I found Priscilla at www.wheelchairmommy.com. Her sense of humor won me over instantly and I knew I had to contact her. She agreed to let me pick her brain to make my character, Jo, a more believable and real character. I asked her the usual questions, and the unusual ones too!
One thing I learned is that people who happen to be paraplegic, do not like to be called ’wheelchair bound’. That is too limiting. The wheelchair is just a mode of transportation, like our cars or our shoes. Just another mode of movement or transportation. I did not know this until she told me.
This got me to thinking…
How many times have people using wheelchairs been told they couldn’t do something? How many people go ahead and do it anyways just to prove a point? How much does our language, our semantics if you will, limit our achievement? What if we looked for every way our self-talk or language bound us? What would we want to change?
I also began to think about Jo, main character in Descendent from Beyond, as well. What would she say about herself or how would she describe herself? My goal in writing her was for her to be an inspiration to other people. If I’m limiting her by her words, how is that an inspiration to others?
I challenge each of you to find one way that you are limiting yourself by your semantics or language and resolve to change those words or that phrase to something more positive and less limiting. Is it something like, “I’m just a…” or “I can’t…”. If you change your words, then your thinking will also change. If your thinking changes, then your behavior and actions will change. This is the premise of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)—a simple yet effective strategy. Stop all that stinkin’ thinkin’, remove ’can’t’ from your vocabulary, and see what opportunities begin to open up for you and how life begins to look and feel differently.
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My Yoda-ism for today:
Resistance is like the dark side of the force and is a formidable foe. Learn how to use the force (your will, knowledge, and understanding) to overcome resistance.