From Toni: I just finished reading the book "Future Sight, A Psychic Odyssey" written by Barry Neil Kaufman. I can't say that I am speechless because the first thing I wanted to do was run to my computer and Blog! I feel inspired, powerful, and am vibrating with excitement to share my personal insight from reading this book.
I purchased my own copy of "Future Sight" well over a year ago if not two years ago. I had intentions of reading it immediately, but each time I opened the book I just couldn't bring myself to "get into" it. I remember starting it several times only to tuck it away with my bookmark marking my spot that I would leave it- always within the first chapter. I tucked it away in a special spot in my closet for a rainy day which never came along, at least not for myself. I had completely forgotten about the book until one day I peeked into my Autistic son's bedroom to find him ripping the pages in his very methodical and rythmic peacefulness. This isn't the first one of Barry's Books that Zac has ripped... He also had enjoyed a copy of "Happiness is a Choice" several weeks prior. My instinct was to burst into the room and say "NO! NOT MY BOOK!!" but there was something about watching him rip a book called "Happiness is a Choice" that I choose to react with curiosity and wonder instead. I had very obviously left my books where my little ripper could find them. As if the place that I had hidden them away was intended exactly for his wondering fingers to find, hidden completely seperate from the countless magazines that enriched mylife in very little or no way at all that I had packed away safely behind locked doors. I found it somehow appropriate that Zac was ripping these books written by one of the creators of the Son-Rise program, the very program that I was running in my home to reach my once very detached little boy. HA! So when I seen him ripping "Future Sight" to shreds right before my eyes, I maintained my calm and let him finish the project that he was so intently enjoying. A little part of me thought, 'well... I probably wasn't going to ever read it anyways!'
Last Spring I attended a week long program called "Fearless" at the Option Institute International Learning & Training Center in Sheffield, Massachusetts; also home of the Autism Treatment Center of America were I have learned how to successfully run an in-home program for my Autistic son. Running a Son-Rise program has been the most rewarding experience of my life and has opened so many doors for me in my own personal growth as well as that of my son. During my Fearless program, which was taught mostly by Barry, I started to really grasp the concept of loving myself fully and trusting myself without doubt and fear... After this life altering week on Campus I came home and COMPLETELY changed my life! I was beginning to live from my soul and trust myself in a way that I had never done before. My friends and family were worried about me and sometimes would wonder if I was "loosing my marbles" or something? Why didn't I ask for advice on these decisions I was making? Leaving my marriage, coming clean about an affair, telling people when I was uncomfortable and NOT holding back when I felt compelled to do or say something. How could I suddenly decide that I wanted to be such a radically different person? How could I? HOW COULD I!? I was uncovering parts of me that no one had ever seen before. Parts of me that I had kept to myself since early childhood suddenly I had alllowed to explode from within to shower the world with TONI! Just ME! This is who I am and I had no apologies other than here I am, I'm sorry it took me so long to get here... But I am here now and THAT is all that matters. Some people very close to me had a lot of issues with who I really am, but it didn't hurt, in fact it was completely pain free. It was the most free-ing feeling and I can say that I have become the happiest that I have ever been in my life. Suddenly in my happiness, my Autistic Son becomes so aware of my change and began accepting me in his Son-Rise Playroom on a completely different level. I, myself, feel a completely new feeling with him as well, a new connection, a new awareness.
So, last November I attended "Son-Rise Program Wide Awake" as a refreshed woman ready to discover even more about myself. I attended with a loving and much loved team member in my Son-Rise program. She happened to bring with her the book "Future Site". I had never replaced my copy as my income had become extremely limited and asked her if I could borrow it when she was finished. I promised her that I would keep it safe from our ripper and she agreed to let me borrow it :) I couldn't wait until she was done reading so I could dive into a new experience with a fresh mind, and a new REAL me still being born. Not to mention that it was written by Barry Neil Kaufman, aka Bears, my most favorite author and mentor whose personal mentoring has helped me to introduce me to myself in such a extraordinary way. I waited until two weeks ago to dive into the book again, this time I was swept away from the very beginning. I would read at night until I couldn't keep my eyes open and this morning when I woke up- I wanted more. The last 150 pages flowed like a movie in my mind as I soaked up every word. Tears and all, it was such a beautiful journey.
Do I want to rush out and tell all my friends to read it? Not exactly... Why wouldn't I want to demand that everyone NEEDS to read the most amazing book that I have ever read?? Why shouldn't I want EVERYONE to feel what I felt reading the final reflection at the end? For the same reason that I was never intended to read it until now :) I CERTAINLY recommend the book- but I know that when the time is right for YOU, you will know and I pray that you will trust yourself and do it. All in your time.
WOW Bears, you are indeed, an amazing man! Thank you for sharing SO MUCH of yourself with the world. You are a true model that it is never about the storm, but about dancing in the rain.