Language Translation

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Brave

My dear friend shared a song with me several months ago.  It was powerful.  I loved what words I could understand.  And then I forgot about it, until recently.

I wasn't able to stop listening to it for a while.  (And those who know me know that says a lot because I am more of a meat and potatoes music kind of person rather than a candy music kind of person.)  Then I started thinking more about the song.  This song hit my heart in just the right place.  So, naturally, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.  :)


I don't know about you, but I suddenly felt different after my first time watching this video.  I'm learning to speak with my voice instead of the voices of my parents, older siblings, church leaders, friends, etc., etc., etc.  This song found a space in my heart that was waiting for permission to have expression.  What will it look like after this?  I have no idea.  But whatever it is, I know this song has made a difference for me.

It's not easy to do the something that the little voice inside keeps pushing me toward.  In fact, it's downright scary.  Stepping out there, being vulnerable, showing up - it takes a lot.  But mostly because I keep worrying about the things that are not in my control.  I worry I won't make it.  I worry people won't understand me.  I worry I won't be able to pay my bills.  I worry I'll not be able to help this particular person.  I worry I won't get any inspiration and then what?  I worry...and worry...and worry...and worry.

Guess what happened when I stopped worrying?  I started doing.  Imagine that.  Bravery isn't really all that difficult.  If I tell the other voice in my head (you know, the one that feeds my constant worry) "Thanks for trying to protect me, but I'm good to keep going this way." then suddenly, there's nothing stopping me.  I'm the thing I'm afraid of.  I'm the worry.

What about you?  What is it you were meant to do?  What makes you come alive?  What thrills you to just think about doing it?  What gives you energy, pizzazz, light, movement, desire to work, and thrills?  What fills your bucket?  If it isn't what you're doing, then why are you doing it?

Recently a friend lent me a book titled "Daring Greatly."  I haven't finished it yet.  Actually, I've barely begun it.  Because after the first few pages, I found myself again.  I got to work.  I decided to be brave.  Which means I haven't had a whole lot of time for reading.  But, as Emerson said, "When [we] can read God directly, the hour is too precious to be wasted in other men's transcripts of their readings. But when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must, — when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining, — we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is."

I have read.  I have heard.  I have understood.  I have had my own experience of reading God directly in my life...which has caused me to dare greatly, to be brave.

If you don't know what lights your fire, find out.  I dare you.  Read other men's transcripts and decide for yourself.  Then read God directly - for He is in you and part of you and shines through you.  Why settle for lamps when you can have the sun?!

If you know what lights your fire, but you're not doing it...WHY?!  

How big is your brave?  How great do you dare?  Be the greatness you are.  It's all there, inside you.  There's only a small voice of worry, doubt, fear...whatever tone it takes in your head...there's only that one voice stopping you from showing up as your greatest self.

Be brave.  Dare greatly.  Move boldly.  Act Fearlessly.  BE.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Seminars

Hello my lovely readers!  It's been a long time, I know.  I've been going through a metamorphosis of sorts and keeping up this blog has been put a little lower on my list for a while.

First, I want to say welcome to all of our new friends!  It's been interesting to look at the growth and see the desire for information.  I discovered that even with no activity on this blog at all for the last year or so, I've had about 150 new readers every month.  Thank you for joining us!!!

I am beginning a project that is profound and life-altering.  Or I like to think it is anyhow.  But I'll let each of you have the opportunity to experience it for yourself and then you can tell me if it is as amazing as I think it is, or if it isn't.

My friend, Maren Christensen, and I are putting together a workshop weekend that has been in the creation phase for nearly 2 years now.  Shortly this 2.5 day workshop is going to be offered.  Right now we are working out the details of where to offer it and what size of a venue we will need.  If you are interested in participating, send a message or leave a comment.  Say as little as the place you would like to see it offered, or as much detail about yourself as you wish to give, including asking questions.  The more, the merrier!

Right now our workshop is geared to families.  Individuals will definitely take amazing things from the seminars, and we welcome individuals.  We would like to encourage you to take the workshop as a family though.  It is better, when a path of growth and improvement is embarked upon, that those who are closest to you move on that path with you.  Sometimes growth can cause division if family members are not included, or at least given the option of being included.

Our goals with these workshops are not small.  So e-mail or remark.  Ask questions, leave ideas, tell us what you need, what is most important to you, where you find yourself falling down most often, or anything else that is on your mind.

