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When Meg Johnson speaks, people listen. She knows it’s in part because they’re curious about seeing her in a wheelchair. She knows it’s in part because of her stunning good looks. The paralyzed woman with the poise of the ballroom dancer she used to be can command the attention of an entire room full of people, even sitting down.
Johnson cracks a lot of corny jokes about using a wheelchair and not having full use of her hands, all aimed at putting everyone else at ease. Then halfway into her public speaking appearance, she tells in raw detail about the day she accidentally jumped off a cliff and became paralyzed.
We learn that in addition to public speaking and writing, Johnson enjoys painting with the limited use of her hands. “In some magical way in my heart it just seems to fill the void that dancing left.”
Johnson gushes over her hunky husband and shares the joys and realities of being a new mom to a 3-month-old daughter. “Being a mom’s really not that fun!” she relates about coping with a crying infant.
She shares openly her frustrations about not being able to do it all, in order to encourage the rest of us who feel very much like Johnson. She served as the keynote speaker at the Build Your Blog Conference in Salt Lake City, addressing a room full of mostly female bloggers.
“I think sometimes we beat ourselves up because we didn’t do more,” Johnson says. “In this room we see a whole lot of busy bees with a whole lot of busy lives.”
Johnson’s ability to connect is the product of being both the recipient and the giver of small and large acts of kindness. In her book Closing the Gaps she explains how starting with gratitude helped her climb out of an emotionally difficult place while still recovering in the hospital from her fall. She shares the acronym GAPS which she says stands for gratitude, attitude, problem solving and service.
Johnson inspires us to be attentive to ways we can be of service to others, no matter our personal struggles, “When you act on those little pushes you feel in your heart, it will make you and whatever trials you’re having so much better.”
After her keynote, Johnson spoke one on one with FlourSackMama.com about her motivation to share her story with others.
In addition to inspirational messages at MegJohnsonSpeaks.com, you can find helpful YouTube videos by Meg sharing practical advice like maneuvering through a nursery in a wheelchair. It’s no wonder Meg Johnson is a favorite keynote speaker for events held around the country. We’re grateful she could take a few minutes to chat with us!