you are beautiful

We are perfect. We are whole. We are beautiful.

I am saddened by how many patients walk into my clinic with extreme emotional pain. I often can see the direct link from their spiritual and emotional pain to their physical state of health. As if seeing a strand of ribbon that begins from one point or origin and ends at their current state of mental/emotional and physical health.

When I meet people for the first time from the objective vantage point of a physician, in the spiritual space of healing, I can feel and see their deep pain. I can also see their deep perfection, deep wholeness and deep beauty that is dampened into embers. I use the analogy of wanting to fan the embers of their health into a great flame. I have patients discover again what they love either at work, through volunteering or at play. This combined with nourishing whole food, movement, quite time in prayer/meditation and working on healthy communication in relationships can support healing on all levels.

When we hold and stuff our pain and do not share with others our common human experience, we lose the opportunity of being authentic with others. We lose the opportunity to live vulnerably. When we mask and armor up to not reveal our pain, we drive the pain deeper and can feel ashamed or judgmental of our experience and feeling like we are the only ones who struggle. What if you were able to find your tribe that is uniquely created by you with people who align with your values to share our human experience? It may just allow for community building. It reminds me of a quote that I find to be good emotional medicine. “I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”

― Jean Vanier

Additionally, I recently listened to an interview of Seth Godin, an early internet entrepreneur and now thought leader. He was discussing with the interviewer, Krista Tippett, about marketing in our post-industrial “connection economy”. She paraphrases Seth during the interview in saying, “We choose who and what we belong to. It’s not just about survival. It’s about connection and flourishing.”.  What if our medicine is connection with our community? What are ways we can reach out in our unique and individual way to connect with others to heal ourselves? What if we discover our perfection, our wholeness and our beauty through being community for others?

Anna Colombini ND


“We are perfect. We are whole. We are beautiful.” Jill Bolte Taylor 


Snowy Days

I’m looking out my sisters window watching my children play with their cousins. Two of them are trying to catch snowflakes in their mouth with outstretched tongues while the neighbor dog happily wags her tail. We sip on chai tea as it aromatically fills the room with rich spices. My oldest nephew, who celebrates his seventeenth birthday today, is building a colossal snow man that requires the excavator to place the body and head on top of the base. I am filled with deep content.

Having moments like these to stop, reflect, and take a deep breath amidst life’s rapid pace is refreshing. I love listening to children play and watching them happily create igloo’s and snow castles. This brings me a feeling of peace. In the last couple of days, a winter storm front caused closures of businesses and schools, giving us all the opportunity to slow down and draw in our community. The first day of snow fall my children had early release from school and within an hour there was several inches of snow. The kids excitedly played outside while I prepared lunch with one of my neighbors. We picked up on the excitement with laughter and great conversation in between putting on and pulling off snow gear for our children. By the end of the evening we had 3 other sets of neighbors with all of our children gathering in our living room chatting, sipping, and nibbling on snacks. It was warm, cozy, friendly and reminded me of how essential gathering our community is to our feeling of belonging.

What if we took a deep breath even without the prompting of snowy days and reflect on ways we are community for each-other? I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I have shared with my Team at Peninsula Natural Health Center that captures our heart in the way we serve our community. This quote is by Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries that serves people with developmental disabilities.

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
― Jean Vanier, 

Joy pic2

Joy, A State of Being

I was visiting with a patient who reported that she had yet to started looking into the dietary recommendations that I had made for her. I was curious about what prevented her from moving forward in the recent health goals she had set for herself. So, I asked her about her inner voice and the dialogue that ensues; “What does that voice usually say to you?”. She replied, “That I will fail.” I then inquired where that voice of criticism and fear of failure was coming from and she responded, “From me”. I asked her to go deeper and find out if that voice was a critical one from the past. She immediately said, “From my mother.”


This came from a woman who sat in front of me with flat affect, sunken, downcast eyes, and drawn in shoulders. I asked her, “When was the last time she had felt joy?” She could not remember and replied almost as a question, “Sometime… maybe as a child?”.

