I hear this a lot. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn; it's just what happens in the course of my life. I don't go out of my way to do things in my life and think, Wow, this will really inspire people! I just do what I want to do, and because I do those things while having MS, it seems to make people want to...do more stuff.
After all, I suppose it's the reason I started this blog. My life is somewhat unusual, mostly due to my line of work, but I do a lot of "normal" stuff that regular people do. However, normal stuff is made more difficult sometimes by my MS and dependence on mobility devices. A year ago I started putting together a book proposal for a motivational/inspirational tome on how people with disabilities and mobility aids could not only survive, but succeed in life. I wanted to use the experiences of others (including disabled celebrities), as well as my own stories, to demonstrate that we can work, and travel, and have kids, and have fun with friends. That's how I planned to spread my "inspiration" to others.
But then a random idea hit me out of the blue yesterday. I knew about professional/executive coaches and life/personal coaches (my good friend does this), but was there such a thing as a Disabled Life Coach? Of course there is! It's a specialty within the $2 billion personal coaching industry to be sure, but it exists and there's a need for it. So, once I learned this, I started doing what I do best--research.
|My new school :)|
This is exactly what I want to do for people with MS, or other disabilities, or wounded veterans, or anyone who uses a mobility aid. If they want to learn all that they're capable of, I want them to come to me for help. I want them to discover that they can start a business, or travel to another country, or join a creative writing group, or attend sporting events. I want them to find their own path and blaze their own trail towards their goals by using me as a tool to help them get there.
I'll admit that part of this new endeavor is stemming from the fact I'm getting burned out in my regular job. I've been writing about drug trafficking, human smuggling, kidnapping, death and dismemberment, assault weapons, and money laundering for almost a decade. It will always be my bread and butter and I'm not ready to give it up...but my spirit needs a break.
Through careful research, I've found a training program that is fully accredited through the two international bodies that govern personal coaching. It's a financial and time investment; it will take me at least several months, if not a year, to obtain my first level of certification. I will also need to spend many hours with mentor coaches and doing unpaid work with new or "test" clients to get evaluated. But I believe in this kind of work, and if I inspire people just by living my life, imagine what I can do if I make it a mission :).