You might be wondering where I went on vacation. No, this was not a vacation but an Ataxia Conference.
Many might not know about Ataxia. I didn’t until I spoke at an Atlanta chapter support group meeting. I am amazed by how many serious chronic illnesses there are that go unheard of. Ataxia is a set of symptoms caused by a dysfunction in the cerebellum. It causes uncontrolled, uncoordinated movements in gate, arms, eyes, or speech. There are many different types and effects both young and old. Check out this short video clip recorded by Dana Mauro, the partner of someone who has Ataxia.
I had the honor of participating fully in this event: Speaking to 500 people (it was a blast!), running a support group, training the support group leaders, and leading an adaptive yoga class. Guess I am a woman of many talents!
At the conference, I saw many in wheelchairs, scooters, using service dogs, canes, and walkers. I saw smiles, laughter, community, fun, families, support, appreciation, and joy. Both loved ones and those with the illness chose to embrace the weekend keeping the focus on solution, rather than the problem.
This reminded me of a Viktor Frankl quote: “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” That is exactly what I noticed at the conference. The choice enjoy the conference and work around their limitations. Their illness did not define them, but was part of who they are.
What also struck me was how vital it is to have community support and simple solutions in daily life. This was the main reason many took the time and made the effort to be part of the conference. Ongoing community support is something greatly needed throughout the year.
The importance for support and community is not only for those with chronic illness, but for all of us. We are not meant to travel the path alone. I tried it for some time and it is much more fun to be part of, rather than apart from.
Take a look at who is in your circle of support. Are they living in the solution or focusing on the problem? Notice if you are a part of community or separate. If you are in need of more support, take one small step to reach out.
This is the reason I am launching a new virtual program. I finally set a firm launch date (guess I should read the chapter of my book on procrastination!)
You will find the full scoop here about how to cut through the B.S. can learn some downright useful tools. If you are interested in learning more, shoot me an email. If you already know you need to be part of a group committed to living in the solution, then go right to the details.