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Kati Lepisto……… My (unbelieveable) friend from Finland

When a person hears the word Hero or Heroine they usually think of people who rescue, save, and defend the honor of others… The definition means “a man or a woman admired or idealized for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”. My best friend is my Hero or Heroine for those sticklers out there. Her courage is beyond anyone I have ever met and her outstanding achievement is that she is alive and despite her daily struggle lives with laughter, and an incredible sense of humor, humanity and compassion.

I want to take you on a bit of a journey read this next paragraph and then try to do the following before you continue. Please indulge me for a minute of your time.

IMAGINE: Seat yourself or lie down somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes, just for about a minute, listen to your breath, focus on your breathing as if taking yourself to a meditation. Hear your breath inside your head, deep and loud. Imagine yourself on the moon, with grey dust at your feet, an echo of silence surrounds you as the cold bitterly embraces you, everything begins to ache, you become stiff from the cold and can no longer move. You are trapped under a pitch – black sky, alone on the moon, you try to scream and nothing comes out, no sound, no one is there to understand you or your pain. Trapped.

Continued;

Now you and I can open our eyes and get up from our bed, chair, wherever we are and go on about our day, leaving this imaginary nightmare behind us. My Hero and my friend Kati cannot. Kati has “Locked-in Syndrome”. Locked-In Syndrome is a condition in which a patient is aware and awake (so she can open her eyes) but cannot move or communicate due to a complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes. When my life turns dark for me I stop and imagine what is it like for Kati? When I imagine her world it makes me gasp for air. Then I turn my attention away from my trivial issues. Kati is not imagining, she is trapped in a living hell. With all her intellect, and her imagination (Kati spoke 5 languages fluently) but without the means to communicate verbally, Kati is trapped in a body that no longer is willing to work for her. She can’t wrap her arms around the ones she loves or hold and hug her friends.

Many believe that Kati doesn’t feel anything. This isn’t true: because of her condition ALL her senses are heightened. She told me once, “the worst thing about summer is when she has to watch the mosquitoes bite her and there is nothing she can do about it. Try and explain, by spelling out all the words for scratch there, on the back of my head, on the right side, a bit lower and to the left”! By the time she has spelled all that out with her eye ball language 3 – 6 mosquitos have blown up full of her blood and dropped off to digest somewhere on the floor.

Some people need to feel numb so they turn to drugs and alcohol so they can’t feel pain. My friend Kati lives a drug and alcohol free life filled with pain. From the moment she is awake in the morning she is sore and her body aches and it continues throughout her day and all night. She is always stiff and uncomfortable because “Locked –In Syndrome” charmingly comes with a rare type of paralysis and you cannot move. But Kati can feel everything and is fully aware of everything; you will never hear her complain because Kati can’t talk. However she wasn’t born this way, she was tragically struck down by a stroke at 21, which left her locked in this human prison. Some might see this as a sentence or a form of personal torture if you will, but Kati doesn’t.

My dream is to wake up from my own nightmare and find her in the kitchen cooking me breakfast (she is a great cook). But Kati can’t “wake up”, she has been like this “Locked-In” for 18 years. (For people “Locked In” it is extremely rare for any significant motor function to ever return.  Within the first four months after its onset, 90% of those with this condition die, (they literally loose the will to live). Or can she one day “wake up”, is she a Miracle waiting to prove the world wrong? I’d like to think so. So many medical miracles have come before this.

I met Kati when we were both 18 years of age in Milan, Italy. We saw a common streak between us and became like sisters lightening fast, we were joined at the hip, when we were not together we were sharing letters and faxes, before the wonders of email. She also saved my life from starving to death from Malnutrition eating breadsticks and diet coke because I couldn’t read or speak Italian, and was too afraid to venture beyond the corner store. I remember her telling me “I’m going to conquer the world!”  I believed her, in fact I still do, only life has forced her to re-think and come at it from a different angle. Stick to reading this blog she is going places! She has since she has been “Locked –In”.

Kati is a rare individual who’s emotional and mental strength and determination out weighs anyone I have ever met. (And I have lived in 7 countries and been to over 65 so I have met a lot of people, just saying) She has a wicked sense of humor and she is as SHARP as a whip, nothing gets past her. She see’s and hears everything. I fondly say she is a bit of a control freak too especially in the Kitchen (I told you she was a good cook) and dictates how everything is constructed, her hands may not have touched the food but she has micro managed it so much that there is no doubt she created it.

