(Some of the thinking about, and behind the book)
I have some issues related to my sight and yet I love the visual arts. I also have a passion for language (despite dyslexia). I love poetry, music, and most of the social and behavioral sciences. I’m inspired by theater, dance and human interaction. These are some of the things that simply make my soul sing. I am convinced that we all have a master list of loves and passions that are unique to us and are a part of us for our entire life. When we live by the list, so to speak, we have peace of mind, and when we’re not referring to it in our actions, we are not of service to our self or others.
You may have forgotten the list, ignored it, tried to set it on fire, or not even known you had one at all. WAY TOO OFTEN we decide, or maybe we’re told, or both, that what we love is not an option for us.
Try consciously or unconsciously to erase that list, and I promise you it will show up in the strangest places. In the weave of your living-room curtains, rolling across the credits of a movie screen or tattooed on your forearm. You can’t escape it, it’s as much a part of you as your next inhalation.
A friend once said, “you can’t hold an inner tube underwater forever. The longer you try to, the greater the eruption when it finally surfaces.” If you suppress your list, your spark for living is submerged. So before you go and electrocute yourself and zap those around you, let me help you learn how to power up your life!
I don’t care about your circumstances by the way. If you had Polio as a kid, and always, always, always wanted to be a dancer, then I say dance! If you had a career as a painter and then had a spinal cord injury, I say paint anyway. You would not have been handed your list without also being given a clever enough brain to bring that list to life.
I lost my perfect job
I lost my perfect leg
I have to support my kids
I can’t support my weight
I believe there is always a way!
By the way, you don’t need to OVERCOME anything. That’s bull anyway. You might not ever fully get “over” some of the more painful experiences in your life. Let it be the kindling that gets you to the starting line. You don’t even have to have a good attitude. A good attitude is over-rated anyway. Notice, a few paragraphs up, I said “peace of mind.” I did not say, “you’ll be happy.” Peace of mind is something that runs much deeper and you can have it even when you’re in a dour mood.
All you need to start out with is a willingness. Hell, you can even get started if you don’t have the willingness. Just be willing to be open to becoming willing….
If you are reading or listening to this in a wheelchair in some skanky V.A. hospital, or barely holding back the panic about all the bills and debt collectors staring you in the face, this might not be funny or cute to you. Don’t laugh. Just get willing, because I want you to have the chance to live from your “list.”