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Love, love the bright star you are

Love, love the bright star you are

Poem and Artwork by Diane Melanie.

 @dianemelanie_

I am sure life is more wonderful and precarious than we should ever know.

In fact, it may be a mistake to consider anything ordinary.

Amazing is all there is.

Think about it.

painting of a child with a rainbow of different colours around them

There has never been a day like this day,

and there will never be another you.

Child of Earth, you are a miracle,

with your very own starsong for guidance and protection…

…listen   …listen

Understand that you belong – as everything belongs – to the wondrous Web of all Creation

You walk in myth and legend,

the hero of your own story,

instinctively directing yourself toward a better day.

drawing of a single daisy with soft pink and greens in the background

You live in beauty, not because you own beautiful things,

but because you appreciate that the world is one of abundant beauty,

– including beauty you will never see –

and knowing you are blessed.

Please don’t spend any of your precious time trying to be flawless.

Fighting yourself only adds to the sum of conflict in the world.

drawing of a field mouse with berries in pastel colours

Nothing will ever be enough,

if you do not accept yourself in this moment as complete.

It is in your wholeness – in your perfect imperfection – that you are beautiful.

And try not to agonise over purpose or achievement.

Your most significant act could be one you never even recognise –

the fleeting smile to a passing stranger that, unknowingly, made all the difference…

pastel drawing of a bumblebee hovering over a foxglove purple flower

You do not live without effect in the world.

‘I don’t know…’ is just one of many ways to stop yourself before you’ve even tried.

It’s also the best place to start.

Only take your first step and keep walking.

As you venture, trust that life will always meet you half way.

There may be doors you approach, and even knock on – perhaps many times – before you are ready to go through them.

Sometimes you have to do the difficult thing because it matters,

and because it is no one else’s responsibility.

pencil drawing of an owl's face

In challenging times, seek sanctuary in the safe harbour of your truth.

Life is much too precious to be doing something you neither love nor believe in.

As unnerving as it can be, change renews the world.

And the timing is always right. Don’t doubt it.

pastel drawing riverbank

A river knows its path after all.

Be assured, you are never lost

Though at times you may feel forsaken or without hope,

even then, forces are at work to relieve you.

Have faith. Hold on.

Everything is perfectly in order – even the chaos.

Problems only have the power you give them to spoil a day.

Give yourself that power instead – the power to thrive.

Wherever plans may take you, there is really only one journey;

only you to leave and return to.

You are home, dear one. In yourself.

The dream, the destination already exists within you.

Was there from the very beginning.

pastel drawing of a horse and foal hugging

Promise to do one thing, every day, that your future self will thank you for.

Go as far as you can imagine, beyond all chains,

knowing that your truest dream is always the universe’s will for you.

Graciously accept the loving gifts of others along the way,

just as your lungs accept, without question, your next breath of air

You are loved immeasurably.

Let love give you wings and awaken you to so much of what you already have

And love in return –

with your whole life not just your heart

pastel colour drawing of a child's face with swirls of colours around it

Be generous with your light –

it helps others to shine

You are your own radiant gift to the world

Love, love the bright star you are

X

Diane Melanie

This article was written by a past Neurodiversity Profile Mapping client of WayMakers whom we are proud to have as a guest contributor to our site.

Visualising an independent future

Visualising an independent future

I hope that sharing my journey since completing Secondary School and Sixth Form will be helpful, especially to those, like myself, who found it hard to visualise an independent future after the struggles and stresses of school. I’m going to tell you a bit about my experience at school, taking a gap year, setting up a small business, getting a part time job, learning to drive and preparing to leave for university.

School can be extremely stressful but this doesn’t mean that the rest of life will be

Secondary School

I am 19 years old and I completed my GCSEs in 2019 and my A Levels in May 2021 at my local secondary school. The seven years I spent there were intensely stressful and anxiety-provoking for me due to the sensory struggles associated with extreme noise and large crowds, the unpredictable and disruptive behaviour of the students, the pressure focused around academic achievement and the inconsistent and uninformed support available. This made school life very overwhelming for me.

