Recognize

Look around and see that everything works for you and nothing for me

Life’s basic rights are often denied to me and you never see

Your structures make assumptions on how another must function

Why isn’t it possible for you to entertain another way

It would cost you nothing to give me equal footing

Yet you hold back and complicate the way

If that is your position then step back get out-of-the-way

I will find the solution as I always must

Bending parts, keeping parts and splitting parts and knew

Life’s basic rights are for the many not the few

Recognize you will

Stand beside you must

Change is coming through

It is a must

 

Change

Change is in us

change is around us

change is because of us

 

In us we hold the power

the intent of our change is within

we only need to let it loose

 

Around us power is everywhere

our intent impacts the change

we only need to visualize it

 

Our power makes the change

where do you see yourself going

let it loose, visualize it, and it happens

 

The change is starting

the change can be small or large

the change can pass you by

 

Look within yourself

open the doors to change

close the doors of fear

 

Harness the power within

Harness the power around

Harness the power because of us

 

The energy is growing hold it

mold the energy with intent

go forward with it

 

Change, power, energy

is in us

is around us

is because of us

 

I love the positive thoughts of this poem!

A short poem I wrote.

I am more.
I am more than the colour of my hair.
I am more than the clothes and shoes that I wear.
I am more than a number on a scale.
I more than whether my skin is dark or pale.
I am more than the religion I believe. 
I am more than the pocket money I receive.
I am more than whether I’m a girl or a guy.
I am more than whether I’m loud or shy.
I am more than the acne on my face.
I am more than just a country, just a race.
I more than my grades at school.
I am more than how popularity deems me cool.
I am more than the accent I have.
I am more than a ‘posh snob’ or a ‘chav’.
I more than the wheelchair I ride.
But you cannot see that…

View original post 28 more words

Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities

Massachusetts Easter Seals piloted a program this weekend in Boston called Thrive: Empowering Young Women with Disabilities. The program paired young women with disabilities with women mentors with disabilities. The program touched on a number of different themes that impact young women with disabilities. Some of the workshops included impact ability, Thrive against ableism, media’s depiction of people with disabilities, and health care advocacy. The keynote speaker was Harilyn Rousso and she read excerpts of her book “Don’t Call me Inspirational-A Disabled Feminist Talks Back”. As a woman with a disability myself I was so energized hearing pieces her book and am very excited for it to come out on January 31, 2013. Some of the other programs and individuals involved in the Thrive program this weekend included Impact: Ability, EPIC empowering people for inclusive communities, Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Patti Panzarino 2012 and Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Santara Sen 2010.

The Thrive program is something that I wish that I had as a young woman with a disability. Growing up with a disability I didn’t have that many individuals in my life with disabilities and most of my mentors were able-bodied individuals. This program gives a safe place for young women with disabilities ask the hard questions, to figure out what they’re supposed to know and to connect with others with disabilities like themselves.

I tell you being a part of this program was amazing. I got the opportunity to spend a weekend with some of the most strong confident, independent thinkers, empowered, determined, supported, beautiful women with disabilities. I definitely hope that this program is one that Easter Seals continues to support.

Labyrinth

Across the field

Feel the call

See its presence

Anticipate the mystery

Approach

Listen to the guidance

Cleanse through the sage

Ready with the chimes

Enter

Step slowly, quickly or stop

Go deep, go deeper

Find the inner core

Be aware

Mysteries are within

Baggage is cut loose

Minds are cleared open

The core

Center bring stillness

Awareness comes; confusion passes

Journey out begins

Exiting

Time and space has changed

Mind and spirit are intertwined

Trance is here

Leaving

Steps are quick or slow

Emerge from the depths

Release the trance

Clearing

Distance offers grounding

Friends bring experience

Laughter fills the air

Voice

My inner voice has broken free

Once limited

Once timid

Once silent

My inner voice speaks aloud and questions

Why must I follow you

Why should I be silent

Why can there be no change

My inner voice denies your power and speaks of change

Rules are meant to be broken

Yesterday’s truths are today’s lies

Change starts with a single notion

My voice has joined with others

Together the world is different

Together other paths are visible

Together notions of change are growing

Voice is now

Massive

Strong

Loud

Voice teaches

Strength

Possibilities

Acceptance

Voice is an agent of change

My voice has brought me full circle

Once hidden

Now it represents the masses

My World

I navigate my world unlike you

And yet you watch me with intent

For years I have been baffled by this

Why are you interested in my world?

I see the world as a puzzle

Each task I work out in my mind before

I watch you to see how I should do it differently

A two-step task for you; is six or eight for me

Is your watch of judgement or of wonder?

Your eyes portray a mixture of both

Why does my world hold your interest?

