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Hazel

Hazel

I’ve always had a weird relationship with my name.

My mom named me Kimberly and she didn’t like it when people called me Kim. She cringed with the various nicknames and friends called me like Kimbo or Kimbob. In choosing the name Kimberly, maybe she had visions of a fair maiden from the castle meadow (that’s what Kimberly means) who would grow into an elegant southern lady. (I laughed too when I typed that).

Try as I might to squeeze into the name(s), they’ve come to fit about as comfortably as a pair of L’Eggs Panty Hose in Atlanta on an August afternoon.

Over the past year or so, I’ve felt a call deep in my bones to change my name. Just ask my loving wife how many times she’s patiently participated in yet another conversation that started with “How about this name…?”

What has landed and bloomed in my heart is not just a new name; it’s a waymarker on a journey guided by a divining rod in the search of wisdom and resilience that animates my life. I’ve explored a few final choices with family and friends and sought advice from some generous folx in the queer and trans community who have navigated name changes with grace and integrity. I even received an effusive affirmation from a friend with the name I am adopting.

Hazel

Hazel is a name steeped in Celtic mythology, the Hazel tree stands at the center of the Otherworld as a symbol of wisdom, inspiration, and protection. The Celts believed that the nuts of the Hazel tree contained all the knowledge of the world, a divine gift to those who sought understanding. Hazel trees were often found near sacred wells and springs, places where the veil between worlds was thin, and the presence of the divine was palpable.

I want y’all to know that I have zero expectations that folx will be into this change or ready to call me Hazel. And the funny thing is, now that I am living into this, what others call me feels way less itchy than all the variations of Kimberly ever did. It’ll take some time and will be a bit unwieldy for a while. Perhaps I thrive in unwieldy.

Changing my name is not a rejection of the past but a way to relish the journey, live fully into the present, and lean with curiosity into the Crone chapter of my life.

To change one’s name is to change one’s story. We all have the power to redefine ourselves, to bear names that reflect our essence, and to live lives true to who we are at our core.

With warmth and wonder,
Hazel

Rewilding Church Workshop: Embracing Nature, Spirituality, and Community

Rewilding Church Workshop: Embracing Nature, Spirituality, and Community

Join us for a transformative workshop on leading Wild Church, a unique approach to spiritual practice that integrates nature, mindfulness, and community. This immersive experience is designed for clergy, spiritual leaders, educators, and anyone interested in exploring innovative ways to connect with the divine through the natural world.

Throughout the day, participants will engage in a series of interactive sessions, experiential exercises, and group discussions led by a seasoned facilitator with expertise in ecological spirituality, nature therapy guiding, and outdoor life coaching. Drawing inspiration from various traditions and indigenous wisdom, we will explore practical strategies and visionary insights for cultivating meaningful spiritual experiences in outdoor settings.

Highlights of the workshop include:

  1. Introduction to Wild Church: Explore the origins and principles of Wild Church, understanding its roots in eco-theology, contemplative practices, and Earth-based spirituality.
  2. Nature Immersion Practices: Experience guided nature walks, forest bathing, and mindfulness exercises to deepen your connection with the natural world and awaken your senses.
  3. Sacred Rituals in Nature: Learn how to design and facilitate sacred rituals, ceremonies, and seasonal celebrations outdoors, honoring the cycles of the Earth and fostering spiritual renewal.
  4. Community Building and Inclusivity: Discover strategies for building inclusive and diverse communities through Wild Church, creating welcoming spaces for people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
  5. Ecological Justice and Stewardship: Reflect on the intersection of spirituality and social/environmental activism, exploring ways to integrate ecological justice and stewardship into your spiritual leadership.
  6. Practical Guidance for Leading Wild Church Gatherings: Gain practical tips, tools, and resources for organizing and leading Wild Church gatherings, including logistics, safety considerations, and group facilitation techniques.
  7. Sharing Stories and Visioning: Engage in storytelling circles and visioning exercises to share your experiences, insights, and dreams for the future of Wild Church in your community.

Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or new to the concept of Wild Church, this workshop offers a supportive space to deepen your spiritual journey, connect with like-minded individuals, and gain inspiration for leading transformative outdoor experiences. Come join us as we explore the sacred in the wild and embark on a journey of spiritual awakening, ecological awareness, and community resilience.

Kimberly Knight, MDiv is a certified ANFT-certified nature therapy guide who holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Her Wildwood Wisdom is informed by clinical pastoral care, a trauma-informed approach to holding space for others, and an eco-spirituality that weaves together Celtic, Christian, and universalist theologies.

