• 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…

  • My Top Ten Most Comforting Books

    When you need some comfort, if you are having a difficult day or you just want something lovely to occupy you – dig into this list and don’t forget to comment to share your favourite comfort books/films/actions. 1. The Harry Potter Series  Because what part of becoming a wizard, and overcoming evil with the help of your friends isn’t heart-warming?   2. Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day It’s the ultimate Cinderella story, and it is unmissable.   3. Cold Comfort Farm Flora Poste “of every art and grace save that of earning her own living,” travels to the farm of her relatives, and finding it devoid of both common…

  • 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,…

  • A Love Letter to Your Healing Heart

    This is a love letter from my healing heart to yours. Paper hearts and rose maroc, old stories and tears, shared along with heart-scars over cups of tea, it’s all here. We are, facing each other across the internet, from my screen to yours, be my virtual valentine? I have something very special to share with you… A Love Letter to Your Healing Self.   You are brilliant. You don’t have to look the part, or feel it. You won’t reach a time in your life when your day to day reflects what you read online or what you imagine your idols’ lives look like. The beauty you see is…

  • 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…

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