red haired woman in grey hoodie and glasses looking crossly into the camera with folded arms.

Still Fighting

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

Remember I’d said that I’d written a piece about the way people with Parkinson’s (pwp) were depicted? I was worried about possible implications if I posted it, yet once again I found myself cut adrift, alone, and wondering what more could possibly come along to cause me strife. (Actually, there’s always more, you have to keep smiling!) It made me realise that there really is only you. You depend on you. Because when it gets right down to it, nobody will ever have your back quite like yourself. Cynical? Sure. But after the last few weeks I’ve had, it’s the position I find most realistic. To hell with repercussions, I’m angry. I’m really angry. I won’t be told to pipe down and keep quiet, and here is the piece I wrote. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the way people with Parkinson’s (pwp) are often portrayed in the media. It’s a subject clearly close to my heart. When I first heard that I myself had Parkinson’s Disease the very first words out of my mouth were “isn’t that like, really bad?” I thought I was going to die. Well. We’re all going to die, but I certainly imagined my […]

world map in green bordered by the faces of people from the video.

Inspire, Work Hard, Get Results

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

Right now I’m finding it hard to type. My left hand is annoyingly unresponsive without a little extra oomph from me. It’ll come good in a bit, I recently took my tablets. I’m still bad at taking them on time. It’s not that I don’t know I have to, it’s more like a silent rebellion. “I don’t need you! I can do this, look I’m actually doing really well.” Then it’s like hitting a wall. Erk. Rats. If I hadn’t waited I wouldn’t have crashed and now wouldn’t be waiting for the most unattractive / desirable coming ‘up’ there is. Though of course for those of us with Parkinson’s, ‘coming up’ is exactly what we want. We need those little suckers to do the trick and help make our bodies move again. But I talked of this a couple of weeks ago, you don’t need to hear that again, do you?   Last week saw the end of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Irritatingly overshadowed by this thing called Covid-19. Not to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in our way, we’ve still tried to do bits here and there. I was stoked to be asked to join in […]

the word motivate in rainbow coloured felt tips.

What is a Motivational Speaker?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational, public speaker

Just what is a motivational speaker? It’s a word that’s used so much, I hear it often, yet what is expected of the person that claims to motivate and inspire? For me, it’s connecting to my audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a room of retirees or a room of corporates and politicians, understanding who you are talking to is vitally important. It’s key to the atmosphere you want to create. Connecting on a personal level is vital. How can you help someone if you just tell them a boring lump of facts about yourself? A good speaker can touch every person in a room and encourage them to realise that they themselves have the power within them to succeed in their chosen path. This connection is what’s so important. Nobody really cares about your story at first. The times I’ve heard “Oh, it’s a talk about Parkinson’s.” and I think “I really must re-word this talk!” I am so much more than an irritating incurable disease. Another overused yet apt word is of course, storytelling. What I do is weave an intriguing tale. You’re pulled in and travel along with me. Sharing the lows and the highs right there […]

image of kitty in a red hat in a field of sunflowers.

Just Another Person With Parkinson’s

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in blog, motivational, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

This week I completed a set of questions for Parkinson’s Life magazine. It got me thinking about how people perceive those with Parkinson’s Disease.   My talks cover that off too of course, and it’s something I’ve pondered myself. I sometimes wonder what my friends truly think of this, and my efforts to continue life as normally as possible. I know some of them think I’m crazy. Some of them think I’m deluded and I’ll drop dead early, and some of them think it’s great and I’m going to be just fine regardless of my affliction. In the end it doesn’t really matter what any of them think. This is ultimately my fight, my battle. Not only physically, but mentally. It would be oh so easy to simply give in. Instead I’m at the gym most days, and despite my fear of falling over my own feet, today I have vowed to get out and go running again. Stealth Fighter I hate running. But I hate Parkinson’s more. I despise this thing that’s taken me by surprise. Stealthily trying to hold me back, contain my body and with it, my spirit and drive to succeed. I hate going to the gym, […]

silhouette of person outstretched arms on a boulder

You don’t have to climb a mountain or rock to be amazing. (But it does make a great picture.)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, motivational, public speaker

This week is about impostor syndrome and motivation. And the very real fact that occasionally we get stuck because of ourselves. It’s crazy. If your friend came up with a great idea you’d tell them to just get on with it. But when we have a good idea ourselves, what do we do? We sit on it. We throw barriers and issues into our own paths and procrastination becomes the order of the day. “we can’t because…” and that idea slowly slips away, or worse, you see someone else carrying out a similar one and being amazingly successful. What can we do about it? It’s an easy thing to say, but a harder thing to do, but forcing yourself to sit down and set some real goals and ambitions is vital. I’ve had an idea for some time to boost my profile in and around the Kāpiti Coast where I live. What have I done with it so far? Nothing. Nada. Zip. What am I afraid of? Will people laugh at me? (Well, I’m also a comedian, so you know, hopefully!) Will they think I’m daft / stupid / foolish / insert negative emotion here. At heart we’re scared of […]

image of kitty smiling into the camera with red flowers in the background.

