Retreat Reflections

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying some sunshine this early spring. For those of us in Oregon, we had a beautiful weekend, saw the sun, and felt its warmth for the first time in months! So there was a reason to celebrate, for sure!

Sunshine was just what the doctors ordered for the spring retreat too – literally! 

Over the weekend, I hosted physicians and nurse practitioners at my farm for two days of learning & relationship-building. We took a deep dive into my curriculum, Cards for Connection©. The Cards were created for medical providers and educators who work with children and families to build resilience, mitigate stress & trauma and build buffering resources for relational health and social emotional health. Each card showcases an efficacious, trauma-informed intervention that’s straightforward and easy to implement for providers or educators who are limited on time. They bridge the gap between anticipatory guidance to prevent harm and the lack of mental health resources that are felt by professionals. The Cards focus on resilience-building for all ages and highlight interventions such as:

  • Building attachment through play-based exercises – otherwise known as Special Time
  • Modeling unconditional love – otherwise known as the “I’ll love you no matter what” exercise
  • Helping children decrease stress & worry – otherwise known as Worry Pie
  • Identifying primary feelings such as sadness or worry to decrease anger – otherwise known as Yolky Feelings
  • Creating a village of support from new moms through teen years – otherwise known as Circles of Support

The retreat attendees gained so much insight, tools and had spacious time to practice and ask questions. We had tears, laughter, games and lots of time to breathe and soak in the sun. We did yoga, held space for each other and learned valuable tools to create relational and social-emotional health for children. 

It was amazing and my heart and body are still humming with excitement and gratitude. 

We also identified barriers to this type of support and intervention – limited time, provider burnout, bureaucracy of payment, and implementing new tools into already-busy schedules. But, throughout our time together, as confidence built and insight increased, you could see these dedicated professionals acknowledging the barriers and moving towards HOPE! They felt competent with tools, armed with guidance for patients that is SO desperately needed and aimed at becoming a champion to transform medicine. Relational health and resilience-building for children truly is THE MOST IMPORTANT MEDICINE! 

If you’re interested in learning more about Cards for Connection at your organization – healthcare or educational setting – reach out today! I would love to host a training day or retreat for your organization. Let’s begin to transform what you do for kids and families by mitigating trauma, building resilience and fostering social-emotional health. I’m with you!

Also, exciting news to come about ways to access this curriculum through online, self-paced learning – more to come!

Last but not least, if you’re in the Portland Metro area and want to join me tonight, May 2 to watch a preview of Sam Now join me here! 

  • When: Tuesday, May 2 at 7:15pm & Wednesday, May 3 at 7:15pm
  • Where: Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209)
  • What: Please join us for special screenings of Sam Now followed by a conversation with director Reed Harkness and special guests.
  • For tickets: