The New Story Of Childhood, Parenthood And The Human Family
The video above is from a Monday LIVE Lecture presented to the international PPNE students of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH, in May 2016 by Lisa Reagan, Kindred’s editor and co-founder of Kindred World. In this presentation, Lisa condenses her three-hour workshop lecture on the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family in to an hour-long overview for APPPAH students, who are exploring the emergence of birth psychology into this New Story paradigm. In sharing her own story, Lisa reveals unfolding historical events over the last four decades that coalesced into an ongoing and growing international Conscious Parenting Movement. Lisa acknowledges that most people, like herself, do not realize they are participating in meta-story lines that form an expanding continuum of human consciousness. However, with this missing context, we become able to recognize, reframe, and discuss our own consciousness shifts out of an enculturated Old Story to the expansive and self-authoring potential of the New Story.
Here is the link to the community college commercial shown in the video (that does not come through above). The video seeks to normalize the Cultural Imperatives (Cycle of Competitive Detachment) faced by new parents as America ranks last among all developed nations for family public policies. This lack of cultural support extends to a lack of lack of social support not experienced by parents in all other developed countries, who enjoy paid family leave, sometimes up to a year. The video shows moms who “have taken two bullets in the chest,” nursing a baby at a computer while studying at night, most likely taking on debt to compete for jobs in a culture that, again, does not support parents or the biological imperatives new humans into the US. No context is a hallmark of the Old Story, as it does not believe any other possibility exists outside itself.
With the practical insights provided by this lecture, we can become oriented in a way that allows us to make practical daily choices, construct public policy, and support new human life on this planet in a way that leads to life long wellness.
Note: At 44:53, Lisa forgets the name of the author who coined the phrase Heroic Communities. It is Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, and you can read more about Heroic Communities and download his MP3 podcast here.
Please scroll to the bottom of the resource list to read the transcript from this presentation.
Studies Showing Risks of Becoming A Parent
A Key Reason The US Birth Rate Is At A 30 Year Low – How Women Are Punished for Having Children
Resources Mentioned In The Lecture
Birth Psychology articles on Kindred
Birth Psychology videos on Kindred
Creating Sustainable Humans With Conscious Parenting: A Kindred Interview With Darcia Narvaez, PhD
30 Years of the Natural Parenting Movement: A Kindred Interview with Peggy O’Mara, founder of Mothering Magazine
Parenthood and the Space Between Stories: A Kindred Interview with Charles Eisenstein
Magical Child, Joseph Chilton Pearce
The Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry
The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Thomas Verny, MD
The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, David Chamberlain, PhD
Parenting for a Peaceful World, Robin Grille
Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten
The 2007 Shift Report: Evidence of a World Transforming, from the Institute of Noetic Sciences
The 2008 Shift Report: Changing the Story of Our Future, from the Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, Paul H. Ray, PhD, and Sherry Ruth Anderson, PhD
The Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
Mindful Motherhood, Cassandra Vieten, PhD
Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, Richard Tarnas
The Role of “Heroic” Communities in the Postmodern Era, Richard Tarnas
Organizations and Initiatives
A New Story for Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family: TRANSCRIPT
Kate White, APPPAH’s Director of Education, Introduces Lisa Reagan to International PPNE Students
KATE: Okay, so we are recording and today is May 16, 2016 and we are very excited today to have Lisa Reagan giving our presentation for Monday live, and I did put out a special appeal this morning to have you all come on because I just think this is a great Monday Live share. For those of us who have been pioneers or even on the leading edge of understanding that babies have experiences in utero and are passionate about it, I know you will find some affirmation in this presentation and also it may even give you more language as you go about in your communities talking about the pre and perinatal paradigm. So let me just introduce Lisa here, and I have worked with Lisa now for a while. She came over and did some recording in my studio and I met her then. It was a long time ago now it seems like.
But Lisa also works for APPPAH. She works in our PR department and she has got a real gift with words and language and vision and perspective, especially when it comes to consciousness and parenting, but she is a mother of a quest for 17 years as an award-winning journalist, activist, and nonprofit visionary. Lisa Reagan explores the space between our unsustainable industrial story and the emerging story of what is possible for cultural creatives, families who are leading the way forward. She is cofounder of the nonprofit Kindred World and the executive editor of Kindred. Lisa shares her personal stories of shifting in features such as Spiritual Composting in Kindred and other conscious parenting publications. She has many presentations in different places. She has a new series on her website, which I am hoping you have a slide here about all of your websites and stuff at KindredMedia.org. It is called Parenting as a Hero’s Journey. So, I am really pleased to introduce Lisa. Go ahead, Lisa.
LISA: Okay, thank you so much, Kate. And as you said, thank you so much for being with me on this great adventure for the last couple of years. As long as everyone else can hear me fine, I am just going to roll.
KATE: Okay, so when you want to ask questions then people have questions I am hoping you will be able to hear them.
LISA: I will. I can still hear you a little bit. So, what I am going to do is, this is a tremendous amount of material that I am going to roll through. I am going to do a top line. The PDF that you have or the PowerPoint (see above for Power Point and resources) has more information, longer quotes on it that you can explore at your leisure and there are just some really key pieces that I want to make sure that I convey and then I do have time to take your questions.
