animals

Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace

Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace
The peaceful pond at LaValley Nature & Equine Sanctuary

Living in Wisconsin where winters can be sooooo long, I come alive in a new way once warmer weather is here. And I do my best to soak in as much as a I can while it lasts.

And why I’m looking forward to facilitating a workshop in nature with my friend and co-facilitator, Rachel Nick next week Saturday. I’m especially excited about this one as it will be happening at the wonderful non-profit Rachel is founder of, LaValley Nature and Equine Sanctuary.

I really appreciate the sanctuary’s mission: to preserve land for plant, wildlife, equine and permaculture use while inspiring others to do the same. We offer a permanent, safe and natural environment for aged horses to retire and live out the rest of their days peacefully.

In May after doing a private yoga session with Rachel at her sanctuary (yes, she also teaches Yoga!) she invited me to walk the 20 plus acres of her property. Rachel and her partner, Jeremy keep paths mowed along the property which take you to a quaint pond, past many beautiful trees, butterflies, birds and whatever else nature just may surprise you with as you walk the peaceful and serene land. Eventually you wind around the fences with the perfect view of the horses that eventually wind back to the front of the picturesque sanctuary.

During this relaxing workshop, you will be invited to play with creativity and make your own unique walking stick with sticks chosen especially for you from Rachel’s property. We will then take you on a guided visualization to begin the process of connecting you with your heart and then gently guide you into your walking meditation in nature.  Our intention is to help you connect heart-to-hand-to walking stick, to mindfully placing your feet upon the earth and connecting with all of natures healing energies to renew your spirit.

Your guides:  Barbara & Rachel with Dancer and Hank in the background

In our world that has us believing that rushing and getting ahead is what matters, Rachel and I are passionate about helping you to slow down, open to the beauty around you and really see and feel the exquisite influence of nature, allowing it to seep deep into your bones, and fill you with a peace that will have your spirit rejoicing.

We hope you can join us!  Click here for more details and to register today. We look forward to seeing you!

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Friends in Low Places and Rodent Lover

Friends in Low Places and Rodent Lover

Just the other day I was so excited telling John that Mr. Squirrel, a.k.a, Hank, finally found the new feeder I put out for him that holds a cob of corn. It took him awhile and that first cob sat there for about two weeks. But then one morning I got up and noticed not one speck of corn was left on the cob!

Of course, Mr. Chipmunk seems to love it too, as I’ve witnessed them scurrying down the birch limbs I have leaning up against my cottage as decorations.  In my excitement sharing this with John, he smiled and said, “My rodent loving wife.”

Yup, I guess that’s me. I love critters. And many of my friends reside in low places, just like this sweet little bunny that was mindfully munching away.

On any given day I can be perched in my writing cottage, working away, and take a moment to look outside my windows to discover a friend or two is nearby.

It’s comforting to me. While I love time alone, I don’t feel alone. And while I adore the people friends I have, I must say a girl sometimes just needs those friends who have no advice to give or any troubles to share.

Aren’t animals and nature grand?  Thank you Mother Earth!

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The Truth is, I Didn’t Remember…But then a Pause Reminded Me.

The Truth is, I Didn't Remember...But then a Pause Reminded Me.

Perhaps it was because I woke with a sinus headache, fed the dogs and went back to bed this morning, which isn’t like me to do. But I honored what I felt I needed.

An hour later I was feeling much better and knew today was the day I would stop procrastinating and get the back cover text written for my book coming out this fall, Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift. 

I planted my butt firmly in my writing chair and vowed to not leave it until I’d gotten a draft written. After three hours and may re-writes I was happy with what I’d written so off to my editor it went. Will see what she has to say.

One thing I have to remind myself to do is to take breaks and give myself small rewards for tasks accomplished. So being a beautiful day – suspended between summer and a hint of fall, I set out with Gidget in her stroller, for a walk around town.

As I walked through the senior assisted community complex, I noticed the sweetest, small leaf on the ground. When I looked up, I noted the tree is beginning to change.

red leaf

I enjoy savoring every bit of fall and decided to be on the lookout to create an altar from things found on my walk to place in my writing cottage when I got home.

tree

Small pine cones, two goose feathers, a stone, snippets of wheat grass, a yellow coneflower and two maple leaves were the items I collected as I walked.  Along with my collecting bits of nature on my path I paused to also take photos of things that made me smile. Little did I know it was going to lead me to remembering…

door

apple

bench

…and then I remembered…when I saw this wooden sign in a downtown retail shop…

bike

Today is three years since Joie passed away…and with it she left me the gift of what I would learn over the last three years…that pausing often in ones life is essential to well being…that the journey and purpose of life is to be happy.

I couldn’t help but feel a sweet joy well up inside me for the spiritual signposts I was rewarded with today. When I got home, I created the altar with a photo of Joie beside it, and have a battery operated candle lit in her memory.

And I’m reminded once again of the divine timing of her life with me…the gifts of transition…and the timing of the book I’ve written about her due out this fall…and trusting in what one can’t always see until it is time.

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