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An Open Letter To The Los Feliz & Pur Joy Community: It is time! Us too. . .

The dire reality of our times is that small businesses are failing, loans are being handed out to enslave future generations into insurmountable debt, communities are preferring to meet virtually, phenomenal music and creativity are a lost art as beautiful artists have to meet market demands, craftsmanship is less honored, rising costs are getting all of us, healthcare is laughable, fast and shiny is preferred to slow and steady,  rent is outrageous, home prices seem to make a mockery of those of us who hold master’s degrees from great universities, healthcare & wellness are inaccessible to so many, there are ongoing wars, multiple genocides and a scramble to keep this sick and failing system going is cause for nausea.


I knew this then. That it is quite challenging to win the system; and my blindness, ignorance, hope and vision at the time thought otherwise. And, I am so glad I took the risk to get to enjoy two years of creating beautiful moments when we DID come together. The new clients I met all inspired me in all the ways to bring my artistry to full fruition and my craft has only improved immensely thanks to you. Yet, it is too fatiguing for my soul to continue operating this business in this current iteration.


Pür Joy as a physical space will no longer feed into a system of dumping money into this capitalistic machine for the sake of keeping community intact and together (in the name of healing). This is NOT healing nor nourishing. Not for me and not for our community members. 


In the winter of 2022, I took a big risk and a business loan to have the opportunity to create a space for bringing people together. My vision was clear and it was to be part of a culture that would tap into the goodness and love that we all possess. As I was healing from the traumas of being in Armenia during the war, this artistic project I undertook for creating space, was in a lot of ways my salvation. I did not have the foresight to predict the magnanimous work that goes into an operation of even such size. I have seen friends and family members lose themselves in the process of operating a business, but this does not align with my values of finding some notion of liberation.


Over the many months it has proven so difficult to keep this one human operation sustainable. Not backed by family wealth, investors or crypto money, just loans, sweat and lots of tears it is more worthwhile to me to find ways that will really benefit our communities. There are lots of moments I cherish from this time. We have brought in more than 500 people to the space during our opening party, our first community market, our retreat to Mexico, hikes, and various events with talented facilitators and teachers. As I make this decision to close the physical space, it is not done lightly. There has been lots of thought, sitting, grieving and observing of the current reality.


I have served as a board member, and will continue to be a voice in the Los Feliz business improvement district and council, as I keep Pür Joy running as a virtual business for the time being. I care for the place I grew up and live and I wish it to thrive.


Here are some observations. In the last 3 months, our community has lost over 5 brick and mortar businesses. Many more are on their way. Greedy corporate commercial real estate owners have the luxury of keeping these spaces vacant and driving small businesses out. We have seen this in other neighborhoods where hard working mom and pop shops are replaced by tacky and without character big business. I care for the local coffee shop and the movie theatre with uncomfortable seats. As a resident of this community, I do not remember a time where I have witnessed so many for rent signs. Our community is not doing well for us who have been here a while, but knowing the forces behind keeping this place thriving and beating, I do not doubt that Los Feliz will be fine. I just wish it does not fall prey to the likes of CVS, Amazon and the like. 


I have always been on the side of love, unity and hope and to close this space is the highest form of self-compassion I can practice at this time. Just this week, another community space I value was fundraising virtually, because they too faced closure. I do not wish to ask the community for support because this will only take resources from your hands and dumped into a system that will eventually not support you and I. In the two years, I have not paid myself. Simply invested and this is a reality of small business I hear. I rejoice in all those who are able to do it and want to hear more stories of the common person succeeding. Rather than fundraising, I wish each of us can find ways to become less busy. Become a little bit more anti-system. Have more time to spend with loved ones. Take your pups out on walks, play with them and have game nights with friends. Go to the farmer’s market so you can buy quality produce and meet the ones who tend the land, move your beautiful bodies in organic and real ways, hike, and love more. Yourself and all beings. 


Long time yoga spaces, as well, are facing the same reality and it saddens me. The corporate yoga and mindfulness industrial complex profits on scaling their businesses and creating and churning out yoga teachers who are paying exorbitant amounts of money for training in the name of liberation and freedom. I have never had interest to move in that direction, and I learned that there is no space for us right now in this economy to be financially comfortable and I can no longer invest energy, time or money to feed this very greedy machine and lose my soul and well-being in the process.


With so much love and appreciation to those who supported this space and my very loyal base of clients for keeping me afloat, know that I have come to every session with devotion and excitement to learn and grow with you.


THANK YOU.


I am still here and will find ways to create collaborative experiences, fun travels with you included and get back to doing house calls once again. I will always favor human connections and I will meet the times with more virtual sessions. I may even rent a little space or offer a few more studio classes. Who knows? It's all exciting. Stay tuned.


Right now I get to focus on our getaway to Spain and a little time off to breathe more.


This is not the end of it all, only a transition and new beginning. Keep tuning in to see what will come and if you have reached a place where it no longer feels aligned with the communication you receive from me, please practice your freedom to unsubscribe. 


So much love and happiness to you! April 26 will be our final day here.


XO, 

Armen Menechyan



community and love wins
A Hug In Los Feliz

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