It was October 9th, 2019, I pulled into a parking lot off Agoura Rd, set to meet the owners of a new healing center in Agoura Hills, CA that would be opening up Called “FOY”.
I had been teaching meditation, yoga, and facilitating Reiki and Sound Bath sessions for a couple years and was looking to expand my community. When a friend sent me a Craigslist ad she had come across looking for holistic healers in the area, I answered the call!
FOY, from what I understood, was meant to be a Tea Bar and Wellness Lounge – something I had envisioned for a while and felt the area needed. It almost seemed too good to be true, that something I had just dreamt up was coming to life just 10 minutes from home. But here I was, walking through the doorway (there was no door installed yet), and into a space totally under construction, exposed ceilings, and just the skeleton of what would eventually be the yoga studio. The owners, Deanna and Jeff, gave me a tour of the space and I SAW THE VISION. I didn’t know exactly what FOY would become, but I knew it would be great.
Flash forward to January 9, 2020 and I am hosting my first Sound bath Session for FOY! It was a joint healing event with two other wonderful women, Justine (a Reiki healer) and Devin (Acupuncturist) The community showed up full force to support FOY and it was apparent that the healing center was something Agoura Hills was craving! Things were going great! We had a successful Grand Opening, the tea bar was bustling, clients were lining up and the community was growing until…. March of 2020. We are all well aware of what happened at that time and just like that the momentum from all the hard work that went into building this beautiful place came to a halt!
Officially closed to the public for an unforeseen amount of time, FOY then became a place where our “pod” of friends would gather. The owners and the few of us staff left would meet for tea, get take out and connect during that time of uncertainty. We would gather in circle and guide each other in meditations, we would talk about the dreams we had when the world re-opened. The love, support and friendship that formed was priceless and unforgettable.
A couple of months into our FOY circle shenanigans, one of the investors in the business, Shannon Dobbs, suggested we open up the space and share our healing offerings to support those in Addiction and Mental Health recovery. Shannon had been in the recovery field and felt that what we had to offer could be very helpful to the clients that she worked with. So of course, we said yes. We began hosting a day retreat for clients in treatment on Friday afternoons offering tea, lite bites, mini massages and ended the day with a sound bath. After a few months, it was very clear that what we were offering was needed and more importantly, it was working.
With the state of the world still very unclear, one thing was very clear for Deanna and Jeff, the healing center they originally dreamt of for the community was being called to become something else entirely. After much deliberation and enough of our healers agreeing to hop on board, including myself, FOY became an Out-Patient Mental Health and Addiction recovery center. And here we are today “FOY WELLNESS AND RECOVERY” in Agoura Hills, CA.
The journey and evolution from FOY Life to FOY Wellness and Recovery has certainly been a beautiful and magical story to be a witness and more importantly to be a part of. Now a certified Group Facilitator, I have served well over 300 private clients on their road to recovery. All because I answered a Craigslist ad, an entire purpose and new career trajectory unfolded for me. I am reminded of the power of following your intuition and re-affirmed that life will always lead you to the places where you are needed to be of service. For that I am grateful.
– Melissa Paulo