Kati told me once that living without speech is the hardest thing for her she says it is like being trapped in space. “It feels like I am on the moon, grey dust at my feet, an echo of silence surrounding me as the cold bitterly embraces me. I’m trapped under a pitch-black sky. I am all alone, on the moon, in my pity”. IMAGINE?

But, Kati doesn’t want pity! She wants life! She wants your support. Kati has gone through so much in the past 18 years it is hard to put into these pages, but she is doing it! She is now ready to begin to tell her story, and open her world to new possibilities. She has learnt the depth of Strength, Determination Compassion, Despair and Love. Kati is turning disability into ability in so many ways today.  Kati has a few dreams that she is working on and I would love more than anything, to help her make those dreams come true.  She has started this blog, which I am blessed and honored to be apart of.

I ask that you share her blog with anyone and everyone you know, it takes two seconds to copy the link and post it on Facebook, Tweet it and or email it to your address book. Which is less time than it took for you to close your eyes and imagine yourself “Locked In”.

If you wish to follow Kati’s blog please click here: http://katilepisto.fi/en/

 

Copyright © 9.28.2013 Stephanie Paul. All rights reserved.

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Online Dating – Weeding out the weeds.

Recently I have joined an online dating site against all my inner voice objections. However I currently reside in a small beach town (for lifestyle) where the pool of fish is more like a puddle, and from what I have witnessed as an observer slightly recycled. Needless to say I have not dated anyone local. So I decided to let my fingers do some walking and talking.  I constantly hear these stories about people meeting their one true love online. (I just would “love” to know the real statistics). True love online, I have yet to discover, but there are plenty of people wanting hook ups, touch ups, leg ups and leg overs masquerading around online as if they are serious about a serious relationship. There are also plenty of people online who need some coercion into a reality check, or as my Mother used to say “need their heads read”. Online dating, (for those looking for that special someone) is about showing some truthful aspects about yourself, who you are, to attract someone who might just be into you. If you are marketing smoke and mirrors, that is what you will get, billowing and strongly reflective.

Now the reason why online dating already starts us at a huge disadvantage is because it has been scientifically proven innately in our hardware we are geared to choose our partner by smell and not the sexual pheromones that you are thinking right now no. Instinctively we pick our partners by smelling the genes that support an immune system different from our own. Thus the potential having off spring getting both sets of different genes supporting a stronger immune system for off setting illness. We smell how much we like our “ interest” before we even like what we see (unless gold diggers see a wallet first, and will ultimately end up having a smelly affair, outside the comforts of the wallet). If only we could invent “scratchandsniff.com”. Now you could argue or debate this but it would just be semantics, as I said the smell thing is scientifically proven.

So putting this massive obstructive piece of information to the side because is not going to stop people from using online dating because for some it is an introduction to someone they might not have smelt walking around town or at a social gathering. Lets look at how one might put their best foot forward in order to at least meet someone with common interests and save yourself sometime. This is directed at men, purely because those are the only profiles I can see, and some of them I can see coming a mile off, just a shame I can’t smell them. Sorry ladies, but you might pick up some pointers.

So this is my advice to weed out the hook ups and at the very least have a pleasant experience to possibly move forward with or decline easily hopefully without issue.

It boggles my mind as to why a person would join an online dating service and not put their best foot forward? Now I understand that not everyone has access to a professional photographer (you don’t need one) and a Marketing team (honesty will suffice). When joining a dating service at the very least people need to understand a nice well lit, clean, crisp photo of yourself without the opposite sex or sunglasses goes a LONG way. Preferably you need to be smiling in at least one pic, as a smile is always more appealing (no matter how cool you think you are). If for some reason you are in an unfortunate position where you don’t have teeth for the smile…get some! It’s only men that prefer no teeth and that’s not in a women’s ability to smile.

If you are a man looking for a woman to treat you like a man, then be a man (same goes for ladies)! For crying out loud the worst thing you can do is get on a dating website and have no photo and barely a profile because you know how you come across to the ladies? As a pervert, (or that you are married, you guys/gals know who you are…) yes sad but true and all this time you were just thinking you were shy (if you are shy take a big note here).  A real woman wants a man to at least put himself forward. Girls are still trapped in the world of “I can change him”. Now a real woman can only support your best qualities and open your strengths to being the best man you can be, so they need to see at least some of them.

