My Background

I am a hungry learner, seeker and lover of the natural world. I am a friend, mother, step-mother, wife, sister, cousin, aunt, nurse and teacher. I have worked for over 35 years as a nurse or nurse practitioner in a variety of settings, most recently as a Public Health Nurse. I am a health and outdoor enthusiast. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is my home.

I am certified as a Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner and a faculty member and supervisor with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine. Since 2010 I have facilitated or co-facilitated: Mind-Body Skills Groups, workshops, trainings and retreats for individuals, health professionals, school staff and organizations such as:

  • New Perspectives MN

  • MN Indian Women’s Resource Center

  • Metro Area Council on Aging/ACT on Alzheimers MN

  • Loom Lab MN

  • Social Security Administration St. Paul MN office

  • Pine Ridge and Porcupine Schools SD (ANA grant)

  • Touchstone MN

  • Urban Research Outreach and Engagement (UROC) MN

  • St. Paul Schools MN

  • MVNA MN

  • CMBM Wash. DC

I am a St. Croix Watershed Steward. I volunteer for Wild Rivers Conservancy. I have training as a Canoe Trip Leader from the MN Canoe Assn.   I am a First Peace Circle facilitator. I have received Circle 101 training through Washington County MN Community Circles.

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My Journey

I came to learn about mind-body medicine because I was struggling. My son was born premature with life-time physical and health challenges (cerebral palsy, asthma, surgeries, anxiety). As a public health nurse, I learned about all the helpful resources for my clients such as food stamps, health care, health insurance, homeless shelters, low income housing referrals etc.  I knew how to access services for my clients and I transferred these skills for myself as a new mom. I had many services and supports for my son. I thought I had all the services that my son and I could use. I felt sad and guilty that these services did not seem enough for me. 

 

What I learned is that caregivers need support and care too.

Hip pain, neck pain from stress and feeling “stuck” brought me to a wise physical therapist who is now a mind-body medicine colleague. He suggested I look into mind-body medicine. So, I did. I attended the professional training from The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) in 2007 and was hooked. It opened the door for me to look more holistically at how I could shift internally through mind-body medicine to address my pain. I found that Qi Gong helped me unwind my hips and release my pain and soft-belly breathing and dialoguing with a symptom helped me understand what I was carrying in my neck. I learned how to be more “in tune” with my internal nervous system, how to recognize stress before it hit me over the head (or neck or hip!)  It taught me the importance of “rest and digest” and to elicit my relaxation response. I use these and many more mind-body skills every day.

I recently heard a colleague speak about how many of us have “a recipe” of how stress shows up in our mind and body.  I found that analogy useful. In the past, I would push through and ignore stress–wasn’t that what I was supposed to do? We only know what we know.   I would take regular walks and physical activity thinking that was self-care. And yes it was, AND, my “habit energy” of doing the same thing over and over was not exactly what was needed for balance. With mind-body medicine, I had the luxury of reflecting on my habits of mind and body. I learned that self-care was not selfish. I learned to tune into “the recipe” that my body was used to holding under stress. I learned to create new habits (neurological pathways) of thought and movement.

 

Regular practice of mind-body skills continue to help me tune inward to make “the recipe” for more balance in my life.  I’m calling it that “sweet spot” where I’m aware of what is needed to walk in balance moment-to-moment. Now I’m more in tune with the stress response and able to see it and apply what I need in the moment rather than dismissing what my mind or body needs.

 

I continued with advanced professional training, did an internship and now am a faculty member and supervisor with CMBM. I am very grateful for the learning I received through CMBM.

I was introduced to earth wisdom teachings through spiritual teachers WhiteEagleWindEagle and RainbowHawk.  I’ve studied with them off and on since 2003.  I’ve learned more about walking in wholeness and balance. These teachers and others  expanded my understanding of spirituality and consciousness.  

 

I have always loved nature since a child. Nature plays an essential role in my self-care, feeding my mind-body-spirit. I’ve lived and paddled on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway for over 40 years. I’m in love with the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway which includes the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers. I am very grateful for the teachings nature has brought to me.

My desire is to give back to others and nature.  I want to offer experiences on or near the river to people who are interested in the intersection of self-care and nature. I am able to teach and hold space one-to-one, in small or large groups to explore the variety of ways of self-care. I’ve taken training to be a trip leader on rivers. I’m also a St. Croix Watershed Steward.

I’m a work in progress!  My intention is to bring together what I have been given and share with others. If any of the offerings are of interest contact me or sign up.

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