Nature Recharge


Nature is my go to recharger. Just as my phone, computer, flashlight batteries, etc., need a regular charge; so do I. This weekend I have come up to Well Being Conference Center for a respite. My cabin looks down on a rural stretch of the Powell river 40 yards away. A dogwood is opening right outside my door, and a blue heron wings just above the water. Some really cute blue wild flowers are opening; and redbuds fringe the edge of the woods with their raucous pink. I think I could look down on this water forever.

This morning an eagle settled into the tree directly in front of me. I got out my binoculars and we patiently regarded each other for about 30 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to an eagle. His head was the whitest of whites and I could see his yellow feet wrapping the branch. There were snow flurries and the wild wind was swirling the leaves. I think this memory will stay with me forever; a place that my heart can come back to when I feel down or overwhelmed.
 If this sounds inviting, consider the Feldenkrais and Embodied Life retreats I offer periodically throughout the year. You can sit with us in silent meditation, let your body (and mind) find its groove rolling in the floor doing Feldenkrais lessons, and bliss out on the most delicious food. During down time you can kayak, hike, rest, or look for eagles! If this appeals check out the details below. As with all my class and retreat offerings, if you would like to participate, but finances are a challenge, please contact me directly.

All my best to you, 

Why I Walk Early

Back in October I started a routine getting up between 5 and 6, putting on my shoes, leashing up the dogs, and heading out the door. I am usually an early riser, but that is early even for me. Also, I tend to feel stiff first thing in the morning and more in the mood to sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee; so this was a significant shift. I have been surprised by the changes I've noticed.
First of all, I find that my creaky knee is happy to walk that early if I just start out slowly and avoid the big hills until I'm warmed up. Overall my knee is much happier throughout the day. Even my 13 year old dog is moving better!
When I am out walking in the neighborhood it is just me and the dogs; we seldom see a car that early, and there is a peace and quiet much like being out in the woods, even though I am in suburbia. The light is different each day, even in the dark. The last two mornings the moon has been bright as day. I usually walk without a flashlight, even when there is no moon, and find that my visual acuity and balance in the dark are improving.
The weather each morning is very different when experienced this way, compared to my usual routine of checking Weather Underground. Sometimes the air is crisp and still, sometimes there are warm breezes and an early light that reminds me of Hawaii. It seems I can actually feel the coming weather for the day. Often myself and my clients stop, or back off on walking exercise this time of year due to the weather. I find that whether I am in my pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt or 5 layers- top and bottom, looking like the Michelin snow bunny, I can get comfortable to go outside. My resilience to the extreme cold is better. A surprise even to me, going out in 12 degrees is fine, even invigorating. On those days the house feels toasty warm when I return, even if it is 60; and a walk like this morning, when it is 24 feels positively balmy:)
I know that if I had imposed "Daily Walking" on myself, my inner resistance to authoritarianism would have surfaced. Instead I feel delightfully connected to my inner life each day I go out. I hope you can find something that brings you this sense of aliveness and presence.
All my best, 

Firefly Musings



Like many of you, each summer when I was a kid I would get a jar and carefully poke holes in the lid with an ice pick and then collect fireflies in the evening. I mean, who doesn’t love fireflies?
Last Thursday, for the first time, I went with my daughter and friends to see the synchronous fireflies in Elkmont - they only exist 2 places in the world, here in our Smoky Mountains, and somewhere in Thailand.
We arrived around 7:30 with our lawn chairs, umbrellas, sweaters, snacks, and playing cards. I had been told by the park ranger to arrive 2 hours early, after the parking lots are full they close access to the park (thus, the playing cards)… umbrellas for rain, and lawn chairs for a comfortable wait in the woods. Snacks are self explanatory.
There were “regular” fireflies starting about 8:30. At 9:30 I thought, “well, we must have missed them; these are just regular fireflies.” But then, in the next 10 minutes, WOW! All around us in every direction, a synchronous blinking light show, pulsed with pauses when all the fireflies would go out and it was dark again. But here is what really intrigued me. During the wait people were chatting and laughing, running up and down the trail. When the synchronous fireflies began, there was this reverent quiet and even as people moved up and down the trail, more slowly in the dark, a sense of hushed admiration and expectation. It’s hard to describe, but to me it was a sacred spiritual experience. I believe there is a way in which we can connect with our highest best self, and that experiencing nature is a natural bridge for that connection. I also believe that when we do this regularly, it changes us. This was nature at its finest and I am changed.
As of last night, when the rest of the family went to see the show, they were still going strong. If you are in the local area, I encourage you to see for yourself. Those of you who live other places can plan a road trip to Knoxville in early June one year and come see them for yourself.
Be well,

How to Talk with your Doctor: Finding a connection

Hello Friend,
It can be a challenge to establish a personal relationship with a doctor, especially in a large practice. My criteria is that my doctor knows who I am before she or he looks at my chart and walks in the door. So, when my primary care physician of many years referred me to another physician in her practice, I thought about how to establish the kind of relationship that I really wanted.
Here is how I chose to begin what is now a treasured, ten-year relationship with "my teammate in health:" I gave her a poem. Yes, a poem. I knew I was taking a risk but I also know that every doctor I have ever talked with goes into medicine because they want to help people. No one goes in saying "I think I'll be really good at using the computer to enter information into medical records in such a way that health insurance will reimburse for my time and expertise." Nonetheless, it can be a challenge to establish a personal relationship with a doctor, especially in a large practice.
I confess, doctors and medical offices make me anxious, I've had too many medical challenges in my life not to be. That's also part of the reason why the personal relationship is so important to me. So when I'm going to meet a new doctor what can I do to begin to establish that kind of personal relationship? I decided to offer my new doctor a poem. I don't even remember now what poem I took, but knowing the timeframe it was probably Billy Collins, opting for humor over deep meaningful insight. So partway through our initial intake I asked her if I could read her a poem, and to her credit she set my chart down, It was paper back then, not a computer, and she gave me her full attention. I read her my poem, and it was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
As I reflect back, that poem was an offering, "Here is something meaningful to me;" the question asked, "Do you see me?" Think about the way that you might share something that's meaningful to you with your physician. If you only had 60 seconds, can you offer something that brings this connection?
Perhaps some of the offerings listed above and described in detail below pique your interest. I now have an online store where you can register and pay all in one step. Most classes also have a pay by mail option. Let me know how you like interacting with my store, mainly, is it easy to use?
In closing, a link to the poet, Billy Collins, reading our family's favorite poem, The Lanyard.
Be well,