Sound Alchemy With La Mer at La Maida Institute

June 21, 2018

LOVE LA MER 

I fell in love with La Mer during an internet stalk on sound healers in LA. I had to meet her ASAP and did so at the La Maida Institute where she is the Sound & Song Healing Advisor. La Mer took me into a deep, hypnotic trance state, deep theta – with her instrumental alchemy and soothing angelic voice. My one on one session was nothing short of breath-taking. I am for sure going to have her work her magic on a small private group. Here is more about Meredith. I urge you to check out one of her offerings at the stunning La Maida or to book her privately.

Here’s a little interview to learn more about her!

GLA: Do you remember first connecting to sound alchemy and what did you do once you realized it was a portal to healing?

Like most music lovers who grew up singing and playing, I have always felt tapped into music’s capacity to connect, heal and transform.  I became more keenly aware of this while studying Ewe drum and dance in Ghana during my second year of college.  Working directly with a community whose connection to the pulse of life is literally woven into everyone’s daily rhythm was life altering.  Music has always been the foundation of their lives… babies come out of the womb knowing how to play rhythms of their tribes, it’s in their DNA!  This experience helped me realize how much has been lost in our mind centered culture and inspired me to reclaim rhythm within my own ancestral lineage.   It also helped me acknowledge how integral rhythm and resonance is and always has been to the health and well being of ourselves, communities, and the world.   Furthermore, my studies in the yoga arts and Ayurveda (the science of life) brought depth to my understanding of how to attune with nature’s rhythm in all kinds of ways.  All this and more has directed of my path as music maker, performer and healing artist.  It is also the seed inspiration of my current approach to sound alchemy which bridges ancestral wisdom with the evolving science of sound.

GLA: Do you have any mentors or teachers who ushered you to the work and nurtured your growth as a sound alchemist?

SO many!  Jennifer Goodrich, Jim Gilchrist, Bill Headberg, Shiva Rea, Maria Guerre, Silvia Nakkach, Sally Kempton, Susan Maine, Matica Filous, Guro Jess, Guro El, all my ancestors alive in body and spirit..

GLA: This is such esoteric (yet vitally important work!) Did you ever doubt that you could make a living like this? Did you question it as a profession or simply trusted it?

Trusting the path of integration is my practice.  I have never once had a regular ‘job’, I have just always tried my best follow my gut and heart and it has lead me to this work.   It’s a challenge to create your own lane in the highway, but many succeed at it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Simply trusting it is over simplifying though… I have moments of doubt and confusion…who willing to dive deeply into the human experience doesn’t?  But no doubt strong enough to veer me off the path of integration I am committed to.

GLA: What was the most challenging experience using this modality?

Transporting/loading/unloading/loading instruments/gear:)

GLA: Do you ever find yourself getting stuck or lost or scared that your channel might be blocked?

If I am lost or stuck or scared it’s because I haven’t taken the space or time to connect to the Source of Love that is ALL WAYS there when we take the time to nurture it.  I believe the channel is there for anyone who is willing to consciously, reverently lovingly relate with it.


La Maida Institute

GLA: Do you receive healings when you are in session and service for someone else? I imagine so!

Yes!  Not in the same way as those who I am holding space for, yet I most definitely receive healing.

GLA: Was there ever a moment in a session where you felt something divine happening but thought ‘oh I need to stop this!’ – because it was too intense?

My essence thrives on intensity so I have always been able to work with and through strong sensations, however holding safe space for others is integral to the process of wholesome attunement.  Checking in with participants and creating space for clear communication around the experience is often necessary.  That being said, sometimes the work requires intensity and discomfort.  Most people who find me have a willingness to dive into the  experience, come what may.   Together we cultivate deep sensitivity and respect for the process of organic unfolding through rhythm and resonance.

GLA: Where do you see yourself in a few years with this work? Can you imagine opening sound alchemy centers? Bringing it to school children?

I am currently developing a course and training that will be offered at La Maida Institute, where I am Sound & Song Healing Advisor.  That is the next phase of this work.  I am also working on more recording projects and soundscapes.  I actually work with pre-teens and teenagers now and really enjoy it.  Yes, I would love to integrate the work into schools.

GLA: How do you practice self care and nurture YOURSELF after a session?

I have some simple rituals for clearing after a session.  I take time for silence and prayer.  I often work with tarot and Goddess decks.   I walk my dog if I do a home session.  I have learned to not over book myself; this is necessary for self care.

GLA: Who are some of your favorite people in LA for healings, classes, workouts, etc…What are your little secret spots that bring you joy. A favorite walk, stretch of beach, taco or hole in the wall book store. Your LA comfort zones.