Happily awaiting you!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Healing Touch

Hi everyone!  It's been soooo long since I've written a post.  I suppose that is because I've been having a little growth spurt of my own and I find it hard to write about those things in the moment.  My brain keeps trying to analyze and then I just make what could be an easy process a very complicated one.  It's that boredom thing I guess.  There just isn't enough to occupy my mind and so I get bored and analyzing is what I do to stave off the boredom.

Anyhow.  So I'm sure most of you know I've been in Italy for the last 3 months.  It was an incredibly amazing experience and there was a lot of growth that took place in my life while I was there.

The thing I want to talk with you about today though is what happened when I came home.

I flew into JFK on the 12th of Dec.  It was a long but uneventful flight home.  The next day, while staying with my dear friends in NY, I went outside to play baseball with them.  They live just across the street from the cloisters in the Inwood area of Manhattan.  It was moments before sunset, so we were just going to make it a very short game.

I was hesitant to go play at all.  Of all sports, baseball is the worst for me.  Every time I have ever played it, I have been injured.  Every time.  Without exception.  So I fought the idea from the beginning.  But.  When an adorable little 6-year old walks up to you, gives you those great big brown puppy-dog eyes and says, "Please Auntie Tara.  Please could we play baseball?"....well, what was I supposed to do?

So off we went, my friend, her son, their dog, and me.  It started out fine.  I even hit the ball...quite an accomplishment for my depth perception.  I made it to second-base and over-ran it and fell.  I rolled and got back up, very impressed with myself that I was only two-big-mud-and-grass-stains-on-my-pants worse for the wear.  My friend said, "Oh, don't worry about that.  We'll get a load of wash in before you leave."  And on we played.

Mr. 6 was up to bat and I was pitching.  His mother was on 1st.  He hit the ball and in my attempt to "chase" him and letting him be safe on first, his mother had already made it to 3rd.  I stood between her and the tree that was our home-plate.  I dared her to try it.  And she did.  She ran wide, I gave chase.  Just as her arm was going out for the tree, I touched the ball to her back and she was out.  And then she went down.  She rolled and I stepped sideways to avoid her.  My left foot landed in a mole's handy work.  There was a very loud crack and snap and I fell down with waves of pain pouring over my body.

I've never broken a bone before.  I've chipped a bone.  I've ripped every tendon and ligament in that same left foot.  I've ripped tendons and ligament in my wrists and elbows.  I've sprained and bruised and strained almost every part of my body at one point or another.  But never actually broken a bone.  This was the most odd sensation.  As I laid there it was hard to know what to do.  Literally the pain was coming in waves, washing over me in a heat and pressure that I do not know how to describe.  My chest felt tight, like I couldn't breathe and I wasn't sure if I would ever live through this.

My friend, about the time the 3rd wave of pain pulsed over me, realized I was not laughing or rolling and came running to my side.  We both have a great belief and extensive experience in things that are only recently coming to be accepted by the scientific community as fact - namely, energy healing and natural, alternative health.  She began to do an energy pull down my leg and I instantly felt the waves of pain diminish.  As she worked I felt the pain go down and down until it was localized in just the injury.  I wanted to try to walk back to the apartment as quickly as we could, before the natural painkillers coursing through my veins wore off.

She helped me up and her sweet son (who had a moment before said "Mommy you could blow on it to make it feel better") offered me his bat to use as a cane.  We slowly hobbled our way back to the apartment, with great amounts of pain and crying from me.

I have spent years learning to trust my intuition when it comes to healing others, and I trusted it for myself in this instance.  I wanted no cast, and no traditional medicine.  My voice inside told me what I needed to do, and I decided I would listen.

After assessing the damage and learning that, indeed, my ankle was broken, I spent some time meditating internally on what would be the best thing for me to do.  Thankfully I had some prescription painkillers from my accident 6 months ago and so I took one to help me be able to do something besides drown in the pain.  As I meditated, my body told me exactly what course of action I needed to follow.

My friend had some products from Dr. Christopher's that assist in tissue and bone repair.  She lathered me up.  Then she cut a couple of slices of raw onion to put to my foot.  We bandaged it on and then elevated my foot.  Onion works as a sponge and is able to draw impurities out of the body.  In order for my foot to heal quickly, I wanted to make sure that the area was as free of impurities and toxins as possible.

Then I called a friend of mine who has just been learning quantum touch.  I asked her if she could work remotely (as current scientific data is proving that energy in one part of the world is affected by energy in another part of the world that has been intentionally connected).  She said she would try.  As we are close friends, it was quite easy to establish an energy communication connection.  She began to work.

