Bailey Ann Martinet paints the faces of Jameson Barr and
Waldo Dwyer at the Mind Body Spirit Fair on July 20. // Photo by Kyra Planetz
By Kyra Planetz
Walking past a flautist and two drummers with the sun beating down, community members arrived in a wooded meadow covered with white tented-booths. Healers read tarot cards while others practiced chiropractic and functional medicine remedies for pain of both body and mind.
This backdrop was home to the tenth annual Mind Body Spirit Fair presented by The Center for Spiritual Living Bellingham . The event took place on Saturday, July 20 at the center’s campus on 224 Yew St. road and invited participants to “revitalize [their] soul in a sacred woodland setting,” according to a pamphlet handed out at the fair by CSLB.
CSLB board member and fair co-chair Susan Given-Seymour said CSLB is based on a Science of Mind philosophy, a spiritual practice with roots in science and the New Thought movement. New Thought emerged from philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Phineas P. Quimby and stresses the divine nature of human beings and inherent power of God, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
According to CSLB, one’s mind can create one’s reality and bring improved conditions in one’s life.
“I think what’s amazing about our little center is that we’re very, very inclusive,” Given-Seymour said. “It doesn’t matter if you follow Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, any iteration of God, Spirit, Mother Gaia, whatever it is, all people are welcome.”
This year, the fair featured 52 vendors – more than the event has ever seen – ranging from spiritual practitioners to gem traders, Given-Seymour said. A new addition this year was the Mindfulness Playhouse, a place for children to get creative with their parents. This area included face painting, craft projects and a toddler-focused jam session with local musician and teacher Amber Darland.
Given-Seymour said she hopes visitors will gain from the services each vendor offers and mingle with other people that share their own beliefs. Attendee Ginny Redpath said she has experienced just that when coming to the fair for the second time since last year. Redpath said last year she met many people that helped guide her spiritually and enjoys the peaceful energy of the event.
“A lot of us who are on a journey – I’ll say – just embrace this,” Redpath said. “It’s fun to see the community grow, see who’s here from my church, who I know from this place and who I can meet that are new and different. I’m trying to reconnect with like-minded people, sometimes as you get older it’s not easy to do.”
Vendors from around Bellingham attended the event to share their knowledge and help others. At one booth stood Jackie van der Velde, a hypnotherapist, holistic wellness coach and owner of Sacred Journeys. Next to her was a massage table utilized for intuitive work that helps her clients with emotional, spiritual and energy healing, van der Velde said.
At Sacred Journeys, van der Velde practices trance work and said she is able to pull out subconscious traumas by interacting with clients under hypnosis. At the fair, van der Velde said instead of a full session she offered a “hodgepodge of quick energetic healing” working with client’s chakra systems. She said she has a fun time at events such as the Mind Body Spirit Fair and loves interacting with people.
“I get to be in the collective energy of people who want to help others, want to expand consciousness and want to bring healing, life and love to each other and the planet,” van der Velde said. “It will reverberate throughout Bellingham, just the energy of love and light. So, I’m honored to be here.”
Sisters J.J. and Vicky Jo Boch said they experienced healing and the essence of spirituality firsthand at the fair last year and were excited to return. J.J. said at last year’s fair the pair met a psychic who predicted many things that actually ended up happening. They were unable to find the same psychic at this year’s event but after looking around, J.J. said she was immediately drawn to van der Velde’s booth.
J.J. then convinced Boch to receive an energy healing session from van der Velde. She explained that her sister has three auto-immune diseases and believes van der Velde’s work could benefit her. After her session, Boch said she felt reenergized and that something had been lifted from her body.
“My abdominal chakra has been closed for a long time and she opened it,” Boch said. “I feel like she performed a miracle on me.”
As the festivities wound down, community members left while chatting about their experiences at the Mind, Body, Spirit Fair. In the future, Given-Seymour hopes the event will grow exponentially and include more vendors from across the state.
“I love hearing that people have heard about the fair, have been to the fair, want to participate and I just see it as something that can expand,” Given-Seymour said. “It says a lot for Bellingham that we support this so much.”
For more information about the Center for Spiritual Living Bellingham, visit csl-belingham.org.