Category Archives: New

I try to be friendly, but Disability repulses others

Each of us need friendships in order to thrive. Yet many people are repulsed by Disability. So how can we be friendly?

Every time we meet someone new, we naturally look for commonality and differences. We monitor others for opportunities for connection or threat. Gestures we view as friendly toward us are potential opportunities for connection. The gestures that trigger our fears we interpret as threats.

Disabilities can remind others of things they fear. We all fear death and spend a lifetime avoiding it. Disability often precedes death in life. Thus when we sense a disability we protect ourselves by responding in a fearful way.

When we see attractive people we view what attracts us as what we seek to become. Those things are the best we see in ourselves. This reminds us of our potential and not what we lost. We do not fear this, but are overjoyed by our awareness of our new possibilities.

Disability is an imperfection that is not hidden from us. Does anyone function constantly at their ideal level? Not even super Stars can avoid a bad day. Yet for those of us who struggle with a disability anytime we need to function in a – disabled – way it would be a bad day.

So how can those of us who battle constantly with a disability be friendly and not feel like frauds?

Studies seeking to explain friendships have found that relationships form among those who have contact with others, find familiarity in the connection, and find those connections to be positive.

So hiding in a cave or corner will not help you make contact and develop friendships.

Next, if your contact with another is unpleasant for them, they will seek to avoid future contact with you and thus friendship. How can we make our contacts with others enjoyable for both of us?

First, we need to keep Disability out of our relationships as best we can. For me, it would mean removing the cap that shades my eyes and protects my head. What obvious signs of Disability do others see when they look at you?

Second, we need to foster opportunities for connection. It can be useful to connect in different ways. Are you attuned to what others are seeking in friendship?

There is a concept in neurology called, “mirror neurons.” The neurons in our brains will “mirror” patterns similar to the neurons of the people we meet. Thus when we are around happy people we feel happy, around sad people we feel sad, and when we are with those who are afraid we feel fear. .

If it is true that Disabilities engender fear then we have created a barrier to friendship even before we first speak or smile. This makes it harder to leave a personal encounter feeling positive. Our anxiety that the encounter will end poorly will reinforce our fears.

What fears get triggered when we meat others?

We all fear rejection. We all want to “reject” Disability. If we see ourselves as disabled then we are rejecting a critical aspect of our lives and thus living in fear.

In what ways has Disability been good to you? Does it give you a reason to shed other things that were not good for you? Does Disability give you new opportunities? Can you see Disability as a gift that you can enjoy? Recall these positive aspects of Disability when it enters your thoughts.

Next, let’s try to connect what we are encountering with what we have experienced. When I was growing up I could never get a word out when trying to talk to popular and pretty girls. Over time I came to view pretty women as sources of rejection and danger to my self-esteem. Could this be why we have so many jokes about “dumb” blonds?

Since we know that all of us are sending out signals of our mood how can we send out positive ones?

Looking someone in the eye and Offering them a warm smile or shaking hands are all ways we signal that we are open to others. These are physical signals. What emotional signals are we also sending?

Most of the time our mental chatter goes all over the place. Both our mental chatter and the emotional chatter our mirror neurons pick up from others sets our mood. The good news is we can control this.

If we look for the positive and unthreatening in others, our minds will begin to chatter about those things instead. When you ask yourself, “what do I like about this person?” Your brain usually comes up with something positive.

If we share our positive feelings with those we meet, they will follow our lead and their minds will become happier.

We all want to be accepted. The smile and handshake helped to meet this need.

If we complement others on their appearance they will feel appreciated. Additionally, they will hear that you see them as attractive.

Also, they are seeking to find others with whom they have common experiences and expectations. This is why most initial conversations begin on topics such as places visited or activities. Most of us have visited or know others who live where the strangers we are speaking to have been.

People also seek to find commonality in social status and life styles. The way we dress and our mannerisms communicate these. While clothes may not make the man, they do project the man. So choose what you wear by giving some thought to what others might also be wearing. If you arrive being the only one dressed in a suit you have just set yourself apart from others.