NB: It is obvious if you are looking to hook up because you approach someone without reading their profile, and by saying “Your Hot”, “I love your pics”, you have beautiful eyes etc… Where are you from (and it is in the opening statement of their profile)??? This is a time waster for everyone, don’t be lazy do your homework. Now don’t get me wrong it is not that people don’t like compliments but a real woman is usually relatively secure in her looks and does the best with what she has been blessed with and would prefer to hear from you something polite, intelligent and interesting you found out about her in her profile when approaching her. It’s obvious your attracted to her pics, men are visual we get it.

Please stop asking for our phone numbers as soon as you start messaging us it just comes across creepy and kind of rapey, there are multiple alternatives these days with online options for voice communication and many of them are free and don’t eat up any of your minutes for those long conversations I hope you will eventually be having. Obviously if you spend time with a few emails/messages you can tell that someone might be willing to share their number, for you old fashioned guys out there. Safety first and also for yourself seriously if she turns out to be a serial phone texter after your first date because you had one glass too many and kissed her and now she is planning Christmas with her folks and what you will be wearing to work tomorrow, while she hides her underwear randomly in your drawers (I have only heard about this), it takes care of that too.

TOP 5 DON’T’S:

DON’T have a photo in sunglasses (you don’t look cool you look like you have a hangover or you’re hiding something).

DON’T have photos with other women in them even if they are cut out. (regardless of what you think, it looks like you’re a player, invest in photoshop or another pic).

DON’T have 5 photos of you with other people (people want to see what you look like and who you are, I know it’s online but we are trying to be “cyber intermate” people still like to feel special. (we assume you have friends you don’t have to prove it in every shot because we don’t want to date them – well some might but there are different websites for that).

DON’T take your own picture in the bathroom with your clothes off (you look like you hang out with Mrs Palmer and her 5 daughters too often, there is an name for that and it starts with a W).

DON”T have your pictures look like anything other than you!! That is what your selling and everyone knows how disappointing it is when you show up 10 years older and 30 kilos heavier, it’s not what you marketed and some might be polite but we all just want to send you back to the kitchen and go back to the menu as fast as possible. Grow a pair and put a shot up there that is warm and friendly and looks like you, plain and simple. This shows respect for yourself and to others, respect yourself be secure in who you are and be willing to share it.

Top 5 Do’s:

DO BE YOURSELF!! You will never meet someone who will fall in love for you if you’re not yourself, if you don’t like yourself do the world a favor get offline and get into therapy. What you write (write it yourself), be honest but no need to be aggressive. Don’t try to be that “Hot” guy from 3 years ago and now you are carrying 50 extra lbs. (Have I over emphasized this?? GOOD!) It is pointless pretending because if you really want to meet someone who loves you for you they will not be impressed when the real you shows up if you introduced them to someone else initially, you just look like a charlatan (same goes for the ladies I agree, Vaseline was never pretty on the lens, and no amount of plastic surgery is going to change who you are on the inside).

DO SPEND TIME: There is nothing more of a let down than a date that didn’t go so well, and you could have avoided it. I suggest you spend time getting to know someone before you rush out and meet. At least then you know you have commonality.

DO SOMETHING on the first date that doesn’t really cost money, so you can both be comfortable and casual, (IE: yourselves) like a walk on the beach, coffee, take your dogs for a walk in the park (If they don’t get along you might not either), outdoor fitness activity, window shopping, meet in the library or at a park to play cards, video games or a board game if your both into that, free activities for all kinds of people are endless this way there is less pressure to impress. (Unless that is your style, but a word of advice here Magpies like shiny things and are always selfish and aggressive toward favored prettier more pleasant songbirds).

DO TELL HER; I’m just not that into you. You can be polite about it and just say you don’t think it is the right fit for you, or thank you it was nice to meet you, don’t promise a second date and never contact her at the very least tell her, it makes you look gutless and that is not an attractive character trait in a man, in anyone .It also helps stop the continued communication. (If she doesn’t stop she is a stalker, point taken block her – another reason not to exchange numbers too early). If she tells you it’s not a right fit for her, you might think your amazing and yes you probably are, but you might just not be the guy she is looking for

DO GET A TAPE MEASURE and know really how truly tall you are. I am 5 foot 9.5” which translates to 177cm and seriously I am over the men telling me “ You must be taller than 6 foot because I am 6 foot…wait your not wearing heels?” No I am not.

Ultimately I guess it’s good old fashioned dating themes for modern technology. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Be realistic and put a little effort in, as we all know you get back what you put in. Happy dating

Copyright © 9.28.2013 Stephanie Paul. All rights reserved.

