Kristen DeAndrade is a self-proclaimed woman on a mission.
“Learning to live in the face of adversity may not be easy but it certainly isn’t impossible,” Kristen writes on her website Little Legs, Big Heart.
And adversity is something Kristen has encountered a lot of. She was born with Achondroplasia, they most common form of drawfism. She has undergone several surgeries due to complications associated with her condition. And at the age of 12, Kristen made the difficult decision to undergo painful limb-lengthening procedures.
An intense ordeal, but one Kristen is glad she chose to undertake.
“Four years later I found myself standing thirteen inches taller, a whole lot straighter, experiencing minimal pain and totally independent,” she writes.
Sadly, her medical journey was far from over and after enduring multiple knee realignments, Kristen developed a love of writing- a creative outlet and a way to share her journey with friends and family.
Today, Kristen’s writing has been published by organisations such as Women’s Health and The Mighty. She is a rather impressive yogi and yoga instructor and is spreading messages of love, support and self-belief through her Facebook, website and Instagram.
This morning, using our imagination and creativity, my little yogis and I did sno-ga. We talked about snowflakes and how they are all different. When all of the different snowflakes come together they create something beautiful. One of my littles raised his hand and said, “like all of us!” My heart is overflowing. Yoga creates children who are loving, bright lights in this world. At the end of class I got hugs and ‘I love yous’. There is nothing better. ❄️????❄️????❄️ #yoga #littlelegsbigheart #yogaeverydamnday #yogakidz #kidsyoga #shineon #thisismyyoga #onlylove #differentisbeautiful #biglittleyogi
“By removing any judgments we have of ourselves and others we unite into love. Stop judging and start loving. Be easy on others and most importantly, be easy on yourself. One of the most terrible diseases that plagues this world is indifference.”
Difference, is something to be celebrated. It is what makes the work go around. And the great success of ‘different’ people is something to be celebrated.
Click through for gallery of some of Little Legs, Big Heart’s Instagram photos:
“So, no matter what your story is, choose love. We are born knowing how to trust our instincts, breathe deeply, live without reservation, not care what others think of our dance moves; we know how to love, create, play and laugh without holding back. Then we learn from our surroundings and replace our inherent understandings with negative beliefs, fear, guilt, shame and self-doubt. Right now, QUIT IT. Remember how mighty you are and stop denying the world it’s one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”
If you’re inspired by Kristen and her quest for the celebration of difference, you can follow her on: