Tag Archives: Greater Victoria

“10 Year Anniversary @InsideAwareness!”


It is hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I graduated from four intense years of Feldenkrais Training and  began sharing Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement and InTouch Communication Integration Techniques in Greater Victoria!

graduation 106

Creating a Labyrinth from Graduation Walk in 2007 with class mates
Opening the doors at the Fairfield Scout Hall in 2007 for Classes,  Workshops & Talking Circles


  • Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Movement
  • InTouch Communication & Language Enrichment
  • Integrating Natures Elements 
So Much has Happened since 2007!
Offering Workshops & Classes @ Monterey Recreation Centre since 2007
On the Board of B.C. Network of Compassionate Communication
#yyj Trade Shows Displays for Feldenkrais, InTouch Communication & Local Labyrinths
Organized #yyj Nonviolent Communication Intensive for Trainers :  Robert Gonzales & Susan Skye
Hosted 2 Day #yyj Visit & Events for International Labyrinth Society Members
Organized Donations of Can Goods to Create a Walking Labyrinth at #yyj City Hall on Sept 21st – World Peace Day!
Became a Judge for International Peace Pal Children’s Art Contest
Created and presented an integrative Labyrinth Workshop at #yyj Middle School and shared with #yyj Private Catholic High School
Presented Children’s Culture of Values Program at United Nations Peace Education Committee!
and so much more

I have enjoyed connecting with individuals, couples and groups in Greater Victoria and beyond to support improved health and well being!  I have received support in return and it has deepened the quality of my own offerings.  Along the path of this ten year journey, offerings have evolved to include mindful life and wellness coaching, empathy healing sessions and personal retreats with a focus upon self-esteem and confidence building from the inside out.

I have been enriched by observing hopelessness transform into hope for those giving up on life, their relationships and movement abilities.  I have witnessed individuals increase their ability to move in ways that they thought they couldn’t, or take more chances in their relationships that they had resisted in the past.  I have observed violence turn into tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness!

– – –

I want to say thank you to all my supporters, students and clients! I am curious about checking in after the next 10 years to observe the changes!

Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
 Authored  Achieving your Goals  31 Day Program, Sleep Sweet Sleep, Kid’s Peace Bus Calendar of Values  Educational Program & InTouch with Your Values Self-Actualization Program.Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015

#yyj Participates in UN International Day of Peace Celebrations

World Peace Day – September 21st, ’15  yyj-world-peace

A vision made real through the efforts of  Jeremy Gilley, the UN’s International Day of Peace has expanded here into Greater Victoria.  We began a  Grassroots Campaign in 2014 to bring it focus and attention with a calendar sharing local ‘peace themed’ events.  This included some fun social media events.  This year our 2nd Annual Greater Victoria (YYJ) Peace Week Project and it starts Sept 13 – 23, ’15!  There are some old and new events.  We hope more will be added as Greater Victoria gets on board!

Sept 13 – Kick off Peace Week

  • 2nd Annual Puppets for Peace Parade in Fernwood

Sept 16::

  • Central Saanich Labyrinth Friendship Day
  • Victoria Labyrinth Friendship Day

Sept 19

  • Community Giving Labyrinth – you can’t have peace without food! 

Sept 21:

  • Peace Labyrinth @ Greater Victoria Public Library – Central Branch, Victoria
  • World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature – Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria

Sept 23 

  •  Fall Equinox Labyrinth Walk with Special Guests Louise Taylor & Betsy Nuse
Enquire how to include your event – renee@insideawareness.com

Visit Greater #yyjPeace

Follow #yyjPeace on facebook

Pathway Project @ #yyj’s Spring Ridge Commons

Spring Ridge is Canada`s oldest public food forest and Victoria’s largest public permaculture garden or community multi-layer food forest , located on a 1/2 acre city lot in Fernwood at the corner of Chambers and Gladstone. (Location Address is 1200 Gladstone Avenue. )

@insideawareness Summer Volunteer Focus, ’15

This summer Renee Lindstrom of @insideawareness spent time with Linda Chan, Co-ordinator of Spring Ridge Commons, in conversation about a focus for enhancing the community garden experience.  Through our discussions we began to  differentiate philosophy and practicality.  Both important influences upon each other, yet,  which comes first?  We decided to focus upon practicality and bring a change from the ground up!

