When I came out of my coma at mid-life like a six year old, I had no self-esteem, no confidence, no worth or value. I was lower than a snake’s belly. Using the Iceberg Strategies my self-esteem began to emerge.
Knowing yourself deeply is the bedrock of self-esteem.
Everyone has the same core strength deep within. Self-esteem is on a continuum. Your self-esteem falls on that continuum different than anyone else. More precisely, you have enabled your self-esteem to fall there. You are not given high or low self-esteem. Everyone has equal shares. And like everyone else, your self-esteem is bursting to come forth – overflowing its brim.
You are taught to respect your parents and elders. This is confused culturally and religiously. The confusion comes that respecting parents and elders is synonymous with them always being right or knowing better. Compounding this repression is, you learn what you live. Growing up with repression you tend to carry your learning with you, internalize it, and it culminates in oppressing yourself.
You live life feeling you have no value. In reality, you have great value, as everyone does. You just may not know it, yet. Fortunately, emerging your self-esteem and your personal growth can start at any age.
In the course of Exploring the Iceberg you are discovering the truth. The deeper you know yourself the more truth you discover to emerge your self-esteem to launch your undeniable freedom.
How does the truth set you free?
Knowing yourself deeply is the bedrock of self-esteem. The more self-esteem you uncover and use in your life, the more confidence you garner to be the real you! When you have this, your self-value and self-worth increase for you to have the strength, courage and wisdom to view the world and yourself though truthful eyes.
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Exploring the Iceberg
By Paul Lamb
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Paul Lamb
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Story of The Invitation
Me The Happening
Shattering trauma put me into a coma for almost a month. When I came to I was a low functioning adult, like a six year old. Through my Iceberg Strategies I found strength to champion over my challenges and previous traumatic devastation impacting m mind, body and soul. I had to recreate and am rebuilding myself from this trauma.
I was a passenger in a car crash in 1996. I was in a coma for almost a month. Physicians gave me a 3% chance of survival. There is a Glasgow Coma Scale that measures the severity of a coma. The range of the scale is 1-15. A coma is considered catastrophic by insurance companies when it is below 9. When it falls below 3 physicians provide no hope of living. On the Glasgow Coma Scale, I was a 4.
The prognosis at the time of the accident was that if I did survive, I would be totally dependent. My injury was categorized as a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. My head and face were an unsightly mess and I was worse on the inside. I lost my memory. I couldn't smell, taste, hear, see, or feel. I was unable to walk. I was in a wheel chair. I lost my marriage after a 25-year partnership. I wanted to commit suicide.
I am currently living with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) (see Appendix I).
Does the question come to your mind: 'What has a story about the author have to do with me, my profession, or my organization?'
My story enables me to put genuine truth and faith into what the book is about Strive to Thrive. It is a story that merges my skills, knowledge and abilities as a personal and organizational consultant and teacher with what happened to me. It is a story of being less than nothing and still rising up to thrive. It is a story to provide strategies for you to grow no matter how desperate your situation.
It is a story about how you can rise up when these strategies are put into practice by you.
I am an expert on Exploring the Iceberg because I have lived the book. My traumatic event made me an expert at what I had learned and taught. I became the expert of surviving and thriving from my sudden traumatic events and life changes.
Rising above situations is best done by you. Everyone can rise above life altering circumstances especially by using the information provided. You can enable yourself to make visible your invisible Favourable Junctures knowing yourself deeply. This book is an articulation of how I recovered, survived and thrived, and how you can do the same.
PRLs of Wisdom*
Exploring the Iceberg is the metaphor for life ...
This book is for individuals, partners, families and organizations to become more self-aware and thrive in the process. The term, "family" could be substituted for organization. Here it is referred to as your workplace or place of business. In today's culture and society organizations and families have strong alignment. We spend much time, effort, success and tremendous exasperation over organizations, families and ourselves. Organizations take up much space in our lives. Your organization and you spend more time together than your relational partner - so make your organization a great one and your organization will make you a great partner. Know yourself deeply to enhance yourself and your relationship.
Most things in life are relative. There are people that have been through situations that are different than mine. If there is a measuring scale of circumstances that goes from heaven to hell then my story lies somewhere between the two extremes. Some have stories closer to heaven than you or me. Some have stories closer to hell.
