About Kai Siedenburg

Kai Siedenburg - Our Nature ConnectionKai Siedenburg is a nature connection guide, Ecotherapist, writer, and poet who is a pioneer in integrating nature awareness and mindfulness as a path to mind-body wellness. She is passionate about helping people connect with nature as a path to greater peace, joy, and balance in their lives and in the world.

Kai loves to empower people to find simple ways to connect with the Earth in daily life, to cultivate deeper bonds with wild places, and to access nature-based healing. As the founder of Our Nature Connection, she offers group programs, individual sessions, and consulting services based on a unique approach she calls NatureWise. She also teaches Ecotherapy through The Earthbody Institute and nature-based mindfulness through Awareness and Relaxation Training.

Her first book, Poems of Earth and Spirit: 70 Poems and 40 Practices to Deepen Your Connection with Nature, celebrates our innate kinship with all life and helps us strengthen that kinship wherever we are.

Kai’s work is informed by 30-plus years of professional experience developing innovative educational programs and by extensive training and practice in mindfulness, holistic healing, and creative expression. Prior to founding Our Nature Connection, she spent 25 years leading non-profit campaigns and programs to advance sustainable and socially just food systems.

Read on to learn more about her professional and personal stories.

Professional Background

Kai Siedenburg is committed to ‘being the change she wants to see in the world,’ and has dedicated her life to advancing sustainability, health, and social justice. Since 1986, she has designed and led innovative programs to educate people about sustainable agriculture, food systems, and the living world.

Kai is a natural teacher, organizer, and bridge-builder, known for her inclusive and collaborative leadership style, commitment to the greater good, and talent for organizing creative and participatory events. From an early age, she has brought people together to make good things happen.

In her 25-year career working with non-profits on food and agriculture issues, Kai made important contributions to developing and promoting innovative food system models, increasing policy support and funding for sustainable agriculture, building consensus and collaboration among diverse leaders, and integrating social justice with sustainability concerns.

Along the way, she helped organize five groundbreaking coalitions, provided direct support to hundreds of groups, wrote and edited dozens of publications, organized hundreds of meetings and events, and played a lead role in raising millions of dollars in grant funds.

Examples of her work include:

  • Orchestrating international campaign actions to advocate for bans on particularly hazardous pesticides
  • Helping school children in San Francisco discover the magic of growing their own vegetables
  • Organizing peer-to-peer learning networks to advance pioneering food system models
  • Co-coordinating tours of organic farms and community food projects for elected officials
  • Incorporating creative play into leadership retreats as an integral component of learning and team-building

The key positions she held were: Training and Technical Assistance Program Director for the Community Food Security Coalition, Founding Director of the California Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, and Campaign Coordinator for Pesticide Action Network North America.

Kai left her last full-time position to follow a calling to help people connect directly and mindfully with the natural world as a path to mind-body wellness. Since then she has created an extensive body of nature connection practices, programs, and writings that are now shared through Our Nature Connection and its partners.

For more information, see Kai’s LinkedIn profile.

Personal Story

Kai Siedenburg is the product of a somewhat unlikely union between a deeply intuitive artist and healer mother and an eminently practical engineer father. She likes to think she combines the best elements of both parents, and sometimes she is right.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Kai was a precocious infant. At the tender age of four months, she conspired with the universe to bring her family to the San Francisco Bay Area, thereby ensuring her access to abundant natural inspiration and a smorgasbord of creative, healing, and spiritual practices, all of which helped prepare her for her current work.

Kai’s life is woven around four golden threads: love for people, love for the Earth, a strong call to contribute, and a yearning for deep connection. She believes that we all have unique gifts to give, and that our life journey is about discovering and expressing those gifts.

Her tendency toward over-thinking and over-doing led Kai on a long-term quest for ways to calm and center herself and connect with deeper wisdom. She is immensely grateful for her foundational practices of nature connection, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, Qi Gong, and conscious dance. These practices have helped her connect with her authentic self and with something much greater than herself, and have made her life much happier, healthier, and more balanced.

Kai is a lifelong student and friend of the natural world. Some of her best friends are human, and some are not. Her great loves include trees, plants, flowers, mountains, and water. In the last few years, this long-term love affair reached new heights and depths, and she has experienced levels of intimacy and inspired co-creation with the natural world that she had never known before. She discovered that almost everything she really needed to know could be learned by connecting deeply and mindfully with nature. (Hear Kai tell a personal story about an experience of deep communion with a bay laurel tree.)

Her favorite things to do generally involve love, creativity, nature, and/or movement. They include hiking, gardening, singing, dancing, swimming, creating from Source, sharing time with loved ones, being on retreat, and simply being.

Kai is grateful to inhabit a very special part of the known universe: Santa Cruz, California. She has been growing deep roots there since 1987, nourished and inspired by beautiful wild land and beautiful wild people.

 

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