The holidays are a time of gratitude for me which is why Songbird holds a Winter Gratitude Celebration. This month I continue the history of Songbird through expressing gratitude for some of the wonderful people who helped shape it in the days before we moved six years ago (beyond the ones I mentioned last month).
When I started the Hands of Gold Healing Clinic almost 14 years ago, three other people who showed up the first month to help me run it. When Songbird was scheduled to open five years later, the only one left was my newly ex-boyfriend Sterling.. One of the four had moved away. Another one, Annyce, had passed from cancer. I keep a scarf at Songbird that she gifted me with when she was passing. Annyce also had a dream of opening up a healing center. I wish she had been alive when I opened Songbird, but I still feel her support.
Since Sterling was moving away when Songbird opened, I had no one left to help me run the Hands of Gold Clinic as it transitioned from my house to Songbird. That’s when I met Jeffrey Edelheit. Jeffrey provided me with invaluable advice and support for several years. He ran the Hands of Gold Clinic while I went to Damanhur over the summer. He helped me with visioning and business planning after I made the decision to keep Songbird open. He kept me from going crazy during both the first remodel and the second remodel when I bought the Songbird building.
The first remodel was minor compared to the other two. We wanted to brighten up the space with fresh paint and a new floor to replace the dark brown painted concrete. Two angels in the form of professional flooring contractors appeared to show me I was on the right path. They randomly appeared at the Hands of Gold Clinic, helped us install the floor for free, and then disappeared again.
The Songbird wall color, seafoam green, was chosen by Deborah Dow-Gallagher, who had once been a professional painter. While I was in Damanhur, Deborah started renting space at Songbird for her Theta healing practice. I was grateful that she had this background since color and interior decorating are not my areas of strength. Most of the furnishings and decorations that you see at Songbird were set up by Songbird practitioners with these skills. Everyone loved the seafoam green in our old location so I kept it when we moved across the street to our new location.
Deborah also had lots of administration and event planning skills. She helped me run Songbird and various events including Experience Songbird Saturday. She moved on before Songbird moved, but a couple years ago she happened to email me for a job reference at a time where I needed some support. She came back to help me for another few months.
The last of the big three from before we moved was Melody Myrick. She once wrote “I live here” on our sign in sheet in the column for how you heard about Songbird. She was so involved that she practically did live here. Melody understood my vision for Songbird better than anyone else I knew. I can’t find the words to express how much support she provided for me personally and professionally. However, crises in her life took her other directions around the time I bought and remodeled the Songbird building. She came back again right when we opened, but eventually moved on again.
Melody had experience with remodeling, as did Vicky Combs, the other person who came in at the right moment to push me along my path. Vicky had just started teaching Biodanza at Songbird, but the old space wasn’t ideal for it. The class has loud music and there are tenants living above the space. These limitations had kept us from holding drum circles and some other events. Vicky pointed out that there was a place to lease across the street that I hadn’t noticed. Once I looked at it with Jeffrey, Melody and Vicky, I saw the potential it had to become the new home for Songbird. However, it required a lot of fixing up, and there was no way I was going to put that kind of work into a building I was leasing. Since the owners had inherited it and were more interested in selling it anyway, I ended up unexpectedly buying the building in less than 2 months. My lease was expiring and I had to decide quickly.
Melody and Vicky’s remodeling experience had helped me make the decision to buy Songbird, but both of them ended up not being able to help out. However, with Jeffrey’s help, I somehow pulled off a miracle of a huge remodel within 45 days of closing escrow. I didn’t realize just how great a feat it was until years down the road when I started seeing how long it was taking other people to remodel. The details of this remodel story will be another month.