Assuming you could have ANY kind of wellness centre in Ottawa, what would it be? With no worries about money, location, time, planning, scheduling, what would you build? Would there be any special healing practitioners or unique features? Would it be online, or made of bricks and mortar? Who would it be for or focus on? What would you name it?

These are questions I’ve had the pleasure of toying with: Ambrosia, my imaginary project, is a welcoming building where allopathic medicine and alternative holistic therapies coexist to advance and enhance health services. Of course, given my obvious penchant for art-making, it includes an AHHA (Arts for Holistic Health and Awareness) Studio. Yes, punning along, it’s a place where people’s creative experience and aha moments are turning points in their quests.

Ambrosia is a beautiful, accessible, old-fashioned brick building with large windows that fosters opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and religious background to celebrate differences and universal commonalities. It’s a place to celebrate life while exploring the magic of transformation. 

Designed with a central atrium filled with small trees, plants, herbs and flowers it encourages networking and dialogues that promote collaboration, education, research, care and advocacy in innovative health. Bringing arts and health activities into the mainstream of Canadian life it enriches individuals, families and communities alike.

AHHA programs combine art and spirit enquiries, much like the SpiritArt Studio in Sandy Hill did a few years ago. An array of art-based programs ranging from sacred geometry, mask-making, poetry, improv, soul collage, art journaling, sacred dance and more are designed for participants to explore ones’ creativity and spirituality. All spaces are equipped with ergonomic design, gorgeous lighting and cutting-edge technology. Hey, it is a dream project, nothing is lacking!

Now, you may think it’s far-fetched or too big a dream to have such a place in Ottawa, but really, is there anything too large or bizarre in an imaginarium? After all, it’s a place where seeds are planted and realities realigned; the grounds for manifestation. Imagine what our great-grandparents would have thought of our current ways of living. Would it have been beyond their wildest dreams when they were young adults? It wasn’t that long ago we lived without electricity, never mind planes, TV or mobile phones. And with the current technological advancements I’m guessing there are things to come that we cannot yet fathom.

There is undoubtedly an intersection where the arts, business and science meet to create exceptional innovative solutions for us as for the earth. Especially as we desire to manifest a better future for all. I truly believe that as great as technology it, it is the discoveries and wise use of our own power to coCreate that will enable positive change. We’re microcosms of the universe and out of the universe, all is created. Wouldn’t be incredible to tap into that to create a kinder, more beautiful world?

The other belief I hold dear is that it starts in all the small ways we communicate and care about ourselves, each other and our neighbourhoods. Let’s not be scared to work together and dive into the crevices of the unknown. Let’s explore the untapped possibilities within us, within our reach. We have the ability to shift own energy and group dynamics. Sharing our dreams with others encourages them to spark into reality.

Cultivating embodied awareness and being present is a perfect and simple way of connecting with Source by being attentive to our intuition, body sensations and mind. We have the power to change communities and how we coexist with the earth.

Innovative thinkers are showing us the way. Wonderful large-scale biomimicry examples not only show that we can better construct buildings but that they create sustainable communities, just as everything in a forest is balanced to create a harmonious thriving environment. On a more personal yet powerful scale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a unique online course on called “u.lab: Leading From the Emerging Future. An introduction to leading profound social, environmental and personal transformation.” It provides smart practical tools that can be used for issues that matter to you while connecting with local and worldwide change makers–and it’s free! It is based on a method called Theory U, developed at MIT, for leading change in business, government, and civil society contexts worldwide.

Our big dreams don’t have to stay in the Imaginarium. Let’s share them and do what we’re able to do in our every day, one step forward at the time. After all, that’s how all great projects started!

First published in Tone Magazine, summer 2018

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