Is the judgement due to fear or ignorance

You hold no understanding and yet you want to

And so you assume the truth

You hold silent when you could speak your questions

That silence sees my world as difficult and unpleasant

When it is simple and beautiful

The wonder you hold keeps my curiosity

Your excitement grows as you watch my steps

Silence fills the room; Did I miss something

No you are merely watching me

Your mind is full of questions and they are wonderful

My answers give truth to the puzzle of my life

No longer must you wonder how; for I am here to show and tell

I saw myself in my own world

And I watched with wonder

How interesting I found the tasks

The puzzle in my mind; I now can see

I watch with intent, what happens next

How interesting it is, I have watched you for years but not myself

I navigate my world unlike you

You watch me with intent

Now I understand this

My world is different, full of surprise and adventure

Why wouldn’t you want to come and see!

The 4th World Youth Taekwondo Camp


Over the last week I have had the chance to experience some fantastic opportunities. I was invited back to South Korea to speak at the 4th World  Youth Taekwondo Camp. There were approximately 300 people from 30 different countries at the camp. Through out the week I was approached by many youth who had seen my story on television and were inspired. I was part of a special lecture series and had the chance to inspire youth.  I had several encounters with the local media far more than I ever expected. I made friendships with Olympic medalists and trained with Taekwondo Masters from all over.  I was also was reminded of my own limitations despite my determination to succeed. Image

Our, myself and Danielle, travel to the camp was long as we had a 14 hour air flight to Korea and then a three-hour bus ride to our hotel in Muju, South Korea. Upon arrival we went straight to sleep for we had a full day training the next day. The arrangements that we had in Muju were beautiful the view of the mountains from the room was amazing. Since we got in so late, breakfast was our first true opportunity to meet the other participates. We meet a mother and son from Jordan and got to hear her son’s journey to the camp which was not the easiest. I also found out that my story had made a difference in his life.

Before we knew it we had arrived at the training facility and gathered together to train.

Throughout the day I had the opportunity to train with the participates. At times I joined the students and trained within the group this was enjoyable and at other times I assisted with the instruction of the students. We did a stretch and kicking drilling (Kyorugi) together. During the first training day I meet an olympic medalist, Tran Hieu Ngan the silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, she was extremely friendly and we hung out the rest of the week. I was also asked to speak with the press. This was quite the experience as I sat in a room with about ten reporters it was like I was having my own press conference. I was in awe about how my story had impacted so many people all over the world.

The following day we had the special lecture series and had the chance to experience Korean Traditional Culture.


Through the special lecture series I was given the chance to speak to the participates about my story. I was also able to inspire hope and enthusiasm in the youth. As speaker I always try to inspire my audience in finding their inner strength. I spoke about how we all have our own challenges and with those we are all here today. Taekwondo is a sport that gives opportunity to the many and what we learn in Taekwondo we can then take and apply to all the parts of our lives.

It really was an honor to speak at the camp. I feel that I made a difference in the lives of these youth. I hope the media coverage that occurred during my visit helps to inspire and reach many more in South Korea and all over the world.

After the lecture series we were given the chance to experience Korean traditional culture. We went to the cultural center and had a traditional meal. We also had a chance to learn about a traditional wedding and Korean drums. We also had a chance to visit a traditional village called Jeonju Hanok. I really enjoyed seeing this cultural side of South Korea. As we were leaving the village there was a presentation of the lion mask dance. This was great to watch as it included the drumming we were shown at the cultural center. 

The following day we returned to our training. In the morning there was Kyorugi training again and I took this time rest as we have had a busy schedule. In the afternoon we had Poomsae (Forms) training during this time I did a demonstration of a Poomsae to the group and joined the instruction. I really enjoyed the Poomsae part of the training. Unfortunately,  at the end of the Poomsae my knee gave out on me. This stopped me from being involved with the Kyukpa (breaking). We also took a trip to the construction site of Taekwondowon and it was amazing to the models and picture come alive.

In the evening our day of culture continued as we had a K-POP dance performance. Then the youth presented folk costumes and had a talent show from their native country. At the end we the demonstration of the flying pungdeung where we wrote our hopes and dreams and let them fly in the sky.

On our last full day we packed everything up and moved ourselves to Seoul. We were on our way to do a Poomsae and Kyukpa demonstration at the Olympic Park. When we arrived they gave me a new dobok with the sleeves removed. We did a short practice and then were given a break. Things were going well and then my knee gave out and I had lots of pain. It was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee and barely walk. My friend Danielle was there for me and helped advocate for me. I had managed to do everything else was doing without problem but my body had hit its limit. However, within a few minutes a Mater from Spain was by my side and was massaging and using pressure to help my knee. I was given ice and told to sit. Within five minutes I was standing without pain and was able to join the demonstration of the Poomse.I was glad to be about to join the demonstration. However the knee pain did return and I had to rest at the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. It was not a decision that I like , but it was a needed and responsible one. Growing up with a disability I have learned the importance of having support and knowing when to stop. On this trip I had different support people but one stand out my friend Danielle. Danielle was there as a companion and gave so much support without question. She carry things for me so I would last longer and helped me with the smaller things that happen throughout the trip. It was her support that made a difference to me.

We ended the week with a final dinner. During this time I had the chance to talk with the youth from all the different countries. I found out that my story has been published in a magazine called I Love Taekwondo Global Magazine. I had an amazing time on my second trip to South Korea and I look forward to a chance to return again.