I am back in Tennessee after attending a five-day intensive at the Somatic Nature Therapy Institute outside of Boulder, Colorado. Over the course of this training, Collaborations with the Natural World, I saw the southbound end of a northbound Black Bear, a mama moose with her baby, and a ginormous black crow who gifted me a feather. Each one of these animals represented a milestone in my journey and encouraged me along my path. While I am still processing and integrating the insights that I received, I have some initial thoughts to share. If any of these thoughts resonate with you, please let me know how, and if, you are interested in participating in nature connection opportunities in the near future.

The morning I encountered a baby moose

The morning I encountered a baby moose

My first thought is I want to spend more time, both personally and professionally, outside collaborating with the natural world. After being outside for five days with little to no access to the outside world, I felt SO much better. My joints moved differently. My head itched less. My body felt more relaxed and loose. I experienced less inflammation and felt more attuned to my environment. Under these conditions, it was easier to notice what was happening in my body and to adjust accordingly. It also was easier to identify my feelings and to source from where the feeling came. I would compare this experience to an engine which receives regular tune ups: well-cared-for engines are more responsive and run better. Being in nature for a prolonged period of time without the incessant distractions of the digital world felt like running on high octane gasoline. I want more.

My second thought is I want to work more with groups and less with individuals. Being a part of a ten-person group was so healing. I was privileged to hear many perspectives and experiences which broadened my understanding, gave me new ideas, challenged my internal dialogue, and inspired my own practice. Being part of a group also allowed me to make new friends, to offer empathy, and to receive support. I find groups expedite both learning and healing and are a more effective way to build and to impact community. My goal is to offer more group experiences beginning this fall: groups that encourage healing and foster community.

There is still snow on the tallest peaks!

There is still snow on the tallest peaks!

My third thought is I want to create and guide rites of passage. During the course of this intensive, I had the opportunity to participate in ceremony: a ritual that marks a transition. Sometimes a ceremony marks a transition that is happening in the moment. Other times a ceremony is designed over multiple planning sessions to mark a change in one’s identity or role. The latter description denotes a rite of passage and is an extremely helpful tool to support growth and healing. Major life events such as life partner unions, uncoupling, birth of a child, loss of a loved one, change in career, or change in identity are some reasons why a person may want to experience a rite of passage ceremony. Rites of passage ceremonies do not have to center around an obvious life event. They may be created for less publicly obvious changes like menopause or cutting ties to an unhealthy person or self-forgiveness. No matter the precipitating event, acknowledging a person’s milestone is a powerful way to support someone’s growth and healing. I want to guide rites of passage because I want to acknowledge important moments in people’s lives. 

I am using this summer to think through and put into place the different ways that I want to love and to support our community. As I get clarity and develop infrastructure for these changes, I will share them with you. At this point in the planning process, it would be helpful to know what resonated with you, specifically:

  • Whether or not you would participate in outdoor activities
  • What healing topics you would like to explore in groups
  • If you are in need of a rite of passage 

Please send me an email with your thoughts or drop in during Makerspace Open Hours (Fridays from 2 to 5 pm) and speak with me in person.

Shakti community recommendations

Look at all the recommendations we collected over the past two seasons!

Please check out our July events and download the Shakti Summer Schedule. I am looking forward to receiving energetic healing from our new friends – the Adara Collective, learning how to pressure can with our resident Mountain Witch, sharing my love of quilting with my friend Rebecca, and exploring how archetypes show up in my body’s story with Christina.

I also am grateful to the women who show up every month to provide a Reiki Share (Thanks Sarah!) and to guide a spiritual experience in nature (Thank you Amanda and Laurie!). I also want to give a shout out to Jil, Emilee, and Teri who consistently host our Makerspace Open Hours: you all make this free community event possible, thank you!

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!


Kim Bushore-Maki

Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.

Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.

Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.

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