Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

To me Christmas is about being with loved ones and celebrating life. There are many ways to show love and joy. The idea is to be creative which is my favorite thing to do. Some things I like to do as gifts are sending Christmas cards and baking cookies. Home made gifts are fun to do such as painting a picture, doing a sewing project and making a scrap book. These are truly gifts from the heart. Another way to give is volunteering your time to help others like serving food in a soup kitchen to donating food, clothing and toys to charity so everyone can have a happy holiday.  So during this holiday season  slow down and remember to keep the love and joy alive.  I wish everyone a safe merry Christmas.

A column I wrote for the republican

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Every once in a while, I come across an inspiring story, but this one was especially inspiring to me since it is about an individual who overcame a life altering event with the help of yoga.

At a young age, a tragic automobile accident changed the life of Matthew Sanford’s family forever.  The accident killed his father and sister while Matthew, his mother and brother survived.  Even though Matthew was paralyzed from the waist down, he managed to pull himself up and move forward with his life.  In his book, “Waking: A memoir of Trauma and Transcendence”, published in June 2006 talks about his long journey to recovery, while learning and adapting the mind and body connections to help change his life.

The mind and body connection refers to the bond between physical and mental health.  This bond is very powerful and strong that must be kept at a healthy, even balance.  If one is unbalanced, the other will also be unbalanced.  This can cause ailments, stress and depression.  Yoga is an excellent tool in keeping a good balance because it works both sides while teaching us how to keep an even balance.  Today Matthew Sanford is dedicating his life to teaching the importance of the mind and body connection.  In 2001, he founded Mind and Body Solutions, where he helps individuals integrate their minds and bodies through yoga.  The organization operates a yoga studio in Minnesota and does public presentations on taking care of your mind and body.  They are known as the national leader in the practice of adapting yoga for people with disabilities.  Their message is that trauma and loss can be transformed into hope and potential.

Matthew is an example of someone with a physical disability who is using the experience to help and inspire others to any negative into a positive.  Like myself, Matthew sees his disability as a characteristic that is a part of himself, rather than a barrier in life

Connections are important

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Speaking from my own personal experiences it can be very difficult to make connections with others due to stigmas and misconceptions about people with disabilities.  One example is when individuals are only judging the disability rather than the person.  This can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and rejection for many.  Social interaction is a big part of everyday life, which allows us to feel like we are part of a community, experiencing new things while fostering our talents and interests.  Also, by encouraging and building relationships we are working to rid society of the stigma that people with disabilities face every day.  We can overcome this hurdle with education and showing that we should look at the person first before seeing the disability.  Nothing is more positive then doing something you love and which makes you happy.  Positive passion is what drives us to succeed. Always keep trying new experiences to find our niche and keep life exciting.  I believe in forging ahead because there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome.  In my own life I have found that a real friend is one who sees me rather than my disability.  From my perspective, I see each person as a unique individual who is worthy of friends.  I have made wonderful connections through family, the Internet, my daily life and volunteering.  We are all worthy of having opportunities, experiences and living our best life.