Melissa Hevenor
Sunday July 23 , 2017
Font Size
   

Archive for the ‘Cerebral Palsy’ Category

Wheelchair Barbie-Making Big Circles in this Journey we Call The Circle of Life

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

The last couple of months have been such a roller coaster, filled with extremely high peaks and equally low valleys. Dealing with an illness is a constant battle, because each day, and sometimes, even each hour, is unpredictable. This being said, I’m so grateful for the support I have from friends who are more like family, and the community as a whole, particularly my spiritual community made up of friends/clients and everything in between. So often, people are concerned and tell me to rest or put myself first, and while I know the intention is coming from a good place, often, doing the readings is, in a way, putting myself first, because it allows me to rise above the physical experience, and connect to that ever-present love energy where perfection is not only present, but becomes attainable during the readings. The other aspect to putting myself first is the readings help to pay for transportation to get to my doctor’s appointments. The readings helps me to afford to eat healthfully. For example, Bison Bone broth which helps build my blood count and aid in a healthier digestive tract, is $11.99 a jar, and one jar is equivalent to one bowl of soup, of which it’s been recommended that I have at least on a day. While $11.99 daily, may not seem like a lot of money, the broth is the same as medicine for me and adds up very quickly. And of course, insurance will not help with the cost for the broth because it is considered a holistic approach to wellness.

The other thing that keeps me going is my effort to find a cure for childhood cancer. It is easier to attack the cousin to your illness, rather than face the need for a cure to your own illness, because the need to survive on a day-to-day basis, outweighs the need to find a long-term cure. Therefore, my plan of attack is to wear the best armor to attack the monster of cancer, as it encroaches on children who are the least deserving of a childhood filled with pain, medication and repeated hospital visits. I get strength to be victorious in my own battle from helping these littlest fighters. The month of July is extremely important to me because it tis the month that the world lost one of the most beautiful, brave, intelligent, talented warriors I have ever known, Talia Joy Castellano. One of her last Instagram posts, was a photograph of Talia;s nails and those of her mom and  her friend, Tammy, painted in  mint. So, for that reason,  Talia’s Mint Manis was started in July, to raise awareness for childhood cancer and for fundraising efforts to raise money for Glam Wars, a program that Talia started where now her mom and sister, go into children’s hospitals, and do makeovers for little girls undergoing chemo. Talia’s foundation is growing every day and making its mark against the war against childhood cancer. However, travel expenses, supplies, and various other costs add up, so in order to continue growing and spreading Talias’s Legacy, donations are a must! Please go to www.taliaslegacy.org. Go to the tab marked Glam Wars, and donate, even a dollar, to help this program. If you can’t donate, treat yourself and your loved ones, to a mint manicure, and help spread awareness about childhood cancer and Talia Joy. Currently, Talia’s Legacy foundation is selling “I Love Glam War” T-shirts. To see these awesome T-shirts, please go to taliastore.com, and check them out. Talia at her young age, taught me how to apply make-up, to appreciate the art of make-up, and inspired a passion for make-up that gave me confidence as someone in a wheelchair, and now, someone in a wheelchair with no hair. It is because of her, that I have the courage and confidence to embark on a new journey, being a representative for the amazing company, Younique Cosmetics. This brand is cruelty-free and organic in nature. The philosophy is to empower and uplift women worldwide. If you are in need of new mascara or any make-up or skin care product, please check out my new website, www.wheelchairbarbie.com, and as soon as I am a little bit more consistent with my work schedule and my physical strength improves, I will be using part of the money I make from selling and promoting Younique, to make regular donations to Talia’s Legacy and Glam Wars. For this you have my word, because the Castellanos are like family, and when you take care of family, through the circle of life, you’re taking care of yourself.

