Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'life without limits'

pic 1) nick vujicic speaking last weekend 10 miles from my house! pic 2) amanda and i sitting front row getting ready to hear nick on the first night. pic 3) second time nick spoke i got to meet him! amazing amazing man. and what is that on his foot you ask? oh thats a tumor hater bracelet!

last christmas my mom got me a book called 'life without limits' by nick vujicic. once i picked this book up, i could not put it down. this guy is amazing. he was born without arms or legs but has decided to accept himself as he is and to believe that God has a plan for him. in this book he talks about his journey in accepting himself, his ups and downs and to where he is now; a world renowned motivational speaker but most of all, living a life without limits.

well, God being the awesome guy He is...sent nick to my neck of the woods last weekend! when i found out i couldn't stop saying "SHUT UP!" i was completely baffled that i was going to get to see this guy that has turned my world around. he has proved to me that i have every reason to believe in myself. i want to be an author. i want to be a motivational speaker. i want to have a non profit to help others in medical need. i want to give people reason to believe in themselves and to love themselves as they are. to help them trust in Gods love for them and love themselves fully. since reading his book, i have found the courage to act on these desires and take steps towards them. if a man without arms or legs can do all these things, why on earth couldn't i? tumors? pain? HA! ridiculous!

after listening to nick speak last weekend, he has made me reevaluate myself and my tumors yet again. the invisibility of my disorder used to bother me. it has stood in the way of me feeling completely understood by my peers and loved ones. for a long time it upset me that i didn't feel fully understood, validated or trusted when i would be crying in pain or fear of my future. well now i realize that frustration of mine was foolish. why should i care so much about people understanding my pain and the threats my tumors have over me? i wanted people to understand so badly that it actually kept me from moving forward in certain parts of my life and growing in certain areas of my heart. nick has a very visible defect. but he doesn't act like a man with no arms or legs. i actually forgot about his lack of wrists when i was planning on giving him a tumor hater bracelet. as i put it around his foot i remembered him telling us all that he has a pair of shoes in his closet. he doesn't want to be treated any different than you or i. it doesn't even seem like he thinks he is any different. so me being frustrated cuz i don't look different enough is just completely ridiculous to me now.

here are a couple of things nick said that really moved me;
"what good are arms and legs if you don't know what to do with them?"
"more than arms or legs i want peace."

we are so much more than what we lack. our 'lacks' are only as powerful as we allow them to be. it is so easy to focus on what we don't have and allow it to dictate our happiness and our success. we must reach a point where our desire to live our dream is stronger than our fear of never getting there. my life is up to me, i refuse to plan my life around my lacks. but instead i will hope in my future because i believe the promises of God. i believe He has given me my 'lacks' as an irreplaceable tool in helping me live my dream life without limits.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

i made the cover of people magazine!?

me with the magazine!! and thats my little bandaged up head by kim's right knee!! me and a kardashian on a cover together? haha!


"my summer was great, you know... the usual. work time and lake time, oh and i was in south africa's people magazine and i made the cover!"

if i think about it, a person having over a thousand tumors definitely DOES sound unusual. especially if the person looks completely non tumor-ey. but i never thought it would be getting me into magazines. weird huh? ME! HA! so weird.

thank you so much to double vision media for sharing my story and helping raise awareness to this disorder. and thank you south africa people magazine for showing me love and supporting me through this journey by telling my story.

its amazing what happens when you start to be real to yourself, your friends and family. starting this blog has helped me through majorly difficult times. i feel supported not only by my community, but literally from people all over the world. i don't feel alone in this anymore. i don't feel like i have to hide from my fear, but those fears are accepted by every one of you. i grew up hiding from my emotions. not crying because i thought that meant you were allowing yourself to be weaker than your circumstance. but with your help, i am learning that fear is ok. that it doesn't mean that i am weak. so i want to say thank you to all of you as well, your support has opened my eyes to a much more hopeful journey ahead of me.

this week i feel renewed. instead of feeling like a victim, i feel like a true survivor. i feel like i've had battle after battle on top of battles in my life. so in my mind i have had that survival mode thing going on. 'don't be a baby, toughen up, accept the pain.' this mind set completely helped me being a distant runner when i was growing up. oh my gosh, talk about pain! but i loved it. i actually loved the pain, i loved improving. every single race i got a new pr (personal record) which makes me sad in a way because i never got to discover how good i was or could have been before i had to quit all together because of the pain caused by my tumors (didn't know it was tumors at the time though, since i wasn't diagnosed until after high school). i never knew how much strength and endurance i had in me as a runner. i paced myself faster every time, and every time i would improve, but i never hit my peak because i was scared to test my limits. that is exactly how i am in life. maybe that's how most of us are. capable of so much but we don't want to believe in our own greatness. so we don't improve at all. we accept where we are at because it is comfortable. or we only allow small bits of improvement. never fully let go and dive in to what feels 100% authentically US, because what? a million reasons! how will we maintain this greatness? what if we cant handle it? what if you cant handle the pressure that your greatness will bring? well, would you rather handle being your mediocre your whole life and never just completely let your fears go?

one of my top favorite quotes EVER is

"our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of God. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people wont feel insecure around you. we are all meant to shine, as children do. we were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. its not just in some of us, its in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

this is me to a 'T'. even though i know this quote is totally true, i have so much fear it is ridiculous. but i just cant live my mediocre life, i have to test my boundaries. so slowly but surely i have been 'increasing my pace' as often as i can. re-adjusting my thoughts, daily and even hourly. and as i am making steps towards my dreams, i am tapping into my inner distant runner mindset and telling myself to dig, push, breath!!

i will not turn over on my back and let my circumstances get the best of me and you shouldn't either. take steps towards your dreams and get out of your comfort zone. choose to believe in your own greatness.