We had the good fortune of connecting with Lorraine Gachelin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lorraine, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’ve had an adventurous life. Growing up in a French-American family with a fusion of languages, cross cultural perspectives, traveling and living overseas have made me who I am today. From a very young age, these experiences taught me that there is not one way to do things. There are no right or wrong answers – just choices that each individual must make based on their own knowledge and life experience. My parents were my biggest inspiration for the path my life took. I know that sounds cliché; however, I’d like to summarize the wondrous learning journey that’s been bestowed upon me by these two creative and holistic individuals. My French mother pioneered into the US at the age of 23. By the time she arrived, she had already taught in France and Germany and was on her way to Mexico. Her 6-month stop in Dallas had her crossing paths with my father, who had recently moved back to his native Texas. They soon married and I appeared nine months later. From a young age, I would observe my parents at work, listen to their conversations and soon realized how fortunate I was to have such a unique family. As the daughter of an educator, who eventually founded an international school, it was clear that open-mindedness, respect for others, tolerance and resilience were of maximum importance. This constant reminder kept my mindset broad – giving me permission to evolve into adulthood and experience life’s events. It taught me accountability and resilience as discovering who your true self is can be challenging growing up. My father, a syndicated cartoonist, grew up drawing anything he could get his hands on. After his own global travel adventure with the Merchant Marines, he went to art school in Chicago then lived in NY, where he began to illustrate a story strip for the papers. Against the odds of becoming a successful artist in a competitive market, he never gave up on his dream. Once his dream was achieved, he was loyal to it until the day he retired at the age of 79. His career never seems like work because his work was his true passion. As you can probably gather, I have a lot of respect for my parents. I even worked for each of them so that I could learn more about what passion and dedication means. I became an educator myself – teaching art following my studies in Chicago. I also assisted my dad on his comic strip during his final years of work, leading him into retirement. The lessons I learned from both parents come down to this: Follow your passion. If you love it, you will be good at it. If the skill doesn’t come naturally to you, you will be motivated to learn more about it and find where you fit into the puzzle. The world needs all types of people with all types of passions to keep things balanced and functioning. Nothing should be too below you or too above you. Your interest and skill set will bring you to where you need to be. When you upgrade your skill set, your place will naturally shift. As life evolves, interests may change and we are exposed to new ideas. These are opportunities to develop new skills, new knowledge and rewrite your script.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A few years ago, I realized that it was time for me to compose the next chapter of my journey. I was feeling static – stuck in a cycle that was no longer bringing joy. My mother’s voice would speak to me in my head. “Be ready to learn something new. Anything is possible.” During a meditative moment, I asked for guidance about my path. What am I to do next that would give my life more meaning. How can I contribute to making our world a better place? That same night, I experienced a lucid dream that would put me on a new path. My dream brought me the vision of opening a business for alternative healing. Here, people could work to reduce their levels of stress in a graceful, non-intrusive way. The business name given to me was My Chakra Center and I was to be, not only its founder but also its first practitioner. Having grown up in a very holistic and creative household, I was exposed to such things as homeopathy, aromatherapy, Tarot card readings, Aura photos, Crystal Reiki. Until then, I just didn’t realize that I would turn alternative methods of healing into my own purpose in life. After all, in today’s terms, these are unconventional methods, which can easily lead to criticism or judgment from anyone fearing the unfamiliar. A large dose of resilience is needed to stand tall to other’s fear of the unknown. I began my metamorphosis right away. It was time for me to plan my retirement from a secure job and face a new challenge. It took several years for me to design my new business as I only had weekends and summer holidays available to focus on it. I became certified as a Usui Reiki master, a Siwa Murti healer and licensed as a Vibrational Sound therapist. More certifications followed, because, as a passionate and lifelong learner, I kept feeling the need to learn more. This knowledge would be used to be of service to others. My Chakra Center began as a trial – a weekend healing out of my home. After the first year, I had worked with about 50 clients – all through word of mouth. Something was happening and it was positive. Healing was occuring – for my clients and for my soul. It was time to pursue. My last working day at my previous job was on the day of my 55th birthday. I felt this was an unplanned sign of me taking the right step, moving forward with my passion with what seemed natural to me. One week later, the COVID shutdown impacted the lives of everyone on this planet. Nonetheless, I reflected on what my parents taught me about following your dreams with resilience. I launched my business as soon as regulations allowed and started seeing clients. Since then, I have added my artistic skills into the mix and create intuitive paintings and drawings for clients. I also create and sell healing crystal jewelry and activate the pieces for the individual wearing them. I can say that the amount of gratitude I feel for my upbringing is immense. My work is my passion. The clients I meet are incredible souls who have since become part of My Chakra Center’s wellness community. I feel truly blessed and believe that experience is our greatest teacher. Our reaction to experience is the second part of the lesson. Perhaps one day my story will serve as inspiration for someone else. When speaking with clients, I share a thought from my own life experience. “Do you see the learning opportunity and embrace it, or are you resisting and finding yourself in a cyclical pattern, repeating the experience? This will continue until the lesson is acknowledged, forgiveness takes place – for self and others – and gratitude is expressed. At this time, joy can radiate.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a creative type, my tour of Dallas always begins with the Dallas Arts District. Spending a day at one of the renown museums or seeing a show is a must! The talent that comes through Dallas is phenomenal. For food and shopping, Bishop Arts District and Dallas Farmers Market are lively and entertaining. When I need a dose of the outdoors, I love the Nature Preserve in Oak Cliff or walking along White Rock Lake. My favorite restaurants are Toulouse for a French meal and Jalisco’s for upscale Mexican dining.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank my beautiful and loving family, who never questioned my decision to change my career path at the age of 55. They were and still are my cheerleaders. My children have been my light and love – in their convictions and the determination they display for the paths they choose to lead as adults wanting to better our world. We are all so very symbiotic. Of course, also top of my list are my clients. I am grateful for their trust in me and their validation that I am on my right path. Two families with challenging health issues have shown exceptional faith in my energy healing and I’d like to thank them with all my heart. They know who they are and for confidentiality purposes will not to share their names. My closest friends have also provided emotional support and superb non-judgmental listening skills as I planned my next “unconventional” chapter in life. My teachers and fellow light-workers: Valerie, Nawal, Sebastien, Fanny, Karine, Sandra, Kerrin, Erika. You are outstanding human beings! The spiritual leaders that have and continue to inspire me are Caroline Myss, Jonathan Goldman, Lee Harris, Sara Landon, Lisa Powers. Lastly, a big shoutout to Dallas International School for honoring my retirement after 28 years with grace. The mission, values and skills I have acquired have been pivotal to my life and my new business.
Anne Sophie Jollant Photography – for all promotional images except the outdoor photo. For this, kudos to my extraordinarily creative and talented daughter, Gaelle Gachelin.