He was part of the group on my tour bus and dependent on his wheelchair. I could already see the limits he would be facing while attempting to get around the amusement park his group was visiting.
While the rest of his group went off to explore the park, not wanting to be a hindrance, he was trying to make the best of it and get around on his own.
As I watched him rolling around, my thoughts drifted back to my own time spent in a wheelchair remembering the handicap stall that wasn't functional, the parking space that seemed so far away from my destination, the counter that was too high, rolling along the street watching for the slightest incline that had the potential to be my undoing, the item I needed that was located out of my reach, and even opening a closed door could be such a source of frustration as I would experience someone stand there watching me struggle rather than ask me if I could use a little help. There were some days that it just didn't seem worth the effort, but to give up was not in my nature and I could see the same determination in him!
I saw the opportunity to "pay it forward" and asked if I could push him around the park. As he hesitantly agreed, I soon put his mind at ease when he saw that I was experienced in maneuvering the chair around the crowds of people. As I spent time with him over the next few days, and he shared his story about what put him in the chair I couldn't help but think that so many people go through life every single day without truly giving thanks for what they have. The simple act of being able to walk around on our own two feet is such a blessing.
Often times we are so caught up in what needs to be done before the day, week or month is through that we don't stop to truly live in the present. What would happen if you took one hour every day to be truly present and SEE what is going on right in front of your nose? Would you then be able to see the door that you could hold open for someone, a struggle that someone close to you is experiencing that you have been too busy to notice, or even the flowers that you walk past every day with hardly a second glance?
I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to push him around for a few days and the reminder of how thankful I am and why I Love My Life! Making time to live in the present could be the start of a new awareness in your life. Because, after all, Life Is All About Choices!
By Nancy Mueller
Motivational Speakers love to speak in front of an audience and I am no exception!
I love speaking in front of an audience and watching their face light up with delight when they learn something new and exciting that I share with them from the stage! One day I asked myself, “What can I do for fun that will allow me to talk to people at the same time?” My answer: Tour Guide School!
Being a Tour Guide is a lot of fun, especially in my area because I get to take my tour guests to Old Town Pasadena, Farmers Market, The Grove, Hollywood, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier! I love seeing these cities for the first time every time I take guests on my tour bus!
Not only do my tour guests learn from me, but I also learn a lot from them! For the last six days, I had the pleasure of taking a group of people from Louisiana on my tour bus. Some of these people were telling me about the town they are from, the excitement of New Orleans and the shrimp boats they use to catch the fresh shrimp they love so much. No frozen shrimp for these people; they are experts on all things shrimp!
One man showed me pictures of his beautiful house after he had just remodeled it; beautiful tile, hardwood floors, new paint and then WHAM… the next picture showed his beautiful home in a mound of toothpicks the day Katrina blew into town.
After Katrina, they moved into temporary shelter, rebuilt their homes, and, WHAM… Isaac blew through town! Instead of concentrating on what they lost, they work together and concentrate on rebuilding.
Wouldn’t it be great if more people could learn a lesson from the thousands of people who lost everything to Katrina? Sometimes you have to lose everything to find yourself! Material possessions can be fun but they cannot replace the smile on a loved ones face.
If you took a moment to think about losing everything, and starting over from the ground up, what would New Beginning would you create? Presents and packages are great for awhile, but they can never replace the look of a smile!
The next time you get ready to complain because you don’t have the newest or latest and greatest “must have” item, look around you and give thanks for the roof over your head, hot and cold running water, food in the cupboard and the ability to create a New Beginning!
P.S. If you ever get the chance to visit Louisiana, you may want to check out Robin Seafood Company for the finest shrimp and Select Louisiana Oysters to tempt your taste buds! CLICK HERE to watch Don Robin share more about their Katrina experience… and then… go hug someone you appreciate!
I grew up with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Lana Turner, Betty Grable, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor. These people came into our home each week in the form of our favorite TV show or movie of the week. My grandmother often spoke of traveling to California to see Matt Dillon. She could never understand that he was a character played by James Arness on her favorite weekly TV show, Gunsmoke.
Dreaming of Hollywood; the Academy Awards, the glitz and the glamor would allow my mother an opportunity to escape her world and travel to the world of Hollywood, taking me and my siblings with her! Lana Turner, Betty Grable, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and of course Elizabeth Taylor; my mother could not get enough of them and her excitement was contagious!
The movies and people that starred in the movies were different when my mother was a young girl; mystery surrounded the movie stars and the places they frequented were places she could only hope to visit. Hollywood and those that ruled Hollywood saw to it that the public only saw the glamorous side of the movie business. Every girl wore her hair like Elizabeth Taylor and dreamt of being discovered like Lana Turner.
Today, the world of Hollywood is very real in my mother's life as she follows my tours leading guests through Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood as a local Tour Guide. She marvels at the places I check into on Facebook when I talk about having a drink at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where Julia Robert's captured the eye of Richard Gere while filming Pretty Woman or walk the staircase that every movie star passes through during the Academy Awards. As I stand on the stage at the Hollywood Bowl and encourage the guests on my tour bus to pose and take pictures that will give them lasting memories, I often give thanks to my mother for sharing her love of all things Hollywood with me. Not only do my childhood memories of Hollywood make me a great Tour Guide, they have also made me my mother’s favorite Hollywood Star!
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