She has facilitated online and in-person contemplative practices for over 20 years. In addition to guiding forest bathing experiences, this year you can find her facilitating the Ecospirutal Leaders Course for The BTS Center, guiding sessions at Harvard University’s Program for the Evolution of Spirituality, and at the Gathering for Adventure Therapy in Europe.

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Join certified forest therapy guide, Kimberly Knight for a walk at the Amsterdamse Bos to slow down, tune into your senses and reconnect with the natural world of which we are a part.

Light refreshments and a handmade, upcycled journal are included.

We’ll begin with fully arriving in the forest and grounding our connection with nature. We will then slowly share in invitations to experience the forest intentionally and reciprocally. We will even enjoy some tea under the trees and have plenty of time to just be still and notice our noticing.

These walks are always slow and easy-going, not a hike; not a naturalist tour of plants or trees.

Walk length: 2 hours; please wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking outdoors. Bring whatever else you require to feel comfortable.

Participants will be asked to silence and pocket their phones, so let folks know you will be unavailable for a couple of hours.

All participants of Wildwood Wisdom activities are personally responsible for their own fitness, safety and welfare and must be equipped accordingly.

A minimum of three participants is required for a walk to take place. If the minimum registrations do not happen, registered guests will receive a full refund.

Slow down

Reconnect with nature

Notice your noticing

Realign your inner compass

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Join certified forest therapy guide, Kimberly Knight for a walk at the Amsterdamse Bos to slow down, tune into your senses and reconnect with the natural world of which we are a part.

Light refreshments and a handmade, upcycled journal are included.

We’ll begin with fully arriving in the forest and grounding our connection with nature. We will then slowly share in invitations to experience the forest intentionally and reciprocally. We will even enjoy some tea under the trees and have plenty of time to just be still and notice our noticing.

These walks are always slow and easy-going, not a hike; not a naturalist tour of plants or trees.

Walk length: 2 hours; please wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking outdoors. Bring whatever else you require to feel comfortable.

Participants will be asked to silence and pocket their phones, so let folks know you will be unavailable for a couple of hours.

All participants of Wildwood Wisdom activities are personally responsible for their own fitness, safety and welfare and must be equipped accordingly.

A minimum of three participants is required for a walk to take place. If the minimum registrations do not happen, registered guests will receive a full refund.

Slow down

Reconnect with nature

Notice your noticing

Realign your inner compass

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Join certified forest therapy guide, Kimberly Knight for a walk at the Amsterdamse Bos to slow down, tune into your senses and reconnect with the natural world of which we are a part.

Light refreshments and a handmade, upcycled journal are included.

We’ll begin with fully arriving in the forest and grounding our connection with nature. We will then slowly share in invitations to experience the forest intentionally and reciprocally. We will even enjoy some tea under the trees and have plenty of time to just be still and notice our noticing.

These walks are always slow and easy-going, not a hike; not a naturalist tour of plants or trees.

Walk length: 2 hours; please wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking outdoors. Bring whatever else you require to feel comfortable.

Participants will be asked to silence and pocket their phones, so let folks know you will be unavailable for a couple of hours.

All participants of Wildwood Wisdom activities are personally responsible for their own fitness, safety and welfare and must be equipped accordingly.

A minimum of three participants is required for a walk to take place. If the minimum registrations do not happen, registered guests will receive a full refund.

Slow down

Reconnect with nature

Notice your noticing

Realign your inner compass

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer

Forest Bathing at Crystal Spring Trail

Forest Bathing at Crystal Spring Trail

Join us, Friday April 26 for an eco-spiritual experience of forest bathing.

Forest Bathing (also called Forest Therapy or Shinrin Yoku) is a guided practice inviting us to awaken our senses and deepen connection with ourselves, others, and the Ground of Our Being.

Our guide, ANFT-certified guide, Kimberly Knight M.Div., will take us through a structured experience with a sequence of invitations and contemplative prompts.

Forest Bathing, also known as Forest Therapy, is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku 森林浴 which translates literally as  “Forest Bath.” The nuances of this terminology are:

• Bathing as immersion in the forest atmosphere
• Bathing as taking in the forest through our senses
• Bathing as being in the present moment, being in the here and now (Naka Ima 中今 or, in the “middle of now”)

Forest Bathing is more than a walk in the woods. Developing reciprocal relationships with the Web of Interbeing can be a mindful, spiritual practice. A forest bathing walk is an open and affirming practice; there are no prescriptions for what a person “should” experience or what benefits they “should” receive. Instead, it is a practice of invitation that supports a deeper relationship of reciprocity with our kin of the other-than-human world.

