I'll Meet You There: Why Developing an Intimate Relationship with Nature Means You're Never Alone

If you're looking for more connection, calm, energy, and sense of well-being — this episode is for you. 

Thank you to our podcast guest, Kai Siedenberg, a nature connection guide and ecotherapist about exploring a deeper relationship with the natural world. Learn more Kai, order her books and read her work over on her website

Thank you to Louis Island for the "My Home" tracks featured in the podcast. They provide a beautiful sense of peace and possibility. 

And a big thanks to Mission Flow, a marketing and automation platform for purpose-driven businesses and organizations, for sponsoring this episode. 

Kai has also generously provided a guided meditation to help you get out and explore a deeper connection to nature, starting right where you are. You can find it here



Below is the transcript from the show: 

Speaker 1:        That thing you've been looking for. Love, connection, companionship, calm, energy, purpose. There's a good chance it's outside.

Speaker 1:        Did you play outside as a child? What was your favorite thing to do? When I was young, I loved making mud pie and playing free tag. As I got older, I played spotlight a game like hide and seek, but at night with a flashlight. Just after the lightning bugs settled down, we'd be outside searching for each other beneath the glow of summer stars. Growing up in Georgia also meant that I swam nine months out of the year and we visited the ocean regularly. I performed underwater mermaid flips in the salty Atlantic and searched for sand dollars in the early morning hours. Springtime meant my birthday, and by April, the tulips bloomed and the bumblebees buzzed. I even came to associate my birthday with a fragrance of flowers, warm sunshine and Easter egg hunts in the backyard. My mom did not believe in board children, and upon the very first complaint, we were sent outside to make our fun spending hours riding the rope swing up over the treetops and picking wild honeysuckle as snacks.

Speaker 1:        When I close my eyes today, I can still smell the autumn leaves we raked and dove into. I can feel the lift as I got airborne on my bike ramp and the memory of hanging and space and time for a moment, feeling like I belonged there in the air. Hi, I'm Victoria Payne. I'm a writer, storyteller, health nerd, and also your host of The Naked Librarian. If you're new, welcome. I am so glad you're here in today's episode called I'll Meet You There. Why? Developing a relationship with nature means you're never alone. You're going to meet a remarkably wise woman who's going to help us rekindle our long lost or perhaps new relationship with the natural world because have you noticed that the smarter and older we get, the more we want to go back and relearn things, maybe even the things we're already doing, but we want to do them with more intention.

Speaker 1:        I started the Nico Librarian because I'm passionate about helping what I call grown ass women, navigate life with more self-compassion, energy, happiness, and wonder. And here's a little spoiler for you what you've been looking for. Love, connection, companionship, calm, energy, purpose. There's a good chance it's outside. Now, I love talking to wellness experts about what they do and why they do it, and I know you're going to love today's guest, but first, let me tell you a story about why I think this topic is so important. Many years ago I was teaching research writing at the University of Portland, and no one gets excited about a research paper, so I like to surprise the students by allowing them to choose their own topic. I put a few boundaries around it, mostly because I had already seen what did and didn't work, but other than that, it was wide open.

Speaker 1:        One year I had a student from Hawaii who will call Tommy. Tommy proposed to research seasonal affective disorder, which the Mayo Clinic calls a type of depression related to the seasons because he noticed how little time he was spinning outside. And as the winter months in Oregon droned on, he was feeling less optimistic, less motivated, and more homesick. Tommy began to reflect on some of the differences in his habits at home and in Portland and ran some numbers at home. He spent upwards of 10 hours a day outdoors, walking, playing, swimming, surfing, sitting, eating, just simply being. When he arrived in Portland in the fall, the weather was still nice the time of year when students play Frisbee on the quad, and so he got about two hours a day outdoors Beyond the time he walked to and from classes in the dorms, Tommy figured maybe he was getting about three hours a day outside.

