Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Am I? Yourself, Your Very Best Self


We've had so much fun playing the Who Am I game and we hope you've enjoyed trying to work out the puzzle. We would love to say a huge congratulations to Gayle Richardson from Mummy's Wish who came up with the correct guess, Irish woman Caroline Casey and will receive 6 months worth of free events with Ipswich Women in Business.

Why we chose Caroline is quite simple. Caroline is an incredible role model and shows us that we should not allow ourselves to be limited in any way shape or form but in the process to truly be yourself. Born legally blind it was not until she was 17 that she was informed as such. Her parents had chosen not to tell Caroline before this so not to be "labelled" and allow her to grow up feeling she wasn't limited or requiring special needs.

As you can imagine to find out that she was in actual fact legally blind momentarily took the wind from Caroline. But then determined to not let this stop her from achieving she became highly educated and was employed in high profile roles such as a global consulting position, all the while maintaining she was "normal" to the outside world.

Two and a half years into her consulting job in 1999 Caroline's luck was to run out and she really began to struggle with her "disability". She had to admit to her employer that she couldn't see and needed help. Caroline was then sent to an eye specialist who looked past her blindness and to her issues in needing to maintain a guise of being "normal" and why was it she was fighting so hard not to be herself.

In self pity she took herself for a run which she often did without any issues and on this day she fell on a rock which had never happened before. Sitting there where she'd fallen over she began to ask herself, "Who am I going to be? What Am I going to be?". As a child she had enjoyed the idea of being Mowgli from the Jungle book with the sense of being free and the wind in her hair. And as she sat there as a 28year old woman she decided that why couldn't she be Mowgli.

Nine months later saw Caroline in India on the back of a 7 & 1/2 foot elephant called Kanchi riding 1000km across the country, having an incredible adventure and being free with the wind in her hair. That trip allowed Caroline to raise funds for 6000 cataract operations and from there she became a social entrepreneur with her own charity named after her beautiful elephant "Kanchi".

Today Caroline's focus is not on "disability" but rather "ability" with her most important message being not to deny your true self by "believing in the wrong thing and not believing in yourself". And to always be the very best of ourselves and to loose any labels.

We hope you've found Caroline's story inspiring also and that you're not only asking yourself "Who is my real self" but being that wonderful person too.

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