• Dear Grace Q & A: How do I cope with difficult people in my life, during festive events?

    Dear Grace Q & A: How do I cope with difficult people in my life, during festive times?  Like relations at family events who ask invasive questions about my health/weight/relationships.  Or colleagues at the office party where there are social expectations to socialise in a certain, ablest, neurotypical way. Or when people start getting drunk and someone says something ablest and all the non-disabled people just look away from me (the only disabled person in the room).  I’m dreading it, help!  Dear Dreading-It,  Thank you for being brave enough to share your question in this column, I am sure you are not alone in dreading the holiday season when it…

  • 24 Ways to Enjoy the Festive Season if You are Sick or Struggling

    Well, the weather outside is frightful…so let’s make our own fun; accessible, gentle and compassionate. What are you hoping to give yourself this winter?  1. Make your own advent calendar; get little envelopes, print these ideas or write them out, stick one in each envelope and stick them to your wall with washi tape. Each day, enjoy a small winter warming enjoyment.  2. Make it easy for yourself and send your cards online via paperlesspost.com  3. Use your holiday wish list to ask for things you need for healing. Check out the medical gift registery for inspiration.  4. Do virtual volunteering. Can you send letters to children in hospice so…

  • Why I Gave Up Searching For ‘The One’

    Today I got on the yoga mat for the first time in just under a week. It felt so good. Why did I miss yoga? What it because I was travelling (London, Bath, Cardiff etc).  No, I took my yoga mat with me, stuffed in the back of my wheelchair and practiced each day.  I was off the mat because I am human; I have a highly busy day, miss one practice and then before I know it, it’s been 3 days or more.  I soon learn to live with achy shoulders, a tigh back, a tense head. Putting up with pain is something I am habituated towards, living as…

  • Gratitude and Grace List: College Submissions Edition

    Gratitude & Grace List: College Submission Edition

    Yes, it’s college submission time. So, I’m a little low on words because they’ve all gone into my dissertation, case study and submission papers. Here’s what’s been getting me through the final submission time: Little Things I’m Loving * The deepening of my one stroke a day painting * Listening to BBC Radio 4 over lunch * Amazing fuzzy slippers with – wait for it – reversible pink and gold sequins. Swoon * Grapefruit and tangerine-scented shower products – hello morning * Having a PM routine to wind down * My recommendation for making a compassionate AM routine is always Magnificent Mornings * Gold eyeliner – yes! * My sweet…

  • Red cloud, Sacred Stories, Calan Gaef and Shadow Diving

    Sacred Stories: Galan Gaeaf & Shadow Diving

    Sacred Stories Series: seasonal psycho-spiritual checkpoints to share our history & remind us to pause. Galan Gaeaf – the first day of winter – is my favourite festival. Just as menstruation is now my favourite part of my menstrual cycle.  (Yes, I talk about my favourite part of my menstrual cycle, it influences my body, my symptoms, my mood and my experience on this earth. If you’d like to know more about yours, check out Lisa Lister’s book – after all “my period is my life coach”. There is something about the turning into the dark, going deeper, releasing and turning inwards that suits a part of my nature.  Perhaps that’s…

  • What I wish I could tell my younger self about getting sick and surviving text over photograph of girl holding a camera on her lap. Seen from neck to knees

    What I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self …About Getting Sick & Surviving

    “If I could give my younger self some nurturing advice, I would tell her (or him [or them])…” – Kris Carr Thinking back to my younger self, when she first got sick. If I could speak to her now and offer some nurturing advice, I would tell her… You Are Enough You are loved. You are amazing. You are going through something extraordinary and it’s impacting you, that’s tough but it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. Listen to your body as much as you can, she has wisdom to share with you. Get a journal, keep writing. Write through the story. Move your body in all the ways…

  • Dear Grace Q & A: How do I succeed in school while sick?

    Dear Grace Q & A: How do I succeed in school while sick?

    Thank you for such a great question, I have been at school for several years now (advance training in psychotherapeutic counselling) while living with illness, so I hope I can answer you with some insight and experience.  Here are 3 ideas for how to succeed in school when sick:  1: Make your needs known, ask for help Many institutions can – and have to – offer reasonable adjustments or accommodations for disabled students.  Try contacting your school’s disability office to see what’s available. There may be a disability rep in your student union, or a disabled student’s group you can get in touch with. If in doubt, asking one of…

  • let's find your wild phoenix feathers

    Phoenix Fire Academy Self-Study is Open

    Dear one, I have a special invitation for you… This is a love letter.  To you who’s been diagnosed. Has struggled with long standing illness.  Whose obstacles are dictating your limits, and whose true and purest potential has been hemmed in.  This is an invitation.  To you, whose old life has been burned away by adversity. You, who has a fire smouldering at your centre. A hunger for a new way.  A new beginning.  To take your diagnoses and hardships and turn them into something else.  Something different. Something abundant.  Something better.  This is that opportunity. A turning point.  Disability doesn’t mean isolation and fear. Diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of joy, fun, ease…

  • Poster for Journalling Workshop

    Winter Fuel: Creative Therapeutic Writing & Journaling to Resource Ourselves

    Do you struggle with the darker months? Maybe you find winter a challenging time and are already dreading the shortening days. We are gathering a group of women and femmes to come together and explore what we are taking with us into winter. We will work with myths, legends, creative therapeutic writing and journaling. Using creative arts, writing, mindful movement and guided reflections, we will explore your harvest that you are carrying into winter. We will share resources that you can use in the darker days and draw on the solace and support of our gathering). If you are wanting to approach the winter from a new, healing perspective, come…

  • Diagnosis and Identity Part 2

    Diagnosis + Identity – Part 2

    We are told it is ‘our’ problem, that ‘we’ are the broken ones, the ones that have to be cared for by non-disabled people or expensive equipment. We have to ‘prove’ that we are ‘sick or disabled’ enough, to be able to access our basic needs (this often doesn’t take into account our pain or suffering, only to what extent the impairments render us economically inactive.) If we can’t produce, then we are considered a ‘burden’ – with historic invalidity allowances. What does that mean? Invalid, without validity? But we are valid, and the system is broken, not us.  In the US today, people are being denied opiates. Pain is…

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