Entering the Last Year of my 30’s Invited a Birthday to Remember

Monday, May 25th, 2015

So often, we hear people complain about getting older, wrinkles or investing in anti-aging products. When, in actuality, aging is a blessing that signifies all of our triumphs, memories and the magical, crazy, beautiful, difficult roller coaster we call life. I remember entering my 29th birthday. I was nervous about preparing to say goodbye to my 20’s and embracing the 30-year mark of my life. Since that time, i’ve gone through so much that makes me not scared, but thrilled to enter the last year of the third decade of my life.  When your health is in question, it truly brings to the forefront how precious life is, and how magical the single universal gift we are each given, multiple times a day, known as breath truly is. So many children never get to experience the teen years, or turning legal at 21, much less the idea of nearing 40. I was lucky enough to have my birthday fall on a Friday, embarking on a 3-day weekend, giving even more time and liberty to celebrate a victorious year.

It started off with getting a tattoo portrait of Talia Joy Castellano. I always get my tattoos done at High Voltage in California, so I was very nervous about the idea of getting a portrait done at home, in Florida, but, after much research, I found an amazing artist named Lily, here in Ft. Lauderdale. Before entering the tattoo shop, I asked Talia for a sign if this was the right thing to do, and the first thing I noticed was there were several portraits that had the blue and pink colors of Talia’s Legacy foundation in them. Then, as I began to discuss ideas for the tattoo, one of Talia’s favorite songs by Nikki Minaj, came on, that I also took as a sign from Talia that I was in the right place. Lily, the artist, went through hundreds of pictures with me, and then visualized and chose the perfect space for the portrait, in between two of my other monumental tattoos. The first one, is the logo for my business, which now gracefully sits right above Talia, and  the second one on my wrist that symbolizes the afterlife and is a replica of the butterfly logo for Lisa  William’s business, to honor that Lisa is my mentor, and the one who helped me embrace living my purpose as a spiritual teacher, medium, and intuitive. I always wanted something between those two significant tattoos for a longtime but never knew what to get, and now the butterfly sits elegantly on what looks like Talia’s neck, which I think is pretty awesome, because on her bucket list, Talia wanted a tattoo now, symbolically, she has one that  is purple, the color for neuroblastoma. The day after the tattoo was done, I keep forgetting that it was there and when I would notice it, I could not stop looking at my arm.  Therefore, I would look down, see it, and say, “Hi, Talia,” each time. Now, I’m sure to be known in my apartment building, as the spiritual girl in the wheelchair who talks to her arm. But, that’s ok, because I’m over the moon happy and that’s what counts.

On my birthday, my bestie, Jenn, took me to the Mac store and I got to pick out two beautiful lipsticks and a eyeshadow palette with a gift certificate as a present.  I also got my cartilage pierced on the left side, to honor Talia and  Mattia Joyce Talia’s big sister. Mattia is such an inspiration as a beautiful young woman inside and out and she is so supportive of Talia’s Legacy and such a sweet friend. I was so excited to have my cartilage done reminding me of their strength and talent with makeup. I had always wanted my cartilage pierced because I thought it looked cool and now,  without hair, it is very noticeable, which I love. During this process came to the realization that getting the tattoo at this point in my fight for a cure was very empowering because it allowed me to have something done to my body that is under my control, when so much that happens with my health and to my body from being sick and in a wheelchair, that is out of  my control. The same holds true with the piercing.

I have to share with you a miraculous incident that happened during the piercing. Even though the gentleman did it with the utmost professionalism, my ear bled quite a bit. I had my spiritual prayer beads that were given to me by my spiritual teacher and guru around my neck. He asked me to remove the beads, so he could get the blood off, however, the blood had gotten on the white thread that the beads are strung onto. The beads are clear so the blood on the thread was very visible. He told me to take it home and put it in some bleach. I said I will although, that was the last thing I wanted to do, because the beads were specially blessed and prepared for me by my teacher, so I wanted to keep them in the condition that they were given to me. Before leaving the shop, I closed my eyes, took a breath, and began  praying to Jesus, Moses, Buddha, G-d, the angels, and all my loved ones in heaven including Talia, to all help restore my beads to their original condition, without the blood. When I took my necklace off at home, to see if I could clean it, there was no sign of blood. This was not only confirmation that prayers are answered, but also  reaffirmed my faith. if a blood-stained thread, can be made clean  by Divine power and love, that same Divine power can touch my body and heal it from any and all illness. Of course, to be healed has to be part of my destiny, tho the possibility for healing is there, and so as I prepare to  enter yet another treatment cycle, I hold firm that the treatment will do what it’s supposed to, giving me back the health  I once had,  and who knows? Maybe one day down the road, I will not be dependent on a wheelchair. No matter what, I will be happy and full of faith, for all that is and all that is yet to come. Tonight, I had another celebration with my two best friends, complete with a beautiful homemade cake decorated in editable make-up , so until I am well, as Talia would say, “Make-up is my wig.” no matter what the outcome, I am truly blessed to have amazing friends, lot of love, a heart full of faith, and I am thrilled to be one year closer to 40!

