It’s a beautiful blue Sunday morning in Palo Alto. As you stroll through the farmers market along sunny California Ave., your eyes wander over the long strip of booths colored by Cara Cara oranges, crisp Gala apples, fluffy sweet brioche, and fresh bouquets of peachy tulips.
At the very corner, you spot an extraordinary booth — a kaleidoscopic array of magical amethyst gemstones, turquoise bracelets and a gold sculpture of a meditating dog channeling its inner spirit, all accompanied by a woman with the most welcoming smile of the day.
Meet Lisa Marie Haley, a devoted reiki master and vibrant local artisan who runs her own booth at our local farmers market every single Sunday.
Just like many of us, Lisa thinks Stanford is genuinely a great place to be. She went to school here to pursue a B.A. in psychology before coterming in sociology. She began to pursue her Ph.D. in sociology soon after but was instead called to open up a yoga studio, which she ran for eight years until it was acquired by YogaWorks.
After experiencing what it was like to run her own yoga studio, Lisa was intrigued by “getting people to get in touch with their intuition and their ability to heal” — this was the start of her energy work.
When it comes to learning how to maintain your meditative balance, Lisa says, “It’s almost like learning a sport or learning to cook — you just need to center your awareness. And the more you practice that, the more you’re in that space, the more your awareness picks up on stuff like tuning into your intuition.”
However, besides teaching others how to clear their energy centers to live more balanced lives, Lisa began all of her craftwork and artisanry as a way to create something “earth-loving” and “as green as possible.”
She currently works at the farmers market every Sunday, making and distilling her own essential oils and handcrafted jewelry and offering people healing tools and energy medicine through chakra-based objects, such as bracelets, gemstones, candles and oil sprays.
She started off doing some street fairs in Berkeley, but instantly fell in love with the community in Palo Alto as soon as she joined. She believes it’s a “nice broad collection of people, and you never know who you’re going to meet or what connection you’re going to make with someone.”
The farmers market along California Ave. is run by Urban Village; it’s a vibrant and strong community of artisans and farmers who are truly passionate about what they do.
“It’s kind of like an Old World economy,” Lisa says. “You get to see the eyes of the person who grew the food or made the craft instead of simply buying something from Amazon.”
She wholeheartedly believes that the value is all about sharing that invaluable connection with those who come to shop locally and support the farmers market.
For Lisa, being an artisan means sharing a part of herself with the world. It’s about hand-crafting something herself — the opposite of a high-volume manufactured deal.
“Being the person who creates a certain line of products and puts the time and care into something you made yourself allows you to have that personal touch with others,” Lisa tells me. When you shop from local markets, not only are you raising awareness about shopping local and being environmentally friendly, you are also “supporting people who are being themselves and following their heart’s desire by creating or growing what they love.”
For many dedicated artisans like Lisa, it gives their life so much meaning when they have the chance to share an honest connection with the people they meet along the way. Whether it’s through the work she has created with her own hands or even through simple conversation, Lisa hopes to brighten people’s days and make a lasting positive impact on the environment around her.
This priceless connection from human being to another human being is just one of the many reasons we should support artisans and farmers who happily run our local market.
As Lisa wonderfully put it, “We can’t all change everything at once just by ourselves, but any little thing we do can certainly make a difference.”
If you would like to talk to Lisa, you can stop by the farmers market any Sunday or you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-494-9803. She offers free meditation at www.bodyandsoulapothecary.com as well, so don’t miss out!
Contact Clarissa Gutierrez at cgutier ‘at’ stanford.edu.