But, I was talking to Kate about it. Should I just let you stop me? But I think that there is going to be so much that connects in the end that goes back…that goes back and folds over on itself. Let’s just get through it and then I would love to answer your questions. I especially do want to hear feedback about if I lost you somewhere, where was that?
A New Story Needs New Language
A new story needs new language. Because this is all a new story, it is a new language, it is a new paradigm, and even though organizations like APPPAH have been doing this work for over three decades — and other organizations (like Kindred’s Pioneering Partners) have too — when we are talking about this epic story of the human family, two or three decades is just a blip in evolutionary time. So, as Kate said, I have been on a Mother (of a) Quest for 18 years now. My son is getting ready to graduate from high school, and when I started on the path of motherhood I was 33 years-old. My husband and I waited 10 years to have our child, and I was a journalist and I had already figured out like most journalists do that if you want to make any money to really live on, you are going to have to moonlight a lot.
So, before I had my son I was both a journalist and a public relations person because PR actually pays. This is where I was when I entered motherhood, and it was a shock for me. I had a highly medicalized birth. In Virginia midwifery was illegal in 1997 and I went right into the space of: “something is very wrong here and I do not know what it is, but when I am capable I am going to find out.” And that is when I started…when I was capable and clear, which took a while, it has taken a while to delve into my own feelings of something is not right with this parenting quest in America.
And by parenting I mean, as you probably already know, when you hear the word “parent,” “parenthood,” or “parenting” culturally we are already programed to put our fingers in our ears and not listen to this piece of our story. So, a lot of times when I present, I do not use that word or any variation of it. I say, “when adults decide to bring children into this world this is what they encounter,” because I do not want these trigger words – parents or mothers or fathers or families – to cause people to tune out. These are all trigger words now, for a population of adults who most likely did not have their own needs met and are faced with supporting infants and children in a culture that does not support families. The somatic effect of these words on many people is to shut us off and shut us down.
Why Do We Need A New Story?
I like to start off with this quote by Thomas Barry, who helps us to go right up to the very 40,000 foot view right away. This is how human beings frame our reality. Thomas Berry says:
“We are in trouble right now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The old story, the account of how we came to be and how we fit in is no longer effective and yet we have not learned the new story.”
And that really does sum things up for us.
Historical Timeline of the Conscious Parenting Movement
So, here is a little bit of what I discovered along the way that is an interesting timeline as we want to apply it to the idea of furthering the human species by supporting adults bringing children into the world. This shift that we are a part of right now, of even questioning of looking at the wholeness of human consciousness a lot of people point to this photo here that is called the blue marble. This is a color version. There were black and white versions that were sent earlier in the 1960s that were credited with kicking off the first Earth Day in 1970.
When this photo was released, is we finally got to see ourselves hanging on this very obviously limited spaceship in outer space surrounding by the darkness in the stars and for a lot of people instead of being on the ground and thinking we could just act any way we wanted and throw away our waste, and you know act in unsustainable ways this became obvious that unsustainable living was going to kill our planet and our species and this big echo movement and a consciousness-raising movement began.
Environmentalism and ecology are still being connected with a human consciousness and the origins of human consciousness, so if we take a little look at our timeline here we see we have the first Earth Day in 1970. We have an astronaut who comes back from his first moon walk, the 6th month on the moon, Edgar Mitchell, who was so transformed by his experience of seeing the earth from the moon that he immediately feels a paradigm shift happening for himself and he realizes it is all interconnected, it is all consciousness, and where it is all conscious and we are in big trouble. Edgar Mitchell comes back and he founds the Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS, to start investigating human consciousness and why can’t we see what he saw from outer space: Why don’t we all understand that it is interconnected and it is conscious?
In 1976 Mothering Magazine is founded. Peggy O’Mara, Mothering’s founder, told me — and you can download and listen to this in our interview on Kindred — that she was inspired by not just the green movement that was going on, but the Vietnam War. Her question was: How do we create peace? How do we create children who are wired for peace?
And then 1977, rolling right through here, Joseph Chilton Pearce writes the Magical Child and says the way we are living in our Western culture does not support or biological imperatives and if we do not support our biological imperatives we cannot support the potential of our own intelligence which is going to lead us to the wisdom that we need to live sustainably on our planet.
So, we have Thomas Verny, here we go. APPPAH is being born, 1981. Thomas Verny releases The Secret Life of Your Unborn Child. APPPAH is founded.
In 1988 David Chamberlain writes The Mind of Your Newborn Baby.
In 1996 Families for Conscious Living is founded. It was 1997 and 1998 when I became a part of Families for Conscious Living. This was an underground homebirth community originally in Virginia. It was 700 people, families that the midwife said “I cannot work with you individually, you have to support each other and you have to share what you know with each other so you have to found this organization”. That organization is still in existence and Kindred is one of the initiatives that has come out of what is now Kindred World. Very grassroots and a very typical way that parents used to regard their midwife or their local healer as the person who is tending to their need. But in her wisdom, she did say you have to share with each other how you are parenting and she actually made it a condition of working with her as a midwife.
