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What is Holistic Education? My Story and the Path Forward...

A Message From Samantha

From a young age, I was fascinated by the concept of holism. I remember first learning in school when I was 13 that holism was a balance between our physical, emotional, mental, and social worlds. It was a passing lesson, but I was captivated. I saved my notes from that day for years. Frankly, I didn't understand why such a perspective wasn't a part of mainstream education. Getting good grades wasn't difficult for me, yet I felt in conflict with my environment. It seemed glaring to me that good grades didn't really say anything about me. I knew kids who got good grades, but weren't very thoughtful or bright. I also knew kids who were insightful and creative, who struggled in school. Simply put - it seemed like there was more than the simplistic academic system that was thrust in front of me. I felt a void and I turned to books for the depth of feeling, insight and connection that was lacking in my environment. I felt that education should be dynamic and thought-provoking. I wanted to be a part of something that challenged my thoughts, sparked my imagination, and welcomed my depth of feeling & senstitivity. Instead, I encountered a world that behaved as though sensitivity was a weakness, and my intuition wasn't even real. 

Fast forward to my days at college, where I expected to major in Literature or Creative Writing. I was still so disappointed with my classes that instead I researched my options. I wanted to drop out and pursue my own self-guided studies. Yet, I couldn't clearly articulate what was wrong. I became a 'self-determined' major and wrote an area of study focused on Progressive Education and what it would look like to redefine the school system in the United States (though my interest is global). I became fascinated with community living and read books on utopian societies. I began writing a final senior project portraying my ideal education system, situated in the context of a community. The first semester of my senior year, I took time off to do a semester in Scotland, at what I thought was a little known ecovillage in the highlands. Truly, I had found the program by accident and was led there by a seemingly random sequence of events. I thought I was going to a tiny, hippie commune, but what I found was totally differnt. 

I arrived at Findhorn in late summer in 2008 and proceeded to have a transformational, and truly magical semester. 

The Findhorn Foundation isa  community that 

These days I define holsitic education as a balance of mental, emotional, phsyical, and spiritual experiences. I believe that all of our energy centers and earth systems are important. It's all connected and it's all beautiful, even the difficult parts - the anger, sadness, fear, and dissapointemtn. They are part of a cycle of life, an experince we all share. 

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