Love Rolls On: Our Latest News…

March 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just a reminder that you can keep up with Love Rolls On on our new Platform!

Here’s the Latest News:
National Mobility Awareness Month: Wild and Wacky Stunts for a Van

Our vision is to reach as many families as we possibly can through a national book tour and speaking engagements. But to do that, we’re going to need an accessible van. We’ve entered the National Mobility Awareness Campaign to win one of three vans. Help us by voting for Barton here!!
Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll is gaining national attention!!

Check out these interviews here:
WRAL Tar Heel Traveler

Breaking Free Webcast

And you can purchase your own copy here: http://inkinthewheels.com/purchase-your-copy-here/

 

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Uncovering Opportunity Amidst Life’s Messes

July 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty, Uncategorized, wheelchairs, Wild Stories You Just Wouldn't Believe | Leave a comment
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Last week, Megan recounted my recent experience with local police & EMS, and those oh so well intentioned folks who inadvertently caused unneccessary mayhem while doing their best to help. In the days since, I have spent countless hours processing and attempting to make sense out of conflicting perspectives on what transpired, many of which exist purely internally.

While I am reconciling my emotions, I have had the opportunity to speak with a member of the EMS team in order to understand the point from which they were orienting from during last week’s events.

Through this conversation, it’s become apparent to me that there was confusion and misunderstanding on all sides in many ways, and in many ways, the EMS who were on the scene did the best they could.

Yet, from a personal perspective, it felt as though that during the intent to disengage my wheelchair, it felt like they were inadvertantly taking my power. As it was only after an hour of attempting to communicate that I needed no help, that I gave in. There’s such a fine line.

I gave in because I was at an impass, but I did not give permission to disengage my chair nor would they let me drive independently.

During the conversation with the supervisor, we came upon a mutual understanding, the result of which was an invitation to serve as a resource and to explore opportunities to collaborate, going out into the community in refining their understanding and practices of assisting people with disabilities.

Facing the Mirror of Vulnerability

April 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty, Uncategorized, Work | Leave a comment
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Recently, Megan posted about the importance of courage. How, with each word, we find ourselves uncovering the vulnerability to tell the truth of who we are without hiding from it nor apologizing for it.

I find myself struck by how, as we enter again into refining our book for publication, we are continually being called to embrace great courage in our daily lives, almost as a living reflection of our editing process. Over the past several weeks this need for courage and honest vulnerability is re-emerging as a central theme in my own life. More specifically, I have been exploring how this vulnerability informs my capacity to care for my family and progress in my professional endeavors as well.

In the face of some recent transitions, and the looming possibility of having to navigate changes in contracts, this question of vulnerability has called me to reassess how I understand my personal mission of supporting others to embrace their full potential and the best means by which I can execute it. As many of you know, coaching and mentoring has been an on-going passion and over the past few years, has taken center stage in terms of the direction in which I’m headed. At the same time, this has always been backed by the security of projects in other arenas providing for our basic needs.

It is clear to me that I am most comfortable and most fulfilled working within the realm of developing others to be their absolute best be it personally, professionally, within organizations or whatever possible format may be applicable to them. I am also equally aware that as a professional myself, many of my most valuable assets also include my writing abilities, public relations, and marketing.

Understanding these two realms, both where my personal passion and ambition lies as well as understanding when others perceive the bulk of my talent causes me to carefully examine how I can interweave the two so that both aspects are utilized to the fullest without compromising either my love for personal development or my skills as a writer.

Herein lies the heart of vulnerability, as this recognition is not one-sided. Nor does it hold one aspect as being more favorable over another. It is through this honest conversation with myself that is unraveling a new framework for the next evolution of my professional and personal life.

In facing these realities fully and understanding who I am, I become less attached to having a specific ideal and rather feel more comfortable designing an integrated, and ever fluid professional life that incorporates elements of the whole range of talent, experience and passion. Indeed, this conversation requires the same courage and vulnerability that Megan and I are facing on a daily basis as we re-engage with our manuscript. And, it is through this vulnerability that we discover a fullness that we were previously unaware of, no matter our endeavor.

Playing Bodyguard

October 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Uncategorized, wheelchairs, Wild Stories You Just Wouldn't Believe | 2 Comments
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What a night Saturday was! I certainly did not expect to be shifting from engaging in a casual conversation with someone at the bar to making sure he couldn’t do damage to anyone in the crowd, least of all himself. It just happened to work out that way for some reason.

Those who know us are aware that a village pub isn’t exactly what we would consider a typical hangout but since our friends were playing we thought it would be a nice change of pace. When we got there it was nearing 11 and a number of patrons had clearly already had their share to drink. After we got settled at the front of the bar, close to where the band was set up, a man close to me struck up a conversation.

At first I found this interesting as it was clear that despite his blood/alcohol level, there was some genuine interest in talking. After all, I suppose it’s not every day that you see two guys in wheelchairs roll into a bar. I was open to chatting and was pretty impressed at how well he understood me. As he began to talk more, it became apparent that he needed someone to listen and I was happy to do so since I saw this as a healthier option for him than pouring more alcohol on top of his troubles. Soon, however, it was obvious that things were beginning to shift.

As soon as he turned back to his buddies, he downed another beer before trying to reengage. This happened several times, and with each, he became increasingly dangerous to himself and those around him. I was done. It was clear that he had no interest in the opportunity I was offering. He began to stumble aimlessly trying to get others to dance with him. As he began knocking into others, including those on stage, I began creating distance between him and where we were sitting in order to protect Megan and our two friends. In a final attempt to engage us, he extended his hand over my head to ask Megan to dance. Realizing that Megan did not fully grasp what he was asking in the moment, I playfully interrupted the line he was extending by gently redirecting his arm, and intent, with a friendly nudge and glance.  

While this ended his attempts to engage with us directly, he was still way off kilter and on the verge of toppling over. From where we sat, however, our friends could not safely navigate to an exit and so my next task was to keep them from being trampled upon. By the end of the show, the guy’s friends had contained him somewhat. And that, combined with my capacity to serve as designated linebacker allowed us to open a safe path to the door for our friends.

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Time for a Dip!

April 12, 2010 at 1:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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 Last weekend, Megan and I went swimming together for the first time in who knows how long. It felt absolutely wonderful, not only because we had the chance to do something we both love and enjoy each other’s company at the same time, but also because neither of us has had the chance to swim in a while. Heck, I don’t think I’ve been in a pool since before we were married!

I’ve always loved the water, as does Megan, and though we’ve talked on numerous occasions about finding the time to swim together, this is the first time it actually happened.

We arrived at the pool with the intention of both of us swimming laps. We decided that it was likely best that Megan swim first; that way, I wouldn’t be sitting on the side of the pool cold, wet, and itching to go. After about a half an hour, Megan finished her workout and it was my turn to dive in, well, ok…

it was more of a slow submergence with the help of a chair lift but the truth is that I would have been much happier diving in. Anyway, once I was in the pool it took us a while to find the right depth, which is usually around five feet for me, and for me to remind Megan what I needed to help me swim. But after this was sorted out, I was off in a splash.

I’ve always wondered how it must look from someone else’s prospective when I swim as, the way I go about it is to have whoever is assisting me drop me. From there, dogpaddle a bit, which must look like a drowning rat attempting to wrestle an angry sea creature and losing miserably. Then as I find the need to take a breath, I drop to the bottom and push off the floor with my feet with enough force to thrust my entire upper torso into the air, fill my lungs, and start the process over.

Now, I used to have this refined to the point that I could swim a mile and a half with this method but after five years or more, I found myself gasping after only one lap. I can’t wait to go again!

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