• TEDx Here I Come

    Although I’d wanted to be a TEDx speaker for a long timer – after all, the TED stage is legendary – the experience is quite different to what I’d imagined. If you are wondering what it’s like to be a TEDx speaker, or how to manage a big event when living with chronic illness and life challenges, then I’m here for you. I’m sharing my experience in the hope that it’s useful – which in many ways, is what speaking is all about. TEDx begins with an idea worth spreading. Once you find your idea worth spreading, it needs to be summed up in one sentence. If you can’t do…

  • Disability Creativity: Co-opting Clothing for Accessibility Part 2

    Living with disability can ignite creativity – at least it has for me in terms of my wardrobe. Check out Disability Creativity: Co-opting Clothing for Accessibility Part 1 – Outerwear here. Companies design clothes for people with disabilities, however, most of those clothes are what I imagine the companies think ‘elderly’ people will wear. But I’m sure most of us will value style and self expression, as well as comfort, at every age. (Click to Tweet!) Clothes that work for your body and life can be challenging to find. Maybe you need Velcro, not buttons, or perhaps things that are easy to pull on and off, or don’t get caught…

  • Disability Creativity: Co-opting Clothing for Accessibility

    Peek inside my wardrobe and you’ll see the evidence of a life spent in pursuit of adventure. From wetsuits and jodhpurs to ski wear and jewel-bright dresses. But the mix is misleading – they’re all ideas I’ve borrowed from other disciplines to make living with disability and dressing for wheelchair use easier. What’s neoprene got to do with life on wheels? Read on… I’ve lived with disability for 13 years and learned to get creative. Disability doesn’t have to mean dismal dressing. (Click to Tweet!) I’ve yet to find disability clothing brands that suit my sense of style, so instead I’ve co-opted clothes from other areas that work for wheelchairs…

  • Loving My Body: An Act of Resistance

    I had a realisation in yoga recently, while I was struggling into a pose my newly numbed limbs couldn’t quite reach: I love my body. It doesn’t have to work the right way for me to love it. It doesn’t have to look a certain way. I will love my body and take care of it. I love myself, in fact. Always and always. And I love you, wherever you are in your journey with your body too. However, I have, sadly, spent many years acting like this wasn’t the case, and pushing my beautiful body to go further than she could. I’ve been angry at my perceived ‘failures’, and…

  • Entrepreneurship and Disability

    Are you dreaming of starting your own business but don’t know how? Want to make a difference in the world yet struggling with illness? I’ve been there, and in the face of multiple disabilities, I not only consistently defied my prognoses; I overhauled my diet, earned a degree (with honours), built a global business, & launched a worldwide non-profit foundation. When you have a change-the-world-build-a-business dream and want to see it become a reality, then head this way. Too many of us are held back by the illness/no time/no money struggles and the world needs what you have to offer. I want to help you live your business dreams too, that’s…

  • In Defense of Doing Nothing

    I feel it too, the passing of time. The frustration of physical limits. Mounting achievements by your friends and loved ones, when simply getting out of bed feels like climbing a mountain to you. I know you want all those good things – love, joy, fulfilment, achievement and that’s why on any good day, in any space, reprieve or opportunity you get, you launch. It feels like you haven’t got the luxury of slow-and-steady so you run at life in any moment you can, pushing, pushing, pushing to achieve those long held goals. Doing is an addiction. (Click to Tweet!) When we are doing we feel momentum, we feel like…

  • 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…

  • Let’s Talk About Self-Worth

    Maybe you aren’t a size 6. Maybe you can’t do downward dog. Maybe you aren’t exactly setting the world alight. Maybe you don’t know who you are, or what your passion is. Maybe brushing your teeth feels like a huge task. Maybe you aren’t earning 6 or 7 or 8 figures like a #boss Maybe your blog isn’t the talk of the town. I don’t care. You, my dearest, are worth everything, everything. Let’s talk about self-worth… Self worth is respecting my right to be a human being not a human doing. It means, I get space on this planet simply by being here, and I don’t need to rush/prove/busy myself…

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