Welcome Spring! Stillwater's Growth to our New Location
Spring Equinox marks the time of the year when our energy crosses the threshold from the restorative, retracting winter phase of being into the active, external growth phase. This occurs in different ways and patterns in all living creatures. As humans, we do well to follow this energy in our lives to support the continuous balancing act of living in harmony with the natural world.
This Season, Stillwater is making its way upstream to an even more tranquil home!
The cycle of the seasons of the year are reflected in the larger cycles of our lives. These are wonderfully portrayed by Rudolf Steiner in his observations of human development in 7 year cycles of time. We oscillate through phases of significant outward energy, organizing cycles where we integrate who we are in the world and then refining cycles where we hone in on directing our energy in specific ways to grow. Curiously, these cycles tend to mirror our physiologic development in 7 year cycles as well. This is something I've detailed in a course entitled "Life Phases - A 7 Part Series to Understand Personal Development," that I look forward to sharing as a future online course!
Stillwater was born in 2011 from the inspiration of the St Vrain river on its way through the Lyons, Colorado foothills. My impulse to bring the healing traditions to this area came through a long journey of searching for the right placement of the resources I've cultivated in my healing work to be received in a small community where my children could grow. Lyons felt like an ideal place with the proximity to my parents in Berthoud and the extended communities of Boulder, Estes Park & Longmont so nearby.
Stillwater's first home was the office building on the corner of Main Street and 3rd Avenue in Lyons next to the Lyons Dentist and Fitness Center. It was a perfect place to settle in amongst the other healthcare services in town. I was thrilled to develop a community network focused on health and healing. There were so many vibrant and curious people who came to see what we had to offer, we had over 100 visitors come to our open house and ribbon cutting ceremony!
I began with offering a Natural Medicine Apprenticeship Program. This was an opportunity for people to participate in an educational series over 12 weeks while also receiving Naturopathic and Chinese medicine healthcare services. In addition, each session included a Sustainable Feast which was a community meal and experiential learning opportunity for how to change our dietary habits to align with the shifting seasonal energy to optimize health.
It was incredible to share a weekly routine with health seekers and often collaborative healers. The courses I taught included: Life Phases mentioned above, a Natural Immune Support 5 part series, DIY Healthcare series including herbalism, homeopathy, nutrition and topical therapies and my favorite, Holistic Anatomy, a journey through all 12 organs of the body from a blended Chinese/Ayurvedic/Western medicine lens. As I taught these courses, the wisdom that the information is derived from became continuously more alive within me. My students inquiry to develop more connection to the resources of natural medicine was a thrill to observe, support and to learn how it impacted others.
Throughout this journey with Stillwater I have lived the dream that I'd imagined with many of my Naturopathic medicine colleagues from our student days; to have a farm where we grow the herbs that then come into the clinic to be the healing medicines. Our 6 acre farm on Apple Valley road became the manifestation of the dream after life's most unexpected catastrophe of the 1,000 year flood that raged through the St Vrain River valley and across northern Colorado. The property came to be our home as a miraculous gift of the universe from being in the right place at the right time and having wonderful allies to bring things together.
Doctoring, small farming, parenting and sustaining life in a crazy world is quite the juggling act. Eventually my patient care demands increased to the point that I had no time for these elaborate courses and the sustainability of the small audience that would come to Lyons for my classes required that I phase them out.
I continued to teach qigong routinely and gradually moved it to join with the horse herd at the farm which was a joy to share. The collaboration with the herd brought a whole new level to the practice. Qigong is both an exercise form and a meditative exploration that cultivates a high level of body awareness. Horses already draw us into deep awareness of ourselves. By experiencing healing practices amongst the horse herd the wisdom of nature augments the experience incredibly. This planted a seed for me of a much greater ease available through collaborating with the animals and the natural world.
After our lease was finished in our first location, the old White Lion gift shop was closing in Lyons and we were fortunate to be able to move into the building on High Street. We settled into the lovely environment of this renovated historic building. The already beautifully cultivated organic garden in the back was a perfect fit for more growing herbs. I expanded the business with retail offerings adding a natural medicine apothecary, something I expected every town needs. I envisioned a community healing space and the connections grew with the larger space and brought many collaborators through the doors.
Now I am in a time of refining how to share the healing resources with the world in an even more effective and efficient way. Through the experiences of the past 3 years the health of people and communities has deeply transformed. I find myself digging fervently through latest medical research alongside the Chinese medicine classical texts, manuscripts of the origins of homeopathic practice and the many translations of Rudolf Steiners work with more intrigue than ever. The place where people have lost connection to their internal natural rhythm is presenting disturbance in more profound ways than ever.
I hear the yearning for the vitality of a flourishing, healthy ecosystem from my patients bodies. I am aware of the need for a much larger resource to be available for people to be empowered with the tools of natural medicine for their own healthcare. The interconnectedness between the imbalances and toxicity of our environment and the dis-ease in people is more obvious than ever and the opportunity to connect to the inner force to restore this is requiring more effort for many.
I find myself witnessing one profound healing crisis after another as individuals share their stories with me. Traditionally, these are known as opportunities for redefining ones self, which activates the regenerative forces to get to work in healing the body. This is what we are capable of intrinsically and what the resources of natural medicine support. I am so grateful to be witness to the healing journeys of so many people and the activation of life energy that truly transforms people right before my eyes.
It is a miraculous moment every day in my office when I feel the pulse change from an acupuncture treatment. It is a gift to witness the shift in how a person carries themselves when a homeopathic remedy has supported the release of their previous diseased pattern. I love hearing from patients how the small changes they make in their nutritional routine has an enormously unexpected shift in their self-awareness and of course I love hearing that people feel better. Experiencing more vitality, living in the regenerative cycle of health in our bodies, deep connection to intuition and feeling like things make sense as actions align with how the body feels are the great rewards of this work.
Through this time it has become clear to me that it is not my best use of energy to run a retail business or manage a farming operation. The beautiful building on High Street will move on to other owners and I am grateful to now be merging Stillwater with Hart Family Farm.
Thank you to all of the patients and students who have come through the doors of the many phases of Stillwater, the Herb Share recipients who supported the growing gardens, the customers who curiously explored the apothecary, the community who made use of the resources of natural medicine and to all my friends who have supported my vision along the way!
I will soon be seeing patients in a lovely private office on the farm and sharing connections with the vitality of the environment I am grateful to live in relationship with on Apple Valley Road.