The Timing of Truth

Monday, April 27th, 2015

I always think it is best to be upfront and honest, and try my best to be that way with my loved ones and, of course, my clients, to uphold the integrity of my career and reputation.  In a recent conversation with one of my spiritual teachers, we discussed how subjective the truth can be. In other words, one person’s truth is not always the same truth experienced by another individual in that circumstance. And that is okay because that is what makes us all different and individual in our experience of life. While honesty is the best policy, my teacher did emphasize the importance of timing and circumstance when sharing an opinion that, for the sharer, is truth. Sometimes, we have to consider that, maybe, an event or scenario has occurred because of extenuating circumstances. For instance, I recently shaved my head, not because I was looking for a rebirth of my spirituality, but because I am going through some health challenges that require me to have  treatments that cause hair loss, and, in shaving your head, it gives you a feeling of power during a time that can be vulnerable and create a sense of chaos. I’m determined to continue my beauty blogs and detail my journey, both spiritually and in daily life through youtube. I was recently offered my own television show, but everything has seemed to come to a screeching halt because my health circumstances have taken precedence. This isn’t to say that the television opportunity is gone, just on hold, until I can maintain what I’m sure will be a demanding film schedule.Until then, Ive been asked to build up my Youtube channel, as a way to continue building my platform, that will hopefully transition once the t.v. show is up and running.

Therefore, I ask, more than ever, that you subscribe to my channel, mhevenor94 on Youtube, to help me in this endeavor, and also enjoy educational, humorous, spiritual, daily routines and make-up and everything-in-between videos. I also ask, more than ever, that you continue to send your spiritual questions in “Comments” below my videos. A positive aspect of being sick, for my clients, is that when my physical body is not at its best, my spiritual body is even more on point. My spiritual body is what keeps me going, no matter what. I haven’t shared too openly about my physical health because I had a negative experience before, when I was sick. When people found out, the readings stopped, and the readings are my livelihood. So, when they stopped, life became even harder.

I LOVE my readings, the Youtube videos, music, make-up, and teaching, truly not in any particular order. I have had some difficulty being consistent with the online classes because of lack of energy and generally feeling unwell. Bur, I’m still continuing to do my classes and dedicated to the success of each student while looking forward to the next round of Destination Happiness with new students, while continuing to nurture current and past students. In some strange way, physical illness has made me a better teacher, living more in the present with a heart spilling over in gratitude.

On May 1st, I’m going to choose 3 people who are subscribers to  my channel, to win a free reading. The winner will be announced on that day, and the reading will be arranged to take place by phone, for 30 minutes (a $150 value)!  Please keep me in your prayers, as well as my Kitty, who also faces some health issues due to her age, though still remains, my constant companion and home nurse. Also, pray that the television opportunity comes knocking and moving forward in perfect timing. Remember, that timing is 50% of the power in sharing the truth, and truth be told, I need your continued support and the readings to continue to flow in, just as they would had I not shared what is going on with me during this difficult time. I have tons of faith that  pulls me through each day, and loads of happiness and love to share daily on my journey, allowing my spirit to soar, as my body recovers.