La Maida Institute, where I offer monthly new moon sound ceremonies,  weekly nada yoga classes (yoga of sound) and one on one sound alchemy sessions is my favorite place in LA… truly!  It is an AMAZING community center with so much to offer.  I feel privileged to be part of the evolution taking place there.   My favorite indie yoga studio/class/teacher is Light on Lotus~  Sunday morning Love Saves the Day class with Kate Cariarti… amazing dynamic, playful flow.  The proceeds go to a different charity each month…and you get to step out of class into the Mar Vista Farmers Market…best way to spend a Sunday!  Favorite beach is by Heathercliff by Malibu, favorite little valley spot is Follow Your Heart on Sherman Way.  I also train MMA (mixed martial arts) at Magda Institute in the valley.  This has been a game changer in so many ways, but that’s a whole other conversation for another interview! I highly recommend it for anyone who is burnt out on the health and wellness ‘scene’ and interested in some hard core bad ass training in the lineage of Bruce Lee:)

La Mer offers : One on one sessions, couple and small group ceremonies, corporate wellness sound alchemy sessions, , monthly new moon sound ceremonies, training programs and more. 
Her next new moon sound ceremony at La Maida Institute is July 12
   
Heavenly sounds and instruments…
The aftermath…
Total bliss…

Address11159 La Maida St, Los Angeles, CA 91601

Phone(818) 505-3552

RYT 500  +  REIKI MASTER TEACHER  +  SOUND ALCHEMY  +  AYURVEDIC LIFESTYLE +  RITUAL GUIDE

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I am a healer, songstress, and wildwoman storyteller from Los Angeles Earth. My contribution centers around powerful rituals of union with soulful nature. Through workshops, sound bath, healing circle, artistic happenings and individual sessions, I empower people to navigate their lives with graceful integrity, holding sacred space for transformation at the heart of every offering. 

Drawing from 11 years of experience in the healing arts, I honor the philosophies of our wise traditions while utilizing these very teachings to sensitively and playfully engage in a genuine call and response with my surroundings.

I spent the first part of my career as a touring and performance artist.  This taught me the way of communicating with others through artistic expression.  I further developed my style as an inspirational speaker teaching yoga and meditation in studios, public schools, and wellness centers in NYC and Los Angeles.  I now explore the bridge between ritual and performance art,  guiding group experiences that strengthen collective intuition and embody conscious community. Aside from the healing arts, I support ocean conservation with beach clean ups, marine conservation watches, and generate awareness as advocate for Mission Blue and public speaker for Heal The Bay. My deepest desire is to be in a practice of continual growth, cherish nature’s movements as proof of magic, and to share the love with all my relations. xo

Upcoming public gatherings are always listed on this events page.
For monthly love letters with invitations and musings, you can subscribe here

SPOKEWOVEN Dreamcatchers

June 16, 2018

It was an Instagram dream catcher romance – but oh – so much more 🙂

I discovered Genga’s glorious massive dream catcher’s at my friend Joy’s jewelry shop and was blown away. I had to know more. WHO MADE THESE?!!

And that’s where it really started. Joy said OH my friend Genga – they are all custom made to call in what you need in your life.

Well, let’s just say, I went a-callin.

A good IG stalk. A website stalk – a love letter – and I was hooked on Genga. This amazing woman, mama and artist living in Brooklyn and making these inspired works.

I had to have one. Two. THREE. Fine…I require many.

Genga and I discussed the process. You don’t just ask for ‘Whites to match my couch.” No, no, my friends. We discuss what we really need to call in. To let go of. And yes, sure, what colors light us up. What textures. Simply all of it.

Then Genga gets to work.

There are crystals. There are hand dyed fabrics in beet juice. There are evocations. Feels.

Then – there is an arrival. A special package comes to the door. And it is perfection.

In fact my blush, white and a little gold dream catcher was so ME, that my daughter immediately said I MUST HAVE IT MOM PLEASE!!!!

And ya know what. I let her have it. Because I know, she needs me. She needs more of me. She needs to feel me. And this dream catcher really is me. And as of today, it hangs above her bed.

And I watch over her while she sleeps. I stand guard. We stand guard.

From Genga:

“SpokeWoven began from the depth of my soul. After experiencing some heartbreaking and cataclysmic life changes, I needed to redefine myself. I had to rebuild and tap into my most intuitive and vulnerable self to realize this dream of creating. Through the support of my closest friends and loved ones, SpokeWoven was born. The people I have created pieces with and had the absolute pleasure of knowing is an experience that has opened my heart and transcended my spirit to a place of love I never thought I could find. The dreamcatchers are my guardian angels and I feel forever blessed by the universe for shining its light on my craft. Thank you for visiting. I look forward to creating with you.”


At the Urban Cowboy Air B And B

SPOKEWOVEN

shop

custom

The delight that is Genga.

