There are so many amazing people in this world who inspire and motivate us to be happier, healthier and basically better people all around. Every week my Woman Crush Wednesday is dedicate to a woman who inspires me in some way, some how. It’s my way of saying thanks for the inspiration and hopefully spreading some of that inspiration along to others.
My first Women Who Inspire me post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine, Grace Van Burkem, owner of Gracious Living, a company specializing in well being retreats (often with surfing) and nutritional consulting.
I first met Grace in 2000 when we were both working in the club industry. She was a bartender, I was a promoter and booking agent for DJs and bands in the electronic music genre. At first I wasn’t sure if she was the same as a lot of the club girls you meet. The ones who use their looks and smiles to get on guests lists and free drinks. There’s so many of these plastic fame seekers when you work in that industry. But Grace was anything but that. She is the exact opposite.
Grace is caring and loving, a woman who’s rough, traumatic childhood would have crushed many others but for her it became the story that made her who she is to do and the reason why she has shined above it.
In all my years of knowing Grace, I don’t think I have ever heard a word of judgement of another come out of her mouth. Even when talking about a situation where someone didn’t give her what she deserves, she finds a way to tell it so that she isn’t criticizing anyone. Now that she has dedicated her life to helping people heal themselves with food, offering amazing wellness retreats in beautiful places like Nicaragua and teaching Sivinanda yoga that side of her has come out even more.
Grace lives her truth every day and is one of those people that inspires you to live yours. Her amazing whole food recipes make you realize healthy eating is easier than you think and just being around her gives you a sense of calm. Every day you get inspirational quotes on her Facebook and Instagram pages and every day I am inspired by them as are so many others.
A true beauty and example of how you never need to be a product of the environment you grew up in, Grace Van Burkem is one of those women I am proud to say is my friend, my inspiration and my teacher.
So thank-you Grace. For all that you are, for always being there and for all the inspiration.
You can follow Grace’s Gracious Living Facebook here.
Her Instagram is: Grace Van Berkum
Her Twitter is: @gracevanberkum