So, in summary, if you want to be friendly (and thrive)

  • Make your disability as small as possible and only part of what others see about you.
  • Greet others openly and warmly.
  • Seek to find something attractive about them and let them know it.
  • Explore the new relationship for common experiences.
  • Finally, enjoy the new people you met and the company they offer you.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

If you don’t like challenges, you’ll never thrive.

Life is full of challenges, but when a disability strikes there are even more. Then it can be challenging to like challenges.

If you don’t like challenges what are you to do?

You can crawl in your cave and hide, but cave dwelling went out of style a long time ago. I wonder why? Could it have been that caves are sort of cold, dark and damp?

Then maybe you could crawl out of the cave and enjoy the sun. There are so Many things you can enjoy when you take on the challenge of getting out of your cave.

This is how you start enjoying a challenge. Pick a simple challenge to start with, one that might even bring you some joy. Remember though, you need to realize that you took on a challenge and prevailed. Then remember how many days you couldn’t even do it?

Next you can set a bigger challenge like gathering some firewood while you’re out. That way you can warm your cave. Doing this will also light your cave and cook your food.

Next time you go out you might even see if you can get some food to cook on the fire.

After having the first hot meal in a while you can sit back and enjoy how it feels. You set some goals and now you are enjoying the benefits of taking them on.

Taking on too big a challenge can lead to failure and frustration. So set a simple challenge to begin. One that will reward you when it is done. It also needs to be measurable. So be sure to measure things like how long you are out of your cave, the amount of firewood harvested and the amount of food collected. I doubt that you will get fat and sluggish anytime soon.

While you are out of your cave you might also see other people and invite them to join you. That could be fun and might get you invited back to their caves.

But don’t focus on the fact that some days it might be cold and rainy when you leave your cave. As you collect firewood you will have to go farther and farther from the mouth of your cave. That means you will have accomplished more just to make the same fire each day. Celebrate that you are growing stronger and more capable by venturing out of your cave.

While you are out look around and see what else you might do. Can you set a goal for next week or month?

If you can do this you will learn to like challenges.

You will have:

  • taken on a real and achievable challenge
  • measured the challenge
  • enjoyed the feeling of success
  • gradually increased the difficulty of the challenge
  • shared the success of the challenges with others
  • set harder and harder challenges
  • Then you’ll learn to like challenges.

So why are you still in your cave?

What challenge did you meet today?

What challenge will you set for tomorrow?

As all Ways, Seek Joy,

Three years to Achieve Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) after seven years of Misery for Teresa

It took three years for Teresa to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). After struggling for seven years she finally began to recover.

She tells what changed in her life and how she fully recovered from CFS. She reveals some of the reasons she became ill and how she stays well now.

She found herself Trapped in the Disability Abyss. With much effort and assistance she escaped it. There were many things that kept her trapped. One of the things that freed her was meditation. When you sign up for a FREE consultation and put in “Disability Freedom” you will get the meditation that helped her heal and ways well

She found ways to overcome the other things too. You can learn more in her free eBook, “The Top 10 Ways We Sabotage Our Health and Recovery”

Now, as a health coach Teresa passionately helps others recover from similar disabling conditions. Visit her site to sign up for a FREE consultation.

A Dream in Blue

Am I aware of when I am being present to another?

Today, as my wife began to tell me about her dream. My thoughts went elsewhere. They went to the subject of this blog, presence. Then I realized that I was not present to her. I reflected back to what she was saying.

As my mind continued to bounce between what she was saying and my observations about my level of presence, I wondered why I should be present. How could I be more present? What would happen if I was more or less present?

Then I realized that she felt alone. In her dream she struggled with a challenge in her life. There are many things in her life that she struggles with. She rejects any solution that I offer. I feel the rejection. This time I refrained from offering solutions. When she paused I let her know I was still listening.