Speaker 1:        Sure, it was a big change, but not everywhere can be Hawaii. He thought Tommy smiled a lot and had a great attitude, something everybody loved about him, including me. But as the weather turned, he discovered that he really had to push himself to be outside. It got cold, it got rainy, and by November he found that his time outdoors was limited to only walking between buildings. In such a short time, he'd gone from 10 hours a day of sunshine, fresh air and ocean to less than an hour a day and a damp climate. Now you might be thinking, well, that's Oregon, or maybe Hawaiian students shouldn't try college in rainy places, or maybe you're thinking Tommy should just be grateful. Maybe you grew up surrounded by concrete and very few playmates at least Tommy had that. But if you allow yourself to consider that Tommy's story might be a metaphor for adulthood and in a way represents the shift between the childhood you had or maybe wished you had one of play and outside and friends to more of an indoor life with artificial lighting and no recess.

Speaker 1:        If you can make that leap, you might see that you too have lost something. And so far we're just talking about the loss of things like sunlight and vitamin D and fresh air and movement and the benefits of play. But what about all the other stuff that's outside? What about the birds, the flowers, the trees, squirrels, hills, maybe even mountain landscapes depending on where you live. When we're living the life of what for many is equivalent to an indoor one who maybe gets a little time outside on the catio or some back scratching on the porch post. When our experiences are limited, our minds become limited and we start thinking that that sunny window and mom's favorite chair are all that we've ever had. We forget, we are a living thing too, and we're connected to all that. You may be thinking, well outside cats kill birds, Victoria.

Speaker 1:        And I would say don't take the analogy too far, just hang onto the idea that you were meant for more. You were meant to climb trees and roll in the grass and pounce around, maybe catwalk over to your BFF's yard a few houses down because all the stuff that's outside from the sunshine that warms your naps spot to the bees that pollinate the flowers you sniff to the hummingbirds you watch, but never hurt because you're a good cat. All of it is a vast underground spring ready to replenish you each time you go outside. But don't just take my word for it. It's time for you to meet today's expert Kai Seidenberg. Kai is a nature connection guide, eco therapist and poet who is passionate about helping people connect with the healing power of nature for the benefit of all beings and is a pioneer in integrating nature, awareness and mindfulness as a path to mind body wellness, her approach is rooted in deep listening to nature and informed by 30 plus years of experience developing innovative educational programs and extensive practice in mindfulness, holistic healing and creative expression.

Speaker 1:        Kai's life and work are woven around for golden threads, love for people, love for the earth, desire for deep connection, and a strong call to contribute. Kai is also the author of three books of nature, poems and practices, poems of the earth and spirit space between the stones and Love, poems from the Earth, and all three volumes were selected as finalists for the next generation indie book awards. I want to read you something from Kai. This is an excerpt from her introduction to love poems from the earth and a powerful illustration of what is possible when we do more than spend time outdoors. But when we raise our awareness about the living things that surround us and how we're all connected, most of us are taught to look for love in certain places and groups of like-minded people at bars and parties and carefully crafted profiles on glowing screens.

Speaker 1:        We are not taught to look for it in the strong branches of trees, the delicate petals of flowers or water gliding over stones. We are also trained to search for love primarily in the form of one idealized romantic partner, which limits our options and leaves many people lonely and longing for connection. What if we could snap out of the hypnotic trance of fairytale romance and inhabit a wider wilder and more inclusive love story? One that enables us to escape from the cramped confines of the humans only club and rewild our friendships and love lives. Not to replace our human relationships, but to expand our circle of kinship. What if we knew that every being could be our friend and teacher and that we can cultivate loving connections with trees, lakes, and special places in nature and experience the unconditional love we yearn for? We could feel more love and more loved.

