Lesson 1 – Transcending Limitation
It was a pleasant summers day. The warmth of the sun felt like a soothing blanket as it covered my skin. The wind at my back was also extremely comforting as I pedaled ahead of my son and husband on the windy biking trail that lay ahead. This day was unusually special for us. Ethan, my son, had just graduated high school and was in transition to college. We had taken a long-awaited bike ride to simply enjoy the afternoon. But that’s not all. Ethan was born with a condition known as Spina Bifida. It is a neurological disorder that forms in utero and causes deficits with every system in your body. When Ethan was born it was highly unlikely that he would ever be able to function typically let alone take part in a bike outing on a warm summer day. Most of his life has been spent overcoming one obstacle after another and defying all the odds. Countless hours had been spent in therapy, doctor appointments, and researching and implementing alternative therapies in order to live the most optimal life that he could. We failed thousands of times and we rose again to try something else that would help Ethan a thousand more times. For every step we took forward on his path of overcoming spina bifida there were several steps that we had to take backwards. But in the end the commitment we gave to finding answers paid off. The idea of miraculous healing is unknown to the medical community. Even in the midst of a miracle unfolding before them, through Ethan, he was still regarded as just a ‘healthy kid’ who was one of the lucky ones. But the luck that Ethan had as a child was nothing short of a miracle that took honest deep opening to awareness and the idea that all possibilities exist in this now moment. The only way we were able to transform Ethan’s life and step into the miraculous nature of all possibilities was by learning this first hand for ourselves through years of experience working through 100’s of ingrained beliefs and thought patterns that filled our life from the beginning. What am I referring to? The idea, of course, that everyone has the ability to self-heal and miraculously rise above anything happening in their life. We all have this ability…it only takes commitment to bring it into our lives and a steadfast consistent dedication to uncovering all false beliefs that create the reality that it is not possible. So, the idea that we were biking as a family was miraculous for us on one hand but also very real in that we had a very large part to play in making this happen, consciously. Often times, stating that there was a ‘miraculous’ occurrence brings in a notion of unconsciousness. Many people mistake ‘miracles’ as supernatural or that they are controlled by an outside force that claims to decide who gets a miracle and who doesn’t. I always found this extremely difficult to understand. Why would there be something bigger than us always in control over our reality? I believed this was not so. I believe we have much control if we choose to do the work. I believe our role is to uncover all the misbeliefs and judgements covering up the miracle from happening and that true power resides within each individual to shift into a new reality where the miracle has already occurred. We have a choice to open up to our own internal awareness and as we make this commitment we face our limitations with zeal, understanding that as we do we are able to open to all possibilities which includes transcending all limitations. It truly is that simple. And it requires a steadfast commitment to do the work. Time and time again I see the same events happen repeatedly over the years. We, as a collective ‘we’ and as an individual tend to make this process very difficult. We have all sorts of barriers in our way and we continue to blame what’s happening in our world around us instead of looking within. I did this for a very long time. And it wasn’t until I paved my own path of transcendence that I could finally see how I had to do it another way or this would not benefit anyone and certainly not Ethan. I had to create my own reality from within and it never was about changing anyone else around me except myself. This is a difficult concept to learn. One with which I struggled with for a very long time. I’m rather bull headed and do not like to see that things are my fault. I was causing my own pain and discomfort for many years. But how could I see that when I was trying to fix a world out there. No fault but my own, this is how our society is built. We are taught this throughout our lives. It’s everywhere we turn. How could one not retreat to a state of fixing the world before healing ourselves. It’s an easy ditch to fall into and one which I will never return to again.
So, on this illuminous summer day, as I was biking with my oldest son and my husband, Andy, I was particularly in tune to the significance of what we were doing. This was more than just another family bike ride. This was a significant event that symbolized Ethan’s full embodiment as an empowered young adult that grew up with insurmountable obstacles to overcome. He had arrived at a pivotal moment in his life on this day. He had finally embraced his full mastery and deep understanding that he was capable of anything. His new life was just beginning and the dozens of chapters that had taken him to this point in his life were finally all closing. Every experience had lead him to this one final emergence happening as we pedaled along the trail.
