Aeturnum Libertas - A Bit Of Me!

Written by: Toni-Marie

Firstly. Can I just say how excited I am to be writing for ISL! From my very first introduction to you all - I felt so warmly welcomed! I was wearing a Ballgown and I was the Guest Speaker! In a room filled with so much positivity, dedication and togetherness! I remember sitting there and thinking, “WOW! What an amazing Company to work for!”…

So this is me! I absolutely love life! I cherish it so much! And as cliche as it sounds I really do see it as a gift! As you know I am Toni-Marie. I am 52 years old and I am one of 3 children. The only girl born between 2 boys. And raised until I was 17 in a single parent household. I am fortunate enough to be able to say that, 'My Mum' truly is my world! She gave me the gift of the authentic acceptance of my disability, the strength to push through it, and the ability to do it all with courage and patience. I have led quite an extraordinary life so far! As a young girl/woman I took part in so many different activities; both as a family, and then of course there was my Mum’s very canny ability to sign me up for almost anything! Whilst already packing lunch boxes, bags and suitcases in her head! Either way I didn’t need much persuasion! As a result I have had some pretty awesome experiences! Riding For The Disabled Association at competition level for many years! I met Princess Royal more than once! She is a Patron! Brownies, Guides, Scouts! Canoeing, abseiling, white water rafting, funfairs, caravan holidays and Butlins! You name it! And I have probably been right in the middle of it!

Humour is probably one of my greatest assets! As well as it being one of my strongest coping mechanisms through my tough times. Living in my body, particularly as I have gotten older, is far from easy at times. But I can’t change it – No matter how tough it is. I think it is fair to say that Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia - together with my Scoliosis of the spine - can be quite a challenge to navigate. However. I cannot change it – but I can change how I choose to deal with it! For example! Physical pain is my reminder that I am alive! At its worst I just need to really listen to my body and prioritise my health over everything else. And perhaps my most powerful weapon through it all. Is my ability to communicate and use my voice. I was asked a few years ago what my purpose was…

At first I was quite hurt by the question…

But after reflecting for some minutes I said this. “I have carved out my own sense of purpose!“  I like to help the person sat next to me to find their voice in whatever way I can! I am particularly focused on giving people a sense of empowerment over their disability. I have learned that just by talking openly about my own lived experience of it I can help so many other people!

@Revitalse are the most amazing Charity who have helped me to become the woman that I am today…
I am passionate about doing what is right for humanity.. And I believe that many great things can be achieved just by practising kindness and gratitude! I absolutely love eating out! Photography! Dance! Going to the Theatre! Fashion Photography! Music and books!

And someone whom I admire very much for her work as an international law and human rights barrister is Amul Alamuddin. - Now Clooney.

The dream for me at this very moment is that she reads my Blog!

Writing is perhaps my greatest sense of freedom and goes way beyond the confines of my disability!

Therefore I work so hard to continue to always see the ability in any disability!

Thank you for reading!

Aeturnum Libertas! (Meaning Forever Freedom!)

Warm Wishes.

Please Note: Any and all of the opinions, beliefs or thoughts expressed in this blog are the writers own.

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