Mind + Body

Award-winning essayist Laurie Easter pens a rich memoir, All the Leavings.

Wild Terrain

A writer living off the grid navigates the wilds of nature and the human heart interview by Cathy Carroll Laurie Easter lives off the grid on twenty-eight forested acres in a funky little cabin on the edge of wilderness in southern Oregon. Her essays have been awarded fellowships by the prestigious Vermont Studio Center and Playa in Summer Lake, published in many literary journals and anthologies, nominated for a Pushcart Prize and listed as notable in The Best American Essays 2015. She holds degrees from Southern Oregon University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. All the Leavings, being released in October by OSU Press, is her first book. The memoir navigates the rugged terrain of an alternative lifestyle and the hazards of the human heart, from encounters with cougars and the dynamics of mother-child relationships, to the destructive power of wildfires, the home birth of her second child and community…

Mountain Rose Herbs offers organic essential oils for aromatherapy.

Scent Messages

Aromatherapy is increasingly tapped for soothing or invigorating effects Written by Cathy Carroll Whether it’s the aroma of lavender, ginseng and frankincense or eucalyptus, rosemary and ylang ylang, aromatherapy is gaining widespread use. Having made the leap from the fringes to mainstream healthcare across the country, it is being leveraged for managing pain, nausea, depression, stress, insomnia, dementia and other ailments. The national trend is reflected in the growth at Mountain Rose Herbs, which ships its organic products across the U.S. and Canada from its 12-acre campus in Eugene. “The most intriguing element of aromatherapy is the physiological responses that the body goes through when we experience scent. Aromatherapy was built on our innate ability to connect smell with thoughts, emotions and memories. Certain smells can trigger signals to our brain that it’s time to wake up or to wind down.”— Thomas Dick, Mountain Rose Herbs marketing and creative director…

Katie O’Grady will be appearing in a newTV pilot, “Kill the Orange-Faced Bear.”

Stage Blazer

Portland acting coach discovers her style fits kids, athletes perfectly Written by Cathy Carroll When Katie O’Grady’s daughter was eight years old, she told her mom she wanted to learn how to act. It was around 2008 in Portland, and O’Grady, a television and film actress, was coming up short. She wanted to find a program for children that emulated hard-working, professional acting, not just acting for fun—so she created one. Since launching The Studio Northwest, O’Grady has not only become known as a go-to source for young talent in the region, having trained hundreds of students, she created her own production company, was declared “marvelous” by The New York Times as the lead in the 2011 film “Rid of Me” and has been collaborating on film projects for companies such as Nike, stop-motion animation studio Laika and the Portland Trail Blazers. It was her reputation for coaching child actors that…

Mary Andrus teaching students

Art and Soul

Art therapy can satisfy our deepest needs, transform lives and heal communities written by Cathy Carroll Mary Andrus has seen how working with people through art therapy can transform their lives and build community, and she believes it can ultimately create a more just society. She has spent years working with people in a range of settings, from community mental health programs and nursing homes to an inpatient psychiatric hospital and therapeutic day schools. Art therapy and artistic expression in general, however, can benefit anyone, she said. Art therapy’s aim is to help people function better in their lives and elevate a sense of well-being. “It would be for anybody open to using the creative process to find and get to know themselves,” she said. “Art therapy isn’t about drawing pretty pictures … it’s about tapping into who you are inside—and maybe drawing really ugly pictures—and giving yourself permission to…

Professional Freeride Biker Carson Storch bombs down mountains for a living

Carson Storch talks biking and brain trauma written by Mackenzie Wilson Two broken collarbones, one snapped wrist, a couple cracked ribs, bruised organs and one major concussion later, Carson Storch considers himself “lucky.” The professional freeride mountain biker has been going big, crashing hard and doing it all over again for nearly half his life. “Freeriding is pretty similar to any other high-impact sport, like football for instance, but the difference with us is we’re going fast and we’re hitting dirt,” Storch said. Freeriding by nature is unpredictable. Riders choose a route or a “line” down a steep mountain and hope to make it to the bottom unscathed. At 25, Storch is still in his prime, but he’s taking preventive measures to stay at his best both physically and mentally. “I think brain health is kind of a focus of our sport now—it’s pretty serious at competitions nowadays,” he said….