Collaboration of Humans and Nature

We live in a world of so much urgency, so much to do, so much to accomplish, and we can easily get lost in a sense of constantly striving to achieve. 

I spent the past weekend with my dear friends and cofounders of Amidst the Trees -Shelly and Molly.  We went to Lake Wilson- Shelly’s cabin to “get things done”.  So much to do to prepare for the next year, planning retreats, writing outlines, securing dates, deciding on menus- all the logistical stuff. 

As much as I love hanging out with my friends, I was also feeling a bit spent with a sense of always doing, always organizing, and always attending to the details to get things going.  Going into the weekend feeling both glad to have some space in nature with friends and a bit reluctant to work.  Wondering as I packed my bags, am I going to feel restored after this weekend? Asking myself, – am I practicing what I hold for others?

I don’t know if you live by the motto- first work and then you can play.  This rarely works for me.  Good thing is – Amidst the Trees- was NOT built  on this motto.    

Molly, Shelly, and I did not come together to build a business.  There was no stirrings of that in our first gatherings.  Well- at least not consciously known to us. 

Instead we gathered to play, to commune with nature, to feel into the strengths of our bodies as we skied, hiked, canoed, swam, breathed into the fresh air of nature and sensed into the renewal of the earth, rock, waterfalls, wildlife, and winged ones.  We walked away from those connections with uplifted spirits, warmth in our hearts, and reverberating giggles that sustained us (at least me) for months. 

Remembering our roots, I consciously chose to listen to my body as I went into this past weekend.  Instead of going in -to push through and make it happen- I decided to first attend to self within the gifts of nature and connection with others. 

After finishing unpacking the car (in the rain), we got on the lake.  I paddled the kayak slowly and sometimes not at all, letting go into being held by the water.   The soft trickling of the water along the kayak, started to soften the muscles, and my shoulders dropped a bit from my ears.  My butt started to drop into the seat of the kayak.  As loons swam near and let out some very soft faint coos, I felt the reminder to be tender in attending to self.  Listen and attend.  There was no desire to accomplish and move around the lake, I could just sit, just watch, just take in the gifts.

This ended up being a theme throughout the weekend, soften the heart, open – allow yourself to receive.  Throughout the weekend, we repeatedly prioritized first….. the hike, the holding of a rock, and listening to the messages as we watched the frog in the mud puddle, the soaring of the turkey vulture, the quiet of the blue heron passing just prior to dark, the crackling of the fire, the sunfish nibbling on toes, the leaning into the sturdiness of the tree, several fleeting appearances of shooting stars  and so many other treasures. 

We leaned into that which is always there to hold, guide, renew when we pause to see and take it in.  In the midst of that – our connection and holding with each other also naturally unfolded. Tears, laughter, giggles, hand holding, hugs happened as we deepened into the stuckness inside, the pain, the things that get in the way of our true self.  Healing was again ignited within the holding of nature and human connection.  We trusted in sacredness of spirit and the reorganization that takes place and takes us into the next day, next week and so on.   And so today, we continue to feel the transformation happening inside of us.  Some things not so comfortable yet yielding into the process- healing is happening.

And- yes within this vastness and power of collaboration with nature- we got the work done.  We came away with all work agenda items accomplished. 

We invite you to join us as we gather in Akeley at Crow Wing Crest Lodge September 15th for our weekend retreat or join us October 13th for our One day retreat at Eastman Nature Center in Dayton, MN.

We will hold space for you to connect with nature, listen inside, track the wisdom of your body, and sense into what is unfolding in you to access your authentic self.   Are you interested in what happens for you when humans gather together and open to the gifts up nature?  Join us. 


“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

― Ram Dass

Consider joining us for our next adventure, a retreat weekend in Akeley MN at Crow Wing Crest Lodge. There we will practice seeing ourselves like we see the trees , authentic and without judgment. Give yourself the gift of a weekend in nature, restoring your reserves and remembering how to play and relax. Sign up by August 1st to reserve your spot on this website, just click on retreats.

And if for some reason you are unable to join us, consider practicing seeing yourself and others without judgment, as you see the trees. If everyone tried this and were successful just 50% of the time, imagine how different the world could become.

Pause to Push and Play

Happy summer almost June 21rst the longest day of the year and summer solstice.  I am thrilled I get to write the June blog as I love summer.  When I was a kid growing up in Michigan June meant attending the kiddie carnival at my grade school, riding my bike with my three best friends to MacDonalds with my dollar and getting my fish sandwich, fries and a coke-yes, I did say one dollar!  Summer was being on the softball team and getting Slurpee’s and bomb pops.  Summer also meant hunting for tadpoles, sleeping out in the tent in the backyard, digging in the garden and listening to the frogs as I went to sleep.  I still find times to let my kid out to play and enjoy the warmth of summer.

For me summer also meant water, running through the sprinkler, running out in the rain, and splashing through the puddles and best ever going to my uncle’s house on a lake in Northern Michigan.  If you want to get to know me, put me in, on, or around water it is my go-to “AHHHH”.  I hope you get to enjoy the summer experiences that give you the “Pause and push to play”.    I had my first jump in and get your head wet lake time last week and loved playing with the water.  I savored the sensations of going under for the first time and coming up with the brrr awesome water dripping down my forehead experience. 

So welcome summer, thank you for your long days, sunshine, moonglow, rain showers, flowers, green color dancing in the sunlight, trees showering us with shade and glorious time swimming in the lakes around us.  Please take some time to savor this month of June as you are able, walk outside, read a book on a blanket, swing in the glider, nap in the hammock and don’t be surprised if you hear the delight of someone jumping in the lake for the first time this season it might just be me saying woo-hoo!

