BIRTH OF A CONFERENCE

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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

As I watched the US election returns late into the night of November 8, 2016 I was riveted by a certainty and clarity of direction. I knew without a sliver of doubt that there was one issue that I was to focus on now: climate change. I also knew, in what felt like a head-to-toe sweep of guidance, that I was to convene a major conference to develop resilient, sustainable communities and that it was to be at the Findhorn Foundation.

In retrospect, I would call this experience a quickening. Quickening is the moment during pregnancy when fetal movements are first perceived by the mother. It is a numinous experience. My heart was stilled as a mother who first feels the beckoning of new life. And whilst this appeared sudden, I can see now that it was an evolution. This moment had a history and that history was mine.

I was conceived in a situation of violence and born into trauma both in my familial surroundings and in the world around me, which was at war. Stress and violence shaped every moment of my formative life and was unrelenting throughout my childhood. It is not surprising that as I matured I became interested in trauma resolution, which ultimately led me into neuroscience and psychology. I devoted myself to the comprehensive healing of trauma and the empowerment of traumatized people.

I did not study the environment or climate. Yet when this purposeful directive arrived in my body on the night of November 8th I stepped in one bound out of the realm of personal healing into that of collective awakening and environmental science. I knew with absolute certainty that the greatest trauma the world faces or will face is due to climate change. I also knew that it was my job to stand up to be a steward of the land and Her creatures, for my children and for all the children of the future. This was my unquestionable assignment.

With this precise orientation came another irrefutable knowing; that I could not do this alone. All my life I have been a stubborn independent. I preferred to be alone with my creativity and free from interference or interruption. Yet in this rush of understanding that seemed to descend upon me I relinquished that preference and embraced community; I reached for it and felt its comfort immediately as though I had already received it.

I grew up surrounded by danger. I thought my goal in life was to find safety and comfort. I thought a good marriage, having children and a home and getting a professional degree like a doctorate would make me safe. That illusion evaporated as I realized that there is no safety possible in a world where climate change is accelerating and yet still being denied by a small but powerful minority. It is the clarion call for humanity to wake up and celebrate its love of the Earth by returning to the simplicity of an intimate relationship with Her. If unheeded, climate change will overtake us just as addiction swallows the beauty of an individual. We will have destroyed ourselves.

This quickening sparked the birth of the conference, CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS: Our Legacy for the Earth. Join me at Findhorn in an awakening and celebration of our capacity to act in the name of Our Mother. A ten-year-old girl named Aika Tsubota said “I think of the Earth as a gentle cradle that watches over all of the lives in it.” The time has come to cherish this cradle of life with unremitting passion so that it continues to be the cradle of humanity for generations to come.

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This is the first in a series of blog posts by conference convener, Stephanie Mines. Future posts will address: why the Findhorn Foundation is the site for the conference; the role of children and youth in our gathering; and how neuroscience demonstrates why you are the very ones who can save humanity through your love affair with the Earth.

Stephanie is the founder of The TARA Approach for the resolution of shock and trauma. For more information about Dr. Mines and her work go to www.Tara-Approach.org or contact her directly at tara-approach@prodigy.net. Stephanie will be teaching a series of courses at the Findhorn Foundation called Essence and Empowerment beginning in September 2017.

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