So, in 2000 we then we have Cultural Creatives, a book that was sponsored by IONS, going to back to Edgar Mitchell here. The interesting background of Cultural Creatives is it was inspired by a social scientist, Paul Ray, who was just doing marketing research so he could figure out how to help companies sell their products. Ray kept seeing this new emerging piece of the population in his data, and when he started looking into it he realized this part of the population was actually massive, but they were not recognized in mainstream media or science. This population was seeking how to live holistically, how to live sustainably, and because they were making these individual choices in this way they were transforming the culture around them but unconsciously. So, he named them Cultural Creatives and we are going to talk about that book in just a minute.
That was in 2000 and in 2002 Kindred community is founded in Australia by Kelly Wendorf.
In 2005 Robin Grille published Parenting for a Peaceful World where he showed the psychosocial history of parenting is actually horrific and how we have treated children has been just a tale of horror, and there is an excellent story on Kindred about the history of parenthood/childhood that originally ran in the Sydney Herald I think back in 2005/2006 when Robin first published his book that goes as a wonderful oversight of the horror of childhood, and you know anyone that reads Robin’s book yes you will be horrified but clearly you are also going to understand that there is a consciousness movement that is moving us towards this wonderful insight and understanding of how to foster our intelligence as human beings from the beginning.
So, we have Kindred coming to the U.S. in 2009 (and now remember this because I am going to show you something at the end that is very funny about my response to Kindred when Kelly Wendorf first said please take this for me).
And then, in 2015, Parenting As A Hero’s Journey, we started that and we are going to talk about all of this now.
What Is Consciousness?
So, let’s start first with what is consciousness because this is defining our terms and understanding. What is consciousness based on, for example the 40 years of research that has been done at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and this is their definition. I am not going to read the whole thing. I know it is a big block here and I am trying to keep an eye on the time and we are at 12:15.
Consciousness is the quality of mind that includes your own internal reality. It includes self-awareness, your relationships to the environment, the people in your life, and your world view or your model of reality. Simply put, your consciousness determines how you experience the world.
Why is this really, really important? Because as we move in to talking about old story and new story we are really talking about world view, and world view is a known human consciousness phenomenon right out of Noetic Science research here. They say you know world view, this is a shorter to the point definition…a world view is an organization of beliefs and perspectives that shapes how individuals perceive the world around them and what they accept as true. It is sounding like we are really…it is going to get interesting here.
This is why I wanted to be able to just kind of roll through. I just want to say, I put this note at the bottom to tell you The World View Explorations Project; I was trained as a facilitator in this project on the Earthrise Campus in Petaluma, California a few years but it is now a drop-in curriculum for high schools and colleges and is taught around the world.
The Old Story of Separation
So here is our thumbnail overview. What are we talking about when we are talking about old story/new story. These are world views that, especially this Old Story is a Western cultural belief system that is operating in full capacity right now around us, and this core…the core belief of this system is separation.
It is based on Newtonian/Cartesian science, mechanical/material science, short-term focus, factional thinking, values competition and performance and evaluation.
It demands conformism to consumer culture and cultural imperatives.
It is prescriptive: “Let me tell you how to live, let me tell you how to think.” And, of course, it is unsustainable. And it leads to a contracting way of being. This word is important to remember because we are going to talk about how to use our bodies to tell where we are in the space between stories. We want to remember one is very contracting and one is not, so our bodies help us in shifting and of course you all know that.
And of course the Old Story denies that there is anything outside of itself, so no context and there is no self-awareness.
What Is The New Story?
In this new story we have connection, and of course we have Albert Einstein and Bruce Lipton and energy science and an integrated view means long-term vision, a personal is planetary.
We value cooperation and we value meeting our full potential and our self-awareness.
We want to support that in each other. There is no competition because me serving myself is insanity. Why would I stop here? Clearly me serving you serves me.
We honor biological imperatives. This is a path to wisdom and wholeness, honors individual experience which is what noetic sciences are about. It is sustainable and it is expansive.
It seeks context. It seeks this greater picture to facilitate self-awareness.
What Are Cultural Creatives?
So, again back to the Cultural Creatives. Who is bringing forth the new story right now?
Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson in their book called Cultural Creatives say that these are the people who are caring greatly about ecology and saving the planet, about relationships, peace, social justice, and about self-actualization, spirituality, and self-expression.
Surprisingly they are both inner-directed and socially concerned and they are active as volunteers and contributors to good causes more than any other Americans.
What are the obstacles for Cultural Creatives?
One is invisibility. We feel like weirdos, so we are ashamed in our little world of believing in the connectedness of all life and will not share that with a lot of people perhaps, unless you are in California.
But, this is a real problem. The visibility of each other…I have to tell you a story. There is chiropractor in Florida, when I was at Pathways magazine years ago, and he had a Pathways Connect group there, and he sent me a picture of him standing in a mall with a poster… and I should have put a picture of this here for you guys to see, it is hilarious. On this giant poster at a mall it says at the top “DO YOU FEEL LIKE A WEIRDO” in all caps across the poster and it had all of these reasons why you might feel like a weirdo in your culture because you are thinking holistically, and then you know, and it appealed to people in their Pathways Connect groups.