I wish I had taken a picture of my foot before she began to work on me so the original injury could be seen.  I had one bone that was out of place and then the break in my ankle.  There were bulges and discoloration all over my foot.

While my friend worked on me remotely, I was in severe pain.  Even through the painkiller, the work caused so much pain that my body went into shock.  So we paused and called it a night.  I took another pain pill and went to sleep - sort-of.

We did more work on my foot the next morning.  Then I took a bus home to DC.  The following picture was taken about an two hours after I got home.  The bone was back in place by this time and the discoloration was completely gone.  I took a screenshot of the actual photo so that you could see the identification and see the time-stamp of when the picture was taken and how it was taken.  This shows there has been no doctoring of the photo and the exact time the photo was taken.


 The next day (Saturday, 15th) I spent the entire morning doing work on my sister and niece, as they were both in great need of help.  My sister had recently severely injured her spine and my niece was sick.  The wonderful thing about energy work is that when the practitioner works, it also heals the practitioner, not just the people being worked on.

Saturday evening I had a small birthday party.  My foot was already looking much better.  I asked my friend to do a little more work on me while we were watching the movie.  By the end of the movie, I could put weight on my foot again.  The pain in my bone was completely gone.

When I went home I did more work on my foot, with the assistance occasionally of someone to just help increase the intensity of the work.  Then I kept working on it through the night.  It was a little painful of course, but not too bad.  This morning I took another picture of my foot.  This is about 36 hours after getting home from NY.  The swelling is almost completely gone (the big ball on the top of my foot is from an injury that happened nearly 8 years ago when I was pulverized by a washing machine falling down a flight of stairs with me.  It is a ball of tissue that has never healed).  My foot is not quite it's normal self yet.  I still have pain and tenderness in the tissue part of my foot.  The tendons and ligaments are very sore and painful.  But the bone is completely healed with no pain.  I am able to walk on it and once I get moving, the tissues loosen up and movement begins to be more natural.


 This is quantum touch.  This is what I do when working with people.  You see, the body knows what it needs to heal and progress mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  If you allow it to do so, it will.  Sometimes we get in the way, or our limiting beliefs do not allow it to happen.  As the Savior taught often, all things are possible if we but believe.  When I work on people with Autism, they are so attuned to energy, that they instantly know what it is I am doing and they cannot seem to get enough of being with me.  I am not the one healing them.  They are healing themselves.  I am merely a facilitator who gives them the tools they need.  As my business moto states, we are "Empowering Families to Heal Themselves."

Quantum touch, emotional healing, and cognitive repair stimulation are the things that move children forward.  No matter the "disability" growth takes place in the way that is best suited for that person and I help that growth to be more intensified.  This is how I have always worked, but I've never been able to give people a clear visual of what happens because I don't have the equipment to perform cognitive functioning scans on my clients.  But my foot injury is a real way to see the physical reality of what quantum touch can do when the person receiving it is open to it's reality and willing to receive the healing it allows.  Remember, all things are possible if you but believe.  Dare to hope.

I am re-opening my consultation schedule now that I have returned from Rome.  If you would like to schedule a consultation or if you have questions please feel free to contact me.  To schedule a consultation send an email to admin@heartsthatfeel.com or to ask me a question send the email to tara@heartsthatfeel.com.  Thank you for reading, and happy healing! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Choice and Accountability

I was asked by a father:

"Do you have any pointers on how to introduce something new into my children's lives without causing extreme amounts of fit throwing and contention? I can't seem to figure this one out."

There are many different tips out there that are suggested by therapists, doctors, families, etc.  The most common seems to give plenty of time for adjustment and talk about it often to help them readjust to the new information in their lives.

What happens when there isn't time though?  What do you do then?

It partially depends on what is being introduced.  Is it something different the children will have to do?  (i.e. chore changes, schedule changes, changes at school, etc.)  Or is it something that is being introduced to them that throws of the balance?  (i.e. a move, a new baby, a sibling going to camp, etc.)  

If the change is something that is going to change the way your child lives daily life, then the first thing is to remember to provide choices.  They are very adamant about their agency and ability to decide for themselves, so let them.  If they would rather deal with the natural consequences, then that is what they choose.  Even if they don't like the consequences, if you remind them that you offered a choice and this is what they chose and said they would be okay accepting the consequences, the arguments and tempers are generally minimal.  These children have an extremely strong moral fiber and if you remind them that they gave their word on something, they will keep it unless under extreme circumstances - or if you let the fit get so far before you help them back to the logic they chose.

