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How nature inspired my AHA moment

Steeped in the sensuous, nature inspires the senses of touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. We live in such a bottled world: beige walls, black chairs, artificial lights, filtered air, processed food… I want to experience more than that! Our true natural selves just want to live simply. The crisp green evergreen that is nature’s spring smell. The earthy taste of fresh wild mint tea. The delicate night sounds that the northern lights whisper. The touch of soil as you place a new plant in it.

Nature is sensuous. I grew up immersed in nature, living in the middle of the boreal forest, my nearest neighbours 60km away. But I was never a lonely child, I had nature to delight me, there was always more to explore and learn. I would wake up to sounds of strange birds, I would run outside to see what they looked like, and the air would be misty cold, the grey sky highlighting against the brown trees, small green buds emerging from the tips… I felt a sense of calm. I felt at ease with the world, I felt good to be in it, I felt safe and protected. And this is the feeling that stayed with me throughout my years even now as an adult. Every time I step out into nature, I feel alive as my senses are awakened, and that sense of calm envelopes me. This is what inspired me to create my business Aski Holistic Adventures.

In the Saskatchewan River delta in my family cabin is where I discovered holistic medicine, I read every book I could while snuggling next to a warm fireplace. I have dedicated my life to being holistic. It is through this study and my experience living with the land that I discovered an aspect of healing that is extremely powerful: Nature therapy. It is so simple it's hard not to include it in our busy lives. I know most people don’t have the luxury to commit to a life in the woods as I did, so I thought: how can I bring this to people?

I created a nature therapy business called Aski Holistic Adventures. I take people on healing canoe trips, tipi camping, and medicine walks. I teach about the Ceremony of healing. It's more than just what you put into your body, it's about the whole sensuous process! It's so powerful to use your whole body in this healing process: to hike into nature, say the prayers, pick the medicines, and make the medicines yourself. There is a deep connection to our ancestors that most of us haven’t opened yet, and that is through a connection to nature. Our ancestors lived with the land, hunting, gathering, farming, and exploring. They slept next to the earth on animal hides, they kept themselves warm by stoking a fire at night, and they nourished themselves with the plants and animals around them. There is a deep sense of life in reviving those basic tasks of sustaining oneself. I am inspired to re-ignite this relationship and feel how it is to truly live.

snow shoe trip with basket

With my adventures I guide you to challenge yourself to a canoe trip, or a winter snowshoe adventure, and not just a short one, it’s an all-day adventure just to get to the cabin! I take care of all the essentials and planning, I know the land like the back of my hand. We can immerse ourselves in a warm summer day on a canoe trip or get bundled up for a winter excursion. Along the way, we will fill our baskets and pick some plants learning every detail of their plant lives.. But it's more than just an adventure, it's about really sensing what is around you and creating ceremony; taking time to say a prayer of gratitude, or letting your worries float away on that branch in the stream. Then we go beyond this, learning how to fish, create a wilderness camp spot, make a primitive fire, and pick berries. You will use your whole body in the process, feel it in your muscles, your bones. Transform yourself into something new, someone like our ancestors. We need these nature retreats to connect to ourselves, our family, our friends, and our ancestors. So be brave, take a step outside your limits into the vivid life of nature, and come have your AHA moment with Aski Holistic Adventures!

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