'Women in Nature' retreat fulled my cup.

A week ago I had the awesome opportunity to speak at and attend the Indian Creek Nature Center's Women in Nature conference. It was the 23rd year for this day-long wellness retreat with the primary purpose to reconnect with the earth, self and others.

I am no stranger to the ICNC. I teach backyard chicken certification classes there several times a year, I took a maple syruping class earlier this spring, and am currently taking a beekeeping class. Their mission and service to our area is something really valuable.
"At Indian Creek Nature Center, we create champions of nature. What does this mean? We connect people to nature as early and as frequently as possible to breed understanding and passion for the natural world. We believe that connecting children to nature is especially important because people who are passionate about nature as children will grow into adults who work to protect it. They will become the next generation of environmental stewards." 

At the Women in Nature retreat, I had the honor to be the morning keynote speaker, with a presentation called "Hearing the Call to Farm in the City: Adventures in Urban Homesteading". I shared successes and challenges that John and I have encountered since starting this journey in 2010, which included a lot of photos and funny stories.

After each of the speakers, there was time for yoga and stretching and two engaging, guided walks in both the morning and afternoon on the trails around the Nature Center. During lunch (catered by The Early Bird Diner) students from Carlson College of Massage Therapy provided chair massages. 
I was honored to speak alongside three other professionals:
As I was reflecting on the day, I was moved to make a few tweaks to my daily practice. I was left with a renewed sense of community. Sometimes it feels like I am alone on a sustainable living 'island'. Many of my friends and family are supportive of our crunchy lifestyle and not-so-common choices, but there's still a large portion of people I interact with on a daily basis that have no interest or understanding (let alone an appreciation) for eco-conscious living. It's disheartening sometimes. It feels like we're too small to make a change.

The Women in Nature retreat helped me realize that I am making a difference. We are creating a ripple effect, even if it's small.

Thanks to the retreat, the tweaks to my daily practice include being even more transparent about our work towards eating local, real food. We struggle with this on the daily, and while it seems like we've got it on lock, that's not true. I want to continue to head to the gym or get 50 minutes of exercise each day and log my diet on MyFitnessPal. I am going to research a few Young Living supplements that meet the recommendations from Dr. Gray's speech (You'll have to listen to her speak to get the details! You won't regret it!). And, I want to invite more folks over for a meal and to hang in our garden.

It's time to make the ripple effect a little stronger when it comes to eco-conscious living.


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