The disability of losing the ability to walk can be an incredible motivator or it can lock you into discouraging thoughts. There are 2 paths I found in dealing with disabilities. I could focus on the thoughts and fears of what was happening to me, which would leave me completely discouraged. Or I could be so clear on what I wanted that it forced me to discover new ways to accomplish my goals.

MS is a tricky illness. Disabilities can come and go without any logical explanation. People have said, “You have to eat this food.” “ You have to do this kind of exercise.” “ You have to have this kind of medical treatment.” I think they are all right, but I think the most important thing when facing a disability is to trust yourself and be clear on your goal. I think our body has an inner wisdom that can guide us and make us more receptive to the right kind of treatments. That happens when you are clear on your goal. E.g., the first time my walk was limited, I began to realize that the doctors did not have the answer and there was nowhere to turn to find out how to control my mobility. Before I went to sleep, I visualized what I wanted to have happen. In psychology, dreams are defined as a way of completing unfinished business. Imaging what I wanted as I dealt with a disability created unfinished business. I found in my dreams I could walk the way I wanted and that had an effect on my walk in real life. My partner would tell me that my legs were moving in my sleep.

After 28 years dealing with MS, I began to see the power of reaching beyond the way I was conditioned to think. I developed a technique I call dream work. When I dealt with MS challenges I needed to work on, I tried to go beyond my thoughts to connect to these inner resources. I have taught myself to walk 3 times. I do not think positive thinking or mental exercises are a cure for MS disabilities, for I am in a wheelchair today. I do think that using your whole brain to deal with these challenges may not cure the disability itself, but the real fight comes from not limiting the quality of your life. I recently wrote a book, A Healthy Way to be Sick, which has the idea of coping with struggles from a deeper perspective than anxious thoughts. I feel that is our greatest fight in MS, for when the quality of life is limited by our own mind, it is hard to deal with the MS challenges.

The quality of your life does not depend on the health of your body or your degree of disability; it depends on your focus. When you lose the ability to focus on your goal and what you really want, the symptoms of MS become harder to deal with. I honestly feel there is quality of life in every stage of MS.

My thoughts about exercise are that exercising is as essential as breathing. We can exercise our body in many ways, but the exercise I want to offer today, with the idea of dream work, is to exercise our mind.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Lerner is the President of Life Skills Institute and has been working with people in a health struggle for over 28 years. He is the author of the e-books A Healthy Way to be Sick and A Light Shines Brighter in Darkness, which help people in a struggle connect to The Wisdom of Their Body. He gives tele-seminars and lectures entitled Connecting to Your Center, which you can enroll in at Marc has had MS for 28 years, is legally blind and in a wheelchair. The idea of a light shining brighter in darkness reflects a positive spirit during difficult times. If you or anyone you know faces a challenge you cannot control, Marc has developed simple techniques that transport your consciousness to powerful inner resources.