Nature Connection

have you ever
stayed up all night to watch the sun rise
because you were so cold
that you could not fall asleep
because you chose
to walk into the wilderness
with nothing but the clothes on your back
huddled in a ball by a makeshift shelter
with fire that you rubbed to life with two sticks
curling tight to stay warm
and watching
the fire
the sky
and the stars
the stars
the stars are so beautiful
and you are so cold
that you cannot
and wait
for the
I hope you experience this one day,
feeling truly cold,

I cherish my "old" life and travels as a full-time outdoor instructor. These sacred experiences continue powerfully walking with me, informing and inspiring my life in deeply Earth- connected ancient ways, while informing my clinical practice. 

I not only practice acupuncture and prescribe herbs, but also prescribe "dirt-time," be it gardening, a daily walk, or a daily "sit spot." 

Sit spot is one of our core nature- connection practices:
  1. Pick a natural outdoor spot close to home. (Closer is better! Backyards or local parks are fine.)
  2. Spend 20 minutes there everyday, observing silence. (You can just sit and watch, or explore, etc).
Over time, through developing consistent daily connection with one location, you learn things about both yourself and your natural environment that would have been otherwise invisible. 

Also consider a weekly or monthly full-day or multi-day outdoor excursion. If you're not sure where to go, then join your local Sierra Club to meet like-minded people, and explore new places. If you're not sure what gear you need if you're doing more than just a hike, then join REI's workshops that range from free to medium price-range... then get your gear for cheap used, on Ebay.

Build ritual into your life. Give yourself a quarterly full-day or multi-day outdoor retreat to rest, reflect, and digest the past, while designing and planning the future.

If you have not experienced a formal rite of passage such as a Vision Fast or prolonged period of intentional ceremonial fasting, then the School of Lost Borders or Animas Valley Institute offer profound (albeit expensive) journeys. If not attending a supported Fast, then you can research the process, then simply build your own ceremony: create a solo community-supported journey of silence and fasting in the wilderness for a Vision. These are particularly helpful in facilitating clarity in times of great transformation or transition. 


Other Resources

Locally, Ventura Wild brings children into wild places, familiarizing them with their natural environment, creating internal and external ease, confidence, and resilience through developing both hard and soft skills through play and solid dirt-time.

Good books
  • Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature, by Young, Haas, and McGown
  • Soulcraft, by Bill Plotkin
  • Becoming Nature, by Tamarack Song
Outdoor Education Schools


About Me

The Pharm asked us instructors a list of "Bio Questions" for their webpage. I'm sharing my answers here, to better introduce myself to those of you who I'm just getting to know. (My favorite blurb is the final one on "community," if you want to cut straight to the poetry.) ❤

- What forms of movement do you love and how/when did you find it?
Growing up in a meditating multi-cultural household in a mountain community and camping in the desert every weekend, I was exposed to expansive esoteric ideas at a young age. I've loved wilderness, creativity, and spirituality for as long as I can remember. Between patients and students, I'm hiking, backpacking, surfing, climbing, and botanizing around Ventura, and beyond. Dance, yoga, improvisational movement, and wilderness are core daily practices that ground and inspire me.

- What are you passionate about?  
Having fun while making the world a better place. Reconnecting people with their wild creative spirits. Co-creating internal and external resilient, compassionate, and connected communities. Optimizing thriving physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Experiencing regenerative deep, calm, and brilliant joy. Creating beauty.

- How do you plug into self?
Every morning, regardless of whether I wake in the wilderness, a foreign country, or my comfy bed, I begin my day pre-dawn with tea, journaling, and asana. Consistent daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly rituals bring orderly magic into my life. This includes sit spot (nature connection), making music, I-Jing (reading classical Chinese philosophy), outdoor adventures aplenty, moon celebrations, gardening and more. Life is art.

- What does community mean to you?
We are raindrops rippling over an infinite Ocean. I am an individual raindrop, though I am also the whole Ocean. My circles of influence ripple out near and far, intersecting with myriad other raindrops and ripples, eventually touching the whole thing. We ARE the Ocean. We co-create with, while being held and created BY the Ocean. Our every action holds great power.


Ojai Herbal Symposium

Welcome to the second annual Ojai Herbal Symposium in November! I'm especially excited to visit Carol Wade's garden or take a plant walk with Lanny Kaufer on Sunday morning, and meet other herbalists and acupuncturists. Last year's opening Chumash blessing was moving and beautiful, and I expect this year's to be powerfully stirring, as well. I love this year's theme, and the abundance of Chinese medicine influences. Krotona Hall sits on a hill surrounded by the Valley of the Moon mountains, with a lush garden that feels transportive and magical.

California acupuncture CEU's are offered, and volunteer positions are currently open. See www.OjaiHerbal.org for more information. I hope to see you there! 


The Pharm

I don't know how a small town like Ventura has so many yoga studios! But, it's fun to bounce around and teach/ play at seven of them. 

I'm excited to share that The Pharm is a new yoga studio and community center opening in downtown Ventura next Sunday, September 15! Please come join us for various ongoing classes and events. 

I'm teaching weekly Deep Flow yoga classes on Saturday evenings. My fellow acupuncturist and mentor Geoff Helms is teaching Taiji on Tuesday evenings. I'm excited for Nia dance classes on Wednesday mornings. There is much to look forward to, and diverse class options for everyone. Welcome


Botanical Products

I create botanical-product custom orders for clients and patients. I make beautiful things for myself, friends, family, and students... but no longer sell bulk items. I'd rather share specific things when I see you in clinic... or teach you how to make it yourself!

Some Herbal Recommendations

Two Los Angeles area herbalists (and dear friends) I recommend for lovely handmade botanical products, and informative newsletters:
For local Ventura herbs, visit: 
For gorgeous natural perfumes, I recommend:

Coming Up

I look forward to sharing ongoing Herbal Classes and Acupuncture- Herbs- Yoga- Wellness Clinic in Ventura, starting early 2020!