A MURDER HOUSE to JUMP ON!! Amazing Experience!!!

I have just returned from the most delightful experience I have ever had in the history of the “Murder House” these guys were AMAZING!! (P.S. I generally hate going to the Dentist)

Even if you currently have a Dentist you like! These Dentistry professionals are definitely worth checking out just for the “Spa Treatment” yes I said “Spa Treatment”.

Here buy the deal as there is only 4 days left to get it and come back and finish reading the rest of my blog about it.

http://www.groupon.com/deals/harmony-dentistry

For $79.00 I got the following treatment, however they threw in a bunch of delightful extras.

Full dental exam with cleaning, X-rays, photos, camera in the mouth to show me around my teeth (I could have lived without the inside of my mouth blown up like that), and an opalescence teeth whitening treatment, so they now look sparkly white.

Now this is a GREAT DEAL and yes we know they are working on enticing new clients that is what Groupon is all about. However these guys went the extra mile. Just for the record……I have been in a few Dentist surgeries in America as I have always kept my guy back home in New Zealand for the major stuff I love him! Most of them are not great experiences and I certainly don’t feel like going back after they usually print out a ridiculously long list of stuff I don’t actually need done.  I have tried a few places not to mention lived a few places. Upon arrival they ‘Harmony Dentistry” were friendly and welcoming (big deal you say) the place was immaculate, spotless (so they are supposed to be you say) and tranquil for a Dentist Surgery and spacious. (AND you say).

Then they put me in the Massage chair for 10 minutes to relax before my appointment. And it wasn’t one of those weird mechanical jobs it was lovely and I enjoyed every minute I even tried to get it going again as my “Dental Assistant” came and got me. But WAIT before we left the massage room he offered me a Parafin Wax hand treatment for my hands to soak in while I had my exam (your now saying your kidding right!) Yes a relaxing warm wax to moisturise my hands while the dentist gently checked my teeth. (And I wasn’t even wearing a low cut top!!) It was all on the house, no extras hidden fee.

And I had several options including Netflix for TV and at the end after they had gone through everything, I felt relaxed, very well taken care of and really wanted to come back!! They even showed me a break down on a couple of fillings that I need in the near future that was actually VERY reasonable?? WHAT a Dentist in America who is actually reasonable? They didn’t push a sale or another appointment or anything on me except a FREE care kit for my teeth a nice brush, paste, educational information and floss.

I liked them so much I had to blog about it, now that means something for me LOL.

Here is a pic of my new clean white teeth.

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“Happiness Super Salad”

So I am doing the “Hilarious Healing Happiness 21 day Meditation Challenge” at the moment. Research says that the Happier you are and the more “Joy” in your life, the more capable you are able to dealing with stress, you solve problems faster, you focus better and your more motivated towards exercise, better sleep and you eat healthier etc.. All these things are only beneficial towards manifesting a Joyous life. It can’t hurt right?

So I have been doing it for 10 days now and I have noticed a shift in my mood (power of positive belief who knows, but I am certainly smiling more at EVERYTHING). In regards to my diet, (even though I eat pretty well and exercise a decent amount) I have become more motivated. I also have been craving Salads, I love vegetables but I don’t normally ‘Crave” salads. So I came across an article the other day which mentioned the 26 Superfoods. So in my Salad today I used 7 of them and it was DELICIOUS.

So I wanted to share my “Happiness Super Salad” with you.

Dressing:

2 parts Olive Oil, 2 parts Balsamic Vinegar, 1 part Wholegrain Mustard, 1 part Local Natural Honey, 1 part Seseame Seeds, 1 part Flax Seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt,  1/2 a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, 1 grated clove of Garlic, Throw in a jar and shake, or whisk in a bowl.
(I like to make my dressing in a jar and keep it for a few salads)

A handful of mixed greens, 3 Swiss Chard leaves (Silver beet) sliced, 1 tomato sliced,  1 Persian cucumber sliced, 1 Avocado cut and put aside to soak in lemon juice, some roasted almonds and a little bit of chopped feta cheese.

Take mixed greens and Chard and toss in the amount of dressing you like and mix it up to spread dressing over greens, throw lemon soaked Avocado over the top, then pile on the sliced veges, placing Feta and Almonds last for a tasty garnish.

Here is a photo of what I just ate – Yummy 🙂 and I am very Happy!!

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WHY!! WHY!! WHY!! Is it hard, so hard to speak to a HUMAN :-(

WITH A BRAIN!!!!

