This being football season and the rush of football is literally in the air with every chill breeze and blowing leaf, you can almost feel the cold steel of the bleacher beneath your tush, I thought it was appropriate to share a story of my motivation. Believe it or not, it involves football, which if you know me, and I won't apologize for it, I know NOTHING about football. GASP! My sisters make fun of me because I once could not answer whether the 50 yard line was in the middle or at the ends. Again, I make no apology, though now I know I may not be invited to a superbowl party ever again.
But what I learned from a football player, still stands as a peak of my existence. I didn't understand it at the time, I had only heard the story after my own health challenges where it was not known if I was going to walk again, or be without pain again, or live a "normal" life again, I didn't know and would never have dreamed that I had anything in common with the #1 football star, Jerry Rice. People are paid millions to analyze why people are successful, to learn what traits, exactly, made them successful., and I tell you what, after getting through this tough experience, I learned a few things about myself and I'll save you a bunch of money. I heard about Jerry Rice and there is something we do have in common, though used in different life experiences. There is one paramount item of importance that people who beat the odds and successfully navigate the most horrendous challenges, seeming to be miracles in the making, have in common.
In EVERY part of our lives, you have the power to take control of the very essence of WHO you are. And this simple ambition CHANGES EVERYTHING!
I fully believe that a good majority of the time that people would come see me at the clinic with their physical concerns or ailments is not so much that they wanted to know what was wrong with them as they wanted to find out WHAT THEY DON'T HAVE. I don't mean what illness they don't have, I mean what it is that is keeping them from loving their life. Why they have ended up sick, feeling poorly, living poorly, in relationships and jobs that hurt rather than help, why others have what they don't have. And they want to know how I beat the odds. How I healed from the "un-healable", from the challenging, from the impossible. I believe it is because they believe that if they see a walking miracle for someone random, it can happen again to someone random like them. And it's true! Until they start to believe that I am not someone random, that I must have been someone special, with unique gifts, with something they don't have. That is NOT true! I am as random as you. I am as unknown...until I take charge of my power, my very raw innate essence of who I am and what is inside me, not so deeply buried, and you have it too, simple misplaced for a time.
I'm going to give you my secret.
I DIDN'T have one. I didn't have a secret plan that I had tucked up my sleeve, so that when or if I got sick or injured or down on my luck I would be able to whip out. I didn't have any idea. I didn't plan for my own challenges and I didn't plan how I was going to get out of it and why I was going to be successful. I knew nothing about what I was going to experience when I lost my legs, or my first bout healing colitis 10 years ago, or handling burying my tiny sleeping baby Solomon. I didn't have a plan to maintain circulation in my legs so that wouldn't die off, or how I would walk again. It honestly had nothing to do with me at the time. I give that up to a higher power, all I knew was transformation was happening and it was happening for a reason. If I was going to go through it, then I was ready to learn. I was not going to waste the experience.
I DIDN'T have a secret, but now I do. I didn't know what I was doing at the time, or what God was doing with me, but now looking back, one of the very simple truths I want to share is this.....
It wasn't that I "didn't give up", "Kept a positive attitude", or "Fought the good fight".
It was that EVERY MOLECULE OF MY BEING exuded who I was. I was generous with my spirit displaying it's presence in my world. I demanded of myself to still be the best of myself. That doesn't mean I didn't give in. I DID give in. I cried HARD! I fought with God and whined and felt like giving up. I gave in to the experience and all I could learn from it, no matter how painful. I was not always this thoughtful and uplifted about it, but looking back I know this is the truth of why I survived. It's not because I didn't give up. It is because I WOULD NOT ACCEPT LESS THAN GREATNESS IN MYSELF.
No matter what I was going to experience, I was going to do it with ALL of me invested, with EVERY cell proclaiming who I am. And who I am was demonstrated in my attitude, my strength and how I carried myself, even though everyone was doing everything for me. It's not that I didn't cry, or whine, or act out. But I did it with all of me invested. I lived what was real for me. I honored the feelings I felt, but I WOULD NOT LET THEM DEFINE ME. I was not going down being defined as having nothing to give. And miraculously, I wrote and published two books during this time. When my legs failed I used crutches, and kept going to my clinic. When they failed completely, I used a wheelchair, and kept going to my clinic. When my arms were too weak and stiff and couldn't operate the wheelchair, I closed my clinic, worked from my couch on my computer, long distance with clients, and writing, and having appointments by phone. When the pain in my lower half crept into my upper half and my fingers couldn't move across the keyboard, I spoke into a voice recorder. When the steroid that was taking over and killing off my muscles took over my soft tissues as well and caused ulcerations in my mouth and throat, it hurt to speak and it about broke me as I thought I had nothing left to give. It was then that I realized ALL I had left to give was the very fact that I existed. And the only thing that could come from me, I gave. I vibrated to myself and into as far a space around me as I could the vibration of my aliveness, acknowledging that I was alive and showing that space who was there. It made me boss over my space. I would not let that encroach in upon me, or I would be swallowed up at last, and sometimes, in truth, I longed to give in to that. But guess what, I WASN'T dead, and as such, it was not an idea I COULD give in to. The ONLY idea I could go with was the fact that I was alive, and I vibrated that.
