The Peace Code in the Human Brain – my talk at TedX, Pittwater, Australia

10487183_310506652444596_8512592787649884743_nThis is why I do the work that I do. This is at the heart of what drives me. I hope you enjoy my TedX talk, it is my best brief condensation of a big message. Sadly the sound quality is a bit dodgy, there is a tiny bit of drop-out. But the message is intact, and it was a privilege to contribute to this powerful international discourse, in our own beloved backyard.

I encourage you to go on and listen to some of the other speakers, there were some incredible people there with fantastic things to say! Here it is – click!

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Argentina: next to ban the smack!

Argentine boyViva Argentina, brother nation to my country of birth, Uruguay. The 41st nation to put a legislative stop to the punishment of children. It seems like only yesterday Latin America was all macho, patriarchal, traditionalist-Catholic and THEREFORE:..built upon the cultural bedrock of punishment. A euphemism for revenge, punishment is at the heart of authoritarianism – as in the home; so in politics.      7 nations now in Latin America say no to punishment, and mean it.    Don’t for a moment think that this will only benefit Argentine kids.   These changes touch and begin to transform the whole world.   Macro psychology comes from micro psychology.  When punishment goes, so will war.    When “do as you are told, or else!” goes, so will dictatorship.     There is a clue here, about what is needed in the Middle East.    What is needed throughout Africa.     What is needed in Australia and in USA.

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Bolivia is next to ban corporal punishment

Bolivian GirlThe sixth Latin American nation, and the 42nd in the world to lay down its arms and take the violence out of parenting. Smacking a child is now illegal, at home and at school.
Felicitaciones, Bolivia! A great day for South American children. Every year, several more nations join. Australia and USA seem to be vying for last place…

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Aussie Mums run baby-sleep trainer out of town

thumbJust when you thought controlled-crying was sinking into the past, it makes a comeback in Australia – and a pretty scary one, at that. Beats me how one sworn to uphold the Hippocratic oath can train a Mother to cold-shoulder her wailing child. Somehow, these people just keep coming back.

But this time, this peddler was not prepared for what awaited him – and neither were his promoters. A wave of furious mothers, a deluge of outraged calls and mail. Such was the backlash that this doctor’s gig at a Melbourne Baby Expo was canceled. Read about it HERE.

Is this a sign of the times? Is the Maternal asserting a new place in our baby-phobic society? Watching these well-organized Mothers triumph over this new horror; I was moved to pen the following words:

“So, here we are again, yet another charmer in a white coat promising broken and desperate mothers a night of healing rest, guilt free – while 10,000 babies are consigned to scream in Solitary Confinement; for having the temerity to ‘cry too much’.

Helping mothers is not on the agenda in a free-market society. Quarantining babies until they stop acting like babies, that is the low hanging fruit. No questions asked.

What is wrong with this picture? Does it not seem a little eerie that we treat this as an issue of “science”? For sure, agenda-driven junk science does need to be exposed and media jockeys need to be educated. But honestly, do we need a laboratory report to tell us it is OK to respond to a child? What else? Do we wait for test results to confirm that we need a hug? Do we argue the statistical significance of our need to breathe clean air? Do we need to cite medical journals to endorse our urge to eat?

How did we become so detached from our own feelings, so detached from one another? First we ask the good doctor if our baby’s wail means anything. And to defend love, we must present papers from peer reviewed journals. Is this what has become of us, in this Attention-Deficit Society? Detachment is all around us, it is the default setting; we who were left to ‘cry it out’ on the front porch, we grow up to dissect human vulnerability like an intellectual parlor game.

How small were we made to feel; shamed and brow-beaten in our suburbs and our school halls? “Because I told you so!”, they said to us, with one voice. And we carry this smallness inside, we take counsel without question from the modern Priest: He that wears the Stethoscope – “because he told us so”.

Look around. We are the ‘normal’. We are the ‘healthy’. We are the ‘good’. The ‘good society’ we built by silencing babies and children – is this what we want to pass-on to our young? What if we let the noisy Caesars of Science babble among themselves, and all the while listen; deeply listen to what our hearts have been whispering all along?