I called him and I said, “John, did you write this?” and he said, “Yeah” and I said, “Did you read the book Culture Creatives” and he said, “No” and I was like, “Oh my god, this is amazing. You have self-identified as a weirdo. That is like a hallmark of a Cultural Creative, that you feel… that you can tell that you do not fit in!”
I wish I had put that poster on here, it was really hilarious. But, these are the two challenges really. The visibility, the understanding that there are more of us out there than we realize and we can seek each other out and find each other, and that is going to be crucial to us, as they say here in this next quote.
Once we get organized there is going to be… it will harness our potential for changing culture. The possibility there and the potential there is tremendous.
The second obstacles for Cultural Creatives, coherence. This is a new story. This is a consciousness that is we are trying to ride the wave of here, so it is not predicated upon one individual. You can see as you look around the room and a that list that I just showed of the timeline. What is going on everywhere right now? There are people coming forward with a version of the new story as it applies to their field, and the challenge is – I have asked Joseph Chilton Pearce this, and, as I thought he is the wisest man that I know on this paradigm, I asked him “where is the language?” He said it is still being formed all the time, which means the coherence that we need to really help everybody get on the same page is still happening and you can tell that. You can tell when we get together and we are struggling for language and we are struggling to communicate and we are especially struggling because the culture we are in is so driven now to make sure we are isolated and disconnected, and we do not have time to sit around the fires like we used to and really discuss and dialog about what is happening and share our reality and decide to change it consciously.
So, visibility and coherence, they are our two big obstacles. So, how does the old story…this old story of separation appear for adults who want to have children who are trying to avoid…we all have the embedded cultural imperatives in our neural net. I know I do and sometimes I will just click off when a word comes up if I am not paying attention. So, I want you to look at this one minute video here. Okay, good we are on time. So, Kate do you play this.
KATE: Okay, let me see if it will run here. Do you all see it? Lisa, do you see it?
LISA: So this is an interesting video. I would never have seen this video had it not been brought to my attention by a mother who was very upset by it. I will tell you what she said to me. She said, “I am looking at this young woman and I was that young woman. I had a baby when I was in college and I had to finish up college and I am now in my 40s, I am divorced, I have autoimmune issues, and I look at the person that I was then and I just see this stressed out, highly stressed out person who believes if she works hard enough she is going to be able to do it all. She is going to be able to get her child and get her degree. And she was very upset by it.
So, she was very triggered by his video and I looked at it with her and I realized, “You know, there is no mention in this video of lack paid parental leave in the U.S.”
You saw in the video the mother is nursing her child at her computer while she is trying to close the gender gap of pay in the U.S. We have no context there. She is also going through debt accumulation to get this education and this is the new story. This is where we have made noble the idea that we are going to sacrifice our biological imperatives for materialistic gain. And you heard her, it is not because it is an option now. She wants her children to not have to forage and she says, “I took two bullets in the chest in Afghanistan. I am a tough person, I am a tough person, you know I can sacrifice my biological imperatives and I can stay up all night. I can be stressed out while I am nursing my baby and that is because I have a brain.”
I do not know if anybody else feels disturbed by that video, that has got a quarter million views and over 3,000 likes, but I found it at least to be an excellent example of this old story imbedded culturally everywhere really.
So, here is the old story message for mothers: Our bodies are machines. Our babies are unconscious. Our children are products to develop. We are in competition with each other. We constantly evaluate and are evaluated for our performance and our children’s performance.
Anybody else feeling stressed out yet, feel that contracting? Breathe, tap it out. So this storyline here is not meant to support our biological imperatives, which is how we are going to unfold our intelligence.
I want to say a word about this New York story, “I Love My Children, I Hate My Life.” When I first read this story back in 2010, I could not believe how… this is another awesome example of the language, how important it is to be aware of language because the entire story is a story about how, this is how it is. This is just how it is; it is that parents have to sacrifice and this is just what parenthood is, and she uses the words in the article about developing our children and how you have to develop them in a certain way, so it does not question the paradigm. It does not question cultural imperatives; it actually says this is how it is, which is again exactly what is in the storyline of the old story that we saw before. Nothing outside here, don’t bother to go look, it is all right here. No self-awareness invited in.
So here we are… Joseph Chilton Pearce, whom I adore, because Joe recognized this and he gave it a phrase. Again we are looking for language to help us refer back to and to say what’s happening as we build this new story as we have understanding and we can facilitate wisdom coming forward from within ourselves and have that manifest around us and the sort of culture we want to cultivate.
Joe calls this, what the parents are facing when you are an adult and you bring children into the world is that now you are facing a choice between your biological imperatives having a gentle birth, being supported for breast feeding, being supported in those attachment months that are so crucial afterwards, 18 months to 3 years, and Joe says you have to choose between the biological imperatives and the cultural imperatives, and the cultural imperatives serve themselves.
I know APPPAH has memberships for everyone for the academy through Touch the Future and you can go, and I highly recommend that you do, go to the academy and watch some of Joe’s videos there because his cultures on the biocultural conflict and especially how culture serves itself and how we need to be so aware of this, what is happening here, so this is where adults who bring children into the world especially in the U.S. find themselves is facing this biocultural conflict.