Speaker 1:        We would feel less alone and more connected. We would have a solid base of support we could count on and good times and bad. Perhaps more than we can rely on some of our closest human relations. Our love lives would become broader, deeper, richer, and yes wilder. I hope you can hear the wisdom and the invitation in Kai's words. In this episode, you're invited to come a little closer and learn from Kai herself. You'll learn more about what a connection to nature looks like, where Kai's passion for this work came from, and be inspired by some of Kai's lovely poetry and simple ways to experience connection with the natural world. And as a special bonus, we also recorded a guided meditation for you because we really want you to take this whole nature connection thing on a test drive. Or better yet, a wilderness wandering, which is different from wandering in the wilderness. Maybe we should just stick to nature walk. Okay, call it what you want. In fact, maybe that can be part of the fun. Are you ready to be inspired? Step right up and follow me.

Speaker 1:        Hey, it's Victoria here and I've got a message for all the business owners out there. Does your business or organization have an important mission? Then you need to know about mission flow? Mission flow is an all in one sales and marketing platform for purpose-driven businesses. The mission flow platform is specifically designed to empower thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, local and family owned businesses and nonprofits to do more good with comprehensive marketing tools from web building to scheduling to email and SMS automation. And the best part, mission flow. Clients get more than tools, they get access to an award-winning marketing strategist, professional copywriter, and amazing customer support team. If you're looking for a better way to market your mission and grow your business, visit get mission flow.com. Hi, I am so excited for our conversation today. You and I have been talking about this and really wanting to create a conversation that a lot of people can learn from. So thank you so much for being on the show.

Speaker 2:        You are so welcome. I am honored and delighted to be in this conversation with you, and I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.

Speaker 1:        Yes, I am just excited and ready to go. So you work as a nature connection guide and an eco therapist, and before I met you, I'd had it on my bucket list to meet an eco therapist, and then I realized, do I really know what these words mean? So for anybody else listening that might not know, can you share more about your work and what it is that you do in this space?

Speaker 2:        Absolutely. So my work is all about inviting people into deep and healing relationships with the natural world, which means both just finding simple ways to connect with nature wherever we are in daily life, to remember that we're not alone, nature is present wherever we are able to support us as well as helping people learn how to open to more deep and nourishing connections with natural places, trees, creeks more than human beings to actually make friends with them and have them become part of our support network that we can count on in really powerful ways. And for many people, this is a very healing experience and a big aha that nature can really be there for us as a close friend, as extended family that can really help and support us through whatever we're going through. And so it's very powerful work. It happens in many different ways, ecotherapy, a lot of people practice more individually. I do a lot of group work as well as some individual work, but it all has a common theme of helping people connect with nature and healing ways.

Speaker 1:        Has this been what you've done your whole life? Did you know at 18 when I'm done with school, I'm going to be a nature connection guide? How did this happen?

Speaker 2:        It wasn't what I knew I was going to do my whole life. It is what I've been preparing to do my whole life without knowing it. So it kind of brings together everything I've done, which includes a lifelong love of the natural world and lots of positive experiences in nature. But this work started happening about 13 years ago when I was in a big transition. I'd been doing work for 25 years with nonprofits on sustainable ag and food systems, and that was really good rewarding work, but I knew it was time to do something else. I didn't know what it was, but I just knew it was time to take a step back and look at how I can serve at this time. And so I basically took a sabbatical, saved up some money and spent a lot of time in nature being quiet, what I felt called to do.

Speaker 2:        I felt like if I'm quiet and listening to nature, I'm going to find my path. And so it was this really rich, rewarding, peaceful process of going into nature and listening and opening myself to what wanted to come through and remarkable things started happening, including lots of poems coming through, which was a total surprise to me. I had no idea that was going to happen, but it was like I made myself available and they started coming through also a whole body of work of nature practices and classes and programs, like basically the natural world is saying, okay, now it's your job to help invite people into deep and healing relationships with nature and here is how you can do it. So I had no idea that was going to happen, but it also made complete sense given everything I'd done in my life, and it just brought everything together in a beautiful way that also was healing for me as well as for the people I work with, which is part of what I love about it doing nature-based work.

Speaker 1:        What I'm hearing in that story is how much trust you had in both yourself, but also that nature could be this guide and resource for you. And I know that's such a big part of your work, this relationship to nature, I think that's such a beautiful illustration of even one of the questions I have. How do you have a relationship with nature so often where our ideas of relationships, I mean we might think of our having relationships with our pets, but expanding into this, were you just wired this way to understand that nature could do this for you or how did that happen? I feel like I missed this part of growing up where someone taught me this.

