Ribbon Cutting

AKA About Shoji Arts

Shayna in the Shoji office. Photograph courtesy of M. Johnson Photography.

Had a wonderful day—A ribbon cutting ceremony with the mayor. That doesn’t happen everyday!

I just thought to share the brief prepared “speech” I gave about Shoji Arts for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

To read the media coverage of the ribbon cutting by the Ithaca Voice, click here.

Snippets from Shoji Arts ribbon cutting ceremony on March 4, 2021

At its base, Shoji Arts is about health.  Health for the whole body, mind and spirit.  Health for ourselves and health for our communities.

At its base, Shoji Arts is about health.  Health for the whole body, mind and spirit.  Health for ourselves and health for our communities.

Every one of us lived through 2020, which reaffirmed how our daily lifestyle and self-care choices have a profound effect on our overall health as we pursue physical, mental and emotional well-being.  It has affirmed that we are wired for connection and that the therapeutic art of compassionate human touch cannot be outsourced to a Zoom version. 

While it may be a while before we can publicly stand within six feet of one another and share the air we breathe, I am grateful that my license in massage therapy permitted me to be vaccinated and thus safely provide the essential service of therapeutic touch during this time of great pandemic and political unrest.

To play into a sense of vitality, Shoji Arts is also about Inclusivity or Diversity and Identity, if you will.  As a business, I am grateful to be recognized, respected and valued by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, committed to seeing downtown businesses thrive.  My vision is to not only support and recognize other small and local businesses, but also to benefit, empower and co-motivate business owners who are women and women of color in particular.  Finally, as someone who identifies as Asian American or Filipina-American during a time where anti-Asian hate has been on the rise nationally, it is important for me to uphold the therapeutic value and treasured resources of the Wisdom of the East, as the modalities of Shiatsu and Thai massage stem from Japan, Zen, and Traditional Chinese Medicine; and Thailand, Theravada Buddhism, and Ayurveda; respectively.  My professional endeavors are to deepen my understandings of these gems as I continue to practice and help others.

My personal journey in healing has included studies in modern dance, Ashtanga yoga, Zen Buddhism, massage therapy and martial arts.  I look forward to unfolding the unknowable and knowable impacts that our movements, meditation and energies pose for one another, just as our centers of gravity affect one another.  Thank you again, Downtown Ithaca Alliance, for recognizing and appreciating Shoji Arts as a valuable member of the downtown business community through this pandemic and beyond.

A writer writing. Photograph courtesy of M. Johnson Photography.

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Shayna Grajo