“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period . . .” Charles Dickens. This quote really exemplifies the times we are living in right now. I feel like more than ever we are feeling the extreme duality of being human. I have had a few meltdowns recently regarding the political agenda of this new administration and what it implies to the wild life and the environment. On the flip side people are becoming even more engaged and motivated to help our planet. With the darkness of times, there are still pockets of light and little sanctuaries popping up to help us feel supported. We need community even more than ever, places to gather, places to hold space, places to have tea, places to call our own so we can remember who we are and that power we can manifest.
My dear friend Jessica has opened such a place on the beautiful wetlands of Playa Del Rey called AY^Am. We recently shot the incredible healer and facialist Patti from Mojave Desert Shield at this magical space. Some of our favorite women healers are in residency here like Mama Medicine and Kari from Poppy and Someday. Jessica has created a soothing, serene, center where every piece has been lovingly salvaged. She even has a teepee in the garden that overlooks the wildlife of the wetlands. Knowing that a place like this exists gives me so much peace of mind, since it means that people are responding to a deeper way of being.
Paula Mallis who we visited a few years ago has also recently opened up a beautiful space for women to gather. Paula brings her wisdom as a doula and yoga teacher to her WMN Space in Culver City. The schedule holds various classes and workshops that range in birthing prep classes to divorce circles.
These gathering sanctuaries can be like filling stations, where we can all go to get nourished so we can continue our work to better our world and planet. I think Dickens would approve!