They inspired my imagination with the very first sound—their new business name. As the word ‘flourish’ suggests, Alisa Farr and Cameron Hayward offer restorative, growth-focused therapies to the imbalances caused by our over-stressed lives and unhealthy patterns. With combined certifications in alchemy sound therapy, sound journey meditation, yoga nidra, reiki and hypnotherapy, Alisa and Cameron tailor programs to help individuals, corporate groups, and sports teams reset their minds and bodies, reclaim the joy of living, and maximize their mental and physical performance.
Alisa draws on the above modalities to help clients turn off stress and turn on the body’s natural healing ability at the cellular and subconscious levels. By freeing the mind and body from past patterns of thinking, she guides clients back to wholeness by resetting their nervous systems and providing them with the tools to maintain wellness. As a mother, nature and animal lover, and avid student of life, Alisa understands the broad scope of what it means to live fully and healthily.
Cameron also draws on these modalities, with a focus on helping men reset their nervous systems, overcome work and relationship stress, and restore their confidence. Having spent his early years on the lakes of Northern Saskatchewan and in the forests of B.C., he has a deeply intuitive sense of energy and balance, and the calming patience to guide clients back to ongoing wholeness. Also a father, artisan, and carpenter, Cameron understands the importance of building a healthy life on a solid foundation.
Partners in business and in life, Alisa and Cameron exemplify the balance they teach and provide to others. Compassionate and committed to seeing others live their best lives, they are here to help you create yours.
I love your company name. For me it’s evocative of health, but also of blossoming beautifully. Why are so many people blind to what they can become?
The majority of us have been taught to look outside of ourselves for fulfillment since early on in life, which creates an environment, both internally and externally, that perpetuates a sort of numbing to the innate wisdom of our body and mind.
What is alchemy sound therapy and how can it help to restore our wellness?
Alchemy sound therapy is a term we use personally. It is the practice of using various sound frequencies to bring balance to the body and mind. It is an immersive experience that benefits the body on a cellular level for detoxification, improved circulation and profound relaxation. Alchemy sound therapy helps to stimulate the body’s vagus nerve, which is key in activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
We use the term ‘alchemy sound’ for a couple of reasons. One, the sound bowls that we predominantly use are called alchemy bowls, but we also use other sound tools in conjunction with them, such as tuning forks, drums and more. Second, the process of alchemy, briefly encapsulated, is a process of evolution and continued refinement. Life itself is a process of continual evolution and refinement, and so the term fits. All of our practices add a beautiful and complimentary layer of access to the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system). This is the system where we become relaxed, restored and rejuvenated—where we reset.
Bringing clients into deeply relaxed states allows their bodies to put the brakes on the “cortisol tap” of ongoing stressful states of functioning. This means that brain fog disappears, sleeping patterns are restored, hormones can balance, immune function and self-regulation improve, performance levels increase and much more.
What is one of the first things you ask people who come to you for help? Alisa, how is the process different for corporate clients or teams?
Our clients have all come to us through referral or word of mouth and are quite candid with us. Generally, they have “tried everything else” and are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, so the first thing we ask varies from person to person. Most clients have neglected their own needs for so long that they feel guilt or shame about even admitting they have needs, so often we ask if they are willing to make a commitment to put themselves first, so they can fill their cup and stop running on empty.
For corporate clients and teams, the focus is generally about performance and the bottom line: How can this make me better? Focusing on visualization and peak performance while in the deeply relaxed brain wave states of the subconscious mind helps to lay down new neural pathways by rehearsing outcomes within, leading to enhanced clarity, boosts in creativity, and therefore better performance—individually and as a group.
Also, the many benefits of all our modalities still apply to group settings, which means individual participants receive the personal gain of improved immune function, which translates into fewer sick days and quicker recovery from injury, overall states of calm, and healthier communication, leading to a more coherent workplace.
Cameron, the issue of men struggling is an important one that is often overlooked, even by men. It seems that many have lost their healthy connection to masculine energy. How can we find it and keep it?
The short answer is that for too long men have been taught to push down emotions and needs, as though they equate to weakness. The image often perpetuated is that men are not supposed to be weak. They are supposed to be strong. As a result, the compounded effect of bottling emotions becomes overwhelmingly heavy and toxic. This weight burdens the body, and the mind and manifests as disease, high blood pressure, anger, anxiety and more.
Normalizing men having emotions like sadness, fear, anxiety—to name a few—is one step that can be taken to return to a healthy state. Men need to stop shaming men for seeking help, showing emotion, or being anything other than strong and stoic. When this shaming stops, men will reach out for the support they need and lead by example.
The fact that you two share a home and work life together is impressive. What are some of the challenges to keeping your balance and your boundaries?
When balance and boundary challenges arise, it is usually because we haven’t carved out enough time to just be with each other. That means that we have gotten caught up in the loop of deadlines, preparations, or an influx of kids’ stuff (we have six between the two of us). We have a profound respect and friendship at the core of our relationship, which means that we don’t just love each other, but we really like each other, too. Our personal practice of the modalities we work with in our professional life fosters self-awareness, self-regulation and compassion. We both firmly believe in open and honest communication at all times. So these challenges, while they arise from time to time, are met with compassion, humility, often humour, and the rule of not going to bed angry.
Tell us something about yourselves most wouldn’t know.
We have a joint passion for bee keeping and gardening. Spending time with bees has given us a new perspective on what connection and community mean. It is a deeply relaxing hobby that benefits our food system and community at large. Being in our garden is also deeply relaxing, and we can often be found out there meditating in the good weather. Our kids also love heading out into the garden to grab snacks—and, for that matter, so do our fur kids.
This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.
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