After hosting  a clearing ceremony to voice the qualities community members would like to enhance in the garden,  we followed this up with creating some  new pathways.  The first pathway we started with was one that had become a shortcut through the gardens.  Our purpose was to change the super highway experience this pathway had become.  Instead we created meandering garden pathways by adding curves to redirect walkers. This would slow people down and take them on another pathway through the garden and offer them choices.  In the process of changing this pathway an unexpected feature became a welcome focal point.  A plaque!

In creating these pathways the focus of attention was on:

  • the pathway as the experience
  • rock edging to define the pathway

Our next pathway challenge will be the front entrance pathways!  The challenge is the designated front entrance is diminished by other entrances to the gardens!  Watch for pics!

Support  change  – donate @ #yyj’s Spring Ridge  

Read more:

5 Element Design – #yyj Spring Ridge Commons

5 Element Design – Sacred Clearing Ceremony 

If you are longing for a personal consultation please inquire privately:

Renee Lindstrom offers:

Indoor & Outdoor Landscape Life & Wellness Consulting & Coaching which enhances relationships, emotions and flexible movement awareness!
Workshops and Events

#yyj’s Spring Ridge Commons

by Renee Lindstrom, August 16th, ’15

I was asked to share my personal notes and experiences on my participation with #yyj’s Spring Ridge Commons this summer.  Off and on in the past few years I have been invited to join volunteer Linda Chan in conversations about this Greater Victoria Garden from a 5 Element Landscaping perspective.

This summer in a conversations in the garden hearing and seeing its needs, I offered  some considerations based upon 5 element theories.   Sometimes quite strongly.  One of the biggest alarms that went off for me was when I heard there had been ceremonies held without a formal opening and closing, and that the members of this gardens community had not been included in stating the practical qualities they requested for the space during the ceremony.  For me this reflects a flood of open water that isn’t contained.  It isn’t achievable practically by the members within the  community itself.  There is no clarity or connection to the intention of the ceremony and of what is being asked for.   It remains in the ether’s.  This inspired an offer to lead a ritual clearing ceremony designed for the participants to show up,  be present and take part at their comfort zone level.  Why? To encourages leaders versus an audience.  The exact thing the garden needs – practical boots on the ground gardening support.

Here are some of the things that came up during our preparations:

  1.  The strongest point made was the need for the garden to reflect respect.   Strategies of signage and rules of conduct were bounced around yet from a natures perspective if there was a need for the community to respect the needs of the garden,  the garden itself needed to reflect it and carry this essence itself.  This meant – clear walkways without weeds and tall grass hiding the clear boundaries of the beds, cared for garden beds and caring people in the garden working more often.
  2. It also meant no garbage dumping.
  3. An address with a number – one that the mail man would deliver mail to if he had to.  On all the marketing it does not have a property number.  This is important to define the main entrance to the commons.  This is where one would find the facing cardinal direction using the 5 elements.  From a western perspective it also makes it an entity.

The biggest learning for me in this project has been that nature is practical and has specific needs from humans and one of them isn’t perspective.  Nature doesn’t care about the lofty ideals of humans!  To be in a cycle of success with nature the primary focus starts with caring for nature.  Caring for nature respects nature and this is the core of Spring Ridge Commons.

Wandering through the gardens and sitting in our first meeting this summer my observation was that it was overwhelmingly un-cared for.  All beauty was hidden from view.  To me it reflected conflict and unfulfilled idealism’s.    My recommendations focused on nature in the garden so that it reflected beauty and respect and practical doable personal qualities.  The analogy that kept coming up is;  water needs boundaries, as water without boundaries is a flood.  A flood destroys.

