The Time Is Now & We Need You
THE TIME IS NOW
A 4-Phase Project to launch a global grassroots movement
A Project of Birthing The Future®, a USA-based 501c3 nonprofit
Project Coordinator, Suzanne Arms
Many of us are frustrated by seeing global problems in the human condition – from hunger, chronic illness, depression, addiction, aggression and violence, to greed, misuse of precious resources, and the continued disempowerment and abuse of women and children. We know that, while a great deal of research has been done and work has been accomplished, effective solutions seem elusive. Birthing The Future®, a U.S.-based nonprofit/charity focused on healing the root cause of so much of what ails children, adults and families. We have embarked upon a cost-effective, yet far-reaching approach to break, prevent and heal multi-generational dysfunctional patterns and foster thriving children, families and communities. We see this piece as critical to the creation of healthy, nonviolent, and cooperative societies and addressing global issues.
Our most important project, THE TIME IS NOW, consists of 4 phases, with the final phase being outside evaluation of our effectiveness. In Phase 1 we are convening a series of small Roundtable working sessions – each 5 or 6 days long – in a simple retreat setting. At these Roundtables we are listening deeply as we gather and synthesize the best of ancient and modern knowledge, science and intuition and work to understand the full nature and impact of the “Primal Period” on the individual, the family and society.
The mother and baby are now understood to be one biological system. It is during this time that the human brain and nervous system, immune system and body-mind are in rapid development. This primal period is also when we first learn whether it is safe to develop fully or we need to live in a state of defense; and living in defense inhibits full growth and thriving. During the primal period the mother-baby bond is shaping our mind and our heart. The role of the father, extended family and community are critically important. The effects of lack, high stress, and trauma – psychological and physical – during this period can last a lifetime. The damaging impact of unwanted pregnancy, lack of father participation, high maternal stress, failure of society to provide paid maternity leave, artificial and invasive birth practices, separation of mother and baby, lack of breastfeeding, circumcision, infant day care, and maternal depression goes largely undiagnosed and often unhealed. The goal of Phase 1 is to identify what needs to change, and how to do it quickly and most effectively, following sound biological principles for meeting the needs of every mother-baby pair (within the context of that particular culture), and making the wisest use of resources.
Our goal is to launch a global movement of awareness with a plan for action that focuses attention upon how we welcome each human being into the world and meet – or fail to meet – the core needs of the mother-baby system during the Primal Period. What does it take to rear human beings capable of living together cooperatively, creatively and constructively on this earth and being happy, even as they work to live in harmony and relieve suffering on our planet? Meeting human needs during the primal period is the piece missing from dialogue about how to shift humanity from survival and coping to thriving.
THE TIME IS NOW could only take place at this time, for we now have sufficient evidence to draw the critical connections between seemingly unrelated issues and can make use of technology – social networking and media – to inspire large numbers of people to wake up and take action. Fortunately, there are known ways to dramatically reduce stresses and trauma to childbearing women and babies, engage men fully in the primal period, create stronger mother-baby and father-family and extended family and community bonds, and at the same time as reducing mortality and morbidity. We build upon the work of pioneering individuals, organizations and projects, and indigenous cultures across the planet.
Preventing and healing trauma during the primal period are the keys to creating a healthier, more thoughtful and aware – and more compassionate – generation of humans. In the Declaration that will come out of Phase 1 we shall identify the direct links between bonding and brain development, the hormones of love and trust, and the basis of lifelong physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing.
This unique project was conceived in the winter of 2010. In April of 2011 we held the 1st of 5 Roundtables, at a tiny retreat center on the volcanic island of Tenerife off the west coast of Africa. At this 1st Roundtable, 21 women and men, aged 18-67 gathered from five continents bringing the wisdom of widely diverse professions, backgrounds and expertise. Participants included: a college student from rural Kenya; the pioneering researcher from Sweden who has explored the nature of the “love” hormone oxytocin; a British medical anthropologist who lives with and studies part of each year, a tribe in the Peruvian Amazon; a social worker and parent educator/advocate in Appalachia, U.S.A; a Spanish midwife-herbalist from Tenerife; a high-risk obstetricians from Scotland and a Sri Lankan obstetrician and homeopath; a pre- and perinatal educator from Brazil; a nurse and doula from Holland; a Kenyan breastfeeding counselor and doula who works in African refugee camps; a U.S. chiropractor who trains others in releasing trauma in babies; a Egyptian Jewish activist working with Palestinian youth to build environmental and peace camps; and a U.S. journalist-activist whose focus is vaccines. That extraordinary group began the process. Four other Roundtables will be held in Brazil, Kenya, and the United States between now and spring of 2012, each one including a core of individuals from previous Roundtables to focus the energy and keep the project moving forward.
The culmination of Phase 1, in 2012, will be a “Declaration” that lays out the philosophy and science behind the global campaign that will be translated into media and social networking campaigns. In Phase 2 we shall complete the set of reproducible print media, radio, film, TV and social networking campaigns that make full use of new technologies, and also design a series of global and regional conferences and press conferences to launch and broadcast the campaign in Phase 3. Our challenge is to transcend cultural barriers, beliefs and traditions that are not always in the best interests of helping the mother-baby thrive. The Declaration we create, and its accompany booklet of references and resources, will describe the science, philosophy, ancient wisdom and intuition underpinning this global campaign to reach both village and modernized cultures.
We did professional filming at the Tenerife Roundtable, recording the wisdom and perspective of the participants and highlights of the process. That footage is now being edited into various pieces, including a 40-minute educational film to inspire and inform health and healing professionals, educators, prospective parents, students and elders, and several clip for Youtube. Our 1st Youtube piece is now up: “Birth and the Primal Period”. We will make use of Facebook and other forms of social networking to reach as many people as possible.
In Phase 3 we shall announce and broadly disseminate the campaign, coordinating 30 days of media coverage, followed by regional gatherings that connect the public at large with policy makers, care providers, educators, scientists, activists and organizations in various parts of the world.
Since March 2010 Suzanne Arms, working pro bono and aided by advisors and volunteer assistants, has contributed over 3,000 volunteer hours on this grassroots project. Clearly, a campaign such as THE TIME IS NOW depends upon the goodwill of individuals to take up the cause and offer financial and other forms of support.
You can be a part of this project to launch a global movement. Perhaps you know of someone who would be an excellent participant at one of the next Roundtables. You may want to be an advisor. Or, you may wish to help fund the film editing. Whatever you can contribute counts. For more details, including a full description and participant list, contact us. Be part of this exciting project and share this document with others.
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Director of Birthing The Future®
Coordinator of THE TIME IS NOW, a Roundtable Project of Birthing The Future®
For more information, or to speak with me personally,
Call: 970-946-6994 (Colorado, Mountain Time, USA) or