Finding the Gifts in Juvenile Arthritis


Juvenile Arthritis is a pain in the ass joints. My son CJ was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when he was 9 years old. The diagnosis took my husband and I by surprise though it shouldn’t have…Arthritis is a prominent disease in both our families. The thing is, when we think of Arthritis we tend to think of it as exclusive to adults. People don’t talk much about Arthritis affecting our children. CJ complained a lot about pain. Mostly when he was asked to do something like take out the garbage (!!) We thought he suffered from a case of laziness. But it was natural for him  to complain only when he was asked to do something…when his joints caused him discomfort, he would sit down with his legs up and watch TV or play video games to give his legs a rest. Otherwise he was out climbing trees, riding his bike, jumping on the trampoline, or getting his chores done. The Doctors believe the pain had probably been there since birth, so the pain he felt was “normal” for him.  He never questioned it. He knew that when he was sore, he was tired and it helped to rest and so that’s exactly what he did, naturally. We only ever really needed to ask him to do something when he was ‘having a lazy day’ on the couch.

CJ had been training in Taekwondo since he was 7 years old – 2 years before his diagnosis. He loved it. He was determined that one day he would earn his Black Belt. Although the Arthritis did rear it’s ugly head a few times during practices and he missed his first tournament due to a flare up, he didn’t allow it to slow him down. He learned the true meaning of perseverance, and indomitable spirit.

CJ had always been thoughtful and compassionate of people and animals. Suffering the pain of Arthritis as the flare ups worsened actually made him even more so. He was driven and moved to “help people who couldn’t move their arms or their legs”. When we came across the Walk To Fight Arthritis, he was so determined to help that he took off down the road knocking on doors trying to raise funds. He ended up doing much more than that!

As people opened their doors to him, he shared with them his story which prompted many to share theirs as well. I will never forget the excitement in his voice as he threw open the door saying “Mom! I met more people who have Arthritis! I didn’t meet anyone my age with it, but lots of old people! And I raised a lot of money! Someone even gave me $20!” He raised $1800 that year and he only had 9 days to do it. People were so generous and CJ found a sense of connection with others in sharing his story.

Every year CJ sets a goal to beat last years donations. Last year he achieved that goal. CJ also sets a goal to keep moving toward his Black Belt.

In December 2013, CJ tested for his Black Belt. Part of the testing was to write an essay of his choosing. CJ’s wrote about Taekwondo and Arthritis. He wrote about the obstacles and the challenges he faced on his journey to becoming a Black Belt. He also wrote about the gifts that he has found in Arthritis – He knows who his true friends are. He has become more compassionate and caring toward others. He feels a sense of accomplishment contributing in the community. He has learned that by being himself and sharing his story, he has achieved what many adults do not; authenticity. He has learned to live by the tenets of Taekwondo in every day life; Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit.

On September 15th 2013, CJ was presented with The Ontario Youth Award for his efforts with The Arthritis Society. This is the first time this prestigious award has been presented to someone in the Ottawa area. On December 7th 2013, CJ earned his Black Belt and although it is considered a great honor to be tested by a Master in Taekwondo, the Master singled CJ out telling him the honor was HIS to have been a part of CJ’s journey in Taekwondo because he emanates the essence of Taekwondo in the Dojan as well as out in the community.

When life presents you with a challenge, learn from it, find the gift in it, and kick it’s  joint ass 🙂

If you are interested in helping CJ reach this years goal please visit his donation page here


Living Your Best Life – Part 3

If you are waiting for your ideal life to materialize, it’s time that you realize your life is waiting for you!

Here’s where change happens! This week we are going to take the first step to living life on your terms.

What are you hoping to take from the “Living Your Best Life” series? My best life starts with you…I love blogging, I love putting together the videos. My passion is helping you discover yours. My reward is sharing in your journey so please keep in touch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Embrace your awesomeness!!