In my career I have been immersed in consulting on personal and organizational growth since 1989. In my career and life I used to talk the talk. The eventful trauma and the work that recovery demanded is a gift that has allowed me to walk the talk. Now I am living proof that the talk is believable.
Delving deep into who you are enables you to broaden your foundation to emerge your self-esteem from the three levels of Iceberg Strategies, below, and enable you to explore your:
Zone of Comfort
Venting Valve and the 80/20 Rule
Thinking and Language
Black and White Thinking
Jungian Personalities through Myers-Briggs
Learning is a life-long journey, not a destination. It is truly a never-ending story.
Exploring the Iceberg is the metaphor for life. An iceberg is 7/8 below the surface of the water. Many or most people know about themselves and organizations at the tip of the iceberg, rather than exploring most of it below the surface. Exploring The Iceberg is learning, growing, and the journey of becoming completely self-aware. Is this not often a scary process? However, if we do not learn, we do not grow, and we risk losing ourselves in mediocrity. Learn about yourself to go beyond competition ...
... Explore the Iceberg.
This book is credible only now. Writing this book before was possible but without personal proof. The book being credible to me is a core value I hold on to, enabling myself morally and ethically to write it. I have merged my life's events with my skills, knowledge and abilities. Now, I bring:
Time well spent for you, the reader.
Do you want to thrive?
Exploring the Iceberg through the strategies supplied enable you to go deeper with self-knowledge to:
Emerge your Self-esteem
Create a prosperous Attitude
Increase your life Choices
Discover your Favourable Junctures
Be your own Hero
Making yourself stronger and wiser enables you to help strengthen others with out fear of reprisals or handling reprisals with strength and wisdom, which makes you stronger and wise through a Circle Vision Attitude (what is good for me is good for you and what is good for you is good for me) creating Synergistic Enhancement.
Round and round and round it goes Where it stops nobody knows.
An invitation is extended to all to use the enclosed information and elevate your bar of survival STRIVE TO THRIVE!!!
PRLs of Wisdom*
Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Chapter TwoThe Story Of Challenges
Who I Was and Who I Am Now
PRLs of Wisdom *
Francis Bacon said,
'Be so true to thyself as though be not false to others.'
This will paint a brief picture of me B.C. Before Coma. This provides a dichotomous picture of where I was compared to where I am now.
As the character of Jimmy Cagney said in the movie White Heat 'I'm on top of the world, ma!'
By 1996, I believed I was at a pinnacle of my life and career. I had the world by the hemispheres. I had great kids, I knew what I was doing and where I was going in life and happily married; or so I presumed.
I had a professional wife, whom I loved. Family is a core value of mine with a foundation of loyalty. I was also the structural parent in the family providing guidelines and boundaries for the children. The kids called the guidelines and boundaries 'rules'.
Work, Marriage and Family
In the mid 1970's, I graduated from University of Guelph in human geography to enter into a career of town planning. After university, I was hired by a small private consulting firm with big dreams. I stayed there for a few years.
My girlfriend of five years at the time was at the University of Western Ontario in Speech Pathology. We discussed her future and she advised me she wanted 'more'. I suggested a career as a physician and encouraged her to apply to Hamilton's university, McMaster Medical School. That is what happened. Because of her move from London to Hamilton, our distance from each other shrank and we decided to be married after her move. I searched for a house to rent and so our plans happened.
After my stint in town planning I returned to university to do some continuing education. Being married to a medical student, however, needed my attention to a full time job to maintain the house, buy my wife a car and help with the government loans for medical school.
As a summer student, I worked in Medical and Forensic Pathology as a Pathologist's Assistant. With people leaving, I stayed in this position for six years.
We decided to have kids. We sallied forth with two boys, Silas and Tyson, two years and two days apart. When Tyson was born I stayed home to be a house dad. At the time, I tried getting leave with pay but this was impossible as there was no paternity leave then. I quit work to look after my kids.
During that time I volunteered as a probation and parole officer for five years. At that point I was asked to take over as Coordinator of the Volunteers as my predecessor was leaving. This was a paid job that I held for a few years. I then moved out of the community and applied for a job in an institution, a jail, as a Coordinator of Volunteer Programs. I did that for a few years.
