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.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Reflections ...

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

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

Growing


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

Blind Women Retreats

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: oasiscenterforhope@gmail.com or visit: www.oasiscenterforhope.com/retreats . Our August Retreat: Daring to Own Your Story for women who are blind still has one space available.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Looking up, moving forward with humor

One of the many attributes I first fell in love with of Steve Andrews was his ability to find the joy, humor, positive in any situation. Thanks Steve for making even a visit to the retina doctor such a fun experience this morning. I don't know if the tech found our teamwork plan to pass the eye exam quite so funny. I laughed walking in for retina photos when you told me to smile for the camera. Love you. In all seriousness, you are amazing in always helping me look up, move forward. Can't wait to get on the bike tonight with you and climb that hill. Thanks for helping me climb all the hills in this life as well.
Thanks Rick Egan for your remarkable photography and these pictures we treasure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGrnJlxVRGY

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Savor the Moment

In chapter 4 in Look up, move forward I talk about taking life one day at a time and finding moments to savor in each day. Our evening walk tonight was one of those moments. A beautiful evening, walking hand in hand with steve while Georgie walked alongside on leash. We stopped for a picture and she knew just what to do ... sit and smile and savor the moment.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Authenticity

When I was writing my book:  Look up, move forward and going back to remember different times, we laughed as so many journal entries started with ... Gosh, its been so long since I've written in my journal.  It feels like this blog is a little bit that way.  I want to get back in the groove of blogging.  Blogging at cruisingwithcricket.blogspot.com was so fun.  I loved connecting with readers, sharing stories, having a place to put down my heart.  

I'll find that rhythm again.  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  

It ten days until our next retreat begins for women who are blind - visually impaired - or even newly diagnosed with an eye condition:  Rising Strong in your Story (www.oasiscenterforhope,com.) 

You are not alone in this journey.  

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Happy weekend

A little dressed up for hiking 😀but after an event nearby it was the perfect time to put on some comfy shoes and film our video at Ensign Peak ... details to follow.
Thinking of all my daring sisters. We hiked this last year together! We still have two spots in our August retreat -- details here if you are interested:  www.oasiscenterforhope.com/retreats
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  #lookupmoveforward #choosecourage

Friday, June 2, 2017

Grateful for an amazing doctor

Walking into Retina Associates to see Dr Swartz had me reminiscing to the first time I visited him wow -- 25 years ago - maybe longer? He turned to me and asked me to tell him about myself - my life. I was more than these eyes that were degenerating. He sent me a clear message to look up, move forward. He sent me a clear message that life was good and he was on my team. He sent me a clear message he would do all he could for my eyesight yet also knew that vision extended way beyond my eyes.
Two weeks ago when I returned for a visit, he told me my maculas were very swollen. He told me "we" are going to fight hard for this last three degrees of vision and need to avoid a macula hole. I loved his passion and once again was reminded how wonderful it is to have incredible people on your team. We started two weeks ago with a regimen of Trusopt eye drops three times a day.
Today the exam revealed the trusopt is not helping. The light in the peephole of vision is going dim. After discussing the options, we are going to continue on with the eye drops for another three weeks. Then, we will turn to Diamox.
I am so grateful for this knowledgeable, kind, caring doctor on my team. Once again he reminded me that vision extended way beyond my eyes as we chatted about life and the many activities we are involved in.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Next Chapter in vision loss

This past Monday I had scheduled an appointment with my retina specialist.  Just a routine exam to check in.  After a visit three years ago to a retinal specialist that was brisk with our appointment, I decided the next time I would return to my retina specialist that had helped me through some of the major transitions in the journey of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition.  Diagnosed at age 18 I am not new to this journey of going into the opthalmologist and getting the news that my vision has declined further.  One would think perhaps that after 32 years it would get easier.  In many ways, it does.  I have learned to follow the appointment up with a fun lunch with a friend, tandem bike ride with my husband, or something else besides quickly returning back to work.  A day for self-care and breathe and recognize that losing your vision gradually at times isn't an easy journey.

This Monday was different.  Work was so hectic - there wasn't going to be time to take a day off.  It was going to be a quick visit to the retina specialist and then back to the office for a busy afternoon/evening.  I even told Steve, who is always by my side, drop me off and I'll go in while you visit your mom.  He said, I'll be there for you, Beck.  I know, I know. Its not a big deal.  I'll do this one on my own.  I told him.  I'm not sure why.  I just wanted to go to this appointment by myself.  

