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GRACE DE LA ROSA
HOLISTIC WELLNESS CONSULTANT
Advocate for Quality Healthcare, Social Services & Justice

Living with Grace, LLC: Mindfulness for Executives, Organizations & Individuals

About

 

Grace De La Rosa is a Holistic Wellness Consultant, a lifelong recovery advocate for quality alternative healthcare, improved social services and justice for all. Along with over 35 years of experience and extensive self-studies in the health, wellness and fitness industry as a former AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, professional fitness and swimwear model, contributing fitness writer and NPC fitness and bikini competitor, she holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and TV Broadcasting with a minor in Psychology from the University of North Florida (UNF).

She is dedicated to civic service, having served as Founding Chairperson for the First Coast Recovery Advocates (FCRA), a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) that serves as a resource for people with mental health challenges, alcoholism, substance use disorder, and other addictions.

She currently serves as an Advisory Council Member of The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and is a member of the Northeast Florida Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NEFCADA); member of the State of Florida's Mobilize Recovery Action Plan (RAP); member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) and the Inclusivity Caucus; member of the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Emmpowerment (ICARE) Justice Ministry Network for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville (UUCJ); member of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville; member of the Jaguar Car Club of North Florida; and member of the Taoist Tai Chi Society. She also volunteers her time working at local mental health facilities, correctional institutions and treatment centers.

Her desire is to consult with executive leaders from the public and private business sectors as well as city, state and federal officials and legislators, specifically with the State of Florida's Health Appropriations Committee. She wishes to offer unprecedented solutions in unprecedented times related to the systemic challenges our country faces today with incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence, mental health disorders and addictions, racial inequalities, religious divide and political unrest.

For instance, 8.6% of our country's population is comprised of people who suffer from mental health issues and addictions. They make up one of the smaller subcultures of our country yet make the biggest impact in our respective communities and in the country as a whole. Many are homeless and have served time in corrections. Their chances of relapsing are high because the current system lacks several key factors to create success. And with COVID-19 clearly a barrier to recovery, we will continue to see the recidivism rates in these populations as well as domestic violence increase and witness many unwarranted deaths along the way. Perhaps these issues may simply be unintended consequences to laws, policies and procedures. Solutions can only be realized when all parties concerned are willing enough to begin an open-minded conversation. Grace is ready to share her solutions, collaborate and work for change.

Early in her career, she provided services to the Radio Reading Service at WJCT public radio where she read to the visually impaired, shadowed at WTLV TV-12 and interned as a TV reporter at WJXT-TV4. She is a public speaker, commercial and corporate training spokeperson, and voiceover talent. Some of her past clients include Homeland Security, Walt Disney World, Department of Labor and Energy, Comcast and the United Way of Northeast FL.

Grace is a practitioner of Mindful Meditation and Taoist Tai Chi. She is a Guided Meditation Facilitator; Recovery, Wellness and Mindful Living Coach; an Ordained Minister; a Spiritual and Relationship Counselor and Coach; Certified Mental Health First Aid responder (MHFA) (suicide watch); provisionally Certified Recovery Peer Specialist (CRPS-P); Public Speaking Coach; and Retreat/Event Planner.

Grace was diagnosed at the age of 38 with Stage 3(c) colon cancer in 2005 and treated with a "chemo cocktail" called FOLFOX, a melange of several drugs including steroids. Looks can be deceiving: she's deemed permanently disabled due to the long-term side effects of chemo. This includes bone and joint degeneration as well as peripheral neuropathy (extensive nerve damage particularly to hands and feet). A rare procedure, her left sacroiliac (SI) joint was rebuilt and fused with titanium bolts and rods.

After years of chronic pain, medical scares including liver cancer and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), complications, numerous surgeries and what seemed like never-ending doctor appointments, she decided that enough was enough. By 2016, her daily pill box included up to 24 (twenty-four!) prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to alleviate someof her long-term side effects, plus half of the pills supposedly counteracted the side effects from the other pills. This is known as polypharmacy, taking 5 or more medications to alleviate symptoms of an ailment(s). With the help of her general physician, she titrated down, and discontinued most of her medications.

Much of her medications were to alleviate the symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), degenerative arthritis in neck and back, chronic and debilitating bone and joint pain; peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage that can cause numbness to extremities); gastrointestinal malabsorption challenges; hypothyroidism; osteopenia; and post-menopausal hormonal imbalances.

In 2019, Grace decided to undergo a cleanse--body, mind and soul--to allow her body to rid itself of toxic waste which, by the way, is not unlike getting an oil change for your car. she did this by practicing celibacy in all sense of the word: no alcohol, drugs not prescribed to me, no sex and no meat, which was a challenge coming from a high-protein, low carbohydrate mindset. She switched to a more plant-based diet and with the help of her general physician, titrated down from 24 prescription medications and supplements to nearly nothing.

What's interesting is that her EMG test results actually garnered much attention by her neurologist at Mayo Clinic: it recorded extreme sensitivity, the opposite side of the spectrum of neuropathy, which may be correlated to the Overexcitabilities (OEs) as described by psychologist/psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski in the positive disintegration process of personality development, specifically amongst the gifted and psychic population, another subculture of our country much smaller than the 8.6% population with mental health challenges or addictions.

Grace attributes her good health today to the practice of mindful living; daily meditations, Taoist Tai Chi, a form of martial arts and moving meditation; and nonviolent communication (NVC). She chooses more whole foods vs. processed (progress, not perfection); and maintains healthy, meaningful relationships with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and yes, strangers who in all actuality are potential friends.

In 2014, she created Be a Blue Buddy, a colon cancer awareness campaign with a mission to advocate for and support patients, survivors, and their support system (friends, family, caretakers, clergy). As a survivor wanting to give back to the community, Grace educates herself on the disease and shares her story to empower and inspire others, and to help save lives.

Be a Blue Buddy is currently not an organization, but rather a grassroots, personal call-to-action to educate the community about the disease through public speaking engagements, reaching out to local and state officials, and connecting with the community through social media and support groups to help raise awareness of colon cancer, the importance of screening and early detection in support of survivors and their support team; to give hope to newly diagnosed patients; and to honor those who have died from this disease.

A voracious researcher and a lover of life experiences, she enjoys conversations on such topics as Social Justice & Equanimity; Geo PathoPsychology; Childhood & Domestic Abuse/Neglect; Homelessness; Mental Health; Addictions; Colon Cancer; Policy Reformations; Feminism; Communications/Media; Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Astrophysics, Quantum Physics, Cosmology, the Collective Consciousness, Biology, Science, Semiosis, Audiology, Multi-Dimensionality; Biodiversity; and Super Artificial Intelligence.

Other topics of interest include universal energy, adult giftedness, extrasensory perception (ESP) or psychic abilities (we all have them!), equanimity in the realms of social justice, cultural diversity, global cohesiveness, economy, trade, politics, government, education, media, religion, non-religion, alternative health and well care options, plants, herbs, spices, and spirituality.

Grace strives for joyful learning and living, and is willing to step outside of her comfort zone. She has experienced snow skiing, scuba diving, skydiving, paintball wars, and traveling. Grace likes to soak in the culture's history of traditions, arts, architecture and daily lifestyle--eating and sleeping as the locals do. She realized her childhood dream of visiting Greece; Oia-Santorini completely captured her heart!

She enjoys the arts (e.g. music/theatre/live entertainment, museums, paintings, photos, architecture), literature, and botanical gardens. She is a beach girl at heart. Anything related to the sun, clouds, moon, stars, rainbow and other skyscapes capture her attention. Her favorite splash of color is bright citrus orange. A few of Grace's favorite scents are flowers/plants (magnolia, rose, gardenia, peony, plumeria, honeysuckle, hawaiian ferns, citrus), aromatic wafts of food cooking in the kitchen, the ionic shift just before rainfall, and the scent of a freshly mowed lawn.

All of her life experiences up to now have led to her deep passion for healthcare: for without health, we don't have life. She should know. She was the little girl who fell through the cracks of our country's human healthcare system, only recently coming to terms and accepting the fact that her entire life was filled with childhood poverty, abuse, gun violence, molestation, rape, domestic abuse, much emotional and mental trauma including the loss of four (4) pregnancies with one in the second trimester, numerous life-threatening surgeries; a sister who was hit by a drunk driver and permanently brain damaged.

While growing up, school work, library visits, books and teachers were her saving grace. In 2017, she overcame attempted suicide after hitting rock bottom, having left a pathologically abusive relationship of 23 years, losing the marital home and custody of her son to her then-spouse, and then treated by the justice and corrections systems as the perpetrator and not the victim of the crime. Perhaps this may be unintended consequences to current policies and procedures. Perhaps not. Regardless, silence is no longer an option when the system no longer works as it should. And it's not just about the justice and corrections systems, it's all aspects It's time to roll up our sleeves, review all of our state laws and clean house so to speak. It may take 50 years for new policies to take place, but we need to start at some point, so…why not now.

Grace was born in Virginia and grew up in Atlantic Beach, FL--the eldest of four in a family where her parents are still happily married after 54+ years. She is a proud U.S. citizen and considers herself an honorary military veteran having had both a father and former spouse serve in the Navy as a Mess Specialist and F/A-18 Hornet Strikefighter jet pilot (think Blue Angels) and later as a P-3 pilot, respectively. She traveled and lived around the world, including the Philippines, Japan, Spain, Guam, California, Australia and Greece. She has two adult children: daughter Armani and son Andrew, and after having moved from South Carolina, Hawaii and Maryland, Grace is happy to be back home in Jacksonville, FL.

 

 

 

 

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