Meet Catherine: The Lyme Warrior
IN AWE OF CATHERINE
Catherine is a fiercely talented and inspirational women. We are thrilled to have her wear our Inspiration Choker as she works to empower her incredible following, be it lyme warriors or the 50 bloggers in her Fierce 50 movement to remind women over 50 that they are #ALIVEandEMPOWERED.
IN HER WORDS
"With challenge comes opportunity for growth and transformation. Embrace the struggle beauties."
"I live to inspire others through my story, and my burning desire to leave the world a more beautiful place."
"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
"There’s nothing to me more beautiful than seeing a woman expressing herself authentically, bringing attitude and confidence to the equation."
Lyme Disease Advocate || Influencer of Style || Writer for The Huffington Post and Thrive Global || Fierce 50 Over 50 Founder
My daughter made me beautiful mantra cards of inspiring phrases and affirmations. “What would you do,” she asked me, “if you were well?” It was 2015 and I was bedridden with daily seizures. My daughter’s question was a turning point in my recovery. Try as it may, Lyme disease would not take my life.
I created a bucket list. This quickly morphed into a blog where I could share my love of fashion. I began living in that space, dreaming, scheming and visualizing myself as healthy, happy, traveling and wearing beautiful clothes. More importantly, I began healing rapidly.
My love of fashion was literally the key to saving my life. For me, fashion is about connecting to who we are at our deepest levels and learning how to express that in a way that is unique to every one of us.
Since starting CatherineGraceO, I have collaborated with Maka Designs, Trisha Dunn, Paul Andrew, Ditto Eyewear, Vellabox Candles, and AWE Jewelry. I have been featured by Banana Republic and Anthropologie.
But to me, fashion is more than just brand names. It’s about people who are deeply soul searching. It is my medium of creative self expression. It is my way of inspiring others and leaving the world a better place.
CATHERINE ON BEING FIERCE
To me, it's just the opposite of force. True power is never forced but rather allowed. True power lies within and is based in self love and self respect.
When a woman is F I E R C E, she is deeply connected to her true nature which is L O V E. There is nothing more powerful than pure, unconditional L O V E, beginning with YOU.
CATHERINE ON THE UNUSUAL LYME
If you're absent during my struggle don't expect to be present during my success."—Will Smith
A powerful quote from a powerful yet humble man. This quote resonates on a deep level with me. My journey recovering from Lyme Disease was a lonely one as most friends and family ran and disappeared.
Lyme is an unusual illness. One that's not well understood and there tends to be a major lack of compassion. I laid dying unable to walk for a year and was isolated and alone most of the time. Friends were few and far between and except for my children, my family never saw me. It was a very painful time. I know I'm not alone in this as my many Lyme friends have felt much of the same.
I made it my mission to do things differently in my life. I've made it my mission to bring compassion and kindness to the world. I appreciate those that have supported me and forgive those that didn't. I don't hold any ill feelings.
As Maya Angelou said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." When people aren't there for you, it says more about them than it does about you. Stay true to yourself no matter what. And forgiveness means letting go of the hurt but you don't have to allow these people back into your world once they have shown their true colors.
Hugs to my fellow Lyme warriors who understand the feeling of isolation all too well.
CONNECT WITH CATHERINE