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Although the above pic here of Scarecrow doesn’t even have a body??

For the love of God, why is it that every time, I have to deal with a company (and we are not talking about government departments here because they don’t even have a machine that picks up the phone let alone a person, if they have a number at all?) it takes 45 minutes to get a human on the phone? And when, when that person finally comes on the phone they ask for ALL the information you just gave the machine?? WHY, waste all my time with repition that is meaningless? I’d rather be listening to music or Stand Up or picking my toe nails with a razor blade!!

I could go on and on and tell you the laborious pain in the ass experience I have had for the last few days dealing with trying to get a package, I didn’t order, “That isn’t even mine – yes relatives from another country, you who sent it to me”, and the run around from the 3 companies involved and it is about to get sent back for a second time……

But instead i’m just going to say AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

And laugh about it! Peace and good will to all men except the people who answer phones with no brains and NO BUSINESS (because you can not serve yourself out of a paper bag if it was on fire), NO BUSINESS being in customer service!

35% of People on Dating Websites are ALREADY MARRIED???

If this statistic is TRUE, then “THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS”. These selfish “Married” people are taking away 35% of the single people from the 100% single….or maybe not…maybe married people are dating other married people? Well come to think of it that would be safer because you both have big dirty secrets to hide. Dating a potentially jealous “single” person might just get messy, no? All that “sneaking” around, or not, maybe this statistic is “Married” people with open relationships, who have an understanding with each other to keep things spicy? Whatever it is it’s a large percentage of “Non Singles”!

How many people actually find ‘Love” on online dating really?? Like, Lust, a night out, maybe a new friend or 20 – depending on how many people you date? In my vast experience of my ENTIRE life I have met one person, (In a Tantric love yoga class, don’t ask 🙂 I’ll try anything! ONCE) this one and only person had met her ultimate “mate” on an online website and now they were doing Tantric Yoga together. Everyone else I have spoken to say it is a waste of time, it’s just ‘Hooking up” or their experience of online dating has lead them down a path of Lies, deceit, weirdos, con artists, odd balls, uncomfortable and strange experiences, some have complained about being treating like a revolving door of free dinners the list goes on and on. I have NEVER heard anyone say “Oh yeah I LOVE online dating”.

You know it just doesn’t make sense to me really at all unless you are big into “Cyber Sex” and if that is the case “DON’T MEET” just Skype, you can have an Online relationship, this makes sense to me!  Because if you look at how we met people the old fashioned way, that makes more sense to me. Why? Because “The Law of Attraction”, Pheromones, sexuality, physical connective energy, the IT factor! Non of this can happen online, through a computer screen. You can only “see” each other, and lets talk about “Seeing each other” how this happens, that “Chance meeting across the chat room”……..the photos!  Most people use photos they really don’t look like! If your going to date online be sensible for crying out loud the last thing you want to do is false advertising if your really looking for a LOOOVE connection.

BE REALISTIC! Put photos up that “Look Like YOU” not some best attempt to make yourself look like a Vogue cover with your photoshop program. If you are 30 lbs heavier than your photo get a new photo! If your 20 years older than your photo, no matter how much plastic surgery you have had, “we” known your not 30!! There is nothing worse than being set up? It makes both parties feel dumb, you for lying when you eventually meet, you can not hide the bullshit now (Unless you are a complete wack job and believe your own bullshit – yes they do exist) and the other person unfortunately has to sit through the date with a full blown liar sitting in front of them or not you could leave, yeah LEAVE. And you would have the just cause to say “Hey Mr Hobbit you are not 5 foot 9″ and either you have had a hard life and smoke 50 a day or your not 35, I’m out of here”. How freeing would that be!

Quite frankly If you lie about your height, weight and eye color or whatever I can obviously see with my own eyes MORON, what else are you likely to lie about if we were to continue to date?? That one is a no brainer – PLEASE. Life is too short to be wasting time, yours or anybody else. Maybe that is why the woman I met in Yoga Tantric class met her match online, she is the only person I have met who actually told the truth, with REAL pictures. So she actually met someone who was genuinely interested in her.

HAPPY DATING!!

Not My Message – But I liked this message

I started my day watching a Stand Up Comedian from Australia “Jim Jefferies”, I felt he had some very valid points not to mention he was funny with it. You can Google him and watch his Comedy Central Special if so inclined.

However sitting right next to his YouTube was this message which I really enjoyed and agreed with, so I thought I would share it.

Put a little love in your day!