Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome to the Chasing Normal Blog

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Chasing Normal Blog. We’re a work in progress, learning as we grow. Let me give you some background. A few years ago I wrote a book designed to provide help and support to the newly disabled. Being a disabled adult myself, with a full-time job, my energy levels are limited. Consequently, the task of publishing the book once it was finished became quite daunting. It sat as an oversized paper-weight on my desk for quite a while.

I remember saying out loud to God one day, “Well, I wrote it. I did my part. If you want it to get out there you need to help make it happen because I’m tired.” That was my less than eloquent way of giving it to God. But, I don’t think God requires eloquence, just an open heart with clear intent.

I had read a book by Joe Vitale titled “Zero Limits”. In this book, Joe describes a therapist named Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who healed an entire ward of mentally ill criminals without seeing any of them professionally using a technique called Ho’oponopono. In June of 2008, I saw that Dr Hew Len was doing a Ho’oponopono workshop in Iowa. I felt I had to be there, HAD to go. So 3 of my friends and I drove the 6 or so hours to the training venue and deepened our understanding of this really beautiful process.

While we were there, a gentleman (Jim) came and sat with us and started talking. He too had been at the training. The subject of my oversized paper-weight came up and he suggested I offer it as an e-book.

–“A what??” I asked, totally lost (All of our family technology talents went to my siblings). I didn’t know what an e-book was. He explained it and later offered to help me make it happen. When I asked him why he was offering to help a total stranger, he said that he was trusting his instincts, trusting the direction he felt he was getting. He didn’t know he was answering my previously mentioned clumsy prayer… but in very short order, I did.

Ho’oponopono says we’re either living from memory (a very stuck place) or from inspiration. We need to clean the memories so we can be open to inspiration. When we’re acting on inspiration we go to trainings 6 hours away. We sit down and talk to people and make connections that are life changing. Inspiration can come in ways and at times we’d never expect!!

Chasing Normal started as an e-book. The printed version will be available Dec 21, 2008. But we’re not stopping there. Our goal is to connect with the disabled community and with rehabilitation professionals through webinars and other training modalities to support people with disabilities in their journey and to provide the professionals in the field with support in their processes as well.

I’m new to the whole blogging thing but I’ll learn. I’m going to do my best to post regular updates on our progress. Check back for info on program development. I’m also going to include updates on my personal journey and personal musings on life with a disability. Whether disability is part of your experience or not, what we all have in common is that life is full of twists and turns. If we support each other and remember we’re in this together, there’s no limit to the good and beauty we can create in this world so desperately in need of conscious kindness.
Whether you’re a person with a disability or a professional in the field please share your thoughts with us. Let us know where the needs are and we’ll do our best to incorporate your ideas into our training programs. If we can’t fill the gap we’ll try to give you suggestions on where you might also want to check for your answers.

If you like what you see and would like me to come and present to your group let me know. We’ll try and work something out.

Let’s stay connected and enjoy the journey, remembering that all the “some days” we've been waiting for are built by every one of our “todays”. Let’s make every today something to be happy about!



Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled

What would you do if you or a loved one woke up tomorrow with a disability? How would you cope if you couldn’t do what you loved best in your spare time? How would you know what to do if someone you loved needed your emotional support following the on-set of a new disability?
These questions are quite fear provoking and yet very real. Given that we have soldiers coming home daily with permanent disabilities, these questions are multiplying exponentially in our country.

Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and Those Who Love Them provides a type of map and answers these questions and more. In this book Dinah Chaudoir Federer discusses "Talking about the ‘Big IT’", "Silently Screaming"-dealing with fear, "Feeding Your Spirit", "Releasing Resistance" and other easy to follow topics. It’s written conversationally rather than formally to make it less threatening.

Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and Those Who Love Them is meant to help the newly disabled especially, and their families calm down, get centered and take their individual journey one step at a time. As she says in her book, becoming disabled is like being dropped in the middle of a foreign country and told to find your way home. Chasing Normal is meant to act as a compass on this often overwhelming path.

If you do a topic search you’ll see there are plenty of textbooks discussing the "issues", there are many written by parents, and there are some personal stories. Dinah's experience can tell you that the "average Joe" in crisis will not read a textbook. Concentration flies out the window when you’re terrified. Further, this same "Joe" won’t care about a parent’s theory or even others’ stories unless there’s some good, simple advice. Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and Those Who Love Them will do this without adding to their overwhelm.

Dinah has worked in the field of rehabilitation for 20 years, and is currently a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the disabled. She was born with Charkot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), an inherited neurological condition that affects the nerves and weakens the muscles in the extremities, forcing her to walk with crutches. At age 35, she was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which causes intense electrical shock-type pain in the nose, lips, and eyes. Consequently, she has unique insight into the experiences of those who grow up with a disability as well as what people go thru when they acquire a disability later in life.As a disabled adult herself, her on-going message is blunt and hopeful: THERE IS LIFE AFTER DISABILITY AND IT DOESN’T HAVE TO SUCK!!