Friday, November 11, 2016

The Severity of One's Disabilities Does Not Determine Potential

“The severity of one’s disability does not determine their level of potential. The greatest barriers that persons with disabilities have to overcome are not steps or curbs, it’s expectations.” Karen Clay

A premier case in point of a person not allowing physical disabilities or hurdles to get in his way is Stephen William Hawking. Stephen suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s disease. It is debilitating and doctors did not expect Hawking to live a full life. They predicted he would live only two and a half years. These two and a half years were not expected to be fruitful as it was predicted that his level of disability would be too vast to overcome. Stephen William Hawking did not set his expectations too high; rather he kept proceeding with one foot after the other. He never allowed himself to be sidetracked by what his own personal limitations were. I often think of him whenever a feat seems as though it may be too large for me to accomplish. Stephen Hawking never allowed himself to stop attempting to be as functional as he could possibly be despite any physical hardship that he was faced to endure. His physical faculties were stripped of him one by one over the years. There was an incredibly inspiring autobiography released based on his heroic life. As a disabled citizen I am enamored at how “normally” he has been able to life his life despite his progressively worsening state. People know of Stephen Hawking because of the intellectual strides that he has been able to make. He has been able to make groundbreaking discoveries despite all of the things that he has going against him. Jane Wilde and Hawking eventually divorced but they stayed close for their children. I am more impressed how Stephen always intellectually furthered himself and did not allow himself to be sidetracked by his incredibly daunting physical ailments. I think that people come along who represent a cause bigger than themselves. The awareness and advocacy that Stephen Hawking represents is incredible for the ALS community. Just by being who he is Stephen Hawking represents a sentiment of courage and perseverance. I hope that I can represent a small portion of what he represents to people. He has a true celebrity status at this point for the feats that he has tackled. He represents an incredible example of what can be accomplished when a person does not allow his/ her disability to determine how much they are able to achieve in life. I thank you very much for reading and I hope that my words can serve as some encouragement for each one of you as you keep moving forward. I welcome any thoughts that you may have.

~Noelle

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Seek to Inspire

“Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death, but to inspire yourself to life.” Adele Brookman

This Halloween I encourage all to try and stay in the moment. All too often we allow ourselves to get consumed with our anxieties of looking too far ahead. Very often I find myself tempted to worry about the future. Halloween has arrived and I am trying to focus upon what is important and necessary. This day of festivities is about the children more than anything else. The children put on costumes and they try and frighten each other and go out amongst the neighborhood and ask for candy. The holiday can be about joy and it needs to be about enjoyment more than anything else. There is always a bit of a draw to look deep into our own issues and overanalyze too deeply into insignificant holiday occurrences. Like everything else I have found that I am getting better with practice. I now thoroughly enjoy going to watch my nephew and goddaughter go to play their weekly soccer games. I get enjoyment out of watching them enjoy the games. This enjoyment came with time for I had difficulty separating myself away from the field at first. It was quite an effort at first to not allow myself to compare the children’s enjoyment to my current physical stature. It took some effort but I now realize that the enjoyment of the children is what comes first at this point in my life. Even though I do not have children of my own, my brother’s children are who are closest to me and they are the children who I identify with the most at this point in my life. I adore my brother’s children and I have witnessed myself improve as I have grown into being a better aunt. This Halloween my brother’s kids will go out with their cousins in a quiet neighborhood. My neighborhood has many children but they are not the cousins of my niece and nephew. I am sure that there will be many masks of both of the presidential candidates as this is an election year. It should be rather humorous to see the various costumes. I always love the dog costumes that people sometimes do alongside their costumes. I challenge everyone to have a joyous Halloween and to use the holiday as a further opportunity to inspire yourself. Everyone has the right to celebrate the various different holidays for what they are. Inspiration can be found in many different ways I challenge you to always look through a lens that will absorb all of the inspiration that life has to offer. I would love to know what everyone is being for Halloween. I hope that you enjoy your day and I welcome any responses that you may have. I thank you very much for reading.

~Noelle