I then applied for my current position consultant with the same provincial ministry of correctional services as with my previous two jobs. I have been in this position the longest.
I was at the top of my career path, so I thought, because of what I was doing in my job. This was a short time before my trauma.
I had been involved in a large project dealing with an assessment of a large work group that was a major part of a change initiative.
I had also been a presenter at an international conference of police a presentation I called The Psychology of Investigation. That was a great time in front of attendees associated with police around the world.
The best part of the presentation was that my kids were with me. In fact, my oldest son helped with my presentation. As well as being on a stage talking and interacting with the participants, I had a slide show. Being unable to conveniently reach my computer laptop, my oldest son operated it on cue.
My son and I were doing my presentation together. I was proud with my youngest son in the audience. When I asked for volunteers to be part of a demonstration to enhance my points, my youngest son approached the stage. Sadly I had to send him back for fear of the audience believing the demonstration was a forgery!
Routine Nutrition and Exercise
I was what some people would call a health nut. I didn't diet or follow any prescribed routine. I followed what I called a food management plan. The idea was to look after me to look after my mind, body and spirit. I believed, and still do, that all three support each other synergistically.
I prepared the meals Monday to Friday. I expected my kids not to be fond of the meals I cooked too healthy. However, I didn't hear any loud complaints. I made a contract with them when they were youngsters. The contract was to eat three vegetables at dinner; they chose the vegetables. Silas and Tyson stuck with the contract until early teens. They were 12 and 14 when they saw their dad close to death. That ended the contract.
I detailed my food intake with a diary. This happened only for a short time, long enough for me to get a measurement of what I ate. Of course it differed marginally day-to-day. Mostly, it consisted of a routine that would see fat intake maintained at around 10%.
I felt what I made and ate was delicious because it was healthy. It wasn't the food as much as it was the perception of what the food did and was doing for me.
Exercising was to the extreme, perhaps.
I ran long distance. I enjoyed running two cross-country races of 33 kilometres. My goal for the first race was to finish. I did and my bonus was I did not finish last. The next year I ran in the same cross-country event with my goal to beat my time from the previous run. I did. My bonus was I didn't pass out!
I agree that the goals do not sound ambitious; but my rationale is that I set goals to meet them. Success breeds success.
I also rode a mountain bike. Part of that routine was to ride in Vermont in the Green Mountains with my brothers on a three-day weekend. Locally, I enjoyed riding down stairs - outside, of course; up and down rock faces in the escarpment close by; and jumping over logs.
Before my injury, I purchased a road-racing bike with aspirations of entering a triathlon. However, swimming was not a strong point with me. Perhaps a biathlon biking and running I could have accomplished. Sometimes my dreams didn't follow the rule - 'success breeds success'.
My past routine is not one I currently follow. I can no longer accomplish what I did before. The symptoms of my injury come into play such as my high level of fatigue and reduced time management skills. Also, although exercising can revitalize and provide energy, the symptoms of my Acquired Brain Injury obstructed me from being able to return to my past routine.
A Typical Morning Pre-Injury
All completed in the morning (usually around five a.m.) early enough to avoid rushing into work, unless circumstances ruled otherwise.
I meditated and prayed, then I rode my bike or ran on the nearby trails, or jumped rope or other aerobics. I often also lifted weights or did callisthenics.
Meditation/Prayer: 20-30 minutes
Warm up: about 5 minutesbiking or walking at a medium pace
Strength: 3 times per week (30-40 minutes)abs., upper & lower back, biceps, triceps, shoulders & pecs the type of exercise varied for some muscle groups & non-weight bearing lower back raises for stability
Cardio: 3-5 times per week (30-40 minutes)a variation or mix of running, biking, jumping rope or step aerobics. The length of time increased considerably when I trained for long distance cross-country races. The cross-country running was easier on my whole body & mind than running pavement.
I shopped for my family in health food stores or in the 'healthy' section of other stores. My commitment to low-fat, balanced food was sincere. I loved the food I made.
Breakfast usually consisted of a protein drink blended with fruit. At the time, coffee was out, ginseng tea in. My workplace had a cafeteria that supplied the salad to go with my turkey sandwich on whole wheat brought from home.
Dinner consisted of pasta or lean meat and a few vegetables that always included broccoli. Grazing through the day, however, was my style of eating. I sipped a glass of water during every hour, energized by, at least, one piece of fruit both mid morning and afternoon.
