By Kayla Heisler, #colormybubbleRAD
I could lie, but I won’t: I have become increasingly cranky and skeptical in my (slightly premature) old age. I was once someone who got acupuncture weekly, attended a regular meditation circle, and had a tye dye collection that was—to put it modestly—highly impressive. Rituals and wardrobe aside, I was a positive person. But after a year’s worth of rush hour commutes, my ability to meditate has become not-existent, and I’ve traded the bohemian skirts for office appropriate dress slacks that are more ‘ask me about my Excel skills’ than ‘free spirit.’
In lieu of dabbing lavender scented oil on my wrists and actually breathing, I’ve taken to mandatory happy hour margaritas or marathons of Netflix and Disassociate From Every Thing aka NADFET. But the hustle of city life and the calm of natural healing methods can exist in the same sphere.
VIBErant eats was held in the trendy Upper East Side Italian restaurant Per Lei (which means ‘for her’ in Italian). The space was chic and clean, modern without feeling cold. The walls are white, and huge colorful Fabrizio Musa portraits of gorgeous women adorn every wall.
“Sometimes I have to choose between going to reiki and meeting up with friends for drinks,” says Tatiana Revox, Shif.T’s creator.
Metaphysical synergist Arya Ma joined Tatiana playing a range of therapeutic instruments, each note played went with a different dish to activate chakra. For me, the most soothing sounds came from the singing bowl. Though there was mingling throughout the experience, when the sound healing before the dishes were brought out happened, there was definitely a shift in the room’s energy.
As they circled the room providing sound-healing to the guests, the glances they exchanged and their ease with one another was palpable, so I was not surprised to learn that Arya and Tatiana have a deep relationship.
“I met her when I was 16 years old. She has been a mentor, a guide, a sister, a friend, a mother. She is just one of those everything kind of people for me,” said Tatiana.
The lighting was warm and relaxing, and as the night went on and the dishes became more flavorful as we moved up the chakras. The meal was prepared by Tatiana and integrative nutritionist Marc Tonik. The most surprising dish was the butternut squash pizza topped with cashew cheese and caramelized fennel. The taste was so rich and creamy, I would have never guessed that it was dairy-free, but my favorite of the night was the tamari roasted eggplant with fig confit and sage. The flavor from the smoke reminded me of a well-aged ribeye, and I never thought I would say that about any vegetable. Though the night I attended included a plant-based menu, other iterations of VIBErant eats will include other variations, like Paleo or Vegetarian.
The two worlds converging into one experience was spot on. The charged food, sound healing, activation of the chakras were all restorative, while the drinks background music, trendy UES location was unquestionably New York.
After a thirty-minute cab ride, I arrived home feeling unquestionably calmer. One could attribute my feeling to the solid number of gin cocktails (this was, after all, a Bombay Sapphire sponsored evening of wellness and healing), but I’ve had my fair share of booze-soaked nights where I flop onto my bed feeling tired—sure—though never truly relaxed. I fell into sleep easily, and as a borderline insomniac, that is no small feat. I slept through the night and awoke refreshed instead of groggy. I was even relatively calm during the hour-long Friday morning commute, and I carried that calmness during the work day. My mind was more at ease, and there was less tension in my body. Writing this a few days after the dinner, I still feel that sense of ease surrounding me.
Tatiana is clearly a professional and true believer who practices what she preaches. I was struck not only by her warmth, but also by her in-depth knowledge of all she was observing. Her respect for the rituals were apparent, and because of her understanding, I felt the night arose from a deep appreciation and not appropriation.
“When I was in college I really started to get into the science of music and sound. I started to collaborate with sound healers to make deep house music, and then through my many teachers, I started to understand how profound sound could be to heal the body. It’s not something I just picked up one day and got certified in but something i really immersed myself in experientially over the past decade,” said Tatiana.
When I learned about the sound-healing and chakra dining pop-up VIBErant Eats, I was skeptical. My biggest contention with wellness practice in the city was that when life became truly stressful, I felt like anyone who believed it was possible to really walk around this city stress free had to be faking it. However the beauty of Shif.T, the movement that produces VIBErant Eats, is that the promotion of healing is alongside city life’s elegance.
The movement acknowledges we’re meeting at a place surrounded by steel and concrete, but rather than running from reality, Shif.T embraces it, urging participants to accept the ‘interconnectivity of sometimes contradicting worlds.’
As far as events in the future, Shif.T aims to hold events bimonthly in New York City and Los Angeles. Each guest left with a small gift bag wrapped in white gossamer fabric, tied up with a sliver of string. The contents included Shif.T swag, one stick of palo santo, one healing crystal, and one card of affirmation. My card was printed with the words ‘I get to live my life by my rules. I create my life,’ and I have carried the card with me ever since. You can experience this for yourself by checking out VIBEranteats.com.