Building A Bridge Between Prenatal Psychology And Climate Change: With Stephanie Mines, PhD

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A Kindred Interview and Transcript, Includes Resource Materials


“We can still make a difference. The difference is in being a voice for our living earth. To steward without awareness of our existential and physical crisis is a grave error.”

– Stephanie Mines, PhD


Listen to Stephanie Mines share her insights into building a bridge between prenatal psychology and climate change.


Building A Bridge Between Prenatal Psychology And Climate Change: With Stephanie Mines, PhD

(This transcript has been edited for clarity.)

Stephanie Mines
Stephanie Mines, PhD

LISA:  Welcome to Kindred.  This is Lisa Reagan and today I’m here with Dr. Stephanie Mines who is a neuropsychologist.  She is the author of We are All in Shock: New Frontiers in Sensory Integration, soon to be released in a new edition for these times, and most recently They Were Families:  How War Comes Home.  She is devoted to ending the lineage of shock and trauma for individuals and the world.  To this end, she has developed the TARA Approach For the Resolution of Shock and Trauma, which is taught internationally and is a clinically tested comprehensive treatment design.  She has also developed Climate Change and Consciousness:  Our Legacy to the Earth and last year convened a global gathering in northern Scotland of changemakers who still meet through virtual gatherings. You can now see the documentary of this event in the film Inner Climate Change.

Today Stephanie is with us to talk about prenatal psychology and its connection to climate change. Welcome, Stephanie.

DR. MINES:  Thank you, Lisa.

LISA:  I’ll give our listeners a heads up because where we’re going is uncharted territory, which is our favorite place to be at Kindred. Stephanie is going to build us a bridge between prenatal psychology and climate change and our own consciousness. I’ll let you take it away and get us starting on the building of this bridge.

DR. MINES:  Thank you very much, Lisa.  I truly am grateful to you for recognizing the importance of building this bridge.  It has been dear to my heart for some time and it’s a slow engineering project.  It is, however, I think, amplified in terms of its necessity by the magnitude of change that we’re experiencing in our world as right in this moment everyone listening is in a state of pandemic.  

We are all at home, we are all with our families, and we are in a retreat situation not of our own choosing but because of the healthcare crisis that we’re in.  The bridge that I want to build is made even more important by this crisis.


What Is Prenatal/Birth Psychology?

Listen to Dr. Thomas Verny, one of the founders of prenatal and birth psychology, talk about his early experience of presenting the science and “ducking pies” doing so. An inspirational interview.

LISA:  Could we start with defining prenatal psychology, just to make sure everyone listening just understands this field of science?

DR. MINES:  Yes, this is a field that is innovative in many regards and ancient at the same time.  I seem to be able to bridge past and present and future in many of the things that I do because I rely upon ancient wisdom, what is timeless, but as a neuroscientist I’m also very much engaged in current research about brain development, which is enhanced by the technologies that we have available.  So, pre and peri-natal psychology is based, from my perspective as a neuroscientist, on the way that the brain develops in utero.  So that prenatal development that is launched at conception, I’ll repeat that, brain development is launched at conception, so the conception already has embedded in its structure the cellular template for the brain that will evolve out of that tissue.  

That suggests that there is a level of consciousness that begins that early in life, and pre and perinatal psychology is a form of embryogenesis, a form of embryology, a form of understanding this embryological unfolding that leads to the mind-body connection.  I have charted this, researched it and studied it, and tried to codify it in a sense of noting from a psychological standpoint the critical periods in prenatal development that we as the parents, as the adults in that child’s environment, can maximize through our relationship and our stewarding of early development. 

LISA:  I would like to speak for a moment with great compassion to parents and practitioners, people who are listening. When I first heard about prenatal psychology it made sense to me.  The science is solid, but it made me feel disparing because it seems like it establishes this benchmark for what we could be as human beings except that there’s no way that I as a mother by myself in our culture could really support this piece.  I did not feel like I could, and before people tune out because they are feeling overwhelmed or triggered.  I would just like to speak to that.

DR. MINES:  I’m so appreciative that you’re giving this heads up so early in our conversation.  I am a mother and a grandmother, so I am acutely sensitive to the concerns that you raise.  I want to encourage those listening to hang in with us and realize that our experiences as parents, first of all, are always imperfect.  