Speaker 2:        Yeah, well, it was something that I had at some level all my life going into nature, loving, being in nature, feeling connected with nature. But when I talked about that big transition earlier, it went to a whole different level, just much, much deeper than I'd ever gone before. And I got this sense of how much more was possible, partly because even though I'd been going nature all my life, I'd been following what I think of as the unwritten rules that our culture gives us, which is pretty much keep moving, stay busy, focus on getting to a destination, go out with other people all the time. So that can be great, you can have amazing experiences, but if you stay busy the whole time, if you're always talking to other people or focused on them, you're less aware of the natural world and less able to drop into a deeper relationship with nature.

Speaker 2:        So just by in that transition, by following my intuition and like you said, that trust in nature, I just kind of followed what was calling me and being quiet and slowing down and listening was a really fundamental part of that instead of just moving through with an agenda that I feel like is really what made that much deeper connection possible. And I may be somewhat wired for it or more open to it than others, but I've also taught this to many people over the last 12 years and so far I've always found that teaching people some pretty simple things makes a big difference. And it's some of the things I've already mentioned, slowing down, being quiet, being more present, actually focusing our awareness on the natural world and engaging more directly through our senses, through listening. So just some pretty simple things can make a really big difference and help us open to a much deeper relationship with the natural world.

Speaker 2:        I feel like we're all wired for that. We've just been taught not to do it. We are in a culture that teaches ourselves to see ourselves, teaches us to see ourselves as separate from nature, which in the history of humans is a very bizarre little blip. Like almost all of our history on earth, people have lived closely with the natural world, we've known we're part of nature. We've seen other beings as friends and relations. I would love to share a quote here from an indigenous teacher, Jamie Sams, that just sums up this worldview because this is how humans have seen it for most of our history on earth. In Native American culture, we see everything as being alive. Each living thing has a specific role as a teacher and family member. Everything on earth, whether stone, tree, creature, cloud, sun, moon or human being is one of our relatives. It's just such a different way of thinking of the world than what most of us are taught today.

Speaker 1:        I really appreciate thinking of the natural world and all that's in it as my family, as my relatives, and maybe even for some of us, a more benign version of that if you don't have, if family or relatives doesn't necessarily bring you warm, happy thoughts. The idea that we are surrounded in the absolute best way with this. So earlier you talked about how we can get really busy and just keep moving forward. Do you have a way that helps peoples kind of slow down and become more rooted that you teach others? Hey, it's Victoria here and we'll get right back to our episode in just a moment. But first I have a question for you. Are you 45 or older? Do you know someone who is? If you answered yes to either of these questions, I have the perfect gift for you or your loved ones.

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Speaker 2:        Yes, I have a bunch of ways of doing that. So some are very simple. Just stopping for a few moments or a minute or more is one of the most powerful things. Just being still, if you hold still for a few minutes somewhere, you will get to know it in a very different way than if you're moving the whole time. Being quiet is also really powerful. You're going to be much more aware of what's going on with you. So when I teach practices in groups, a lot of them combine some of the same simple ingredients, being quiet, slowing down, tuning into our senses, like focusing on hearing or focusing on touch. When we get to know a tree or a stone using touch, we have a much more direct intimate sense of connection than if we just look at it with our eyes. I also encourage people to notice where they feel drawn to go and then find one being or place that they connect with for a while where they just sit and listen or maybe they write. So any of those things can really help us open to a deeper connection. It also really helps honestly to go out alone without other humans because humans are very engaging creatures. They absorb a lot of our attention, and so we're out by ourselves. We have a lot more awareness and attention, and I realize not everyone feels safe doing that. So you can also go out with someone else and maybe keep a little distance apart or be quiet so you can have your own experience, but that helps a lot too.

