Insights Archives

jeanesse abelaJeanesse Abela, a remarkable and very wise 39 year old young woman, was born prematurely at 7 months in 1976. Her mother didn’t know she was expecting twins at that time. Jeanesse spent her first three months fighting for her life along with her twin sister, until she got better and was allowed to be taken home.

Everything was going fine until her mother noticed that Jeanesse was different from her twin sister at five months, where her sister could sit down but she could not. Her mother took her to specialists who diagnosed Jeanesse with Celebral Palsy (Athiod type). For Jeanesse this condition meant abnormal movements, stiff muscles and lack of coordination. At this point Jeanesse was referred for physiotherapy to help ease her muscles and improve physically, something she is still doing now. She was also referred to speech therapy to help with speaking clearly and communication, as well as occupational therapy, hydrotherapy to relax her muscles, and also referred for hearing tests due to long distance hearing problems due to the same condition.

At age three first improvements began to show up, as Jeanesse started to attend a special school and with the help of her kindergarten assistants she started sitting down on her own, crawling and doing basic things like playing and interacting with her surroundings. At four years old she also started to say her first words. But the best realisation was at age 6 when her teachers noticed that Jeanesse was ready to join normal children her age! She was immediately accepted both by the new school’s headmistress as well as her classmates. Jeanesse did great at school and gained good results in examinations too. She also took part in the school’s extracurricular activities such as concerts, excursions…

Jeanesse’s mother played a very important role in her success, helping her in schoolwork, homework, and always encouraged her to do what she wished to do, helping her along the way to become independent. Unfortunately her mum passed away 16 years ago, but her dad was still there for her, also doing his best to keep her happy and playing an important role in fighting for her rights while she was still young, but also up till today. Her two siblings also helped Jeanesse whenever she needed. Support in her family was amazing.

jeanesse abelaJeanesse was active in the Girl Guides for 4 years. She attended campings, marched in parades and played roles at school concerts, and was awarded school prizes along the way.

Jeanesse has had some moments of disappointment too, such as losing loved ones, but especially moments where she wasn’t given a chance to do things she knew she was capable of. Her secondary school years proved to bring some more disappointments too since there were times she was bullied by classmates, being ignored by certain school teachers and also other problems as such. However nothing disheartened Jeanesse. In fact she started to understand life more, the more she grew up. She did a lot of things like her own friends did, but she also started to see there were things which had to be different for her.

Success came for Jeanesse when she studied really hard for her O Level exams, without attending any private lessons, yet she passed from 7 subjects with the help of her facilitator at school. She was so happy and proud of her achievements and so were her parents!

After a year out of school, Jeanesse found a job as a clerk with GO. She faced problems at first because there were colleagues who limited Jeanesse with work, thinking she was not capable of doing it all, but Jeanesse proved them wrong. She showed them that having a disability did not limit her capabilities. She has been at this job for over 20 years now and is very happy. She attended courses related to her job, and also managed to pass her ECDL exams too.After her mum passed away, Jeanesse realised that life goes on. She continued to prove to those around her that she wasn’t letting life stopping her from going for what she wanted to do. In fact she went for holidays abroad with family and friends, live-in weekends, concerts, Lourdes, weekends at Dar il-Kaptan, Gozo and much more. She even had the opportunity of doing wall climbing.
Eleven years ago she had a slip disc on her neck which damaged her spinal cord and she stopped walking. She had an operation and spent six weeks at hospital for rehabilitation. She is still on recovery but she keeps on fighting to get her life back.

Some of her best memories up till now were when her sister gave birth to a beautiful boy, who she loves very much. And there was also the moment when her favourite team Juventus came to Malta and she met the players. She flew a Microlight Jet, did tree climbing, water skiing and abseiling.

Jeanesse AbelaOne of the most remarkable things that Jeanesse did was starting a group together with an old school friend, a group with the name LAND: Living Ability Not Disability. This is a nationally recognised NGO since July 2005. Its main aim is to promote inclusion, assistance, education and socialisation for Maltese youths with a physical disability. LAND encourages people to be aware that people with physical disability are like any other person, having the same energy, same ideals, same feelings and eagerness to have fun, to work and to help each other when needed. They want to make government and public and private companies aware of issues that affect persons with disability, such as discrimination, accessibility, work, housing, personal assistants etc.
In order for LAND to continue organising activities, they need financial backing to cover ongoing essential expenses such as transportation costs, hiring of vehicles with tail-lifter, newsletter, communication and participation in local and foreign conferences and seminars, and much more.Although Jeanesse resigned from the committee for personal reasons, she is still actively helping out in a way or another, as this was and always will be ‘her baby’.