I entered and Dr. Swartz was so glad to see me.  He greeted me with kindness and immediately such a personal interest in how I was doing, how was work going, and how was the family.  I reflected back to my first visit to see him many years ago.  I still recall him turning to me as the patient and recognizing that he was going to see me through this.  

Now, many years later here I was back in his office.  I was giving him an update on the latest marathon run, my recent book published, my thriving private practice with 15 therapists and telling him his belief in me years ago made a big impact on my journey.  After a few moments, his tone shifted as he looked at the pictures of my eyes.  He was telling me my maculas were extremely swollen and this was very serious.  My eyes were at risk of a macula hole.  He also said we were going to fight to keep this last 3 degrees of fuzzy vision as long as we could.  We were going to try eye drops first and then would move on to a stronger diuretic if needed to try to avoid a macula hole.  

We completed our visit and scheduled again for two weeks with my promising to follow the eye drop regimen seriously.  I left there so grateful for this kind, caring and knowledgeable retina specialist.  I also left there recognizing that I needed to ramp up my blind skills.  

Its an interesting journey to experiencing gradual vision loss.  Each decrease brings feelings of loss to navigate and experience.  I get that and value the importance both personally and professionally as a licensed clinical mental health counselor.  This past week it has felt like the light is dimming.  I have felt an increased sense of gratitude once again for that light.    

In the morning I will contact the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired so that I can return and get some more training in computers and braille.  I feel a sense of gratitude that scheduling this additional training is not going to be easy - I work full-time with a busy caseload as well as manage a busy office -- Resilient Solutions, Inc and preparing two retreats this summer at - Oasis Center for Hope.  There is lots of tandem biking and travelling scheduled this summer with Steve.  My life is rich and full.  I have colleagues cheering me on and asking how they can help in this change.  Ironically, I have to present tomorrow with the topic they requested:  I can do hard things.  



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Resilience Plan ... Incorporating your Strengths

Love helping my client's identify their strengths and then incorporating into their resilience plan. Take the VIA Survey Signature Strength Test: (http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths-Survey). What are your top five strengths? How do you incorporate them into your life each day? Come back and share!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Be true to yourself