We are busy planning our weekend retreat September 15-17th at Crow Wing Crest Lodge, please register on the website. We hope you consider joining us for a weekend of restoration on many levels including the beach, bonfire, taking time for yourself and the added benefit of utilizing the healing modalities offered by the hosts there in your free time. The fall workshop will be October 13th in Maple Grove at Eastman Nature center also. We would love to see you at our fall restorative workshop and retreat.  I know I plan on jumping in the lake at Crow Wing in September.


Emergence of color through the Month of May

There has been so much richness in witnessing the transformation of color as I strolled through the woods and the neighborhood this month. Early on the color of yards, trees, hiking trails were still pretty gray and lighter tan.  Wow- what a couple weeks can do.  Are you sensing into the lushness of the shades of green that are unfolding, springing, growing throughout the landscape.  As you take in the sites and nourishment of green, can you feel it in your body?  Can you sense into moisture?  How does it impact your cells, your fluidity and movement? 

When we tune into the healing properties of the natural world, our cells mirror the gifts within the plants, trees, lake, air, sun and so on.  I particularly can feel my joints softening, sense into an alive energy circulating in my blood and get reminded that life is continually renewing.  We can remember there is a season for rest, quiet, inklings of stirring, anxious energy of wanting to grow and now as we move into the warmer weather embrace the energy of emergence.   What is emerging in you?

We would love to have you join us June 2nd at our Restorative Workshop (Eastman Nature Center) as we hold space for you to let go of what is getting in the way of your unique bloom.  We will guide you in exploring what is missing to fully support the unfolding of your true nature. 

How about the canopy of leaves-can you feel the protection?  Another way my body takes in the nourishment of spring is through the umbrella of leaves.  The leaves seem to be a filter for me of all the energetic toxins in the world.  Migraines decrease, the musculature tension softens, and my breath expands when I walk through the woods or sit in my backyard.  I feel my nervous system calm and re-organize.

We invite you to take time in nature on a regular basis and mindfully feel into the gifts.  Notice how your body responds to the sights, sounds, vibrations, smells, and organic life around you.

If you would like some guidance in this process, check out our quarterly day long workshops or join us September 15th-17th at Crow Wing Crest Lodge in Akeley Minnesota for our weekend retreat.  We love collaborating with nature to help you step into alignment with your authentic self.  

Hope to see you there!!


I write this on the first day of a warming trend we had to wait until well into April to see. Spring seems like it took it’s time this year to arrive. The good news is that all of the seasons are awesome and arriving late just gives us more time to enjoy the previous season. There is so much more to enjoy by accepting the timing of Mother Nature and not making judgments or assumptions about how it “should” be in each moment or month. The same goes for many areas of life.

Amidst the Trees completed our spring workshop. Thank you to all who attended. The weather was beautiful for early spring and the yoga, drumming and walking the outside labyrinth all contributed to the restoration of our bodies as we emerged from the cocooning of winter. We hope to see all of the attendees at a future event. It was a lovely day.

Molly, Lisa and I are planning our next event in June. We welcome you to join us to celebrate the abundance of all of who we are to begin the summer. The date is June 2, and this time in the north suburbs at a new venue, Eastman Nature Center, which is another beautiful spot. We are also planning our weekend retreat in September at Crow Wing Crest Lodge, registration will be up soon. We hope you consider joining us for a weekend of restoration on many levels including the beach, bonfire, taking time for yourself and the added benefit of utilizing the healing modalities offered by the hosts there in your free time. The fall workshop will be in October also. We hope you can join us for one or more of the events. Caregivers often have a difficult time taking time for themselves and we hope you give yourself the gift of restoration, even better if it with us.

Enjoy each moment of the new season upon us, the increase in daylight, the emergence of new leaves and the flowers popping out of the ground as it warms, jumping in the plethora of puddles, and beginning to dig in the dirt to garden. May the quality that restores you begin to step forward and become a daily part of your life.

Watch Lisa and Molly on YouTube

Lisa and Molly talk about our workshops, giving more detail about how it interfaces with and incorporates Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

A Bit of Us and the Creation of this Website

A bit of us and the creation of this website. Lisa Molly and I have been sharing
adventures in nature for several years. Whether we are in the Boundary Waters,
in the Porcupine Mountains, or just a walk or swimming in a local park, we get rejuvenated and feel connected to something greater than ourselves. We had an idea to share this with others in a
way that could help people restore and live in the world more authentically.

Weaving our experience in somatic-based therapy, our love of nature, and our spirituality into creating space for others to restore themselves, the authentic restoration workshops were born. We had so much fun creating and doing the workshops. The idea to do a weekend arrived, and we are currently growing that idea into our first weekend this October. The weekend encompasses ceremony, play, and activities to connect with nature and restore your spirit. It follows the same pattern as the workshops, grounding, clearing, and accessing, followed by integrating. We encourage you to join us in whatever capacity calls you.
Lisa, Molly, and I met through the sensorimotor psychotherapy community. We have worked our way through the training and have become consultants. (Lisa went further and is also a

The website serves as a place to schedule consultations and gives more than one
option to a consultee. It is an attempt to assist in making it easier to find something that works
with your schedule and your needs with less effort. Feel free to contact us if you don’t see
something that works for your schedule.
We hope you can join us on a nature adventure, either for a day or a weekend.