Oh dear, I have no real excuse for my silence this time other than it’s tiring creating a whole new life! My Editorial Director Nyx Martinez from Lifestyle Planet introduced me to my inspiration after a long and tiring (pregnant!) day.
“I’m only one person and can only reach so many,” Jessica says in a video on her website. She was born in 1982 in the US without arms – a tragic outcome to a pregnancy that I can only imagine having to face as a parent.
But the reach she talks about – her face calm but bubbling under the surface with excitement and passion – is to inspire others through her speaking engagements and be an ambassador for the disabled.
Achieving what many women in the world celebrate no matter what their physical stature – graduating from high school, college, dressing herself, driving a car, gaining two black belts in Taekwondo, marrying her Taekwondo instructor, becoming a successful public motivational speaker, and now (incredible!) becoming a solo pilot – Jessica says she had to change her mind-set from focusing on changing the hindrances a mostly able-bodied world set before her, to adapting herself to them.
She says it’s not about being disabled, it’s about the importance of being different.
The Oxford dictionary defines the word disabled as “(of a person) having a physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities.”
Although some disabilities are certainly not as severe as Jessica’s, in a way we all have some kind of disability – whether physical or emotional scars or mental concerns or whatever it is that holds us back from feeling free and able to fulfil our full potential in this world. And again, not belittling a physical disability, we can all be inspired by this special woman and value the importance of us being different.
There’s a beautiful moment in one of her website’s videos where she speaks to a classroom of 4 and 5 year old students in Iowa. A little girl who was born without arms watches intently as Jessica speaks and demonstrates tying a shoelace with her toes. As the room of the next generation applauds enthusiastically, the little girl claps her feet together. She is important in her difference.
More: learn more about Jessica’s inspirational new project and how you can be involved here!