A number of weeks after our original tour and meetings, coming back to talk about the intention of the ceremony I observed Spring Ridge Commons had transformed.   The walkway and borders had been weeded and tightened up.  The beds cleaned up and thinned.  The whole essence of the garden had shifted.  Being a sensitive the only way I can describe it is that it shifted from the agitation of  dry dying land becoming a dessert into a wet nurturing experience of a forest.  What had also shifted was the community coming into the commons.  They were staying a spell and not using it as a sidewalk to get from one point to the other as quickly as possible!  Local children community groups brought children in to plant seeds and again to use nature to draw.  Musicians were sitting and  playing flutes, guitars and other instruments.   Beautiful benches had shown up!

One of the requests for change had been to bring in sound and children!  It had begun already prior to our ceremony.  Did our ceremonies purpose begin with the first meeting?  Well then, worth the struggle of competing perspectives and opinions and realizing nature doesn’t care about what we think!  It provides based upon our actions!

Each time I go to Spring Ridge Commons, I am able to see beautiful aspects that were not visible before.  Unique plants, signs describing the plants and the meandering pathways themselves.  Also the thought that has gone into creating a native plant garden, a Bee garden and more.  I also hear the depth of knowledge and caring by the current stewards of this garden.  Amazing commitment and contribution.

The main entrance to Spring Ridge is the first one on Gladstone as you turn off Chambers.   We believe the number is 1200.   This is a 3 in numerology and standing inside facing out, this entrance it is a south facing entrance.

  • A 3 reflects:  body, mind & spirit,  communication, expression, optimism, fun, creativity
  • A south facing entrance is the fame doorway and it represents reputations and recognition

Using this entrance the life map reflection of this property would be:

Spring Ridge Commons

So the next time you are in Spring Ridge Gardens take time to consider these reflective life areas and how Spring Ridge Commons mirrors these characteristics in the community!

Another Bring ‘Love’ Back Project by Inside

Documentary – The Bully Project by Lee HirschBully Project

Make arrangements to share this documentary with your school group or organization in the Greater Victoria areas.  

It is National Bully Awareness Month during October in the United States. Canadian Awareness Dates fall through out the remaining school year.  In recognition  we at Inside would like to dedicate time during this school  year to share this documentary for viewing followed by a discussion group.  This film has two options.  One for older children and one for younger children.

If you are interested in having this film shown in your local school, school organziation or club contact renee@consciouslearning@gmail.com.

Gorge Park ~ Monday, July 15th, 9 a.m. – 10;00 a.m.

July Walking “Experiences and Explorations” with Inside Awareness


We will focus on slowing down to connect and increase our experience.  So important in this fast paced world, even our thoughts and movements aren’t able to slow down!  Join us and exlore  your fitness in a “new” way that is not focused on effort.  It is focused on turning the effort “off.”  Same fitness benefits!  Added benefit – see the beauty in our own Greater Victoria Communities……..

Register with renee@insideawareness.com for each tour of interest.  Cost – $10.00 (no debit or credit cards – cash only)

Meet up @ 8:45 a.m.  in the Main Parking Lot off Tillicum Road

Esquimalt Gorge Park is located on the Gorge Waterway in historic Esquimalt, British Columbia.  When the park was developed more than 100 years ago, a key attraction was the establishment of North America’s first Japanese Garden. The Garden was originally designed by Isaburo Kishida in 1907. The Takata family operated a very successful Tea House in the gardens for many years until 1941 when Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps.

2013 ~ Vancouver Island’s year of the Labyrinth

In September, 2013 Northern Vancouver Island will be hosting the First World Labyrinth Conference in Canada.

Labyrinths for Global Healing, Landscapes for the Soul”

The greater Victoria area will have participant from around the world arriving a few days before, September 17, 2013, who will pilgrimage up-island to experiences 50 assorted Labyrinths on the Island.

I look forward to supporting Greater Victoria in being a living presence in this meaningful event.  If you are wishing to be apart of creating something to our community bringing awareness to the qualities of wellness physically, emotionally and mentally I would welcome your connection.

This picture is a sand labyrinth drawn at Gonzales Beach in the summer of 2012.   Sand Labyrinth 008


For more information on how to draw a sand labyrinth.