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You Are Up to You.: Innovate a New Self for a New Life. Feel Spiritually Whole Again After Trauma and Disability. (Paperback)

You Are Up to You.: Innovate a New Self for a New Life. Feel Spiritually Whole Again After Trauma and Disability. Cover Image
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What does it take to go through physical trauma and have everything taken away from you and come back to be a better you than before with more joy in your life? Ed Penniman did this and tells you how with art, stories and unusual but powerful recommendations. Although aimed at people who have had physical trauma, this book can help anyone who has challenges and has to face dramatic change.

Author's comments:

This book is about not falling prey to a negative self-concept after trauma. It is about redefining how you see yourself, how to take your personal challenge and learn the valuable embedded lesson it may offer. I evolved as a person because I was made aware that I could be a better me after being stripped of my limited ideas of myself. I was given an opportunity to renew and rebrand myself - to live from a deeper and evolving image of who I am.

Come to grips with vulnerability. The past, the present and the future--these are all things I had a lot of time to think about when I was in the hospital. It took me a few weeks until what was happening to me started to sink in. There was so much activity surrounding me in the hospital that I got caught up in being a patient, rather than being myself. I slowly started to understand that I was a quadriplegic.

Self preservation. Coming to terms with your disability means losing your innocence. It is a right of passage and an initiation into a new and higher level of awareness and sensitivity. While in the initiation process the moment-to-moment unfolding of events requires one to rely on one's self, measure the situation carefully, get information and safely guide the self through obstacles as they present themselves.

Courage, patience and self-reliance. I needed to learn how to say "no" for my own welfare and to stop acting like I was OK. At that point I started to be more realistic about my time for visits. I visited with those who I knew, wanted to see, and only when I wanted to see them. It was empowering to be able to control, at last, my expenditure of energy.

Feel comfortable in your own skin. Early in my disability, I turned feeling sorry for myself into an art form. Being confined not only to a hospital bed, but to a body that had no response was a completely foreign experience. It was like double paralysis. And it was taking its toll on my mind as I tried to make some kind of sense out of my situation. I found myself trying out a multitude of personality coping styles and behaviors.

Positivity, re-branding and your new self. Your attitude is like the breath you choose to take. If you unconsciously take shallow breath, you will feel weak, but if you consciously breathe in full, nourishing breaths, you'll feel instantly clear-headed and healthy. You can automatically dwell on the past and scorn fate, or you can mindfully gather up what you have left, claim your strength, and go forward with the belief that not only will you be OK, but you will prevail and perhaps even inspire others to see that one can have dignity in the face of a life-changing trial.

Others may call what you do heroic. So perhaps the most heroic action is the choice to make the best of your situation. We either adjust to our new circumstances or we don't. If we do make an adjustment and reinvent our self-images within our new world, then survival becomes much easier. You must have vision, learn, create, dream, and feel; you must innovate a new self for a new life. If we don't adapt, we will live in the past, measuring our new world by our old one. What is truly heroic is your decision to pivot, to change, and to embrace your struggle and the unknown ancillary gifts it may bestow upon you. You may now choose to pick up the remaining pieces of your life and go forward to build a new one.

About the Author

Ed Penniman was an Art Director during the “Mad Men ” days in Los Angeles for Mattel Toys, Baskin Robbins, Max Factor, Revlon and others. He was also the Graphics Manager for a major semiconductor company in Silicon Valley. Now a full time painter, he enjoys traveling and painting outdoors and in his studio. Ed was born in the artistic community of Santa Cruz, California. Following his early art education from his grandmother, he earned his degree in fine arts from Chouinard Art School of California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. His creative talent caught the attention of Carson-Roberts Advertising (Ogilvy-Mather), where he was hired even before graduation. He also earned a graphic designer position for Robert Miles Runyan in Los Angeles. Since then, his exceptional graphic design has won many awards for corporate identity, packaging, collateral materials, and trade advertising. His work was honored in the esteemed Communication Arts magazine, which featured an article about Ed. Examples of his work have been published in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Recently he lectured on Corporate Identity and Branding at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Baskin School of Engineering to students engaged in the Business Incubator Project. Ed’s move from graphic design to fine art painting came as a result of a near-death experience. As an adult, Ed was stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which his immune system attacked his nerves, leaving him almost completely paralyzed. After spending many months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Ed moved into a wheelchair, then to a walker, and finally to a cane and leg supports. But he never gave up – not on his new challenges and not on his art. He knew that, without his art, he could not live with a disability. So he began painting, at first with a brush in his teeth.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780997496505
ISBN-10: 0997496509
Publisher: Ed Penniman Associates Design
Publication Date: September 7th, 2016
Pages: 170
Language: English


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