Angling for Motivation
Being on bed rest, for me, has been frustrating over these last couple of months. You see, I’m typically a very active and independent life coach on wheels. I’ve been a paraplegic all my life. I’ve had plenty of time to learn to adapt without the use of my legs. However, a temporary setback occurred with pressure sores on my upper legs and my left heel. My wheelchair cushion and the way I was sitting is where the problems began and continue. I’ve changed the wheelchair cushion to be more supportive, but until my wounds heal, I am limited to bed most of the day. Now, I must adapt to being on bed rest, tossing and turning to alleviate too much pressure in one spot. I hope another lesson in adaptability is something I can bring to the table for my clients and you readers as well.
I’m enduring the monotony of periodic turning in bed to relieve pressure, long days of rest while on antibiotics to fight infections as they ebb and flow from my body. As I do this, I blog, connect with contacts by phone and internet and build my business acumen. No grass is growing under this life coaches wheels or rear. Yes, I occasionally sneak out a little while for fresh air with my husband’s help, but most of the day I am in bed, legs outstretched and raised above my heart to promote better circulation. I’m on endless fluids, healthy food and supplements to keep the systems well-tuned. And, even on bed rest, I exercise my upper body to keep me limber.
Thoughts of amputation of my left foot sometimes creep in as I see little improvement in my left heel. I refuse to allow it to happen, but if it does I know that the sum of who I am is not tied in how many limbs are attached to my body or how well the limbs I do have work. I am who I am regardless the number of appendages I have. I’m still a wife, friend, life coach, speaker, blogger, writer, and motivator.
A starfish is still a starfish even when one of its legs is cut off. Granted its appendages have the power to grow back, but we have the power to grow other things from the inside when something from the outside is taken. In the absence of one physical appendage, I know the extension of my intelligence, attitude and the impact I make on others, continues to have a ripple effect for each person in whom I instill a little more self confidence and power through my friendship, coaching, speaking and writing. Those are just a few of the hooks from which I reach the people who need my example and experience most in order to refocus their perspective on self.
I’m reminded of my father-in-law who is spending his golden years of retirement after many years climbing power poles for DukeEnergy going on periodic fishing trips. He’s no longer limited by the power lines stretched across the neighborhood horizon, but freed up by the fishing lines he tosses in the water. And yet, I see that going fishing, sitting in a boat relaxing, is just as electric and powerful experience for him as keeping on the power along the length of a neighborhood street, but in a different way. There are no midnight calls, no neighborhood dogs chasing him. He’s the one chasing the quiet on a stream or lake with a line and a wish to catch “the next big one”.
Then, I’m reminded of master bass angler fisherman Clay Dyer from a video a friend sent to my via YouTube. You see, Clay was born with no legs, no left arm and only part of a right arm, yet he’s fishing the FLW professional bass tournaments and making a living doing it. There are no metaphorical hands out begging for more out of life, he’s grasping and shaping it for himself, as it should be. Never mind the obstacles you might see from the outside. Clay does what he does for the sheer passion–as I do and my father-in-law does. None of us is hyper aware of any bodily limitations, or of time.
Clay and I still have some amount bodily function and we use what we have, just as one might on a fixed income. We use the resources we are given and create new resources where there once was none. We are not wired to give up. None of us is. Did you realize that? It’s no special power to not give up. Giving up is a choice, not a natural instinct. If giving up was natural, the fish Clay and my father-in-law catch would simply go limp once caught. They wouldn’t fight against the line and the hook.
In a video of Clay Dyer found on YouTube http://tinyurl.com/cdg822 Clay reminds us, “Remember to focus on the resources you have versus the resources you’re missing.” You have a mind and heart to figure out how to focus on the resources you have. Clay ties his own lure, baits his own hooks, all without fingers or toes. He has drawn a little blood using his mouth to make up for what lacks in hands and fingers to tie lines and lures, but he has the dedication and perseverance, as we all do, if we’ll just fish for it. Clay may taste a tiny bit of blood as he prepares lures and hooks, but that outweighs his taste for the love of fishing, his taste for survival and victory over any obstacles. It’s nature’s way if we pay attention to it.
The next time you feel fear or something negative, what was that feeling just before it? Did that tiny voice say, “I can handle this!” or “I will survive!”? Stop. Listen inside yourself. You might be surprised what you hear floating in that sea of affirmation that’s already ebbing and flowing inside you.
You are no different than me or Clay or some other source of motivation. Be still, listen and let it wash over you. Hook on to it and ride it with all your might. The storms of negativity and doubt will pass and you will be left with the strength inside you to be the best you can be. Catch that fish and don’t let it go.
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