This week I have been checking in with where I am right now on this journey, the one they call life. Many of you will know from reading my blog that I am blind but that is not where my identity stops, rather it is where is begins. I am an entrepreneur, mother, creative and self-proclaimed resilient woman!
Life has thrown me a few curve balls, the biggest to date being my fight with my sight. My first battle was with a rare eye condition that I developed from having the flu virus. I subsequently had two separate accidents, first losing my right eye and then most of my left eye’s retina.
Some people may think that luck has not been on my side, but today I would strongly argue against that.
I believe it comes down to perspective. Do you believe that things happen to us or for us? What’s important is the story we tell ourselves and live by, and how this allows us to move forward.
Have you heard of Louey Braille? Blinded at the age of 3 whilst playing with a spiked instrument, he later invented the Braille alphabet, gifting millions of people the ability to read again. And guess what he used to make the raised dots on the paper? The very same spiked instrument that blinded him. Change in life is inevitable. How we move through the change we experience is what moulds us. Louey could have given up, but instead he created something that continues to positively impact the lives of so many. He chose not to be defeated and looked at his situation from a perspective that enabled him to grow.
I have learnt to remind myself of three things when I face a challenge or change.
- Not to be afraid with what may be around the corner
Not knowing can be scary and unsettling, and that is okay. What doesn’t serve us is allowing our fear to hamper our dreams. Change is part of being human, we are made to evolve and leaning into the emotions stirred up by change is what can motivate us to do and become our best selves.
Sometimes we may choose change and other times it may be thrown upon us, mostly without warning too. Remaining open and curious helps to make the journey to the other side smoother. In the past when I have been in a flux, I’ve fed my curiosity by picking up an autobiography of a change maker. One I recommend is Thriving Blind by Kristine Smedley. A story about how blind individuals faced challenges and adversity and came out thriving.
- Nurture your sense of strength
This is a big one. Strength mentally and physically is what gets us through tough times. Leaning into challenges and failures is how we learn and grow and go again with more motivation and strength.
There are many ways to build mental and physical health. Keeping active, even gentle excercise keeps the body strong and taking time to practice wellbeing such as meditation, breath work, massage, talking therapy, listening to music and taking a bath are good tools to grow mental strength. Trying to create a regular practice of these will build up a good core strength to tackle whatever is thrown at you.
- To have fun
The world is serious enough so let’s not take ourselves to seriously. I’ve always got time for a laugh with family and friends and enjoy a comedy or my son’s mad half hour, he cracks me up! I also love to have a giggle at myself. When I have a blind blunder the best way to handle it is to laugh, it is far better than crying and I have the leg work to prove that! It took me a while to realise that crying every time something went wrong was not working out for me, my tears made no difference to my situation other than to make things worse, plus it was not good for the skin. Laughing uses all the fabulous face muscles too so it helps with the pesky wrinkles!
These are all my opinions from my life experience. Of course, we are all entitled to live the way that feels right for us. If you are struggling and want to change, I hope you can draw some inspiration from my story. You don’t have to have a life changing situation either to start making change.
Thank you for reading and as always feel free to comment below and share your thoughts.