Quote Of The Day 04/04/2020

SATURDAY, 04/04/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/237705686562840545/

‘I raise my voice not so that i can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.’

– Malala Yousafzai

Quote Of The Day 02/04/2020

THURSDAY, 02/04/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/302867143672297855/

‘Washing ones’ hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.’

– Paulo Freire

Quote Of The Day 08/01/2020

WEDNESDAY, 08/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/862931978582981970/

‘You love your work when your work is with people you love.’

– Richie Norton

Quote Of The Day 27/12/2019

FRIDAY, 27/12/2019:

SOURCE: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/14214555058911173/

‘Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.’

– Raymond Lindquist

Quote Of The Day 25/12/2019

WEDNESDAY, 25/12/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/209347082666149356/

‘The real test of love is loving those who we feel are the hardest ones to love.’

– Criss Jami

Top Talks (#4): The Opportunity of Adversity – Aimee Mullins

Welcome to week four of ‘Top Talks’ – a segment where I do a show-and-tell of my favourite speeches, talks or lectures.

Hello there!

Welcome to week four of ‘Top Talks’ – a segment where I do a show-and-tell of my favourite speeches, talks or lectures.

I am a strong believer in continuous improvement – which to me, means finding and listening to people who have an array of different values, beliefs and ideas, and sharing them with others!

So…

WHO IS AIMEE MULLINS?

Believe it or not, Aimee Mullins is a double-amputee. But don’t let that doubt her ability. She is a record-breaker at the Paralympics (1996), prosthetic advocate, model, actor and an all-round successful business woman.

Mullins was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017 and given an honorary degree at Northeastern University, Boston.

Source: https://bestofcomicbooks.com/aimee-mullins-hot-pictures/

The Opportunity of Adversity – Aimee Mullins

What I got out of this ‘Top Talk’:

This ‘Top Talk’ was part of a training session I took recently on disability awareness. It shines light on a variety of different issues, including the language we use to define the people around us who live with a disability and the power of adaptability.

Dictionary Text in Bokeh Effect

LANGUAGE IS POWERFUL

We all know language is a powerful tool that most of us use to communicate.

We start to learn it from the moment we are born, and our lives are often defined by the way words can describe us: tall, smart, athletic, empathetic, strong…

But the language we use can also dis-empower us, just as much.

Aimee Mullins proves this point in her TED Talk, by reading out the dictionary definition of ‘disabled’:

‘Disabled, adjective: crippled, helpless, useless, wrecked, stalled maimed, wounded, mangled, lame, mutilated, run-down, worn-out, weakened, impotent, castrated, paralyzed, handicapped, senile, decrepit, laid-up, done-up, done-for, done-in, cracked-up, counted-out... see also: hurt, useless, and weak. Antonyms: healthy, strong, capable.

Now I don’t know about you, but the dictionary’s definition of disabled does not accurately describe any of the people I know that live with a disability. And why are the antonyms healthy, strong and capable?

People with a disability are not automatically unhealthy, weak or incapable.

As Mullins points out in her talk, it’s not about the words themselves, but what people believe when we name them with these words. By naming people by these words, we are putting them in a box, ignoring their potential and casting shadows on their dreams.

As a community, a worker, a friend, a family member or as an individual, it is important that we use words that empower the people around us, rather than dis-empower them.

Running Field Photography

ADAPTABILITY KNOWS NO LIMITS

The other important message I got from Aimee Mullins’s talk was the importance and significance of adaptability.

Mullins quotes Charles Darwin on the topic:

‘It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor is it the most intelligent that survives: it is the one that is most adaptable to change.’

Close-Up Photo of Three Slinkies

And he is quite right – and it is a great way to look at the idea of adversity as rather a chance to adapt to our surroundings – whether it is physical adversity or emotional, mental or social adversity.

White Dandelion

This idea really helped me see things from a different perspective. You don’t have to have a disability to be able to understand (and perhaps find comfort in) the idea of being or feeling different. Struggle is a part of human development. Adversity isn’t the end of the line. It is just the beginning.

Mullins puts it this way:

‘… the human ability to survive and flourish is driven by the struggle of the human spirit through conflict into transformation.’

