Lucy Goncalves wrote Able Soul to share how her faith and positive mindset help her accomplish her goals while dealing with the realities of cerebral palsy (Photo: Able Soul Instagram)
By Spencer van Vloten
August 12th, 2021
In Able Soul, author Lucy Goncalves recounts how her faith helped her overcome barriers, focus on her strengths, and positively frame the challenges she faces living with cerebral palsy.
This mindset has helped her achieve her goals in the community, as a writer, and even as a skydiver!
We talked with Lucy about how she's developed her able soul.
Tell us about yourself Lucy
Lucy: Most of my childhood, I lived in Kitimat, and I was the first student with a disability who graduated high school there.
I moved to Vancouver to pursue post-secondary education, and worked as bookkeeper and in tax preparation. I’ve volunteered on the boards of North Shore Disability Resource Centre, InterFit, and Disability Alliance BC.
I also enjoy reading, community activities, going to the gym, and outdoor recreation. I've been hiking with a trail rider, skydiving, water skiing, sailing, and rock climbing.
Why did you want to write Able Soul?
Lucy: One of my goals in writing this book was to be completely honest and transparent. I discussed some of the realities of having cerebral palsy. I also make fun of myself. It’s important to have a sense of humor. A survival skill that every person needs.
It’s important to have a sense of humor. A survival skill that every person needs.
Although we have different experience as people with disabilities, we can all relate on some level. I hope readers are encouraged and understand they're not alone.
For each life story I tell, I’ve written a prayer that's conversational, as I have a personal relationship with God. I hope it will help the readers find a deeper connection with their own faith.
How has your faith affected your perspective as a person with a disability?
Lucy: Having a relationship with God has given me a profound sense of self-acceptance.
It's challenging to live up to society's standards, and I've often felt the needed to prove my intelligence because I have a speech impediment. With God, I feel unconditional love.
Lucy celebrating the release of Able Soul (Photo: Able Soul Instagram)
I learned to have faith in everyday circumstances which helped me to be less confined by society. It's opened so many doors for me. I’m not so fearful of venturing out.
And can Able Soul also help people who are not religious?
Lucy: Yes. The story's focused on my experiences as a person with a disability, which I think many other disabled persons can relate to.
It can help anyone change their perspective so they can get the most out of their abilities, rather than focusing on what they can't do.
What was the process of writing Able Soul like?
Lucy: Before writing the book, I felt a bit lost and frustrated, not having my voice completely heard. I felt that I had a lot to offer, especially in regards to my faith.
As a person with a disability, sometimes it’s difficult to be taken seriously, as an equal. Through prayer I began to write and started a blog.
As a person with a disability, sometimes it’s difficult to be taken seriously, as an equal.
With positive feedback from readers I gained confidence in my writing ability, which led to the book.
It took several years, but eventually all clicked and came together.
What's next for you?
Lucy: I want to continue writing. I have a couple projects, working on a book of prayers and a children’s book.
I also like to compile stories from other people with disabilities, and will produce a book to encourage the next generation of persons with disabilities.
Able Soul Links
Spencer van Vloten is the editor of BC Disability. To get in touch, send an email to email@example.com!