Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day which honors love, I invite you to celebrate love of all kinds, including the love of Nature. Because I have had the opportunity to spend more time outside, I have noticed a change in my perspective, and consequently, a change in my behavior. I am happy to report that the more time I spend outdoors the better able I am to care for myself, my family, and my community.

This change in both perspective and behavior is long overdue but not a foreign concept. There have been other times in my life where I felt more in sync with the natural world. During these times, I felt clearer, calmer, and more open. I rushed less and savored more. I slept better and ate more nourishing foods. In other words, there was a direct correlation between spending time outside and taking care of myself and others.

During Intro to Nature Connection, the students used polarity mapping to learn how to navigate progress and preservation.

During Intro to Nature Connection, the students used polarity mapping to learn how to navigate progress and preservation.

If you would like to reap similar benefits, but need a place to start, then consider implementing the practice described below. The practice, a Sit Spot, is part of the Intro to Nature Connection curriculum which I am teaching this semester. Every week my students are asked to engage in at least one Sit Spot and to write a brief reflection on their experience. I love reading how this practice is impacting them and would welcome hearing from you if you decide to do a similar practice.

Our world, both human and non-human, needs more love. Please find a way to both give and receive love that is kind, consensual, and rejuvenating and notice what shifts in and around you as a result.

Wishing you a beautiful week.

Love,

Kim Bushore-Maki

Sit Spot: A Practice for Cultivating a Connection with Nature

  • Find a place outdoors which is easily accessible and feels safe. Wear clothes that will allow you to be comfortable outside and bring anything you wish to sit upon. (Blanket, camp chair, mat) Turn off phone notifications and put away digital devices. You may wish to have a water bottle and a journal.  
  • For 15 minutes, longer if you wish, sit outside and do nothing. That’s right, nothing. Simply sit and observe what is happening in and around you. Tune into the sounds, sights, smells, and feels of the outdoors. There is no need to respond. There is no need to judge. There is no need to do anything. Be a witness, and as much as possible, stay curious. 
  • After at least 15 minutes of sitting and observing, check in with yourself. What bodily sensations are you noticing? How do you feel? What thoughts, if any, are present? If you wish, record your response in your journal using either words or images or both.  
  • It may be fun to practice a Sit Spot every week in the same location on the same day over a period of time. You also may want to experiment with the same spot but at different times or days. Notice if certain places elicit different responses. For example, sitting in a forest may feel very different than sitting by the ocean. Give yourself permission to explore how different environments impact you. 
During Makerspace, you can make cards for the people you love.

During Makerspace, you can make cards for the people you love.

During “Tending the Fire,” we learned how to balance our energy and to concentrate our efforts.

During “Tending the Fire,” we learned how to balance our energy and to concentrate our efforts.

Thank you Pam Murray for guiding the Soul Letter workshop!

Thank you Pam Murray for guiding the Soul Letter workshop!

Luna McFeistyA note from Luna McFeisty:

Did you know that one of the new badges for the winter season is a Kindness Badge? Since the month of February is often associated with love, it seemed appropriate to share more about the Shakti Kindness Badge and to recognize that love can show up in many ways. This badge offers several opportunities to practice kindness: both anonymous and direct practices. There is even an opportunity to collaborate with others and spread kindness. If you are interested in learning more about the Kindness Badge or any other badge, then look at the Shakti Badge Book the next time you are at Shakti. If you want to go ahead and register for the winter season, then simply click here. By the way, I am looking for Shakti Scouts to interview, so please drop me a line if you are open to be featured in the Shakti Newsletter. Love, Luna.

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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