Be the 1st..

Yesterday I went to see the film “Hidden Figures” in the cinema. It’s funny as in hindsight I believe it was for a reason. I had wanted to go see “Fences” but it was soldout so this was the other option and I’m so glad it was! 

Without giving the plot away the film is based on Catherine Johnson’s story – herself and two other African American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US Space Programme. It highlights how the Blacks were segregated and treated so unfairly at that time. Separate bathrooms, isolated working/eating quarters etc. I couldn’t imagine living in this world where especially Black women were undervalued, disrespected and viewed as being less intellectual/capable. I’m farrr too headstrong to allow others to tell me what to do and what I can/can’t do! 

The main message that I took away from it personally was to never give up believing in my dreams and my purpose in life. That career that I can envisage in my mind needs to remain at the fore each and every day. Some days I allow it to become hazy and clouded over due to my fears, my insecurities and wondering whether my ideas and I myself am ‘good enough’ for it to flourish and become the reality I so desperately want. Deep down in my soul I know it is ‘good enough’ and I know I am worthy of my ideas and skills, however keeping that little ‘doubting Thomas’ away can be a tough task. 

Like those women in the film I feel I have had many knockbacks, people disregarding my ideas, not giving me time to show/explain what my programme entails etc Did it stop me? Yes for a brief time. Why? Because for too long I gave power to others, determining my worth, my value on their reactions/opinions. How foolish I was to hand over ANY of my power to another! Why do I look for recognition and acceptance externally? In society I feel we all do. We do need to stop. The only person that matters and whose opinion needs to be listened to is my own. Not the Deirdre that criticises, ridicules and berates herself, the one that cares, looks with compassion and love. The Deirdre that acknowledges how far I have come and how much I have changed for the better. 

Catherine Johnson must have felt inadequate, must have despaired, must have wanted to give up on so many occasions but she DIDN’T. She knew deep within her soul she was invaluable, she had a wonderful mathematical gift to share with the world, she knew she could/would make a difference and become one of the first Black women to join the Space Task group for NASA. 

Two quotes that I loved from the film were

“In my head we’re already there”

I know I must keep visualising my dreams and aspirations each day. If I loose sight of them, they can become lost and hard to find. I am a firm believer in imagining what those hopes and dreams would already look and feel like right now as if they were reality. This really works. 

“It’s hard to trust something you can’t look in the eyes” 

I know I need to work on trusting myself. I find at times it’s difficult to trust others completely for fear of being hurt, let down, stung etc but for me even more challenging is to fully trust myself to know what feels right and what I know to be true in my gut/soul. I’m working on looking at myself in the eye and giving that trust that I deserve and know I posess to myself 100%. 

We ALL have the ability to “Be the 1st” each and every one of our hopes and dreams are worthy and attainable. Yes we can feel scared, unsure, unable, anxious and have many more negative feelings. That is normal and ok just never give up fighting for what you want and that future you can see so clearly in your mind. You DESERVE it and we’ve only got this one life so make it all it can be! 

“Be the 1st

Don’t fear the Worst” 

(Deirdre Ward) 

Are you Certain that Life Is Uncertain? 

I watched a film last night that was recommended to me by two close friends. It’s called Miracles From Heaven” To say this film entered my life at just the right time is an understatement.

I have a great faith but at times I feel my faith is definitely tested, like many I am sure. Faith is not necessarily about one’s religion. Faith means so much more. In my opinion it is about believing in brighter and better days to come, being hopeful about the positive outcome of certain situations, trying to see the goodness in each and everyone regardless of one’s actions, taking those ‘darker’ days that come knocking on our door, being strong enough to get through them, to see the light and to learn the lessons from those days etc

Lately I feel my faith has been tested as I have had many challenges I have faced in the last couple of months. There has been a recurring uncertainty to my life (life is always uncertain after all!) I left the UAE where I had employment, I had financial security and some might have viewed this as a foolish move. However what I did not have was peace of mind! I believe I had ‘nothing’ without this! I have been predominantly unemployed since I moved back home in January, living with my father again having been away living independently for the last 7 years. I have identified that teaching isn’t for me for the foreseeable future and have decided to return to my studies at the age of 28. I will begin my Play Therapy course at the end of August. Again there is an uncertainty as to will this be the path I have been searching for? Will I be able to financially support myself? I also feel I am only fully grieving the loss of my mother since my return as I left for the UAE only 7 months after she had passed. Was I running away from the ‘problems’ in my life? It’s very possible that I was!