For instance.  Let us say that Sam wants to play outside.  You got home late from errands and lunch is going to be late.  You want to send him outside to play while you make lunch, thinking it will be a nice diversion and hoping he doesn't realize how hungry he is.  But you also know that once Sam is outside, it is really hard to get him to come back in the house, no matter what.

So you say, "Sam, I'll give you two choices.  You can stay in the house and help me get lunch ready and then go outside after we eat.  Or you can go outside and play (at this point he has already headed for the door.  Make sure he hears the rest of your condition)....or you can go outside and play if you come inside when you are called.  SO you can stay in here and help me and then play or play and then come in without arguing or crying when it is time for lunch.  Which do you choose?"

Sam chooses to go out now.  When lunch is ready, Sam is so engrossed in what he's doing that you have to call several times.  You give him the tried-and-true 5 minute warning that he needs to come in.  But he does not.  You go to the door and say "Sam, your 5 minutes is over.  It's time to come in and eat."  Sam does not move from the insect he is watching with wonder.  (There is an addendum post, if you will, about not responding the minute you speak.  It was too much to put right here.  Look for it to follow in a day or two.)

What to do?

At this point there are several options depending on what is most important that Sam learn.  You can drag him in....I find this to be barbaric and only resort to it when it is absolutely necessary.

You can remind Sam about the deal that had been made.  Sometimes this simple reminder is enough to get him moving.  If it is not enough, then natural consequences come into effect.  You let Sam know that because he is not keeping his word, that next time he will not have a choice.

Yes this is a little harder and will possibly cause a fit next time, but it is not something to eschew.  If you compromise on the compromise, Sam will continue to run the house.  If you hold him to his choice, he learns that his choices have consequences.  This will not only help him make better choices in the future, but will allow him to make mistakes as a child, when the costs are much less severe.

One day Sam will be grown.  One day he will have to make choices without you there to guide and direct.  The ability to make a good decision will be developed because he will know that he has choice and accountability.  If you negate the accountability part you are setting him up to fail as an adult.  His choices in the future will have consequences that you will not be there to save him from.  And the choices as an adult have much higher stakes.

So when it's time to come in and Sam does not, remember that he is a very clever being.  Remember that he prizes his sovereign rule over his own life more than anything else.  He does not like to be told what to do, he likes to be asked to do it.  If he chooses not to do it, let him know the consequences.  And then, no matter the fit, stick to those consequences.

On that note, I do not suggest a consequence like having to go to his room.  Then we get into physical force which is another issue.  Physically picking up the child should always be avoided and only be a last resort - not just when your patience is gone, but truly a LAST resort.

Natural consequences are much better.  What happens when Sam breaks his word to you?  He loses your trust.  How does he get it back?  He starts keeping his word again.  Explain this logic to him.  He will understand.  And if he wants back the ability to choose, he will be happy to keep his word, and may even point out to you that he is doing it.

If you must send him to his room, give him the choice to walk there on his own.  If her refuses to go and is screaming and crying, then wait for a moment of breath.  "Sam you have two choices.  You can be carried to your room by me, or you can walk to your room.  I'll give you the count of ___ to decide."  (Always give the positive choice last, so it is what his mind dwells on more.)  I usually use a count of 3 or 5, depending on how severely the child is into the fit.  If he is screaming and crying a lot more, then I give a little more time for him to calm down and understand what I am saying.

At this point, he knows the consequences of his choice.  With almost every child, the first time I had to carry them to their rooms.  They didn't believe I would do it, because it seems so very belittling and humiliating to them that they can't believe I would stoop that low.  And it hurts my own sensitivities to do it.  But after the first time, they usually choose to walk to their room on their own because they know I will follow through if they don't.  Again, this should be the last resort though.

I'm sorry I'm very long-winded.  I'm trying to sort out all that I want to say as I go along.  Almost done.

More than anything, preserve his right to choose.  I cannot explain how very, very precious this is to him.  He values it more than almost anything.  If you take away his freedom of choice, he will fight you tooth and nail and come to resent you.  If you offer choices and show the consequences of those choices, he will learn to make wise choices.  And usually when he is butting up against you, he has a reason.  Ask.  His logic may not be sound to you, but it is to him.  He is choosing something because, from his perspective, what he is doing is more important than what you are asking him to do.  If he feels you understand his logic and you think he still needs to do something, he is more likely to listen to you.

If Sam has felt restricted for years, it may take a little time for him to come around...there will be a period of testing to see if this is for real or if this is just a trick.  Does he really get to choose, or is this some new kind of discipline a new therapist has suggested that will soon go away with the new therapist and the new suggestions?  He wants to see that you mean what you say and that you don't say it unless you mean it.

Give them the opportunity to make good choices and help them see the consequences.  It will not be the end of fits today.  But you will see the fits diminish and become less severe when they happen.  I have found the fits come more often when they feel they have no choices in their own lives.  Give them choices and watch what they do with them.  They are fierce about their right to choose for themselves.  Guide them, don't crush them.  Give them the sight you have from living years longer in this state than they have, and let them choose.  Remember today's consequences are far more preferable to the consequences of adulthood.  Recognize their ability to reason and choose and respect their right to make choices.  They will learn much faster, I promise.  And they will learn to choose well as time goes on.  You're job is to help them see the choices they are making, not to make the choices for them.  



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dyslexic and Loving It!

My cousin asked a question, for curiosities sake, about what it is like to have dyslexia.  I thought I would copy and paste my answer here, since dyslexia almost always accompanies the spectrum gifts.

Your eyes, upon first glance, can't tell the difference between mirror letters (such as b,d).  When reading, your eyes will easily pick up letters or words from other areas and put them in the sentence you're reading...which is why reading glasses often help those who have dyslexia, they magnify it, which lessens the chances of putting things in that don't belong.  Reading with a blank paper or the blank side of a ruler covering the other words helps as well. 

Basically it's confusing because your brain doesn't know you're mixing things up when you're too little to comprehend sentence structure and meaning.  Then when you are old enough to understand things and you read aloud (like morning scriptures in my house) you realize that your verses always sound different and you keep getting corrected and you're not exactly sure why.... :)  It's confusing.  I read would read exactly what my eyes saw, get corrected, read it again and it would be different.  I think that helped me develop the idea that if I read a book I didn't like enough times, the ending might change.  ;)

Then you figure it out, or a doctor figures it out and then you retrain your eyes to start over again and try desperately hard to remember that you need to look twice to make certain that "b" you see is really a b and not a d.  And when reading aloud you take extra care to follow the one line at a time.  And when writing, you try really hard to keep the letters straight in a line, instead of writing them all over the place because that's how your brain picks them up.  You know.  Basically you have to THINK when everyone else can just do.  That's all.  :) 

But the good part is, it's great training to live a life of intention and purpose.  Most people don't live life consciously because they are used to just doing and it is hard work to live a life of intention.  But when EVERYTHING takes intention to do properly, you learn that it's just normal to think all day long.  And once you've retrained yourself on one thing, you have also developed the habit of being consciously aware of every moment of your day.  It is hard to stop.  SO you focus on something else.  I suppose that makes the disability, for those who overcome it, more of a super-ability developer.  :)  Yay us!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kaylene's "Ta Da!" List

I have a dear friend named Kaylene.  She and I met years ago, when she was first married.  We lived about 3 duplexes down from each other and a wonderful friendship grew in our little homes.  Over the years we have kept in touch as I move around the country.  She is probably one of the few people who actually have had every one of my addresses and phone numbers written down (outside of my Father and siblings, of course).

I distinctly remember, after about my third move, she told me she was going to start writing my address and number in pencil because they always changed in six months or so.  We both still laugh at that.  Sometimes our contact only happens when I move and I'm calling to give her my new info.  Other times we talk a couple of times a month and still other times we will talk a couple of days a week.  It just depends on life and where we are.

But this is one of those friendships that you know, no matter what or why, when the phone rings and it is Kaylene on the other side, I am always delighted to hear from her.  This was the case not long ago.  I think I called her - I don't rightly remember.  We've both called each other over the last month or so and I forget which call this particular conversation came from.  But I suppose that doesn't matter.

We were talking, that's what matters.  :)  ANYHOW.  Kaylene is a wonderful mother of, what I may safely describe now as, a brood of children.  And I adore her for it.  She is real and honest and works hard and has bad days and sometimes falls short of what she hopes for the day and is hard on herself and.....well.  She's like the rest of you - a good parent who works much harder than is fair and is rewarded much less than she deserves.

