Archive for June, 2014

a positive body image

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

begins with learning to love and respect yourself. Body image refers to a person’s perception of their physical appearance. They are influenced by their experiences, society, the media, the fashion industry and finding the ideal weight. It has a direct impact on our self-image and self worth. Having a poor body image can lead to serious problems like depression and eating disorders.

I have always struggled with body image issues in my life. Some examples are that I was very self-conscious of how cerebral palsy has affected my body from having a hump back, hunched shoulders, crooked arm and surgical scars. For years I have also always been battling with weight issues.

The practice of yoga can help you discover your true self while becoming aware of your needs and wants. The first step is to slow down and look within yourself to find what makes you tick. Meditation and deep breathing exercises help you see how you want your life to play out live in the present. Yoga poses teach us to accept our flaws because everyone does each pose in their own way in their own time with no judgment. Through yoga we can learn to remove negative emotions by focusing on the positives in life. The practice in many ways can open our hearts to love and happiness by teaching us to show gratitude and express ourselves to those around us. The yoga belief system teaches us to practice non-violence, honesty and selflessly helping others.

self Awareness

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

I absolutely hate it when people claim to know me better then I know myself. At times I have found it be offensive and insensitive. I remember being in school feeling very sheltered with everyone telling what my needs were. It wasn’t until after graduation I learned to take charge of my own life and needs.

Having self-awareness is the key to being independent. For me being my own person has always been my top priority. Over the years I have cultivated my self-awareness by being mindful of my mind, body and surroundings. I have also found that keeping a journal of lists of my strengths, weakness, interests, goals and my roles to remind of me what is important and focus is helpful.

My daily yoga practice has empowered me to advocate for my self and others with disabilities. Yoga is about unity and equality we are all beautiful individuals with talents and gifts. Yoga enlightens us to get off our mats inspired to share our love, truth and passion with world. Within yoga there are some key values to guide you through your adventure in life. One example is love and showing it to others and yourself. Another one is learning how to forgive yourself and others. The goal is to learn how to live and move on from the past with love and forgiveness. The third value is to always have faith in you, others and a higher power that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. The fourth one is to treat yourself and others equally and remember that we are all different and unique in our own ways. It is also important to always be honest with yourself and others.

With these values, self-awareness can be fulfilled with the following strategies, such as meditating to bring your mind to focus on what is important to you and what you want out of life. Another method is to be creative in how you want to achieve your purpose and goals. It is important to know your purpose, set your goals with an action plan and always dream beyond horizons.

self advocacey

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

As an individual with disabilities, one of the most important skills I learned was how to be an advocate. This means the ability to stand up for yourself and others to protect our equal rights. It is an important lesson to learn because we are the guardians of our own rights.

I consider my self a self-advocate, something I have done for years from school to adult life. It is second nature to me. Both the Americans With Disabilities Act and state law require public and private establishments to provide reasonable accommodations to a disabled individual so long as it does not pose an undue hardship. The first step is to know what the disability issues are and what accommodations are needed. These needs will vary widely based on each person’s disability and the degree to which it affects them.

The next step is to educate yourself on disability laws and protected rights such as the ADA. A good advocate has excellent communication and listening skills. It is also important to keep good records while becoming a master at negotiating. In order to promote positive change through activism we must work together while respecting one another.

Another point is to know what your recourse is if you are denied a reasonable accommodation. These options can range from informal discussions with the other party, mediation, filing charges with anti-discrimination agencies, or as a last resort, legal action.

Self-advocacy is learned through life experiences. It helps us understand ourselves while becoming aware of our needs. There is no better feeling than being able to speak up for yourself or others to make a positive impact.