There’s no way to parent perfectly. The learning that we experience as parents is, in fact, the perfection, because it is our consciousness of what’s occurring, including our consciousness of what we’ve done imperfectly, that allows us to contribute to the future of humanity. It’s when we try to block the awareness of whatever, I don’t even want to say mistakes, because they’re not mistakes, they’re experiences.  

There’s no way to parent perfectly. The learning that we experience as parents is, in fact, the perfection, because it is our consciousness of what’s occurring, including our consciousness of what we’ve done imperfectly, that allows us to contribute to the future of humanity.

But, you know, I have raised my children with evolving consciousness of what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a mother, under diverse circumstances, relational struggles, environmental conditions that had consequences, and I am still parenting. I’m still parenting my adult children and I’m still parenting my grandchildren in a world that grows increasingly, unbelievably complex.   So, we’re all in new territory.  

Parenting is always entering into the unknown and I want to encourage all who are listening to be self-loving and self-accepting and self-forgiving and to become spacious in entering the awareness that neuroscience makes available to us of what is possible.  These are the things my mom, bless her heart, could never have known, and the struggles that she went through in raising me under very trying circumstances.  We are blessed to have the awareness that is available to us now, so if we could come into this information that we’re going to share with gratitude and consciousness and feel fortunate to become increasingly more aware, we recognize what an incredible contribution this is to the children of the future, to human collective consciousness.

LISA:  That’s wonderful. Thank you so much.  I wanted to say a lot of what we see out in the prenatal psychology world is addressing practices for the adults themselves and their own prenatal and postnatal trauma, so there is a huge body of information and resources in that realm.  We are not without resources. 

So how are we going to build this bridge between prenatal psychology, now that we have the definition, and climate change which is what’s going on right now in our world, although it’s being overshadowed by the pandemic.  I’m sure you could speak to the relationship between those things as well.

DR. MINES:  Yeah, first of all what I want to say is that we’re going to build this bridge together.  I think the reason that I started to build now more than a decade ago really, as I became aware of the impact of environmental contaminants on the developing embryo and the developing baby and, of course, for me these awarenesses are always coupled with self-awareness. 

 As I became aware, for instance, of the impact of environmental contaminants that I was exposed to in my environment, I became enthusiastic about sharing that awareness with others so we could protect developing children.  This is more than a decade ago, that I started to build this bridge so that the world of pre and peri-natal psychology, what I have loosely called the birthing community, the community of people that invest in the understanding of prenatal development and attachment parenting and parenting as a steward role. I wanted that awareness of environmental impacts on the developing baby to be infused into the education of the parents and parents-to-be.  

This pandemic that has put us all on retreat is, in fact, the product of climate change.  It’s not a separate category.  It is the direct outgrowth of our climate crisis.  It is the direct outgrowth of environmental contaminants of, in particular, pesticides and also the abuse of animal husbandry and the way that animals in our food chain have suffered from those contaminants.  So, it’s a culmination of what has created the climate crisis — and this will not be the only pandemic.  This will not be the only novel threat that we experience to our health.  This is the beginning of many iterations and even when we find the inoculation against this particular coronavirus there will be another one for which we do not have an inoculation. The impact to what we’ve done to our environment out of our disconnection from ourselves and from the earth, those consequences are playing out dramatically now and will continue to do so.  

We can still make a difference.  The difference is in connection.  The difference is in being a voice for our living earth and the difference is in stewarding for the children of the future.  The difference is in consciousness.  It is actually an inner climate, and that’s what I want to speak to.  That’s what this bridge consists of.  It consists of consciousness.  It consists of our capacity as adults to fulfill our responsibility as stewards for young children now, for young people and for the children of the future.  To steward without awareness of the existential and physiological and literal crisis that we’re in, I feel, is in error.

We can still make a difference.  The difference is in connection.  The difference is in being a voice for our living earth and the difference is in stewarding for the children of the future.  The difference is in consciousness.  It is actually an inner climate, and that’s what I want to speak to.  That’s what this bridge consists of.  It consists of consciousness.  It consists of our capacity as adults to fulfill our responsibility as stewards for young children now, for young people and for the children of the future.  To steward without awareness of the existential and physiological and literal crisis that we’re in, I feel, is in error.