There is nothing miraculous about me, but what happened in my recovery was a miracle. Because I accessed the Greatness, the God in me, and in working with and accessing this source power, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Again, I did NOT know I was doing this at the time, but I know I did, and then was given the understanding, so that I could share it with YOU, so that the pain does not need to be repeated, we all need to live our GREATNESS, and then share the experiences.
The other day, I was reading over my son's shoulder as he was doing his schoolwork and a very wellknown principle caught my eye, but this time had new meaning. "One of the most important characteristics of ALL LIVING things is the ability to respond to their environment." And my eye was stuck on "living". I understood immediately with a depth of clarity that drew up to the head of a pin: I had understood I was still alive and I had understood, without being conscious of it, that I was alive and that as long as I was alive, I was going to "be" alive on MY terms and I wasn't going to apologize for it. I couldn't describe that to you at the time, but I can see it now. That is the single most reason I fought through every minute of that pain. If I was alive I still had something to give. I will not accept less of myself. I will not have it.
You can apply this in every part of your life. You can apply it in the illness you feel, the disease you are facing, the relationship you are suffering, the work you are forcing, the headache you are enduring. And here is one simple example how: You've seen those people that feel miserable. Or you, when you've had a massive headache you know how it goes. You hold your body hunched in over on itself, with a pout, if not visible on your face, certainly in your character. You are cranky and irate and irrational. You tell everyone who will listen. You walk sluggishly and hold in on your tears around yourself like a blanket. You carry yourself with pursed lips avoiding glances, just whisking through your day accomplishing. You don't engage, you pull in, hurt, angry, sensitive, in pain. You are walking and acting like prey, and you WILL get eaten. You are NOT taking charge of your life, using your predatory instincts to protect yourself, and to demand your life. and YOU alone can change this. Not your doctor, not the title of your diagnosis or how people treat you, or how you WANT them to pamper you, and not me.
Carry yourself, ALWAYS, with all the passion as the only advocate for your life. Carry yourself with pride that no matter WHAT you are facing, you are doing it as YOU, as the GREATNESS within you, as the best you can be and give AS LONG AS YOU ARE ALIVE. As long as you are alive, you can STILL, (and must be still or you wouldn't BE alive)give the greatness that is within you, because that greatness is the reason for your existence.
This, you can see, was nothing special about who I am, but the understanding deep within the core of me that I have something to offer, JUST for being the fact that I still existed. I was still alive! Even at the point of giving in, I LIVED my story with passion. It is what was happening in and around me, but I STILL wanted to be the greatness within me, whatever that may have been, for as long as that was going to matter. And it's not because I'm special now, or so enlightened, or have something you don't. It is because I had experiences. It is my story, and I'm using them. They were painful. They were painful to learn and I'm not throwing away how that changed me for anything, and you shouldn't either. We exist so we can be our greatness through every experience we endure, and then so that we can SHARE that wealth of knowledge to raise ALL of humanity. So I tell you all this to play my part. What more can I give you so that YOU, ALSO can give all of yourself?
Now back to how a backwards farm girl who believes there are TWO fifty yard lines( or is that right?) could have anything in common with a legend. I learned from Bo Reese (and you can look him up, he's a great educator. A retired football player, he coaches now on speaker training) who told a story about being on the same team as Jerry Rice, that even in football practice camp, when it is common to pull back so that you don't get injured before the season, Jerry Rice ALWAYS went above and beyond. Took that football and ran with it. Every time. I'm sure it made the others look bad, or question his sanity, or questioned possibly their own effort. But, now see, Jerry Rice has become the #1 player in the history of football. No one has rivaled his stats, and Bo Reese said that the next best player in line is 60 touchdowns behind Jerry Rice! Seems there was a reason for his madness. He made people deal with his reality, and I love that. When asked why he always goes so hard Jerry Rice said: "Because every time these hands touch a football, I end up in an end zone."
He knew what was in him to do, and he trained his body to act on it and he wouldn't apologize for who he was or how he was going to be that person. I love that. He would give nothing left of himself. I love that. He determined to be whatever Greatness he had any given moment and I love that.
"Because every time these hands touch a football, I end up in an end zone." Damn right, Jerry Rice, Damn right.