unveil my Personal and Professional Development Videos.

It scares me (in a good way!) because I am taking my business and skills in a whole new direction. I am transitioning from working with people on an individual basis to sharing skills, strategies, and techniques in successfully living with a disability to a much larger audience. Because of this transition, I’m learning new skills, calculating new risks, and breathing through feelings of fear. This has created a new “edge” in my life, which has rejuvenated me and caused me to feel a deeper sense of living fully.

So what is it for you this year? What’s one item, task, or goal that will scare you and give you that edge? And you know you need to do it because there’s so much to gain (skills, experience, feeling more alive) by doing so.

Don’t be shy – or too busy! Share what it is in the comments below. Check out the comments anyway for my three quick tips on dealing with fear of taking risks.

Posted in Confidence Builders, Taking Risks, Transforming Your Life | 1 Comment

How Do You Want to Evolve this Year?

Change, particularly within ourselves, is most effective and lasting when it evolves, rather than being the result of some dramatic shift.

I think of evolving as chipping away at something until it becomes part of you. It involves looking at something, perhaps studying it, allowing it to shape you and influence you. To evolve takes quite a bit of trial and error, not getting things “right” at first and learning from the lessons that experience brings.

In the disability world, I think the concept of evolution is still underrated.

Society at large will integrate people with disabilities into their belief systems and see disability more as a natural difference, rather than a “determent,” through regular contact with people with disabilities. It’s a learning curve and each bit of contact grows and nourishes (evolves) the change in thinking to something more affirmative.

And the world can only do this if we first do it ourselves. So how do you want to evolve this year? Remember I initially posed this question in regards to the umbrella question of how do you want to live more fully this year?

What’s just one area in your life that needs a little focus, perhaps some shaping up, to allow you to live more the life you want?

If you check out my post on Three Questions for 2015, you’ll find in the comment area a very pragmatic answer from yours truly regarding how I can do this in my own life – being more organized.

Yeah, I know, it’s a totally boring answer, but bear with me for a sec. In the last few years my life has expanded significantly – more people in my life, more responsibility, bigger changes, more things coming at me, and more things to manage. Trying to keep up with it all can prevent me from taking the time I need to just relax and enjoy my evenings and weekends. Finding a way to streamline all the pieces of my life is crucial to me taking more breathers. One piece of my evolution to becoming more organized is I have hired a part-time assistant for managing the administrative aspects of Radiant Abilities.

What is something YOU could begin to change that would allow you more opportunity to live life? How can you begin to chip away at it? What would be the change you would see in a year if you did so?

If you’re stuck on ideas, check out my comment below for suggestions. If you know what area you want to tackle, share it below as a way of inspiring others.

Posted in Transforming Your Life | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Blocking You from Living More Fully?

How can you create opportunities for yourself to live more fully in 2015?

Two weeks ago, on the verge of another New Year, I posed three questions to spur your thinking about what you could do (yes, taking actual action) to live your life more fully. Today we’re looking at the first of the three questions to help us tackle whatever barriers may be in the way of this.

What’s one area of my life that I can focus on to help me live more fully?

As I said in my last post, I’m all about evolution and not revolution. Lasting change comes in small batches. So what is just one area in your life that you could look at to identify what’s blocking you from living your life more fully? Money, work, relationships, family, your disability?

Here’s a hint to what may be your target point. What area draws the biggest “Ugh!” from you when you go through the mental checklist? That’s the area that is probably creating the most resistance to living your life more fully. The resistance is actually negative energy that is blocking your more positive, creative energy to problem solve the barriers which keep you living more of the life you want.

The best way to transform this resistance is to identify (name) it, own it, and then work with it.

If you read my comment to the last post, you’ll see I answered for my own life the questions I posed. To this question about living life more fully, I identified working too much was the area I needed to address in 2015.

There, I identified and named it. Now I got to own it. By owning a trait about yourself or a facet in your life, whether it is something you like or not, your accepting it as part of who you are and your life. This then reduces the resistance to it.

In my case, I own the fact that I have always had a tendency to work too hard. This comes from my drive for perfection and that deep need I still have to prove myself. If I recognize and own that within myself, that becomes more truthful than saying, “I have so much work to do.”

This more honest reflection then helps me develop better boundaries on my time and work load so that I feel like I have a better balance between working and living my life (having fun, enjoying time with family and friends).

That’s how the “Identify, Own, Work with it” strategy works. So c’mon, share with me below in the comment area what is one area of your life you can focus on to live more fully in 2015? You’ll see another share from me down there that will help me enjoy life more.

Posted in Confidence Builders, Strategies/Techniques, Taking Risks | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Questions for 2015 – Evolutions not Resolutions

1. What’s one area of my life that I can focus on to help me live more fully?

2. How do I want to evolve this year?

3. What’s the one thing I need to do, but it scares me?

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. If I make them, usually by mid-January, I’m running late again, papers are strewn across my desk, and I’m eating cookies again. You too?

I believe change, particularly change within ourselves, is most effective and lasting when it evolves, rather than the result of some dramatic shift.

As I look over the last ten years, I realize that each year seemed to focus on a particular area of life – dating and relationships, getting married, my son’s arrival and his care, selling and buying a home, transitioning my business. Each year, sometimes consciously and at other times, not so consciously, takes on a new “project.”

With each yearly project, though, I learned new strengths, abilities, and vulnerabilities about myself. This furthers my own evolution. More importantly, by doing this I experience a true sense of living life more fully.

Living life more fully.

That’s what my wish for you is in the New Year. My challenge to you on the edge of this New Year is to have you ask yourself the three questions above. I would love it if you could take a step further and share the answers below in the comment area.

You’ll see my answers down there.

Beginning January 14 (next week look for the January issue of Tips & Guidance), I’ll be taking each question and dissecting it to help you more effectively apply the question to your life in 2015.

I wish you the very best in the New Year! As always, thanks for reading.

Posted in Believe in Yourself, LIVE your life | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment
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