Being able to adapt to our situations is an incredibly important part of every day life. Aimee Mullins has of course had more than her fair share of adversity, but instead of seeing it as adversity, she sees it as an opportunity. We can all recognize and appreciate times in our lives when we have been through dark times and come out stronger on the other end.

The only true disability is a crushed spirit.

AIMEE MULLINS

How Embracing Your Mental Illness Can Empower You.

‘The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.’
– Mark Twain

Mental Illness is a struggle that affects many people and can take many different forms.

Mental Illness can be lonely and debilitating, forcing us to withdraw socially and try to hide our condition from the world. One of the hardest things for those who are suffering from Mental Health Issues to do, is to accept their condition in the first place.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being introverted, or enjoying time to ourselves, but it becomes a bigger issue when that becomes the norm. Balancing those qualities and still having (and maintaining) meaningful connections with those around us can sometimes be hard – especially when we choose not to accept our reality.

Many of us choose to suffer in the dark, rather than admit to anyone they are struggling, or are ‘different’ or ‘sick’. This shouldn’t have to happen.

There is far more beauty, strength and power in accepting and embracing our flaws.

‘The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.’

Mark Twain

Here are a few ways to learn how to embrace our struggles and turn them into something we can use in order to grow in our journey:

Get Diagnosed & Refer To Your Condition By Name.

Being diagnosed can often bring about shame or confusion in many people, as well as feelings of guilt or anger. ‘Why me?’ is something that people ask over and over again.

But as scary as being diagnosed is, it can be incredibly useful as well.

You can’t defeat something if you don’t know what it is you’re fighting. But knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step to finding a solution – a way to fight back.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Depression – call it by its name. Bi-Polar? Name it. Anxiety? Own it. If you name something, you own it. If you own it, you choose how much power it has over you.

If you choose to name your condition, you also help others put a name and face to the condition – making it far easier to relate to and empathize with – thus reducing the stigma attached to it.

Educate Yourself.

If you want to educate others, you start by educating yourself. If you want to be empowered and influential, the best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about the topic you want people to understand.

Having stories, facts and figures at our fingertips can prove incredibly important when we are trying to get our point across to someone. And learning just how many other people out there are in similar circumstances to us can propel us forward and give us hope and confidence.

Sidney Hook put it like this:

‘Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.’

If we can learn about ourselves, and truly know ourselves, it can create an energy within and a fire that can’t be extinguished. Being able to feel good about ourselves starts from within.

Respect Your Mental Illness.

If you want to own your diagnosis, you need to learn how it works.

If you want to tame a beast, you need to know how to make it feel respected.

Some forces demand a certain amount of respect – they are powerful and damaging, but beautiful too – like fire.

The same thing goes for our Mental Health. If we want to own our diagnoses, we need to respect that there are going to be days that are better than others. And that’s okay.

Never minimize your condition. It simply is what it is, and that sometimes means adjusting ourselves accordingly.

For some, that means taking extra self-care steps. For others, it’s removing ourselves from a toxic situation.

Paying attention to ourselves and our conditions is critical when it comes to empowerment and feeling ‘in-control’.

Implement Self-Care Measures That Work For You.

Self-Care is meaningless if you aren’t focusing on yourself. Self-Care looks different for everyone – and that’s totally fine. What works for one, may not work for another.

The challenge is finding what does work best for us as individuals. There’s no point joining your friend for Yoga if you absolutely can’t stand getting sweaty and bending yourself into a knot. It may work for your friend, but not you.

For some of us, Self-Care is as simple as taking some time out for an afternoon nap. For others, it’s hitting the gym, or a nice hot bath.

Spend some time thinking about the last time you truly felt relaxed, and work from there. If you know how to manage the bad days, you will find yourself feeling much better and more in-control over our situation and condition.

And Lastly…

Embracing who you are is vital on all of our journeys – not just people with Mental Illnesses. Being able to accept who you are, flaws and all, is hard sometimes (even for the best of us). So don’t give up, and remember you are never alone.

If you’re feeling like you need to talk to someone, there are plenty of places you can reach out:

WEBSITES:

Headspace

Black Dog Institute

Kids Helpline

MensLine Australia

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

Q Life (LGBTI+ Specific)

PHONE:

Headspace: 1800 650 890

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

QLife: 1800 184 527

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