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Broken Glass From Pushing Boundaries | A Dedication

Broken Glass From Pushing Boundaries Featured image description is in the body of the post.

Broken Glass From Pushing Boundaries | A Dedication

If you happened to come across my ramblings over the weekend I excitedly announced my latest project. CAPTIVATING! a new and soon to be fully accessible digital lifestyle magazine.

In case you missed it, in my attempt to be clever I did a little Coming Soon teaser post. Then later in the day, Digital Magazine Accessibility Experiment IRL went into a little more detail. I was so proud of my accomplishment of being a “cool kid” by using the IRL acronym I didn’t realize until after publication I didn’t define the acronym. You’ve probably already known IRL is “In Real Life.” The first time I saw it I Googled it.

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m seldom in the know when it comes to pop culture, never have been. Case in point, as I was streaming some music while working on the follow-up post, one song caught my ear. It sounded so good I had to play it again and again and then looked up the lyrics. Here I’m thinking “wow, I found a new song”―wrong! I shouldn’t have been surprised that the song now at over 9 million hits came out last year such is the story of my life.

Dancing On Broken Glass

Okay to the point of this post. The song “Broken Glass” by Rachel Platten really spoke to my heart in light of what our team at CAPTIVATING! accomplished. One person in particular, Victoria Claire, made us all look good by creating our sharp logo. I had no idea she was a graphic designer in another life and when she offered to create the CAPTIVATING! logo, I accepted her offer.

#1 CAPTIVATING! Logo description is in the body of the post.
#1 CAPTIVATING! Logo

Vicky has appeared on Bold Blind Beauty several times as we’ve become great friends. The thing that gets me about this lady is her talent. I mean I don’t there’s anything she can’t do. She’s a sculptress, composer, singer, speaker, and if that weren’t enough she surfs, skateboards, and boxes. And, while I don’t like doing this, in this case, I think it bears mentioning, she does all of this partially sighted. Yes, Vicky is losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). Like many of us who experience sight loss, she had to go through some stuff before reaching the point of acceptance. To be clear Vicky isn’t phenomenal because she does these things without seeing, she’s phenomenal because of who she is.

Generally speaking, society has a hard time understanding the capabilities of people with disabilities let alone those who are blind. Like anything else in life when the desire to learn is in place there’s almost nothing we can’t accomplish. I dedicate this song to Vicky and all of my persistent, strong-willed, resolute friends who constantly push boundaries―we are survivors!! Thank you!! Enjoy!

Broken Glass From Pushing Boundaries | A Dedication Featured Image Description:

In this photo, Vicky is sitting, leaning forward, and looking directly at the camera. Her straight blond hair parted in the middle frames her face.  Wearing minimal makeup she is stunning with pink frosted lip color and intense green eyes. She is wearing a sleeveless black dress with a keyhole neckline.

Additional Image:

  1. CAPTIVATING! logo: captivating, is written in white bold All capital letters except for the ‘V’ in the magazine name is drawn with an artistic style font in bold red and looks like a big check mark. At the end of the word, ‘captivating’ is a red bold exclamation mark. Under the text is the tagline “The power and possibilities of inclusion are limitless.”

Victoria’s Social Media Platforms:

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Know You Matter

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“You’re not the shape of your body. You’re not your status. You’re not your position in life. You’re not the car you drive no matter how fancy it is. You’re not your house or square footage.”

~Oprah Winfrey

Do you know who you are?

What defines you? When asked “so tell me about yourself,” what do you say?

Writing a self-compassionate letter to myself has been one of the best-wholehearted exercises I’ve experienced to date. Telling my story from a perspective of ’empathy and self-compassion’ allowed me to see myself differently. While on the “Dare To Own Your StoryTM” retreat this summer, all attendees were prompted to write this letter to ourselves. Since I couldn’t finish mine at the time I promised myself I would finish it later and I did.

Kindness, compassion, and a deep desire for social justice are central to who I am; these are my values. Bold Blind Beauty was born out of a personal need for empowerment that I wanted to share with others.” This is only a small part of who I am!

Knowing who you are, empowers you to accept yourself wholeheartedly. When you know who you are you can stand confidently in the knowledge that you matter. Recently my good friend Vicky, and I were talking about this topic and she wrote a song. The lyrics that she’s given me permission to share with you speak to my soul.

Friendships; real, authentic, friendships should never be taken for granted. Being able to be authentic, while sharing mutual respect, admiration, interests, and values is worth more than gold. Treasure yourself, treasure your friends, and enjoy Vicky’s beautiful lyrics. Just wait till you hear the music with the lyrics (still a work in progress).

Know You Matter

By Victoria Claire

Don’t deny yourself,
You’re just as good as anyone else,
You’re a shining star,
Never forget who you are,

Don’t reduce yourself,
Not for anyone else,
Feel your value from within,
Let it radiate through your skin,

And know you matter, you matter to me,
Know you matter, you matter to me,
Stand up, be tall, reach for your inner belief,
Let your strength shine through as you mean so much to me

Don’t reduce yourself,
Not for anyone else,
Know you are enough,
Feed your soul with love,

And know you matter, you matter to me,
Know you matter, you matter to me,
You’ve been through so much, yet you rise above your grief,
When your spirit shines, it gives so much hope to me. 

