Cycles of Change
Change, challenge, and new horizons seem a fitting introduction to what has developed in my personal and professional world. In 2018 my husband, Michael Ungar, and I realized it was time to sell our New Jersey home located on a beautiful 1-acre wooded lot 20 miles outside New York City. It was time to let go of our large intergenerational home where we raised our 3 children and was home for Michael’s parents. It was also where we had built our Sound Oasis. After teaching and traveling for 10 years, the Oasis was a re-purposed building on our property where, since 2013, I was able to teach all my classes, hold gong meditations and private sessions. Our children, now young adults, had moved on with their lives, my father-in-law had moved out. We knew it was time for a change. Where to go? Not only to live, but somewhere we could house our 17 gongs and continue to do sound work. We looked in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Hudson Valley, searching for a community we felt would embrace and be receptive to what we are about.
Meanwhile … our daughter, Marianna, had moved to Frederick, MD, married and settled down. She is a gifted healer and teacher. She teaches Yoga and Pilates, being trained in India and New York City, and received her Masters in Yoga Therapy, from the Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2015, as well as holding her Masters in Special Ed and teaching at a local middle school. She’s also done some Acutonics training with me.
For several years after Mari moved, I would visit her in Frederick. We began collaborating in her yin yoga classes incorporating Acutonics tuning forks as well as offering Full Moon Gong Meditations together at several yoga centers where she taught. We delightedly discovered we make a great team.
I also fell in love with Frederick the first time I visited. There is a sense of community here with a wonderful vibrant downtown district composed of small businesses and local merchants with year-round community activities.
Michael and I realized, as did Mari and her husband, Daryl, that here was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” After many long talks and discussions among the four of us, we decided to start looking for property to create our homes and business. Plus, Frederick is a “walking town.” I can step out my front door for most destinations and seldom need a car!
We found a property that we like to say was “a diamond in the rough.” Three very long years later we have transformed a ¾ acre piece of property in the historic district of downtown Frederick. Our home, Mari and Daryl’s home and our beautiful new business … The Center Sound Mind Body, are located here – and we even have a small parking lot for the business. Being married to a sound engineer and musician who has built recording studios in Manhattan has its perks. Our space is virtually soundproof, and we added an extra feature – heated floors!
At The Center I continue to teach the Acutonics curriculum, aromatherapy and offer private Acutonics Sound Sessions. Michael and I offer a variety of gong experiences – our larger community gong meditations, “duet” sound soaks, and surround sound soaks for small groups. I have branded a new business here, Scent and Sound Works, LLC, under which I continue to sell my aromatherapy products.
On the other side of our reception area, Mari has her Pilates Studio. And, we have recently added in some new yoga teachers and a Feldenkrais instructor, and I continue to play gongs for the yin/restorative yoga classes.
To be at this phase of my life and to be sharing a business with my daughter is a gift of immeasurable blessings. It was also my vision to be able to bring this work more directly to the community, and Frederick is the perfect town for that. I’m an active participant in the local Downtown Partnership Organization that promotes local business owners, and organizes events, from music festivals, to “Alive at Five” a summer event every Thursday with music and vendors along picturesque Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick, First Saturday’s which offer a themed downtown experience each month and much more. We’re able to promote and share what we do on community calendars and cross-promote and share with other local businesses. Soon after re-locating we were invited to bring the gongs to a few outdoor events, which we hope to do more of as outdoor gatherings can begin with more regularity and safety.
Each day as I walk out my front door to The Center, I am amazed at this wonderful place we created. We have neighbors coming to meditations, yoga and Pilates; they’re bringing friends and their neighbors, and everyone who steps into the meditation space is immediately struck with the presence of the gongs, the energy of the room, and they know they have entered into sacred space.
After discovering Acutonics 18 years ago, and teaching for 16 of those years, this is truly a testament to the power of this work. It has changed my life, and touches all those who have experienced some aspect of it. It has been an amazing journey and so it continues!
You can visit us at www.thecenterfrederick.com where you can learn about all the classes and events that we offer. Or, if you’re ever in the area, please stop by, we love visitors! Frederick is recognized as one of the “coolest” towns to visit in U.S.