Having been in a long term relationship for nearly 6 years there is definitely an uncertainty within about finding ‘The One’! Being at friends weddings, seeing others buy their first homes/build their homes, others having babies and settling down for their futures, does it cause a sense of uncertainty as to where my life is going? Of course I am extremely happy for all those friends around me but of course it causes me to question my own life and wonder about the uncertainty I feel!

In saying all of this there is a CERTAINTY that prevails deep within my soul and heart. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and a greater ‘Divine Plan’ is already in place for me. It cannot be revealed all at once no matter how hard we try for this plan to be revealed and no matter how much control we think we have, the universe has another plan in store and has greater power than we have!

To conclude, without my FAITH and my belief in a brighter future to come I couldn’t imagine how I would have faced some challenges or how I would have jumped some hurdles in my life so far. What has one got if materialistic support has gone? What has one got if there is nobody to support you or surround you with love? What has one got if one has no peace of mind?

I believe FAITH is the answer.

Like I have mentioned I watched this film last night and it has helped to restore my faith as it is based on a true story of a little girl receiving a miracle. I found it a coincidence that her name was Anna (my Mam’s name) and also that she too got a sign from a butterfly in the film. (As many of you already know the love I have for butterflies and the amazing signs from heaven I have received by them)

I have to wonder whether these ‘little miracleswe can get each day are coincidences or not?!! What do you think?

“See the miracles in each Day, 

I Promise You, 

They’re not far Away”

(Deirdre Ward)

A Picture Perfect Life? 

Pixar and John Lasseter have inspired and entranced children and adults for more than 20 years. In my opinion a large part of the appeal is that they hold invaluable life lessons for us all but portray them in a safe and child friendly way. This I feel we can all connect with. We all want to feel protected, loved and at times need these messages to be subtly conveyed to us. 

Some of my most loved films have to be those that are children’s films. Sure aren’t we all children at heart??! They help release our inner child! 

So many Pixar films highlight important themes such as family, love, friendship, loss, dreams, hardships etc These are such important messages to communicate with children from a young age and Pixar definitely succeed in doing so in a powerful and magical way. 

Toy Storya film that highlights how important friendship is. No matter how long we have been apart a strong friendship lasts forever. It also hits on the fact that we are never too old to play and to release our inner child can be an invigorating and essential facet of life when one gets older. Buzz Lightyear’s famous phrase ‘To Infinity And Beyond’ teaches children and adults to never give up on one’s dreams and to aim high in life – don’t settle! 

‘Brave’ teaches us that one’s destiny is attainable and within reach. We are all masters of our own destiny and we should never give up no matter how many knocks we receive. It can be scary however we must be brave. 

‘Incredibles’ portrays the uniqueness of each and every family. At times we may feel our family is crazy, not the a-typical type and can at times feel embarrassed or shamed by family member’s actions or identities. We are all unique and each family unit is different and special. Some of us may be more fortunate to have a more loving and supportive family than others and some may have distanced themselves from family. Again, everyone’s situation is different. Family makes us stronger no matter how ‘crazy’ the family unit is! We can all learn lessons from our family and the most important thing is to have ‘no regrets’ 

‘Finding Nemo’ is definitely an all time favourite of mine. This film radiates so much love and highlights the bond that is between a parent and child. The best relationships are those based on trust. I feel it also portrays the worrying times that parents go through when their children leave home and go in search of their own lives. At times we can all feel ‘lost’ in life but as Dory very wisely states we’ve got to ‘keep swimming’ 

‘Ratatouille and A Bug’s Life’ demonstrate how together we can attain anything and can’t be stopped. Teamwork is so important in life and to not feel that one must struggle on alone. Lean on those people around you for help and support. Don’t be afraid to ask and seek others’ advice. Ratatouille also touches on the fact that you can be whatever you want to be in life – if a rat can be a chef the possibilities are endless for our dreams and goals! 

‘Monsters Inc’ is a film that seems to be full of laughter. Laughter is stronger than fear and is like medicine for the soul. Always remember to add some laughter into life and to find ways of enjoyment no matter what age you are. Like I have previously stated play and having fun is important in life no matter what age we are. We all need to release our inner child! 

‘Wall-E’ emphasises the importance of respecting and taking care of our planet. We need to be more environmentally friendly and take control of our lives. We need to eat healthily, exercise and care for our planet so that the Earth will be a safe and healthy place to live for generations to come. One of the main messages I feel it conveys is that there is always hope. 