Beauty Starts within and Shines Outward

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

So many things are happening now, both energetically and physically, I am very proud to announce that the Mint Mani fundraiser for Talia was a great success, and I’m very grateful to everyone who participated, making a donation in order to get an e-mail reading. It is so important to lift others up when they are going through a hard time, and even with all the challenges Talia faced with neuroblastoma, losing her hair and later on, pre-leukemia, she found a way to express her personality and continue to enlighten people and inspire people with her make-up. She is just one of thousands of children who have battled, and will battle, the monster known as cancer.

I have always had a fascination with make-up and fashion, since I was very young.  Although I did not grow up with role models who were able to show me how to be able to do girly things like make-up, eyelashes or fix my hair, most of what I know I learned by watching others or taught myself. Make-up and fashion are another art form and anyone who knows me well, knows that I am an artist at heart, loving the art of music, dance, anything within the constructs of artistic endeavors. In fact, being in the Drama club at school, and singing, was often a lifeline in a challenging upbringing that also fostered my aspiration for make-up artistry as I diligently watched the costume and make-up professionals that assisted with different theatrical productions. Later on, when I found myself doing large events of readings in front of large audiences and on stage, the need to look glamorous and better educate myself with make-up became even more important and that’s when I stumbled upon Talia’s make-up tutorials.

I share this with you, not only to honor Talia and thank you for the accomplishment reached with the fundraiser, but also to shed light and inspiration, in hopes that people will realize, often a person’s battle is much more challenging than you realize and you never realize how your words can affect someone. I recently started posting more on Facebook and other social media platforms about make-up and fashion, because both make-up and fashion, can be another avenue to enhance your spirituality, even wearing colors of make-up and/or clothing that correlate with the chakras, strengthens your energetic body. To my utter surprise, I received  nearly 100 responses from clients, strangers and colleagues in the spiritual field, criticizing me for posting about make-up, saying everything from, “As a spiritual person, I shouldn’t get caught up in things that relate to vanity,” to “I cannot expect to be great at everything,,” and “half the time I don’t even wear make-up, so how can I post about something I know nothing about?” These comments were actually the nicest, there were others that blatantly attacked my physique, and my lack of fashion sense. Usually, I delete such responses with love and go about my life. However, this time I could not do it as easily, because there were so many of them, and I thought it was a great lesson to demonstrate what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, and how your words will impact them. I haven’t shared this too much with the public, but from age 11, until 25, I battled not one but two eating disorders, predominantly anorexia, with occasional bouts of bulimia. Of course, as is always the case, the eating disorders were less about my physical appearance, but more about finding a way to have control of my body. which I often felt I lacked, because of my environment and perhaps, in light of my being disabled. After many years of therapy, journaling and becoming a counselor myself, I can say wholeheartedly, that I have recovered and have been recovered, since the age of 26. Part of the reason why I love what I do is it allows me to uplift and inspire people, by using the struggles that I have overcome myself as stepping stones and encouragement for others. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to a place where I can do whatever I want with my hair, make-up &/or fashion and not really care what anyone thinks, as long as it makes me happy. A lot of people know that I take a lot of “selfies” and smile often, but the strength to do that was not a characteristic easily acquired. As I pose for each “selfie,” and bravely experiment with hairstyles and fashion, I hope to serve as an inspiration for all girls and boys alike, who have ever felt unworthy or unattractive, that the future does get brighter, and the strength you have within, to reach for the future and continue moving forward, no matter how slow, is far more beautiful than any physical trait on the outside. I realize the more I strive to spread light and love, the more I will be faced with negativity and criticism from some people, and that that is ok, as long as I have inspired or helped one person, I’ll continue to spread that love and light, in as many ways as possible, embracing and sharing my interests, always finding a way to incorporate spirituality and divine love. I have started a hashtag campaign with a friend of mine in Australia, where we’re going to be sharing our favorite make-up products or looks on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, and put the #swimminmakeup4talia. If you would like to share tips or see what we come up with, keep an eye out for this hashtag. Please join in the fun- the more the merrier. And, most important, remember, no matter what, the greatest beauty comes from within, springing from your heart, until it is shared outward.

