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Katherine Willow N.D.

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Jack in the pulpit

After a year of cleaning up, restructuring and tending to family, CREWC will re-open this fall with programs on health, healing and sustainability; spaces to rent for holistic health practitioners and workshops; an online store; and a holistic assessment service.

For those of you who haven’t visited Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, it’s on 190 acres of rocky wilderness overlooking the Carp River valley, about thirty minutes northwest of downtown Ottawa. Trails wind through magical wetlands filled with wildlife. White pines, ash, spruce and ironwood are home to songbirds, hawks and owls. There is a holistic clinic, a learning centre, a yurt, two straw bale cabins, a pond cabin and three colourful office cabins as well as two tents on platforms, each with their own woodstove and composting toilet which practitioners can rent for treatments or workshops. A large deer-fenced garden awaits planting and is growing wild medicinal herbs in the meantime…

Over these last eighteen years we have run programs ranging from holistic family retreats to professional development courses for doctors of all stripes. CREWC hosted the first Forest School in North America, which continues in the form of Ridgewoods Outdoor Programs for 3-6 year old children run by experienced teacher Sara Raeesi.

However, the central activity at CREWC has been the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic, now simply Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, where many conditions were treated, including cancer. For several years we also offered a Healing House where patients could stay, be nourished with healthy food according to their body type and condition, and cared for by a team of holistic practitioners.

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Lady slippers

The results we saw amazed even ourselves. After starting to use a new concept of disease and healing called German New Medicine, we witnessed many cancer patients recovering without their treatments. In ten years we saved our provincial health insurance (OHIP) over two million dollars. Now we would like to put our experience into programs to pass on this extraordinary knowledge, both to the public and other health care practitioners.

Starting this fall after an open house in September, there will be classes such as meditation, body types & cooking; health assessment services; and products for health, healing and a sustainable lifestyle. We will begin offering monthly healing circles by donation in the village of Carp to introduce the idea of emotional work being as important as diet, exercise and adequate sleep. And I’m pleased to announce that the Ask a Naturopathic Doctor column will restart in Tone! Please email your questions to katherine@ecowellness.com.

It’s a grey, chilly Wednesday morning from the kitchen window at the clinic where Felix and I now live. Beams of sunlight break through the clouds to brighten the day. A squirrel runs across my view and up a tree, scrambling to get ready for the cold season. The parking lot is empty.

I’m deeply tired but satisfied. Most of the last two weeks has been spent in New York state helping my sister with medical visits and a big move and she is recovering splendidly from her brain surgery in August, looking well with a new emerging beauty. Her process is facilitating healing for the rest of us!

My daughter Coral and partner Ashley have settled into my former house and now Felix can visit back and forth between Nana and Mom and Ashley. Coral and I go for counselling for family healing and parenting transitions.

Felix is in grade one French immersion at the wonderful public school in Carp and chatters away with great enthusiasm in his new language. We have dictionaries everywhere to look up French words.

The clinic has been vacated and Lori (manager), Gisele (bookkeeper), Jeremy (maintenance/drumming) and I are cleaning up, preparing the infrastructure at the centre for what comes next.

Internally I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth. With little time for self right now and my emotional healing roaring away in my subconscious, I often feel disoriented and strange. By grace I’m able to continue my daily meditations/tapping/prayers, which take the edge off the anxiety that comes with old memories surfacing. Knowing there will be time alone ahead and glimpses of bliss nurture me through this demanding phase.

One lovely new activity that helps is that I’ve started figure skating again. Felix and I skate three times weekly with both lessons and free time. For me skating is like soaring and dancing all in one and feeds my soul profoundly. I used to be a skater as a child and my body is slowly remembering the spins, jumps and figures that I used to do. What a joy! My joints are still sore, but I refuse to let that stop me and am certain that this is part of my healing, not old age, grin…

My retreat in Quebec to learn more shamanic work with splendid teacher Ilka Marcenay was profound—and feels light years away. However, I’ve claimed the yurt at the centre for myself to practice “journeying”. It is insulated, has a stove and is in the woods. When time allows, I light a fire in the morning and then come back later when it’s warm to meditate, write, rest and enjoy nature. It reminds me of the forts I used to build as a child and makes me happy.

Finally, I made a decision about holidays. After another agonizing Thanksgiving, I decided to stop doing holidays after this Christmas. Until I’m emotionally well, I’m going to take that time to slow down instead of getting drained. Alternatively, I will do something else to connect with family and friends and give to charity. I’ll let you know how that goes!

in growing love,

katherine

Memorial Garden BeforePath into future memorial gardenFuture Memorial Garden

Over the years, several of our patients and community members have passed away. We have been planning to create a memorial garden in their memory for ages. Now a perfect site has presented itself just behind the clinic, a lovely clearing with a large rock beside the seasonal stream that burbles along in the springtime.

In addition to honouring our departed patients and friends, the plan is to celebrate the many spiritual teachers who grace our lives. This will be a sanctuary where people can come and spend quiet time in sacred space. There will be an integration of nature, pieces of art and names on ceramic signs made by a local artist.

If you would like to volunteer to help create this special space, please let us know. Call or email Lori at 613-839-1198 ext 305 or lori@ecowellness.com and stay tuned into these newsletters and our website for work parties with pot luck lunches.

We look forward to collaborating on this uplifting project!

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May 2017
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