Only a few years ago when Ethan had entered the 5th grade we had inquired about an adapted recumbent pedal bike that could be used to further develop his extremely weak lower body. In many kids with spina bifida, there is close to no movement in the lower bodies. All neurological function is lost from the waist down which includes many states of function that typical people are unaware of and that which we often take for granted. This recumbent pedal bike would be used to challenge Ethan’s lower body functions and one which I believed would help him to gain further function in not only the muscular/nervous structures but the nervous system responses he needed in order to alleviate bodily functions that often are a cause for constant illness and infection for these kids. I was told to never expect these things to heal but I believed they were wrong. I believe biking was one of the ways we could help. This recumbent bike was particularly challenging for Ethan from the beginning. Rightly so, if you were born with a condition in which everyone expected you to have a difficult time with any lower body functions then this belief alone would make it a challenge. It was. So, when we began this journey we were wrapped up in the same beliefs and thus our world was extremely challenging.
When Ethan was younger, he would often struggle with the pedaling motion which would require an enormous amount of effort and encouragement to continue. Frustration always resulted and his desire to ‘give up’ always followed. Even though we are repeatedly told that his disability is permanent, to this day, it does not occur to me, nor Ethan, that it is permanent. It was a lot different back when Ethan was younger. The difficulties were real to us and the unsurmountable challenges we had to face felt like an endless mountainside that we were climbing. Fast forward to today, Ethan and I are able to see how we did a very good job in creating this reality and most of the time when Ethan is faced with a limiting belief he now turns to me and chuckles over the process, knowing that it is just another limiting beliefs that we are meant to diffuse. And he does. We always expect that there is something more that can be done and as we expect the positives to always reveal themselves, they always do. Every day is different and every day we wake up to a new reality. The more we base our realties in possibilities, the more fun we have. We did not know this before and now we do. For some reason, many of us catastrophize daily, I did that, and as we expect devastation we prepare for the worst. Then we are not surprised when it shows up and congratulate ourselves for being prepared for the inevitable. It is a sour place to be. Not a life I will ever return to. I believe that expecting and knowing that all possibilities exist and choosing which reality we would like to exist in, is a much more enjoyable way to exist. One which I will always want to be living within.
Seemingly, at the time we acquired this bike for Ethan, we knew it would be difficult for him. As it was we remained focused and we pressed on. We took this bike on vacations and had him riding it everywhere, everyday thinking the more he made those pedaling motions the stronger his body would get. And it did. Somehow, our beliefs were shifting the reality that was showing up for Ethan. He was getting stronger. The daily pedaling was helpful to a point. He was able to eventually become stronger and stronger with walking with his arm crutches and was mostly independent. It was helpful. Just when Ethan began to become accustomed to his new found freedom in biking he was introduced to para track racing by a local adaptive sports club. This was racing in a wheelchair made for going top speeds on typical running tracks and/or road races. He now did not have to use his legs and he was crouched into a small seated position while propelling himself forward with his arms. With his head held low close to his knees and his arms propelling wide and high behind him he pushed metal rims covered in rubber which made him go faster the stronger he pushed. All of a sudden, Ethan found himself going faster and stronger than ever before in a racing chair that was purely energized by his arms. He absolutely loved it. Ethan had the strength and determination to go fast and that was all he wanted to do. From that moment on his life temporarily shifted. The recumbent pedal bike went hidden into the garage and the next 7 years of his life became dedicated to speed racing. His walking remained compromised and the healing we were working on obtaining through the lower body workouts were put on hold. Ethan found a new love and a way to feel good on a new level. Now he was concentrating more on his upper body and developing his racing skills. As a mom, this was difficult for me to accept, because I knew clearly that if Ethan wanted to walk and gain functioning, he could but his life was steering in a different direction so I had to let that vision go. Understanding that how he becomes a powerful individual can be created in many ways and this was one of the paths that he was now choosing to develop his own inner power. I set my agenda aside and allowed what gave him inspiration to come forward as he filled his life with racing across the country and the world. Eventually he was invited to attend a University that would further support his education and his racing. Over the years, I still wrestled with the ideas of what could have happened if Ethan remained on a healing path to walking. I came to understand that this was in fact my struggle and this was part of a negative reality that I was creating within myself based on regret and insecurity. Once I was able to let that go I could enjoy the moments that were happening before us. Still, every once in awhile Ethan would come upon a video of himself beginning to walk without his arm crutches at a time in his life when he was on that path…I knew he could do it so I used to push him to learn. He learned to walk…and just at that point is when his life shifted into para athletics. He had entered a world centered around overcoming physical disability obstacles through sport. It was a new world for him that was based on encouragement and acceptance. One that he began to thrive even more. Still, every once in a while, he would stumble across this video of him walking and watch. Then, he would come to me… “Mom… I would like to try working on walking.” Every time I was elated at the thought that he wanted this like I wanted it for him. And this would last for several days or even a week or more but then he would become enveloped in the para disability world. So, I waited and sat back and decided all I could do is enjoy the moment. Not to press on and just accept what was happening. It wasn’t a difficult process. He was giving up one goal for another and I could use the same concepts and ideas to support him in other ways. There were plenty of opportunities to help him see that he could do anything. This was something he wanted to do. When one is committed to becoming something bigger than what they believe themselves to be, when one has a goal, and one can begin to see their future in that goal, the universe conspires to bring that to you more you strive to get there. The skills he would be learning would serve him well in other areas no matter what. And, one day, if and when he would want to heal himself further, he could get there using the same skills and abilities he was developing in his sport. That was how I rationed this.
