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natalienorton natalienorton

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Natalie Norton  Showing up for life; committed to helping you do the same! Author, photographer, life coach. North Shore, Oahu. πŸ€™πŸΌβ€οΈ


Today, Lincoln has appointments with physical therapy and his neuro specialist. Friday, he meets with his plastic surgeon and his "mushy gushy insides surgeon" (official title). We're crossing everything (fingers, toes, eyes, hair, arms, legs... tongues πŸ‘… ) that they'll clear him for surfing... or at the very least, clear him to be in the ocean.... 1) watching this kid, who eats, sleeps and breathes the sea, have to step away from his most favorite thing on earth or in heaven.... it's been rough. But it's also been incredibly inspiring. In many ways, the last month (plus) since he was released from the hospital has been even harder than those scary days and weeks in ICU, in and out of surgery and general recovery etc. Less physically painful, to be sure, but significantly more emotionally taxing. It's hard to step back into your life but with so many ridged limitations. It's been amazing to watch him choose to be grateful and joyful no matter what. It's been inspiring to watch him learn that complaining truly gives you nothing good and to consciously choose to stay positive, even though his ache for the ocean has been visceral and real. (Not everyone will understand this kid's relationship with the water, and that's ok. Those who know, KNOW, ya know? πŸ’‹πŸ˜‚) All that said, let's just get this baby in the ocean already! 2) the trunks he is wearing in this video are the trunks the paramedics cut off of him after the accident. He's still bummed about that. πŸ˜‚ 3) in solidarity, I haven't gone to the beach since July. 😭 I just didn't want Lincoln to feel alone in the world, and this was the one thing I could do to help bear his emotional burden... and if anyone can come close to rivaling Lincoln's love for the sea, it's ME. So Dr's one and all... πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ» 🀞🏻🀞🏻🀞🏻#prayforlincolnjo

Your light MATTERS. Your message is IMPORTANT. Stop pretending like what you have to contribute to the world is somehow lacking or insignificant. Each of us, EVERY SINGLE ONE, is gifted with radiant energy and a special brand of light that this world NEEDS. We can heal this world together, one brightly burning heart at a time! Don't hide yours away, because you're insecure, or afraid of seeming self important, or because you think someone else is going to show up and spread light for you. That's not OK. Playing small is NOT OK. We need your light. We need YOU. Today. ❀️ Also.... I spoke at a lovely event tonight. One of my first formal speaking engagements since my brain went πŸ’₯. I realized as we were pulling out of the driveway, that even a few months ago, I couldn't have imagined being able to actually do this again. My brain just wasn't up for it. I would have stuttered and struggled to find words, and the stress and anxiety over that would have amplified the issue to the point of actual physical pain (and intense awkwardness and emotional discomfort for the audience πŸ˜‚). But tonight, without really thinking about it, I realized I was ready. I don't even know how I got from there to here... to (nearly) whole. But it happened. One day at a time... one foot and then the next... and suddenly here I am. And BOY am I grateful. Tears on my pillow kind of gratitude tonight, because standing there, pouring love out into the world, it's one of the most significant parts of who I am. Nothing makes me feel more like me... and to have lost that for a season... let's just say perspective is a tremendous gift. So to you, wherever you are, you may not see it today, but you're progressing! You're moving forward more than you realize! I promise you are! NEVER give up! xo N

Rugged. Today someone called his scarring, "rugged," and my whole heart was like, YESSSSSSSSSS. // Swelling is all gone, so we're pretty much where we're going to be as far as scarring and eye shape are concerned. (Though the redness will fade slowly over the years.) // At first, I would feel such a pang of sorrow every time I looked at his saggy eye. His eyes have always been my favorite of his features. But now? I rarely notice. And when I do, I just feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude. Those scars represent a bona fide miracle. They're a memorial to the remarkable power of God. They represent courage and survival and the power of great, all encompassing love. And man do I love my beautiful, rugged Lincoln boy! ❀️❀️❀️ #lincolnjojo (these scars also represent each of you! I hope they'll always remind him of the love so many feel for him and have spoken into his spirit and life!❀️😭❀️) #prayforlincolnjo

