We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy Gruver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathy, how do you think about risk?
This question really spoke to me. Risk has played a huge role in my life and in my career. At the age of 22 I packed everything I owned in the car and drove cross country from Pittsburgh to live in Los Angeles; without a job, without any contacts, to pursue a career in theater. I look back at that now as a 50-year-old and have to applaud my bravery. At the time it just seems like something I had to do and now I realize the impact of it. I have always been a risk taker, the first to say yes to the adventure, trapeze, jumping off the cliff or driving the race car. I have reinvented myself careerwise at least five times. Moving from actor to massage therapist to PhD to author to speaker to hypnotherapist to life coach. Who knows where the path will lead next, I just follow the breadcrumbs. I think without taking risks and pushing the envelope our life is just not as full and rich as it could be. My motto since high school is ‘go for it’. I try to live that everyday, whether it’s embarking on a new business venture or trying an unknown food or wine. Perhaps it’s traveling to some corner of the world that is unknown slightly scary or pushing myself to the new trapeze trick. To me it’s the only way to live. And it makes life that much more interesting and full.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think as a speaker what sets me apart from others is my down to earth, conversational manner of presenting. It’s like you’re sitting in a coffee shop intimately talking with a good friend. I incorporate humor. To me laughter truly is the best way that people learn. I have an instinct when onstage. I think it’s probably the acting background and all the improvisation I’ve done. I just have a way when I’m on stage that I don’t think a lot of people have. As a massage therapist, hypnotherapist and coach I think what sets me apart is my intuition and my instinct. I have practiced presence for so long I think that puts me in a different headspace and soul space to really connect with the person I’m with, to ask the right questions or find the right spot on the muscle. I think a lot of that is intuitive and can’t be learned. Was it easy? That’s a really great question. I don’t even know how to answer that because in looking back from where I sit now it was easy. Going through it there were moments of fear and challenge and failure, there were moments everything sucked (or so I thought). To me there really is no failure, just feedback. The failure is from not learning from the roadblocks that you’ve tossed aside. I’ve learned that everything is going to be okay. I learned that I am enough and I am resilient enough to handle the blows when they come. I’ve learned to relax, to breathe, to trust in others. I have learned that things don’t have to be that hard and you can just play. I’ve learned that the more we can stay present the easier things get. I want the world to know that there is no ‘easy’ path to success. What you see on social media isn’t true. It isn’t always perfectly lit and made up. Sometimes life is ugly. It’s real and you will get through it. I’ve overcome so much and it has made me stronger, more resilient so that now I can teach others how to navigate the bumps. Breathe, laugh, play and love. Everything will be okay. Maybe not exactly as you thought, maybe even more perfect in its imperfections.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many amazing things to do in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas. We have to wake up early and do a beach walk. That is an absolute definite. We can do a drive through the mountains there are some amazing overlooks and spaces were you can see the beach from a completely different perspective. A great lunch at one of our outdoor restaurants where we have fresh seafood and local wine. The afternoon has to be a trapeze class for some adventure followed by a drive up to the valley where we hit up a couple wineries and experience amazing wine. In the evening I’m going to cook because I love doing that. We will pop open an incredible bottle of wine and sit in my backyard enjoying the sunset. That would be the perfect day. It’s For an entire week? More good wine, more beach walks. Santa Barbara is sort of the sleepy town with really not tons of stuff going on. It’s great for people watching and hiking. Surfing if you’re into that. Trapeze is a must. A few of the gems: Karpalas manuscript library, the frog wall, the riviera, Hendry’s Beach, East Beach, Toma Restaurant, Via Maestro restaurant. Too many good wineries to list.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom died young and I lost my father in 2018. He was my best friend and a huge inspiration. Though he’s no longer with us, I’d like to believe he feels the impact that he had on me. Every client that came to my office helped me with my success. I learn from everyone. And my boyfriend Eric has taught me to slow down, to be still for a second and just remember how to play.
Website: www.KathyGruver.com www.KathyGruver.coach