Advice From Stephen Hawking

Advice I believe is great for everyone, regardless of circumstances…

As someone who has the honor to work with children and adults with disabilities, I can safely say I have never found a more motivational set of individuals. In spite of sometimes substantial adversity, I watch them not only push their limitations, but sometimes also overcome them entirely. I believe it is absolutely crucial to focus on the positive – the unique talents, interests, and abilities of each individual – and to downplay the weaknesses.

Now, that’s not to say we can’t recognize areas that need improvement – whether for ourselves or another individual, we need to know what in our lives and development needs some TLC (or flat-out hard work!) However, making a point to emphasize our abilities is a surefire way to keep us in the most positive head space possible. When facing some of life’s challenges, a great attitude will make all the difference. 

The other day at a volunteer session, a mother was inquiring about activities for her daughter, including Martial Arts – beyond autism, her child has been through surgeries to correct club foot and other impairments to the feet and lower extremities. The doctor was trying to steer her clear of many activities and yet…here was this young lady actually running around. I spoke to the mother, making clear I have no medical background (but a lifetime’s worth as an athlete), and explained that sports can be modified. So long as we have the proper instructor who is aware of our challenges, there is no reason that many more sports could be available to her than suggested.

For example, this young lady was able to participate in ballet to some degree. I watched her not only walk briskly in our gymnasium, but also run at times, further confirming that she has a great deal more ability that it appears she is (externally) being credit for. I encouraged the mother to look into specific Marital Art programs, and to not be discouraged by the “can’t do”s. As Stephen Hawking alludes to, to handicap ourselves mentally can be incredibly damaging – we needn’t add to our own, or another’s physical difficulties.

The truth of it is, we all have strengths, weaknesses, injuries and physical limitations. In the majority of cases, we all have some mental challenges as well – low self-esteem, insecurity, self-doubt to name a few. To focus on what IS possible, and what we ARE able to do can make a massive difference in the quality of our lives overall, as well as contribute to our success in our activities, careers, and relationships.

I will ever and always be in full support of “focusing on the positive.”  It isn’t about being idealistic, but recognizing that what we focus on can literally alter the course of our lives – what we dwell on becomes our reality and all we see.

Focusing on our strengths not only helps us to weather the working-on-our-weaknesses better, but also the ups and downs of life. It gives us the strength and courage to carry forward, to makes strides in spite of anxiety or fear, and to find happiness, fulfillment and success in spite of tipped scales. The sky is the limit when we have the right attitude. Period.

Weekend Lunch

Right before moving, my hunnie and I had a chance to get together with all the parents (always a treat – they are all amazing! ❤ ) We went out to dinner together, which was a ball, but he and I had a chance to get some lunch together earlier.  It was a gorgeous day…still quite warm, but Fall was undoubtedly present, trailing on the end-of-summer breeze.

We sat outside and ordered some unsweetened iced tea – I’ve recently decided I am steering clear of Splenda (sucralose) and the like, as I *may* have intolerance.  (PS, that’s rather a topic all its own.  Alarming, some of what I was reading!)

I feel like whatever I order is simple – fortunately this waitress agreed!  Most of the time I can order healthily and people are accommodating – it is SO much more commonplace these days to be asked to “modify” a meal, whether because people are more health conscious, have allergies etc…  But in the end, a simple meal without the extra butter, oil or paraphernalia IS easy to prepare.  So modify away!

I asked for “a usual” for me, baby spinach, tomatoes and grilled chicken.  That’s it.  Nothing else!  It sounds sp plain but when you add salt and pepper and chip it up a bit, the moisture from the baby spinach helps it all mix in.  It’s delicious, and incredibly good for you.  It’s also filling because of the protein, so I’m not starving in two seconds. 

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I’m looking at it now, somewhat hungrily, actually!  I used to eat a lot of lettuce, but baby spinach, or really deep greens, pack so much more of a nutritional punch that it’s worth at least mixing some in if you don’t want to go ALL in.