• Dating & Chronic Illness: How to Navigate Questions

    Dating can be a nerve-wracking, exciting, love-fuelled adventure in itself. Add in chronic health challenges, disability or past trauma and an adventure can become a pressure-cooker. Today, we are going to address a common concern for many people dating while living with illness et al, sharing your story… How often do you have conversations that start like this? “Hi, I’m Jo and I have osteoarthritis.” And I aaaalways want to reply: “Hello Jo, how do you do? I’m Grace and I am not your rheumatologist.“ Am I being a meanie? Maybe. I’m guilty too as I’ve totally done this myself. But you don’t have to introduce your illness you first…

  • Trailblazer Interview: Tiphany Adams – Push Girls

    At age 17 Tiphany Adams was a high school senior with dreams of modelling when the car she was riding in was hit head on by a drunk driver on October 15, 2000. Three lives were lost in the accident and Tiphany was the only survivor of the 130 mph impact crash. She was diagnosed as a paraplegic with a T10 fracture and L2 movement and persevered through months of painful recovery to graduate with her class the following June. Born in Lodi, California, Tiphany has always been a small-town girl with big dreams. Today she pushes forward, pursuing her passions as an actress, abilities advocate and fitness evolutionary. She…

  • 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…

  • Guest Post: A Contemplation of Beauty

    Remember the beauty of your body: The curve in your neck Crows feet around the eyes Stretch marks from childbirth Worn hands Your belly with its round enjoyment Beyond the untouched beauty of the newborn, our bodies show we have lived: we are alive. Remember the beauty of your heart: Sacrifices for the ones we love Compassion for strangers Empathy that our stories evoke Peace when we truly feel heard Anger that insists on better Even fear that reminds us what is important, even as it stops us in our tracks. Our hearts’ beauty brings meaning, connects us. Remember the beauty of the things we cannot know: The moments of…

  • Ferguson, The Middle East, Terror and War: How To Cope In Times of Fear

    The world can be a scary place. All around us – on the news, billboards, Twitter, the internet, our inboxes, on the lips of neighbours. As our global village gets smaller and our means of interacting with others grows more bountiful, so too do the often frightening realities of others become larger. More vivid. Graphic. Overwhelming. Scary. And though observing isn’t as difficult as actually living in a war zone, surviving an unfathomable social injustice or experiencing a violent incident, it can trigger anxiety, stress or even depression. When we lose touch with our own reality and self with each manifestation of upset and fear, the effect on our lives can…

  • Trailblazer Interview: Christina Rasmussen & Falling Away Then Finding a Way

    To know illness is, unquestionably, to know loss. It’s not easy. It hurts. And yet… I lost a future (but I gained a new path). I lost friends (and found a Trailblazing sisterhood). I lost possibilities (then created new ones). It might look like things falling away but it can feel so much more visceral than that – like the people, dreams and self-images have been wrenched, painfully from us. Being forced into a new ‘sick chick’ identity can seem an all encompassing, dangerous trap with no perceived way out. But there are ways. And people who can help. Christina Rasmussen is one of them. The founder of Second Firsts, a global…

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