September 2019 Forest Therapy Guided Walks

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Notice the bridges–from where you are to where you want to be. YMCA Camp Chingachgook, Pilot Knob NY

Welcome to the season I call Fading-Summer-Into-Fall, which can be a pretty wonderful time to start or continue a nature practice, to feed your spirit as we move into the more internal times of fall and winter. This year it happens to be when I offer the most forest therapy walks in one month!

I plan to update this website soon with photos and meditations on the walks I did over the past two years and information about any later fall and winter offerings. Thanks for your patience and interest.

Upcoming forest therapy walks:

Saturday, September 7, 2019, 9 am to noon.  Celebrate International Forest Bathing Day with a free walk with Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy at Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve, Amsterdam NY.  Wander the woods and edges of a working farm in the glow of clover and goldenrod. Only a few spaces left. Sign up here:

mohawkhudson.org/events/

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To walk a path, slowly, patiently. Strawberry Fields Preserve, Amsterdam NY.

Friday, September 13- Sunday September 15, 2019. Women’s Adventure Weekend at YMCA Camp Chingachgook, Pilot Knob (Lake George) NY. 

I never went to sleep-away camp, so this feeds a whole ‘nother side, allowing the kid in me to truly “play” in a new way. I LOVE this weekend.

I will offer a forest therapy walk on Saturday morning, and there will be a wonderful array of Camp For Grownup Women activities over the weekend. Delicious meals (the chefs are great with dietary modifications), lodging and most activities included in a beautiful historic/rustic camp environment. Starts Friday night through Sunday lunch.

Along with the walk and opportunities to play in the lake (swim, paddle sports), women can do camp activities. In the past they’ve offered wood-burning, tie-dye, beading, ropes course, exercise classes, movie-themed trivia and costuming opportunities (this fall it’s “Mamma Mia”/ABBA), archery, guided hikes, and way way more. Activities are all optional; you could just sit around and read or daydream while looking at the lake. Take a relaxing, invigorating weekend away!

Non-YMCA members $235, YMCA members $225.

Sign up here:

camp.cdymca.org/retreats/women/

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What do you want to reflect on? The wetland path at Camp Chingachgook, Pilot Knob, NY

And finally, Saturday September 28, 2019, I’ll be doing a forest therapy experience at the Kweilyn Taylor Survivor Retreat, “Anchored in Hope,” for women and men survivors of cancer, held at Wiawaka Center for Women in Lake George and sponsored by Saratoga Hospital. The event is free and registrations are currently closed but they do maintain a waiting list, as last-minute cancellations are expected. Information, including the phone number, below.

www.eventbrite.com/e/kweilyn-taylor-survivor-retreat-anchored-in-hope-tickets-51514469164#tickets

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What new beginnings do you seek? Sunrise over Lake George, NY..

Thank you for your interest in Nature and Forest Therapy. Happy September!

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Weedy Woods and Flowers: A Exhibit

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Ahh, the joys of a day job. It can keep you from other pursuits and goals, and yet feed you heartily on the way–as well as financially supporting those pursuits and goals.

For the past year and  a half, I have been building my day job life, and with this November, I am returning here to offer regular reports on my business, and on my writing blog to share new essays, poems and photography (OfTheEssenceBlog.com) which will be updated soon!  Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to sharing the walks I have been offering on a smaller scale, and exciting plans for the future.

Meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to recently–the reception is today, November 4, and the exhibit will be up all month.

Weedy Woods & Flowers:
valuing the tiny
and overlooked

Photos, Writings, Other Media
Diane Kavanaugh-Black & Carole Fults

For the month of November, 2018

William K. Sanford (Colonie) Town Library
629 Albany Shaker Rd, Loudonville NY

Opening Reception
Sunday, November 4, 2018
2-4 pm
Viewing hours:
Monday – Thursday 9 am to 8 pm,
Friday 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday 1 to 5 pm

Sanford Show Flyer 2

Forest Therapy Experience at Hope Club Garden: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 6-8 pm

 

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On the night of my introductory talk this early June, rain gushed out of the sky, pooled in the streets, and alternated dark and light, heavy and sprinkling. A small group gathered around the cozy kitchen table at Hope Club in Latham, New York, and shared our deep experiences of nature, along with what science tells us about the healing effects of the natural world.