We’ve Come So Close but Yet so Far with Embracing Equality

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

As many of you know from following me on social media, I love what I do. I love Spirit and 99% of the time, I love my life. I have always been blessed to serve as an advocate for my fellow members who are differently-abled, or historically labelled “handicapped.” I think it is amazing how far we’ve come, when someone like myself, can be widely embraced and supported through social media or someone like Amy Purdy, an amputee, who is conquering the world one activity at a time, and making a statement in Hollywood, and still, there is so much further to go. I love the blessings and opportunities that the universe is allowing for me as I have a growing clientele who work in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and, as to be expected, as that clientele has grown, doors have opened, inviting me to be showcased on various media platforms such as talk shows and/or television appearances. Unfortunately, the sad reality is realizing, after interviews and being watched by interested parties, the studios where the appearances would take place, are not wheelchair-accessible. This unspoken barrier in Hollywood floors my mind, when there have been television shows such as Push Girls, that center around women in wheelchairs, and other tv shows with main characters who are in wheelchairs. Although, it does explain why able-bodied actors are used to portray characters in wheelchairs.

I am certainly familiar with the stigmas that can surface in areas of art or artistry. For example, in my first two years of college, I was the first individual in a wheelchair to take choreography, Dance Notation, History of Hip-Hop, Intro and Advanced Modern Dance, and a whole group of other art-related classes that involved dance or movement. Obviously, I was not able to participate in the same way that able-bodied students were able to dance. But, I did learn how to choreograph and put dance numbers together, verbally describing the choreography to able-bodied dancers. I will never forget the first day of class. The dance professor was so closed-minded and completely irate that I refused to leave the class. She insisted that it was a waste of time, and that I would be an observer who was in the way. Fortunately, the angels and my guide helped me to win her over quickly when she realized I had a photographic memory and could verbally describe each dance step precisely. Not only did I learn a greater appreciation for the art of dance, but also on the last day of class, each classmate thanked me for teaching them how to be better dancers, through the art of listening. And the professor even choreographed a piece in my honor, called “Dancing from the Heart.” Sometimes, against all odds, you know you are placed among people for something much greater than the circumstances convey, and although I find great joy in dong my readings and being of service to Spirit, and people from all over, I know that much of the greater picture is to serve as an advocate for differently-abled people, not only by sharing my story and the obstacles I’ve overcome from a wheelchair, and in life, but also to demonstrate that someone who is physicallyh different, still can be a valuable contributor, sexy, have an active social life and bring a perspective that the average person may not.

I recently went to a popular restaurant/bar in Fort Lauderdale, where I was treated like a second-class citizen. The interior of the restaurant had no tables accommodating a wheelchair and the exterior tables that did accommodate for a wheelchair, were typically not available. After an hour wait for a wheelchair accessible table outside (in 90 degree weather), more than one waitress came over and recommended that I eat off of a metal bar stool removed from the outdoor bar. Sadly enough, not fully comprehending what the waitress was asking of me, I agreed. Until she brought a tiny, metal bar stool that I couldn’t get my wheelchair underneath, and left my friend who was accompanying me, to eat with the food on her lap. When i told her I was not comfortable eating off of a metal stool,she insisted that this is how other disabled customers were most often accommodated. When I asked her how many able-bodied customers she had made this suggestion to, she began to giggle, and miraculously, a table outside opened up, where there was not only table available, but all of a sudden, four tables were available. To top it off, when my friend ordered a $10 mimosa, it was 1/4 full, when other mimosas came in all directions to other tables, filled to the top. We found out later that for $5 more, you could have a whole bottle of champagne and orange juice, and miraculously, we were not told of this Sunday brunch option. I am always optimistic and look for the best in every situation, though this particular experience was over and beyond outrageous, and I am a firm believer that when you remain silent when an injustice occurs, you might as well be committing the injustice yourself. I still view these experiences as blessings, as they open the door to raise awareness and the vibrational consciousness of humanity. So, I will continue on my journey to make a difference with the main intention of helping society embrace the true colors of all individuals, no matter the shape, color, formation or limitations of the light that each person shines.