And I have this very yummy quote here by Michael Mendizza that I am not going to go through, but he totally nails the piece especially about shaming parents and the rules we call culture have none of these. We eat these and not that. We eat this way and not that. We wear this kind of clothing and not that, and each of us are compared, judged, punished, and rewarded based on our conformity to the accepted pattern. Culture represents one paradigm and our innate nature, what Joe calls the biology of transcendence and there is a battle between the two. I think that is, this quote sounds it out very, very nicely. Again, visit the academy because Joe’s 30 years of work have been captured in there by Michael.
Yay, here is our new story and world view for mothers and fathers: Your blueprint is wholeness. Your body is wise. You can return to this wholeness and wisdom with awareness. Feel that, you can feel it already (exhales). (inaudible) and external belief system.
This is right here with us at all times, it is right here. In the present. Here we go. Practices like mindfulness help us to notice and question stories. You are the author and authority of your story. The return of empowerment here. Our bodies are intelligent and vital. Our babies are conscious. Our children are worthy of our best efforts but do have their own stories. It is your human right to question all external authority, and you can read the rest. It looks like there is one down there. Okay, so of course APPPAH is a part of this new story. That is just awesome.
So back to IONS and their research into human consciousness. What inspires us to begin to shift. What inspires us to feel like this is not quite right, I think there might be something else. Well, there were five things that inspire this according to IONS research. One is a direct experience and for adults who bring children into the world many times, like for myself I would even say, that could be the birth of a child that inspires you to begin to question and consider things differently.
Of course right there waiting for you is the biocultural conflict and the demand that if you want any kind of support in this culture you are going to need to conform to it, but that certainly is one of the number one…I have talked to many parents over the years, it is one of the number one reasons that they end up in Families for Conscious living groups, it is because the birth of their child inspired them to think, to ask questions.
Pain inspires people to wake up. What is happening? Charles Eisenstein in an interview you can go listen to on Kindred shared how did he begin…I asked him this questions, how do we get people to consider the context of their lives because that, that is a piece that people usually look at me and go “yeah whatever”. You know, just turn that…I have got to flip this switch off. I am not going to listen to them. I am not going to hear it. Well, that is being imbedded in the old story that says there is nothing outside of this little circle here; I am not going to hear this.
Well, Charles told me his own story and said, sure he has gone through is first marriage and the breakdown of that and it was pain that drove him to say there has got to be something else. There has got to be something else happening here, and I have to credit Charles Eisenstein for also coming up with the phrase “the space between stories” which is where he says most of us are living most of the time. So, you can also begin to question and shift because a relative, friend, or a social pressure to think differently. Also, repeat experiences; now this is what helps the shifting to continue is that perhaps you keep having these encounters with yourself or with other groups, you keep having them knock at the door. A really important piece of this is to have a safe environment to have the repeat experience of questioning.
So, I put this question in here because I wanted to consider how the impetus is to shift and commit to conscious living really based on community, of having community there to catch you so that you can continue this process. So, here we go.
The big question for me was, “Okay I see all of this with the old story and the new story and I go back and I am talking to parents back in 2007 about this and I could not find a way to present it to them that was not terrifying, and then I remembered The Hero’s Journey and I saw how the Cultural Creatives when they are speaking of themselves as a weirdo, they are hearing the call. This is what Joseph Campbell, who wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces said. That this is a call that we are hearing.
Let me back up and give you a little explanation in case you don’t know about The Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell studied mythology around the world, thousands of years of mythology and their stories and he found imbedded in all of them what he said was the great story in this mono-myth wheel that shows where this hero starts off questioning and saying this is not right, this is not right, and usually there is a resistance. You know, okay this is not right but I am afraid to go find out what else I need to do. I am afraid to take a step outside of the known into the known, and so we have taken his mono-myth wheel here and on the stations of the mono-myth wheel, which is a journey of personal transformation of going through answering the call, of surrendering, of going into this place of facing the demons and dragons of enculturation where the parts of yourself you left behind, what were the treasures of your own consciousness that you had to sacrifice in order to fit into this culture. This is how we bring parents through, this bottom piece and back out the side and to an integrative place, and it is all The Hero’s Journey but it is applied to parenting in our culture and in an nutshell what we are doing…well that is interesting, that that one just fluttered away. So, what we are doing here is we are reframing. A Cultural Creative becomes a hero on the journey. The biocultural conflict becomes an appeal to answer the call. This is the first step on the mono-myth wheel Joseph Campbell created. The challenges of conscious parenting becomes an invitation to be present on the No Path. Joseph Campbell says, if there is a path in front of you that is not your path, your path has not been blazed yet. And of course, we want to unmask the mythology of uber parenting, so that is done. Robin Grille does that piece really wonderfully in The Parenting as a Hero’s Journey series, and we want to show this return when you are coming out of hell to your wholeness, the self-nurturing, the surrendering, present thing, trusting your intuition are the treasures you have discarded in order to fit into this culture, and you are going to reclaim those now. You are reclaiming your humanity, and that is a process that does not just serve you as an individual it just serves the whole world, and as Campbell says “we are not here to save the world but to save ourselves and by doing so we save the world.” So, the new language of the new story is crucial here, and I have thrown out a list so we can kind of see the ecology of the child, what the nuclear family that is sitting here by themselves in isolation and are expected to figure this out. No, there is an ecology of bringing children into the world and we want to think of it that way going forward. Anyway, you can look at these on the PDF. Where can parents and professionals find the new story? I pulled some headlines here that just help us see how we can question and how we have contributors on Kindred who are questioning and thinking differently inside this new story paradigm, creating sustainable humans with conscious parenting. Darcia Narvaez just totally nails it with her work out of Notre Dame that says it is the neuroscience of meeting baby’s needs from the beginning. She has a wonderful piece on Kindred called Bullying Begins with Babies. So, you can even look at this later. I included this here because I just love Cassandra Vieten. She is the president of IONS now and she has also written a book and created the program on Mindful Motherhood, which came out of research out of IONS and this is a wonderful yummy quote, especially for parents. She says, “As you begin to spend more time in that witnessing part of your consciousness you begin to have more space. Your container begins to stretch just like your belly during pregnancy, but in some ways this container has no limits. As you begin to explore this realm of awareness more you may find that like the sky it is difficult to find any edges.” And I think this quote just pulls together everything that we are talking about, especially when speaking to parents. There is a list here of takeaway insights for parents. It is not one thing it is everything. This helps underline the fact that you count, your choices matter because you are part of a whole. The shift is happening and it happens more easily in community. World views create worlds. What your belief system is matters and this occupy yourself is really about our bodies, our wisest guides.