Amen. ❀️

I'm Natalie. πŸ‘‹πŸ»Within the space of not too many years: my brother (my only sibling & best friend) passed away unexpectedly, my son contracted a horrible disease & died as well, we "fostered to adopt" the.most.wonderful 1 year old twins & their beautiful big sister for TWO FULL YEARS (all along being told they were ours forever) & then the adoption suddenly & unexpectedly failed & they went away (we have no contact with them), I suffered a strange "brain surge" where I lost my ability to communicate verballyβ€”my command over language simply & suddenly evaporated (& I'm still working toward full recovery of vocabulary/fluidity of speech), & most recently, my 10 year old son was hit by a compact SUV (nearly died), spent almost a month in the hospital & is still working the long road to recovery. (Those are just the "highlights.") I used to be a professional photographer, traveling the world photographing beautiful people + sharing their beautiful human-ness through a highly successful blog & print publications across the globe. I loved my work, because it allowed me to connect so genuinely with so many different types of people...it allowed me to see into the most intimate & truthful parts of their souls. I was very good at my job. Then....over time....& through the kind of education only real, down & dirty life experience can provide... I realized that I loved (& was good at) my job, because I love (& am good at)... people. Because I'm so good at real connection... at seeing & reflecting people's truth, capacity & light back onto them in enlightening & empowering ways that serve to help them wake up to their strength & live out their very best lives. Now, that's what I do, full time. I'm in the business of OTHER PEOPLE'S best lives! I LOVE it! I used to be too shy to speak these truths out loud. Yet now, I'm absolutely convinced that life is too short to play quiet, timid or small. So this is me, saying HELLO to BEAUTIFUL YOU. Welcoming you to my space. I promise it will be sloppy & messy, but it will also be filled with truth, empowerment, actionable inspiration & unconditional LOVE. πŸ–€Old follower or new, I'd LOVE to get to know you in the comments below! πŸ‘‡πŸ»

I've been learning so much from this kid of mine about sticking with what matters to you. He tried to land this whoopdie-doodle (that's for sure the approved skater dude term) a billion times. It was so hot, and he was so tired, and he failed a thousand times but just kept pushing through until he reached his goal. // Isn't it hard to keep pushing when it stops being fun/novel/exciting? I really struggle with that in my ADHD brain. I'm all in in the beginning, but it's so hard for me to keep my enthusiasm up when the novelty wears down. I've had to learn to actively combat my tendency to quit/backslide by adopting this covey-ism into the deepest part of my soul: begin with the end in mind. The process itself, no matter what it is, is going to become stale, boring, excruciating.... pick your miserable adjective of choice and insert here _____________. But if we can fix our gaze in a clear objective, the excitement and resolve we gain from that gives us the power to push through the monotony and make what matters most to us a reality in our lives. Life is too short and too uncertain to delay. Let's make "it" happen, friends! Because we absolutely can!!! πŸ–€
So what's your thing? The thing you really want to make happen but have struuuuuuuggled to start/stick with/complete? It's a question that requires legit vulnerability. So I'll play if you will..... find my answer in the comments below (and then help me realize I'm not alone in the hard by adding a comment of your own πŸ™πŸ»)! πŸ“Έ Lincoln

I'm 100% positive that it's my mistakes that have made me into an interesting human. And my gosh am I an INTERESTING human! Also, mistakes are my favorite, because I'm so so so good and them. And I love being good at things. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Also, thank you @emilymcdowell_ for writing my memoir for me, one perfectly composed card/mug/sketch at a time. 😍 (#prayfornataliejo πŸ˜‚)

He's reeeeeeeally over all of this lately. It's like trying to keep a stallion in a fishbowl....or something. But each PT appointment clears him for more and more activity. And we're both learning so much about patience and trust...the whole family is, honestly. We've become so accustomed to a rush, rush, rush lifestyle, and these physical and mental limitations have really forced us to slow down, notice and experience gratitude for the little things and to focus on how far we've come rather than on how far we still have to go. So in those ways, I guess you could say that this experience has enhanced our quality of life??? I mean, it is what it is, and seeing the good is an important part of keeping the madness at bay. We don't have it all figured out, not by a long shot, but we have learned that we can do hard, hard things.... and we can do them with a smile on our face and hope in our hearts. And when I think about it, that's a whole lot. ❀️ #prayforlincolnjo

