Thursday, March 11, 2010

Live Your Life!

Today, I had coffee with a mom of a child with autism.  I will be meeting with another mom next week tuesday and another on wednesday.  I invariably meet other moms with children with ASD and I ask them if they would like to talk.  They do.

Let me rewind.  If I gave you $5 million to spend in the next 5 years, what would you do?  If you didn't spend it, you would have to pay me back with interest or go to jail!  How would you spend your days?  Where would you spend your money?  Now that the rent and food is covered, would you go to your current job?  Since you can afford to travel, where would you go?   These are a few questions I asked myself years ago, and I review them constantly.  The more I think about the questions, the clearer the answer becomes.  My last questions are usually something like:Do I need to wait until I have the money to do what I really want to be doing?  What would I need to change today to move closer to doing these things that I really want to be doing?

I can't say that the changes were dramatic, but step by step, thinking about doing one small thing, then doing it, I find myself sharing myself and my  experiences wherever I think it might help and having a blast!

Since my current schedule is a little tight (home business, home schooling, full time relationship based program for Jay), one mom said to me that she couldn't do what I do, almost as if I'm a super mommy.  She was referring to a comment I made about creating additional income to fund my son's special diet, supplements, therapy and the like.  I don't know what to say when people make comments that suggest I'm doing something unusual.  I'm doing what I want to do.  Every piece of my full life came to me like the right lotto number on the little spinning balls.  It just fell right in place.  I don't have to run my  business or talk to parents.  I get to!

This morning, on my way to an appointment, I had a clear mental  picture (a vision?) of a dark skinned woman with no means, no money, no food, maybe no clean water.  Her children were running all around her. One had autism.  I don't know if she knew it was autism.  I just know that she knew she couldn't have the same expectations of him as she has of her other kids, who have to be really good at helping themselves in these desperate times.  I wondered, Can I share with her about intervention?  About stimulating language? About increasing eye contact?  I don't know.  What I knew was that I wanted to come alongside her in her journey, offer an arm, a shoulder, whatever.

This picture isn't strange to me.  I spent the first 20+ years of my life in Jamaica.  There, intervention for autism (intervention for almost anything, actually) is for the minority.  I remember a heart breaking story told to me by one of the 3 speech pathologists on the island at the time.  She worked with an under-serviced population who were put on a list to get discounted speech therapy.  When their turn came, they got 10 weeks of therapy, and were sent on their way.   She told me of a day when she heard a rukus outside her office, and went outside to observe a mother severely punishing her son (I won't give details) and she asked what was happening.  The mom replied that she was calling her son and he was ignoring her and not answering.

Such communities experience fear because of what they don't know and don't understand.  My heart went out to the boy, but more so to the mom.  If she could beat the autism out of him, her life and his would be difficult in the more typical ways.  I have so many pictures of rural communities that could do with support, where kids with challenges are misunderstood and parents feel tortured.

So one step at a time, one person at a time.  A connection here, a connection there.  I get to network with amazing people who are passionate about helping, who encourage me and give me energy to reach out more and more. I get to run a business from my home, that hopefully, will provide enough income, so that I can organize 'help' (not sure what it would look like yet) and fund it, instead of spending my time asking people who don't have my vision to spend their money to help.  I get to do that.  What a life!

Enough about me.  What about you?  I cannot imagine the wealth of passion and desire you have inside you that could be directed somewhere?  If you weren't spending all your time to make money to eat food and sleep inside somewhere warm, what would you be doing with your time? Find out.  Do it.  It's your life.  Live it.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you,Thank you,Thank you - this was the reminder I just needed.


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