People Skills-Where Have You Gone?

Holy dang,

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have started my second semester of my Junior year of college. Things have started off well, I just have a lot on my plate, but I’m not going to use that as a excuse. I’m hoping to make the deans list again. Any how, something that has weighed heavily on my mind is people skills (or the lack there of). At the heart of who I am, is a lover of people I love getting to know people and have real conversation.

When I was growing up when someone asked you how you were doing, you answered by saying something like “I’m fine thank you and yourself?” You looked people in the eyes when you spoke to them. Seems to me that there are a very small percentage of people that do this anymore

I could be cruising down the walk way of my college campus and greet a person I don’t really know, much like above, I’ll ask them how they are doing and they’ll reply “good thanks… Very rarely do people actually ask the question back, even among some professors.

What is the problem here? I’m sure there are several reasons, but one thing that sticks out to me the most is technology. While technology is good and has its benefits, I strongly believe that it can take away from human interaction. We’d rather look at our cell phone then interact with the person closest to us. We would rather use the internet for a means of cheap “intimacy” then love and adore our significant others or spouses.

another problem is our listening skills, I’ve wrote about this before. But I strongly believe that our listening skills are largely due to our people skill decline. Some of us would rather have an answer for every question, or solution to every problem rather then actual listen.

Do you sense a need to improve in interacting with others?

-Brandonps

People Skills-Where Have You Gone?

How I Meet God in The Gym

“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.” ― Eric Liddell

I know that many people don’t believe in God, in the sense of Christianity and I know that it most likely won’t be anything that I can say to convince you of his love or the joy that he gives. But I want to share in one of the ways that I connect with God so deeply. Beyond the conventional prayer, reading scripture or even being among other believers. Spending time at my crossfit box or on the wrestling mats, is one of the main ways that I interact with God.

However I choose to spend my time, its a way for me to glorify him in my body, mind and emotions. Its a time for me to make war against bad attitudes or things that I would like to change about myself in order that I might know God more deeply and be a better friend and person to others.

Working out allows me to “see” God better, in that when I feel as if I am always falling short, after my mind is clear and my body feels good, I remember “hey, I am loved by the king of the universe, because he sacrificed his life for me, I now am in right standing with him.”

It is a Eric Liddell  says, “when I run I feel his pleasure” its as though God says “this is good”. One might not see working out as good or pleasurable, but I do. And regardless of if you believe in God or not, I encourage you to make the most of your body, because we only live this life once.11836709_10156022928025165_630930869917741017_n

How I Meet God in The Gym

A Confession of a CrossFitter

“I Have a Dream”

Four very powerful words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther. Ralph Waldo Emerson also once said ““Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

I believe that people in our society have had the ability to dream stripped from their hands, and it’s not necessarily our own fault. When we look at our current reality daily living is getting more and more expensive and a lot of us have to simply face facts. Some have even laid aside their own dreams, some for good reason, be it a wife and kids. They come first.

As a college student, majoring in Psychology (primarily substance abuse), the mind is something that I love, There is a real love for getting to simply sit and listen to ones story, while walking with them on their journey toward recovery. Were all addicts, as I like to say.

While that passion stays, two more have grown stronger. I’ve always had a real love for fitness, I’ve been into strength training for a long time, largely due to my dad buying me my first set of dumb bells. Over the past year I have fallen head over heels with CrossFit, it’s changed  my life and body in so many ways, and there are so many adaptive athletes popping up all over the place. Each person driving themselves to the max and beyond. I used to take muscle relaxers to help deal with pain and fall asleep, now I only do that if the pain is extremely bad.

I’m eating far more cleaner and have gained lots of healthy weight, each week I look forward to working with my coach, she pushes me each and every week and I leave more enthralled with what my body can do. There are rumors circulating that the Reebok CrossFit games will create a adaptive division, the joy that this brings me is almost unspeakable. I never thought I’d day this, but I want to make this dream a reality. I know I’ll need to work even harder then I have before, it won’t be easy and I know it’ll take time.

