Self-Acceptance Retreat, April 6-7, Johnson Woods Lodge in McDonald, TN near Cleveland. An overnight, nature-based retreat for women who have survived trauma, led by Holli Richey and Bonnie Cretton. Bonnie is the founder of Woodsong Forest School. Experiences include, Forest Bathing (mindful walk in nature opening senses to nature’s elements to calm and soothe our mind and body), gentle yoga, herbal identification walks, herbal tea blends, meditation. Meals are included. Lodge setting, but must bring linens, yoga mat, comfortable outdoor clothing. Space is limited. Register with Holli by March 25th, 423-240-4578.
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May 20th, 9:30-12:30. Rising Fawn Gardens–Herbs of the Southern Forest. Herbal identification and medicine making. Register with RisingFawnGardens.com.
June 2nd, Forest Bathing with Crabtree Farms, on the Guild-Hardy Trail. (NOTE: This is NOT at Crabtree Farms. Location below.) Experience the life-changing practice of mindfulness in nature. Be present with the body and senses. Gain skills in how to work with difficult thoughts and feelings to reduce stress and anxiety. Forest Bathing, also called Shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese concept of immersing oneself in the rich sensory experience of the forest with open awareness and no expectations. The body and mind “bathes” in the smells, sounds, light, movement, taste and feel of the forest. Research in Japan is providing evidence of what nature-lovers have intuitively known for years: that reconnecting to the forest will heal us. Studies show, specifically, that intentional forest walking elevates the mood, reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, boosts the immune system, and reduces the heart rate.
Location: Guild-Hardy Trail at Lookout Mountain Conservancy–410 Ochs Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 3740. (The trail is located at the northern end of Lookout Mountain within the Chattanooga city limits. Parking in the far west end (gravel) lot at Ruby Falls.)
October 25-27, American Herbalist Guild 29th Annual Symposium. The symposium focus is on Bioregional Herbalism. I will be presenting on Herbs for Traumatic Stress and leading a Mindful Forest Bathing walk at the beautiful Unicoi State Park in the North Georgia Mountains. Register with AHG.
Early registration ends Friday, December 15th.
One of the most fun and fascinating weekends set for 2018 is the Mid-South Women’s Herbal Gathering on Lookout Mountain. Hosted in a beautiful location, many skilled herbalists from the region will share their experience and knowledge of healing with plants.
I will be teaching an intensive on Friday, April 20th from 1-4 on Herbs for Traumatic Stress. As a psychotherapist and herbalist, I have a specialized perspective on using herbal medicines to assist the traumatized body-mind-heart.
Register at Mid-South Women’s Herbal Gathering.
The Art of Botany at the Hunter Museum of American Art: A Focus on Poppies — Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30-3pm
The Art of Botany looks at the cross-pollination of art and plants, uniting artists and naturalists into dialogue. This program will feature three Knoxville-based artists and creatives, Margaret Scanlan, Norman Magden, and David Denton, who collaborated on the multi-media, experiential work, “Poppy Project,” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden in 2016. Local therapist, herbalist, and naturalist Holli Richey will respond to their work, speaking on the cultural use and medical history of poppies. Join us for a fascinating discussion on the generation of creativity by, and healing from, the humble plant.
In partnership with Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga, TN, I will be leading a Forest Bathing experience. Contact (in advance) Crabtree to register.
Forest Bathing, also called Shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese concept of immersing oneself in the rich sensory experience of the forest with open awareness and no expectations. The body and mind “bathes” in the smells, sounds, light, movement, taste and feel of the forest.
Through mindful experiences such as Forest Bathing, we can be present with the body and senses, simply resting in natural awareness, grounded. We will practice skills in how to work with difficult thoughts and feelings to reduce stress and anxiety.
Research in Japan is providing evidence of what nature-lovers have intuitively known for years: that reconnecting to the forest will heal us. Studies show, specifically, that intentional forest walking elevates the mood, reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, boosts the immune system, and reduces the heart rate.
Experience it for yourself.
Location: Guild-Hardy Trail at Lookout Mountain Conservancy. (The trail is located at the northern end of Lookout Mountain within the Chattanooga city limits. Park in the far west end (gravel) lot at Ruby Falls where we will meet to start our walk.)
At Crabtree Farms, Chattanooga’s community-focused, urban, sustainable agriculture farm.
Feb 4th, 1pm-4pm, $40
Step into the new year with the clarity of eating from a place of mindfulness and balance. Holli Richey, Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and a psychotherapist practicing in Chattanooga, will guide participants through an afternoon of learning more heart-fully the art of eating from a conscious place.
This workshop will combine tangible ways in which to eat more mindfully, while also engaging in a serene and centering group eating experience.
Holli was a creator and facilitator of a year-long mindful eating program at Center for Integrative Medicine. This workshop will be an experiential, condensed version with lots of applicable tools to nurture a balanced practice of eating forever.
Tellico Wild reconnects people with the wilderness. http://wildsidetv.com/video/tellico-wild/
In August 2015, Tennessee’s Wildside adventured into the Tennessee Citico Wilderness to film naturalists and people seeking a day of reconnecting with their wild side. Bill and Laura Hodge organized the event, sponsored by Wild South and SAWS. I was honored to have Tennessee Wildside come along to film the edible and medicinal plant hike I led to Fall Branch Falls. This is one of my favorite areas in East Tennessee’s Wilderness region. Medicinal plants abound right at the trailhead and throughout the entire hike. In August, it is a cool, moist day in the 70s, a refuge in the southern heat.
It’s winter now as I post this, but at the end of February, the earliest of spring ephemeral wildflowers will soon emerge. Once the days start getting longer after the winter solstice, I’m already dreaming of spring wildflowers. I post this now to remind us of the beauty to come, and urge people to get out and enjoy our precious wilderness areas in 2017. I’ll be leading some edible and medicinal hikes this year. Stay tuned!
And PLEASE! contact TN Congressman Chuck Fleischmann to tell him to sign the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It takes an act of congress to protect Wilderness forever, which is a forever “thank you” to those who made it happen. Wilderness is where you can lose your urban worries, and find the wild heartbeat in your soul. Don’t you think we need that right now?
To watch the 5 minute video on Tellico Wild, including some of my hike, click this link:
I hope you make it out into the wilderness this year. You can be transformed in just one hike.