May 2018

If you had a childhood anything like mine, you would have painted your fair share of rocks. As I grew up though, painting rocks became a hobby of the past. Like many past times we enjoy as children, it slow faded from our lives as we moved on to more “grown up” activities. Just like the recent resurgence of coloring in the adult community, painting rocks has it’s own set of health benefits.

One of the new breakout activities that will be offered at Harmony Health and Wellness Retreat in 2018 is Lake Superior Rock Painting led by Sonora Byrd. Sonora will be collecting the rocks from the shores of Lake Superior and helping engage each of us in thoughtful, meditative painting that will leave a lasting impression on us.

I will be guiding a meditative art session using Lake Superior stones and painting pens where all participants can use their own creativity to create a stone they can hold in the palm of their hand, keep on display, put their garden or carry with them for a simple reminder of the power of prayer.

It may seem simple yet there is power in the time spent creating your own painted rock. Rock on with paint brushes in hand! Join us this summer! Register for Harmony Retreat here.


With the joys of Spring also come the bugs and sunburns. Don’t let the insects or extra sunshine put a damper on your outdoor activities! Here a few quick and easy tips to staying away from sunburns and itchy bites.

  1. Make your own homemade bug repellent! It is easier than you think AND smells way better! Many recipes can be found on various health, wellness, and natural remedy sites online. As always be sure to through research and ask questions as needed. Essential oils are often key ingredients that smell fantastic from lavender and rosemary to eucalyptus and lemon. A personal favorite is adding vanilla to keep pesky gnats away as well. You’ll smell like a sugar cookie and you won’t look like you are fighting an invisible battle around your head!
  2. Don’t have the time or the resources at your fingertips? Not a problem! Here’s a tried and true natural bug spray that actually works. Buggins again smells amazing and does a fantastic job of keep you fly, gnat and no see ’em free. Although their mosquito repellent does contain DEET which is not a health or environmentally friendly choice.
  3. Eat your sunscreen. Yes, you read that correctly. There are ways to adjust your diet so that your body is able to boost Vitamin D levels for time spent in the sun without sunscreen. Of course, sun exposure should still be in moderation and using clothing, hats, and sunglasses are advised as well as seeking shade. But loading up your diet with Omega 6 and other health fatty oils helps your body fend off the sunburn effects of the sun without removing your body’s ability to make Vitamin D from the sun (which is what sunscreen does).
  4. Vitamin D, as mentioned above, is a very important part of a health life. We can consume foods with Vitamin D that is naturally occurring (rare) or added (such as milk). We can take supplements, which is especially helpful in an UP North Winter! And if we can allow your bare skin to soak in the sun for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week we can help avoid Vitamin D deficiency. Not only is Vitamin D an important part of being healthy, lack of Vitamin D can have severe health impacts.

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