Getting to Know You
- Your name: Grace Quantock
- What’s your connection with disability? I am living with disabilities.
- Star Trek or Star Wars? Uh, Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
- If you could live in any other country for 2 years, where would you go? The south of Italy, for the warmth, the landscape and the art.
- What dish would your bring to our community picnic potluck? Such a hard question. I love making scrummy plant-based dishes. I think it would have to be a fully-loaded salad of home-grown organic, heritage veggies with a tahini-miso dressing and gluten-free polenta raspberry rhubarb cake.
Now That We’ve Been Introduced…
- What do you do: I write, speak and coach people with chronic illness, disability, trauma and life-crisis around living well and supporting their healing path. I help people move from feeling like a misfit to recognising their trailblazing capacity, and build businesses or careers while living with illness. I run a social enterprise Healing Boxes CIC making ethically sourced gift boxes for people in hospital/illness/chemo/grief/depression or life difficulties. I also paint, practice yoga, garden, and love the forests near my home in Wales, U.K.
- How did you come to doing what you do? How has your career trajectory flowed? Many of the most joyous things in my life have arrived not because I pushed but because I paused and listened (and then did the work). I was on track to be a university lecturer but I got very ill, bed-bound, brain-fogged and needed to find another path. Now I help people work with their own internal stories in pursuit of a healing future in my coaching practice at gracequantock.com And I make the ‘happy boxes’ which once helped me through difficult days for people worldwide at healing-boxes.com
- Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? I don’t know, and I’m excited to find out. I’ve tried planning out big life goals – I achieved them, but found they weren’t what I was needing underneath. Now I’m a recovering Type A and enjoying allowing my life to unfold organically – where its leading me is already so much more beautiful than they current me could imagine!
- Not to be morbid, but what do you want people to remember about you when you’ve gone?
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”
― Raymond Carver, A New Path to the Waterfall
- Who or what inspires you? My loved ones – my husband, my rescue dog and my horse. They teach me so much about love, compassion, dedication and being alive. I’m inspired by every misfit that turns trailblazer. Teachers who have greatly inspired me include Connie Panzarino, Inga Muscio, Marion Woodman, Susan Weed, Aviva Gold, Kris Carr, Vidyamala Burch, Judith M. Bennett and Temple Grandin.
- If you could say something to yourself in the past – that is, the you that was really struggling with something related to disability – what would you say? “It won’t always be like this”. Struggling in the moment doesn’t guarantee struggling for eternity. It may seem impossible but things will shift, you won’t always feel this way. So for now, just concentrate on what’s happening in front of you.
“Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
- What do you like about your particular disability? I like that it is something I’m connected with, a direct experience of my body on this planet. Sometimes I struggle, sometimes it’s hard, but this is real life and I am happy to be living!
- Any one thing that you wish people would *get* about disability? That it’s about the person, not the disability! In my view, the disability is less important than the person with it, my disabilities are the footnotes – important, relevant – but I am the adventure story.
- What single piece of technology makes your life easier? My Vitamix blender. It allows me to make everything from juices to full meals with ease, no chopping, no struggling, just gently blended food. It even cleans itself if you turn it on with warm water and a squirt of washing up liquid!
- Where else can we find you online? On my website GraceQuantock.com and on my non-profit site healing-boxes.com On com/grace_quantock and on facebook.com/grace.quantock
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.