Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Blind Women Retreat - Daring to Own Your Story TM -- September 20-23, 2018, Park City Utah

DARING TO OWN YOUR STORY™ RETREATS

WHY ATTEND A RETREAT SPECIFICALLY FOR WOMEN WHO ARE BLIND OR EXPERIENCING VISION LOSS?

  • Thoughtful, research-based processes will lead us through identifying where we want to show up in our life and what is holding us back.  Time each day will spent on exploring courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness as well as mindfulness, self-compassion.  
  • Activities.  We will be hiking, challenging ourselves in a ropes course, horseback riding, biking, and plenty of time to enjoy the beauty in Park City  at the beautiful National Ability Center.
  • Support. Share struggles and changes in your life with the group without judgment. Build friendship and extend support to other women along this emotional, mental, and even physical journey.
  • Professional facilitators. Becky Andrews, LCMHC, who is blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, Lisa Bradford, LCSW are engaging and experienced therapists who will lead you through tough discussions and activities with compassion.  You can find more information about them at:  www.resilientsolutionsinc.com.  We are thrilled to have Jenelle Landgraf, MSW student and co-author of doublevisionblog.com, who also has Retinitis Pigmentosa joining us as one of our facilitators.  She will also be leading us in yoga each morning.
  • Quality amenities at the National Ability Center. Delicious food, comfortable lodging, and reliable transportation are part of the program.  You can learn more at www.nac.com
  • Life-changing experiences. The time spent at the retreat creates a lasting impact that will stay with you as you move forward in your life with family, friends, work and community.
"When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending." ~Brené Brown

 **CONTACT BECKY ANDREWS,  BECKY.LPC@GMAIL.COM FOR DETAILS ABOUT OUR 2018 RETREAT (**SPACE IS LIMITED) OR TO DISCUSS HOSTING A RETREAT IN YOUR AREA

2018 Retreat will be September 20-23, 2018 at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah.  The cost for the retreat is $595 (sharing a room) and $695 (single) and includes activities listed above, lodging, and food and transportation to and from the SLC Airport!

Open up to the stories we tell ourselves and gain an empowered outlook with the connections and activities at the National Ability Center.  Connect with other men and women living with blindness without judgment. Discover valuable tools to deal with loss and uncertainty, and develop shame resistance. Choose authenticity and write the ending to your story.
Dynamic program includes three nights lodging, all meals, & amazing activities including ropes course, hiking, cycling,  yoga, time for reflection, and processing with experienced therapists.  This life-changing retreat will be held in Park City, Utah. September 20-23, 2018.

WHAT PARTICIPANTS OF THE 2016/2017 RETREATS ARE SAYING:

“I really treasured everything about this experience more than I ever imagined. I will definitely recommend this program!” – J
“I felt such a sense of renewal after the retreat.  The facilitators were fantastic.  Felt like you kept things safe and compassionate for everyone.  Really appreciate all the details and planning.”  –S
"I continually feel like I dare show up in my life after coming to the retreat.  When I am scared I have a tribe to turn to for support.  Shame is not in the driver's seat any more in my life."  -- Ann
“Location was perfect, liked the variety too.  It was awesome to walk about in two cities using my cane skills with visually impaired ladies.  Made me feel like a warrior at times! The food was amazing!” – K
"Not only was the program excellent.  I learned so many practical tips and tools from the other attendees.  Forever grateful." -- K
“I learned a lot from the curriculum.  It helped me understand myself better.  I can now talk about being in the arena of life and really living wholeheartedly.” –M

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Special Friendship. Blind Runner & Guide. Three weeks til Boston Marathon


Just a little over three weeks til Alanna and I run the Boston Marathon!!  So excited to be running with Team with a Vision.  We got this!!

What a journey.  After a fall in January my right ankle, knee and thigh have had their challenges.  Cross training on the ellyptical and bike have helped along the way.  An amazing coach has helped individualize my plan with these injuries. 

We will be ready and I am looking forward to savoring the miles in this journey.  There will probably be some tears shed as we walk to the starting point and definitely tears of joy as we cross the finish line.  In the middle most likely some highs and lows.  I love to hear the pounding of everyone's feet on the pavement ... almost insynch with the same goal to get to that finish line.  So many stories of how they got there ... the hard work and sacrifice that brought them to that starting point.

#bostonbound #boston2018 #grateful #blindrunner #amazing guide #tethered #lookupmoveforward

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Finding the humor ...

Yesterday I enjoyed lunch with a colleague and then we shopped around for a bit.  She left and I was going to do a little more shopping before calling a Lyft to go home.  Searching for a warm snuggly sweater!  I walked into Old Navy and Georgie, my guide dog, gracefully navigated around (what I thought was a person!).  As she was navigating between the aisles I felt myself slightly bump tino what I thought was a person.  I turned to the direction of what I  and said so apologetically, Oh I am so so sorry.  Silence ... I walked a few steps away and realized that it was not a person that I had bumped into .. it was a padded beam :).  I giggled at the funny moments sometimes blindness brings and how emphatically I had apologized :). 
 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Look up, move forward on Audible now!

Hi Friends,
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. 

Exciting news ... our book:  Look up, move forward is now on Audible!!

If you enjoy listening to books and are not an Audible Subscriber -- you can go get a FREE 30 day trial and listen to my book.

If you are on audible and would like a free credit to listen to it ... leave a comment and if there are credit still remaining I will give you a code to use!

Thanks for your support ... look forward to what is ahead in 2018,

Love,  Becky

Fun side note for fourth printing .. we changed the subtitle to Losing my eyesight and finding my vision! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Wonder

Loved reading this book and can't wait for the movie! I had the opportunity to share some perspective in the following article.  You can read the article that my friend and gifted writer wrote about here:

Wonder Movie by Joy Thomas

Joy begins her article ,...

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably much worse,” says 10-year-old August Pullman, the protagonist in the New York Times best-selling middle grade novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Auggie, the main character born with a severe facial deformity, tells his story, and then the perspective shifts to his classmates, sister and sister’s boyfriend. Exploring themes of belonging, empathy, differences, kindness and resilience, Wonder is spreading empathy like wildfire and will debut as the adapted Wondermovie on November 17.

#choosekindness
#kinderthanisnecessary

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thriving @ OHSU Casey Eye Institute

Casey Eye Institute offered a wonderful conference:  2017 Macular Degeneration and Vision Expo.  It was a privilege to be their keynote speaker at this event.  Thriving in the Journey:  Embracing Life one step at a time.  Afterwards there was a book signing of our book:  Look up, move forward.

Recently I had the amazing experience while in Israel to ride a camel.  I've thought a lot about this bucket list experience.  I incorporated this experience into this presentation.  Think of the traits that a camel has that helps him be resilient ... long eyelashes that help shield from the bright sun; amazing feet that help him walk in the sand ... the list goes on. ... We also have inside of us what we need to thrive and bounce back from our challenging experiences.

A client told me recently ... I just need to be resilient.  I reminded her that resilience is a journey with each challenge we are faced and one of the important steps is to honor our feelings ... to articulate and process our feelings in ways that we feel supported ... write, talk, draw, exercise, process our feelings.  Let it take the time it needs.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style -- Maya Angelou.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dedicated to my friend and fellow RPer, Kay

PD:  Jacque, Kay and myself in Arizona for one of our girls trips to visit Jacque and get some sunshine and connection.  

Last night I received a phone call.  It was from Kay.  We have been friends since our late 20's/early 30's.  We connected because we were both losing our eyesight from an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.  We were both serving as leaders in our state RP Foundation Chapters as well as Jacque.  We were all involved in leadership training, building our chapters and became good friends.  Kay and I both are Clinical Mental Health Counselors.  She was the one who paved the way for me to become an EMDR Therapist as well.  Time would go by and we seemed to just pick up where we left off. 

A few years back we planned a girls trip to Arizona to visit Jacque and enjoy some sunshine.  It was wonderful to connect with these lovely ladies.  Sitting outside by her pool soaking in the sunshine and sharing our journeys of vision loss and the new discoveries in tools that were helpful.  Last year we couldn't meet up yet the plan was to resume this year.  

Whether it was going to get pedicures, visiting Jerome, enjoying the Chihuly's at the Park and each of us sharing what we could 'see', we had fun and shared love and support for one another.  

So, when she left a message last night it felt different.  Yes, it was the time of year to reconnect and talk about planning our upcoming trip for sunshine.  Yet, there was simply the message of Becky we need to talk.  She had been trying to reach me for a few weeks.  We've been travelling -- in Jordan/Israel for two weeks then back home and to Portland.  Its been a busy month so understandably I've been hard to reach.  

I quickly called her back.  She told me she was dying and on Hospice.  I was speechless as I reflected on this most likely being my last conversation with her.  I thought of getting on a plane to visit .. yet knew that probably wasn't even an option at this point.  We talked for 10 minutes until it was too difficult for her to talk anymore.  I was so grateful that she had made the effort to connect so we could have this last conversation.   I love you so much, Kay  Thank you for being an amazing example and friend.  We've shared so much together.  I love that you felt I would look great in a hat and insisted on buying me one.  I tried :).    

My heart is full of gratitude and love for you Kay.  I will miss you and am so grateful for the example you set of tenacity, love, forever friend, optimism and spiritual strength.  

I am going to miss no more chats about therapy tools, how we navigate the DSM-5, sitting by the pool chatting about neuroplasticity and mostly your friendship and love.  As you said last night, that's not going anywhere.  Your love, friendship and example will be in my heart forever.  

Love and prayers to you in this final stage of a beautiful life.  

Update:  Kay died the next day.  I am so grateful she called and we had the opportunity to visit.  Love you Kay.