Cleaning Our Inner Climate First

LISA:  So your world view is one of interconnectivity and there’s a continuity between preconception, conception, birth, and then out into our world, our environment, our place we find ourselves right now.  But this is not the world view that most people and most of us live in, even when we’re trying, some days we don’t get there.  How did that happen neurologically — that we don’t see it — and how do we get that vision, that capacity back? Buy celebrex no prescription

DR. MINES:  Beautiful, I love your questions, Lisa.  They’re so helpful for the message that I want to share.  So, my dear colleague and friend Vandana Shiva speaks of what she calls fossil fuel brain, that in fact we have been co-opted in many ways by a corporate society that accepts the degradation and the severing of our connection to the natural world and, try as we might, we have been swept up in that contamination. For instance, my book They Were Families:  How War Comes Home, speaks about what in the psychological world is called secondary traumatization, or vicarious retraumatization, which is a state in which we are infected by a world view.  

We’ve been infected by the fossil fuel industry in a broad definition of what that means, the consumerism, even those of us who resist it.  We have still been contaminated by it and that has attached on to whatever early trauma we might have experienced.  

Many of us – because of the industrialization of birth, which is part of the rubric of fossil fuel brain – we have early experiences that caused us to lose our connection quite early on with organic and natural development and we created compensations for that. We created those compensations because of how much we want to be here and how much we want to live and how much we want to make a contribution.  Those compensations frequently become addictions and those addictions shape our neurological development.  So, the inner climate detoxification, the clearing of the inner climate obstacles for the adults in the world is part of this bridge building as well, that we are able to come out of this fossil fuel brain state confidently and express the truth to our children in new ways when we have cleared the traumas in our own lives.  Then we are empowered and then we fulfill our purpose.  

This is the premise of the TARA approach and it’s the premise of my own life, because I have found this voice that you’re now hearing because of my own resolution of my very traumatic prenatal life and birth, my very violent and traumatic early years, and the distortions that lead to replicate those traumas.  I have been able, through the resources that I’ve cultivated, to find the natural voice that I actually came here to articulate.

LISA:  Which sounds like something that should be a human birth right for everyone.

DR. MINES:  I love the way you use the term birth right because that word says everything to me.  All my work is about human birth right.  When we reclaim our birth right to have our authentic voice, when we reclaim our birth right to parent as a hero’s journey, which is encoded in the cells of our body, we know how to do this; it’s been distorted but we can reclaim it. There’s no question in my mind or my body that we can reclaim it.  In that process of reclamation we know what to do, and I have to say I love the title of your book:  Parenting as a Hero’s Journey.  Parenting from that place of grassroots empowerment or somatic empowerment, I’m so honored to be part of that process.


What Do We Tell Children?

LISA:  You bring such an important piece to this book and to parents and practitioners with this insight.  I wanted to address what you just said, about how to tell a narrative to a child.  What is the narrative that we would tell children that would be empowering and not a repetitive pattern that would lead to more transgenerational trauma?  I say that knowing, again, with great compassion, that most of us are in a place where we have to conform to live.  We have the job that we have to hold down and the public school systems for education.

This is the part where I feel the overwhelm come in, and I’ve written about this before… when we see it’s not one thing, it’s everything.  That was a revelation to me early on in motherhood and it was a setback for a while: “Oh my gosh, where do I even begin.”  If it’s not one thing it’s everything.  I did everything where I was with what I could do because that’s all I could do.  What is the narrative?  What would that look like?  What would we tell children that would be empowering?

DR. MINES:  This is exactly the bridge that we have to build together, and I believe that articulation begins when the child is in utero.  Those people who are thinking about being parents at this time, those people who are in the early stages, or whatever stage of pregnancy you might be in, those who are parenting small children and young people, we need to build that bridge together because I believe it is our responsibility to be honest with our children.  This is the simple takeaway that I have from all my years of studying prenatal brain development, all my years of investigating my own early life and of being a mother and a grandmother.