Living Your Best Life – Part 2

We’ve finally fully completed and uploaded Part 2 of Living Your Best Life! I hope you are as excited about this little adventure as we are 🙂

“Living Your Best Life” doesn’t have to feel like some grand gesture or mission impossible. It’s simply about living every day on purpose – making each day significant. Sometimes even putting it that way can sound a little daunting. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be.

Through a series of videos, I would like to take this journey with you – from surviving each day to fully enjoying each day, going from content to being genuinely happy.

“Life’s Journey is surely not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out shouting WooHoo! What a ride!”

Here’s to making every day count! Please keep in touch, if something in these videos has struck a cord with you or you notice changes in your life as you take this journey with us, we want to hear about it!

Embrace Your Awesome Self 🙂

The Solo Adventure of a Geographically Challenged Mom

I always used to say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. To get lost by yourself would be scary.”

Earlier this week, I was sent to Toronto for training…by myself. For a girl with absolutely no sense of direction and little observation, this was a giant step outside my comfort zone. Clearly I needed to accept that the time had come for me to REALLY live by my own words.

Traveling by train was great! The view was stunning and lucky for me, I had a window seat! A few cities into my trip, a woman sat beside me. We hit it off instantly, sharing our love of books and some personal stories. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and thought to myself “what a great way to start my adventure.”

At 10pm, I reached Toronto. I followed everyone in front of me hoping for the best. Taxis were waiting outside…Bonus! As I jumped in, horns were honking, cars were so tight together, swerving to miss each other. My driver is speaking a different language probably to shield me from hearing his words meant for the other drivers. I asked if it was always like this. He burst out laughing saying “rush hour is over. The streets are bare!”

I stayed at the Delta Chelsea, the hotel was GORGEOUS and they had upgraded me to a suite! SWEET!

The next morning I decided things were going so well, I’d walk to the training center. It should have taken no more than 1o mins. and I’d left a half hour early just in case. With my mapquest printout in hand, I set out on my way. The sights, the people, the buildings, the rush of the city, I took everything in. I couldn’t make any sense of the map, so I started stopping people on the street, asking them for directions. Everyone was so nice. It was easy to see the appeal of big city living.

Panic started to set in when I realized the address I had been looking for led me to an old boarded up building. Taking the Mapquest print out of my pocket, I asked a small group of youth sitting outside the building if this was were I was supposed to be. They laughed and said “this is the right address, but I don’t think this is where you’re supposed to be”. Time to call work back home.

Yep, I had the wrong address and I’m now late for my training! Time to hail a taxi! Having lived in a small town my entire life, this was something new. As I gave the driver the address, I realized my training was being held on the same street as my hotel! How could I possibly have gotten so lost!

After my workshop, I felt a renewed sense of confidence as I headed out to return to my hotel. I noticed things were looking very different than they had in the morning. There were people begging for change, the streets and sidewalks were congested with people, the cars were beeping and everything was rushed. My heart was sinking for the people I realized may very well spend a night without a meal. I wanted to find a coffee shop, somewhere I could stop and pick  up some food for these people so many were trying to ignore. I started to wonder, why hadn’t I passed any coffee shops? Why hadn’t I noticed these dark passageways on my way this morning? No one was making eye contact, people were shouting across the streets, everyone’s eyes were fixed forward. They were so rushed, some of them running. Panic was starting to set in. I knew I was lost. Finally I caught up to a young woman and asked her to point me in the right direction. For a spit second, she considered ignoring me, but she met my eyes and said “You are not where you want to be. You need to go back to where you started and ask someone for directions from there.” I didn’t want to go back, I didn’t want to keep moving forward. I wanted another cab and there were none to be found.

Eventually I made my way back to the hotel.