‘Cars’ is most definitely one of the most popular Pixar films. We are all on the ‘highway of life’ some of us travelling faster than others, some of us never slowing down, some of us ‘breaking down’ constantly! In my opinion one needs to slow down their engine, become more aware of the landscape around them and to not always feel they are in a race against life. One of my most favourite messages from Pixar has to be embodied in this film – it’s not always the destination but rather the journey that counts’ I feel we are all (myself included) too preoccupied about one’s destination i.e that end point and inevitably miss the journey that is full of lessons and important messages about oneself. 

To conclude I will mention my all time favourite Pixar film – ‘Up’ This film epitomises true love and that lasting bond between two people. It shows how devastating losing one’s partner can be and how when that happens one’s life is totally turned upside down and can seem worthless and all sense of purpose can be lost. Memories are so important and it highlights how one must remember the positive and happy times that were shared together. In my opinion Carl had given up on life and so as a result life was also giving up on him. He was being forced out of his home and away from his memories spent with Ellie. He was losing determination, hope and giving up on his dreams. Russell a young boy seemed to come into Carl’s life at just the right time. He restored the light and hope in Carl’s life and brought laughter and happiness to his life once again. When we loose a dear loved one or friend life can seem so dark, pointless and worthless however we have to try to be thankful for the time we did share and remember to carry on living one’s life as each day is a blessing. 

Watch a Pixar film today to reconnect with one’s inner child but to also remember important and crucial life lessons we may have forgotten. 

“Life is full of lessons and is forever moving and changing. Are you going to remain stagnant and stuck or will you let go, release oneself and enjoy the journey?” (Deirdre Ward) 

It’s A Wonderful Life

It-s-A-Wonderful-Life-its-a-wonderful-life-9486124-1600-1095.jpg

 

I had a reunion with some of the Roses and Escorts of the 2015 Rose of Tralee class on Sunday. It was lovely meeting with everyone again and I have a relationship with so many of them that no matter how much time passes between meetings, it’s like we were never apart and we can pick up right from where we left off! That’s the beauty of this unique festival – making lifelong friendships and meeting like-minded people. So many of us have that ‘spark’ between us that I wrote about before.

While chatting in the ‘early hours’ with two of these lovely people we were reflecting on life, family and differences between people etc. I was asked the question if I had ever watched the film ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. They both commented on how much they love the film and what a valuable life lesson it portrays. I hadn’t watched it, so last night I took the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about!!

Well they certainly weren’t lying. It is a fabulous film with such an important message. I firmly believe we all have a guardian angel and my favourite prayer from when I was very young is the ‘Guardian Angel’ prayer. I say it every morning and night and whenever I feel unsafe or uneasy about something. We too have to try to act like ‘Earth Angels’ at times in this world and try to reach out and help others and most importantly ourselves too. So many of us fall off the track and need a helping hand. Too many people feel they are ‘drowning’ in this world of ours and can’t see any way out.

‘When the ‘current’ of life washes us away, be the ‘current’ in someone else’s life to reignite their spark’ (Deirdre Ward)

Some of us look at people and see success, joy, happiness, wealth etc and think that those people have ‘everything’ and that they have a ‘perfect’ life. I definitely used to see people in this light. Anymore I try to remember that what we are seeing is only the exterior and what is more important is to try to look deeper and into people’s souls. Sometimes if we do this we see the clearer and fuller picture and can understand a lot more about somebody. Things are not always as they seem.

I love analysing people and trying to figure out the mind/personalities of everyone I meet! I believe everyone is good and has the potential to be and do good. If someone is acting in a way that isn’t having a positive effect on themselves or others there is a REASON for this. The reason is NOT that they are not a GOOD person. It may be that someone is abusing themselves with alcohol or drugs, excessive exercising, over eating/indulging on food, starving themselves, physically hurting themselves or another, obsessed with buying clothes etc the list could go on and on. I can honestly say that I too admit I have tried to make myself feel better for something lacking in my life or for feeling I was inferior/filling a void of some sort. Who doesn’t? I would overindulge on sweet treats, beat myself up for not exercising, buy various clothes to feel better in myself, take some alcohol to avoid certain feelings/thoughts I had etc Again the list can go on!

What I now realise is that we have to face up to how we feel, our emotions and WHY we are feeling certain ways. Don’t hide behind these various masks, ways of pretence anymore.

‘Face the truth and face our Fears’ (Deirdre Ward)

‘Remove your mask and feel free’ (Deirdre Ward)

Everyone touches someone in life so don’t ever feel you are WORTHLESS.

‘Remember no man is a failure who has Friends’ (A Wonderful Life)

Life is precious, don’t wish or throw it away. Try to be the BEST you can be while you are in this life. A New Year is looming so what better way to start afresh and take the steps to leaving the legacy of YOUR life.

wonderful life