I come away with a very simple statement about what this hero’s journey is: it’s honesty, it’s the truth.  You tell your children the truth.  It’s how you tell them that we need to discuss and evolve together, but children always already know the truth, including in utero.  

I come away with a very simple statement about what this hero’s journey is: it’s honesty, it’s the truth.  You tell your children the truth.  It’s how you tell them that we need to discuss and evolve together, but children always already know the truth, including in utero.  

How they know it varies because of course in the pre-verbal periods they know it pre-verbally, they know it somatically, they know it through their senses.  As children develop they continue to know the truth, it just evolves and then is shaped by how we are interacting with them. So telling the truth is the bottomline.

How we tell that truth is the product of the wisdom that we cultivate, and I’m defining that wisdom as our own evolution, as stewards, how we have resolved the traumas in our life, how we are resolving our traumas because that’s an ongoing process, and how we come more and more into spiritual alignment so that when we deliver the truth to our children it comes out of alignment.  It comes out of an understanding that these children are not our children, they are life’s longing for itself.  It comes out of the differentiation that we make between who we are and who they are, and it comes out of our compassionate dedication and responsibility to the future of human consciousness.  So, how we tell the truth is shaped by all of that.

(Below is the documentary film created from the Climate Change and Consciousness Conference organized in Findhorn, Scotland, by Dr. Mines in 2019.)

Inner Climate Change: The Documentary


Integrating Climate Change Truth Into Parent Education: “Children Already Know”

LISA:  So what is the next step.

DR. MINES:  I feel the next step is building the bridge.  This is a very important step from my standpoint and it involves waking up on the part of what I loosely call the birthing community, the parent education organizations, to incorporate the truth about our environment, the truth about the future of humanity into their parenting education so that the consciousness of the truth where we are as a human civilization is integrated into understanding what it means to bear children now, to raise children now.  It’s not the same world, it’s not the same concerns.  

We must wake up the birthing community, the parent education organizations, to incorporate the truth about our environment, the truth about the future of humanity into their parenting education so that the consciousness of the truth – where we are as a human civilization – is integrated into understanding what it means to bear children now, to raise children now.  It’s not the same world, it’s not the same concerns. 

When I first started exploring pre and peri-natal psychology and preparing resources for pregnancy, which I have extensive resource handbooks and documents and charts that help people that are becoming parents do that with more attunement, with more awareness of the brains of their developing babies.  The world that is our present reality now is not the same world as 20 years ago.  It is a world that is undergoing such drastic reformatting that it is our responsibility to prepare our children, our developing children, for that and this is a task that we simply need to rise to the occasion of needing, and we can only do that collectively.

An interview with Joan C. Williams, founder of the University of California at Hastings’ Center for Worklife Law and author of White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America

LISA:  And this is what is called whole systems change, by the way, which would make it a lot easier on the individual parent, like I was in the beginning thinking I have to figure this out by myself and find other people to work with to do this by ourselves. But what our writers have found –and there are a lot of articles on Kindred that I could refer people to – that show how complex systemic change can be. There’s one recent interview with Joan Williams from the Work Life Law Center (see the graphic to the article on the right) and she’s looking at this social science ability to speak the correct words and language to lawmakers to not alienate them from the breastfeeding cause. Currently, as Joan’s work and the center show, you need to learn specific non-alienating language so that they will agree with you that breastfeeding is something that needs to be supported and protected in the workplace and in general, along with paid leave and the other pieces that need to be created for American parents and this next generation so that their neurobiology develops optimally.  

In our system right now, which is very profit driven, we only see, “Oh, that’s going to cost a lot of money.”  First of all, they’ve shown breastfeeding support at work, paid family leave, et al, has a great return-on-investment, but as a species and society we’re going to pay up front to create wellness or we’re going to pay on the end for disease management.  We’re going to pay for people’s mis-developed, undeveloped neurobiology in a system that’s not sustainable or we’re going to do it right out of the shoot. We have the science now and we have a lot of resources.  It is this systemic change piece of where does that begin, how do we fire that up.  I have a feeling, and you could speak to this, that this pandemic is going to change a lot of people’s opinions on these issues.

