For a moment, her world went black. The heartbroken mother receives the phone call that her daughter was the victim of a violent crime.

A primal animal inside of her screamed to be unleashed; to tear a path of destruction with the tidal wave of emotions she was feeling. But this was not possible, because immediately her sole role was to be a soothing, stabilizing, and unflappable pillar of strength to her daughter, for what was certain to be the longest road ahead. She caged the animal and assumed her role. “I never want anyone to experience this,” she says.  (A true story)

Five days pass. Her daughter was not yet ready to talk to anybody, but she is also not comfortable in her everyday life.” “What do you want right now, sweetheart,” the mother asks.  She looked at her mother with eyes that used to have so much light behind them. “A room with the sounds of a waterfall and infused with lavender and eucalyptus,” she replies without hesitation.

A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, a vision came to me that I began to pursue but put on hold for another initiative. I obtained a 501(c)(3) designation for the development of a Healing Center. It crystallized in my mind from the many years I spent working with our homeless population – and witnessing repeatedly that no amount of life’s necessities (food, clothing, etc.) fueled a spirit as much as becoming aware that there was still hope in their lives; and gaining an understanding that there was an abundant Source of it from which they can draw, available to them any time. Their history or life’s journey did not matter, their station in life did not matter, which manner they worshiped did not matter. Everyone has access to this Source. It’s just so hard to call upon it when a spirit is exhausted. It’s time like this when we need to surround ourselves with community in a non-clinical environment.

Spas, retreats, and other holistic places a person goes to find peace for their tired spirits can be time-consuming, costly, or both. We envision a place for a recharge that is accessible to all who desire it. This is not a salon, or a place of counseling — this is a place with quiet rooms, small groups, a community garden, an art room, a yoga room, and more. This is a place of community and peace.

The stress his job was mounting. The organization wasn’t performing as it had in the past and the second round of layoffs were just announced. The employees who had been spared had mixed feelings: relief that they will receive another paycheck coupled with dread that they will be forced to take on more responsibility; which meant more hours at their same salary. His feelings were no different, but at his age, it was difficult to find employment so he planned to stay for as long as he could. This is the third company in 20 years going through cutbacks. He couldn’t have foreseen the turns his life path would take. He was tired and filled with fear about the future, at what should have been the start of his retirement years.

The commute wasn’t helping. Nor was the fact that his mother was facing yet another surgery and leaned on him to help her through the recovery period.

He needed a place to go to share his fears, to ease his mind think clearly so he could make the decisions needed to keep his family sheltered. To find support from others who have been there – in an informal setting, in a place of peace.

 

♦ This is a place of restoration and community in an organic and natural environment of holistic care. This is not intended to replace a crisis resource. In fact, this concept was revisited upon the request of a trauma sufferer who just wanted a quiet place to surround herself but was not yet ready for the structure of clinical therapy.

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She loved her life but felt disconnected, lately, to the people in it. Talk of travel, business deals, investment property, and fabulous new spas consumed the hours she spent with her friends, and that was starting to wear on her. She was seeking something deeper and could not find it in the life she built. When she tried to talk about it with those closest to her, they joked about her being the first amongst them to reach the midlife crisis. “Come on!” they tell her. “You have everything! Honey, maybe you just need a month somewhere tropical. You are just overtired.” She thought about their words.  She had more money than she could spend in a lifetime. She had friends through church, through volunteer, through the country club. Why on earth would she feel empty? When she realized that they would probably never understand what she was trying to tell them, she stopped trying. A glass of wine will help, she thought for the hundredth time, but knew that was not the answer.

 

She never knew her father, her mother left when she was eight, her grandmother who raised her died five years ago, her brother is doing time for armed robbery, and her three kids are growing up the way she did – without a father. But she promised she would be a good mother and she was not giving up.  She would not always live in a dump on food stamps, she was going to become someone and teach her babies to grow up strong. She wanted to sleep but instead she opened the textbooks and studied.  Her baby was in kindergarten now and with her job and school, she didn’t have much free time.

She was always working, always taking care of something, and she wished she could afford to go somewhere when she needed some fuel in her own tank.