Who knew you could find practical advice on being kind to yourself on YouTube?
Thanks to a newly released 40-minute documentary, you can.
And the good news is, you don’t have to be perfect to live a life you are proud of. There is beauty in your messiness. In fact, what you think are your biggest obstacles may actually be your biggest gifts. So, be kind to yourself.
“I can be exactly who I am in the moment, with all my mess-ups, and my failures, and my pain and my complications. I can… still have something to give, still have a life worth living.”– Claire Wineland
The documentary, Claire, is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Nick Reed & Ryan Azevedo. The film tells the story of the young activist and Claire’s Place Foundation Founder Claire Wineland through interviews and footage. It spotlights her unique outlook that inspires millions to find purpose and to live proudly. Reed and Azevedo masterfully use their film to allow Claire’s message to resonate with the audience.
Claire, even as a very young girl, spouted little pearls of wisdom as effortlessly as most of us ask for ice cream:
“There is this notion that we go through life with:
if we are just better…
if we just do more,
if we just fix ourselves more,
if we become better people,
if we get healthy, right?….
Like once we’re rich, we’ll be okay.
Once we’re in love, we’ll be okay.
Once we have a family, we’ll be okay.”
As the viewers’ comments can attest, Claire’s whimsical manner, contrasted with her terminal illness, made her (and this documentary) “inspirational,” “life-changing,” “life-affirming,” and “powerful.” I promise you: you will be uplifted, not depressed by her story. This is not a Disney story of a poor little sick girl, nor is it Pollyanna. It will leave you asking: am I proud of the life I’m living?
I first met Claire when I helped grant her wish with Make-A-Wish. She was 13 years old and had just come out of a coma. That was eight years ago; Claire and her family have been in my life ever since.
Claire had that magical “it” that makes directors swoon, turns people into raving fans, and sets the world on fire. I think of her as a snarky, goofy, little Buddha. She calls herself “a moving, walking slap in the face for people.”
Maybe you’re struggling with how to be better at self-care throughout your day, or maybe you’re just trying to be more organized and not procrastinate. Maybe, just maybe, the messiness and clutter in your life have nothing to do with external stuff and everything to do with internal stuff.
Instead of beating yourself up for hating your job, or missing a deadline, what if you asked yourself: What do I really want to do with my life? What would I try if failing wasn’t a possibility? What am I doing every day to make myself proud of my life? What little steps am I taking to let my life be fully mine?
“Maybe, I’m not the person I want to be… because right now, in this moment, I’m not doing what I should be doing. When you find your passion and your moment, (expecting) it to be epic, it never is. It’s small, every single day, decisions to show up and apply yourself.”– Claire Wineland
Claire’s keen perspective and playful manner remind us to just let in the kindness and joy. Joy isn’t like it is in storybooks. It’s in the minutiae of life. It’s in the mundane. It’s in the messiness, and it’s in the freedom of living authentically.
“I can’t spend my entire life waiting for someone to give me permission to live a life that I’m proud of.”– Claire Wineland
No waiting. No permission needed. What if you just decided to stop blaming yourself and stop playing it safe, and start living your life fully?
“I’m sure you have challenges, things that you wish you could overcome, or things that you could get over… Stop. Stop trying to get over it. Because if we’re trying to get over all of the problems in our life, then our entire lifetime is just going to be trying to get over problems — that’s all there is going to be. And that is not a life to be proud of. Instead, find those challenges in your life and use them! Use them and turn them into an opportunity.”– Claire Wineland
I am now the Chairman of the Board of Claire’s foundation Claire’s Place Foundation, and I too am living proudly.
Watch the new YouTube Original film on Claire Wineland’s YouTube channel.