DR. MINES:  Absolutely and I really appreciate the bringing in of whole systems change.  So, our financial system is undergoing enormous change in the moment, in real time.  Our economy, our agriculture, our food sourcing, all of that is undergoing enormous change, so it’s inevitable, it’s happening right now, that our healthcare system is going to shift dramatically.  It is only natural then that the way that we have our babies, the way that we raise our babies, the way that we parent is going to have to shift as well.  We need to rise to that occasion and we can.  

That’s the piece that I have as a neuroscientist that fills me with optimism every day.  We are resilient evolving beings.  We can do this.  We can rise to this occasion.  I feel like I can only say that because of my experience, and that experience is really personal.  So, I personally have experienced brain resiliency as a product of the healing processes that have happened for me, that I have instigated, and the resources that I have and that I share.  If I didn’t have that personal experience, I would not be able to talk about resiliency in this way.  

So, let’s take a look in a very grounded way at what it would look like to build this bridge.  I think it would look like those people who have the progressive intelligence to see the necessity for this coming together and revamping all the parent education, all the birthing education literature that we have and putting it into context for this time. To me that would be the first step. It would be a loving, compassionate collaborative of those people who have been maintaining these structures, which, thank God, exist and which have been pioneering birth education, prenatal education, pre and perinatal psychology, all of the fields related to that.  Thank God we have a wonderful network that has made incredible advances and has educational structures in place.  Those all need to be brought up to speed for our current time.  

Everybody, I believe is in a process like that now.  I mean I have to revamp my website.  I have to revamp my training.  I have to revamp the way I do my training, based on these accelerated changes that we knew were coming.  We knew this was coming, but now it’s here and the pandemic spells it out.  So, I would if I could, I can’t because I’m just one person, but I would instigate that collaborative meeting digitally, obviously; a collaborative meeting online of these organizations that would speak to how they can implement this upgrade in understanding and education for parents and parents-to-be.  As the people that formed those organizations and those structures, I feel that responsibility to be able to educate the people I know so they don’t feel, as you were saying, so alone just trying to pull it together by themselves.  Let’s give community to this bridge.  Let’s make this a bridge of community. buy celexa no prescription

LISA:  You know, I do see that happening now. It’s almost like a switch flipped on and people seem to be calling upon their memory of what it is to work in community fairly quickly.  My inner cynic is going, “Wait what? Look at that!”  Look at how truckers are bringing supplies to places, people are getting together and making masks for the medical workers. Our instinctive ability to work together in community towards a common cause and a common good seems to be alive and well.

DR. MINES:  Yes, it is really perking up.  That is a wonderful byproduct.  It doesn’t negate the tragic losses, but we see it.  I’ve seen so much of this. It’s so uplifting.  I saw one photograph of two women in Sweden who had apartments at opposite ends of a hall and they opened the doors to their apartments and they put little tables out the door with teacups and flowers and they had tea together from across the hall.  

Let’s make this a bridge of community.

I saw something just a little while ago about a postal person, I mean thank God for these incredible people who are still delivering our mail and taking away our garbage, and this postal person was dressing up in a fantastic costume and delivering the mail in costume so that people who saw him were cheered, and of course we’ve seen the Italian singers on their balconies, and the musicians playing music from their homes.  This is a beautiful upwelling of human connectivity.  I know that we can do this within the birth and parenting education community and well, that we can rise to the occasion and build bridges of education and outreach and support those people who are parents of little ones.  

You know, I did this webinar yesterday about resources in our crisis, and there were many parents, grandparents and teachers on that webinar who were lost and heartbroken that they could not convey to these children a sense of optimism and hope because they themselves didn’t feel optimism and hope.  They felt fear, confusion and they were threatened by this situation.  They didn’t know when it would end.  They didn’t know where it was leading, and that personal level of despair is what we who are stewards and leaders need to face and authentically make a difference in how we communicate with those who are caring for the most important people in the world, which are our children and our children in utero.


A Sustainable Healthcare Model

LISA:  Yes, that was a wonderful call yesterday.  I was very happy to be part of it.  (See Climate Change and Consciousness’ International Virtual Gatherings here.) I would like for you to just take a moment and speak to the vision of the healthcare system that you envision we’re going to need very quickly now.