Be true to yourself


A visit to the ophthalmologist confirmed that I’d lost more vision, which wasn’t much of a surprise.  I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition. I still had good acuity at this time but my vision had narrowed like seeing through a paper towel roll.  Walking into a stop sign was certainly one of those dramatic times that brought to my attention the disparity between what I saw and reality.  If I’d been waiting for a sign that I needed a cane, well, I’d just walked into one. 
It was time to stop, literally, and face the truth:  I wasn’t safe without some kind of additional support.  I knew that it was time … perhaps past time.  My world and therefore my children’s world would get smaller if I didn’t seek additional training.  I wanted my children to know the world was full of possibilities and what a meaningful life could look like.  I couldn’t do that if I was afraid of getting hurt when I left the house. 
My desire to be out in the world  nudged me to make that call to the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  The  next day a friendly Orientation and Mobility Instructor greeted us and quickly showed me some simple techniques to help around our home and office.  He then took me to an open room, unfolded a cane and handed it to me.  I’d been afraid of this moment.  But as I grasped the black plastic handle and felt the weight of the long white pole in my hand, I decided it was time to embrace this opportunity.  The people I met that day at the Center were positive, motivated and capable.  They have given me a glimpse of my future that now didn’t scare me.  The O & M Instructor covered a few basics that day and we scheduled our first official training for later in the week.  Using the cane was like sending a messenger ahead to report back on obstacles, he said.  It wasn’t long before the rhythm felt routine.  As I made wide arcs down the street, I held my head high and began to feel confident in enjoying walking again.  “You know, he said, just having the cane out will help others be more aware of you.”  I knew he was right.  Yet, many times as I left training, I tucked my cane safely back into my purse and carefully walked back to the bus stop.  If I was feeling brace, I would carry it folded in my hand, ready to unfold it as needed.  Of course, I couldn’t know I needed it until too late.  I knew Bob had a point.  I reflected on occasions when having a cane would have helped people understand my behavior.  Perhaps flirting with the wrong man at the video store would have been less embarrassing.  Maybe there would be some benefits to having people know I was visually impaired.
              I continued to master my skills in a beautiful historic neighborhood in SLC with uneven sidewalks.  We met near the University of Utah where I had to locate a specific pizza place several streets away.  We went to the Crossroads Plaza Mall downtown, where I’d been shopping with the kids for years. 
              The crown jewel of our training was to train in my own neighborhood, and walk the places where I would regularly visit.  My nerves about running into someone I knew were a good indicator that I hadn’t quite adjusted to my identity as a visually impaired person.  Something about joining these two identities – Becky: neighbor, mother of two and Becky: visually impaired woman – was still unnerving.  Doing cane training at my local grocery store brough these two world together quickly. 
              As Bob and I worked our way through the grocery store, we approached my neighbor Sue.  It was bound to happen.
              “Uh … hi,”  I began awkwardly, pointing at Bob.  “This is my teacher … teaching me to use this cane.”  I pointed unnecessarily at the cane.
              “Oh, that’s nice,”  she said.  “Good to see you.”  And she went on her way, seemingly unfazed by the same encounter that was causing me to blush. 
              A few weeks later I requested some additional training at the Crossroads Mall.  I’d been back to the mall since my initial training and still had a few questions about navigating its unique layout.  This time the scheduling put me with a different O & M instructor, Susan.
              After our session, I gathered the courage to confess that I sometimes felt uncomfortable using the cane.  I didn’t like drawing attention to myself.  I didn’t like people looking at me.  I still wasn’t sure where I fit into this spectrum, with some vision left and people looking at me. 
              Susan simply asked some straightforward questions.
              “Is the cane helping keep you safe?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
              “Yes.”  Without a doubt, I said.
              “Do you feel more confident about going out?  Do you feel more independent with the cane?”  She continued.
              “Yes, Absolutely.” Was my response.
              “You just told me you walked into a woman sitting alone in the middle of a soccer field.  Would that have happened if you’d had a cane?”
              I felt my face flush remember that experience.  “No.”
              Susan looked at me with her hands on her hips.  “Well, I think  you need to be true to yourself.  Use this tool that will help you live an independent life.”
              I knew she was right.  That day I let go of that worry.  It’s a heavy weight, wondering what people are thinking about you, but I hadn’t realized how heavy until I let it go. 
              I’d been so concerned about how I felt using the cane that I hadn’t acknowledged how much it served me, how much I needed it.  This wonderful tool allowed me to be safe and independent – what a gift!  Being honest that I needed the cane and that letting go of this worry  was accompanied by a beautiful feeling of self-acceptance.  I am visually impaired. 
              As I felt this acceptance and was true to myself I could embrace the cane fully.  I was ready to answer someone’s questions with confidence and feel at peace with  myself.      
Almost 25 years later, my cane is still a reminder to be true to myself. 


              The greatest act of courage is to be and own all that you are – without apology, without excuses and without masks to cover the truth of who you really are. – Debbie Ford 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Georgie Girl

Three years ago today Georgina and I graduated from Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Georgina aka Georgie Girl and Gigi has taught me so much.  I am so very grateful for this sweet, playful, intelligent, joyful, loving, so smart, silly dog.

Some of my reflections on this day:

Leaving for class came at a time for our family where there was a lot going on in both our personal and professional lives.  Leaving for two weeks was difficult although necessary.

One of the sweet memories prior to leaving was my dear friend and colleague at the time, Melanie asked everyone at Resilient Solutions, Inc to write notes on 'why they love Becky'.  Arriving at the office to these notes and having her read them to me meant the world to me.  I treasure them to this day.  They all started with Becky is ...

Last week in our Rising Strong TM course we wrote an 'I am' poem about ourselves.  I have written one for Georgie.

I am
I am Georgina.  I am Georgie Girl.  I am Gigi. 

I am a happy guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind.  I am intelligent.  I am playful.  I am a doer.  I am sweet.  I am caring.  I am sensitive.  I am forgiving.  I am loving.  I am stubborn at times.  I am kind.  I am a frequent flyer.  I am an adventurer.  I am enduring.  I am a snuggler.  I am so playful.   I am an early riser and early to bed.  I am serving.  I am loving.  I am silly.  I am a hiker.  I am a cheerleader.  I am a light for one who cannot see.  I am a smiler and a tail wagger.

I am Georgina.  I am Georgie Girl.  I am Gigi.

Georgie you are my beautiful partner that adds laughter to my heart, gives me determination, blesses me with confidence, and makes me proud each day.  You are my beautiful guide dog that allows me to pick up the harness and GO.

I love, love sharing my life with you Georgie Girl.  Can't wait for many more years of adventures with you.  Whether it is a simple day of travelling to the office or a day of adventure of new places to discover you take it all in and give me your best.  I love when Steve drops us off at the airport and looks you in the eyes and tells you  Take good care of Becky.  You listen to him so intently while wagging your whole body.  And then, you do just that time and time again.

