Ah finally; we're in!! Hurrah! We're just two weeks into opening and settling in... and feeling so grateful to be in our new spot in Linda Vista Gardens. I've mentioned many times now that I have *so* many ideas for this new space, and although its early days I'd love to share some of my thoughts and ideas with you! Read on to hear more about my top three I'm presently hatching...
As many of you will already know, wellness and wellbeing was, and still is very much the driver for what I aim to create at Ambika Social. As is often the case with things that motivate or inspire us, that's driven by my own experiences... not something I particularly hide; for better or worse! Which is why I am pretty passionate about it... because I believe normalising the fact that we all struggle sometimes is really important. I've never fully understood why it's sometimes not considered okay to feel sad, or even downright peed off with "life" at times... but yet many of us still feel we have to put on a certain persona in order to be accepted or liked. But life isn't always rosey - and now more than ever I think we're all struggling. So more than ever we need tools to help us work through these often times overwhelming emotions. I'm always reading and researching / exploring ways to build upon wellness and wellbeing, and recently I've been reading all about the Polyvagal state - that's probably a geek out for another blog - but in a nutshell the fascinating part is that whilst we might feel like we should just "snap out of it" sometimes there's more biology to that, which we can't always simply control... unless we have more awareness and the tools to do so.
Fundamentally it's about calming the body enough that we are capable of snapping out of it: which can look like movement, music, mindfulness... and crucially: connecting with others.
So, with a very brief outline of all that in mind, I really want to create something that can help facilitate that. As I said, especially as I have a feeling we could all do with it, to some degree or another. There are loads of amazing ways we can do this... and so to begin with I'd like to explore starting off some monthly workshops. They might vary from crafty (and / or arty, foody,) activities, to book clubs... movement ideas, to meeting on the moon (not literally!) - but I'm also mindful (no pun intended) that many of these activities can be expensive and simply out of budget for some - so alongside this I want to explore the idea of making them accessible for as many people as possible.
To do this I'm pledging 5% of the cafe's monthly profits to go towards keeping the costs of the workshops accessible. I'm thinking for this to either be a scholarship scheme (so if you would like to attend then you can message me and we may be able to provide the space free of charge, or very discounted, depending on your individual needs) - or - giving the 5% achieved each month to the workshop host so that they can reduce the ticket price for everyone who is attending. I'm still mulling this part over and would love to hear any thoughts: comment or message me! In the meantime watch this space for our first workshop (if you are someone who has a skill that you would like to take shape as a workshop at Ambika Social; get in touch :)
... I'm excited to get this going and watch how it grows!
Recycling Bins in the Gardens
My second project that I'm working on is to get some recycling bins available to my customers and the gardens... whilst this might sound relatively simple it's not as entirely straightforward as it may seem - but know that I have a plan and I'm working towards it! :)
Trails and Treasure Hunts
Last (but not least!) I'd like to develop a trail in Linda Vista Gardens for toddlers and young children... it will be relatively simple; the idea being that they can pick up a map / activity sheet from us at Ambika Social and then go explore! If anyone has any garden ornaments or other suitable items that they would like to donate / gift / make for us they would be very gratefully received... loosely speaking I'm thinking of things like gnomes, fairies, foxes... but the possibilities are many!
Thats it from me for now but as ever if you have ideas you'd like me to explore I'd love to hear them... and thank you as ever for being part of the journey x