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Adversity? Bring It!

I love the mind and the organ it functions through (i.e. the brain).

I’m endlessly astounded by the limitless depth and breadth of its capabilities. I’m also in awe of the heart! I see examples of its courage and strength everywhere.

In fact, “The heart generates the strongest known energy fields in the human body; electrically, it’s between 40 to 60 times stronger than the brain… [There is] growing evidence that the heart and brain work together to share the role of the body’s master organs [and]… Creating heart-brain coherence [harmony] empowers us to experience deep states of intuition and to do so on demand.” (Gregg Braden, Resilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes). The heart and mind are “in cahoots” in the best possible way!

One heart-mind performance worthy of a gold medal is that of a young man named David Aguilar. Born with a partial right arm, David only knew what he came into the world with. He didn’t feel sorry for himself. He just lived as a normal kid. Turns out, he adored Lego (who doesn’t?!). He loved building helicopters, airplanes, boats, buildings and cars. Eventually, he thought about building himself an arm out of his favorite toy. So, at age 9, he did just that. Talk about a synchronized mind and heart creating something amazing! Watch David’s inspiring video here:

We All Face Adversity

I don’t know how it feels to come into the world without all of the usual body parts. But I do know what it feels like not being like everyone else. (Sure, I know, none of us is like anyone else, but you know what I mean!) I know what it’s like to always feel like an outsider not only in society but also in one’s family. In many ways, that can be equally, perhaps even more, difficult than being born without the usual body parts.

People are more inclined to be compassionate for those who are missing body parts or are physically challenged. Why? Because those are visible. But emotional, mental and psychological challenges are invisible and do not readily elicit the same degree of compassion or empathy. Often, people with these kinds of challenges are easily dismissed as troublemakers, labeled as screw-ups, deemed misfits, or told to just “keep their chin up and carry-on.”

For the most part, these folks are alone – left to traverse their daunting terrain solo. I don’t know to whom I can attribute the following quote, but I believe it to be true and appropriate to share here: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Busting Through Adversity

Although you may think there is no way out, nobody that “gets you,” no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel – and you’re too tired to try any more – hang in there. Please. One more time. And again.

Here’s why. As many of you know, I speak from personal experience (takes one to know one!). You have a choice. Right here, right now. In what you think, say and do. Not only to others but also to yourself. The latter is key. It creates your reality. So why not choose you? Honor you? High-five you?! I’d posit that many of you are saying, “Well, it can’t get any worse!” My obvious reply would be: “So, what could it hurt?”

That’s where I began. It was that simple. Honestly, it was. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take me an excruciatingly long time to get there. Decades. But once I decided to change my thoughts (mind) and feel (heart) only the very best for – and about – myself (baby steps are good enough!)… Well, the rest is history, so to speak. I hope I can help some of you to tap into that for yourself and act a bit faster than I did!

I’ll wrap this up by telling you something about the Japanese author Naoki Higashida. He has severe autism and his verbal communication skills are limited. Yet, he is able to communicate by pointing at letters on an alphabet chart. Why do I mention him? Simply because I think the title of his second major English-translated book brilliantly says it all: Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8.

David. Naoki. Adversity busters! Check them out. And if you are open to new ways of thinking, feeling, and being, check us out, too.