Meet your guide, Kristy Gungler
Kristy Gungler is a seeker, teacher and connector. She is a mama, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She holds certifications in Ayurvedic Health Counseling, Forest Therapy, yoga + clinical aromatherapy. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and an associates degree in Veterinary Technology. Kristy is a nature-worshiper whose deep desire and calling is to re-connect humans to nature for the betterment of themselves, their communities, and our beautiful planet, Earth. Through her Earth Bird Wholebeing practice, she offers Ayurvedic Health counseling, guided Forest Therapy walks, seasonal online workshops + courses, teaches a weekly yoga class and is a small-batch distiller of aromatic and therapeutic hydrosols.
As a child I spent my days exploring the outdoors until it was time to come home for dinner. Nature was always teaching me and sharing her insights with me, through all of my senses.
I am forever grateful my parents encouraged my sisters and I to go play outside and explore each and every day. We had patches of forest end-capping our little suburban street. I was wide-eyed and in constant awe of the beauty just outside my door. Experiencing life with an eagerness to take it all in. Seeing the vibrant shades of green in the trees and witnessing the leaves magically change color in the fall. The sight of clouds and all the images they shifted in and out of. The colors of the butterflies, noticing their effort moving from one flower to the next. Even observing nature from inside my home; I remember watching the rain drops race down the window when a storm rolled through. I would sit by the window, mesmerized by the drops. It would feel as if time stood still.
There is definitely a sixth sense that becomes enlivened when we are out in nature. Our sense of instinct and intuition. Being in nature and learning on a subtle level that everything we need is already within. This is something I had never thought of until later in life.
Fast forward from my childhood where my days were spent outdoors taking the outside world in through all of my senses. I followed my bliss of learning and exploring the ways of nature. I pursued two college degrees both in science. First a bachelor degree in Environmental Biology followed by an Associates degree in Veterinary Technology. I had a fulfilling career, married my love whom I met in college, started a family by birthing two light beams, my beautiful children. I was truly in my happy place. Until I wasn’t.
At 34 years old, I found myself utterly overwhelmed with the stresses of life. A mixture of postpartum hormones, the pressures I put upon myself and the pressures from society to not mess up the most important job I have ever had! The worries of the world that I felt so deeply, and all of the day-to-day stresses I was not aware I spent years tucking away deep inside. This created the perfect storm for a mind, body, spirit crisis. I was no longer in rhythm with nature, with her cycles. I wasn’t connected to the seasons, or the energy shifts throughout the day. I had lost touch with myself and my needs. I was experiencing all sorts of physical symptoms and emotional ups and downs. It was a very confusing and scary time. I wondered if I would ever find my way through.
That dark time of my life was a catalyst to the path I am walking now. As humans living in our fast-paced modern world; we can easily shift out of sync, out of the flow, out of balance and out of harmony. Finding your way back, can feel like a full-time job. Searching for answers and finding practices that transform us back into health, that bring us back to the sweet spot which is ease, or what I like to now call WHOLEBEING bliss.
I stepped into my healing journey using and learning many modalities. The one practice that created a very palpable shift was the aromatic use of essential oils. Lavender oil brought me back. It brought me back to the flowers, back to the plants, back to the earth. The aroma brought me back to nature and ultimately, back to myself. I once again felt my mind, body and spirit were communicating with each layer of my being. I began to hear the whispers and calls of what it was I needed to be well. Lavender was and is my ally. I started to practice yoga, study Ayurveda and dive deeper in the world of plants through aromatherapy. Now, over 13 years later, I am living with an awareness that I had when I was that wide-eyed, wild child. I am a Yoga Teacher, Clinical Aromatherapist, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Forest Therapy Guide. Aromatherapy led me back to nature. Ayurveda led me back to myself. Yoga led me to know there truly is no separation. Forest Bathing taught me I am always held and supported. We are nature, we are one.