With the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change, Green Renaissance produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people. Every two weeks over the coming months, we’ll feature one of the stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine so beautifully capture and that illustrate gratefulness through the ordinary revealed as extraordinary. In the short film that follows Chaeli Mycroft shares her story.
“We live in a complicated place. And it’s difficult to find your space,” says Chaeli Mycroft, who shines brightly in this inspiring film from Green Renaissance. Chaeli goes on to remind us in her words and presence that “Everybody has something to offer. We just need to allow space for people to do that… to shine.”
Learn more about Green Renaissance through our Grateful Changemaker feature.*
To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey visit Green Renaissance.
What feelings/thoughts/questions surface for you in viewing Chaeli’s story?
How does Chaeli’s story move you?
We invite you to share your reflections below the video transcript that follows.
*We are transitioning the format of our Grateful Changemakers series in an effort to deepen the ways in which we “celebrate programs and projects that serve as beacons of gratefulness.” Our film series partnership with Green Renaissance represents one such possibility. Stay tuned for more!
“Tinder? Everyone is on Tinder. Dating is hard. And being disabled is hard. So being a disabled dater is hard. It’s an interesting challenge to navigate. Haven’t figured it out yet though, but there’s time.
I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 11 months old and a Degenerative Neuropathy at 6 years old. My legs have never been legs. They just live here. So being unable to walk has just been my life experience. It’s my perspective.
Her name is Eden. She helps with little things that people don’t really recognize as barriers to independence. So if I drop something she can pick it up and bring it back to me, unless it’s a treat bag, and then she’s like, no, this is mine. Come! Good job, thank you. Good job.
People think that if you have a service dog you don’t need any other help. And I’m like, that makes no sense. How is my service dog gonna put my t-shirt on. It’s not gonna happen, bro. and then people are like, hey why don’t you get a helping hands monkey, and I’m like, I’m not gonna have a whole menagerie around me when I go somewhere with my dog and my monkey and my, like, service pig.
She’s just like a permanent attachment. But a cute one I think. Hey? Yeah.
I walk into a situation…jokes. That was really bad, I’m sorry.
I think life is hysterical. Disability is often hysterical. Sometimes you’ve got to laugh at a situation so you don’t cry. But also I think we need to, we need to see the funny side of things. We’ve got to laugh through things because if we laugh at it, people are less scared of it.
People are really judgy about cross fitters. But the people who are judgy about cross fitters are not cross fitters. The first thing you learn when you do cross fit is how to fall and how to fall properly. And I’m like, that’s amazing because I fall on my face all the time. And now I know how to do it so I don’t give myself a brain injury.
Well, I think in life generally, you’re gonna fall on your face. It’s gonna happen. You’re not gonna have smooth sailing throughout your whole life. That’s just an unrealistic expectation. It’s about not being afraid to fall on your face. You’ve gotta just go with the fear sometimes.
It’s not about where you end up, it’s about how you get there. And we don’t get there by ourselves.
It’s important to have some ridiculous people in your life. They push you to do things. My people are the people that recognize my disability but don’t let it dictate the conversation and how we do things and what we do. I don’t see why I should hold myself to a different standard just because I live my life on four wheels instead of my two feet. I’m way more than my disability and my disability is just part of my being.
When you see a disabled person — you see me, and the first thing that you see is a wheelchair. And I understand that. It’s confusing to people, so people don’t know how to engage. And if the only thing that you’re seeing is my wheelchair, you’re not gonna see my potential or what I can bring to the situation. You’re not gonna look for the light because you’re looking for the differences. And society is built in a way that doesn’t really cater for difference, when difference is the only thing that makes society.
We live in a complicated place and it’s difficult to find your space. If we see the light in each other we can build a much brighter world. And as cliched as that is, I really think that’s important because everybody has something to offer. We just need to allow space for people to do that. To shine. Everybody can.”
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Thanks so all of you who enjoyed Chaeli’s story. And just a little shout out to say that she has JUST released a book that she has written, sharing more of her story and her wise words of wisdom. You can find it here… https://www.amazon.com/dp/0620926783?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860
The first that comes to my mind when seeing you is your most beautiful and loving smile. What you share is of tremendous value as it shows how powerful the mind may be having this attitude to life’s circumstances. Thank you for your embracing what is.
What an inspiring and thought-provoking film. Thank you.
Beautiful story. Love your energy, your spirit, your love for life Chaeli.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration. Blessings for you & Eden.🙏❤️🙏
How are you?
Your are so lovely!!
Thank you so much for sharing your shining light and light it in my heart.
I agree with you: “I really think that’s important because everybody has something to offer. We just need to allow space for people to do that. To shine. Everybody can.”
With fraternal love from Brazil
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