BIG NEWS: I have something to share
I want to share something important: I closed the physical location for Rooted in Wicker Park about 6 months ago. The decision to do so wasn’t an easy one and the aftermath of it has closely resembled a personal hell. I’m sorry that it has been so difficult for me to share this news sooner – you deserved to know it earlier. Today, I am here ready to own the journey, the whole journey, and its hoped-for future.
When I opened Rooted in 2014, I dreamed that I would light a fire to touch peoples’ souls in a small corner of Wicker Park that would eventually spread all over the world. I wanted to use our inherent and often untapped creativity as the pathway to our love for ourselves and for each other. I wanted to create fitness for the soul to strengthen us individually and collectively. I wanted to create the safety to develop and foster authenticity without expectations of perfection. I wanted to create the power that comes with accepting our individual unique path rather than a prescribed way of being.
But when I closed the Center – that little corner – because financially the spread of the fire was taking longer than I could afford, not only did I think that my dream was dead, I myself felt dead inside. I couldn’t bring myself to feel anything because the pain was too big.
As time went on, I started to turn up the volume to my pain, but instead of loving myself through it, I went into full-fledge self-abuse. I blamed myself for not trying harder – I couldn’t reconcile what it meant to give-up versus surrender to the circumstance that I couldn’t control. I couldn’t look at people in their eyes because I felt ashamed. I didn’t just fail at something, I failed all these people that gave me such love, support, and awe as I was building Rooted. I imagined that instead of hearing “what you are doing is amazing,” I would hear “you are not good enough to make it happen.”
Thankfully, as these lifelong demons of self-doubt and self-abuse awoke, so did the angels that I’ve been creating with all of the personal work that has been the impetus for Rooted. I knew enough to know that how I was treating myself was a pattern; that I needed to talk about it or else I would drown in my shame. So I did. I journaled. I shared. I released. I owned. First I shared with just those that I knew loved me, but then I started to own and share with people at-large. It has gotten easier and easier – to the point that I can now genuinely appreciate what Rooted has been for almost 2 years.
We have had 1,000+ people come through that have been touched by Rooted.
So many had “a-ha” moments that started a fire of their own… whether that meant offering themselves a little kindness, shedding expectations that weighed them down, expanding their self-care to include emotional well being, valuing the willingness and curiosity to look inside even when it is scary, trying new things like art without the worries of outcome, or something else wholly personal.
So many felt the safety and connection with strangers in ways that they hadn’t felt with even close friends. Some sparked friendships and relationships that continued outside Rooted’s doors.
So many just had some space and a little bit of time devoted to themselves where they just safely let it all go.
I can now look to some of the write-ups and emails that we’ve received and my heart is full of gratitude that we were able to create something so meaningful. By the way, if you have a Rooted story to share, please send me an email at [email protected].
Let me also selfishly say this: I have grown exponentially and have had the opportunity to experience and love some amazing people because of Rooted. Thank you to the facilitators – Jaci, Aliza, Freddie, Katie, Lindsay and Justine – you have made such a difference in my life and you have touched so many others’ lives with your true empathy.
Despite the physical location being gone, the idea of Rooted, where each of us unapologetic pursues self-exploration and self-expression for the sake of authentic and fulfilling connection, goes on. I am thankfully realizing that the dream hasn’t died; only that the way to the dream is changing. I am looking at ways of crystalizing the Rooted philosophy and methods. If you have ideas for me, please email me at [email protected]. Either way, stay tuned. It may not happen right away, but you’ll hear from me again. In the meanwhile, I wish you self-love and deep, authentic connection.