The Awakenings Center for Inner Healing and Empowerment is an incorporated non-profit public charity that aims to help members of the community with various types of spiritual healing practices. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the Awakenings Center welcomes anyone who is looking for personal healing of the mind, body, or spirit, with a focus on those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Awakenings was founded by Deborah Schlag, herself a survivor of traumatic brain injury, as a way to help people who find themselves in the same situation. The center is a unique blend of a spiritual retreat and healing center that people come from all over to visit. Whether they stay for an hour or two, an afternoon, all day, or overnight, is completely up to them. Those who are seeking healing for a brain injury are able to learn about methods to help themselves with healing that may serve as an alternative to medication or surgery.
Not only is the Awakenings Center unique, but it recognizes that all its visitors are too. Each individual’s needs are considered and the healing methods that are recommended are matched specifically to those needs. Deborah explains the approach this way, “We tend to take each person on a one-on-one basis, and whatever it is they’re needing, we then match up with that. It’s very individualized and we just help them through their bumps and get back on track.”
While there is a focus on TBI sufferers, anyone who needs healing is welcome to visit the Awakenings Center. Deborah is also committed to helping people who are in the process of passing, with a program called Loving Transitions. The families of the individuals also benefit greatly from the help that Awakenings Center provides.
The Gardens at The Awakenings Center
One of the ways that the Awakenings Center provides visitors with much needed peace is with its beautifully landscaped gardens. Deborah understands the importance that a place of peace can play in spiritual healing. There are some people who simply need that, not to talk with anyone, or do the work that the center offers, instead preferring to simply walk in the garden and being a part of nature.
Deborah knew that the gardens at the center had to be something special – it had to match the work and healing being done there. After meeting with various landscapers whose ideas were too cookie-cutter for her vision, Deborah was fortunate to meet Steve Ambrose of Ambrose Landscapes by chance at a class they both attended. After speaking with him, she knew that he and his team would be able to bring to life what she envisioned.
Ambrose was able to create beautiful landscaping that enhances the peaceful atmosphere of Awakenings Center. Because the center often has visitors who use wheelchairs, there was a need for that accommodation. Stone columns that support long, gentle wheelchair ramps were Ambrose’s solution, and they accentuated the overall design perfectly. And if visitors who are wheelchair bound prefer to sit on the front porch instead, enjoying the gardens from there, they don’t miss out. As Deborah stated, “Gardens usually go away from you, but this garden was created so that it comes to you.”
Another key feature of the garden are dry streams that capture rainwater and funnel it safely away to areas of the garden that can use the water. The final product is a tranquil, natural, and functional garden that visitors to the Awakenings Center can enjoy along with the birds, butterflies, and woodland deer who love it too.