Jeanesse still has a lot of aspirations for life, which include traveling, seeing a live popular band overseas, having her own flat and maybe a family of her own.Jeanesse wants the people to understand that one shouldn’t act as if they do not know how to cope with a person with disability as soon as they see one. Having a disability doesn’t mean the person has no heart to love and to feel. Society needs to accept this fact and act more inclusive.

“First see the person, then the disability”, says Jeanesse, and rightfully so!

Thank you Jeanesse for sharing your story with the world!

If you would like to support Jeanesse’s LAND you can send a donation directly as a cheque payable to Living Ability Not Disability. Send your donation at:

Jeanesse Abela LAND Group

Land Group c/o St Anthony No 2,

E.H. Furse,

Msida

Morning After Pill in Malta

morning after pill maltaMorning After Pill in Malta is currently causing a debate. Some say it is a non-abortifacient pill which can be taken without any bad consequences while others are saying that this pill does in fact have an abortifacient effect. What are the facts? Let’s go through the details and see what this Morning-After pill is and what it does.

The Morning-After pill works in three different ways:

  1. If taken before ovulation occurs, it delays ovulation by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary
  2. It prevents fertilisation of the egg
  3. It stops an already formed embryo from implanting into the wall of the uterus

With the first option, no fertilisation occurs, so there are no abortifacient effects there. With the second option, fertilisation is also stopped, so once again no abortifacient effects there.

However, with the third option, an already formed and living embryo is discarded as the morning-after pill makes changes into the wall of the uterus to stop the living embryo from implanting there, and so the pregnancy is terminated there.

Science has proven that life starts at conception (when sperm meets the ovum), and not when implantation occurs. And so, when the Morning-After pill stops the living embryo from attaching to the wall of the uterus, a new life is discarded.

So as conclusion, by accepting the morning after pill in Malta, we would be paving the way towards introducing abortion due to this pill’s abortifacient effect.

Madeline Stuart Down Syndrome Model is changing the world with each photoshoot!

Madeline Stuart down syndrome modelHow? See, Madeline Stuart  is no ordinary girl. Madeline, a 19 year old aspiring model from Brisbane, Australia, has Down Syndrome, and as many with this condition struggle with weight, so did she.

However, Maddy two years ago decided that she wanted to chase her lifelong dream of becoming a professional model, and so her amazing journey started. She not only changed her image by becoming healthy and losing weight. She started to change the way that people discriminate those with conditions or disability through her work as a professional model.

One can immediately see how aspiring Madeline Stuart is. She changes the perception of beauty, photo by photo, achievement after achievement. In fact, Madeline Stuart just finished Caspian Fashion week in Russia and she is currently in Uganda working to change people’s perspective on disabilities.

Madeline Stuart is also the ambassador of a dance company for people with disabilities, which you can also help grow through Maddy’s own Go Fund Me page by sending a donation for such a great cause!

Madeline Stuart down syndrome modelAs you can surely agree with me, such a wonderful and amazing young woman surely has behind her a loving and supportive mother, and this mother is none other than Rosanne Stuart. I asked Rosanne to share a message to the mothers of kids with ‘special abilities’ on how to let these wonderful kids explore their full potential, and this is what Rosanne told us…

“I think it is very important that we love and cherish our children but it is more important to let them live, to experience life in a safe and challenging environment. I for one was very overly protective for many years but over time I learnt to let go a little and let Maddy live and make most of her own decisions. When I was 19 I was completely independent and had left home and was living on my own so when I get scared about what Maddy is now wanting to experience I just make sure I consider that she is safe and also the fact she has the same rights as me. She experiences the same feelings of love a excitement so why shouldn’t she also have the experiences I had. My hardest obstacle was when she got a boyfriend but then I realised we all deserve to love and be loved so what right did I have to stop it as long as I knew she was happy and safe” – Rosanne

I also asked Madeline to share a message to those who have a dream but are afraid of not being able to make it come true, and the lovely Madeline replied as follows…

“Don’t ever give up on your dreams, if we don’t dream we will never have anything to look forward to. Life is an adventure of ups and downs and it can all be fun if we don’t give up”- Madeline

I would like to thank Rosanne and Madeline Stuart for sharing such wisdom with us and with the whole World. Maddy, keep on changing the world as you are! You are young, ambitious, talented and amazing in such a unique and wonderful way! Keep on shining!!

And to you reading this, I would like to encourage you to help this amazing shining star by following her on her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her own website at http://www.madelinestuartmodel.com

 

 

 

lonely heartsIt was past mid April. There I was, my heart beating fast in my chest, fear and anxiety washing over me as I gazed tearfully at the two clear lines in front of me. No, this couldn’t be. How could this be? How could I be so unfortunate? Why was I being punished?