So when she told me about her new way of keeping her list, I had to borrow it.  I love the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment it allows this very hard-working mom to enjoy without guilt.

Here is her marvelous answer to a mother's never ending list of things to do.

She told me about how frustrated she was with her list.  There was always more to accomplish on it than she could get done in a single day and it never left her time for any sort of break or down time.  When she did take time to relax, she always felt the guilt and pressure of her list weighing down on her and what should have been a time of recuperation became a time of judgement and condemnation.  So she decided to do her list differently.

Now, when she begins her day, her paper is blank.  As she works, she writes what she has accomplished.  When she reaches ten things, it is then time for her to enjoy some leisure time.  She has accomplished all ten things on her list and thus can enjoy her relaxation without guilt or pressure.  Genius, isn't it?!  She calls it her "Ta Da!" list.  I think it is marvelous.  So much so, that I wanted to share it with all of you.  For certainly no family or parents work harder than those who have full-time care of a special needs child.

So get a little pocket sized notebook.  Number your ten things, and then write down your list as you have accomplished it.  The interesting thing that both Kaylene and I have discovered is that we are both so excited to write something down on our list that we get to work much sooner and with much more gusto.  Because the list is one of accomplishment and has a reward at the end of it, it is a positive experience that makes me feel better about myself rather than condemning me.  I used to feel like a worthless wretch when, after working hard all day, my list still had things that were needing to be accomplished and were added to tomorrow's list....it was exhausting, draining, frustrating, and depressing.  NOW?  I feel so great about myself and usually cycle through my list twice in a day.  I accomplish my ten things.  I take some time to do whatever, and then I feel so energized, I go and accomplish ten more things and then relax through the evening.

You will find that you accomplish more throughout your day, enjoy your downtime more, and feel better about yourself.  It is lovely.  Go ahead.  Give yourself permission to enjoy those breaks you so richly deserve.  THANK YOU Kaylene...I know I enjoy my breaks so much more and I no longer feel guilty in doing so.  *singing*  "TA DA!" 



Now, in Kaylene's words:
MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD: I was going to announce my brilliant idea to all my FB friends but Tara beat me to it.  :)  I finally go tired of being defeated by the "TO DO" list and decided to change my approach.  I now have a "TA DA!" list.  This list doesn't have any items left at the end of the day to feel guilty about.  With so many children I found that I could NEVER get everything on my "to do" list completed so I quit making one.  Now I make a list of my accomplished tasks each day.  These can be simple or monumental (taking the trash out counts but so does cleaning the oven).
I should add... the length of each Ta-Da! list should vary by situation.  A working mom shouldn't try to get 10 items done when she gets home from work and a mom that has all her children in school may be able to get many more than ten items in a day.  Just do what's realistic for each person.  That way the list doesn't become a burden.
Once I complete ten things I get to have ME time.  I can read, scrapbook, watch a movie, go shopping (if I want to take three kids along) or do whatever.  The great thing is that is GUILT FREE time.  I can relax and not think about the items on my "to do" list that aren't done.  I find that at the end of the day I feel happy and successful instead of discouraged.  Another bonus is that my house is cleaner. I've discovered that most of the clutter came from little things like mail that needed to be sorted or a stack of items that needed to be taken downstairs.  Now I don't put those things off because often they take five minutes or less and I get to write something on my list.  My phone calls get made and clothing mended with regularity because it gets me to my free time faster.  Brilliant huh?  AND I feel great.  So go start your “TA DA!” list.  Give yourself credit for all those things you DO and stop torturing yourself with never-get-done-lists.  HAPPY DAY!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rockin' The Boat

As a young girl I had a few opportunities to go out on the lake in a rowboat.  Each time, getting in and out of the boat, I'd be so nervous and fidget that the boat would rock and I'd lose my balance all the more.  I never actually tipped the boat over, but I rocked it enough that it became something I was used to.  Well, here we go again.  It's time for a little boat rockin'.

This last week I have experienced quite a shift internally.  There is a particular way of thinking that, while I accepted it on the surface, I eschewed it internally.  It was the thought that Autism isn't real.  Okay.  Now.  Before you get as huffy as I did when I heard this, please bear with me.  There are definitions that need to be explained and understood.

I have a particular friend who told me that I am presenting a paradox to you with each post.  On one hand I say that Autism isn't what you think it is (see link).   On the other hand I tell you that there are issues and problems unique to the world of Autism that need to be addressed.  One post will tell you to see them not as Autistic, but as just having a different struggle than yourself.  Another post will tell you to embrace the Autism in them and grow from that point.

