Archive for May, 2010

social integration

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

People with disabilities often experience feelings of isolation, loneliness and feel disconnected from society.  Many are also prone to low self-esteem and depression. Social integration is a concept where devalued members of society are integrated into their community where identities and friendships are formed.  There are three elements such as the creation of valued roles, participating in meaningful activities and developing long lasting relationships.  Being integrated into their community gives a person with disabilities a sense of purpose and identity.  It also improves their self-esteem and their quality of life.  We all identify with different elements of society, some more then others.  The first one is community where we have psychological and support attachments.  We feel secure and rooted while creating our identity.  Another one is geography which is our town and neighborhood.  The third one is social networks which are the people in our lives.  The last one is association, meaning the activities we participate in.  we as a society still have a lot of work to be done in removing the stigma while promoting disability awareness.  A disability is secondary to the actual person who is unique in every way.  They also have the same rights as every one else to live independently in society.

living in the moment

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I am always thinking of my own positive affirmations to help me deal with every day stress, staying focused and center. One of my favorites is I can not control natural occurrences I can only live one day at a time and they are all good.  Living in the moment means being aware of your senses and surroundings.  The concept is to allow you not dwell on the past or worry about the future.  When we are in the present we can focus on the task at hand and enjoy the process. There are many benefits of living in the moment. Such as being more intoned with your surroundings, thoughts and feelings. You will also find your self connecting with others on a deeper level. An individual ill also feel more gratitude, and enjoying life. They will find themselves being more focus, peaceful and alive. While feeling less fearful and anxious in they’re every day life. There are several tips to help in living in the moment for example take time every day to take in your surroundings while feeling and engaging in what is happening.  Be aware of sounds, sights, smells, taste and the ambiance. It is also important to learn how to focus the mind while practicing relaxation techniques and listen very closely to what is happening around you. There are several activities that can help create the living in the moment mind frame.  One being exercising the mind and body with meditation and yoga. Doing creative activities like writing, sketching and gardening can be very enjoyable. Taking a vacation or break can be a great for recharging your batteries. More importantly always try to look at the funny side of life because laughter is the best medicine. Always remember the past is history the future is a mystery the only time we have is now just the moment

check out my column at http://www.masslive.com/metrowestplus/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-4/127416728535920.xml&coll=1


Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

There was one time back in the day when people with disabilities were kept isolated from the rest of society such as being put into institutions.  In 1969, Niels Bank-Mikkelson and Bengt Nirge formed a sociology and psychology theory in Scandinavia.  They theorized that normalization is the acceptance of people with disabilities to have the same opportunities as everyone else.  At first the theory was applied to people with mental retardation but today it includes all people with disabilities.

Advocates have taken the position that the word “normalization” applies to the environment rather than a specific person or disability.  The idea is to focus on including everybody with disabilities rather than what “normal” means.  Everybody’s “normal” is different since we are all unique individual with unique needs.

The principle of normalization is that people with disabilities have the right to have their own freedom and to make their own decisions in their life.  Everybody, including people with disabilities have the right to equal employment and an education.  They also should have the same access to recreational activities along with the right to expand their horizons read my column about a man with Cerebral Palsy http://www.masslive.com/neighborhoodsplus/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1273562497267320.xml&coll=1

yoga activist

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Many people see yoga as a way to be more flexible, distress themselves and to exercise the mind and body.  Yoga can also help us focus our minds to what is important to us and make us aware of ourselves.  Many people like myself practice karma yoga, which is the practice of selfless action.  This is also referred to as yoga activism, which is when individuals take their yoga practice off of the mat into their daily lives

Within yoga activism, there are some key values to guide you through your adventure in life.  One example is love and showing to others and yourself.  Another one is learning how to forgive yourself and others.  The goal is to learn how to live and move on from the past with love and forgiveness.  The third value is to always have faith in yourself, others and a higher power that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  The fourth one is to treat yourself and others equally and remember that we are all different and unique in our own ways.  It is also important to always be honest with yourself and others.  Finally, it is the practice of helping others through volunteer work, because nothing is more valued than the feeling of helping somebody else.

With these values, yoga activism can be fulfilled with the following straggles, such as meditating to bring your mind to focus on what is important to you and how you want to help others.  Another method is to be creative in how you want to achieve your purpose and goals.  It is important to know your purpose, set your goals with an action plan and always dream beyond horizons.

My yoga practice has helped me determine that my passion in life is to help and inspire people with disabilities while educating people on disability related issues.  Every day I achieve my purpose through writing my column, working on book projects on disability issues and volunteering with different disability organizations.  My dream is to become a stronger disability advocate and reach more readers with my words.  I am proud to be a columnist, a writer, a disability advocate and a yoga activist with the sole purpose of representing and working for people with disabilities.

Please read my column about one of my favorite causes