Labelling people is such an easy thing to do

Labelling people is such an easy thing to do. Often while I am out you hear people say, “Oh that’s the naughty one!” Or something similar. Trouble is when you start doing this, you start seeing them through those lenses and everything becomes bad and naughty.

On the other hand, you can hear people labelling adults too. Sometimes it is easier to do so, so that other people can identify who you are talking about. That kind of labelling isn’t really a problem if you do it to identify someone to another person.

But there can be a problem when you label someone as being bossy, or impatient, or always late or things like that. People are not “just” the disabled person or the one who is continually smiling. They are more than the label you put on them.

I have encountered many different attitudes with regards to seeing me in a wheelchair. Some see the person, but I have been to appointments with one of my carers and people will speak to her, but not to me. Sometimes the chair becomes an impediment to creating relationships, but that shouldn’t be the case.

When people are labelled and seen just as the label, you are in danger of not discovering the gifts and talents they have. You could have called out something inside them and encouraged them. People have different interests than just what you can see.

I love it when someone looks at me and supports me in what I want to do. My husband has always been there for me and given me the space and time to do what I want to do. It is great to have a supportive environment and Kevin has even encouraged me to do things that I feel I am unable to do and I discover that, to my surprise, I can do them.

Labelling a person doesn’t mean that is all they are. You need to look past the label you have placed on that person and see who they are underneath that label.

My son got a diagnosis yesterday and although it opens up help and support for him, the label itself doesn’t change him. We see him as he is and the different gifts he has are there to be encouraged and developed. He is a highly intelligent boy who loves to be outside and loves to learn. I never want him to lose his joy of learning.

So when you see a person and instinctively label them as just one thing, think about it for a minute. A few seconds and being mindful is all it takes. The label doesn’t define them. You can look beyond that and find the real person inside. Don’t be fooled by the label, but make a conscious effort to see beyond it to the person inside.

When Fear Stopped Me

This week I was reminded of a time in my past when fear stopped me. And I mean physically stopped dead in the middle of the road. I was standing there crossing the street and stopped in the middle waiting for the traffic to be clear. As I was standing there, I suddenly realised I couldn’t remember how to cross the road. How on earth could I get to the other side?

Fortunately I did remember after a while. I honestly don’t know how long I spent stood stock still in the middle of the road, but I can tell you a number of cars came past me as I stood there.

Fear can be so insidious, I must admit. You can think that you are ok and you can just get on with things and discover that suddenly you stop dead and wonder if you can continue. You question not only yourself but your ability to do things can be compromised.

You have probably heard the stories of soldiers that suddenly can’t carry on with the job they are meant to do in the middle of war. In the past these people were shot as cowards or deserters. Now things have moved on in the area of mental health and PTSD and there is more understanding of these things. I can’t say that everyone finds the help they need – they don’t. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t available somewhere.

As a child, I believed that no matter what I did, I would never be able to achieve in life. In spite of my love for history, the degree I got in it, the fact that I managed to achieve Grade VI on the clarinet, Grade III on the piano, Grade IV on recorder, and also a masters degree, I never felt that I had done anything worthwhile.

This is simply not true. However, I must admit fear has stopped me more times than I want to remember. But you know what? Looking back at the past and dwelling on the times you were stopped by fear doesn’t do you any good. What you need to remember is not the fear, but what it was that got you going again.

The past is the past and unless it helps you with the future, there is no point in living/thinking of it. Your life WILL be different as you grow and develop anyway but you can make it a full life, a contented life, the life YOU want to live, not what other people want you to, or you think they want you to.

Fear does not have to rule your life. I’m not saying it won’t come knocking at your door. You may have given way to it a lot and it takes time to change your mindset. I was living mostly in my past and remembering all the bad or negative things.

As I was talking to Linda Clay she was telling me that I have a great life. Yes, it was different to what I planned, but I have SO many things I can talk about. I CAN change the ending.

My life now is fuller than it ever has been before and I can make it even more so as I develop myself and change that instant fear mindset. I have so many things I can talk about – my family life, the unexpected passion I have discovered when someone gives me an idea of something they wish to be created through colour and form and I can take time to ask them questions and visualise what they want me to do.

