Meet Nina McKee, founder and owner of Tree of Life Wellness Center preparing to open this month in Albertville, MN! She lives for new challenges every day, does some of her best work under pressure, and is willing to try most things at least once!
Nina has the vision to bring together talented people who have a strong desire to heal and enhance their community from within. Her Inspiration for this business has stemmed from her 35 year battle with thyroid disease, her two athletic sons who need her holistic healing almost daily, and from her best friend and husband Steve who lost his battle to Chondrosarcoma in December of 2014. They traveled the world together to find a cure for his disease and would joyfully do it again.
The following transcript is a personal interview with Nina by Blogger Susan Shannon, seeking to see into Nina’s heart for the inspiration behind this business startup and help people connect with the mind and heart behind it all.
Q: What’s your motivation for starting this wellness center, and why now?
A: My motivation stems from having to deal with my own health issues, as well as my family’s that we’ve worked through over the years. And my time in life has just opened up! My boys are growing up, and the time seems just right. It’s a good transition, I suppose. And I hope to emerge from this better and stronger as well! It’s as much for me as anyone else.
Q: Who in your life has been your biggest inspiration?
A: My husband! Steve. My husband always called me the “research and developer” of our relationship. My research helped him stay alive longer and finalize his time with us. All the avenues of healing, the various wellness techniques we delved into helped him stay with us close to two years longer than was expected!
Q: What were some of your favorite times together as a couple as you embarked on that journey of healing?
A: Organic meal planning together, juicing, acupuncture, couple’s massage… we did quite a few detox foot baths! And I had known quite a bit about essential oils before but we delved into the oils world more heavily at that point. We went to Reiki healing events. Our faith also got so much stronger, like everyone talks about naturally happens when you go through tragedy. We got to know our priest so much better than most ever people do, I feel like. It’s just too bad it had to be that late in life.
Q: It’s clear that you have a faith. How do you see your faith and your values integrating into the life of the wellness center?
A: I tend to draw people that have similar faith and values. I want to help people feel better in life… be more open to living a happy life, a simpler life. I want to help people simplify and become more aware. In my opinion, people feel better when they’re doing things for themselves. They are then more capable of caring for others and for their families. I want to encourage people to give of themselves more! Hit their “reset button” and be able to give more! You enjoy your life more when your problems are behind you instead of in front of you. Simplify and leave your troubles behind.
Q: You have such a beautiful perspective on wellness. What effect do you think this center is going to have on this community we live in?
A: My husband and I, we have collected many many friends over the years, and everyone has always been so curious about what new holistic treatments I’m trying out! And this is my way of offering them the opportunity to try these things too. I feel like it’s my way to bring some of these healing thoughts into this area, giving people the opportunity to see what works for them!
Q: What is the vision behind you bringing multiple practitioners into this space? Can you talk about that?
A: I like to call this a co-op of healers. Having us all in one space, sharing the same vision to everyone who is open and wanting to enrich their life! People can know that I’m the owner, but I’m learning from this wellness center as well. I’m benefiting from all of these practitioners as much as anyone, and I’m excited for how that will change me and make me better.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about wellness? People have been coming to you for health advice now for years. Have you found there to be any misconception about what true wellness is? Can you define it?
A: To me, true wellness is not about how you look it is about how you feel. Without fitting into a cookie cutter, being happy with who you are right here and right now. It’s about feeling good where you’re at. That mind and body connection.
Q: I think that statement right there beautifully embodies the soul of this wellness center, would that be a true statement?
A: Yes. Definitely.
Q: The wellness world is constantly changing. You’re a researcher at heart, so you enjoy staying current?
A: I’m not afraid to try most things at least once! And this leads me to researching, looking for those new things to try! And you know when you’ve found the right thing. And when you’ve found the right thing, you stick with it. If it’s not the right thing, we move on because when we move on, we grow. Don’t be afraid. Even if it doesn’t work for you, it has added to your personal tree of wellness. It’s about branching out to learn new things that might connect the dots some day!
Q: The name, Tree of Life, is very personal to you?
A: Yes, definitely. The Tree of Life has been my mantra. Even in my family, it was an important word picture to my grandparents… your grounded roots are so important. Not just your genealogy, but what’s important to you in your life. Don’t stray too far from that. Always think, when you move on from a career or go through a life change, think “is this enhancing and growing my roots? Is it enhancing who I am as a person?”.
Q: This wellness center holds so much personal value to you. How will you be defining its success as a business?
A: When it’s running well, things are falling into place … people will want to come in and just hang out… and they’ll feel so much better when they leave.
As if you needing more reasons to come visit Tree of Life it’s opening week of January 30th, Nina strikes a chord with our heart strings here in this interview as she really dives into what true wellness looks like. Her vision for a community where people are connected and feeling their best is truly inspiring. She has a passion for utilizing the talents of healers and practitioners who live right here in her own community, and that is going to bring people together in a whole new, beautiful way.