Welcome to the 13th installment of Getting Possessed with Kathy and the Dishwasher.
One of my most favorite parts of blogging is meeting so many amazing and talented bloggers and writers. Women that I may not have ever had the chance to meet had I not started on this blogging adventure of mine. The fun of this series is that I get to share some of these ladies with you.
This month I am thrilled to introduce you to the inspirational and talented Cathy Chester of An Empowered Spirit. We met in a blogging group for midlife women. Meeting her and the other ladies in the group has almost made being in my late forties worth it.
She has an amazing story. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in her twenties, Cathy uses the site she started in February, 2012, to help empower others to live a healthy and vibrant life. She also shares her passion for social good, animal rights, and family life. You can find her work in The Huffington Post, MultipleSclerosis.net, Manilla and Boomeon, among other publications.
Cathy I love the name of your site. What does being an empowered spirit mean to you?
Empowered means to elevate ourselves by learning and growing for a deeper understanding about ourselves and those around us. We never stop evolving as human beings, and to that end I believe we empower each other through our knowledge of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of who we are.
An Empowered Spirit was born from my mission of wanting, almost needing, to pay it forward to others by disseminating all kinds of information to help us all grow and learn together.
What are the three posts that you feel best sum up your blog?
The three that best sum up my site would be, Changing The Face Of Disability Into One Of Ability, Yoga And Giving Yourself The Gift Of Good Health During Midlife and Would Jane Austen Promote Her Work On Social Media?
Cathy you are very upfront about your battle with MS. What made you decide to share your experiences and triumphs with your illness?
I have always been open and honest about my life with Multiple Sclerosis. It was a decision I made from the start after being diagnosed in 1987. At that time, I was blessed to have many nurses and loved ones surround me, showing me unconditional love, care and compassion.
When I began to blog, at first I thought I’d write about midlife. But soon it became apparent that my goal had always been to pay it forward for the kindnesses I was shown. Now my goal is to help others in their daily struggles with disability, trying to help them see that their abilities far outweigh their disabilities. Through my writing and moderating I reach hundreds of people every day. Aside from motherhood, it’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
Cathy, as you may know I always let the Dishwasher ask a few questions. This month the crazed appliance would like to know what is the first household appliance you ever bought?
You expect me to remember that inside of my postmenopausal brain? Ha! I think it must have been when I had my first apartment and I purchased a microwave oven. Nothing like microwave popcorn for dinner, eh?
Totally agree, nothing beats microwave popcorn.
If you could invent an appliance to do any chore in the world what would you invent and why?
I think I’d want a “Jetsons” style kitchen where everything is voice-activated, including an appliance that cooked our favorite dinners and it’d look like I slaved over a hot stove all day. (I hate to cook.)
Great answer. I know why we are friends!
Okay, here is the all important question: have you ever had a possessed appliance?
I think sometimes our washing machine is possessed because it shakes, rattles and rolls as if its saying, “stop stuffing me!”
You would be surprised at how many people have mentioned their possessed washers. This makes complete sense to me because nothing is quite as scary as dirty laundry!
Cathy what is the best mistake you ever made?
Oh, boy. Let me think. That’s a hard question. I can’t really think of anything. Not that I haven’t had my share of mistakes, because believe me I have. But I can’t think of a “best” one that ended up working out!
What does being possessed mean to you?
Being possessed, to me, is a creative question. I am possessed by passion, by the beauty and fragility of life that forces me to be more mindful and soak in every precious moment.
What possesses you right now?
Writing. I write posts or a book inside my head all day long. I see something and I imagine how I’d write about it. The sound of my cats purring, the look of the sun hitting the trees, a song on the radio, a conversation with loved ones. Stories are always rolling around inside my head, and sometimes they appear in my dreams.
Is this something that possessed you five years ago?
Not as much. Five years ago I was still deciding what to do with my life as I was approaching being an empty nester.
What do you think will possess you five year from now?
I think writing will always possess me. It’s an addiction that I cherish and love. But along with that is my need to someday move south. When I was a child I dreamed of living somewhere with palm trees. I would have nighttime dreams about it. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but now I realize it’s always been my dream to live where I don’t have to endure any more crazy winter weather!