Awakening my intuition
A spiritual journey of Zen from neurological differences, by James Adams
Discovering that I was neurologically divergent at age 24 was something of a stark revelation. I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia, a lesser-known condition also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) in America. Dyspraxia/DCD affects a person’s motor coordination; movement; memory; communication; learning and many other key neurological functions of the brain. It can create significant obstacles in a person’s life, depending on the level of severity.
After many years of not knowing why I was different, I was told that yes, my suspicion was right – there is a reason why life has been so challenging.
To say that my condition hasn’t created suffering would be a complete lie.
It’s not exactly easy to stand up to school bullies when you struggle to organise thoughts and communicate clearly. Nor is it easy to revise for exams when the brain chooses not to remember. Eating food with a knife and fork is no easy feat either.
Nevertheless, I would soon discover that this condition was my initiation into the world of Zen. It would take me on a magical, spiritual journey (albeit a turbulent one with many tears) to discovering my authentic self – something akin to Dorothy’s yellow brick road for those who enjoy visual analogies as I do.
You see, living with neurological differences makes it very difficult to integrate into a world that isn’t designed for you. It’s incredibly difficult to go down the traditional path of climbing the career ladder, finding that special someone, getting married, buying a house and starting a family. No, I had far too much to be dealing with.
My condition created a very limiting life experience with lots of bumps in the road. Burnout, mental confusion, anxiety and depression were all common themes in my day-to-day life. I was stuck. There was just no way that the external world could provide any source of lasting happiness.
But what about my inner world?
Inadvertently, my suffering directed my attention to the one place that I could actually reach – my inner self. Sure, I could talk to myself. That wasn’t a problem. It was like reconnecting with a long-lost friend who doesn’t judge and only wants to help.
Over time, I soon discovered that this inner self was actually my divine source of intuition. Discovering this intuition was the beginning of my spiritual journey of Zen. Zen would help me to see the world for its true connected and multidimensional nature. Zen would help me throw away unwanted baggage so that my authentic self could shine. Zen was my shining light that was asking to lead the way. Zen helped me to heal past wounds and feel empowered once again.
Thanks to Zen, I no longer see my neurological differences as something to be feared. Yes I have limitations and yes I need to set boundaries and be kind to myself, but no, they will not hold me back. Nor will they stop me from expressing my true authentic self.
I have so much to be thankful for. Without living with Dyspraxia/DCD, I would not have possessed the motivation or courage to embark on this transformational journey of self.
My biggest lesson to date is that your inner self has no such limitations. Do not let your circumstances define who you are. Use them as a catalyst to discover what has been hidden under the rubble all this time. Your real self. The limitless self.