As she retold her dream she saw how it mirrored a struggle in her life. In the end she saw a solution. My coaching training told me that is the best solution.

As I write this I recalled more of my thoughts than of her story. Later when she arises from her nap I wonder how she will recall our time together.

I realize that one reason I did not interrupt her was that she had earlier caught me in a “Yes, but…” statement. She had been angry about it. I did not want to repeat it, especially twice in one day.

Now, she is awake and recalls it as a pleasant exchange. I recall it as a struggle to keep my active mind on her story and not interrupt. I guess there is a lot of wisdom in the coaching method that sees the best solution as the one the client creates.

This evening we conversed about another idea. I found that she did not like my, “Yes and…” response much better. I think her idea is an excellent one that will connect many people who now find themselves disconnected

My wife went online and has sent me some resources. I think we will end up collaborating instead of competing as we often do.

I feel my struggle to be present for her helped me thrive.

How have you been present for someone else?

How has it worked out?

Has being present helped you connect and be less lonely?

With whom might you be present?

Among those you meet today, who could use your presence?

Is there anyone you wish was more present to you? Would this blog help you connect?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

PS, “Yes, but…” statements are those where we start by affirming someone with a yes and then proceed to challenge it with the: but …”

“Yes and …” statements don’t defeat the affirmation. I found that they don’t really let others sore. If I had stopped with “Yes”, I would have affirmed my wife better.

How to deal with a Disability in a Marriage with Ana Loiselle

Relationship coach Ana Loiselle talks about how an illness or disability affects a marriage and how to cope. We explore what sorts of situations arise in a marriage when a chronic illness or disability occurs. This can be with a parent of an adult child or a marriage partner.

We also explore how the brain can be retrained to learn new habits. She uses a method called Habit Coaching.

She offers an 8 week onlne course to strighten relationships.For more information r to sign up for her 8 week course click here.

David Shadbolt the benefits of overcoming addiction and depression

To overcome his alcohol addiction he had to address the emotional and spiritual wounds of his adolescence. This led him to deeper spirituality. He talks about the cost of a relapse. When he asked God to take his addiction he became free of it. He now benefits from 30 years of sobriety.

Once sober, he found he also suffered from depression. Since about age 10, he lived with a low level of depression. He lived with a glass half full. He drank to laugh. To overcome this, he used professional help.

He and his team now help midlife and older adults achieve peak fitness. Not just physical but mental and spiritual fitness as well. The team includes a nutritionist and hypnotherapist. Much of it is online, check them out at

Can the Disabled “You” Thrive?

It may seem like an oxymoron to say a Disabled person thrives, but is it? Disabled may mean not “able”, but it does not mean dead. “Thrive” refers to how we are living. Can’t we live a full and abundant life with fewer abilities than most?

Can a person with a disability have the same traits as other Thrivers?

Let’s go thru the 8 traits of Thrivers and see.

  1. Thrivers are aware of their situation. Often we get so caught up in our inabilities we forget what is happening around us. Is this good for us? Pause for a moment and think about what is going on with you. Close your eyes and tell yourself what is happening to you. Then notice how the people around you feel? What do they need. If you can answer these questions you can be aware of what is happening around you.

How did you feel as you created this image? If you are like me your aches and pains subsided if not ceased. So, not only can you do this, it is more pleasant to adopt this trait of thriving.

  1. Being optimistic or just oriented to the future: when we struggle to get thru the day it is hard to contemplate the future. Yet, as you pause to look back, can you see that things have been worse? I certainly can. The things I struggled to do a year ago are now easy. I have made progress. In the last day I have found a resource to do something I struggled to do several times over the last month. What difficulty have you resolved in the last month? Is it safe to expect that you will overcome some of the things you now struggle with? You, too, can see a better future. You can be optimistic.
  2. Enjoy a challenge: That thing you struggled with and overcame in the last month might not have given you joy while you were struggling with it. Can you find joy in the fact that you overcame it? I certainly can. Let’s learn to see obstacles as chances to thrive.
  3. Friendly: what does it take to be a friend? Is it not about taking a moment to focus upon those around you and see what they are doing and what they need and then trying to meet those needs. A simple smile can go a long way toward being friendly. You don’t need to have deep heart to heart conversations with everyone. If you tried it might wear you out very quickly.
  4. Willingness to try new things: this can be hard when you struggle to do just the simple things. Could we change this to, “being willing” to try doing things differently?”