DR. MINES:  Thank you.  This is the concept of sustainable health for a climate changing world, and it incorporates into this vision these very resources for parents and parents-to-be.  It involves putting into the hands of people at the grassroots level the time-tested resources that have endured centuries of crisis, that have proven helpful, and combining those resources with contemporary neuroscience.  So, my own TARA approach is a fusion of a time-tested hands-on modality with contemporary neuroscience in the form of the resolution of trauma.  I fuse those together in my system, but I am not the only one to do that.  Other systems have transmitted some of these time tested resources, so the example in the TARA approach is a hands-on meridian-based applied-touch system that I have clinically-tested and clinically-tested with children.  

The resources that I can offer have to do with the ways in which a parent can hold certain areas, for instance, on a child’s body that will help that child’s nervous system to come out of anxiety, distress, frustration, or physiological symptomatology that could relate to the climate crisis health consequences. So parents learn how to operate in delivering health resources when there isn’t a pediatrician to go to, when there isn’t access to agency-based healthcare.  

This modality returns the authority of being in the center of the healthcare paradigm in your family and in your own body to the individuals, to the parents involved, and even children can learn this system.  And pregnant women can do this for their babies in utero by treating their own pregnant bodies and transmitting that cellular shift to the baby in utero.  These kinds of interventions are part of sustainable health.

LISA:  I’ve done the TARA Approach and I highly, highly recommend it, but what I found even in myself is the shift… there is a turning that I have to do in myself from looking outside myself to coming inward into my own space: “Oh it’s me, I’m going to do this for me.” That kind of empowerment, wow, what an unusual feeling in our culture, to feel that you can put your hands on yourself or your children and be present and help yourself.  It’s the opposite, I would say, of what you were describing earlier, which is our culture setting us up for addiction, which is the beef that we have to go outside of our bodies and knowing and find someone else or something else to stop the pain, to self-regulate, instead of tuning in and caring for ourselves.

DR. MINES:  Beautiful, exactly.  Thank you so much for sharing that experience of yours.  That is the basis of sustainable health.  

Sustainable health means that nobody can take it away from you.  Sustainable health means that you are in the center of the process.  You are the one who is tapping into the neuro-endocrine laboratory that lives inside of you, that is our birth right.  That innate health is our birth right. 

Sustainable health means that nobody can take it away from you.  Sustainable health means that you are in the center of the process.  You are the one who is tapping into the neuro-endocrine laboratory that lives inside of you, that is our birth right.  That innate health is our birth right. 

As I have said, I have clinically tested this.  The research that I did with children diagnosed with autism was remarkable in that children, this was children under the age of eight, who had patterns that had been named as autistic, were able through receiving very minimal touch, applied touch applications, were able to recover capacities, for instance, to take care of themselves, to begin to exceed the limits of learning that were placed on them, and this was simply by tapping into our own neuro-endocrine system and allowing that system to open the windows of opportunity that may have temporarily been shut.  

So my system, the TARA Approach, is definitely part of the sustainable health library.  So, I’m building a sustainable health cultural health library that harvests systems like this from all over the world – indigenous healing arts that have always been cued to neurobiology and making those available to people around the world in a digital format that will be easy to access.  This is probably my most grandiose undertaking.


The Connection Between Modern Birth and Climate Change Helplessness

LISA:  Sounds perfect and needed.  I want to go back to birth and the climate change consciousness, because I know before we decided to do this call I had wondered aloud about the relationship between how we birth in our country and what I perceive to be people tuning out when climate change comes up: “I can’t do anything about that, it’s too big.” It feels like a helplessness. It seems like there’s probably a relationship here, if you are looking at life as a continuum.  

DR. MINES:  Definitely, definitely. What I have found in my own experience as a woman who chose to have her children at home and who encouraged my elder daughter to have her children at home, is that we can safely return to the organic understanding that lives within us, reclaim the birth right of how to birth our children and raise them, parent them, love them from the organic attachment that unfolds when we give ourselves the space to be in the center of the process but we do not abdicate responsibility.  