I know I’ll have to finish my undergrad, work  and have to base everything around training, as well as Jiujitsu training (which I have entire other dream for all together). I know, it sounds crazy, but I believe I can truly do this. I know that it will be the most tiring season of my life. But I always believe that I am in the perfect position to do this. I’m still really young, my body is holding up well and constantly improving, plus I have a killer work ethic and the heart of a lion. Beyond taking a stab at getting to the games, I want to obtain my certifications to be a certified CrossFit coach.

There is just something about seeing ones life change through doing CrossFit, that I want to be apart of and pass on to others. Plus I would like to think that all my psychology training could fit into all of this some how.

So here is to chasing a dream

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A Confession of a CrossFitter

SEX!! (From a Cerebral Palsy Perspective)

Sexuality is a big area that takes up a lot residence in our lives, as humans we are sexual beings (creatures, if you will). It can raise much controversy among political and religious faction, let me openly state however, that I am a follower of Jesus and openly submit to Gods original design for sexuality. I am not one who can easily check his beliefs at the door. That aside, I am not here to argue and continue the endless cycle of stone throwing among people who believe differently then I.

Rather, my goal is to communicate openly about the desire for intimacy, relationship or whatever you wish to call it these days, as it relates to someone living with cerebral palsy. One might think that there is really no difference between one that has cerebral palsy and one that is able-bodied. While the desire is still there for both, it can be very different.

First, there is some misunderstandings for some regarding cerebral palsy and sexuality. I remember being in my second year of high school, and this chick straight up asked me if I could have kids. I looked at her puzzled and said “um… yeah” I remember wanting to say something snarky, such as “everything works just fine honey”. But I held my tongue.

Mind you though, she probably didn’t have rude intentions behind her question. She was probably generally curious, most people though, I believe, probably confuse cerebral palsy with being paralyzed from the waist down. Which I am not. There are several people with cerebral palsy (men and women) that are mothers and fathers, so the issue then is not that certain parts don’t work very well.

Another area that might come into question, is how people with cerebral palsy plan on being able to take care of their children. This is something that I have thought of as well, I even began to feel sorry for myself and think that it wasn’t possible. But it is, very possible. As long as the person is filled with the determination to make it work. I recently saw a video of a mother, who was in a wheel chair, she would gently slide her daughter across the floor while she was in her crib to feed her.

Another video I saw, was of a women who had much worse C.P. then I, and she would slowly get down on the floor to be with her child. So having the ability to be in intimate relationships (marriages) is not some far off desire one must try and reach out and grab, but how one gets there might be very different.

What I mean is that, when it comes to dating, marriage and sexuality, I find that it takes an extremely special person to enter into the life of someone living with cerebral palsy or any other condition. why? Because not ever one understands and is not willing to deal with what that all may entail. It’s sad but true.

Some people who have far worse forms of C.P. may in fact require more care from a significant other, and that is sometimes something that not everybody is willing to deal with. Which on the flip side of things can make the person living with cerebral palsy feel unwanted or undesirable, which then go back to feeling like a burden and ever so frightening suicidal thoughts.

This for some, may lead to seasons of feeling alone, as though they may never meet anyone. It also may cause some to rush into relationships that will only leave you to endure more pain. But I promise you this, if you can venture on the process of being comfortable in your own skin, the journey won’t seem so long. You’ll be fine with your own company, you’ll have more joy and when you finally do meet someone, the wait will be so worth it.images

SEX!! (From a Cerebral Palsy Perspective)

Dealing With Cerebral Palsy and Suicial Thoughts

Going off my last blog, which discussed the idea of living with cerebral palsy and feeling like a burden. One comment in particular really stood out to me, one gentlemen wrote about how feeling like a burden can often lead toward suicidal thoughts and various other elements like extended bouts of depression.

Suicide first and foremost does not care about the color of ones skin, whether one is skinny or fat or whether on is living with something like cerebral palsy or is paralyzed. It spares no one and never well. So as humans, it’s almost as though we have something that can cause us to relate or open up to one another (if we were so willing). In a sense, it can be easier to say the powerful words of “me too”.

