Ahimsa: (n) to practice non-violence to one’s self and all living beings. This philosophy very much includes non-violence to our own hearts. “Thoughts of guilt, shame, resentment, disappointment all have a seed of violence within them. Words like "should" and "must" are the same. When we are unable to forgive ourselves or someone else, when we carry resentment; when we expect far too much of ourselves and put the responsibility of the whole world on our shoulders; when we expect the whole world to run according to our liking we are being violent towards ourselves and the rest of the world. When we don’t act according to our truth, but out of our fears, we are being violent to ourselves... Truth and nonviolence are inseparable” (Dorna Djenab)
While Ahimsa Caravan Cafe was created in 2016, its origin comes from years of self discovery. Molly was 18 years old when she found herself submersed in the San Francisco cafe scene reciting her poetry. There, the she soon realized that there was more to cafes than a good brew and a few tables for study. People were coming together. Familiar faces turned into friendships and these friendships were creating a community.
After graduating university, Molly headed out to pursue her life long dream to travel the world. Alone, with a single backpack and a passport anxiously ready to be filled, she explored Central and South America as well as South East Asia before a year long stead in Australia. Upon her arrival to each new town, city, or village, she sought out local cafes to learn what community looked like in a global context.
Australia had the biggest impact on the creation of Ahimsa Caravan Cafe. Within twenty four hours of arriving in Melbourne, she found herself in the trendy neighborhood of Fitzroy filling her journal with fears of the year to come. But her fears quickly dissipated when she soon realized that cafes are quite different in Australia. They don’t close at five, they simply switch to a different kind of brew. By the end of her first day in the foreign land, Molly was sharing rounds with people that would ultimately become lifelong friends.
As a long time practitioner of yoga, Molly decided to do a 200 hour teacher training in Bali, Indonesia. She continued to develop her practice in Australia and it was there that a teacher posed a question that would ultimately change her life. “What is your life’s purpose?” he asked. It seemed impossible to answer. So she continued her travels with two of these lifelong friends living a life of simplicity out of an old beaten up van. They camped on beaches, bathed in the ocean, danced around campfires and engaged in discourse with travelers from all over the world. It was during this particular adventure, living a life of minimalism, she realized the exchange of ideas and the connections formed between people was at the crux of pure happiness. It was then she understood her life’s purpose. To create community.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, Molly found herself in a city full of glitz and glamour and without a sense community. “Success” was all around her and the ideas of “I should be” and “I am supposed to be” started to haunt her. She then decided to take what she learned on her two year journey around the world and bring it home. Ahimsa Caravan Cafe is a manifestation of that very realization. It's about Ahimsa: non-violence. It's about bringing people together over the simplicity of a good coffee or a celebratory drink. It pays homage to transience and wanderlust. It's about fulfilling a life’s purpose and offering people the gift of communal celebration. Ahimsa Caravan Cafe strives to create an environment where people can escape their 9 to 5s and revel in the simple beauty of being human, to live, to love and celebrate in community.