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The "Wu Word" Blog

June 2013

The Wu Way Phrase for Today: "Actions Speak Louder than Words"

I have a love affair with quotes.  But, not just any quote.
Inspirational quotes.  Motivational sayings. Positive and Philosophical ramblings.  Quotes that are filled with a wealth of words that hold the greatest meaning and will have the greatest impact. 
Words that make your soul smile, your heart beat with happiness, and the warmth of joy to fill you up.  Words that have the power to literally and figuratively move you to do something.
Yet, words are not everything and do not mean anything without actions.  Words are meaningless until the actions are made to make them meaningful.   
My latest favorite quote is by Lao Tzu, wise philosopher and author of the famous "Tao Te Ching."  I recently came across on my gym's website of all places, and here it is:
"When I Let Go of What I Am, I Become Who I Might Be." 
My all-time favorite quote is by Gandhi: "Be the Change that You Wish to See in this World."    In fact, this quote is such a favorite of mine that I have it laminated and hanging up on my door so that is the first quote I see in the morning and the last one I see before I go to sleep. 
Both of these quotes are vital and extraordinary to me because they remind me to make myself and to take action to always try to be a better person and try to make the world a better place.  These words tell me to try to help others and to be kinder to people and the world we live in together as a whole.   These words ring loud and clear that the actions we take can speaker volumes and louder than all the words in the world. 
I have been making it a point to take words and form them into the loudest actions.  As we all well know, I have been sharing information about my hard copy book, "Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient," to anyone who is willing (or even unwilling) to listen.  Sure, it means a great deal to me if people go out and order it, but the greatest meaning this book holds for me is my utmost hope that people will take action to become a registered organ donor.  My story, my book, my face, and my words that I wrote and shared in my book are just one out of hundreds of thousands of people who are waiting for a life-saving transplant, on dialysis, just received a transplant, just lost a loved one and made the most selfless and loving decision to donate their loved one's organs, a living donor who has made the decision to donate, and much more. 
I am incredibly honored to be a part of the organ donation and transplant community, which is all about actions being louder than words. 
Take Lori Hartwell, founder of Renal Support Network, four-time kidney transplant recipient, and author of "Chronically Happy: Joyful Living In Spite of Chronic Illness," who recently did a radio interview with me on her famous KidneyTalk program.  Renal Support Network is fully of resources, information, inspiration, and, above all else, HOPE.  Lori Hartwell has taken her life experiences into the greatest action of helping others and making a difference.   Listen here to our fun and fabulous Radio Interview and chat: http://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk-podcast/show-index/the-wu-way/
Another example of "Actions Speaking Louder than Words" is Transplant Support Organization.  I was just elected as a board member among seasoned board members who have taken their life experiences to collaborate together to support and help members who are transplant candidates, transplant recipients, and/or their loved ones.  The team work, the camaraderie, the care, and especially the actions each and every single member pursues and, above all, does is just extraordinary to watch and especially to be a part of.  I have just been appointed as "community outreacher" and am very excited about this action-driven role!!  Please do check out TSO and the awesome work that they do! 
Words are easy to say.  Actions are hard to do.  But, hard does not mean impossible.  Hard can be and is the ultimate driving force to make things happen.  How grateful I am to my love of quotes and actual quotes that have driven me into action of moving and grooving in this one life I have to live!
Without thinking what could stop you, think about what could start you and what YOU really want to do.   What are your favorite words and quotes that literally and figuratively move you, and that hold the greatest meaning to do something??
I end with this "Wu-Ism":
"Be the Actions that Speak Louder than the Words" 

A "Wu Way" update your way

***And, here are a couple "Wu Way" updates your way...***
Firstly, I am extremely happy, proud, and thrilled to share that I was elected as a Board Member for Transplant Support Organization (TSO).  Out of all the various organ donation and transplant organizations that I am involved with, I am the most impressed with TSO for their dedication and member-focused programs and events.  Monthly, a speaker who is often involved with the organ donation and transplant community conducts an informative and inspirational presentation.  Prior to the presenter are snacks and chats among members.  A couple staples of TSO are dedication events to Caregivers, the annual Holiday Party, and support-centered meetings in the summer time.  I am truly honored to know such outstanding individuals and to be a board member and promote their stellar work.   Please do consider to be a member!  Trust me that you will not regret it! Check them out here: www.transplantsupport.org
Secondly,  the local newspaper, "The Journal News," did an article feature on my very first book signing on May 9th in White Plains, NY at the PKD Foundation "Cocktails for a Cure" event.  The article is entitled "Ossining Kidney Transplant Recipient Pens Book on Ordeal." Check it out here: http://www.lohud.com/article/20130522/NEWS/305220028/Ossining-kidney-transplant-recipient-pens-book-ordeal
"The Journal News" and particularly the reporter, Terence Cocoran, are exceptional in their work and staunch supporters in the organ donation and transplant community.  Although unaffected by transplantation, they always promote the cause!
Th-th-that's all for now folks!!  Until we meet again!! 