As a person living with cerebral palsy, I have battled depression for over the past ten or more years of my life. And yes, suicidal thoughts have been a part of that. I have even spent days in a hospital, in an attempt to try and balance out the disconnection of my thoughts and brain chemistry. I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit these things, and I certainly do not care if that causes people to think that I’m crazy or weird.

We are all broken people, the simple fact is that we have a choice to confess it, seek help and live in community and transparency. Dealing with both cerebral palsy and suicidal thoughts, can be different in the sense that if you don’t have methods to simply escape for awhile or friends that can care and help. It can be all the more taxing. For people to simply state that depression and suicidal thoughts are selfish, is simply them missing the fuller picture.

People simply aren’t physical beings, or emotional beings and even chemicals. We are all of them at the same time, and we must learn that if one suffers, the rest suffer as well. Having cerebral palsy and not having healthy social structure, can lead to intense loneliness and even despair. Having no one around you that tries to understand can make it all the more taxing.

A pastor once told me that, despite how you feel, you have to step out first and ask for help and community. While that can be extremely difficult, I do believe that he was right. That does not mean then, that a friend, loved one or doctor cannot step into your darkness first. It simply means that most times, it require us to rely not on our own strength, wisdom and courage. But that of the divine, the creator of the universe, for guidance and healing.

In fact, in terms of recovery the very first step is to admit you in yourself are powerless.This is not a popular perspective, but I truly believe that this is where healing and recovery truly begins. Suicidal thoughts do not have to have victory over your life, you are not your cerebral palsy, you are not your thoughts. You are a person with a immense value and purpose.

So I implore you today, whether you have cerebral palsy, or some other condition and have been quiet about the thoughts that fill your mind, please talk to someone, call someone, even a crisis hotline if you have to. Corner someone until they actually listen to you. But do not give your thoughts another ounce of power, for you are far more valuable then all the gold in the world. Then to be constantly haunted by this ugly demon.

Please call this number if you need help: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=619

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Dealing With Cerebral Palsy and Suicial Thoughts

What To Do When You Feel Like a Burden

One challenge that can stand in the way of people living with cerebral palsy, or any sort of condition is feeling like a burden. That is, a person becomes filled with thoughts or feelings of guilt that they have to depend on people to take them places. I know how rough and taxing this can be on the psychological and emotional  areas of ones life.

As people like to say though your not alone.

I’ve tried driving, and would like to say that I got pretty good at it, while driving on a open road. I was so blessed to have a encouraging occupational therapist, but even she had to put the optimism and encouraging words aside and tell me that it wasn’t safe for to drive right now.

My startle reflex is so bad, due to sudden loud noises and some days it takes a bit for my mind and body to warm up and communicate well. But she did encourage me to try again down the road. Which I very much plan on doing. Google is even working on a self-drive car, which would be awesome to have as a means of transportation.

That however could take quite awhile, so what do we do when the thought of feeling like a “burden” appears? Well, 1) you keep on working on improving your life, you can keep practicing your driving skills, for those of us that live in states that have better public transportation, that is a great option, perhaps even have the state hire a driver for you. But by all means never stop improving your life.

2) As cliche as this is, remember that everything happens for a reason. People in the church I used to attend would tell me that, picking me up for church or taking me to different events actually blesses them. Interesting point huh? I believe the reason behind this statement, is that I always try and listen to people and offer what wisdom and encouragement I can. Perhaps that is what blesses them. I’m not fully sure.

3) Bless others with a bit of gas money, or offer to buy them food or coffee.

Lastly, what if people seemed weighed down, by the fact that they have to help us? First, know that the problem has everything to do with something going on inside them and has nothing to do with you as a person. Know that you are a cherished and beloved soul, who has great worth and value, and no one can ever take that from you. So hold your head up high, and constantly seek to bless others before yourselves.Heavy_Burden_by_seoulmanTED

What To Do When You Feel Like a Burden