…we can safely return to the organic understanding that lives within us, reclaim the birth right of how to birth our children and raise them, parent them, love them from the organic attachment that unfolds when we give ourselves the space to be in the center of the process but we do not abdicate responsibility.  

That takes a lot of confidence because we are always at this juncture: working against the fossil fuel brain that is a true pandemic.  When I think about the opposition I faced from my own mother, from so many people, to having my babies at home and to breastfeeding them for four years, I think how those actions seemed like writing a poem to me.  When a poem is rising up in me I cannot refuse it.  I have to just write it.  It writes itself.  It comes out of my body.  The same thing with having my children at home.  It was, how could I do anything else?  How could I do anything other than breastfeed my children until they didn’t want to breastfeed anymore? I couldn’t do anything else. All the people that tried to talk me out of that, they didn’t stand a chance. They did trouble me.  They did cause me to be concerned and doubt myself, but they didn’t win.  That, thank God, I have to just say in saying all this is I’m feeling good about myself, and I would not allow that birth right for myself and for my children to be stolen from us.

So, I’m not saying that there might not be complications in which a more allopathic structured intervention wouldn’t be lifesaving.  Of course, we want to have that available when we can and when it’s necessary, but that impulse to be so connected with our children, so attuned to them, so sensorily bonded at this very indigenous level is what has been stolen from us and that we now have to reclaim.  My concept of sustainable health, my impulse to build a bridge between climate consciousness and the birthing community has that same kind of insistence.  It’s my passion.  It’s my indigenous nature, and I want to be a support for others to claim this.

LISA:  I love that you use the word indigenous because I feel like there’s something to what you’re saying in a whole, restored, or originally uncorrupted neurobiology that would feel like it belongs to this earth and belongs here and this is our home… we’re a part of it instead of the fossil fuel mentality, as you said, it’s here for us to extract, extract, extract and consume, consume, instead of “No, this is our home.”  

We Are Kindred. Welcome Home.

This is the piece that I remember tripping over a lot and still do with Kindred’s work. So much of what we’re talking about now just entered the experiential realm.  Joseph Chilton Pearce called what we are looking at now as parents a Bio-Cultural Conflict and he said we have intelligence and then we have our intellect, and our intellect can describe things all day long but it doesn’t access our intelligence.  This is an act of experience that we need to be able to go into, and that activates our intelligence and our being and our body.  So, can you speak a little to that?  I want to feel hopeful and I want to show the difference between we’re not going to think our way out of this again.  That would be me… there’s my voice of experience.  I did try.  Kindred is full of me thinking about things and trying to think of a way out and then it turns out that some of this is so experiential I’m not sure how we’re going to provide that for ourselves and each other, the experience of oneness and connection, if we didn’t get it. (See Kindred’s video above, which is intended to help us remember how we connected experientially with our natural world, our life source, as children.)

Read the introduction to the Biology of Transcendence, by Joseph Chilton Pearce, on Kindred.

DR. MINES:  Yeah, I love everything that you just said.  I love that you brought in Joseph Chilton Pearce.  What I want to say is this bridge must be constructed out of the intelligence that Joseph Chilton Pearce points us to, and that it is okay not to know.  It is okay to allow it to emerge.  The sign to me that I might finally have liberated my own intelligence is that I have stopped trying to fix everything.

You and I were speaking of that earlier that, in fact, it was that mentally-driven imperative, that threat level imperative, that I had somehow to fix everything, that made me waste some time that I am now not going to continue to waste.  The spaciousness of not knowing, the spaciousness for instance, Lisa, of you and I being here together and looking at this is what will create the intelligence for this bridge.  

The fact that we can see the bridge, even if it’s not completed, the fact that we can feel together that this bridge needs to be built, means the bridge will be built.  I am optimistic.  I know all the dire statistics.  I live with an environmental scientist.  My husband is an environmental attorney who is really keeping up to date on all the data.  I live with it. I know it but I am optimistic.  I am optimistic because of people like you.  I am optimistic because of people like me.  I’m optimistic because of my children and my grandchildren, and I am optimistic because of Climate Change and Consciousness.  The people in Climate Change and Consciousness, the visionaries who know that we have the capacity to liberate our inner climate and that that will lead to the solutions.  