The Press and the Priests bay for ‘proof’ that babies have feelings. Give it to them, there is plenty. In the home meanwhile, the heart laughs at ‘proof’. Go to the baby. And for love’s sake, be hugged.”

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The Most Important Documentary I have ever seen

Unborn Child sucking thumbWow, wow, triple wow!!  I am not sure how to convey how blown-away I feel after watching this documentary online.  I dare say, turning-point times are here. Mainstream science is finally, REALLY understanding birth, bonding and breastfeeding: and why these form the very basis of human physical and psychological health.   This is no longer the whimsy of hippies.   The micro-biological genesis of human health has been irrefutably traced back to the critical moments during and after birth.      No exaggeration: the future of human civilization depends on naturalizing birth, bonding and baby-feeding.       The film is called:  ‘MicroBirth’.   It brings together a range of experts from Neurotoxicology, Neurobiology, Midwifery and more.         To stream the movie or buy the DVD, go to this website. 

If you feel as I do about the massive implications of this movie, please: share it far and wide!

I wish you peace, pleasure and connectedness.

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Good news about Plastic – for a change!

plastic-wasteCalifornia has become the first American state to ban plastic bags completely. The state government did what it was supposed to do, stand up for ‘We The People’ and prevail against all the bullying it got from plastic bag manufacturers. The environment – and all the beings that live on it – will breathe a sigh of relief. There is no reason why the rest of the world can’t follow suit. Just a little political will!   CLICK

Meanwhile, researchers are racing (successfully!) to develop more and more sustainable and biodegradable polymers for every conceivable application. Here is just one of the centers of research and development: CLICK

The era of plastic rubbish is facing its end. Let’s hope this comes fast enough before too much irreversible damage has been done to the environment.

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One Fine Day on Byron Bay FM Radio….

Creating_habitat_for_wildlife_such_as_the_Brushtail_possum_(8065737659)Reclining on cane lounges at the Tallow Beach Hotel, Sally Cusack and I took a verbal tour of the parenting terrain…how our children trigger our own childhood emotions, how the moment of our child’s birth transforms us, and… the role of wild animals as doulas!

The show is called Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. Podcast for all eternity. (the ads are particularly, er… memorable!).

Got something important to do? Don’t do it! Procrastinate. Just sit back and click HERE. 

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My (free) Skype interview with Luminous Youth.

imagesIn this lively conversation with Erica Nettle-Chik of ‘Luminous Youth’, we talked about how changes in parenting and education are changing the world, we talked about the first five rites of passage in early childhood development, we talked about how some of our current social and international ills are symptoms of collective childhood wounding, we talked about parenting as social activism and cultural subversion, and we talked about cacao and Earl Gray tea. Sit back, sip your drink of choice, listen and (I hope!) enjoy.

And if you get a moment, I would love to hear your feelings and thoughts about this dialogue. I hope it touches you and inspires you in some way. Salud!

PS: Skype messed with audio and visual briefly a couple of times during the transmission. Don’t worry, it rights itself pretty quick.


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40 Nations now banned all corporal punishment of children

mercado-praia-cabo-verde-ilha-santiagoCabo Verde has just now become nation number 40, and the 6th African nation to protect children from being smacked. Two more nations have banned the smack via supreme court ruling, and 45 more nations have committed to prohibition. That is a total of 87 nations that say ‘no more’ to violence in parenting. Almost half the world’s nations! The recognition that hitting achieves nothing is fast becoming the new ‘normal’.

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It’s official: organically grown is better for your health

FeaturedImageA review of 343 studies, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that organic produce is more nutritious, and that conventionally grown food can be four times as likely to contain pesticide residues. Read more about it HERE. 

Even though the health benefits are clear, I think there is an even bigger reason to buy and eat organically grown. Conventional agriculture and farming is disastrous for the soil, for water tables, for all of the ecology.  Conventional farming, and GMO, are devastating our planet – and with modern, high-yield permaculture, it can be entirely replaced. Smaller land use, clean environment, restored soils, more abundance, end of hunger, far better health!

Every dollar we spend says YES to something. With everything we eat, we can impact the speed of transition to a 100% organically grown food industry.

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