Friday, December 14, 2012

Meditating Mantis

 It is  once gain time to take the camera and shoot the pictures that feed our hungry website,; the topic is Meditating Mantis in downtown Roswell. 

 At one of my book club meetings, I mentioned Meditating Mantis and to my complete surprise, the response was:  “?”. I took that question mark to heart all the way to 1025 Canton Street  where a small dreamy shop with the soothing name Meditating Mantis specializes in restoring the idea that feeling happy in one’s own skin comforts the Universe. 
Years ago, Connie Taylor, owner of Meditating Mantis, had a boxer, Gracie, with severe medical issues. When Gracie could not be left alone at home anymore, Connie started thinking of a job where she and Gracie could be together throughout the day. Soon she took out all her savings and opened Meditating Mantis. For a month and a half after that, she and Gracie were inseparable; then Gracie passed away.

Now, there is Xander, the Velcro dog as Connie refers to him, who is always a foot away from her

and Mojo, who lies in the hallway and amicably sniffs out the mood of visitors.

The name, Meditating Mantis, goes back to Connie’s childhood.
“Whenever I walked outside the house, Praying Mantises would perch on my hair, shoulders, arms, hands,” Connie recalls.  “So when I opened the shop, the name was a no brainer, the praying mantis turned into a meditating one. The line between prayer and meditation is a thin one. You know, I haven’t seen a Praying Mantis since I opened the shop. A dove perched on a chair on the front porch the other day, and left me a few feathers to give to my staff, but not a meditating mantis. ”
“When did you learn how to use energy to heal?”

“I never not knew how to do it. It’s in my blood. Great grandpa was a medicine man, or a botanist as grandma called him. I never met him, but grandma passed down to me all she had learned from great grandfather, so I got to learn early on the healing power of plants and positive energy.

Connie is a descendant of Chidcha, the largest Indian tribe in Columbia.
 Her mom passed away when Connie was seven, so either grandma flew in from Columbia to help with the upbringing of the kids, or dad flew them to grandma.
“For years, I was an X-ray technician and a closeted energy healer. I was afraid people would stone me if they found out. I still get disturbing little notes in the mailbox accusing me of doing the devil’s work, but I have helped many people.  I try to educate people of the delicate balance in nature. I try to show them that the spirit resides everywhere.”

Ah, the spirit--that mysterious elusive which colors the aura and, as is often the case in nature, paradoxically delineates and unites us. 

“My grandma used to ask, if you could unzip your skin from head to toe and step out of it, who would you introduce your inner self to?”
A good question stops my heartbeat. I need to get out and think.  If I could unzip my skin from head to toe and step out of it, who would I introduce my inner self to?

I hug Connie, thank her for her time and kindness, skirt around Mojo in the hallway and step out of the shop. For months, no matter what I do, I ask myself, if I could unzip my skin from head to toe and step out of it, who would I introduce my inner self to?

It wasn’t just that real estate was hectic in August, and September was travel time, and October and November just couldn't wait to be over that I couldn’t write this post. I had a question to answer first.
Last week, my friend’s car broke down and I drove her to work early in the morning. On the way back I had the sudden urge to go back to Meditating Mantis. I had been thinking about Gracie, wondering if she was a white boxer, as if it really mattered. I exited 285 to north on Roswell Rd and 15 minutes later pulled in the back of the shop. It was early and quiet. I walked to the meditating garden and sat down.

I took off my shoes and walked around; at Meditating Mantis, it’s okay to walk barefoot and leave footprints. At Meditating Mantis, inner space is abundant.
You can wiggle your aura, and let your energy travel unobstructed.

I must have been there for some time when a car pulled next to mine. It was Connie, Xander and Mojo, coming to work.
“The blog lady,” Connie smiled.
“Yes. I had to come back.”

I watched Xander and Mojo.

“Was Gracie white?”
“Yes, funny that you would ask that.”
“She’s been around lately?”
“Yes, yes.” Connie was quiet for a few seconds.
“I have to go now,” I said, “back to my daytime job in real estate.”

We hugged.  I had found my answer.

 If I could unzip my skin from head to toe and step out of it, I would reintroduce my inner self to MY dog, Luke SkyWalker.
I have to drive to Meditating Mantis, but if you would rather walk to it, here are the three most and least expensive homes within a mile of the shop.