Healing Journeys: One community’s commitment to positive change

Recently, several members of our town have wanted to reach out and change the conversation in the media about the tragedy that struck Seal Beach as a mass shooting on Oct. 12, 2011.  Much of the last couple of years has focused on the shooter and the judicial review of the Orange County District Attorney’s office.  This should not be our focus of attention; rather the survivors, their stories and their healing journeys may be what we as a community find and support.  To this end, this series was created to focus on one or two people or even the group as a whole and how they are shedding personal darkness as they turn to the light.

One of those healing journeys begins with a dream, that of Gordon Gallego and one of his closest friends, Lisa Chrisman.  Together in 2013, they launched Recharge at Electric, a skin and hair center, to be a new beginning and partnership. Gallego says of both Seal Beach and Recharge, “Seal Beach is a beautiful city, which has some fantastic memories to me, and it also holds some hard, traumatic times that I struggle with to this day.” As part of Gallego’s healing journey, it has become evident to him that he cannot effectively do so in Seal Beach.

Gallego has recently accepted the fact that his healing cannot continue while even working in Seal Beach. He said, “I started my career here and feel now it is time to move on.  It is just the next best step for me.”

With a heavy heart and bright spirit for the future, hair stylist and Salon Meritage survivor, Gallego, is leaving Seal Beach on April 2. He will be moving just over the bridge into Long Beach to D’Versa, The Salon.  By being out of Seal Beach, yet still being able to serve so many of his customers who are from Seal Beach, he hopes to find a way through.

Gallego said, “I feel so strongly about my growth and healing, that I have chosen to step down from the co-founder and partner role in Recharge to decrease my overall responsibilities, simplify my life and re-focus the most healing path for my long-term health.”  He continued, “I am proud of the contribution I have made, and it is bittersweet to know that I need to move on, yet I am proud to leave behind much more than I came with to Seal Beach, a fabulous new vision in integrated hair in the care of Lisa and Recharge’s excellent staff.”

Gallego has acknowledged that this healing is critical for his long-term ability to deal with the trauma, which by his admission, hasn’t even actually been completed yet. He will be back for Run Seal Beach on April 9, after taking some personal time.

“I am very proud to be part of the team with so many dear friends, survivors, supporters and those who we walk for and in memory of,” he shared with deep emotion and conviction.  The team has been coordinated through Run Seal Beach, Tom Stretz and several of the other victims and family members.

As the now sole owner of Recharge, and an esthetician, Lisa Chrisman feels that “Recharge was built on a dream of a luxurious customer service that Gordon and I shared. I know that it will continue.” Further, she added, “we support and wish Gordon the best on his healing journey.”  As a community, can we ask for much more? Special thanks to Gordon, Joe, Lisa, Michael and the team at Recharge for being willing to share their thoughts.

Seth Eaker, community activist and life-coach will be doing an expanding series of “Healing Journey’s – One Community’s Commitment to Positive Change” to direct the conversation away from the shooter, the penalty phase of the trial, and even, the alleged miscarriage of justice.  He was a member of the Seal Beach Victims Fund Trust and knows several of the victims personally.