Kristie Cabrera

Kristie Cabrera

Occupational Therapist


Fall 2021

Kristie Cabrera (they/she) is a queer and Latinx occupational therapist who is committed to unpacking ableism within nature spaces. They believe that everyone has the right to connect with nature in a way that feels meaningful.

They hope that everyone, including wellness practitioners, farmers, gardeners, herbalists, etc. takes the time to think about how ableism has impacted the nature spaces they love and how they can contribute to positive change.

What wellness offering are you providing right now?

I am excited about capturing the knowledge that disabled people have to share about their experiences in nature. I hope to educate others on how nature spaces can be accessible and inclusive so that everyone can experience the healing benefits of the land.

Who do you dedicate your work to?

I dedicate my work to anyone with a disability, limitation, or challenge. This work is dedicated to people who do not know they are disabled, to folks who are unable to get diagnosed or are too afraid to do so, and to the countless number of people who are neurodivergent.

I also dedicate this work to neurotypical and able bodied people who are getting older as they will one day understand the importance of accessibility and inclusivity, too.

I hope that everyone, including wellness practitioners, farmers, gardeners, herbalists, etc. takes the time to think about how ableism has impacted the nature spaces they love and how they can contribute to positive change.”

Who inspires you? Who are you learning from?

I am inspired by and learn from the people around me - the students I work with, my friends, family, and my partner. We all have unique challenges and come up with even more unique solutions to overcome or accept them.

I am currently reading Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability by Aimi Hamraie and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

How can people reading this support the work you are doing?

Attend my workshops/webinars, hire me as a consultant or facilitator, send me a message with feedback or share what inspires you about accessibility, etc., and support me financially (Venmo: @Kristie-Cabrera).

What is something you didn’t know, that you now understand differently about wellness?

Our idea of wellness can change at any moment. It is important to check in daily with yourself and your community about what is needed, what is going well, and what can be improved on. Sometimes we might not know how to respond to check-ins and when that happens, the only thing that is needed is time and space. Eventually an answer will come.

What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?

My wellness practice changes often, but currently it includes engaging in healing activities daily. In the morning I try to check-in with myself by acknowledging how well I slept, if I need more time in bed, what kind of breakfast I should eat, etc.

When I am able to, I free write in my journal which means I write out all my thoughts as they come. This helps me to free up my mental space which allows me to be present. If I am at work, I eat my lunch outside in a nature space like a park. I connect with the trees, flowers, grass, etc. and try to listen to what they have to say that day. After lunch I either go for a walk around the block or engage in some stretches in my office.

Once I am home I take a shower to connect with water and my body and practice deep breathing in bed. I check in with myself again to determine if it is best to watch a show or if I need a sensory break. I also take my medication daily that helps me to feel balanced. Acupuncture, talking with friends, taking care of my plants, and going for walks are activities I try to do weekly. If my bank account is looking extra fine, I might treat myself to a massage.

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