To my friend all of these things seem opposing viewpoints.  Our friendship has gone through a very stressful time because of it.  There was one day, a couple of months ago, where a heated discussion ensued.  From my end I felt like my life's work was being invalidated by someone close to me.  From her end I was minimizing my work to be something much smaller than it is.  It took me a few months to understand her but I do believe now that I understand her clearly.

I am going to quote for you the conversation we had the other evening (yes, I have her permission to do so).  Thankfully it was had over chat, so I have an exact recounting of the conversation.  I have added some emphasis to a couple of things, and pulled out a couple of highly personal exchanges (I say highly personal, because really the entire thing is very personal), but other than that this is verbatim.  It is still very personal and I hope you will treat it with the respect such an open and candid sharing deserves.

My Friend:  I read your blog post about last night. How are you feeling about the whole thing now?
  I have several thoughts about it.... 
8:13 PM me: I'm okay.I'd love to hear what thoughts you have. 

My friend: I really feel like you need to make a real distinction in your mind about autism. You rally that autistic people are just as capable as neurotypical (the worst label in the world, I think), but then go back to all the limitations that autistic people are held back by.
8:25 PM Just like you said in your post about treating a child according to their cognitive level instead of their age level, isn't that what should be done by you too? By not treating them as wounded or held back? And their parents too. Yes, they're looking for answers. They're looking for answers they never would have thought to look for because of these unforseen experiences that have broadened their minds that there might be other possibilities to life beyond what they ever imagined.
 I was just wondering if I was reading your posts wrong or if there really is a big disconnect there.
 me: I'm really confused by what your saying. Either I'm missing something or I'm not ready to hear it...not sure which. I don't see where I'm doing what you're saying. I use the lingo because it helps people understand what I'm talking about. It is easier to say Autistic and NT than to say a child whose cognitive function on x,y, and z levels is much younger than his physical age or a child whose physical age and cognitive functions match. Honestly, I think the cognitive age and physical age is all silliness too. We progress where we progress when we progress there. The only thing that encourages that progression is support, love, acceptance, understanding. When we have those then progression happens quickly. When one or all of those are lacking then progression happens much more slowly...for anyone on any level.
8:31 PM I guess what I'm doing goes back to D&C 50...the Lord says that He is working with the people on their level. He uses their terms and their definitions so that they can understand and progress. Eventually we will get to His level and then there will be the real view of things. But until we are ready to understand from that view, He helps us understand from where we are.

7 minutes
8:38 PM My friend: Then why honor the labels and distinctions by using them? Why not create your own frame of reference? There's a difference of relating things to principles people understand and defining your work by others' principles. I agree... you have to start where people are (isn't that what we were just saying about cognitive levels??), but that doesn't mean that you take out pieces of truth to adjust what you're saying. You just start the truth smaller.

I really feel like it needs to be established that there is NOTHING developmentally wrong with kids diagnosed with autism. Yes, they understand life through a different language (JUST LIKE WE ALL DO, only there's been established this ONE way of doing things and those that can't comply are told there's something wrong with them; what if we lived in a world where it was thought normal to think and communicate with your heart and those of us who didn't naturally speak that language were thought to be dysfunctional???), it's true, but where in that quest to help parents and children understand one another does there need to be this emotional distinction of "You're different, so I will learn your language so we can exist more easily within the "normal" realm of things. Isn't all of this ABOUT dashing "Normalcy" to pieces and empowering everyone to broaden and create new, beautiful things?
8:40 PM And, yeah, most parents are going to seek out a "normal" life with their new-found freedom and empowerment. That's a step up for them, to be able to believe that they can live the life they've always dreamed of, a life of belonging where they don't feel different every second. But then they'll experience that and get bored and not have a framework outside of how to manage the autistic imbalance in their lives with which to move on from having achieved normalcy. 
8:44 PM me: I love you. Thank you. I think sometimes it is easy for me to forget the goal when I am bogged down in the mire so much. I get on a tangent and forget where I was headed.

I wonder, then, how best to begin this view.  It is bold and truth, sure.   But it is also something that I don't know how to put into words yet.  I see it.  I want to share it, but I keep getting stuck in the moment of something and then I forget what it was I originally wanted to say.  Or I let my own emotions pull me for a moment and then I get lost.

