Sustainable Community Articles

Vision of a Freebirth Community

Imagine a world where childbirth was a sacred event in the family cycle, where the birth of a child was completely free in all senses of the word. The word “free” historically connoted an affectionate relationship— between members of a house...

A Way of Blessing

The blessingway ceremony has its roots in the traditions of the Navajo hoshooji ceremony in North America. It celebrates a feminine rite of passage, inducting women into new and venerated phases of their lives. Customarily, the blessingway ceremony...

The Social Heart: Energy Fields and Consciousness

In physics, it is generally accepted that “distant” particles can act with instantaneous “knowledge” of each other’s state because the order of the whole (the cosmos) is nonlocalized and enfolded into all parts. More recently, it has become evident...

Payback Is a Blessing

How I Inadvertently Created the Village That Saved MeI have been called unlucky, and I guess, by some calculations, I could be considered so. I am a person who big things happen to. Big, hard things. Of course, everyone has stuff—life h...

Living in the Gift

Why does the sun shine? A random result of coalescing gases igniting nuclear fusion? Or is it in order to give its light and warmth to life? Why does the rain fall? Is it the senseless product of blind chemical processes of evaporation and...

Unlearning What We’ve Learned

To Give Birth, Women have to Let Go of Life’s Bad LessonsWhen pregnant women are induced routinely before 42 weeks of pregnancy, babies learn they have to dance to someone else’s tune, rather than following their own music and time of...

The Powerful Counterbalance to the Masculine Mind

The mind/body duality is as fundamental to universal nature as masculine/feminine duality. When it comes to qualities and strengths of the mind and body, traditionally the mind has been seen as the source of more masculine energies (reason, logic,...

Six Things Every New Mother Needs

Borrowed Wisdom from Cultures Where New Moms and Babies ThriveI was chatting with my friend Ashley about her best friend’s wedding. There were parties to organize, dresses to buy, rehearsals to attend, and registries to fill. Ashley was...

In the Absence of the Village, Mothers Struggle Most

Dear Mothers, I’m writing to you today because I can no longer contain the ache in my gut and fire in my heart over an injustice that you and I are bearing the brunt of. Although this injustice is affecting everyone—men, women, and...

A Community for Parents

Pathways ConnectTo prepare for the birth of my first child, I was blessed with a community of supportive, like-minded mothers while in chiropractic school. When my husband and I moved away and had our second child, I realized how amazing...

A Child's Innate Gifts

Each child is unique. Parents come to know their offspring as highly distinct individuals soon after birth. In part, that’s because babies arrive with traits and talents waiting in a raw state of potential. Young people have an inborn drive t...

The Drugging of Children: A National Disgrace

In 1998, approximately 5 percent of children in the United States were diagnosed with a condition known as “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD). By 2007, that percentage jumped to 9.5 percent, and has continued to increase. In October...

The Ancient Cure for Depression

Counteracting the Health Impact of a “Civilized Lifestyle”Depression is a global epidemic. It is the main driver behind suicide, which now claims more than a million lives per year worldwide. One in four Americans will suffer from clinical...

Trust & Purpose: How Oxytocin Can Make Your Job More Meaningful

Let’s be honest: For many people, work sucks. But for others, work is an adventure. The difference doesn’t always lie in the nature of the work. Two different people can have two very different responses to the same job—but my resea...

Nature's Rhythms

Rhythm is fundamental to well-being. It is the keynote of nature. It’s not just a sign of life—it is life. The cycles of nature guide our lives, and their wisdom can be our wisdom, too. We often forget that our body is part of the body of the...

The Roseto Effect: How a Close-Knit Community Can Enjoy a Reduced Rate of Heart Disease

It seemed like a virtual fountain of youth, with a heart attack mortality rate roughly half the rate of every surrounding community. Same water, same neighborhood, same occupational mix, same income level ranges, same races. So what was the...

Village: Our Loss, Our Longing

When I was in college, I heard about hippies living together on communes. It sounded so wild, so flowery, so free. Midwives, breast milk, raw honey kind of free. Then my college roommates came along. Our house was nowhere near as clean as my...

The Moral and Scientific Opposition to GMOs

Is the engineering of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a dangerous technology posing grave risks to human and ecological health? Or are GMOs a potent new tool in the onward march of modern agricultural technology in its race to feed the world?...

The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

One day Confucius was walking along with some disciples when they came upon two boys arguing. Confucius asked the boys what the dispute was about. They told him they were arguing about whether the sun was nearer at dawn and farther away at noon, or...

Making Time to Stop and Think: Principles to Live By from Mother and Activist Atsuko Watanabe

Everyone is in a hurry. There may be many reasons for this, but one result is certain: We don’t get much time to think. If we want to be more fully human, one of the places we could start is to consider what exactly “a human being” is. What are we...