LISA:  Thank you, thank you so much for coming today, Stephanie.  I just don’t know anyone like you.  I have looked.  I have looked out there, people.  You know I have.  There’s evidence up there on Kindred, like I said.  Picking up and turning over issues and subjects and how do we do this and I never knew what I was doing.  I think I, like you, just wanted to know.  I think of a cat.  You can’t stop them when they’re curious about something, they’re going to figure it out.  So I just needed to figure it out and it turns out that was the wrong tool to use, my intellect.  

What else would you like for our listeners to know about this bridge before we go?

DR. MINES:  I’d like them to know that I have composed a mission statement that articulates the bridge, which we can share with your readers and your listeners and your communities (see the statement below).  I would like them to know about the resources that I provide through the TARA Approach and also through climate change and consciousness.  I am still trying to build a bridge between the TARA Approach also and Climate Change and Consciousness, so I have a global community of practitioners and teachers and I want them to be hooked into this climate consciousness as well.  It has been given to me to do this bridge building.  I also want people to know what an amazing resource Kindred is and what a special person you are and how devoted you are to Kindred.  I think Kindred is actually that bridge.

LISA:  Ahh, well.

DR. MINES:  That actually brings tears to my eyes.

LISA:  Kindred’s mission for over 15 years has been to gather people like yourself, not knowing where we were going, but the road we were on didn’t feel right.  This is the parenting as a hero’s journey impetus I wrote about in Pathways magazine nearly 10 years ago.  I looked at Joseph Campbell’s work and he said the hero’s journey begins with a call.  You hear it, you know there’s something else that is supposed to be happening and this is not it, but where is that?  And you set off on the adventure.

Star Wars is based on the hero’s journey.  George Lukas took his work straight out of The Hero’s Journey.  I have met so many amazing people over the years who heard the call, and I feel like your work fits right in there with helping — especially with the TARA and the sustainable health — helping us out of a place of paralysis.  

DR. MINES:  I love that quote from Joseph Campbell, the hero’s journey begins with a call.  Everything I’ve done has begun with a call, and the sustainable health is the bridge between the TARA approach and Climate Change and Consciousness.  All of these, TARA, Climate Change and Consciousness, sustainable health, they all began with a call and that’s part of what I find is optimistic, is we can hear the call that is given to us.  If we hear that call and we answer it, we’re going to make it through this.

LISA: Thank you so much, Stephanie.

DR. MINES:  Thank you, Lisa.


RESOURCES

Kindred’s Features on Climate Change

Kindred’s Video: Helping Children Deal with Climate Change Fears – by Robin Grille

Climate Change and Consciousness. Climate Change and Consciousness (CCC) stewards a global network of diverse populations to accelerate regenerative responses to the climate crisis. Through education, mentorship, leadership development, supporting indigenous projects, and cultivating an international community of skilled activists, CCC is a nexus of inner transformation and socially responsible, high-impact climate activism. By connecting the transformation of consciousness with practical and collaborative initiatives, CCC offers an essential response to the roots of our planetary emergency.

TARA Approach. The TARA Approach, created by Dr. Stephanie Mines, is taught in hospitals, universities, social service agencies, domestic violence shelters, at midwifery schools, and wherever there is a need and an organizational structure to support its delivery. The TARA Studio in Gresham, Oregon, 40 minutes outside of Portland, is TARA’s newest home.  Small groups meet there as well as in various locations around the world for highly personalized mentorship and study with Dr. Mines. TARA Approach programs are currently ongoing in California, Hawaii,  Illinois, Ireland, Kentucky, Mexico,  Oklahoma, Oregon,  Scandinavia, Scotland, South Carolina, Tennessee, The Netherlands, Washington, and New Zealand and are rapidly spreading throughout the US and abroad.

Sustainable Health Brochure. Find the brochure on the Sustainable Health Model below by going to the CCCE website. The Sustainable Health model arises from Dr. Stephanie Mines’ awareness of the devastating health impacts of climate change, particularly for vulnerable populations.

If you are interested in becoming a part of an online support group to incorporate climate change and consciousness into your personal or professional educational curriculum, here is a starting point, authored by Stephanie Mines, PhD:

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