Speaker 1:        I think you mentioned earlier that selecting a special place or a being in nature, I'm thinking about your poem about is it the Redwood? Could you share that with us? I think it's a beautiful illustration of what you're talking about.

Speaker 2:        Thank you. I would love to. Some of my best friends are trees. Trees make excellent friends, and I'll just say before I share this, this is a tree that I felt just called to me like, I'm here. I'm available to be your friend, and I visit them often and call on them when I'm not with them. So they're a really important part of my life. Sometimes if I'm having a hard time, I just imagine myself with this tree leaning into them and I feel their support. So this is called Beloved Redwood, beloved Redwood friend and teacher. Thank you for giving so much to so many fresh air, shade and shelter, beauty and inspiration. More than words can say, beloved redwood friend and teacher, thank you for your deep and eloquent teachings on what it is to be rooted, to be balanced between earth and sky, to give generously beloved redwood friend and teacher, thank you for letting me lean into your trunk and feel your support for allowing me to call on you for strength and guidance even when you're far away. Beloved redwood friend and teacher, thank you for showing me how to listen deeply for holding and healing me in more ways than human words can express beloved redwood, beloved redwood. Beloved redwood.

Speaker 1:        So beautiful. I feel like I can see this redwood in my mind's eye. I love the ending how it just becomes almost like a chant that you're saying. I think something that I've really appreciated in getting to know you and you work is the way that you've been able to embody these experiences of nature into writing. And we were talking earlier about practices, about noticing and quiet being in nature, and then there's this other thing that you're also doing. Do you ever teach people how to write love poems to the natural world? I know your book Love Poems from the Earth is your collection of that, but I feel like as a writer really drawn to this and that there might be something in here for anyone who wants to move into a deeper relationship with nature.

Speaker 2:        Yes, writing can be such a powerful path to a deeper relationship with whatever we write about, including nature, right? So there's a magic when we write that we notice and experience and integrate things more deeply, and I think it's especially powerful to do that with nature because nature has so much healing and medicine in the indigenous sense of the word to give us. So yes, I do teach people to do what I describe as nature-based writing, which is writing from a place of deep and respectful connection with nature. I do that both outdoors in natural settings and believe it or not, on zoom through guided meditation and experiences with nature treasures. So the way I teach is not really writing technique, but it's about how to open ourselves to the natural world and allow nature to speak to and through us. And sometimes we're even stepping into the voice of a redwood tree or the ocean or an owl and writing in their voice or writing in a dialogue with them and some really remarkable and magical things happen when we do that.

Speaker 2:        It is a way of being more in relationship with nature and receiving more of the wisdom and guidance by stepping into a written dialogue. So that's something I love to do, and a really simple thing that I encourage people to do that anyone can do is write a letter to a being or place in nature that's special to you. Letter writing is really a simple form of writing, even for those of us who don't feel that comfortable with writing and just write a love letter or a thank you letter to one of your favorite nature spots or trees or animals and see what comes out. It usually changes the relationship and helps you realize how special they are to you.

Speaker 1:        I think that's such a wonderful idea, and I think almost like a cheat sheet to a feeling, more of your connection to the natural world. I think so many of us, whether it's from our childhood or present day or every day, have places that we really treasure. I think there's something powerful in this idea of writing a letter. There's so many kinds of letters we can write. There's love letters, thank you cards. There is confessionals. So there's this real, to me, this is so interesting to think about and to try because I can put language to this experience and also from teaching writing for so many years, one of the things we know is that writing is, we're a lot of times more connected to our writing when there's a real audience, and in this case, I'm using real with the air quotes because maybe the ocean can't talk back to you, but this idea that you're thinking of someone, something specific that you're writing to, and that actually will change the writing versus a lot of times writing in schools are taught as assignments and the teacher isn't really enough of an audience for many people to get them to care about their writing.

Speaker 1:        So this really interests me on so many levels.