And know you matter, you matter to me,
Know you matter, you matter to me,
Just know you matter, you matter to me,
Oh how you matter, you matter to me.

Update: Since the publication of this article Victoria has recorded Know You Matter, the teaser is below. The song is expected to be released in January.

Know You Matter Teaser

Connecting With Victoria Claire:

Image Description:

Photo of a chalkboard with the words “YOU MATTER” written in all caps and white chalk. The “O” in ‘you’ is a bright red heart.

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The Accidental Adventurer Who Faced F.E.A.R.

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My life has been adventurous but not because I intended it to be that way. Unfortunately, for the greater part of my life, fear has been in the driver’s seat.

“Last year was both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because I faced some of my worst fears; my best friend’s cancer diagnosis, traveling blind, and the death of a very good friend. While my anxiety was nerve-wracking, coming out on the other side of these fears was a gift like none other.” ~Grappling With Fear To F.E.A.R.

Recently I was a guest blogger on Victoria Claire Beyond Vision where I shared my insights on fear. In Grappling With Fear To F.E.A.R., I hope that if you’re willing to face your fear(s) you will achieve your destinations, wherever or whatever they may be.

To check out the blog post simply click on the hyperlinks in this post or visit victoriaclaire-beyondvision.com.

Image Description:

An in-flight photo taken from a plane flying over an extremely long bridge.

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Embracing Disability Through Self-Expression

Embracing Disability Through Self-Expression featured image description is in the body of the post.

Embracing Disability Through Self-Expression

I’ve always loved fashion and style. So when it came to my white cane I thought why not use it beyond its intended role? Why can’t it help express my inner sense of being, much like my hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, and jewelry?

~Abby
Abby & Gold Cane

Hi Everyone, Abby here! It’s been a while since I’ve last spoken with you. The boss lady (Steph) has me going hither and yon all while working behind the scenes. Today though, I want to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart―embracing disability through self-expression.

During my business trip to the UK, I met up with my friend Vicky (Victoria Claire) to accompany her to Dublin. As an Ambassador for Retina UK, Vicky serves to help people living with sight loss understand life is not over. She shares her message of hope through the 3 A’s―acceptance, adaptability, and accessibility.

Depending on the severity, acquiring a disability at any time during our lives can be a soul-crushing experience. There are a plethora of articles about the fear of blindness and how people feel it would end their life. It’s no wonder when we find ourselves in this very situation we balk and some of us give up. Granted, working through sight loss is a deeply personal ordeal and getting through it can be an ongoing process.

When we lose our eyesight it can feel like a small part of us is dying. Our whole world shifts and like a baby learning how to walk and talk, we have to learn to adapt. Sustaining a part of ourselves that’s familiar yet tweaked to our new life circumstance becomes a lifesaver.

Customized Colored Canes At Home & Across The Pond

For me, I’ve always loved fashion and style. So when it came to my white cane I thought why not use it beyond its intended role? Why can’t it help express my inner sense of being, much like my hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, and jewelry?

While there is some debate on using customized or more specifically colored canes, my canes are an extension of me. I believe what makes blind and visually impaired people stand apart from other cane users is our technique. Our canes are used to help us navigate by probing to let us know if there is an obstacle in our path. 

So it was fabulous meeting up with Vicky, both of us with canes in hand (hers black and mine gold). Both of us noticed a significant difference in how we were received by those around in our respective countries and Dublin. 

Here in the U.S., with the explosion of mobile devices, it seems like people aren’t really attentive to their surroundings in general. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Research Note “2016 pedestrian fatality count (5,987) is the highest number since 1990.”

In the UK when we were making our way through the airport people seemed to be oblivious to us using our canes. However, when we arrived at the Dublin airport the attitude was very different. It was immediately recognized that our mobility canes were for the blind.

Freedom To Express Ourselves

The hotel we stayed at was very lovely and had good lighting in the room, along with contrasting colors in the bathroom. We visited the Jameson Distillery which was really great and we also spent a lot of time walking. The River Liffey was well paved with decking and a nice and flat walk area for us.

When we went to the NewsTalk Radio Station Studio, they couldn’t have done enough for us. The conference, held in a large and well-lit conference room was very organized. Overall we had a great time in Dublin and I for one cannot wait to return one day soon. Vicky said it best:

The world can become a much more accessible place, somewhere we are all free to express ourselves and we are not stuck in a limiting space.

While I cannot speak for Vicky, I believe she would agree with me that those who choose to use the standard white cane rock as do we!

Embracing Disability Featured Image Description:

A futuristic image of a 3-D wire-frame female body rising through clouds with arms raised above her head. In the background, a silhouette of a mountain range can be seen peeping above the clouds.