SpokeWoven is about creating an experience, developing a vision and channeling intention and energy through the making of a Dreamcatcher. I believe in the power of people creating energy and bringing a vision to reality through collaboration. More than an artisan craft, the making of dream catchers is a creative process with a very spiritual connection–a connection that is able to grow organically, heal and help discover new realms of your conscious and unconscious and enrich your mental and physical life.

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There are smudge wands too!

Genga collaborated with Indego Africa, teaching women from Rwanda the healing art of making dream catchers, in-turn empowering them with skills, industry and new business. She has also worked with Make A Wish Foundation to make a dream catcher as a wish for a mother of a child who was terminally ill. 

MRS. JONES : dresses to live like your on vacation made in mexico for women by women

June 6, 2018

mrs. jones is a bad ass.

mrs. jones is capsule collection of dresses. each design will have its own individual look and vibe. completely vintage inspired, but updated for the bad ass women of today. mrs jones is a rotating gallery of style, there is not one look. you may see the body return but done in totally different fabric, color or print to give it new life.

carol is the free flowing, eat whatever you want dress but still look amazing. you will get stopped in the street. strut away. the carol dress silhouette creates a waistline on every body type.

from mrs.jones : the carol dress is named after the amazing, strong and passionate woman I am lucky enough to call mom. carol’s version “retirement” is raising millions of dollars for senior citizen housing and the state of california’s mental health care system. carol is a bad ass.

made in mexico by a woman owned and run factory

mrs. jones is a small batch run collection of dresses. each design will have its own individual look and vibe. completely vintage inspired, but updated for the bad ass women of today. mrs jones is a rotating gallery of style, there is not one look. each drop will be themed after the mood of the moment. we only make a small run of each dress. you may see the body return but done in totally different color, print to give it new life, so be sure to follow us on instagram for new release dates.

dreamt up by nichole moss aka mrs. jones, fashion has always been an obsession of her’s and this is her vision of what happens when a california girl accidentally becomes a new yorker. feeling the void in the market for dresses for women that are older but not old, nichole decided to create dresses for women like her. women who are not ready for the 40-something uniform and really are over skinny jeans and tee’s. this is her love letter to us.

Kelp Jerky is going to be your new favorite snack and here’s why

June 4, 2018

 

 Snacking is life.  I am never not snacking. I am snacking, not meal’ing.

I’m over protein bars and faux sugar treats. Nuts? I eat way too many. Veggies only go so far. I tried this magical snack and I was hooked. A high-protein, plant-based snack that’s not a bar loaded with sugar or a mushy soy snack? Look no further, there’s a new kid on the block called Kelp Jerky, and it’s going to be your new favorite go-to snack. 

We tried Kelp Jerky and loved its chewy texture and exciting flavors like Turmeric Thai Coconut, Sesame Sea Salt, and Maple Rosemary BBQ!  

The main ingredient in Kelp Jerky is, well, kelp. Often called “the superfood from the sea”, kelp, which is a seaweed, is full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3 fats and fiber, including zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium (10x more than milk!). Kelp supports your body’s ability to absorb water and is a rich, natural source of iodine that helps to stimulate a healthy metabolism.

And did you know that kelp is also one of the only foods that expands in your stomach, making you feel fuller, longer?! Thank you!

Lastly, kelp is one of the most sustainable sources of food on the planet so kelp jerky is a snack choice you can feel good about too beyond just its human body benefits.

Kelp Jerky is a brand new snack that’s launching this summer. The company behind this new snack is AKUA, and they are currently raising funds on Indiegogo to support their launch. You have just 1 week left to pre-order Kelp Jerky on Indiegogo before the campaign ends. Click here to get your hands on some!

 

MISS GRASS. WEED CHIC. NOT YOUR MOM’S AND CANNABIS

June 3, 2018

Our friends from Miss Grass share some incredible facts about moms and cannabis. A cool infographic (so good!) and article to clue you in to how cannabis has become a leading healing medicinal for mamas.

Written By Anna Duckworth. Anna is Miss Grass’ editor-in-chief.

I’m a Mom and I Use Cannabis

Moms have been using cannabis for millennia. But for a whole slew of reasons, there’s a lot of shame around that right now. We surveyed over 200 moms to understand what it means to choose the plant.

This topic of mothers who use cannabis is a contentious one.

It’s particularly timely because women, many of whom are moms, are the fastest growing cannabis consumer demographic.

And while health officials maintain that pregnant women should not consume, the stigma surrounding that recommendation seems to follow women well into postpartum.

Even after giving birth and the breastfeeding is all over, the shame around cannabis and motherhood runs deep.

