On Wednesday evening this week, we inaugurated The Avenues Healing House (TAHH). The house was built in 1890 in the historic Avenues district of Salt Lake City (show historic plate) by one of the first jewelers of Salt Lake City for a cost of $2,500. This can tell you how much inflation we had in 130 years.
The house is quaint and has a unique character and a personality of its own. The house felt lonely, empty and depressed over the last 6 months as we were redoing its foundation. Now, it is feeling very excited as it can anticipate all the upcoming healing miracles to come 🙂 While it is only a couple of blocks from South Temple and downtown Salt Lake City, it enjoys the calm and elegant beauty of the Avenues neighborhood. The Avenues are named after the perfectly grid like, closely laid out roads called Avenues (numbers, 1st – 18th) and Streets (letters, A – V). First surveyed in the 1850s, the Avenues became Salt Lake City’s first neighborhood. Today, the Avenues neighborhood is generally considered younger, more progressive, liberal and somewhat “artsy” when compared to other neighborhoods. Many young professionals choose to live there due to the culture and easy commute to downtown. TAHH has a small garden with beautiful roses. As the Eiffel tower guy, I had put an Eiffel tower in the middle of the front yard of course 😉
I have a special intention for this house. I have experimented in my life with diverse communities and groups, and I have learned from personal experience what works (and does not work) to bring a flourishing community that empowers and heals individuals.
Here are the values I would like to bring forth in TAHH.
- Love for God: I believe that every one of us has a parcel of the divine. Only by connecting with this part of us deep within our heart can we share this love with other fellow human beings and the rest of creation. It does not matter what spiritual affiliation or religion you are part of. What is required is the humility to understand that human consciousness is very limited when it is separated from the consciousness of our creator that we call God or Source. Even the most gifted spiritual leaders can easily fell and be tempted by the illusion of separateness or ego so this is why it is so important that we encourage everyone to develop a direct and an autonomous relationship with the divine, independent of any institution or spiritual leader. The relationship with our soul (that is connected to all of creation) is the most important relationship we will ever have, and from this place of connectedness, only then can we give unconditionally to our loved ones. An individual that is not able to develop that direct relationship with Source will be either depleted or will draw on the energy of others.
- Authenticity: Unless we can know, accept and love who we are, we send mixed messages and we cannot be trusted. We accept our light and our shadow aspects, as we understand it is part of our humanity. Our darkness is only as dangerous as we have no awareness of it. We share our shadows in all transparency to promote healing in others and ourselves. We strive to be truthful to who we are by listening to our feelings and find ways to express our authenticity in a way that is most beneficial and least detrimental to others. Authenticity brings us closer to our heart as we let go of our false identities. As I like to say, there is more hope for the authentic asshole than the double-faced good guy. Authenticity stimulates inner creativity, sustainable relationships, spontaneity and healing.
- Brotherhood & Sisterhood: Our brothers and sisters are anyone that shares the same commitment to live according divine guidance by following his/her heart in accordance with his or her own individuality and unique gifts. In this model, there is no hierarchy, power dynamics or exploitation. Each person contributes according to his own aptitudes and abilities. People take naturally their place in this meritocratic community. We strive to look in each other the spark of the divine that our creator deposited in each of us by creating man to its image.
- Vulnerability: We all have been hurt in our past and we often display protector personalities that can be aggressive, cold, victimized or hurtful when we are triggered. We commit instead to go into vulnerability and look at our inner wounds, take responsibility for them and share them openly in a safe environment. Being human is difficult and offers its share of tragedies. The more comfortable we can be sharing our hurt in a vulnerable way, the faster the healing can take place. Then we can share our joy with each other, which makes life worth living.
- Kindness: Many of us have attachment traumas from our past and as a result, there are parts of us that feel unlovable, unworthy and dwell in core shame. There is no better remedy to this shame than a kindness container where we can feel unconditionally loved and accepted. We focus on the qualities of others rather than their shortcomings. We practice love & acceptance of self and other. And if we choose to be critical to change things for the better, we commit to be ten times harder on our own weaknesses rather than the weaknesses of others.
- Experience over knowledge: Our words carry little weight when we speak from knowledge and not from experience. This is the difference between preaching and teaching. Knowledge that cannot be verified or applied in a practical way to one’s life can take us away from our heart. We believe in grounded spirituality where our practice impacts positively and directly the people around us. True spirituality is aimed at bringing heaven on earth. We only teach in areas where we have direct experience. We admit openly we do not know enough on a topic when we have knowledge without experience. We commit to be what we teach. I have met many spiritual teachers in my life and only a very small percentage lives a life that is congruent to their teaching. We prioritize being over knowing.
- Simplicity: Human needs are simple and we have made them complicated. All we need is to love and to be loved, taking care of our physical needs, grow as individuals, joking around, feeling creative and expressing ourselves. There is no need for a grand plan to save the world, to create Noah’s ark, become the best of the world in a discipline or to build an empire to be happy. Living life fully and happily according to who we are and in harmony with others is all we need to be joyful and in peace.
- Purity is the most critical aspect in living a heart-centered life. Our spiritual heart is the seat of the soul, and the heart can only express itself with a noble character. We get there by following a practice that keeps the ego and the mind in check, practicing unconditional service, surrounding ourselves with uplifting and inspiring influences. It is about watching what we eat, what we drink, who we spend time with, what we watch and read, exercising our body and our mind, our spiritual practice, introspection, how we spend our money, how we treat others and every single decision we make.
