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In honor of our 40th birthdays, we’ve come up with 4 lessons we’ve learned over our 40 years of growing and living with sight loss.

Cheers to 40!

  1. Community is essential. We live in a society in which independence is highly valued and misunderstood. Going it alone is often idealized while interdependence is minimized. We value connection and we love our tribe
  2. Knowing when to lead and when to follow is part of finding your ease. Mobility for people with vision loss can bring up tricky questions like: Should i use a cane even though I can see decently well at times? Would a guide dog help me move about more quickly and easily? Should I take someone’s arm as I walk into the restaurant tonight? How should I respond when someone tries to grab my arm and steer me around or offers unsolicited help? Learning when to lead and when to follow is part of the journey.
  3. Insight is one of the strongest forms of seeing. Our society places a lot of importance on physical sight, yet when we use our “third eye” to look inward, we can see ourselves and the world around us in new and beautiful ways. It takes a little bit of silence, a little bit of stillness and a whole lot of practice to find vision in the non-physical.
  4. Dishwashers should never be left open. Our shins have 40 years worth of stories to tell.

 

Are you a woman with vision loss? If yes, we invite you to join us September 20-23 in Park City, Utah for a unique retreat experience. We attended retreats in 2016 and 2017, and loved connecting with our tribe. This year, Jenelle is thrilled to be part of planning and facilitating the 2018 retreat.

WHY ATTEND A RETREAT SPECIFICALLY FOR WOMEN WHO ARE BLIND OR EXPERIENCING VISION LOSS?

  • Thoughtful, research-based processes will lead us through identifying where we want to show up in our life and what is holding us back.  We will spend time exploring courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness.  Mindfulness, Self-compassion and other tools.
  • Activities.  We will be hiking, challenging ourselves in a ropes course, horseback riding, biking, and plenty of time to enjoy the beauty in Park City  at the beautiful National Ability Center.
  • Connection.  Retreats bring together women facing challenges of living with vision loss while balancing the demands of family, friends, work and community. At the retreat, blindness becomes a common trait so participants can put away emotional armor and connect with peers without having to explain or educate on blindness.
  • Support. Share struggles and changes in your life with the group without judgment. Build friendship and extend support to other women along this emotional, mental, and even physical journey.
  • Professional facilitators. Becky Andrews, LCMHC, who is blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, Lisa Bradford, LCSW are engaging and experienced therapists who will lead you through tough discussions and activities with compassion.  You can find more information about them at:  www.resilientsolutionsinc.com.  We are thrilled to have Jenelle Landgraf, MSW student and co-author of doublevisionblog.com, who also has Retinitis Pigmentosa joining us as one of our facilitators.  She will also be leading us in yoga each morning.
  • Quality amenities at the National Ability Center. Delicious food, comfortable lodging, and reliable transportation are part of the program.  You can learn more at www.nac.com
  • Life-changing experiences. The time spent at the retreat creates a lasting impact that will stay with you as you move forward in your life with family, friends, work and community.

CONTACT BECKY ANDREWS,  BECKY.LPC@GMAIL.COM FOR DETAILS ABOUT OUR 2018 RETREAT OR TO DISCUSS HOSTING A RETREAT IN YOUR AREA

2018 Retreat will be September 20-23, 2018 at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. The cost for the retreat is $595 (sharing a room) and $695 (single) and includes activities listed above, lodging, meals and transportation to and from the SLC Airport!  ($300 Deposit due with remaining balance of $295 or $395 on September 1st.)

Open up to the stories we tell ourselves and gain an empowered outlook with the connections and activities at the National Ability Center.  Connect with other men and women living with blindness without judgment. Discover valuable tools to deal with loss and uncertainty, and develop shame resistance. Choose authenticity and write the ending to your story.

Pasted Graphic.tiffEHCPIC    In July, our families attended Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, CA, an incredible 4-day family camp run by the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind. EHC has their own podcast, and on the last day of camp, we were interviewed for one of their episodes! We’ll share a bit more about our camp experience in future posts but wanted to give you a taste of it here…

Listen to the Everything EHC Podcast Episode 32

(Check out more Everything EHC Podcast Episodes)

 

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Joy and Jenelle laughing and holding hands at Aliso Creek Beach in Orange County, CA.

Loyal, lovely readers, our apologies for the scarce posts in recent months.  We’ve received emails from some readers checking in on us, and we appreciate your encouragement.  You, our courageous tribe, are why we will continue to write amidst bustling schedules.  And we thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to stop by Doublevision blog.

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Joy and Jenelle’s young children smiling in front of a fountain.

We are actually writing this post together IN PERSON, as Jenelle is visiting Joy in sunny SoCal for a couple weeks. Our kids are getting lots of cousin time building sand castles and soaking in Vitamin D while we catch up and enjoy our time together.

Today we’d like to loop back to a topic that everyone LOVES to talk about (insert sarcastic undertone here). We’ve written posts on it and spoke on a podcast about it and its relationship to blindness. While it’s not something that most people deal with daily, it does have a way of Continue reading

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Last week, following the popular “8 Things” post we were contacted by the amazing folks at AMI Radio, based in Toronto, for a 10-minute LIVE chat! on Retinitis Pigmentosa.  With 5 million listeners, these guys don’t mess around!  Clearly, the hosts had done their research on our site, resulting in some fantastic questions! Joy did the interview, but they still found a way to include a few sound bytes from Jenelle’s “Thank you notes” Enjoy!

BAM! I enjoyed talking to local radio host Clint Strand about Blindness Awareness Month on KOHO Radio today. I was quite nervous about sharing my story with my local community.

After it aired, I received the best text from my friend Rebecca. “You sound great and assertive and approachable and kinda sexy.” The sexy part was likely due to a scratchy throat, but it made me laugh and I appreciated the encouragement!

If you missed the interview on the radio today, here it is! LISTEN TO JENELLE’S INTERVIEW

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Growing up, we were the best of friends.

Joy: Except for that time, in utero, when she sat on my head for nine months, and then made me wait four laborious minutes while she made her grand entrance into the world.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were 18 months old and she sunk her teeth into my arm after I stole her stuffed bunny.

Joy: Or that time when we were eight, and she poured a glass of milk over my head at the dinner table.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were nine, and she signed my dad’s Father’s Day card, “Love, Joy. p.s. not stinky Jenelle.”

Joy: Or all those times as teenagers when she chased me around the house trying to whip me with a wet bath towel, while I ran away, chanting “Violent lady! Violent lady!” Continue reading