You don’t know what you are capable of until you try. Discovering your passion may take you time, as it has me, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do so. The possibilities are endless. No, you won’t want to do everything in life. That isn’t realistic. There are things you will be better at and that’s ok.

Do you know your passion? If you do, I would love to hear what it is. If you don’t yet, take courage that it is still possible to find it and you can do it. Fear does not have to rule your life.

Authenticity in your life

Today I want to talk about authenticity. To be honest with you, I really didn’t have a clue what to write about today at first. Yesterday felt totally full on with everything that happened. It was a real curveball and I was unable to do anything I had intended on doing.

The day started off with an unusual occurrence. I took Johnathan to nursery and as I was about to leave, the fire alarm went off. He struggles with loud noises and lights so I knew this wouldn’t be an easy thing for him to cope with. As we exited the building, Johnathan wanted to come onto my lap for comfort but I knew I had to leave him with the nursery staff to look after.

This was not an easy thing to do, but it was a necessity. He has to know that other people can look after him, not just Mummy and Daddy. I felt very emotional leaving him but I knew it was the right thing to do. Admitting I was emotional about it wasn’t easy but I knew that I want to live an authentic life and be true to myself and everyone around me.

There are other ways that we can be authentic too, not just with our emotions. When we promote ourselves online, we can do it in a way that is true to us or not. Sometimes people think that if they follow someone else’s idea of promoting and it has worked for them, so it should work for everybody.

Actually, that isn’t true. You can’t be someone else. You are who you are and you cannot be anyone else. Promoting yourself in a way that is unique to yourself is your best method of advertising. There are many people in this world but we are all individuals and our ideas are as different as the person or people nearest to us.

Relationships are one of the most important areas where we need to be authentic. Trying to hide things from our nearest and dearest is not a sensible way to live. They need to know how we feel and what we think and vice versa. Without it, communication difficulties can commence and we end up feeling separated from them and a wall builds up between us and them. This is not a sensible way to live.

Authenticity I believe is the most important factor in our lives but is not always an easy way to live. Sometimes we find ourselves not living the authentic life we know we should. But when we realise this, all we have to do is become mindful of how we behave and express ourselves and try to be as truthful as we can in every way.

What is your passion?

This has been a question for me for SO long – what is my passion? I have been getting to know things I liked but didn’t actually know what my real passion was.

I love doing creative and making beautiful things. But it didn’t equate to lighting that fire of passion inside me. So how could I find what really lit me up?

On Wednesday evening I was talking to my mentor/coach, Linda Clay of Capture Your Passion on Facebook. I have been doing some commissioned digital artwork and as we were talking together, I was describing my next commissioned piece and discovered I was lighting up inside.

What struck me about it was the fact that I hadn’t realised how absorbing and rewarding I have found doing this work. I actually fell into it by accident when a friend asked me if I could design something for one of her clients. Then she asked me if I could do a piece for her, which I completed.

Doing this work has been a blessing to me. I have learnt much about different digital art packages and what is most useful to create a beautiful piece of work.

There has been so much that I have learned doing this commissioned artwork. It has become a real joy in my life. Art has opened doors that I didn’t even know existed.

Once I had realised what my passion was, I wanted to work out WHY I was so passionate about it. What was/is it that makes the difference to me?

What I really love is the fact that someone can give me a general idea of what they want and I can give birth to their concept. As I create, I show them each part and fine tune each part of their concept so that I give them exactly what they want.

The final artwork can be sent to the client online as a digital piece of work or it can be put onto canvas, or photographic paper, or even onto glass. What I love about this is the diversity that is opened up to me when I create the digital artwork and bring their concept to life.

My passion is so rewarding to me. I know my mentor/coach Linda’s passion is to give women the opportunity to find their passion and improve their lives. So we both benefited by the discovery on Wednesday.

Do you need a life coach to find your passion? Possibly not. You could list all the things you are good at or love and think which one of them lights you up. When your whole soul feels alive with joy and you know THIS is what you want to do and would do forever if you could, you have found your passion.