So how can practitioners like yourself and professionals support parents. We need to have adults show up in our lives who are embodying, and I know you all are doing your sematic courses now, but people are smart. Parents are very discerning. They can tell, are you trying to sell me something here or are you really bringing something to me right now that I need. I need to be able to have an attuned person in my presence so that I myself can become more attuned and this way I can be more present for my child, so if you can bring your own attunement and your own embodiment to the presence of the parent that you are working with that is the best gift you are ever going to give them. Share the compassionate insight of living in the space between stories. We have to absolutely put to death the idea that parents are doing it wrong or parents should be shamed or they should carry around some sort of baggage that says that they have to figure it out. It is not even possible now in the United States to parent in a way that is going to bring parents or children toward wellness without the support systems that we need to foster that. Try to use the new language, the new story language, and of course point parents to resources, encourage community building and connection, and embrace the possibility of parenthood as an adventure. And there are my resources, and now I have time to take your questions. There you go, Kate.
LISA: I have one thing to show you. This is the thing that I said was really funny at the beginning. First of all, there is our blue marble right here in the belly of this pregnant woman, and that only took about 50 years for us to make that connection, right? Such an awesome picture with our Thomas Verny quote, “Womb ecology becomes world ecology” and the story of the Kindred piece above it is when Kelly Wendorf brought Kindred to the U.S. and had us run it for her as an initiative, a nonprofit initiative. This was on the front page of the website because sustainability begins at conception, and my personal response was, “I am just going to lay on the floor and suck my thumb right now.” Like oh god, how am I going to tell…I am just trying to help parents understand wellness and to help them get this piece, that sustainability begins at conception feels like such a, you know, it is almost too much to ask especially in our culture without context of what we are talking about with that context of new and old story. So, I did take it down off the site, but it is great because now we have gone through the last couple of years with Kate’s help and we have connected those dots back again with all of our interviews on birth psychology on Kindred, so thank you, Kate.
KATE: No, thank you, Lisa. You have been such a great partner for me in charting our course and I so look forward to the next few years because things are really changing and I have been at this for 16 years, maybe 17 years now, and ever since the birth of my baby and how that coupled with people remembering their births on my table as a practitioner so, I really see things changing just in my experience so, and more and more of the Cultural Creatives that are carrying this paradigm of consciousness are stepping forward and it is all over the place now. Does anyone have a question or a comment? So, I would love for you to raise your hands and I will open the microphone because surely there will be someone who wants to speak to this new story or the space between stories, even if you want to say anything about your story and where you are in what Lisa has outlined.
Go ahead Sheila.
SHEILA: Hi, this…I do know about no path, Lisa. If there is no path is there a…is there a collective among the Cultural Creatives that support this whole group of people that are working with no path. I am particularly interested in maybe baby boomers.
LISA: Okay, no path applies to the individual’s journey, and that is something that Michael Mendizza calls…he was dancing around the phrase and I said, you are saying there is no path here. When you are present with your child it is presence, it is connection, you are there and no one is going to blaze that trail of connection and relationship with your child except for you because you know your child and you are operating within, you know, your known relationship so this ability to step forward and understand that your path has not been blazed yet because you are going to do that now is…it applies to the individual in the moment.
SHEILA: That makes it more manageable, but I am…
LISA: (inaudible) a free for all.
SHEILA: I am thinking more of how to…how as Ray Castellino says is the outer circle of support, how can we then do that with the people who are actually in the childbearing years. Do we do that as, you know, as mothers of the mother with no path and take it back to mammalian specific and what is salutogenic and healthy just from a neurobiological standpoint, that kind of thing? Who is supporting…who is supporting the outer circle of support in this conscious creative group?
LISA: Now, are you saying…are you asking for a structure that is always in existence or one that is needed?