I couldn’t take it. I dropped to the bathroom floor head down, screaming and crying, tearing hair out of my head, wanting the floor to open up below me and swallow me. I didn’t want to face a third pregnancy. How could I be pregnant again?

My mobile phone rang…it was my husband. I screamed into the phone that I’m pregnant. Tears kept flowing out. I couldn’t control myself. I felt as if part of me had died that morning.

I spent that day crying, from morning till dusk. Although all I could see was darkness, yet there was this voice inside of me saying, “Everything happens for a reason”, although I was almost annoyed with that voice in my head…I mean come on, what reason could make this worthwhile??

When I got the courage to stop crying, I dragged myself in front of a mirror. I looked at myself. I was a mess, a total mess. My eyes were almost closed, swollen with all the tears that I had cried all day long. My face was red. I was shaking all over.

Thoughts crept in my head. I started to realise the pain that certain women endure when they get pregnant unexpectedly. Because let’s face it, although there may be women who get pregnant unexpectedly through lack of responsibility, yet there are women who get pregnant unexpectedly through rape, sexual abuse, marital abuse, incest…It led me to understand the fears and pains that may drive certain women to abort their unborn babies, not wanting to have to be reminded of the pain they went through every time they look into their babies’ eyes. Realising this was quite an insight for me, since back in December, just four months before, I had been drawn to dedicate a whole blogpost about abortion and why one shouldn’t abort an unborn child.

Although all these thoughts came to my mind, yet at no point was I even seriously thinking of aborting my baby. I could never ever kill an innocent human being, because as small and ‘insignificant’ it was at that time, yet I knew that a new life had started already within me. If I was given this baby, then I was meant to love and protect it. With each passing hour, that voice in my mind became even more clear…”Everything happens for a reason”.

Weeks started to pass. My pregnancy felt unreal. I had almost no pregnancy symptoms, only just a few. It didn’t feel like my other two previous pregnancies. I was just flowing through life feeling comfortably numb.

Throughout the first four months a whole lot of stuff happened in my life. Certain hard decisions had to be taken. Once again I found myself living a nightmare. Yet through that nightmare I started to realise that this ‘unreal’ pregnancy had indeed happened for a reason. This unborn baby, still unknown, still ‘insignificant’, was there to help put pieces back together. To bring back hope into my life and the lives of those I care about and love the most.

More weeks passed. Friday 25th July arrived. My baby’s ultrasound was scheduled.

Although still not very used to the idea of being half way to giving birth to a baby even though I had already been feeling movements from outside my tummy, yet I felt excited to see what was inside me. So I laid down and looked at the monitor while the nurse beside me scanned my tummy.

There was our baby. Wriggling. Moving. Holding her hands in fists while she moved. “It’s a girl!”. There was our little girl, our little baby. We were witnessing proof that our little one was very much real, very much alive! Looking at her made me realise the beauty of life.

Back in April I had thought that I was being punished by getting pregnant again. Yet looking at our little baby girl made me realise we were yet being blessed with another baby, to love and to cherish.

Back in April I had thought that my life was ending, yet looking at her made me realise that this baby was bringing us new life, new hope.

A new dawn…

Later that day we were trying to find a name for our unborn baby girl. One of our daughters came up with a particular name which felt somehow ‘right’ to me, so I searched for its meaning, and interestingly enough it meant ‘Dawn’. That was the confirmation I needed for the new baby name!

And needless to say, I now can’t wait till the right time comes when I can have our baby with us, part of our family, with our other two beloved girls!

To be honest, I was quite reluctant to publish this new blogpost today, since it is very personal.

Yet I do believe that some who will come across it could benefit from some thoughts behind this story.

Looking back I realise that if I had not worked on myself to be positive in life, I may have ended up either ending my life or the life of an innocent unborn baby. Having trained myself to embrace whatever comes along as being for my highest good made me pick myself back up during times where all seemed dark. Seeing my baby so alive on the ultrasound monitor made me realise what a precious baby I could have lost if I had not learned to accept all that happens as being for a reason, even if it is unknown at the start.

So why am I writing all this here?

Definitely to show you why it is so important to work on being positive and finding that little grain of positivity even in the darkest hours. Yes I did get slammed down by the unperceived reality at that moment in time, yet there was that voice within me all the time, there to console me and to remind me what I had been training myself on for the past couple of years…

Everything happens for a reason!

Want to be able to accept all that comes as is the way I did? Simple. Just train yourself to be grateful. Grateful for the blessings in your life. Grateful for all the good things that happen to you. Say it out loud. There is no such thing as a ‘doomed’ life or a ‘doomed’ destiny. Life is what you make it. Forget the pains, just focus on those little things you are grateful for. The more grateful you are, the more life gives you things to be grateful for. Open yourself up to miracles, and life will give you more miracles.

