I have been tossing around in my mind a variety of slogans or messages that I wish to stand for. I thought about 'It's Okay to be Different', 'Diversity is Great', 'Embrace Difference'... but none of these exactly explained my philosophy on life and my life experience which I share with people and write about in my books. Yesterday, on Boxing Day, I was discussing this with my sister-in-law while we were chatting about what we've been doing lately. When I got home two words popped into my head... Just be. I googled 'Just be' (as you do). The results suggested these two words were about being in the moment and mindfulness. Close, but not quite what I wanted. My mind remained on this path and I let it wander. It didn't take long for the three lettered word, YOU, to make its way to the fore. I typed 'Just be you' into google and a beautiful song called Just Be You by Anthem Lights feat. Sadie Robertson, appeared. I listened to the song and I knew this was my message.
So what is my message? What does Just be YOU mean?
In 10 points I would say to Just be you, you need to:
1) Peel off society's negative labels and find your true identity.
2) Accept yourself - your good and bad parts; your disability; your difference, your uniqueness.
3) Be brave enough to face the world as the real you.
4) Live in the present how life is now - not in the past, and not in the future.
5) Seek help to find your true identity, if you need to. Don't be afraid to get professional help.
6) Find others who are like you. I call these your tribe.
7) Be content with your disability or difference, and embrace it as a part of you. Remember it doesn't have to define you, it is just a part of you.
8) Maintain a positive outlook on life, even if it isn't how you would like it to be.
9) Look after yourself. Self-care is essential. Seek assistance from others if you need it.
10) Lead an inclusive life. Go out in the community and lead as ordinary of a life as you can.
I am currently editing my next book which will expand on these points further.
So to finish this post... This week we head towards 2019. It is the perfect time to reflect on the year and jot down the changes we would like to make, or how how we would like 2019 to look.
It is also the perfect time to Just be YOU.