He looked at me and said, "Do you still feel different?"
"Yes, for sure, but in a good way now," I replied.
"How so?" He asked.
I paused for a moment, was I ready to say this out loud?
"I can say now that I am grateful for my concussion," I answered.
Did I just say that? It felt so empowering to hear it leave my lips. Even better, I meant it.
We spent two hours going back and forth about what I am grateful for and how my concussion has changed me, for the better. It boiled down to these three things...
1- It made me slow down.
Before my concussion, I was going through the motions of everyday life and forgetting to enjoy the present. I had a To Do list and my only thought was how quickly can I mark off my next task. I didn't stop and marvel at anything.
Don't get me wrong, my crazy, full time, working mama schedule has not slowed down.
I now look for opportunities to rest my mind. I meditate daily. I allow myself to be present, instead of worrying about what is coming next. I am more focused because I understand that multi-tasking is impossible and ineffective.
I am grateful I have learned to be in the now.
2- Tomorrow is not promised to us.
What would you change if you knew tomorrow was never coming? Today is all you have. Would you love deeper? Would you voice your appreciation? Would you reach out to those you haven't forgiven?
No one told you tomorrow will come. No one promised you would rise with the sun each morning. Your expectation that each new day will come robs you of the tenderness to forgive, love, appreciate and be aware.
I am grateful that I understand, each day is a gift.
3- Your brain is powerful!
I always believed I was a middle achiever. I was smart, but not a straight A student. I did well in school, but I wasn't at the top of my class. I accepted the label that I, and society, had placed on myself of being in "the middle."
After going through my concussion I learned how powerful our minds really are. Yes, I didn't get straight A's in school, but that doesn't mean I didn't have the ability to do so. You can train your brain to work harder, to learn more, to do more!
I now play cognitive brain games daily. When I first started playing these games in June 2016, I hated every single one of them. I felt stupid. I felt slow. I felt like I had a concuss brain, and I did, but what I didn't realize is I had to teach my brain to work again. Instead of allowing my mind to give up so easily, I had to push it.
My first reaction, to each new game, was to throw my headphones down and say "nope, not doing it," but I was so eager to get better.
Over time I have been able to teach my brain how to be faster, more effective, and more knowledgeable. These games have helped me with my post-concussion symptoms, but what is more powerful is, I know I am as smart as I believe that I am. No more middle ground!
If I see something that is difficult, I break it down and tackle it. If I believe I can achieve it, I will. Now that is powerful!
I am grateful that I understand the power of my words. What I say, my brain believes.
A road that I never thought would find the light, has surpassed my expectations. The view from here is bright and sunny. I am owning and loving who I am now.