Today's "Wu Word": "DEFINITION"

No one and Nothing can or will ever define you--
unless you let it.
I just googled "Definition"and over 719,000,000 results popped up.
Wikipedia: "A definition is a statement that explains the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols.
Dictionary.com: "The act of making definite, distinct, or clear"
Merriam-Webster online: "An Act of Determining"
I have had quite a few pity parties in my lifetime.
This is a self-made and self-induced party.  No colorful streamers, helium balloons, sweet cupcakes, and swirled party hats.   Rather, anger, anxiety, fear, and sadness wrap me up tightly and force me into a corner of asking myself:
"Who am I?  Am I only my arranged marital health
that I was somehow destined to be with?" 
Well, last week, I had a full-fledged pity party that was laced with primary party favors of "anxiety" and  "frustration."  The battle of getting better and walking without pain continues on.  My physical therapist prods me on the treadmill with my operated left leg off the treadmill to strengthen the weak weight-bearing skills, while my right leg does a skateboard motion. 
After less than five minutes, I am winded and the arches of my feet hurt so bad that I feel like they are bleeding.  I have every urge to kick the treadmill and yell at my hip: "Get with it and get working! Come on, you can do it, Double L!"  I call my left leg "Double L" for "Left Leg."  Get it??
I spat out angrily to my physical therapist: "I'm so sick of the pain!  The whole purpose of this stupid surgery was not feel anymore pain and to walk more, and I can barely walk on a treadmill because of the pain and my feet hurting so bad!  I can't wait to see the podiatrist tomorrow!"
I could feel that familiar tickle in my throat that was going to set off a bunch of waterworks from me, but anger and frustration stayed with me rather than sadness.  And, that anger lasted all the way to seeing the podiatrist and my osteopath who are broken records with reminding me: "You have flat feet.  You are knock-kneed.  Your poor right leg has been compensating for over twenty years.  You have to be patient."
"Patience!"  I desire to scream and scoff, "I'm tired of being patient!  Let someone else be patient, and let me resume my pity party!"
Both my osteopath and podiatrist are two peas in a pod with giving me arched orthotics and heel wedges to try to alleviate the pronation (my heels moving inward) and "Triple F's" that I have: Fat Flat Feet.  Although I push myself to hang on to patience to try to adjust to these assistive devices for my Triple F's, I grumble to my osteopath at my latest appointment with her: "I thought this hip replacement surgery was supposed to stop anymore pain, but I feel like it is just uncovering and unmasking even more problems like with my knocked-knees and flat feet."
She simply says, "We anticipated this.  Eventually, the pain will go away." 
I can feel myself being consumed and defined by my body and health challenges.  I can feel my body and health challenges taking me over and washing over me and drowning me like a rat until I am forced to 'sink' or 'swim.'   I can feel myself questioning who I really am, and the only person I really am are all these health challenges and problems. 
And, just when I am feel like I am being defined by everything and everyone in my life, I received a literal message from a complete stranger in my inbox today to remind me how we can all feel this way. 
This faceless stranger wrote in her three paragraph email that she read the Kindle version of my book, "Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient," cover to cover.  She expressed that she often felt so consumed and defined by her health experiences that she has questioned who she really is without all these challenges that she has had to face and endure.  She ended with saying that she was definitely going to sign up as a life-saving organ donor, and that she works past everything in her life to define herself.
I read her email at least two more times.   The dim and almost shattered lightbulb from my pity party of frustration and anger was slowly coming to life again.  Suffice to say, this faceless stranger and I could totally relate. 
And, I wondered, how many more people out there felt like they were being defined and even consumed by their health challenges, life experiences, or even by the relationships and people who came into their lives--both good and bad?  Maybe I was not as alone as I thought in my struggle of "Definition of me."  Maybe we are not as alone as we may all think.
I shut down my computer, and walked away.  I stuffed my feet in to my 'New Balance' sneakers that were almost filled to the brim with my experimental heel wedges and orthotics.  I walked outside.  The sun was just starting to come out.
With each step I was forcing myself, the pain started up again in my feet and particularly in my right foot and then traveled up the calf.   I winced and inhaled and exhaled sharply.  I faced the sunshine and that is when I looked down and then looked up again to stare straight ahead with a look of determination taking over my face. 
So, bring on the pain.  So, bring on the health challenges.  So, bring all the glories, beauty, ugly, and unpredictable that life has in store for me and all of us.  I define myself from all of this--and NOT the other way around.  Yet, at the same time, I remind myself that I am more than "the girl with the health challenges," but the typical gal who wants to work full-time, kick back and relax with a funny movie and a good meal, chat with friends, treasure times with my family, fulfill my love for food by going on a simple grocery store outing, and much more.  The definition of me literally moves forward, as I move forward with my walking without pain and without a cane.
Definition consists of the choices that we all make from what we do not necessarily have a choice with.  Definition of self is not being consumed by the challenges and problems we are faced with, but by what you make out of these challenges and problems.  Definition is not being your problem, but being your solution and even beyond that.
No one and nothing can define you-- unless you let it. 

"FINALLY" is the Wu Word for today! :-)

"FINALLY" is definitely the Wu word of the day for what I am about to share with you!
"The Wu Way" website is officially up and running!  Whoop, whoop!!  On the left side, you will find that specific links, such as Transplant Media Features, Resources, and Writings/Book Publications, now have subdivision links attached to them.  More organized and specific than ever, yes?  I would love your feedback on these little subdivision links! 
"The Wu Way" also now has "The Wu Way" Blog Updates.  On both the homepage and on "The Wu Way" Blog Updates page, there are prompts for you to plug in your email address to subscribe to my Wu Way blog.  Plugging in your email address gives permission for you to be notified when there is a new "Wu Way" Blog Update.  Yes, FINALLY, you can be updated right away just by subscribing/putting in your email address!
"The Wu Way" also has little morsal of wisdoms, known as "Wu-Isms" on every webpage associated with "The Wu Way" website.  Do enjoy reading or reflecting upon them, and feel more than free to share your philosophical ramblings with me or to bounce off of me!
Last but not least, I am in the process of creating a photo gallery or slideshow of fellow "Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient" readers.  All you have to do is take a photo of yourself with a copy of your book and then email me directly at thewuway82@yahoo.com.  Care to share your face to my book???  :-) 
To reach me about anything or about the above "FINALLY" items, again, just go to "Contact Me" on my website or email at thewuway82@yahoo.com.
I truly look forward to hearing from you and 'keep smilin' until we hear from each other again! 
Mary :-)
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