The Edit is a series produced by Jade Hansen that features the people behind some of Canberra’s most note-worthy fashion, beauty and lifestyle offerings.
For Soudalay Thammavongsa, or ‘Soud’ for short, the path to opening an energetic studio sort of magically appeared; she just asked the universe and it happened – manifesting is her thing, after all. As a result, Higher and Self’s physical space was born. Higher and Self is a bright and light studio, filled with people, laughter and positive energy; on the morning I visited Soud’s space she was busy cleansing everyone in the studio with burning Palo Santo holy wood. Whether you are a believer or not, the scent is enough to entice you to be a part of the ritual.
Located in Canberra’s newly developed ‘Midtown’ complex in Turner, Higher and Self offers Canberrans their “first curated crystal and healing studio” Soud explains. “It is a place for the soul who is open to connecting with their higher self”. She explains that her vision was “…to create a light space that’s inviting and that goes against the traditional ‘darker’ or hippie aesthetics often associated with spirituality. It’s modern, simple and hopefully a breath of fresh air for our community. I know there’s nothing like my studio in Canberra right now, and I’m so proud and beyond thrilled,” and Soud has every reason to be proud.
– Soud’s journey –
In the late 1980s, a very young Soud and her family migrated to Australia (Sydney) from Laos in search of a ‘secure home’, and after both parents successfully passed the Commonwealth Public Service test, they relocated to Canberra. Soud remembers being “welcomed to Canberra with open arms” and recalls: “growing up in Canberra, I have been here since 1989 to be exact, I was five when we arrived. Over time I started finding a base and planting some roots, I’ve been a proud Belco girl this whole time and have made wonderful connections, friends and incredible opportunities.”
After school, Soud attended the University of Canberra and then followed in her parents’ footsteps and joined the public service; 12 years of civil service was enough – she took a leap of faith and Higher and Self was conceptualised. Soud explains that “as migrants, we seek stability and a ‘secure home’, Canberra has been all of that and more. Going out on my own as a businesswoman and single parent, is against everything a migrant would do; why would you leave a secure permanent job in the Australian Public Service? Because I feel so secure in myself, my business and of course being here, with Canberra as my base, so I’m going to trust and keep co-creating magic with the universe.”
– Higher + Self concept –
It is through this self-belief (and some universal magic) that Soud has been able to create this life for herself and introduce Canberrans to Higher and Self. “From my business growth and interactions with my local customers, I can see that Canberrans are hungry for a stronger modern mystic movement, and I really believe it’s really only just starting out here. I’m so grateful to be able to help pave the way and hopefully help strengthen the spiritual connection and community at large,” she says.
219 Northbourne Avenue
Turner, Australia Capital Territory, 2612
Weekdays, by appointment only for private Energetics Sessions
Weekends – 10 am – 2 pm for general retail