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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.
“Climate change is multifactorial; it cannot be addressed by linear strategies alone.
The problem lies in our relationship with each other and the Earth.
Climate change is a symptom of these relationships.”
Karina Gonzalez, Student Leader at Fossil Free North Arizona University
CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS: OUR LEGACY FOR THE EARTH is not just a conference. It is where a model for a sustainable, dynamic and respectful society will be envisioned and enacted. I was guided to convene it for my children, grandchildren, all the children I know and even those I don’t know. Every child and young person I see on the street, in cafes or at the cinema, on hiking trails or in the supermarket, I view in the context of climate change. I wonder, ‘What kind of world will they inherit?’ ‘Do they know that the water, the food, the very air they breathe, is under threat?’ ‘How will they get the resources they need to survive in an environment that will soon and very suddenly become unfamiliar?’ And most importantly, ‘How do we form relationships and communities that will hold and support us during the turbulent times to come?’
CLIMATE CHANGE & CONSCIOUSNESS is where these concerns will be met. So the voices of young people must not only be heard there, they must in fact be the centerpiece, the reference point and the anchor for everything else. We intend to build spaces for youth to explore what they know and what they don’t know about climate change. I’m not speaking merely of data. I’m also speaking of the feelings, the undercurrent of emotions that are inevitable when life is radically altered, whether we are conscious of them or not. And I want to ensure that adults listen carefully to our youth.
I am committed to empowering youth leaders in a movement for deeper climate change consciousness. As Karina Gonzalez points out, climate change is about our relationships with each other and with the Earth. These leaders of tomorrow will step forward at this conference. It will be our joy and privilege to witness them rise up. This, I believe, is a key aspect of what, Charles Eisenstein calls the Most Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.
You can help us manifest this vision by being a supportive sponsor for young people who want to attend but do not have the funds to do so. Become a vital contributor to the future of humanity by gifting them, and all of us, in this way. Please contact us if you wish to donate.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie will be teaching a series of courses at the Findhorn Foundation called Essence and Empowerment beginning in September 2017.
How an army of ocean farmers are starting an economic and ecological revolution…
A more informative article about this inspiring work can be found here.
We are pleased to announce a very special conference about living and thriving in the aftermath of climate change. Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth will be held at the Findhorn Foundation, North Scotland, April 20-26, 2019. The event will feature some of the clearest and most passionate voices for the Earth ever gathered together in one place, including:
Over the next two years as we countdown to the conference, we will post here informative and inspiring articles and videos featuring the work of our presenters and other climate change activists around the world. Please do join and support us by following our posts and updates, which you can do by email. (See ‘Follow Us via Email’ above right). Please comment on them and/or offer your own links; all feedback and input is welcome.