By Cindy Michaels, founder of Wrens Nest and owner of Yoga by Cindy
Welcome to the Wrens Nest Center for Wellbeing blog! Our first blog entry coincides with the weekend of our “Looking, Living & Letting Go” workshop. The event marks the sixth quarterly workshop we’ve hosted since opening our doors in May of 2014. Our focus this weekend is providing our Wrens Nest community with tools to live a healthy, restful and positive life. That central mission for Wrens Nest has been foremost in our evolution from a mound of dirt to a beautiful, welcoming place where people can pursue their path to wellness in a peaceful, positive and tranquil environment.
As the rain falls steadily leading up to the event, soaking our gardens here at Wrens Nest, I’m recognizing the irony of it all. My late husband Marty and I invested in this land, knowing it would be our “rainy day project.” All we knew at the time was that it should be something much more than a parking lot, adjacent to his medical practice. We felt a connection to this plot of dirt, grass and trees, so we planted raised flower beds and vegetable gardens and began sharing our bounty with others. Some time later, we built a platform so I could practice yoga outside and lead others to experience the reverence of this space. There was something about this area nestled within the trees, where birds found refuge and flowers sought nourishment while the comings and goings of our neighbors and patients buzzed with activity around it. We designed a nature trail and invited others to stretch their bodies and their minds, even if it was just a short walk during their lunch breaks. From the very beginning, we knew this space was ours to create, but it was also ours to share.
After Marty died suddenly in 2011, every day seemed like a rainy day. I was lost for quite a while in my grief and uncertain how to move forward in life without him and our lost plans for our future together. Gradually, I found strength to face each day on my yoga mat. I felt accountable to my yoga students, many whose own journeys took unexpected detours like my own. Through this struggle with grief, I recognized the need to simply allow life to happen and to realize that growth doesn’t happen with sunny days alone. It takes the rain to nurture it as well. So, the space where Marty and I designated as our rainy day project began to take form in my mind. I needed something new, but I wanted it to be grounded in what had shaped my journey thus far. It needed to be a place where others could grow and could be lifted up by a community of people, much like I had been. Wrens Nest came to be because of those rainy days, but it was designed (thanks to the very talented Carl A. Smith) to invite light to illuminate the spaces within. The gardens are still nurtured as they were before, but there’s new life on this space and people sharing in the beauty of the grounds and the building.
In the last year and a half, Wrens Nest has become a community, where people come to seek wellness through yoga, integrative medicine, acupuncture, psychotherapy, ayurveda, gardening and more. We’ve hosted celebrations of wellness, engagement parties, book and garden clubs, an art fair, birthday parties, weddings and retreats. Curious passersby sometimes walk the nature trail, while art enthusiasts investigateThe Healing Advocate, our art/sculpture garden. My yoga student population has nearly tripled, as newcomers to the practice discover its many benefits. People come here weekly to pick up locally grown produce delivered by Rise ‘N Shine Organic Farm, and our quarterly workshops draw crowds of people who want to learn more about wellness. Wrens Nest has become a resource, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with its evolution.
What’s so amazing about it is that individuals involved in Wrens Nest haven’t been recruited. Everyone has come here to be a part of it in their own unique way. It’s become something beyond what I imagined, and I’m thrilled to have fostered its growth and thankful for the willingness of others to be involved. There’s an energy within and around this space that’s something special, and everyone who visits recognizes it to be an empowering place. For that, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
This journey of helping build the Wrens Nest community through special events like this weekend and sharing the space with others is unbelievably motivational. There’s a synergy that flows as freely as the wind among our cedar rafters on our breezeway, and I’m excited and encouraged by the opportunities that lie ahead. Stay tuned to learn more about exciting happenings at Wrens Nest and hear from many of our partners and guest bloggers in the near future. My hope is that you’ll join us soon to share in the beauty and peace of Wrens Nest. It’s a wonderful place to be – rain or shine.