“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love
In college my friend Jackie shared this quote with me and said it made her think of me. I think of this quote every time I share my story and every time someone shares their story with me as a result of hearing mine. After you finish reading this post today, share a glimpse of your story on instagram @pedallove/@forestfirebears and/or twitter @pedallove/@forestfirebears. I'd love to see what my readers have been up to! I'll start with some stories of my own:
I’m tooting my own horn a bit here, but I want to let you know what I’ve been up to in the advocacy world. This disease has been trying to hold me down – and succeeding sometimes – so I’ve been a lot less active in a lot of ways and I’ve been reassessing what it means to be happy with what I can and cannot do. At the same time, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to share my story with a lot of different audiences and that motivates me to continue fighting for better treatment and a cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis.
1) In April, I testified in front of the California Senate Health Committee about a bill that would make specialty drug costs more transparent on Covered California's website. This is an article on a NPR health blog highlighting my struggle, and this other is a YouTube video of my testimonial.
3) Melissa Balmer did a splendid job of writing a story about my struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis, my advocacy as a model, and my need to keep moving by bike for the current issue of Momentum Mag. Read it here. I’ve heard “inspiring” more times than I can count after this article was shared, and I’ve been able to connect with more people with AS because of it. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to connect with people who get what I’m going through.
4) In June, I was featured in the Alumnae magazine for my alma mater, Meredith College.
Keep pedaling forward, beautiful. Yes, you! Until next time.