Neurodivergent Relationships Are a Gift with Mariah and Byron Edgington (Episode #169)
Do you love someone or work with someone who just doesn’t feel like they fit in? (Maybe it’s you!) It turns out that as many as 20% of us are “neurodivergent,” meaning that our brain pathways do not function like everyone else’s. Our guests, Mariah and Byron Edgington, are on a mission to help us see the missed potential and the joy that we can share when we look at neurodiversity as a gift.
About Our Guest:
Mariah and Byron Edington are a husband-wife team, and two new voices teaching the world to celebrate neurodiversity and neurodivergent people as a gift to both the individual and society. The couple has written a book series together called Journey Well, You Are More Than Enough, and their aim is to give people all kinds of a-ha moments about themselves, or the people they love who just don’t seem “normal—” because now we know that “normal” shouldn’t be the goal in our lives.
Both Byron and Mariah have had amazing professional lives: Mariah is a retired critical care nurse, and Byron was the helicopter pilot who flew the medevac flights that Mariah served on. For years, they realized something was amiss in their ability to understand how the other thought, but they never knew what to call these challenging struggles. That is, until just three years ago, when they realized Mariah, who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia when she was young, had been neurodivergent all her life, and that they could embrace it instead of fighting it.
As most of us know, leaps in awareness and human potential tend to go in waves, and we have (mercifully) been enjoying a period where embracing diversity of all kinds is becoming the social norm. Indeed, the future success of almost any human endeavor may depend on making the most of different perspectives when it comes to business, social progress, problem-solving, and innovation.
All that said, up until recently, we have not been hearing much about an aspect of diversity that is likely to be close to the foundations of the human experience: Neurodiversity. In fact, we’ve built vast social systems that rely on everyone being “normal” and fitting in.
If you haven’t come across the term “neurodivergent” in your daily life yet, you will very soon, as it is fast becoming a hot topic in business and innovation circles, as well as in schools and among families. As it turns out, there is a world of possibility waiting for us all once we stop expecting people to be “normal” and realize that every brain is beautiful, and now that more people have been talking about it, more people are realizing that the term applies to them too.
The term neurodivergent pertains to as many as 20% of the global population, too, so it is very likely that all of us know, love, and work with people who do not think like us. This conversation will give you all kinds of insight and peace-of-mind when it comes to understanding and appreciating someone who just can’t seem to “act normal.”
I’m not talking about politics and religion when I talk about people who “do not think like us.” I’m referring to the way we each experience the world; the way we each react to things like body language, instructions, materials, the emotions of others, sensations, and even sound and lighting. (I could go on and on.)
Neuroscience is teaching us that all of our brains are wired differently, and as many as 1 in 5 of us have patterns of thinking, strengths, weaknesses, or even superpower-like abilities, all of which come from pathways in the brain that are set up differently.
Since Mariah and Byron Edington learned about this field of neurodiversity, they have been sharing their story and insights with the world in grand—and welcome—ways. Mariah generated over 30,000 LinkedIn fans almost overnight, by simply opening up the topic, validating others and making that platform a safe place to have a different kind of mind.
We should always welcome different ways of experiencing the world, and the opportunities those perspectives might bring. Instead of focusing on trying to be “normal,” we can find our unique strengths. We can simply use our minds as they are built, and see where that takes us—together.
- Mandate to Elevate Website
- Book: Journey Well, You Are More Than Enough: (RE)Discover Your Passion, Purpose, & Love of Yourself & Life by Mariah & Byron Edgington
- Mariah’s LinkedIn
- Mariah & Byron’s TEDx Talk: Neurodivergence: A Relationship Superpower
- ‘I AM’ Exercise PDF
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Temple Grandin’s Episode on CoG
- Ronald Young Jr.’s Episode on CoG
- 00:00 – Intro & Welcome
- 03:13 – Impacting LinkedIn Communities
- 05:03 – Transformative Mindset
- 07:16 – Creative Collaboration
- 10:57 – Overcoming Childhood Struggles
- 15:14 – Championing Neurodivergent Kids
- 18:16 – Neurodiversity in the Corporate World
- 21:27 – Innovative Workplace Solutions
- 26:09 – Harnessing Intuition
- 28:01 – The Power of ‘I Am’
- 29:52 – Break
- 32:07 – Embracing Neurodiversity
- 35:57 – Navigating Social Media
- 43:08 – Vision Boards & Mindset
- 50:29 – Reactions to Neurodiversity
- 58:50 – Advancing Neurodiversity Education
- 1:05:37 – Next Steps and Resources
- 1:09:32 – Closing