wild geese flying home © Photograph by Colleen Watson-Turner

My website contains a wide range of ideas and supports for the personal growth of humans of all ages. Through the medium of blog posts, I try to illuminate the inner world  and its importance to human happiness and living thoughtfully.

“For the interior life sweetens the humblest thing. It opens for us the magic in ordinary life”. -John Tarrant

I describe the many ways our inner life is affected by the quality of our relationships with others, the natural world, and the grandeur of the cosmos. The body of my work focuses particularly on the needs of the spirit. I discuss human spiritual needs foundationally –i.e., without tying them to any particular religious affiliation or secular belief system.

I understand the spirit as that part of us that integrates our feelings, longings, and deep aspirations. The spirit supports our will to live and to grow, to be inspired by human goodness and find life meaningful.

The Challenges of Creating Engaging, Thoughtful & Respectful Blog Posts

I am discovering what a blog can be and offer by writing posts. Each time, the challenge is somewhat different. I knew I wanted my posts to be useful to a diverse audience and that I did not want to write in a mode of separating myself from the reader in any type of hierarchical relationship – one where I tell them what they need to know. Rather than tell, I want to suggest possibilities.

A close friend was a great help with this. In a lengthy conversation, she suggested that I wanted to get out of the reader’s way, offering thoughts and feelings and ideas from my own experiences and reading while allowing the reader to take from it what appealed or  made sense without interference from me. Such interference often takes the form of assumptions of what others “need to know”. Authenticity being the first insight of a quality my blogs should have.

On another occasion with another good friend who asked me “What caused you to want to start a blog”, I had to think once again about the why. A day later after reading a few of my pages and posts, she sent me an email with her insight into what a blog is. It struck her that a blogger is the new essayist. “Yes”, I thought, “a blog is an essay taking new forms including using visual images as part of the message”. As essays, I felt they should have both imagination and integrity. A second challenge is to achieve this without too much length –sensing that most readers don’t want academic tomes or have unlimited time to peruse the blog world.

Respectfulness of any people who might be the focus of a blog topic is perhaps my greatest challenge. I want to convey challenges people face without invoking pity. I want to take a piece of a life without doing injustice to the whole.

Human Spirit, Earth Spirit

spring greening

I feel it is of great value to the world and also personally rewarding to consider the needs of all people and all living beings in our reflections and emotional life. Central to my blog content is the understanding that everything is connected to everything else—a deep knowing that is foundational to living a life that contributes to the common good, the health of the planet, and brings joy to our commonplace experiences.

I use the word “spirit” to refer to trees and grasses, flowers, birds, reptiles, and all other living things because it connects them to the sacred and reminds us to value and protect life on this planet.

There are many senses in which you can conceive of the spirit of other life forms, for example, of a tree – as it’s energy, it’s ways of communicating, how it grew from a seed which knew what it must become. It enlarges me to choose, in relation to that which can’t be fully known, a concept that brings greater meaning to the living world.

 Children and Teens – Educators and Parents

One focus of my website is on strengthening the spirits of children and teenagers. Many of my blog posts discuss ways to meet emotional, aesthetic, and spiritual needs in the classroom and at home. I often focus on the benefits of being outdoors and the research that confirms how important it is for our health and overall well-being to spend time in natural settings and green spaces of all kinds.

I provide ideas that can be used by teachers and parents to build stronger identities, strengthen resilience,and enrich the lives of young people. Many Blog posts are crafted to meet the emotional, aesthetic, and spiritual needs of parents and teachers as well.

The quality of education experienced by indigenous students is particularly important to me. I draw on the work of Indigenous scholars and educators to discuss ways public education could be strengthened in this regard. I feel the wisdom of indigenous educational scholars and elders is powerful and could be beneficial to all students and teachers.

The human spirit, the spirit of the Earth, the spirit that creates the Cosmos is all one.