Be grateful. Love life. Stay positive…always and no matter what 🙂

Put Your Hearts Up!

put your hearts upWe are living in particular times.

There are people who go through each day as they always did, comfortably numb, living in their own routines…

Then there are others (like me) who feel a shift, almost like a weird feeling in the air, a higher calling, a new perspective…

Most probably, you who are reading this blogpost right now are one of these ‘others’.

These particular times we are living in are not easy. We may feel uncertain. Our conscious mind can contradict what our heart tells us.

These are times when we are urged to silence the mind and let our soul speak. Our soul leads us to that higher purpose that we have come here on earth to follow on.

I believe there are three steps that can help us pursue our higher purpose…and it starts with inner work:

 

1. Step 1: Find Your Inner Peace

Whatever your current circumstance, whatever pain you may be going through right now, just let it go. Do not make the mistake of thinking that with your current circumstances, achieving your inner peace is impossible. It is not impossible. Only you can limit yourself by limiting your thinking.

Start practicing a way of life where no matter what comes along, accept it as being for your highest good. Do not fight it. Instead, become at peace with it. Accept it as being a step towards a better outcome. Believe that it is so. Believe that better things await you.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by negative thinking, do not be hard on yourself. It’s okay, you are human, and this comes natural. However, learn to recognise the moments where you feel immersed in negativity, seek a way to detach yourself from it (such as with meditation, going for a walk in nature or watching a funny movie), and feel yourself switching from a negative mindset to a positive one.

The more you practice inner peace no matter what, the better and more peaceful your upcoming experiences will be.

 

2. Step 2: Free Yourself

Now that you have learned to find your inner peace in whatever situation you get to find yourself into, you can work on seeking your own happiness.

Times change, people change. It’s okay to love others and forgive wrong deeds done onto you, but it’s also okay to love yourself to a point where you let go of toxic relationships, whether they are work, family, friends or love related.

One cannot give his/her true full potential unless he/she is still drowned and surrounded by negative people. It is okay to let go of such suffocating relationships, as that will free you to a point where you feel so full of peace and love that you have no other choice but to overflow that love towards those who need it.

 

3. Step 3: Be Love

Once you are free from toxic relationships, you are now free and full of happiness. You continue to practice inner peace, which of course would get more and more easy with time as well as being detached from drama.

It is now time to follow your soul’s passions, your heart’s desire, your higher purpose. And what better way to start than to spread love? The more you are in tune to who you truly are, the more you act like yourself and not what the world has expected you to be, the more you can act out of love. Be love. Spread happiness. Bring joy to those who feel saddened. Wipe tears of those who are in pain emotionally and physically, lend an ear to those who are not being heard by those surrounding them

 

Put your hearts up, spread happiness and joy, be the sunshine in those lives that are darkened, be that smile that brightens up lost souls…Be love <3

 


“Put Your Hearts Up”

And Background…
And Action!Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
If we give a little love, maybe we can change the world (change the world)You think you’re so small
Like you’re itty bitty.
Just one match in the lights of the city
Walking by strangers on the side of the street
Like a quarter in a cup’ll get ’em up on their feet, like
You think you’re never gonna make your mark
Sit back and watch the world while it falls apart, like
Out of sight, out of mind, like, like
It’s just a waste of time,
Like, like, likeHey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
If we give a little love
Maybe we can change the world (change the world)
I said
Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
Sing it if you’re with me
All you boys and all you girls (all you girls)Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
If we give a little love maybe we can change the world (change the world)

Wish in a well, shooting star in the sky
We can do anything if we try
Can’t resurrect Gandhi, resurrect king
But if we put our heads together
We can do anything like
You don’t have to be a billionaire
You don’t have to have much to show how much you care
Like give a wink, give a kiss
Like give a little happiness
Like like like

Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
If we give a little love
Maybe we can change the world (change the world)
I said
Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
Sing it if you’re with me
All you boys and all you girls

Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
If we give a little love maybe we can change the world (change the world)

Don’t let em bring you down now, down now
Don’t let em bring you down now, down now
Ain’t got nothing but love now, love now
Ain’t got nothing but love now, love now
Don’t let em bring you down now, down now
Don’t let em bring you down now, down now
Ain’t got nothing but love now, love now
Ain’t got nothing but love now, love now!

Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
If we give a little love
Maybe we can change the world (change the world)
I said
Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah
Hey yeah yeah
Sing it if you’re with me
All you boys and all you girls (all you girls)

Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
If we give a little love maybe we can change the world

Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
Let me see you put your hearts up, yeah
If we give a little love maybe we can change the world

Hey yeah yeah yeah yeah

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