I headed for the nearby trails at least once a weak which was for me active or passive Zen time. Those trails were my walking, running or biking haven.
'Get a Life'!
When people saw or heard about my routine they'd joked with me for not having fun in my life. They even might say with laughter in their voice"Get ... A ... Life!" Now I can say quite honestly and genuinely'I did!'
One weekend in August 1996 I was away from home on business. I was consulting with the Ontario Provincial Police in a project where my skills were used as an adult educator and organizational consultant. I was working the night shift with the police officers.
Sunday was a bright and sunny morning after the first night shift. I was having a wonderful breakfast on the patio of the hotel where I was staying. I was wondering if life could get any better.
The month before I had presented at an international conference; and I had consulted on a large organizational project. I felt good about what I was doing; good about who I was; great about my marriage; great about my family. Could life get any better? As was about to become evident, I was an insufferable mess.
Sixteen hours after my last memory, my life took the road less traveled.
The night was clear and warm on this summer season. It was the second night I was observing their work as a 'ride along'. The collision happened after midnight. As I have been told, the police officer, who was driving, and I were traveling on a two lane rural road proceeding urgently to another motor vehicle collision. The car went out of control at a high speed. My side of the car hit and careened off a light standard on the roadside. The car spun around and rolled over and over several times, into the adjacent woods. It landed upside down and so did I. I was unconscious.
When the paramedics arrived they found me unconscious suspended upside down by my seat belt in the front passenger side with the air bag blown.
The paramedics cut me out of the car, and I was stabilized for travel and then rushed to the local hospital. Being upside down prevented me from swallowing my tongue. As it was, I was barely alive, otherwise I would have died.
From the small hospital in Peterborough Ontario, I was air lifted to Sunnybrook Hospital, the main trauma hospital located in Toronto.
Coma overwhelmed me for almost a month. The trauma to my head included posterior fracture of my skull, my brain had a left frontal contusion, cranial and cervical shearing, severe haemorrhaging, I had a closed head wound, facial fractures and lacerations, and my shoulder was almost separated.
When there is a closed head wound the brain swells and has nowhere to move, as the scalp is not lacerated. The brain swells due to trauma and haemorrhaging, it follows the path of least resistance to sneak out. It chooses any part of the skull that has thin bony lining to crack and ooze its way out. My brain selected my eye sockets, as that is where the bone is extremely thin, like an egg, only more flexible. Having worked in pathology in my past and removed several hundred brains, I know the welcoming path of which I speak. Therefore, my left eye was hanging out of its socket pushed out by my brain.
Who knew that I would be in a coma for 3 weeks; be given a three percent chance of living or be an immobile dependent if I did live; have a closed head wound? I would be fighting a fractured skull in three places; have internal brain haemorrhaging; who knew I would have a head that looked like an oversized pumpkin, my face would be lacerated with fractures, and a broken nose, that my left eye would be popping out of its socket, pushed out by blood and brain; who knew I would have a myriad of symptoms as a result of an Acquired Brain Injury.
From the trauma, I couldn't walk. I had to learn how to walk again. I had trouble with my vision and I had severe left-sided weakness that, for example, prevented me from lifting a small can of soup.
I lost fine motor control of my left arm and hand, with a feeling of pins and needles 24/7. I lost my memory, both long and short term. I had to learn how to think, and how to talk. I totally lost my self-esteem, my self-confidence, my self-worth and my self-value.
I lost my family that began 25 years before with dating and marriage.
The diagnosis I was given was a severe traumatic, closed head brain injury. In the extreme, I guess I could have been worse, but could I have been worse without dying?
Excerpted from Exploring the Iceberg by Paul Lamb Copyright © 2012 by Paul Lamb. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsI. The Story of The Invitation....................1
II. The Story of Challenges....................11
III. The Story of the Pound-of-Dirt....................47
V. The Story of Strength and Wisdom....................165
Appendix I Acquired Brain Injury....................194
Appendix II The Never Ending Story....................198
Appendix III Corporate and Family....................203
Appendix IV Strengths Knowing Type....................216
Appendix V Myers-Briggs Type Indicator....................218
Appendix VI Inspired Readers' Testimonials....................235