Dear Seymour Community,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your invaluable enthusiasm and support during these crucial first months since the launch of our SEYMOUR+ space in Paris and to tell you a bit about where we are now and what we need your help to achieve in the future. As many of you know, our official public and press opening day was January 8, 2015. A date that turned out to be the day in between the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher tragedies. Needless to say, we pulled back on press and public outreach during that month as we tried, along with our local, national and global community to transmute the violence into learning as well as allow ourselves time to grieve for the loss of life. After January, February’s grey skies kept the shaken citizens of Paris largely at home. At SEYMOUR+ we kept the lights lit, and fueled by our passion for our mission, Will, Nora, Iñigo and I bolstered each other in an effort to keep our spirits high despite the aforementioned setbacks.
Come March, as the skies cleared, things started to pick up. Visitors came, experienced the space, chatted with us and openly shared how beneficial the SEYMOUR+ experience had been for them. Many wonderful journalists explored our space and discovered our new concept and afforded us much of their valuable time and attention. They asked questions and strove to understand the many layers of this novel and complex project, a project that though I created it, I often have trouble synthesizing clearly myself. Because you see … the SEYMOUR+ space is a place to be experienced directly, not discussed or explained. When explained, something is always lost in the translation from heart to head. SEYMOUR+ was built on hope and trust, on passion and personal experience, and on a number of other ineffable ‘things’ that are unseen all around us yet inform our day to day lives more than we are currently capable of fully grasping.
I am so thankful for the extensive press coverage we have received. So rewarded to note that people who visit the space come away having had a beneficial and often profound experience. That said, as Summer approaches in Paris, we are still a long way from having achieved our goal to fully communicate to the general public the deeper value of what SEYMOUR+ offers. Every day I strive to help them understand how emotionally & creatively beneficial it is to disconnect from outside distractions DAILY in order to explore and express one’s ‘inner landscape”. Every day I work to motivate them to come and experience it themselves first hand.
Everything we have created at SEYMOUR+, all of the 5 environments are derived from modalities that helped me immeasurably in my own life to overcome stress, psychological blocks and to connect daily with my core of calm, of inner knowing, of guidance. My greatest hope is that these methods that worked so well for me will be of help to others too.
That core, that inbuilt compass is in all of us but often we don’t know it’s there because we can’t ‘see’ it or ‘feel’ it because of all the external distractions incessantly constricting our consciousness. Pulled this way and that, negatively swayed by others opinions and imposed external constraints, we lose sight of it, but its always there; you’ve just got to hush up a bit in order to connect with it.
I hope that you will be patient with me in the coming months, and hopefully years, as I continue to find ways in which to draw your attention to, and assist you in grasping this ineffable magic within you. I don’t always find the right words or the right methods, but I am trying my very best. Please visit the Seymour Projects main website. Take the time to read about who we are, what we do and why we do it. Read between the lines, because it is in that ‘space between’ that you will find what I am actually trying to convey.
For those of you who already understand what the hell I am talking about, please help me spread the word to your community in Paris and points beyond. Please help Seymour Projects in its mission to bring people back to themselves. Help me find the words to help them understand that while self-absorption is toxic that self-exploration is salutary. That it is as important to take care of your mind, your consciousness, as it is to take care of your body and physical health. Help me help them to understand that the SEYMOUR+ space is more than just a gimmicky ‘digital detox’, but rather a true space of healing in which to care for your mental health, your balance and well-being.
Hear me when I say that it is not shameful or vain to focus on one’s self. We spend so much time preoccupied with our exterior: hairdressers, facials, clothes, etc…why would it not be equally important to explore and upkeep our ‘interior’- our inner landscape, our imagination, our mind? Help me change the conversation about mental health, let’s not wait to take care of our minds when they are past the breaking point. Let’s shift the focus from mending what’s broken to tending to it before it breaks.
We always say that we will take time out at home for ourselves, but we don’t. We always say we will take time to protect our mind and fan our inner spark, our creativity, our spirit, but we don’t. SEYMOUR+ offers you this space. A space of quiet, a space to explore and express your inner landscape; I believe from the core of my being that if we all took the time for introspection, to nurture our minds, to explore our stunted inner world, to uncover and express our emotions and thoughts in a healthy manner before they festered, we would all live more fulfilling, peaceful lives and that our global community would be the better for it.
“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”
Thank you for reading this letter. It tumbled straight out of my heart onto the page, please forgive any clumsiness; raw emotion is sometimes messy but at least it is true. I stand by my truth.
++ Melissa Unger
Founder & Creative Director
Seymour Projects | SEYMOUR+
More information about the SEYMOUR+ space in Paris: HERE
Published: May 14th, 2015