SHEILA: When I first poked around in this cultural creative stuff I thought there were communities, local communities of Cultural Creatives. Do you know that to be the case?
LISA: Oh, well they are…as far as I know they are not self-identified as a club or an organization, and in Paul Ray’s research was not saying that this was true at all, because again one of the challenges of the Cultural Creative is visibility and understanding that there are more of us than we realize, so finding each other and working together…now I will say I think it is Richard Dawkins, now what is his name? who has written about…he calls…when people gather together for the purpose of this consciousness raising in our culture and from the outside somebody looking at them would say, oh they are Cultural Creatives, he would say that these are Heroic communities, so he has already tapped into the idea too of the…of a positive way of framing what a Cultural Creative is doing. Instead of saying that you are subverting the dominant paradigm, the radical you, you can say oh you are doing this Hero on a Journey personal transformation leads to world transformation and you are putting together your community for support for whatever it is that you are taking on as a cause.
SHEILA: And that is Richard Dawkin?
LISA: Gosh, you know what my book is right behind me. It is…it is in my notes, and I will find out for sure. I do not know why it is not coming to me right now; I love this guy. (inaudible)
SHEILA: Thank you.
KATE: Okay, thank you, Sheila. Now, anyone else want to join and have a question or a comment for Lisa about the new story or the space between stories or just what is your response to seeing some of those. Carmen, would you like to just come on? Here, I will open up your microphone and you go ahead and make your comment.
CARMEN: Thank you, thank you very much. I was thinking, as I said in my comment it is pretty clear. It really resonates so much with me what you said because at a certain point in my career as a psychologist I was working in university and teaching, etc., and I do not know I just needed to start all over again and then it just seemed kind of whole to start from sustainability. And for me, sustainability really translated into working with women in pregnancy and birth, so what you are saying just resonates with me so much because I had the same realization and I am working now as a childbirth educator having shifted my career as a psychologist just because of that decision, just because of that sensibility I think that I had at that time. So, I just wanted to thank you, really. It was a really, really great seminar, nice information. I am really looking forward into learning more about Kindred, all the information you put out there for us today. Thank you.
LISA: Thank you.
KATE: There was some more things in the chat, Lisa. Let me see if I can pull up the chat for a second. Suzanne Hernandez had some comments too. People are finding some of the things you were talking about on your…the babies, bullies begins with babies.
LISA: Bullying Begins with Babies, oh yeah. I love Darcia, a neuroscientist at the University of Notre Dame. Her book won the William James Award last year, in fact it is worth it to go right here and see…here she is. The name of her book is Neurobiology in the Development of Human Morality, Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, and it won the Williams James book award last year from the American Psychological Association. She is just amazing; I love her.
KATE: So, Sandra Helena Hernandez (? spelling of name), so I am wondering Sandra would you like to come on and make your comment so that people, so that Lisa can hear? I send often the chat logs to people that I…oh, I don’t see you here. You are not here anymore, so I will have to read that one out loud. But someone has put up their hand. Oh no, it’s you Sandra, good. Alright go ahead Sandra.
SANDRA: Hi Kate, hi Lisa and everyone. Thank you for this morning presentation. It has been really not just inspiring, Lisa, but also bringing some answers to many, you know, things that I myself have been thinking since I came to the U.S. about 17 years ago. So, I was mentioning in my comment about how much I have been thinking about the, you know, the challenges and how to support immigrant parents here in the U.S. and that is the work that I have been doing for a few years directly with, you know, creating the doulas program as Kate knows but also have been working, you know, with the Latino communities for about 10 years and did work before with schools, so I learned a lot about how is the education and the culture here because I came to study education here in the U.S. and then I decided to stay. So, anyways my point, and because also you mentioned Joseph Campbell, which I love it, it is amazing how much we have to learn about ourselves, our heroes or heroines. So, the point is how really we could do something considering, you know, that immigrant parents have so much already they bring with them and then have to face the culture here that is different from then. Any comments you could say about this would be wonderful, thank you.
LISA: I would say I, I think what you are talking about is perhaps they bring in an expectation of community and support that they do not find. I know that that has been true with…with people who I have talked to who have…we had an intern here from the College of William and Mary and she came to the United States from Mexico when she was 12, and her story is up on Kindred and she wrote us an essay about why she believed that our work was really important and why she wanted to volunteer for us and work for us as an intern during the time she was a student at William and Mary, and she said, you know, you can see how it is so disconnected here and my family and I feel it and we see it and it is…she did not mince words, she said it is quite horrifying. I…we also have Kathy Kendall-Tackett on Kindred talking about how this is one of the challenges for convincing parents who are inside of the model, for example, from the video we watched that there is a problem. They do not know what support is and Darcia Narvaez in an interview on how we create sustainable humans also…I had her spell out for me, I said okay, well I know that is true but can you describe for me what does it look like in other countries. Let’s hear what that looks like? You know, this mother in the story, the video we watched, would have had somebody coming to her house to do her laundry. Her child was clearly still an infant. She could have had a year off from work. She could have been supported in ways that again in this country we cannot even imagine right now, so I think…is that what you are speaking to? The community piece and the support?