- Service: Loving God is loving all of its creation. I have tried many paths in my life and I have come to the conclusion that there is only one true life that leads to real happiness; it is the one of service. It is my belief that man was created to assist our creator by serving the human, animal, vegetal and mineral realms. Unfortunately, we have often chosen exploitation over service, and it is still time to reverse this trend. There is no faster way to access our own divinity by bringing health, joy and goodness to everything that is alive around us. By giving oneself completely, we will receive more than we have ever imagined especially as people around us are touched by our heartfelt actions.
- Freedom: The most beautiful and attractive energies are the ones that are free flowing and unrestrained. By attempting to control states of consciousness or the people in our lives, we limit them and make them smaller. While we hold people accountable for their actions, we let come and go at their discretion. We want people to come to us because it feels good to their heart and not because of fear. We encourage people to think critically and ask questions as long as it is done with respect and a genuine desire to understand. We stay away from dogma as it divides people instead of bringing them together. We understand that there are as many religions on earth as they are human beings as a religion is nothing else than a belief system. We do not impose our beliefs on others however we can set healthy boundaries according to what is our truth.
- Heart-based donation. Whenever possible, we encourage to be compensated for our healing services in a donation form. This makes the heart grow, help everyone to afford our services and transcend transactional relationships to become more unconditional. Eventually this will help us create a new monetary system for the new earth that is less prone to corruption.
The first floor of the house is dedicated to group activities and workshops. We have space for small groups up to about 20 people. People sit on pillows instead of chairs to represent our connection to the earth and our simplicity. The first floor has almost no furniture except for a dining table and an armoire to store the pillows. We have a dining room for eight as one of most enjoyable part of being human is to cook, eat together, connect, share and converse.
We have a healing room at the disposal of practitioners from all traditions to give sessions in our private healing session room to bootstrap their business in TAHH. Wellness practitioners can use the session room upstairs up to 8 hours/week in order for everyone to benefit. We have currently one room available upstairs for one full-time resident (please message me if you are interested) and we have a room for traveling visitors. All space bookings from practitioners happen electronically so that we can all be aware of TAHH activities and avoid scheduling conflicts. We have created a Facebook page for TAHH. If you are interested in TAHH’s future activities, just like the page.
The inauguration of TAHH took place the day I turned 45. Someone commented that it made 12345 as the house number is 123. David, a priest of the Native American Church of the Lakota tradition performed a ritual to bless the house. It involved smudging the house, singing sacred songs, praying to the four directions and applying the sacred blood of a deer on each window four directions and its center point. TAHH is an old Victorian house and the windows do not open so we had to use a ladder around the house, and climb over rose bushes. It was quite acrobatic but David & I had fun in the process.
Native American spiritual practices have always resonated with me from doing sweat lodges, using plant medicine, drumming or singing. When I did my DNA test using 23andme, I actually found some Native American blood in my ancestry! I am sharing with you the Four Directions Prayer so that you get to know better this beautiful tradition too
Four Directions Prayer (Stand facing South)
Great Spirit, Thank you for this day, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations.
As I face South, I allow the spirit of All Possibilities to wash over me. Wherever I have fear or doubt, I trust that answers will come. Show me it is right for me to make decisions with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt. Help me to grow and nurture my self-worth in all ways.
(When you feel the expansion of all possibilities, turn to face West.)
The West is the direction where the White Buffalo lives. White Buffalo stands for strength, bravery and courage. As you breathe in, allow the power and energy of the White Buffalo spirit to wash over you and awaken your warrior within.
(When you feel that powerful presence, turn to face the North.)
The North is the direction where the black-tailed deer lives. This is the direction of the spirit energy of humbleness and humility. As you breathe in, allow your soul and spirit to be touched with humbleness, knowing that all we are, and all that we have, comes from the Great Spirit.
(When you truly feel touched with grateful humbleness, turn to the East.)
The East is the land of the Eagle—the symbol for wisdom and discernment. I ask the spirit of the Eagle to be with me. Sharpen my eyes and ears to hear your direction on my path. Guide my steps, my actions, and my every word.
(When you feel a deeper connection to the eagle’s wisdom, turn back and face the South)
Great Father Spirit and Mother Earth, Thank you for your beauty, and for all you have given me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all creation. Help me to walk my path with joy and love for myself, for others, for the four-legged, the winged ones, the plants and all creation.
Remind me never to take from you more than I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take.
Satya went on to giving all of us a sound bath. A sound bath is an immersion in sound frequency to clean the soul. There’s nothing new about the practice. Tibetans have been using these instruments, considered sonic frequency technologies, for more than 2,000 years. Nethania had just composed a new song that she shared with everyone of us “Nothing can break my heart”. We went on eating a gluten free vegan cake and drinking Veuve Clicquot champagne. The celebration continued and I was not in bed before 2:30 AM
It was by far one of my best birthdays. It was very smooth and I felt so much love throughout the day. All the kind messages I received through social media felt wonderful too. Paradoxically, it was the birthday where I had the least expectation. I came back from my European healing trip to grieve the end of my marriage at the end of May. I knew I had to build a brand new life and a new support system as all the people I had spent the majority of my time over the last 3 years had suddenly vanished from my life. Miraculously, I did not have to build anything. People came to me with open heart and I feel so incredible grateful for it. Some were new people, some were acquaintances that came closer, and some were family members that reconnected. I can now relate to David’s words that when we open our heart to the Divine Mother, she will cherish us in every way possible. We only have to clear our own resistance to receive.