We all go through challenging and traumatic experiences in our lives. How do we establish a belief system to get through those challenges? Is it worth the pain and suffering to accomplish your goals? Author, thought leader and spiritual teacher, Farooq Shah says it is absolutely worth it.
Farooq’s life has been riddled with adversity and challenges. Diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age two, his mobility was severely limited. Farooq grew up in a typical Middle Eastern household, where men are expected to be the strong head of the house. Because of his physical deformities, his family didn’t know how to deal with his illness.
Farooq spent his childhood and young adulthood feeling worthless and useless. He had a broken body that he felt wasn’t worth living. Everything changed in 2011 when he suffered a debilitating injury. Farooq broke his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic.
His doctors told him that he might never walk again or feel anything from the waist down. Farooq made a choice that day to change his entire belief system. He couldn’t accept the reality in front of him, and he was determined to change it.
Just like that, he changed from having a victim, “woe is me” mindset, to having a hero mindset. He refused to be fitted for a wheelchair and spent months in physical therapy trying to regain his strength. He eventually regained feeling in his toes, knees and shins. After months of hard work, he learned how to walk, use stairs and drive again. He was able to walk out of his last physical therapy session with the use of a walker.
What got him through this challenging and painful ordeal? Farooq says it’s all about determination and gratitude. We have the power to make our own reality. He couldn’t accept not being able to walk again, so he decided to change that.
Along with that, he gained an appreciation for his younger years. All of the doubt, insecurities and fear he had growing up helped him get through this experience. He was able to turn his life around and accomplish his goals through sheer determination and courage.
Farooq enhanced his quality of life even more by getting his knees and hips replaced, and is now in remission from rheumatoid arthritis. Now that he was healed from his experience, he wanted to help others.
He had always dabbled in spirituality and meditation but decided to dive deeper into those practices to help others learn that they have the power to choose their realities. Farooq now works as a thought leader and spiritual teacher.
In addition to his spiritual work, he is also an author. A Moment of Belief tells the story of his life-changing experiences. His children’s book, Frankie Saves the Day tells his story through the lens of Frankie, a seven-year-old boy who is working towards overcoming his own disabilities.
Farooq concludes today’s podcast with the following words of wisdom. If you find yourself in a challenging situation, let love be your guide. Always allow yourself patience and grace.