Tim and Beth in the Pathways building. Inset: a Word Horse Coaching Card, part of a Pathways practice, including real horses, to "celebrate who you are and where you want to go."
When traditional medicine falls short, holistic health practice may become a powerful ally. Now in their 30th year in Uptown, Pathways celebrates a long history of helping people in need, finding new ways to stay relevant and meaningful. A lot has changed in 30 years, but not its primary focus: empowering individuals with life-threatening illnesses.
Pathways is located off the bus line on Hennepin, in a building designed with healing in mind. When participants walk in, they are greeted by a calming, light-filled space open to visits even without a session.
Since holistic healing extends to a variety of methods, Pathways has a variety of programs to meet different needs, all offered at their Uptown location at no cost.
Participants can sign up for a one-on-one or group sessions utilizing art, music, bodywork, energy healing, healing touch, mind-body-spirit healing and transformation through grief, change and loss. One session could be spent painting, another in a breathing workshop or group healing movements. Clients’ calendars reflect the extensive and diverse needs they present, and Pathways attempts to meet them, every day.
“We help people discover their own innate capacity to heal,” executive director Tim Thorpe says.
Participants can sign up online or in person, but Thorpe suggests signing up for things you’re familiar with and some you’re not. It’s all part of Pathways' mission to help participants discover the good they already have.
Beth Peterson is one of those participants, now turned facilitator. After being diagnosed with stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Peterson’s oncologist told her she’d have to wait and see regarding prognosis. She couldn’t, so her grief therapist suggested she check out Pathways.
“I was really skeptical,” Peterson says. “‘Would I have an answer? Would it stir something in me?’ And it did.”
Peterson participated in Renewing Life, Pathways’ signature program. The program is an eight-week intensive focusing on building techniques in stress reduction, communication between loved ones, and developing a lifestyle focused on wellness and purpose in life.
“It shifts your perspective from ‘What’s wrong?’ to ‘What do I have?’” Thorpe says.
“There was some sort of source of life, of goodness, benevolent power,” says Peterson. “I came out of it realizing we are here for each other, that’s our purpose as human beings. It was really profound.”
Afterwards, Peterson couldn’t stop talking about it with her co-worker, who suggested she become a facilitator at Pathways. She spent the next few years facilitating Renewing Life and getting her master’s in human development. Now she facilitates the Word Horse Coaching Card Circle, a practice combining humans and horses with the objectives of self-knowledge and healing.
Stories like Peterson’s aren’t out of the ordinary, and it’s the reason Pathways has made an impact on the neighborhood. Their ability to connect individuals to unique programming has guided the nonprofit through its first 30 years, but Thorpe hopes to expand even further, especially to isolated groups in need.