• Accessible Enjoyment: How to Create Joy Everyday (Bad Days Included)

    Disability and fun can seem incompatible. How can you have fun when you are stuck in bed all day (and not in a good way)? What ways are there to laugh and smile when you are preoccupied with pacing, worrying about benefits, dealing with all the well-intended recommendations to drink more water/eat healthily/try chia seeds and oh yes, the actual chronic illness you are living with every single day? It’s hard, I know. I really do know as I’ve lived with chronic illness for the last thirteen years. But I’ve also danced in firelight on the beach at sunset, shared my heart on stage with hundreds of people, groomed the horses in milky December light,…

  • Illness Etiquette: What People CAN Say…

    In many illness support groups everyone talks of all the silly things people say to those with illness and disability… :: Will you ever walk again? (Hi, I don’t believe we’ve been introduced, I’m Grace, how do you do?) :: Isn’t it funny. So funny, bodies, aren’t they? (Not wildly, no) :: I wonder when they will find a cure? (I’ve no idea, and in the mean time please don’t report to me what you read in some random health bulletin, it’s not helpful and it’s boring) :: Aren’t you brave? (No. Fighter pilots, yes. Firefighters, yes. Mahatma Ghandi, yes. Me, no) :: What did you do to yourself then? (Would you believe me if I told you…

  • Do You Want to Help Heal a Heart?

    I remember receiving my first diagnosis. I never imagined then, at 18, that there would be a time when I would look back at just one diagnosis in rose-tinted nostalgia. Perhaps it’s better that way, I have a laundry list of diagnoses now, but none of the labels constrain me. The disabilities are just the footnotes, I am the adventure story. But I’m getting ahead of myself, that’s not where I began. In the sterile office, with fading winter light slanting in through the blinds, and the grey institutional carpet under my red ballet shoes, I heard the doctor say those words ‘no cure’. I took the wound to my…

  • Dear Grace Q & A: Building a Life with Disability

    Question: “What can people do, who don’t feel they can start their own business or aren’t able to work in their circumstances? What kind of projects could they get involved with? What kind of things can they build their life around, if they currently lack focus? What kinds of hobbies can ill and disabled people take up?” Answer: The real answer, of course, is to find your passion and then make it accessible. Just as you’d build a life without a disability. What do you want to do? What do you love? If you don’t know what you love, can you explore? But I do have a list of accessible options and…

  • New Year, Your Way

    It’s a new year and everyone is making huge plans. There’s a new start, clean slate and another chance to get it right. What pressure! Social pressure encourages us to make big plans, live your biggest life, change the world, lean in, make it count. It can seem like everyone is planning amazing goals, but what if that’s not possible for you? I believe that we need kindness more than admonishment and pressure. (Click to Tweet!) Lasting, healing change happens organically to the schedule of your body, not when an artificially constructed calendar turns over. I’m refusing to pressure myself just because of a calendar invented hundreds of years ago…

  • Dark Times, Towards the Light: A Healing Journey Update

    I was discharged from hospital on Thursday, and am so happy to be home. I am okay. I had “not-a-stroke,” but we aren’t entirely sure what it is. I was admitted on Wednesday afternoon, because my right side suddenly went numb and felt like it had collapsed. I had weakness, loss of sensation and numbness in my right side from head to foot. I still have these symptoms, but they’re better than they were. I’ve had All Of The Tests from heart trace to CT scan, everything is clear so that’s good news. The doctors think perhaps it’s related to my pre-existing conditions. I’m home and safe and in the best position to…

  • Immune Suppression and Winter Loneliness

    We had the first proper frost here yesterday. The grass was crunchy underfoot (and wheelchair wheels), the air was bitingly cold. My yoga trousers did not provide enough protection and Linus dashed back into the house to grab my fleece lined leggings (yes, they exist, yes, they are awesome). There are lots of wonderful things about winter but it can be very isolating. In winter it’s easier to get lonely, especially if you have a chronic illness or need to stay at home for any reason (caring for small children/an adult, working from home, living in an isolated area, etc.). I’ve just had a viral infection, and last winter I had chest…

  • Dear Grace Q & A: 7 Steps To Your Business Comeback After Chronic Illness

    How do you move forward when you’ve had to take a break from business because of illness? I’m so happy to answer this! Let’s break it down, shall we? 1. Listen to what’s underlying. Ask yourself questions to really dig into how you’re feeling and what your greatest fears are. Are you worried people have forgotten you? Think you are unreliable, unprofessional? Do you feel guilty about needing a break in the first place? Where is your fear coming from? Whose voice is it? When you pinpoint your underlying worries, it’s far easier to acknowledge them and then, take the actions necessary to alleviate them. 2. “Turn your setback into…

  • Non-Hippy Happy: Building the Happiness Habit

    Firstly, full disclosure, I am pretty hippy. Not in a tie-dyed, groovy maaaan, recreational drugs, ‘drop in any time it’s an open house’ way. Not at all. I can’t stand tie-dye. I certainly don’t speak like that. I’m as square about drugs as its possible to be without actually being law enforcement personnel and if you try and come to my house without an invitation I won’t answer the door. I like block colours, received pronunciation, virgin drinks, appointments, and actually being dressed when you arrive. But in terms of happiness, wellness and emotional health – I’m a meditating, affirmation reciting, mantra chanting, mandala wearing, yoga class attending, flower-crown loving and therapy advocating hippy. But I was…

  • Trailblazer Interview: Claudia Olivie & Altering Your Morning Routines for Life

    How do you begin your day? And how does that change your day and your life? Claudia Olivie is a Speaker. Certified Holistic Health Practitioner + Stress Management Mentor. She believes that we’re most fulfilled when we’re showing up as the best version of ourselves every day. And Claudia has a radical message that will alter your morning routines – for life! We talk healing, auto immune illness and embracing wellness from the moment you open your eyes. Check out our interview below: And visit Claudia at: http://claudiaolivie.com/ Image courtesy of Jeffrey Deng.

Accessibility