And wouldn’t you know it, up until recently, Ethan has remained engaged in being where he is continuing to thrive as a para athlete. Until now. As he graduated and moved on from high school he entered a transitional space in his life that began to open back up to these concepts and ideas that I had been trying to teach him. I could see a new light was turning on. Things were beginning to happen such as gaining control of bodily functions that he didn’t have control of before. More neurons and muscles in his body began making connections and he began feeling and sensing things that were not there before. For example, on the long drive home from one of his annual Doctor appointments we began a conversation about what had just happened. He visits these doctors for annual check-ups because he remains in a state of consciousness that still needs to check in with them. Lately, each time we go to these appointments he becomes increasingly frustrated with the disconnect he feels with them understanding where he is in his own process of healing. The doctors at this renowned hospital are doing their work which they believe is to protect their patients from further sickness. Even though they have good intentions their simple reality that is invested in sickness leaves out the possibility that there is another way to be healthy. They passionately believe in and know without a doubt that they have the answers. Rightly so because this is what they see day in and day out. Most of the people that go to them do depend on their wisdom. But what they have continually failed to understand in Ethan is that he believes that they are not the answer to his healing and that they were there in a time in his life when he needed them as a baby and small child. As he grew up, he also grew in his concepts and ideas about life and love. In that growing he grew out of the idea that he needed them to be healthy and grew into his own peaceful power that began to intuitively know how to help himself. This was done through working with these concepts in this book and having conversations about becoming more than what was possible. Our lives were filled with expecting all possibilities to show up. We knew Ethan could do things that at once were thought impossible. On this particular day and this particular appointment we felt a turning point in Ethan’s life where he no longer felt there was value in the doctor’s point of view and began to see clearly that he had embraced a new path fully. On this particular appointment, Ethan had revealed to the doctor that he had stopped following a certain protocol that the doctor’s believed he needed in order to be healthy and avoid surgeries or sickness. Immediately, the doctor became extremely ‘patriarchal’ in tone and began condoning Ethan for his actions. Reminding him of all the terrible things that could happen if he continued to follow this path without speaking to him first. We both sat there in dismay listening to this doctor. I was listening but at the same time watching the energetic transactions that were going on in the room. I could feel and see Ethan’s energy field being sucked in as the doctor spoke and I knew that Ethan was not happy with what was happening. I too felt small and penalized by the doctor and finally decided in that moment that we had to turn this around. So, I interjected and applauded Ethan in conversation for following what he thought was good for him based on him feeling like he was ready to move on and upgrade his life. Now, this time, I was spoken to in that patriarchal tone and explained that what he had done cold be jeopardizing his health. We left the appointment stunned and with a deep realization that we both finally felt that we had outgrown this co-dependent setting and it was time to move on. We agreed to get some further testing done, just to prove what Ethan had decided to do was the right thing and unlikely ‘jeopardizing’ his health and then we left. On that car ride home, I immediately turned to Ethan and I told him to ‘cancel’ those thoughts and the conversations that just occurred with the doctor. I told him to bring back in the complete understanding that our way of living, which we live, is not readily accepted by the medical community right now. Our purpose is to keep doing what we are doing and show them that our way does work. I further told Ethan to continue to BELIEVE that our way is the way and that we will bring in all the people places and things that will continually lead guide and direct him to what he wanted. Furthermore, I said… just wait and see… it will happen.
Then suddenly I saw a picture of riding his recumbent bike pop into my thoughts. I saw him doing this today…almost 8 years later. I turned and spoke to Ethan… “Remember the pedal bike?” “Yes”, he replied in an unsure tone. I continued, “What if we tried riding again? What if we exercised those lower muscles in your legs with the intention of helping your other muscles strengthen and gain the control you need for what you want to gain?” It had been a long time since he last sat in that bike. When we finally returned home from another long day, we pulled the bike out from the depths of the garage with cobwebs and dirt. I showered it down with the hose…pumped up the tires…and let it dry in the sun. I told Ethan it was ready for a ride whenever he wanted to try. He was ready. We decided to just give it a go around the block thinking that was all he could probably do. But instead…I found a new kid in that bike…this time he was ready and determined. The kid that had discharged the bike 8 years ago was suddenly pedaling with a determination I never saw before. He was enjoying the ride…the pedaling motion came easy and the idea of going fast in a new way was awesome for him. He was elated with this new way to use his lower body and that he could do something that he had stopped doing years ago because of how difficult it was for him. This was completely unexpected and a major miracle for us that day. He continued to bike for 45 minutes and was able to complete 4 miles that day unlike he had ever done before. I was amazed and so was he. We were thrilled at his new found freedom and he was hooked again.
On this summer day, we found ourselves, for the first time in a very long time being able to bike together as a family. That was enough for me. Just having that one experience of doing something together that we could all do independently without having to navigate inaccessible barriers was as though we were living a dream. Most people don’t notice unless you have some kind of physical disability but most of our society here in America is completely catered to the walking population. Cracked and beaten up sidewalks, inaccessible doors, and entrance ways and elevators in the back of buildings are only some of the challenges they face. Most public places have some kind of structural challenge that separates them from the population. Having a simple bike ride with my family where there were no insurmountable odds to overcome was a rarity and a most freeing feeling that I would capture and cherish forever.
That’s not all. As the three of us were biking together for the first time I noticed something interesting about the positioning of our bikes. Andy was pedaling behind, then came Ethan in the middle, with myself up in the front leading the way. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. The position of our bikes was a direct reflection to the roles we played in our lives. We had aligned our biking path to the way we lived our life up. It was very symbolic. I have spent most of Ethan’s life taking the lead and knocking down barriers for him. As a child with a disability, mostly everyone, including doctors assumed to put him in a box. They made it their mission to tell us what he could and could not do and what to expect from his life. For some reason, beyond what I can comprehend, this only added fuel to my internal fires that wanted to prove them wrong. And I mean all of them. I have never enjoyed being told what to do and other people would certainly not tell me what my son could or could not do. Every person, place or thing that we came upon that ever said “no” or doubted Ethan’s abilities…I challenged. We usually won. If we did not win, which was rare, we found another way to do it anyway. It was just how we operated. We became extremely proficient at this routine. My children grew up knowing that as soon as someone put up a barrier, Mom would tear it down. Especially when it came to disabilities and accessibility. I saw it as a way of opening people up to see things differently and overcoming the challenges. This became my purpose. So, as we were biking, it occurred to me that we had become so highly attuned to our roles that even in our day to day family leisure time we had assumed our roles. Andy had assumed the role as the caboose all those years. He was the support structure back there giving ‘back up’ to anything unforeseen that we may have run into throughout Ethan’s growth into adulthood. It may had been a shoulder to cry on for all the times I felt alone or misunderstood for what I was doing or the insight to solve financial difficulties that were happening due to medical bills. But he always seemed to be the steady rock that backed up what we were trying to do. And Ethan was the ‘Wayshower” through it all. Protected in the middle and held up by two strong forces, as he was allowed to show the world what was possible if you gave a kid the opportunities to do so. Ethan’s purpose was very clear and the reasons why he was born into our family had crystalized. Having to find the truth within myself in order to clear the path for Ethan time and time again was a skill that I had to develop and not one that I really wanted when he was born. Ethan was exactly what I needed him to be so that I could be exactly what he needed me to be. We knew this along our journey and we were very aware of how we were growing and evolving as Ethan grew and evolved. Awareness is everything. Now that we were biking out of pure joy during this pivotal moment in his life a torch felt like it needed to be passed from me to him. As I pedaled my bike and thought about the roles we had played these past 19 years and as I watched how Ethan had become a strong, confident, courageous man who was capable of anything I finally began to understand that it was time for me to step aside. He was moving on to a phase in his life he had worked diligently towards, he didn’t need anyone else helping him to carry the light that he now held from within. With that, I allowed my bike to slow down enough to passively allow Ethan to take the lead in our bike ride. Now, he was leading the way. In my minds eye I saw Ethan embracing his internal torch that we had molded and shaped for almost two decades. He was now the owner of the light that he could continue to burn into the next chapters of his life. Sweet satisfaction came from that moment and the fires in my heart grew 100 times brighter. After all these years of breaking down barriers and building bridges to a different way of powerful living the day had finally come where he was ready to take complete control. I could rest. It felt surreal.
