Tuesday, November 2, 2021

 Blog Family Matters #3     Oct 30 2021

Bridget Brown

 

In my last Blog I said that the most important thing each person can do is celebrate the magnificent person you are and your gifts and strengths.

Another very important thing that helped me be successful in my life is doing a person-centered plan every year of my life.

You might be wondering ~ what is person-centered planning?  It is a tool that helps us to plan and design our lives around an individual person and not a “system”.  I describe it as a THINKING MAP.  Basically, it helps you think about the important things in your life and what matters to you. It helps you dream about possibilities and gives you ways to get there. The best way to do a plan is to have a group of important people in your life meet with you to help you think about your future.  It is wonderful to have a facilitator and a graphic recorder who will write down or draw all your ideas and thoughts. This is not always possible so you can make your own booklet if that is the best way to get started.  Ask some people to help you if you can.

Person-centered planning for me has been very helpful in my life. We did this process every year starting when I was 4 years old.  It helped me be included in school and my community. It helped me make plans based my dreams and not on my fears. It also made me realize that my disability doesn’t define me.

A person-centered plan makes you think about your personal mission statement. You discuss and record your gifts and strengths, your dreams, nightmares, your future plans, and how you’re going to reach your goals.   I love it because it is so positive and not negative.  It helps me to identify my abilities and not focus on my disability. I learned how important dreams are because they force you to stretch yourself beyond your limits.

I will talk more about person center planning in future blogs, but for now, you might want to start doing your own person-centered plan.  Start by making a celebration poster. You can use words or pictures to describe what things you have accomplished and the things you are proud of in your life.   This is a way to start your person-centered plan. I like it because you celebrate all your big and small accomplishments.   You can ask other people in your life to help you think about celebrations. This is really fun to do and I encourage you to be creative by using words, pictures, drawings, and/or photos. Thinking about celebrations helps your mind be positive.  It is a creative process and you can do anything you want that makes you happy.

I hope you give this a try.  You will feel proud of yourself and feel hopeful about your future.

Bridget 

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