Doing things differently is a must when we can’t do things the way we were used to doing them. Willing or not we must do things differently. Sometimes simply not doing things at all is different from trying and failing.

  1. Willingness to share our creativity: Creativity is the trait we use to survive. There is no one around us telling us how to do it. Yes there are resources but we must seek them out and find a way to use them. Are you like me; willing to share your ways to be creative with others?
  2. Can find a purpose in life; this is challenging when we often wish to escape the pain we find ourselves in each moment. For example, the way Brandt Morgan found the purpose in his life was by reaching out to others. By doing this he found that he was overcoming the pain of the moment. See hiss podcast episode in disability Freedom.
  3. Are connected to more than just the physical reality: this means we are spiritual. When the physical reality in which we live fails us, where else are we to turn. When I turned to the non-physical I found such warmth that I longed for more. Since then I have glimpsed it in several moments. I have learned to just pause and let God connect with me. How have you experienced the spiritual dimension of life?

In what ways do you know to Thrive?

When do you feel you are Thriving?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

PS, this is the first in a new blog series, learning to Thrive with disability

Brandt Morgan – Chronic Lyme Complex – live in the moment

“I am going to live the best possible life I can today.”

Life coach and guide Brandt Morgan contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite while in France. Thru years of struggle he found that in helping others and sharing his journey, he had a reason to live. He found ways to live with chronic pain. He now has meaning in the moment and knows that “this too will pass”.

He talks about the spiritual understanding that he has gained from living with Lyme disease. He continues to lead tours and conduct workshops you can learn more at his website

Or read his books;

Vision Walk and The Five Agreements Game


Is it Raining on Your Parade?

Parades are for sunny days.
Parades are bands and kids,
Parades are floats and bikes,
Parades are horses and clowns.
Parades are people in crowds.
Parades are coming together,
Parades make spirits sore.

Parades happen because it’s time,
Parades happen because their fun,
Parades happen because we’re there,
Parades happen because we can,
Parades Happen because we surrender,
Parades happen for our souls.

We can make the floats,
The band can play,
The soldiers can march,
The crowds can watch.
We can feel safe,
We can strut our stuff,
We can connect in Love.

So where’s your stuff?
Your body aches,
Your eyes are dim,
Your ears don’t hear,
Your mind doesn’t think,
You feel alone,
Your soul’s in Pain.

So you’re not there,
You’re not aware,
You’re all alone,
You’re in your home,
Your soul despairs,
That no one cares.

Yet you can move,
You can sense,
You can hear,
You can think,
You can connect.
You can care,
You can pray,
Yet you’re not there.

Do you want to be alone?
Do you like the pain?
Do you like the dark?
Do you like the silence?
Do you like the thoughts?
Do you like being alone?
Do you like despair?

So come and join the Parade,
Come join the fun,
Come be in the sun,
Come be in the crowd,
Come feel the Love,
Come feed your soul!!!

What’s stopping you?
What do you fear?
Is it the fact that you aren’t “them?”

When were you them?
You’re not them,
You’re you!

So what will “you” do?
Will you shed the pain?
Will you see the sights?
Will you hear the sounds?
Will you think the thoughts?
Will you feel the Love?
Will your spirit sore?

So what’s raining on your Parade?

Can you smile?
Can you listen?
Can you pray?
Can you surrender?
Can you be present?
Can your soul connect?
Can you strut your stuff?
Can you have a Parade?

So where’s Your Parade?