BOOK FAIRY PANTRY PROJECT
A Grassroots Family Literacy and Bonding Movement
Created by Pam Leo
PARENTING AS A HERO'S JOURNEY
Authoring Our New Story
Virtual Retreat Series
Created by Lisa Reagan
By Darcia Narvaez, PhD
EVOLVED NURTURING INITIATIVE
A Science Council Advocating and Discerning Between Evidence-based Practices and Cultural Biases
Created by Darcia Narvaez, PhD
"Believing In The Re-Generation Since 1996"
Helping Families and Local
Businesses Created Connected Community
Created by Michele Mason
PARENT LIBERATION ALLIANCE
An educational project exploring the New Story with global nonprofits.
Created by Teresa Brett, JD
KINDRED MEDIA AND COMMUNITY
An Alternative Media Outlet for
Sharing the New Story
Created by Kelly Wendorf
Families for Conscious Living (FCL) is a 501C3 national nonprofit whose mission, since 1996, has been to provide education and support to parents who wish to make compassionate, sustainable and conscious choices for their families. In a modern, industrial society, conscious living choices, especially for families, is considered counter-culture and even radical. However, over the past 20 years, FCL supporters have watched as homeschooling and home-birthing families - marginalized at best and jailed in some US states - have now been accepted, not only as a needed alternative to industrial approaches to education and childbirth, but as pioneers of human development.
Our collaborations with multiple nonprofit organizations provide families with trustworthy and credible sources of information, supportive local holistic practitioners. Our Pioneering Partner Project allows FCL to collaborate with sister nonprofits to promote their work without replicating their services. See our Pioneering Partners on our front page.
Discover how our initiatives identify and meet the needs of conscious living families, The Re-Generation, here.
What an innocent beginning Families for Conscious Living had in 1996, when mothers and fathers began to gather in parks and homes in Virginia, USA, to support each other’s wellness choices. Inspired by their love for their children, FCL families grew strong and confident with the support they found and gave to one another.
Because these were the early years of the internet, parents gathered in FCL groups with lending libraries of hard-to-find wellness books packed in their car trunks and Xeroxed hand-outs to share for discussions. Organic food drops were arranged through a handful of co-ops, naturopaths were novelties and homeschoolers defied truant officers. Home-birthing families back then, the core of FCL’s founders, were subjected to routine threats by social services for using direct-entry midwives.
In 2005, nearly a decade later, thanks to hundreds of families who would not abandon their right to make informed choices and a handful of legislators who listened, direct-entry midwives were legalized in Virginia. By this time, regular grocers carried organic produce, homeschoolers received Ivy League praise, and naturopaths, homeopaths and chiropractors who work with whole families were easier to find. What changed to allow this shift in awareness that honored informed wellness choice? Someone’s mind. (Read about FCL’s history by social anthropologist and university professor, Crista Craven, in her book , Pushing for Midwives: Homebirth Mothers and the Reproductive Rights Movement.)
And this is the way it has been up until now. Parent-activists who are consciously shifting their personal way of thinking, or paradigm, to a holistic paradigm, know it is their individual actions and beliefs that can and will create lasting change in our world. This commitment to change begins within ourselves, and is a marathon, not a sprint. The masterful balancing act of going the distance of decades by holding ourselves gently while holding our ground firmly allows us to avoid burn-out and despair. Instead of caving to social pressures to conform to a disease-model culture, together as The Regeneration, we have found the strength and collective wisdom to create a solid foundation of wellness for our children and families and it is our own ability to create community.
Today, fifteen years after those first gatherings in Virginia parks, parents who want to find like-minded families, access trustworthy information and supportive holistic practitioners, need only to turn on their home computers. And yet, even with faster access to one another and information, the same questions are being asked all along the airwaves of emailing and texting and blogging:
How can we, as parents, begin to discuss the many issues of conscious living and informed choice without capitulating to paralyzing fear of cultural backlash that would prevent us from taking wise and peaceful action?
How can we move from fearful victim thinking, for example, blaming “Corporate America” for our disease model culture, and instead begin a true revolution for wellness within ourselves?
How can we train our minds to seek and find the good in ourselves and the world and to bring this story of who we are to the forefront of cultural consciousness?
How can we be The Re-Generation for our children and model for them this way of mindful and conscious living?
These questions are still being answered and a new storyline pioneered on Kindred Community and through FCL’s collaborations with multiple nonprofits, conscious living researchers, scientists, activists and practitioners. FCL’s mission, born of our experience in empowering ourselves, continues to create opportunities for parents to find one another and engage in enlightening discussions and supportive networking to help ourselves “shift” out of our cultural conditioning, or industrial paradigm, and into a wellness-based, holistic paradigm. AFter a decade of helping families start community groups around the country, we have focused our attention on more effective and streamlined models of collaboration. While we no longer sponsor FCL community groups, currently, our Gathering Guide for groups has been distilled into a turn-key outreach program, Pathways Connect, that is available through collaboration with the quarterly, print and digital magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness.
More than ever before, the tools, information and support for conscious living exist for us when we are ready to create the world we want to live in, one day at a time, one choice at a time, and together, as The ReGeneration! Join us in Re-Writing the Story of Who We Are and Celebrating Our Shift to Conscious Choice!
Watch the documentary on the right to find out if you are a Cultural Creative as well!
Read the interview with Paul Ray, PhD, author of the book Cultural Creatives here.
Take the quiz to see if you are a Cultural Creative here.
Watch Lisa Reagan's presentation on The New Story of Childhood, Parenthood and the Human Family.
Thanks to the book, Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, by Paul H. Ray Ph.D., Sherry Ruth Anderson in 2000, four short years after FCL began, we now know that FCL families are Cultural Creatives – and that we are not alone. We just feel invisible in our industrial culture and its reality-defining media machine. As Ray and Anderson state, we “care deeply 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, they’re activists, volunteers and contributors to good causes more than other Americans.
“However, because they’ve been so invisible in American life, Cultural Creatives themselves are astonished to find out how many share both their values and their way of life. Once they realize their numbers, their impact on American life promises to be enormous, shaping a new agenda for the twenty-first century. What makes the appearance of the Cultural Creatives especially timely today is that our civilization is in the midst of an epochal change, caught between globalization, accelerating technologies and a deteriorating planetary ecology. A creative minority can have enormous leverage to carry us into a new renaissance instead of a disastrous fall.”
Thanks to many researchers and authors who are pioneering new edge science, we also know that our individual actions and beliefs have a direct effect on our communities and world – and therefore, our smallest efforts, from comforting our children to taking on institutions, make a difference beyond our ability to measure. As Paul Hawken has stated in his book, Blessed Unrest: How The Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, 2007, our individual choices to consciously create a peaceful, sustainable world are the immune system of the planet at work! Visit some of these amazing nonprofit resources here.
For more of a glance into our history:
Read a 2006 E-Newsletter here.
Read our 2011 Annual Report here.
Listen to FCL co-founder, Lisa Reagan, share the history of FCL's roots on a international teleconference with practitioners and parents below: