Grand Opening Party at Garden of Mind

Much in my typical “mimic the seasons” fashion, last winter started out very dark for me. I was mourning another period of relapsed health and in many areas of my life I felt that I was grasping to hold things together as they teased me with disintegration. And how timely it was that I was reading Pema Chodron’s classic When Things Fall Apart!

It was only when I had moved through the “feeling sorry for myself ” and “letting fear guide me” stages that the beauty of synchronicity entered my life — an unfolding that was catalyzed by my 100 days of meditation self-challenge and continues to this day. Among the many synchronicities I’ve experienced since then was one that not only led me to new business opportunities but also new camaraderies.

What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”-Carl Jung

In what occurred in the most serendipitous of ways, I met a woman, Martha D’Abruzzo, who not only understood chronic fatigue but could tailor a yoga practice to meet my specific needs (vinyasa is amazing and all, but it’s not an ideal practice for those recovering from CFS). She was in the process of opening a space to integrate yoga and various other mindbody wellness modalities with her therapy practice, and she offered me one-on-one yoga sessions until the space was up and running.

vegan cookies 2We met weekly and Thursday became one of my favorite days of the week. We were so in synch during our hour together, and for the first time I was practicing yoga regularly without my chronic fatigue creeping up. Because we had so much in common, we often chatted after our time was up and my blossoming business came up more than once. When she finally got to the point where she was building her teacher base, she asked me to be a part of it, “it” being the space which is now known as Garden of Mind.

gom grand openingOf course, I was thrilled and accepted right away as my work is aligned with the vision she is creating. I created a workshop series that I’ve dubbed “Vegan 101: The Philosophy, The Food, The Fun” which includes a primer on veganism, a cooking demo, and food tasting. (see my “Upcoming Workshops” tab for more information) Thrilled I was, but when I met the rest of the people involved, I was over the moon ecstatic to be working alongside such an all-star team of wellness ambassadors. Hashtag blessed.

vegan cookiesThough classes have been open throughout the month of October, we held an official grand opening party this past Sunday. There was a wonderful turnout — an array of like-minded individuals trickled in and out — and there was vegan food aplenty. My African lentil dip with chickpea chips was a hit as were the selection of truffles, cookies, and bread bites, made by a fellow intuitive cook with health considerations. I had more than my share of the vegan chili from Coca Cafe and a generous serving of crudite, too.

lentil dipThere may have only been one or two other vegans there, so it was really thoughtful of Martha make sure there were many vegan options. I also got so hyped up when I saw the signs labeled “not vegan” because omg is that the most amazing thing? I so want to live in a world where the nonvegan things are labeled with such clarity and care (and in a world where the vegan options dominate!)

not veganAnother highlight for me — as one who is passionate about natural healing methods and a musician/former music teacher — was the crystal bowl sound healing. I could feel the beautiful vibrations move through me, and I even got a massage by Courtney Sage of Birch and Basil (don’t miss her workshops at Garden of Mind!) right next to Brooke while she played which totally blissed me out.

sound healingIf you live in Pittsburgh, I encourage you to glance over the Garden of Mind schedule and attend some classes and workshops. The diversity of offerings stands out from any other place in the Pittsburgh area, so there promises to be something for everyone. Come one and come all!

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