You may, or may not, know of Cathy Chester, the esteemed author of the blog, An Empowered Spirit. Cathy writes about health, midlife, and living a vibrant, enriching life. At the core of the blog, however, is Cathy’s ongoing struggle with MS (multiple sclerosis). Cathy was named one of the “Top 10 Social HealthMakers in Multiple Sclerosis” by Dr. Mehmet Oz’s platform, ShareCare. She is also the number 3 health blog as calculated by Healthline. Her writings are not confined to MS…she covers every topic you can think of as it applies to women and midlife! Books, classic movies, friendships, travel…you name it, and Cathy writes about it. Her positive attitude towards life despite difficulties makes her an Amazing Woman. (She is also a cat lover, which raises her credit with me quite a bit!)
March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. I am a supporter of the MS Foundation, I have a friend with the disease, and she handles it very well. I admire Cathy, who, despite the difficulties, lives vibrantly and shares her journey with others. Cathy takes that extra step and seeks to empower those around her, whether they have MS or depression or chronic pain. Cathy has many interests, and her blog is varied and multifaceted. One of her blogs recently took me by surprise. It was titled “Why I’m Thankful for my Diagnosis”. Talk about putting a positive spin on life! In the blog she states,
“I am thankful for my diagnosis because it taught me self-compassion, survival, to remain curious and to always keep hope in my heart”.
Living in chronic pain is not easy, and I’ve known many who become bitter about their conditions. I cannot blame them at all…living in pain is not pleasant, and it certainly can interfere with the way you planned to live your life. But Cathy looks at the upside of her diagnosis. She enjoys every day of her life, does what she can for herself and others, and has found a way of living a happy and fulfilling life. Like John Lennon, she knows that “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”, and one had best make the most of it. She is one of the few who fully realizes that “now” is what we all have, and nothing else is promised.
As a person who also lives with chronic pain, I can tell you that Cathy is an inspiration. I feel sure she is not happy to have MS, that she knows many moments of fear, and I also know pain can be frustrating, but Cathy always shows an optimistic face to the world, giving others the hope that they, too, can live full and happy lives. I asked her how she keeps her spirits up and her writing positive, and she said,
"The secret, that is really not a secret, is that each day is a gift because life can change within seconds. So focusing on what's good in your life, being mindful of your blessings, and doing your best to always find a silver lining (even in the most difficult of times) is a key to living each day to the fullest. Carpe diem!"
Seize the Day!
Cathy puts herself “out there”, introducing herself to individuals whom she admires. Recently she met David McCullough (the venerated historian) and Alan and Arlene Alda. Her blogs about these encounters are uplifting and interesting. I urge you to pay a visit to An Empowered Spirit. You will leave the site feeling empowered yourself, and ready to do anything!
Amazing Women Wednesday is a series I am doing in conjunction with Across Women's Lives PRI and SheKnows Media (Blogher.com).
Tam Warner Minton
Revamping, renewing, and reinventing life through adventure!
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