Letter from the Publisher
Jul 31, 2014 08:34AM
I don’t think the Dominican nuns at St. Paul’s Catholic School would have placed me at the top of their “most likely to succeed” list during the 12 years I was divinely assigned to their charge. For the most part, my inner fire was barely kindled in this type of teaching environment, although I did like spelling bees. I also admit to sustained curiosity about the sisters’ devotional way of life and often apparently unsuitable temperament for managing a room full of rambunctious kids. Luckily, I found social interactions with my peers of immense interest!
Still, I felt safe in this sheltered community of large Roman Catholic families that placed great importance on attending to our spiritual lives. Sometimes I muse that perhaps leading all the marching processions around the church and schoolyard even encouraged my leadership skills. As the shortest girl in the class, I was always at the front of every line, so I had to know where we were going and what we were going to do.
In college, when I finally reconnected with my innate curiosity to learn, I found it hard to settle on just one major. Philosophy, psychology and fine arts all sparked my interest. At the same time, my avid interest in natural living ignited a lifetime of exploring everything from healthy diet alternatives to natural methods of healing.
After graduation, my personal life continued to fuel more interests than I had the time to satisfy. Being pregnant with my first child brought a fresh set of priorities in my quest as I first focused on having a healthy pregnancy and natural childbirth. Even with my second child, the learning curve never slowed.
When it came to my children’s education, I longed to find an ideal holistic learning environment able to nurture their unique talents and abilities, like the ones Sandy Murphy explores in “Schools that Rock,”. Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Learning that Transforms Hearts and Minds,” shares inspiring examples of other innovative approaches available to both children and adults. A growing number of progressive educators are proving how such engaging processes can lead to the kinds of free-thinking expression of fresh, new ideas capable of transforming our world.
Today, my overloaded bookshelves tell the story of an independent learning journey through the years, representing subjects I never encountered in school, like childrearing, meditation, nutrition, organic gardening, yoga, sustainable living, loss and grief, and spiritual enlightenment.
Publishing Natural Awakenings for the past 20 years has provided further daily opportunities to immerse myself in cutting-edge information pertinent both to today’s crucial issues and to how each of us can live a live we love. Our readers know that learning is one of life’s ongoing joys, whatever our passions. Opening up new pathways of thinking or being through joining a Meet-up group, learning a new language, beginning a meditation practice or whatever lights our fire, enriches our lives.
As students head back to school this month it feels like a good time to discover where our next learning adventure awaits. Whatever you do, find something that lights you up …you never know where it might take you.