Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Behind the Mic Book Review: Chloe's Journey by Claudia Orrett

"We have been truly blessed to witness Chloe's milestones.  The fact that she walks independently, attends a regular school with regular friends.  That we hear her laugh more than cry.  It's all magnificent."  This statement from author Claudia Orrett perfectly describes the title of this beautifully written heartfelt book!  Every emotion within me was touched, not just because I related to the book because I have cerebral palsy and a ''typical" sibling, but I also felt for Claudia and her husband John.  It was difficult for them to grasp that their beautiful little sassy, sweet girl had something that could be so life changing!  You as the reader, go through all those ups and downs with Claudia and John.  Through years of research, and traditional and non-traditional treatments for Chloe, you see the fog start to clear for Claudia as she started to be able to distinguish what would work and what wouldn't work.

I was trying to imagine how difficult it would be to write this book, having to relive all the hard moments this sweet family had to endure... but, in the same breath, writing it down would help them to see just how incredibly far they've come!  Through all the uncertainty, frustrations and feelings of despair, everyone on "Team Chloe" never gave up!  Instead they said: ""She CAN!  We will support Chloe all the way!"  Because of that mindset, Chloe and all those in her circle THRIVE!  Claudia gives you a wealth of information, including pictures of Chloe doing her exercises in therapy with diagrams and notes.  She's also included pictures of things Chloe's friends have done to show how much they love her.  All of this gives us a glimpse into what is involved in navigating the cerebral palsy journey.   Through her own journey with Chloe, Claudia mentions how family support has been an invaluable source of strength, but what I appreciated the most, was the unwavering love and support that Claudia and John have established between each other.  It provided a strong foundation which made them successful, as a couple, but ultimately as a family when things got tougher.  That foundation has truly had an impact on Chloe.  Her parents have helped her to push the boundaries of what she can do, so she can realize her dreams on her own merit and determination.  Trust me, Chloe has some determination!!  My heart was connected to this family from the first page until the last, and my hope is that you will feel the same!  If the Orrett family can make a success of this journey, many others can too....Reading this book is one of the first steps to that success!!

Claudia, John, Samantha & Chloe: Thank you SO much for sharing your journey! Thank you for including my story and journey in your book as well...It touched my heart!  I wish you much success with this book!

Michelle Fischer is the host of A View from my Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Boost your Self-esteem... go ahead! Its good for you!!

I wish I had known about Boost your Self-esteem Month when I was going through my self-defeating teenage years.  Now that I know that there is such a thing, I'm advocating for you to click on this post, to boost your self-esteem now!  It will benefit you now and in the long run, as you navigate life's ups and downs.  Self-esteem is the confidence in ones' own worth and abilities.  Having a physical disability clouded my view of any abilities I had, yet in the same breath, I was developing the not so attractive trait of feeling entitled to something.  Feelings of having everything under control, yet, falling apart at every seam!  As I woke up from being so consumed with myself and started to be more aware of GIVING to others, I really started to see what positive things I could give to others!  Now, when I look in the mirror, I'm loving and smiling at the girl staring back at me!  The greatest gift you can give to yourself is never allowing anyone or anything to dull your sparkle!!  Who should determine that?  You, you, you!  Make the determination to not allow the seeds of negativity to become entrenched in your mind, heart and outlook! You don't deserve to lose all sense of your identity!  You deserve to be who you are, no apologies required!  I remember not too long ago, shopping with my mom, and I was having a good self-esteem day.  That day I looked into the mirror and I was so thankful that even though it is a daily effort to work on my emotions, it is worth the effort!  Fighting the urge to give in to my less than positive emotions is an uphill battle, but I'm glad I've put up the fight.  The mirror doesn't lie, it will show you the positive changes you've made, but it will put a BIG glaring light on the things you need to change.  When you put in the hard work, you will see someone who glows and that glow has a ripple effect....You may have been beat down at one point, but you got back UP!!  You are beautiful, strong and ready to pay it forward to others!  I have found that my faith has really been a stronghold for me in working with my emotions.  Even when I deal with the days when my self-esteem is a little lower, I know my heavenly father, God and friend will always see me in the most positive light possible even when I can't see it myself!  One of my favorite scriptures I always have in my memory bank is Isaiah 40:29 "He gives power to the tired one And full might to those lacking strength"  Remembering these words and many other scriptures as part of my daily routine does wonders for my outlook!  As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, tending to my spiritual needs as well as giving to others, keeps my outlook bright!

There you have my prescription for boosting my Self-Esteem, now, its your turn! Now, Go Forth and Conquer low self-esteem!!

To read more ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem, Check out this article from The Positivity Blog!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana