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.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
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.
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
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.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Reflecting this morning and simply grateful for the many possibilities, opportunities, experiences, wonderful people that are in my life.
I finalize preparations for nine women, who are all blind, to come to a retreat: Daring to Own Your Story (www.oasiscenterforhope.com for details) in our home tonight. They are travelling here from across the country. This is our fourth retreat and I am so very grateful for these women that have been so brave to show up and truly Dare to Own Their Story.
I have marked my calendar for September 11th -- the day I can sign up for the Boston Marathon. So excited to qualify again and run with my friend/guide Alanna. It will be an amazing experience.
Grateful for the opportunity to keep growing, stretching and climbing higher than I thought I could. This picture is the 35-foot climbing wall at the National Abilty Center. I am the one climbing and already on the ledge are 9 women from our last retreat -- all blind giving me the courage to do it!!
Courage is contagious. Love this message. Grateful for all who set the example of showing up and being brave.
And sometimes life is hard. I had a shot in my eye last month and another one to come on Tuesday. As I reflect on this day, yes it was painful - oh so painful for the day ... yet what was beautiful about the day was ... Steve and Natalie, our daughter, was in town and cheering me on -- didn't realize til after she had taken a picture of the moment! It was Natalie's last day in Utah so we also drove up to Park City to try a fun new restaurant (I rode up in the back seat lying on the seat nauseous) and then such a wonderful evening together with our son, too. As I reflect on this day .. the joy and beauty of the day are much much bigger than the pain.
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.
What makes you thrive? Would love to hear from you ...
follow me on Instagram @becky__andrews, facebook: becky peterson andrews and my new website which gives updates on speaking, retreats, classes, book events is: www.beckyandrews.info
I'm also thrilled that my book is now available in Large Print. It is available in Audio through the Library for the Blind and Bookshare. Regular Print in Amazon and some local bookstores and kindle and nook.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Relay for life: Celebrate. Remember. Fight back.
Grateful to be a part of Team Max - that entails loving, serving, supporting and cheering one another on both on and off the track. Members of Team Max took turns walking- running the track for 24 hours in Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.
Georgie, my guide dog, did wonder why we were walking around and around in a circle! It was a beautiful, bonding experience. My mom worked so hard and our team earned Rookie of the Year! She stayed the full 24 hours.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
I recently heard this quote and it has been resonating with me .. Grow through what you go through.
How am I to grow at this time? What do I need to learn? What is next for me?
I am transitioning from "a little useable not really accurate eyesight" :) to no eyesight.
As I tell clients ... be curious with the process and don't rush it. I'm trying to be open to growth.
As I've become curious, I've learned that I love to create -- the building process of a business: Resilient Solutions, Inc. It is now 11 1/2 years old and busy and thriving. One of my favorite parts of this business now is helping new therapists build and create their practice.
I have had times of seeing 30 clients in a week and times of cutting back to manage the office more. I have had times of expanding my learning and being trained in various modalities most recently EMDR. I have had times of doing a lot of public speaking. I have had times of the opportunities to promote my book and share with large and small groups. I am grateful for the many opportunities that have been mine. I recognize I am in a space now of creating a next chapter of all of the above.
I will be going to the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in a few weeks to take classes on the computer and increase my braille proficiency. I will be juggling those classes with a busy business, growing non-profit (www.oasiscenterforhope.com) and preparing for running the Boston Marathon in April. I am feeling grateful, vulnerable, some grief, and courageous.
Personally, I am grateful to have a wonderful husband -- celebrating 33 years in a couple weeks and two incredible kind, good children. I am grateful to have parents who have always believed in me and encouraged me to love, give back and that I was enough. My dad is fighting cancer and I am grateful for the incredible example him and my mom are to me in my life.
Perhaps growing through what we go through is what helps us keep looking up and moving forward.
Monday, July 3, 2017
We are so grateful to these ten beautiful women who came to our retreat at the National Ability Center. As I waited nervously for my turn to climb the wall, I reflected on their courage climbing up that wall, coming to this retreat and so much more. Their courage was contagious and I found myself climbing up the wall. My life is forever changed by these remarkable women. #courageiscontagious #risingstrongtogether#daringtoownyourstory2017 #oasiscenterforhope #iamnac#blindwomenretreats
For more information on our upcoming retreats, contact Becky Andrews, LCMHC, at 801.259.3883 -- email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.oasiscenterforhope.com/retreats . Our August Retreat: Daring to Own Your Story for women who are blind still has one space available.