SANDRA: Yes, so…yeah, first of all I was also looking to your website, the Kindred website, and it is amazing how many resources we can find there. Of course my question is not that simple. It is something complex related with, you know how to, for instance when you mention about the conflict that…the biocultural conflict, so that is what came to me. So, we have (inaudible) do ways of bio-conflict but also a third one related with the culture that you know, these parents bring from their own countries, and I am especially talking about Latino countries, like I am from Brazil but of course any other immigrants here as I see difficult or a huge challenge trying to support them to be able to strive in this culture but also then they will be facing the new intelligence of their own kids who are born here in the U.S., so the kids also bring a completely new culture outside of their own house. So, I work with duo-families as we say. Some of them were immigrants, some of them were born here and how is…that is the challenge of this.
LISA: Yes, I would point right away to Attachment Parenting International has support groups and they also have, all of their materials are in Spanish and can be printed out especially for new parents if they are looking to…at least if they are looking to understand bonding and attachment and how very different it is, how very difficult it can be in this culture that does not support, again, biological imperatives. That is a resource for the Latino community there.
SANDRA: You give a website, you were saying?
LISA: Yes, attachmentparenting.org
SANDRA: Thank you.
LISA: And I will also point to, we have on Kindred a parent and…we have 14 years of articles and videos and interviews on Kindred, so the first resource here is a Kindred Parent and Professional Resource Center that is coming this summer, and we are putting all of our stories into themes and into PDFs. I cannot see myself, but you can see me. So here is one that was created, for example, for the APPPAH Congress and it is…it shares a new story but also shares birth psychology resources that could be found, so this PDF is actually up on Kindred right now and you can print this out and share this, and it explains here what the new story is and what it looks like for parents. So, more like that is coming. Funding, I need funding and it will come faster.
SANDRA: Thank you for keeping improving. That is amazing. And sharind.
LISA: Right, thank you.
KATE: Thank you, Sandra. I remember when I came back from Africa. I used to live in Africa. We called the United States the hardship post because there just is not support here like there is in any other cultures where I was living in Africa. There was a lot more strife over there and civil war in places and lots of disease and lack of resources both educational and medical, but socially it was…it was just really an amazing place and that is where I learned a lot about parenting and children and how sacred children are. Children are gifts from God in many cultures around the world, so that really healed a lot in me around humanity just being in another culture, so it is very shocking to come here for many African people that I have talked with here. It can…it is really hard, so thank you, Sandra, for bringing that up. Lisa, people are saying on the chat they want to know where they can donate.
LISA: Oh, right on the front page of kindredmedia.org there is a big blue button. And there is a list of ways on the page that people can support Kindred. There is a number of ways including just making a donation would be great.
So, I need to say something real quick. I know we just have a second left, but on a personal note my mother came from a family of 12 children and there were 8 sisters, and when I grew up I did not know I was being raised inside basically what was considered…what would have been considered a tribal unit because I had so many mothers and I had so many cousins to play with, and there was a tremendous sense of support and community. Nobody was ever left hanging or alone, and I do remember when I had my son, and I have shared this story many times before, sitting in my home by myself and having again that first initial feeling of something is really wrong, where is my community here and I have shared over the years, I do think at my core what set me off on this journey was this piece of sand in my oyster shell that was…like where is my community? Where is my community? This is so wrong, what is going on here? And it really inspired me, but it was the grief of having the experience. I have actually experienced what it is like to be in this small tribal community with 8 mothers and lots of people around me and the feeling that everything is not only be okay for me but my parents are supported. There is a tremendous network here of resources and support for us, and then that was not my experience as a mother but that was also what drove me to continue the work with Families for Conscious Living and to create community groups.
KATE: Okay, thank you. Yes, Sheila says you have made a “shimmeringly” beautiful pearl that sheds light for others. So, alright we are right at the top of the hour. So we thank you for your presentation, Lisa. People were saying on the chat it was very inspiring which is why of course I asked you to present because I do find you very inspiring for sure, and this is about our…this is our last module in the Monday Live series, and that is for module 11 and that is…you know, had inspiration and implications and here you are inspiring us, shedding light on where we are in between stories and APPPAH really is taking a lead here in trying to define new ways of thinking about bringing children in and getting pregnant and…so it is wonderful and I hope you all have gotten some inspiration, some new language, some ways to feel supported in yourself as you move forward as PPNE graduates. So, we are hoping to have more of this kind of thing so that you feel that you have ways to work with your own story. So, email Lisa, email me if you have any questions or comments or anything that we can do for you. See you all next week for the presentation of BEBA, the clinic on Building and Enhancing Bonding and Attachment with Ray Castellino and Tara Blasco, and also this Wednesday evening we are having a sematics lecture with Patricia Lucas, so please take advantage of all of these wonderful things. Go to those (inaudible) and our classroom into sematics module and the Monday Live module. Once again please let us know if we can do anything for you.
Okay everyone, like I always like to do, I unmute you and I say goodbye. Please say goodbye. I like to hear your voice before you head out the door. Okay, goodbye everybody. Goodbye everyone. Goodbyes from everyone.
LISA: Thank you, that was fantastic. I crammed it all in there. I was worried.