In the morning, I decided I wasn’t taking any chances. I had a train to catch after my workshop and I couldn’t be late for that. I packed my luggage and hopped into a cab. My driver dropped me off and I entered the wrong doors. Everything was locked and I couldn’t get inside. I walked around the building in the rain, luggage in tow searching for the right doors.  Time to call work back home.  They guided me to the right doors, I took the wrong elevator – twice – and eventually made it to the training center on time 🙂

After the workshop, I called a taxi to drop me off at the train station. No more getting lost.  I noticed the pedestrians were moving faster than my cab. As we crawl up the first block, the driver  tells me that he can’t take me all the way to train station, it’s been under construction for a year and no cars can get to the doors. He would drive me as far as he could, and then I would need to walk the rest of the way.

As we crawl up the second street, my driver starts yelling “Get out! Get out!” I look around, I’m in the middle of the street, there are cars and people everywhere. I look at him pleading “You want me to get out here?? But I don’t know where I’m going! And I need a receipt!” He continues to point down the street to what I recognize as one of the dark places I crossed the night before, saying “Get out! Get out! Lights changing! Cars behind! Get out! Get out!”

I threw open my door and started pulling on my luggage which had somehow managed to get stuck inside the cab. The driver continued to repeat “Get out! Get out!” I started to panic, and suddenly saw the humor in all of it. Laughing, still trying to get my luggage free, hoping not to pee my pants, the driver, then perturbed, met my eyes and started to chuckle himself.

I started to walk toward what I hoped could only be an unmarked train station, which security guards did confirm once I was inside. I made it to my train, survived Toronto, and once again enjoyed the gift of a new friend brought together by food 🙂 We laughed, shared stories, even tears. And I thought to myself “what a great way to end my adventure.”

I always used to say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. To get lost by yourself would be scary.” Now I say “If you get lost with a friend, it’s an adventure. If you get lost by yourself, it’s an even bigger one!”

Here’s to celebrating your each and every adventure!

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

Your comments are the most rewarding part my of sharing a piece of myself with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts ❤

Journey Through Miracles – a personal story


I’d like to share with you a personal story of empowerment and inspiration; my journey through A Course in Miracles.

A Course In Miracles is a unique, universal, self-study spiritual thought system that teaches that the way to Love and Inner Peace is through Forgiveness. Although my journey is yet to be completed, it still deserves to be shared.

Through the course, I learned to accept that things are rarely as they seem. Everything I see in my world is a matter of perception, rather than a matter of truth. Learning this truth allowed me to see each person, myself included, as beings doing the best we can with what we know. I learned to listen with both ears and a compassionate and open heart. I learned to question less the ways of the world and trust that everything is as it should be for reasons only known to God.

I also learned the importance of my own self-worth. Realizing that not only am I enough, I am precisely, and exactly as I was always intended to be. I think this was the hardest truth for me to accept. I hadn’t realized how unworthy I felt of receiving love until I pushed myself through this lesson. Tears streamed down my face as I recognized how my lack of self-worth affected every single relationship I had in and throughout my life. It affected my choices, it hindered my happiness. I allowed myself to come last. I allowed myself to be hurt. I allowed myself to be taken for granted. It affected every area of my life and every relationship I had. The moment I genuinely accepted and embraced my worth, everything changed. Instantaneously, without warning, without reason, the most beautiful change had taken place.

My favorite lesson so far is that of forgiveness. It was also the most difficult. Forgiveness is hard. Forgiving the past, forgiving those who hurt me, forgiving those who continue to cause me grief was hard. Forgiving myself was harder. I learned that forgiveness is not about being okay with an injustice, it’s not about ignoring a problem. Forgiveness is simply understanding that as humans, we are all created to make mistakes. Our mistakes teach us to be and do better. It’s so important to remember – even when we don’t understand – We are all doing the best we can and things are rarely as they seem. Forgiveness is to me the most beautiful lesson so far because I have learned to feel worthy enough to walk away from those who cause me pain, and not only have I been able to forgive them, I am able to genuinely love them. I don’t always agree with their choices, I don’t always like them, I keep healthy boundaries, and I love them from a place of peace.

When I started A Course in Miracles, I was excited to see miracles unfold before me, now as I continue through the Course, I’m fascinated to see the miracles unfolding within me!