I lost confidence in myself and retreated more and more

For these reasons, I lost confidence in myself and retreated more and more from interaction outside school, which meant that when I finally completed my A Level exams, I felt much less independent and socially capable than my peers, as well as exhausted from the intensity of the academic work load. For these reasons, I decided to take a gap year to give myself time to essentially ‘catch up’ with my peers. I am now at the end of my gap year and I can say it was the best decision I could have ever made!

Gap year and rediscovering me

I started the year by giving myself some weeks in the summer to ‘recover’ from school. This meant trying to let go of the anxious ‘fight or flight’ state I had been in for so long, and exploring my creative interests and hobbies. Over this time, I was able to rediscover my personality and interests, which felt amazing after so many years of masking. By the end of the summer, I had written up a plan of everything I would like to have achieved by the end of my year. I then needed to find the independence and confidence to achieve these things and coaching was amazing in helping me do this!

Coaching at WayMakers and driving

While I was meeting weekly for my coaching with WayMakers I had started to have driving lessons. Driving was much more demanding and tiring than I had imagined and I found the one on one lesson style very intense but it was really nice to have an ongoing project to work on through the autumn and winter.

My Etsy shop grew and grew, and so did my confidence as I went through coaching

My Etsy Shop

During this time I also set up my small business, an Etsy shop selling my textile and handmade goods. This was slow to take off but really exciting once I started and the nice reviews and customer feedback gave me lots of confidence in myself and my craft. This venture was really helpful because at this stage, I didn’t feel ready for a part time or full time job, particularly because those available were based in sensory-demanding environments such as supermarkets or cafés, so having some financial independence was really rewarding.

My Etsy shop grew and grew, and so did my confidence as I went through coaching. Soon, I could live much of my life independently and felt like I would like to explore the possibility of having a part time job. I enquired at one of my favourite places, a historic house and gardens. And suddenly I was working there, interacting with the public and exploring the history of the house.

Although demanding on my energy levels, this opportunity was brilliant for my self confidence as I could work alongside people with similar interests and feel equal and valued in an adult environment. The fact that the job involved very short shifts and short breaks in between interactions meant it was much easier for me to enjoy the workplace and never felt too tiring. I have really enjoyed the months I’ve spent working here and will miss it when I leave for uni!

 

 I didn’t think I would be able to manage living away from home in an environment of such high social demand.

Uni

I have always wanted to go to university. Although I had a confirmed place since leaving sixth form, for a long time I didn’t think I would be able to manage living away from home in an environment of such high social demand. But being at work, back in an environment with academics made me realise how much I valued this world and my subject and so I started to book accommodation, register with the accessibility team, apply for my DSA equipment and so on, and now I am really looking forward to trying uni life, comfortable knowing that if it isn’t for me, I can come back to a successful business, a lovely job and the option of pursuing my degree online.

Some key things I’ve learned this year:

  • School can be extremely stressful but this doesn’t mean that the rest of life will be. Many teachers will tell you that it gets a lot harder when you leave education but the reality is, for people who don’t thrive in such a pressured environment as school, life opens up and becomes a lot easier when you leave.
  • Taking time out to develop your independence and build some confidence is really helpful. It doesn’t mean you’re failing or falling behind, it just means you know yourself and understand you may need time and space to work out your own independence.
  • Seeking people who understand your disability and your strengths and struggles can open up many new possibilities. It is especially important to recognise the strengths of neurodiversity!
  • Support at school can sometimes feel very negative as it tends to centre around your struggles rather than your talents so talking to people who truly understand what makes you special is important.

I hope this was helpful and I look forward to sharing my experience of university!

Kit

This article was written by a past coaching client of WayMakers whom we are proud to have as a guest contributor to our site.