Monthly Archives: October 2015

CP: Disability and Spiritual Practice?

Can simply living with a disability be a spiritual practice? Although I have talked about having CP generally, I have yet to explain how my CP impacts my physical abilities. Due to my CP, I have always had to tap into a high level concentration to complete any task requiring muscle coordination. You may be thinking, “Doesn’t every physical task require some level of muscle coordination?” In one word… Yes. I use a motorized wheelchair, have less control of my hands and arms and work hard to speak clearly.

Like many with disabilities, I have adapted my lifestyle to fit my abilities. In the words of one of my favorite comics, “When life gives you a wheelchair, make lemonade… You know what I mean!” I love to ski, windsurf and ride horses. I have traveled internationally and have a wonderful community of family and friends. Some say I have accomplished these things despite my CP. Over time, I have become comfortable telling these people that I have accomplished these things, in part, because of the lessons and worldview my CP has given me.

However, recently, I have come to have a more expansive understanding of my CP. Yes, I have learned lessons as a result of having CP, but now I am beginning to understand my CP to be my greatest spiritual practice. When this thought first crossed my mind, I was both startled and liberated.  The disability advocate in me was confused and resistant to this concept; but, in the midst of that confusion and resistance, I was curious.

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Abstract painting of world. The words world cerebral palsy day 7 oct. 2015 are on the right side.

Happy World CP Day!

Surprise… I am posting on a Wednesday! Today is World CP Day! YAY!! I decided to celebrate by coming up with my “10 Reasons I Love Having CP” List.

10. Palsy begins with the same letter as- you know what’s coming- PURPLE!!!

9. Before my speech became pretty easy to understand, I spelled out words when I spoke to people who couldn’t understand me. This led to me becoming such a wiz at spelling that I won several Spelling Bees in elementary school.

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