Here’s to you and your journey!

Embrace Your Awesomeness!


Unleash your Inner Super-Self


There is a fire inside of you just waiting to be ignited. You’ve got passion at the core of your being screaming to be unleashed. Is it a hobby, a cause, a belief? An act or art form? A big dream? Is it helping others, or making them laugh? What is it?

There is something that consumes you with enough interest that the mere thought of it turns you giddy with childlike enthusiasm. Everything about it you experience with heightened senses; ninja-like focus, razor-sharp memory, thoughts are clear and witty. It transforms you into the person you want to be – the person you know you are.

This is your passion – your calling – crying out to you. Are you listening?

It’s time to unleash your inner super-self and share your gifts with the world!

It’s time to slay your doubts, tackle your obstacles and boldly step forward. Your time is now and the world is ready for you. Be fearless, be strong, be confident, be free. You are destined for greatness!

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

If you liked this post you’ll love Step Into Your Power

Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo


Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo is a keepsake of letters written with the love of a mother’s heart to her children.  Each of the letters are uplifting and provide encouragement through the challenges we all face in daily living.With a strong focus on self-love and inspiration, it has been described as a translation of a Mother’s love to simple words. No matter what your age, this book is sure to tug at the heartstrings of your soul.

Scattered throughout the book are blank pages to add your own mementos and messages. A trailer of the book is available here

From the bottom of my heart to the very depths of yours, I hope you are as touched reading the letters as I was writing them.

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

All Love,

Sandy Bucholtz

Weights or Wings?

Take Flight!
We all have a story, how we perceive our story is what makes us who we are. Whatever your story, your past, your misfortunes, your mistakes, they don’t define you. You decide for yourself whether you will focus on the positive aspects of your life, or blame the negative. What’s your story? Does it weigh you down or give you wings to fly?

My story is unique, just like yours. As a young teen, I was on my own before the age of sixteen and at nineteen I developed a neck problem no one could diagnose. I can easily wallow any given day of the week and sometimes I do. When I was a child, my dream was to one day become a good mother. As a mother of three happy children, I choose to focus on the gifts bestowed upon me. I have had my fair share of tough breaks and then some, however my story, my past, my misfortunes, and my mistakes have shaped me into the person I am proud to be today.

Armed with nothing more than my own perspective, I shed my weights and gave my story wings that allow me to fly.

Embrace Your Awesomeness ~ Misfortunes and all

It’s your turn! How do you choose to tell your story?

You may also like Step Into Your Power

The Gift Of YOU

YOU are a gift to this world.

You have qualities and traits that are uniquely yours. Every detail of you was created with divine precision. Every aspect of you was created with your destiny in mind. Everything about you was created exactly right, and on purpose. You are a magnificent creation. Take a moment and close your eyes. Try to imagine the image God held when He created you. He doesn’t make mistakes. Every living being is a miracle and you are no exception.

YOU are perfectly YOU.

No one can be you better than you can.

Embrace YOUR Awesomeness!

It’s your turn! What do you think makes us all so perfectly unique?

Don’t miss this one! What The World Needs…is you!

This one was made for especially for my dear lady readers ❤  You…Through My Eyes

Step Into Your Power

The beauty of life is that regardless of your past, YOU alone shape your future.

Through your sheer will and determination of choosing something ‘more’ or ‘different’ combined with your choice to act in favor of your chosen destiny, YOU shape your future, every day, in every moment.

Ever heard the saying “your habits can make you or break you”? Think about it….What are YOUR habits? It’s YOUR habits that make you a success, and it’s YOUR habits that determine the level of your success.

And wait! It gets even better! YOU and YOU alone get to decide whether to stay on the course your life is taking or change it, at any given time, as often as you like.

YES, YOU have that much power!

YOU are your own Super Hero!


It’s your turn! How do you feel after reading this blog? Are you ready to step into your power??

If you liked this post you may also like Unleash Your Inner Super-Self, You…Through My eyes, New Perspective, New Results


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“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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