Happy Anniversary Georgina.  Hey there Georgie Girl, thanks for swinging down the streets so
fancy free with your tail happily wagging.

As I am each day, I am so very grateful for Guide Dogs for the Blind, - the incredible support we receive as a team, Georgie's puppy raisers and all the incredible raisers for each of my guides and all the guide dog teams,  It is such a remarkable community that creates and supports a guide dog team.

So grateful.  So blessed.  Selecting a guide dog almost 20 years ago was one of the best decisions in this journey that I have made.  Love you Pantera, Cricket and Georgie.  Thank you.
Thank you to Rick Egan of SL Tribune for this picture
You can watch the full clip here at:
I love living an active life

Monday, March 27, 2017

Face down moments

Preparing for a presentation where we will be talking about those 'face down' moments of our story. In those moments we learn and we grow. I am looking forward to this presentation. I am now grateful for those face down moments and the "opportunities to grow."

What has been a facedown moment for you that you reflect upon as a time of growth?  or learning?  

#lookupmoveforward #resilientjourney #rpjourney. This is the quote I share Chapter 19 of my book, Look up, move forward.
When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.
When life is bitter, say thank you and grow. -- Shauna Niequest

Monday, March 20, 2017

Celebrating our Love Story Beginning. RP Journey

Thirty-three years ago, March 21, Steve and I were engaged. When we can, we return to the capital and celebrate this day! I'll be in Portland on the 21st so we enjoyed a beautiful spring evening at the State Capitol today.
From my book, Look up, move forward:
He (Steve) took me to Salt Lake, a little over an hour away, and on the drive he told me the story of his parents' engagement nearly forty years earlier. 
Wade and Kathryn met at a dance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, where Kathryn lived for just a few months to study. Wade was a Captain in World War II, a bomber pilot who flew out the morning after they met. They wrote letters for nine months and fell in love.
After his service, Wade flew to Salt Lake and asked Kathryn where couples got engaged in town. She told him the Capital was the place to go, and he took her to the beautiful classical-style domes and pillared building that sits on a hill overlooking the city. That night in 1945 was the "once upon a time" of the Andrews family.
As Steve and I pulled up to the Capitol building just after dark, the city lights twinkled below us. He wanted to start out life together the same way his parents had begun theirs, and his admiration and respect for them made me love him even more. We climbed the stone steps and he led me to the third pillar.
He lifted me onto the huge stone base and took my hand. "Will you marry me?"
There was only one thing for me to say, "I'd love to."
#RPJourney #BlindMemoir #lookupmoveforward #Ourlovestory

Sunday, March 12, 2017

For Women who are Blind - Retreat.

Feeling so grateful to those who have supported our scholarship to help women attend our Rising Strong TM Retreat in June and future retreats.  If you know someone who might like to join one of our retreats, they can visit oasiscenterforhope.com/retreats/ -- or email me at:  oasiscenterforhope@gmail.com

One of my favorites from the curriculum we will be implementing in this retreat is: "When we deny our stories, they define us; when we own our stories, we get to write the ending." Brene Brown.
Check out Oasis Center for Hope on GiveGab. Donate to their cause, or help them through volunteering. To empower, support, and educate individuals, families and communities who are experiencing a loss. Oasis Center for Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
GIVEGAB.COM

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Look up, move forward book review

This morning a lady stopped by the office to let me know she had read my book and loved it! Made my day!! Such a fun surprise and how wonderful that it was between sessions so we could visit. She reminded me again how much it means to take the time to compliment - to thank - to say that kind word. In this instance she had read my book and wanted me to know how much she enjoyed it. She had also run the Boston Marathon so we had a fun time chatting about that as well! I kep...
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Learning from guide dog - Georgie Girl

Last night I was sitting at the computer for another night .. way too late trying to get work done after a day of work. Suddenly, I feel this nudge at me. A sweet soft Georgie girl's nose is pushing at my leg. I get up and fill her water dish and back to my computer. Again, she nudges at me and begins to dance around. After a moment I recognize she is trying to get me to go into the family room with her. I go in there and she gets her jolly ball and initiates a game of play. I let go of my 'to do' list for a moment and just played. This dog is remarkable. She has a full-time job keeping me safe as a guide dog and also reminding me the importance of play, rest and relaxation. #lookupmoveforward #amazingintuitiveguidedog#georgiegirl #GDB #RPJourney