• 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…

Accessibility