Because of the cooler temperature and the storms, we stayed indoors and sank our senses into photos of nature. Over pizza and salad, we talked about how being in or even thinking about the outdoors moved us–from thoughts of illness or anxiety to the “blessings of blooms and butterflies,” as one participant put it.

The scary and rushed sensation of getting to the building through rush hour traffic and bad weather faded; somehow, we became more ourselves.

It was decided, unanimously, I’d return to Hope Club to do an actual walk-experience, and this will happen in their beautiful garden on Thursday, July 20, from 6 to 8 pm.  Again, the evening is free, some food will be provided, but please pre-register with Hope Club, (518) 220-6960, or through the Contact Us tab on this blog.

*Programs with Hope Club are open to ANYONE whose life has been touched by cancer, not just patients or family members.

This announcement is cross-posted on my writing blog, OfTheEssenceBlog.com 

July 20 FTG Experience, Hope Club (updated)

Move with Mindfulness returns April 25 & 26!

The path was clear to the Welcoming House, and its meditation room.

The path was clear to the Welcoming House, and its meditation room.

January snow sparkled beautiful and peaceful, the days and evenings glowed, and we wrote. Downy woodpeckers, chickadees and white breasted nuthatches nibbled at the feeders; other small creatures burrowed into the white. We stretched, we wrote.

White breasted nuthatches reminded us to eat when we needed.

White breasted nuthatches doing their work.

We woke our bodies gently on yoga mats, we wrote, we ate and laughed and took a hike, churned our minds, churned our muscles, loosened both, and wrote.

Time expanded and we got work done. (A personal meditation on how that process went for me, entitled “Essay Tangles and Snarls,” can be found at my writing blog, here .)

Busy, busy little critters burrowed through the snow, before our boot prints even got there.

Busy, busy little critters burrowed through the snow, before our boot prints even got there.

Now I invite you to an affordable spring weekend, one day or both, opportunities to stay overnight if you’d like. End of April, there should be wildflowers in the woods, warmer air in the sun, the pond defrosted, the labyrinth uncovered. And writing to be done!

Details below.

April wildflowers: remember them?

April wildflowers: remember them?

 

Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease

Saturday & Sunday April 25 & 26, 2015

One Day or Two Day options available.

10 am to 4 pm each day

Come and experience how movement can assist your writing and self awareness in a relaxed environment, with periods to write built into the day.

This workshop-retreat offers an excellent opportunity for work on a new or ongoing project (e.g. fiction, memoir, poetry, personal journaling), or just give you quiet time away, as we experience spring! in gorgeous upstate New York. You can attend Saturday, Sunday, or both days.

Where is it being held? Still Point Retreat Center is a small-scale, homey/comfy retreat center with a spiritual emphasis, in Stillwater NY, very close to the Saratoga Historical Park, 30 miles north of Albany.

You can commute to the workshop or stay at Still Point.

How much will it cost? $59/1 day, $118/2 days, including options to experience a yoga class, learn stretches and self-care for writers, do a labyrinth walk and/or hike (weather permitting) along with other moving meditation, while supplied with noshes throughout the day. Limited income participant $29/ 1 day, $58/ 2 days.

Included each day in your workshop fee: healthy & tasty breakfast foods in the morning, tea and coffee over the day, home made soup for lunch. If you are staying over, dinner will be shared potluck and the evening will be free time (ideas: write, visit with others, rest, walk on the grounds or read).

Overnight accommodations are a separate charge and should be arranged directly with Still Point. Visit the Still Point website here for pictures and information about the cabins & rooms and to sign up for housing. In conjunction with this retreat, you can opt to stay over Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights, depending on what rooms are available at the time you book your accommodation with Still Point.

How do I sign up for the workshop? We keep this workshop deliberately small so it is advised to sign up as soon as you know you’d like to come. First, let us know you are attending and which days, through the Contact Us page on this website, and second, mail a check to Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness, P.O. Box 1344, Troy NY 12181 or contact us for cash payment options.