Speaker 2:        Can I ask, sorry, can I add one little, it's just for us as humans, language is a really powerful way of how we create and deepen a relationship. And in our culture, we're not taught to talk or write to beings in the natural world. But when we start doing that, it really helps us feel that we are actually in a relationship, we have a connection, we care. And so I also encourage people to practice just speaking out loud, like just saying hello or saying thank you. Just a couple of words can change a relationship because it really acknowledges we are connecting with ascension being that's hearing us and we're with them.

Speaker 1:        I love that. I guess the times that I have done this, I worried a little bit about my sanity, but I was also very happy because I do talk to my plants and to the birds that visit me sometimes. And I also found myself, especially when we get kind of the rough weather, get worried about the plants and if they're going how they're going to do, I've often prayed for them, but I feel like that's even different than what we are talking about because this idea that the two of us have our own connection is a little different than asking God to protect something. So I just really love this. So we're coming up in not too long on Earth Day, and this episode will probably air around that time, maybe on Earth Day. We'll see. But I was really struck by one of your poems where you wrote about the earth from the viewpoint of what if the world, the earth was your partner. Could you read us that poem?

Speaker 2:        Sure. So this is my imagining of a personal ad written by the earth. Beautiful planet seeks compatible humans for long-term committed relationship, me 4.5 billion years old, but look younger, strikingly beautiful and very well endowed, highly evolved, intelligent and accomplished, head of a large extended family, very generous and giving, but don't want to be taken advantage of. Seeking a committed but not exclusive relationship. You enjoy forests, mountains, oceans, and diverse plants and animals, very willing to listen and learn, including from other life forms, more interested in the common good than material wealth, ready for a long-term, committed partnership based on deep love and mutual respect. Interested. Let's connect.

Speaker 1:        Oh my gosh, Kai, that is so good. Wow. How did this come to you? This is so, it's so perfect. I have been on dating apps before, which sadly was writing personal ads, but I know this idea of a personal ad and it's so brilliant. Tell me a little of the behind the scenes on this one.

Speaker 2:        Honestly, I wish I could remember, but I don't specifically remember. I could dig through years old notes and find out where and when it happened. But right now, I don't know, this poem came through probably 10 years ago. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. But often a lot of my favorite writing, it kind of just drops in a gift from the natural world. It's not like I deliberately crafted it and tried to figure it out. So that's actually part of why the title to my first book is Poems of Earth and Spirit is I just experience them as gifts from earth and spirit. I don't actually know how to deliberately sit down and write a poem, even if I really want to. I need to come to me.

Speaker 1:        So with your poetry, I just think it's so awesome that poems just drop in for you. And I wonder if we had a little more space and intention and quiet if we, even the non-writers out there, people that don't even think of themselves as writing would experience more of this. I know that in times of quiet and I'm in nature, I experience awe sometimes the kind that you'll just start to cry just so, so beautiful. And in fact, on Easter morning, I woke up and I went downstairs to make coffee and I saw a bunny jumping in my backyard. There's bunnies around where I live, but it feels a little different when it's in my backyard and felt like a little treasure and a little gift. I happened to know that my husband, who's this big strong guy, but just has a really tender heart, especially with animals, would love to have wild bunnies around.

Speaker 1:        I knew this. And so when I came upstairs and I brought him his coffee, I said, okay, I have something to tell you. Try not to cry. And I told him about seeing the bunny jumping in the backyard, and yeah, I knew it was going to happen. He kind of teared up and he was like, oh, where is it? I want to go and see. And I feel like there's this kind of preciousness that when we're still and when we're quiet, we get to experience. What I am really hearing in our conversation is just this idea though that's a little more evolved, and instead of me and the natural world being side by side, we're both kind of moving through life that we're connected to each other. And I know in some of your other writing you've talked about how maybe this has always been there or this has always been there, but it's our, and we talked about it earlier, it's our way that maybe our culture that's kept us from seeing that there's this real relationship that we can have with nature. And I'm wondering if you could say a little bit more about what relationship with nature really means to you.

