“…allows one to go from one identity to another much like a butterfly samples flowers…”
Having had an industrial accident many years ago resulted in a spinal cord injury, Richard was told by a top neurosurgeon that he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Through sheer force of will and expansion of spirit, he progressed from being flat on his back to his current status of walking with only forearm crutches. Richard currently works in the entertainment industry as an actor, writer and producer.
What the AvatarŽ materials have done for me is to allow a shift in my driving force from judgment and denial to acceptance and integration of experience.
Recently I performed in a play (PH*reaks) that dealt with the theme of display of the disabled throughout history: as medical specimens, as civil rights activists and even as in the freak shows.
The seven actors all experienced some sort of physical disability. Before Avatar I would have been quite uncomfortable being associated with this group. My negative judgment of my own situation - and of theirs - would have prevented me from fully experiencing the wonderful perspective of life that disability affords. I would have been embarrassed to be viewed in the thick of it, so strong was my subtle, yet deep-seated, denial.
Now, being disabled is not a reality that I prefer, and I continue to look for ways to change it. However, with this play I plunged fully into the experience of it and by not resisting it, I was able to glean from it great insights into myself and others as well as have one heck of a great time! All in all, I feel bigger for the experience. The identity of one who is disabled fits comfortably, without judgment, into my expanded sense of self. I choose not to dwell on it, but can place my attention on it should the need arise. I accept responsibility for my physical situation as my own current creation; as my understanding of this grows, so does my ability to create something different.
The removal of judgment is the common denominator which allows one to go from one identity to another much like a butterfly samples one flower after another. My experience of participating in this play reflects my willingness now to surrender judgment and experience all of life.