I have spent my entire life trying to figure out the meaning of life. I have spent countless hours in pain, depression, misery, and heartache over trying to comprehend why we believe as a society that we are so limited on so many different levels. Even today I am adjusting and fine tuning my thoughts and beliefs in order to go even further into the possibilities of being able to transcend all limitations. This, I do know is possible. Us, as individuals, CAN DO ANYTHING. I am not being cliché and nor am I riding on the wings of anyone else’s story. The lessons I have learned in this lifetime and time again all come down to the idea that we are the ones that limit ourselves. We are the ones that believe that we are less than, not worthy of, or can’t do something for some reason. It always comes back to the individual. I say this because the only one we can change is ourselves. It must come from within and we must do the work on ourselves. It is possible to rise above any circumstance in your life. It is. I know this.
Ethan’s life taught me how to be a warrior. Not the kind that makes people see… although I did spend a lot of time coming to terms with even that. We can’t make anyone see anything, they must see it for themselves. Ethan taught me to put down my sword and warrior up by being the change that I wanted out there. By simply living the life of all possibility. That is truly what it means to transcend limitations. We must become our own warrior and see what is going on within ourselves, take ownership of whatever it is and then learn how to release and resolve it for ourselves first before we can help anyone else.
I have spent my entire life coming to the point where I now know that I know with a knowing that I don’t know how to explain, I just know. It is a point where you have tried almost everything to be or fix something and you come up with no answers except that maybe that which you thought needed to be fixed doesn’t need to be fixed at all. Ethan never needed to be fixed, he just needed people to believe that he could do anything and help him open up to that possibility so that he could take over and do it himself.
So, on that day, as I passed the torch over to Ethan, as he assumed his own internal fires, I felt a new peaceful power come over me that proceeds anything I had ever experienced before.
This was something so transcending it was indescribable in words. It was a wave of force that just knew. I knew what I knew and could not describe how I knew but it was a knowing that no one could ever shake or dismantle within me. It was there for good.
And so it became a part of me in that moment and has never left. I am not here ever to make anyone see the light. I am not to change other opinions or ever try to make them see. I can stand in the darkness, not to make darkness see the light…but rather to be the light that shines despite the darkness.
I know I am the light. What comes to me…is the knowledge of all encompassing truth no matter what. It is the same truth that can come to anyone. It is applicable to all. Our words are our medicine. We are always seen. Life is what is happening and unfolding right now. Every experience is the answer. The heart is the answer. This is peaceful power.
My knowing in the highest truth knows that answers will always prevail…light will always come…and darkness does not exist. In that moment, joy, laughter, and humor was becoming my new home…seriousness and fear were on their way out the door. I knew. I had made a life of showing the world what was possible by investing all my times in helping a boy believe it was true when he became a man. And now I was done.
Ethan was the stem that helped me to flower. Now it was time for me to pass this along.
I had returned to the truth after all these years. I had biked right into transcendence with the most evolutionary force in my life that taught me how to become a strong force of truth for others.
True power can and only does come from the heart. This is what this book is about.
Lesson – 1 – Transcending Limitation
Inside each of us is a golden seed with the DNA to sprout, glow, grow, emerge, flower, and become. Exactly what it will become…we may not know. And what it becomes is exactly what it is supposed to be, no matter what. This seed intuitively knows how to become its own peaceful and miraculous power. It does not question whether or not it is supposed to go this way or that or whether it will grow and become what it is supposed to be. It just is. In its knowing which is never questioned it just becomes more of what it is naturally supposed to be with no limitations, no filters, no judgements and no thing to question its course of action. It knows not how to transcend limitation because it does not even understand what limitation is. All it can do is become more of itself. It is already written in its programming to blossom, flower, and grow. That’s what we are.