Speaker 2:        It means so many things. I'm going to answer it at different levels. It means I'm never alone. It means I'm always supported. I always have this diverse and beautiful extended family that is available to support and guide me and with me, and I feel so profoundly, not alone and never lonely. Even when I'm alone. I feel that I feel like there is always wisdom and guidance available to me in this extended family, just as there would be in a healthy human extended family. So that's some of what I feel and what I experience and that I also can intentionally ask, like if I'm about to do something difficult, I might call on the natural world or my special redwood friend or another ally just to be with me and support me. And it makes a difference to know I can do that. It's one way we can all access healing and guidance from nature anywhere.

Speaker 2:        That's some of what it feels like, a little bit of what it looks like or how it occurs in daily life. On a small, simple level, just noticing the presence of nature around us. Even when we're in a city, there's plants and animals, there's the sun and stars and clouds and moon. Just noticing the presence of that, a bird singing, taking a few moments to just notice that and breathe it in. Noticing the food on our plate, giving thanks to the plants and animals that gave it to us. These are just simple ways that we can notice and appreciate the presence of nature wherever we are, and then what it looks like in a natural setting. I talked a little earlier about how there's unwritten rules that tell us, stay busy, keep moving, focus on something else. So part of how a relationship with nature might look in a natural setting is we're more present.

Speaker 2:        We're paying attention to where we are. We might be slowing down or tuning in with our senses. We might be touching, we might be writing, we might be going back to a place regularly and spending time with it and being curious and tending that connection and getting to know that place just by being present and listening and being aware and really remarkable things can happen when we start listening and paying attention to nature. There's just so much available and whether or not we're aware of it, we're all already in a relationship with the natural world. If we breathe air, if we drink water, if we eat food, if we're in a body, if we have a dog or plants or a garden, we wouldn't be alive if we weren't in relationship with nature. So the relationship is already there, but starting to bring some more awareness to it, noticing it, breathing it in, and tending that connection. It can give us so much more.

Speaker 1:        I find that as I get older, that I am thinking more about the more depth, the more meaning to life, the richness. I feel like there's this sense of, oh my gosh, I've been here this long. I hope I didn't miss something that I was supposed to get. What I love about our conversation today about developing a relationship with nature is that it's always been here, and whether I've had that awareness or not, and that it's endlessly available, I appreciate the reminder of the food on my plate, the stars in the sky. I don't know if other people are this way, but sometimes it gets all compartmentalized and there's What am I going to eat and I need to make sure there's enough nutrients in that food because of this reason or I, there's all of these choices that I'm making, and I think being reminded, being rooted back in that the natural world is all around us, whether we're inside or outside, and these are such beautiful reminders. Kai, you have so much wisdom for us. I think you so much, and I want my listeners to be able to connect with you and define more of your work. Can you share more about where we can do that?

Speaker 2:        Sure. I have a website, our Nature connection.com. There are lots of articles and tips on there, more information about how to do what I've been talking about today. There are poems. There are introductions to my three books. So I also have three books of Nature, poems and Practices, the Poems of Earth and Spirit Series. So encourage people to visit my website and find out more, and they can sign up for a monthly newsletter that includes nature practices and poems. So would love to hear from people. And I also would love to share one more poem if we have time for that. We

Speaker 1:        Do.

Speaker 2:        Great. This is called A Thousand Butterflies. Last night I dreamed I had a thousand butterflies inside my heart, rising with a great joy and lightness. Effortlessly they floated into the vast blue sky and all about them was a sense of freedom and celebration. They were not weighed down by unnecessary burdens. They were not bound to anyone or anything they did not love. Last night I dreamed I had a thousand butterflies surrounding me with soft wings and bright colors. I felt my burdens lift, and I followed their bright wings to freedom.

Speaker 1:        I hope you enjoyed this production of The Naked News. Everything created here is for educational and entertainment purposes and should not take the place of talking within medical or mental health professional. I am a big believer in therapy, and if you've been thinking about finding a great therapist, let me be the first to say go for it. And remember to visit [email protected] Naked Library to learn more from any of the awesome authors you heard from today.