About the Book

Finding Everyday Magic: A Journey of Hope and Healing through Nature addresses recovery of physical, emotional, and mental trauma in the wake of traumatic brain injury. In 2013 Anessa Arehart found herself on the receiving end of consecutive auto accidents 53 days apart resulting in brain damage, severe post concussion symptoms, and a life so greatly affected the only way forward was though an unlikely path of her own making. Leaving the hustle of city life and relocating to the country, she found peace in the chaos that was her brain, an ember of hope within her heart, and the will to survive the darkest days of her life. Soon after moving to her new rural home, she discovered deliberate slow walks along the overgrown gravel driveway reconnected her with the natural world and conjured feelings of possibility reminiscent of childhood. Each time she ventured outside to commune quietly with nature, numerous, tiny, healing, energetic shifts were experienced. In dire need of healing in every conceivable variety, she embraced these feelings and set forth an intentional daily practice cultivating the connection. Walks along the driveway would eventually expand covering 47 acres of wilderness in an effort to harness as much of nature’s medicine as possible. The forest became a sanctuary for her where breakthrough moments of healing occurred. Witnessing the natural order of the universe fostered acceptance of her new physical limitations while simultaneously offering hope that she’d not only find a way to overcome these obstacles, but eventually thrive despite them. Tiny rosebuds opening, melting icicles twinkling in the sun, even a rotting fallen tree reframed the way she perceived her post-trauma situation orienting her towards a new understanding of what constitutes a meaningful life. This higher perspective made all the difference in how she would move forward. She began referring to her daily mindfulness-in-nature walks as “finding everyday magic.” The practice ultimately and unexpectedly evolved into a successful neuroplasticity exercise where she set forth into the woods with her camera to capture and collect inspirational moments each day in hopes of revisiting them before going to sleep each night.  Sometimes she would have no memory of taking the photos, but occasionally, she did and with increasing regularity. Over time, it became apparent that her new practice was not only improving her overall outlook, but it was restoring parts of her short term, working, and spatial memory.  Furthermore, walking on uneven farm terrain was beginning to relieve her physical pain and vestibular troubles. Identifying magic moments carrying messages of hope, rebirth, and resilience also helped her surmount emotional and mental issues and cleared the way for new opportunities to grow and flourish. If not for this very simple shift of navigating the world around her, depression, identity crisis, loss of defining abilities, and monumental exercises in self trust may have derailed her.  Although the arc of her journey begins with despair it ends fully rooted in hope and promise. This book will benefit traumatic brain injury survivors and post concussion sufferers searching for supplementary methods of healing beyond the doctor’s office and traditional therapies, but it’s offerings reach well beyond brain injuries to help others seeking a cure for unnamable traumas and hurt hidden inside each of us from simply being human. Practical tips and beautiful photos of “everyday magic” will connect you with nature’s gentle healing energy no matter where you live or what condition you’re in.  Even if you are unable to leave your bed or your home, this book brings nature to you. There are many ways to be mindful of nature. Whether you simply enjoy the images in this book, take walks in the woods, or capture the magic you discover with a camera, it is all good for you.  Brain injury or not, there is much wisdom to glean from taking a walk in the woods. “Magic is everywhere. It’s a beautiful world if you let it be.”  ~ Anessa Arehart
About the Author Anessa Arehart is an exhibiting artist, off-grid event planner, and owner of Little Wing Hollow Art & Nature Sanctuary in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. She lives in a charming little cabin tucked away in the wilderness where she continues to find inspiration and healing each time she steps out her front door.  “Finding Everyday Magic” has become both a philosophy and daily practice for her and she encourages everyone to get acquainted with nature through whatever means available to them.  Visitors are welcomed seasonally to experience the same trails, riverbed, and sky vistas featured in the book for themselves in hopes they will discover hope and healing as she did.

Visit anessaarehart.com  for information on how to make reservations and plan your visit. If you’re interested in hosting your own private event on this special property you can find details on the website as well.  She hopes this book helps you or someone you love.