I then asked her to start observing her inner dialogue and what it is saying, without judgement or criticism. Just observe. “Be gentle with yourself”, I instructed. With this she started crying and her shoulders relaxed. I also asked her to start practicing being in the present moment and not in the past or the future; in the now. She started laughing with familiarity of being in the former states. We discussed the practice of observing her surroundings and being grateful for the things in her life that give her joy and peace. We looked out the window and I pointed out how I practice being aware of the beauty of nature and, in this case, the deep green lustrous leaves of the holly tree outside my window or the robin sitting on the downed tree branch beside the holly. We discussed taking deep breaths while observing these things and being grateful for our breath and beating heart.


I visited with her about finding and seeing that deep inner beauty that makes her uniquely her. The light within which brings her peace and joy, that is free from judgement, criticism, and fear of failure. We discussed that through observation of her inner dialogue (her minds chatter processing past, present and future) and becoming aware that this was not her true, deep self, she could then distinguish herself from her mind and begin hearing her true inner self. This would be her state of perpetual joy.


I love the quote, “Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.” It is my experience and observation that becoming truly aware of this stream of infinite energy, creativity and life, that peace and joy can exist deep within.



Anna Colombini, ND

Medical Director


Connect to nature, find grounding

I love picking flowers. My earliest memories are of being on the small farm I grew up on near Mount Rainier and picking bouquets of wild buttercup, daisies, and mint. There is nothing more grounding for my busy self like being in nature and picking flowers.  To this day, every lunch hour during my work week, I go for a run down a rural road in Gig Harbor and pick the wild mint and flowers that line the roadway.  I bring them back to my clinic and fill the reception area with nature’s treasures.  Every time I go to fill up my tea in between patients I see the wild flowers and it regrounds me in the middle of whatever I am doing. I try to practice this mindfulness in all that I do every day.  I am not perfect at this, nor do I try to be; I know that life requires patience and flexibility in order for me to be truly happy.  Because I have small windows of time to breathe as I transition from home life to work life and then back home again, I honor these tiny moments of mindfulness that connect and make up my life.

Find what connects you to nature and helps to ground you and repeat.  It can be making the perfect cup of herbal tea, spending time with your children when they ask you to play with them and really be present, taking a few deep breaths outside, going for a run or walk, visiting someone who may be suffering or lonely.  Whatever it is that enriches you and allows you to connect and ground in this life, then practice, practice, practice.

Yours in health and happiness,
Anna Colombini
Peninsula Natural Health Center
President, Medical Director


Introducing Veronica Skedd, ND

VeronicaSkeddPeninsula Natural Health Center in Gig Harbor, Washington is honored to announce and welcome Veronica Skedd, N.D. to our practice.  We are a Natural Health Center focused on creating an environment of warm hospitality combined with premier compassionate health care that you can recognize the moment you walk through our doors.  It is with this mindset that we choose our providers and why we are honored to have Dr. Skedd join us in providing quality naturopathic primary care. Her authenticity, kindness in tone and passion for providing premier patient care are just a few of the qualities that drew us to Veronica.

Veronica joins myself along with Steven Davis, N.D., and Jennifer Townsend, LMP in June, 2015.  In addition to primary care naturopathic medicine, Dr. Skedd, focuses on mental and digestive health in her practice, using modalities in working with her patients such as: cleansing, nutrition counseling, nutrition supplementation, pharmaceutical medication management, and hormone replacement therapies such as bio-identical hormones.  She also believes in empowering her patients through education, thus allowing them to be actively and confidently involved in their own healthcare.

Dr. Skedd received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.  She then completed a two year residency in primary care naturopathic medicine in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Skedd also received a Bachelor degree in Business Marketing at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
It is with great honor and pleasure that I introduce to you, Dr. Veronica Skedd, N.D and warmly welcome her to Peninsula Natural Health Center!

In health and happiness,
Anna Colombini, N.D.
President, Medical Director