Marilyn Neagley


Marilyn Webb Neagley is director of the Talk About Wellness initiative, co-editor of Educating from the Heart, and author of both Loosie B. Goosie and Walking through the Seasons. During the formative years of Shelburne Farms as a non-profit organization, she served as its president.

As autumn approaches, we begin to feel the stirrings of change and transition. Seeds, scattered by the wind, search for a future. Days are shorter and nights are cooler. Wildlife begins to move in new directions.

A kindergarten teacher told me that in her thirty-seven years of teaching she had never had an open house like the one she had last year. As the children proudly encouraged parents to look at their various accomplishments, the parents were preoccupied by their hand held devices. She said the children’s disappointment was clearly evident. Since then, whenever there’s an event for parents, the teacher posts a sign saying, “Please, no cell phones”.

Many of us will admit that this winter has been a challenge. December began with ice and overcast skies. Now, three months later, the sun might shine with a hint of spring but many mid-day temperatures have remained in single digits. A couple of friends have slipped and fallen - and so have I. Many of us are promising, or at least hoping, to live among palm trees rather than maples next year.

The holidays have a way of adding layer upon layer of stress to our already busy schedules. We want our celebrations to be ever more meaningful. This may mean following the rules of simplicity or achieving spiritual insight. And i t’s important to show keen awareness of the ever-changing interests of beloved family members. Who is off salt, off sugar, a localvore, a vegetarian? Who likes meat and potatoes? And then there’s the spending. It’s no wonder that the holidays are stressful.

(Host) Concerns related to conflict are widespread and very much in the news these days. Commentator Marilyn Webb Neagley is an education consultant and author with thoughts on the way words can influence conflicts.