Like many recommendations from health officials, these ones aren’t coming from a substantial body of research on the subject. Instead, they come from the absence of research. And that makes some sense. Exercising caution is always the safe bet. But it’s worth noting that the absence of data here is really a matter of funding, which for cannabis research, is especially difficult to come by unless your hypothesis sets out to prove the negative effects of the plant. (Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about this issue a lot in his CNN documentary series “Weed”, which everybody should watch.)
That being said, women and mothers have been using cannabis to different effects, in different ways, at different times in their lives for thousands of years. As legislation evolves quickly right now, a moment of reckoning has come to pass. People are beginning to have access to the plant for the first time in nearly a hundred years, it’s working its way up the ladder of social acceptability, and at the same time, nobody wants to be liable for the health and wellness of society. So for now, all we have is a tiny pool of research and anecdotal evidence.A recent study conducted by the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine and Colorado Health found that “70% of randomly selected Colorado marijuana dispensaries recommended cannabis products to treat nausea in the first trimester.” The study was conducted with secret shoppers. Of the 400 dispensaries visited, 277 budtenders recommended cannabis as a treatment for these pregnant women.It’s not easy to sift through the litany of inconsistent messaging out there. And while Miss Grass is not here to give medical advice, we are here shine a light on these conversations. This topic is one of many that highlight the complexity of this plant and all that it represents. To talk about cannabis is to also talk about agency, politics, race, and class.

As part of this exploration, we surveyed over 200 moms and spoke face-to-face with others to better understand that experience, the stigma, and what it means to choose the plant. Here is some of what we learned:

  • 55% of mothers hide their cannabis use from someone in their lives
  • 62% of mothers have experienced discrimination for their cannabis use
  • 82% of mothers use cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, at least some of the time
  • 100% of mothers see the plant as a way to tap into their maternal instinct, to be more present with their children

Kanya Iwana — Photographer, Los Angeles

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Motherhood is just one of my full-time jobs. I also work as a photographer full-time too. A lot of physical labor goes into both of these—from picking up my toddler to rigging my equipments. Topicals help my muscles relax after long and physically demanding days.”

Sarah — Lawyer, Brooklyn

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Discovering CBD was definitely revolutionary to my sleep during early motherhood. I was having a lot of anxiety going to bed at night knowing that I would have to be up in a few hours (and a few hours after that) for feedings. I was really hesitant to use the sleep aids I had relied on in the past—ZZZquil, Benadryl, etc.—because I didn’t want to be too groggy or not hear my baby when she cried. A CBD vape was the perfect solution. I would take a few puffs before getting into bed at night and it helped me relax just enough drift off to sleep but still wake up alert enough to take care of the nighttime feedings.”

Natasha Amrita Singh — Henna Artist, Seattle

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It’s the only thing that has worked for my PTSD and anxiety, while simultaneously allowing me to feel like myself. It has given me the opportunity to remain a present mother and entrepreneur, but has also stimulated me as an artist, and given me the ability to think quickly and creatively. Cannabis has done nothing but enhance my life. I’m a mom, and I use cannabis.”

Paiton Hagans — Restaurant Manager, Richmond, Texas

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It’s not just a plant, it is my everyday medicine and allows to me to be the best mother I know how to be. It heals my chronic pain, eases my anxiety and depression, helps my migraines and opens my third eye to the truth of the world.”

Joanne — Natural Beauty Entrepreneur, Puerto Rico

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It represents hope for me. It make me feels better. I use it to relax and reconnect with my inner self, to be conscious of what I need, and to let go of the things I don’t. It helps me connect more easily with my daughter and to enjoy playing with her.”

Keira Fae Sumimoto — Blogger + Advocate, Irvine, California

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. I consumed cannabis before having a baby, halting my consumption while pregnant and continued after giving birth. Cannabis gives me perspective, a sense of calm, and relief. Cannabis helps me be a better person and I will be sure to share with my daughter the wondrous properties of the cannabis plant. The future starts with our children and the stigma will end with us.”

Chris Lopez — Breastfeeding Apparel Maker, Los Angeles

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Three months after I had my baby, depression set in and it affected everything. I’d tried antidepressants in the past and knew they were not for me. I wasn’t sleeping. I isolated myself from everyone and everything. I was having trouble nursing. Now I have a one year old daughter who still nurses and I medicate daily. I’m no longer ashamed or fearful to say that because I know what kind of a mom I am. As a mom of two, I realize how vital is it to stay present, patient and calm for your tribe and thanks to cannabis, I have help finding my center when things get crazy. I don’t always need it to be present and positive but most days it makes a major positive shift in my overall perspective and vibe.”

Anne-Marie Cloutier — Artist + Hairstylist, Toronto

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. The last few years have been filled with wonderful changes that have brought be to redefine my life and my relationship with my child. Cannabis has allowed my innate desires to come through. I can be at peace with who I really want to be and be able to relate and connect with my children. As a self-employed hairstylist, my children are part of every single aspect of my life, and I want to show them the best version of the world I live in. I have a soft spot for micro-dosing THC oil. It makes everything softer and much more vivid.”

This article does not serve as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always speak to a healthcare professional about what’s best for you.