I need a splash of your words often I think.  I wish I could keep the picture as clear as you do.  Or maybe I don't want to keep it that clear because of some purpose it is serving me by being this way.  What that purpose is, I've no idea yet.  But that will come as I ask, I'm sure.
 
8:47 PM My friend: I don't know what, if anything, is holding you back... but I can't believe you understood what I was trying to say and agree with me. I've been trying to say this for months. 
8:48 PM me: I guess I wasn't ready to accept it yet. But I am now.


Starting today, I am going to throw out all terms created by science.  Because, in my experience, there are really only two kinds of people and each kind has two ways of acting.  There are people who understand life with their hearts and there are people understand life with their heads.  Neither one is better than the other...both are essential to the progression of mankind.  Both have roles to fill that cannot be filled by the other.  Within each way of thinking are those who are open and those who are closed and they exist on a myriad of levels of being open or closed.  Those who lead with their head but are trying to lead with their hearts instead, or vice versa, are most closed.

Now, we all need to have both voices working within us.  No one should be all head or all heart.  The goal is to find that balance where both heart and head have a say, but the one that is dominant within each of us should have the instinctual voice.  What I'm trying to say is that if I lead with my head, I will find that my intuition is based in logic.  If I lead with my heart, then I will find that my intuition is based in feeling.

The key to understanding any person is opening ourselves up to our intuitive voice and allowing that voice to have a say in our decisions.  When I am working with people....and yes, it's just people - according to the definitions of science I work with any level of the spectrum, including those who are not on it - there is no distinction in my heart....so, when I am working with people, I have two reactions.  My brain kicks in and starts to analyze everything and think and sort through past cases and current cases...trying to find where to start.  My heart, however, just knows.  If I let my heart lead, I instantly know what to do and how to do it.  And then later, after the work is decided, my brain catches up and not only sees the logic in it, but agrees completely with my heart.  It's a matter of letting my strongest part lead rather than my weakest part.

So this is the start of telling things as I really see them.  Each of you has intuition that is meant to help you navigate through every experience of your life.  No matter the experience.  Whether it is within your home or within your community or a reaction to world happenings.  Once you find that voice of intuition within you, if you will encourage and strengthen it, you will find life much easier to navigate.

This is what I do.  This is how I help.  I teach parents to hear their intuitive self and then they know, instinctively, what to do for their children.  If they listen to that voice, they find themselves able to know how to help those around them progress.  There is no spectrum.  Or we are ALL on the spectrum (see link).  Take your pick.  But that is the truth.  All of us are progressing in our own way, at our own rate, in our own direction.  What is wonderful about many of these children is that they are so very in tune with their intuition that it overrides all other cognitive functions.  If you will get in touch with your intuition, you will know what it is that they are reacting to.  You will know how to help them and what to do to encourage them to embrace both worlds they live in...the physical world that you can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.  And the spiritual, ethereal, energy-based world that is sensed by heart and/or mind connecting to things that are not known by the 5 senses.

Embrace your intuitive self.  Each of you has it.  Each of you was bestowed with this gift at birth.  In one order of thought it is called your Higher Self, in another it is the Eternal Within, in another the Light of Christ, or a million other terms.  But ALL spiritual and religious schools of thought agree that it does exist, and it does exist in every one of us.  So search it out.  Embrace it.  Liberate that voice and trust the instincts which come.

When you embrace this part of yourself, you are not only embracing who will help your child the most, but you are embracing who you are meant to be.  You are telling God, the Universe, the Energy Source, the Karmic Transference....you are saying, "HERE I AM!"  By embracing who I am, I become my best self and give others around me the courage to do the same.  I become who I am best suited to be - whatever form of physical expression it takes on really doesn't matter.  This is the world we will create.  A world that is based in each person embracing their best selves and letting that light shine.  These precious people who come to us so very different can either be put into a box and told they have a disease, a problem that makes them different.  Or they can be given the chance to be great as they are and to be seen for the magnificent, perfect beings they are.  In accepting them, we learn to accept ourselves.

Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  If you watched a person trying to force a fish to climb a tree, would you question the intelligence of the fish or the person holding it?   An Autism diagnosis is not a list of things that are wrong with a person that we take them to therapy to cure.  It is a list of things that tells a fish it ought to be a monkey.  It is a box that shames those of us who would swim instead of climb. 

Can you imagine the glory you have within you?  And the glory you are surrounded by?  What would this earth and it's many societies become if each of us simply found our true voice and let it sing?  I promise to you today, to do just that.  Won't you join me?