Perspective is everything. It's amazing the difference a month can make. The first two pictures were taken a month ago, about a week into his time in Intensive Care. The nurse had wanted us to try to wheel him outside for some fresh air. He lasted less than 30 seconds before he felt like he was suffocating and begged to be taken back to his bed. The last picture was taken just now, after getting home from 3 full (symptom free) hours at school. I mean, it's so easy to get overwhelmed by all of this, or frustrated by how long the road still seems to stretch out ahead. It's so easy to think our efforts aren't paying off. But we just need perspective. And I'm reminding myself how true all of this is in "real life" as well. It's hard to see the good you're doing, the difference you're making, the change you're facilitating etc when it's all right there in front of you. But I promise you, "as you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." (πŸ‘ˆπŸ»Wayne Dyer) xo ❀️Nat

Uncle Matty, letting Lincoln help shape his new board. β€οΈπŸ„// We're so grateful to everyone for doing so much to help this kid feel supported, remembered and loved. This could be such a lonely road for him, but everyone is doing so much to make sure that's not the case. It fills my eyes with tearsβ€”we're so thankful!!!! #prayforlincolnjo

I love where we live (and I love this sign our friend @hemeon made). // In other news.... I also love remembering that Lincoln and I won't be on house arrest forever. 😳❀️πŸ’ͺ🏻 Poor kid. Imagine not being able to watch too much tv without vomiting, not being able to read without getting a splitting headache, not being able to walk without getting dizzy, not being able to concentrate to play board games without getting dazed and confused...... and not being able to go outside, because you have to keep your torn up face/ arms/chest/legs out of the sun.... we're getting awfully tired of sitting here all day, staring at each other. Haha! BUT things improve a little every day, and what we're experiencing in this moment is not going to last forever! Hallelujah!!!!! God is GREAT! During so many hard windows of my life, I've had to really work hard to consciously remind myself that what I'm feeling isn't permanent. It's easy to get really bummed and discouraged when life gets hard, because subconsciously, it's so easy to convince ourselves that everything is awful, always has been awful and/or will stay awful FOR.EV.ER. That's never true! Not just, that's usually untrue. But it's NEVER, EVER true. So as hard as this has been on Link (and his mom πŸ™‹πŸ»), it's been an awesome opportunity for him (us) to learn that hard things eventually pass... (and that having a bad attitude, only makes hard things harder). πŸ‘ŠπŸ» #prayforlincolnjo #attitudeiseverything #ruckuslist

I think the longevity of the situation is starting to really settle in. Healing is exhausting and it takes FOR.EV.ER. And we're not just talking maybe pushing too hard and then being extra tired the next day... we're talking, if you push too hard you could make an already traumatic brain injury even more severe... or you could cause internal bleeding, rip out sutures etc. The kid has 3/4 of a liver and half of his adrenal glands. Of course he is exhausted, but knowing that he could actually cause further DAMAGE if he pushes too hard makes this such a delicate and difficult dance. He is so mentally tough, and his body just can't keep up with that iron will...which is both humbling and discouraging for him. (As you can imagine.) Yesterday, his brothers and some friends were talking about a swell that's hitting Hawaii on Monday. 10ft waves are expected. And I looked at Lincoln, and even though he played it cool, I saw his eyes shoot full of tears. He just wants to be a kid. He just wants to get out in the lineup and do his thing. And it breaks my heart for him. // Some of you have been asking how school has been going. He lasted an hour and a half the first day, two hours the second day, and the third day, he had been there only 2 ish hours when his TBI symptoms got out of control and he ended up vomiting, spiking a fever and coming home. See? Delicate dance. But he is ALIVE, and he WILL eventually be well. So when you look at it in perspective, anything short of mind numbing GRATITUDE is simply absurd. #prayforlincolnjo

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