Recovered

Posted 1 CommentPosted in blog, motivational, Parkinson's disease, public speaker, Uncategorized

Holidays Are For: Ah. Public holidays. When the nice thing to do is visit a park with your family, do something lovely or just spend time together. We spent time together. Sorting laundry, ironing and catching up on housework. Nobody ever lay on their death bed and lamented they didn’t spend more time cleaning, but it is nice to have a shiny house. Scouting Strife I also had a word with myself and realised it had been just a tiny bit longer than a month since my last blog post. So much for monthly. Though to be fair, I’ve had a double birthday, Christmas, the 22nd Scout Jamboree and a family camping trip to contend with. You don’t want to go camping a few days after you’ve spent eleven days camping with 3,500 Scouts. Just saying. Trust me on that one. The holiday was fun but fraught with issues such as “I’m really tired.” And I was delighted to see my own bed again. Sweat It Baby I also made it back to the gym, which was great. I think. Only I could spend 12 months at the gym and not actually look any better. I think there’s a lesson […]

an endless body of water during daytime.

Turmulent Times

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, grief, public speaker

It’s been a strange week. Full of ups and downs. The downs have been quite deep to be honest, but like all bad – terrible – news, in this case I have thought long and hard about what it means for me and my life. Last week I discovered a friend of mine had suddenly died. For this piece I’m going to call her Amy, (not her real name). The rush of grief was overwhelming. I’d not felt anything like that in such a long time. I was taken by surprise, side-swiped by the sheer shock of it all. I cried and cried and felt strangely numb. Later, I wondered if I had the ‘right’ to be so upset. Another friend, similarly saddened, felt the same way. How we deal with grief is strange. We still don’t really do it very well. Why is it that we feel that only the immediate family has the right to be affected by the sudden and untimely death of a person? We live with our spouses and children, and of course they are our number one concern. However, we also choose to spend time with others, we socialise, have friends, and spend more […]

multi coloured plastic straws

The Last Straw

Posted Leave a commentPosted in blog, environment, plastic, public speaker

This is going to be a bit of a rant. I’m very passionate about the environment. I always have been. I don’t see that being modern, technological and up to date can’t also mean loving trees and the world in which we live. I’ve never understood why people think that to want to recycle and reuse things means that you need to look like a grungy version of an awful scarecrow. But I digress. My main complaint at the moment is people that want to stop us using plastic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for removing the vast amounts of plastic that we have plaguing the planet, but it angers me when we’re consistently targeting the wrong people. The general public have long been blamed for wanting things wrapped up in filmy material. But I don’t believe that that is true. Supermarkets have long been doing whatever they can to buy in bulk and sell as much as they can to us with no thought or consideration for either the environment or the consumer. If you buy the marketing spiel that they care about either then you’re deluded. They’re there to make money. Lots of it. However they […]

motivational meme that reads "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you."

Onward and Upward

Posted Leave a commentPosted in motivational, Parkinson's disease, public speaker

Success isn’t something that’s handed to you on a plate. And becoming a keynote speaker, booked throughout New Zealand, Australia and who know where isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. However, hard work and persistance is what’s required, and if there was ever a woman for the job, it’s me. I went back to work this week and it’s been tough. My husband was still on holiday, but alas, there is no such things for us stay at home parents. And for people like me, who are also trying to break into the motivational speaking market, it can be tough going. Add to that the New Year cliche of a new gym subscription and you have the recipie for lots of hard work. However, hard work is something I’ve never shied away from. And my Yorkshire roots mean I’m anything but a walkover. I’m a typical strong-minded Northern woman. (Can I still call myself a girl at forty-something?) And true to form, I made a list, picked through the most important bits and sent some emails. And got myself a booking. I shall be speaking in Lower Hutt on the 25th February, which gives me about five weeks to […]