We will meet just before 10 a.m. in the Greenwood Park parking lot and begin walking promptly at 10 a.m.

Please bring a thermos of hot water and a light snack.


Tickets below are offered on a sliding scale based on the “green bottle” equity framework. You can read about this framework here.

Slow down

Reconnect with nature

Notice your noticing

Realign your inner compass

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Where in the world?

I’m thrilled to share some exciting news with you all! In April, I’ll have the honor of presenting “Rewilding Spirituality” at Harvard Divinity School as part of the esteemed Program for the Evolution of Spirituality. This presentation dives into the concept of reconnecting with nature to revitalize our spiritual practices.

Following this enlightening event, I invite you to join me in Latvia this June for GATE – The 4th Gathering for Adventure Therapy in Europe. Here, I’ll be sharing my workshop titled “Forest Bathing for LGBTQ+ People and Allies.” This workshop explores the healing power of nature for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, delving into the intersection of adventure therapy and inclusive outdoor experiences.

At both events, I’m eager to connect with fellow practitioners, researchers, and professionals from various backgrounds to celebrate the transformative impact of nature-based practices on individuals and communities alike.

Let’s embark on these journeys together, as we explore spirituality, nature, and the profound connections between them. Stay tuned for more updates and insights as we prepare for these enriching experiences! 🌍✨ #HarvardSpirituality #RewildingSpirituality #GATE2024 #AdventureTherapy #NatureHeals #LGBTQ+Inclusion

Online Terrarium Building Workshop

Online Terrarium Building Workshop

Embark on a miniature gardening adventure with a remotely guided terrarium-building workshop! Join friends and fellow nature lovers from around the world in crafting your own lush, self-contained ecosystem within a glass enclosure. With an array of vibrant plants, decorative stones, and other natural elements to choose from, the terrarium building workshop is a hands-on, imaginative experience that brings the beauty of nature to your fingertips.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find an interesting, sealable bottle to use for your terrarium. Thrift shops, estate sales, and kringloops are great places to find creative containers such as glass coffee pots, large corked jars, or old apothecary bottles. Just make sure there is plenty of room for a handful of pebbles, a scoop of dirt, and a few plants growing to keep you company all season long.

You will then collect from your local garden store just two or three tiny, terrarium-friendly plants, pebbles for drainage, moss, and other natural elements you may want in your little glass garden. Special stones, sticks, or other elements are a nice touch. You might even want to add tiny fairy home pieces if your container is large enough.

Then, on March 17th at 7 p.m. Central Europan time (World time Buddy can help you convert that time), we will meet via Zoom and I will guide you in the creation and long-term care of your enclosed ecosystem.

Participants will receive a Zoom link after registration.

Here are some nice plants to consider.

 

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Forest Bathing in Amsterdamse Bos

Join certified forest therapy guide, Kimberly Knight for a walk at the Amsterdamse Bos to slow down, tune into your senses and reconnect with the natural world of which we are a part.

Light refreshments and a handmade, upcycled journal are included.

We’ll begin with fully arriving in the forest and grounding our connection with nature. We will then slowly share in invitations to experience the forest intentionally and reciprocally. We will even enjoy some tea under the trees and have plenty of time to just be still and notice our noticing.

These walks are always slow and easy-going, not a hike; not a naturalist tour of plants or trees.

Walk length: 2 hours; please wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking outdoors. Bring whatever else you require to feel comfortable.

Participants will be asked to silence and pocket their phones, so let folks know you will be unavailable for a couple of hours.

All participants of Wildwood Wisdom activities are personally responsible for their own fitness, safety and welfare and must be equipped accordingly.

A minimum of three participants is required for a walk to take place. If the minimum registrations do not happen, registered guests will receive a full refund.

Slow down

Reconnect with nature

Notice your noticing

Realign your inner compass

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer

Our Sacred Nature Retreat

Our Sacred Nature Retreat

Whether you seek quiet introspection or spirited connection, you are invited to save the date – November 7-10, 2024 –  for next year’s weekend retreat held by and for LGBTQIA+ folx and our dearest allies at the Vines Center just outside of Little Rock, AR.

During the day we will immerse in forest bathing, gentle yoga, sound baths and labyrinth walks. In the evenings we will gather in the warmth of communal fireside conversations where your story is honored and your presence cherished.

Wherever you are on life’s journey, you are invited to experience the profound beauty of both the outer landscape and your innermost self.

Visit Our Sacred Nature to learn more and register.