EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth

Uniting the earth and birth movements for the well-being of our world

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My passionate journey to EcoBirth

When I was raising my children, I thought all I needed to do was to raise good children and everything would be OK. 

When they were grown, I realized that the outside world in which they were conceived and now live and in which their children will be raised, had drastically changed to include hazards about which I knew little, much too little.

I started searching for answers, which brought me to a lot of research and eye-opening information. I soon realized that I had to look at my lineage and our home San Francisco to grasp what could continue to affect my children and grandchildren. 


This story is my increasing consciousness  of  what we are doing to ourselves, our fellow creatures and our world. And the realization that my family's heritage is intrinsically connected to the creation of those toxins that could have affected them and could still be affecting me, my children

  and now my grandchildren.  

I see now that my journey to EcoBirth integrates all the strands of my personal story in an intimate portrait that connects me to my lineage and to my legacy and immutably to my primary environment, our devoted Mother Earth. 

 I am not a doctor or scientist, but I am claiming my authority as a life-giver to speak up about what has been happening to our world and to take responsibility for my role in it. 
Generations have been adversely affected by our human interference with nature and natural processes and cycles.

I want a world in which babies are born toxin-free, births are experienced in a safe and normal way, and that our children’s connection to our planet will nourish and sustain them throughout their lives.
I claim the hope and certainty that we can make our world a better place by enabling a pure and caring home for all creatures, particularly when they are born from their first environment, their mother’s womb to their primary environment -our Mother Earth.

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The Story of EcoBirth- a Mother's Legacy in San Francisco

In 1887 a baby was born in San Francisco, she was named Katherine Connor Oliver, she was given her mother’s name. 
In Northern California, starting with the Gold Rush, mercury was used extensively in hydraulic gold mining in order to help “capture” gold.  Mercury was also used in silver mining. 
My Grammy, the baby, was gestated in her mother’s womb when local water and local food could have been contaminated with the mines flushing of mercury into the rivers that feed the SF Bay. This heavy metal has been correlated with birth defects and lower IQ. It is called a neurotoxin and can permanently affect our health.  
 My Mommy was created then too, in my Grammy’s body as an egg. She could have been affected by that same mercury. The placenta is not a barrier of safety; it distributes to the baby what is in the mother’s body. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Natural Life-what is a whole community?

Questions bubble constantly in my mind about what it might be to understand that our lives, selves and world are intimately related as a whole ecosystem. I am still considering what Peter Forbes says in "WHAT IS A WHOLE COMMUNITY? A LETTER TO THOSE WHO CARE FOR AND RESTORE THE LAND" 2006. He says, " The true benefit and skill of land conservationists is our ability to put on the table a feast of values that reminds every American of what is healthy, what is fair opportunity, what is beautiful and meaningful, and what it means to be in relationship." O, provocative stretch and growth for a segment of our society that has been tremendously successful over the last 30 years, but is being called to "express our own spirit and a moral voice that knows, and cares, and responds." Who of us ought to be looking at " our greater selves to realize that this moment of becoming asks something entirely different of us".

I want EcoBirth to provoke these kinds of questions and initiate compelling dialog about our moral responsibility to our descendants- that living whole is knowing our own sense of place, on our Mother Land, in kinship to all our fellow creatures, and recognizing our own embodied ecosystem. I understand that natural cycles are intrinsic to the being and living of our whole world- and if we look at how we consider those cycles, we might have a clearer idea of how we are in our lives. Then we might care and respond. Then we can touch our greater selves. Then we can affect our world and our legacy.

Peter Forbes can help us see our relationship with our land, not only by enabling access to a continuing portion of it, but also by creating a moral vision that says " I am for relationship between people and the land and for equity and fairness toward all lives, starting with our own human lives. The root meaning of healing is to make whole. I want to do my part to make whole the land and the people."

He also says " When we see our lives as full and respected, we realize the imperative to offer the same to all other creatures".

And what happens in EcoBirth's consciousness, when we realize that we are the "land", the place, the first environment for our children? What responsibilities do we have to embody our "whole" system with care for the generations of humans who will be our legacy? It helps me look at what I let into my body, voluntarily or involuntarily. It becomes very clear that how I allow the pollution of the earth ecosystem, will affect  me and my children and grandchildren. It makes me aware that the primary natural cycle of my embodied system is how I bring my children into the world.

It makes me want a whole, healthy body, with a spirit that can thrive in a community that is envisioned by Peter Forbes " A whole community is a mosaic of people living their lives in constant awareness and relationship with a healthy place...is safer and healthier for all forms of life." 

He says "Posing philosophical questions is a necessary step in changing our consciousness...now it is time to be prophets and poets again."

Here are some questions to start with: What are the natural cycles of life? What do I dream about and long for? What is my vision for the future of my children?

We are the prophets and poets needed today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

There is no beginning and no end- it is all one- and we are it

I just participated in an animated discussion led by Michael Meade, author and mythologist, with drumming and storytelling, silence and audience interaction. He told a Native American Myth about a woman in a cave, weaving with porcupine quills and her black dog who unravels the years and years of work she had done to create the fabric of the world. She had worked her teeth to a nub, chewing the toxic quills and now had to start over again. But she started immediately again, imagining a more beautiful woven world.

The lesson being that there is no beginning and no end, just rebirth, constantly. So there is a real reason to continue to see the world as it is, in all its "chaosmology", and work to better it, because there is no such thing as "the end of the world". We are in difficult period now: our culture is not even kind, much less compassionate. I see this in the way we treat our Mother Earth and our mothers and babies, particularly at the moment of our most powerful act, birthing. It is hard to see and face and name. It is dark and grievous. But, we must start immediately again, imagining a more beautiful world, as the woman did in the cave.

We cannot separate what happens to the earth, from what happens to us and to our children and grandchildren, unending, holding all of us as one and we are it. This is important work, but Michael Meade reminds us to laugh, enjoy, joke. Stories and myths are fun and profound. They can help us to continue to hope for good change, to work for good change. We can live in the chaos, knowing that life will be rewoven, differently from what we have worked on for years, wearing our bodies out, but using our creative imaginations to continue with beauty and love.

I am looking forward to reading Michael Meade's book, Fate and Destiny- The Two Agreements of the Soul. I particularly appreciate his dedication, handwritten to me- much peace and many blessings...And may we all have the same.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Environmental Health Expert Offers Advice on How to Reduce Exposure to Toxins - UCSF Today

Environmental Health Expert Offers Advice on How to Reduce Exposure to Toxins - UCSF Today

UCSF study identifies chemicals in pregnant women - UCSF News Office

Such an important study that shows environmental toxins in our vulnerable babies, while they are forming. This is not right or just. We want to make the lifestyle choices to mitigate these hazards,but we also need to start protecting our ecosystem from the release of the synthetic chemicals we are creating for profit. Global and societal change needs to be supported on a systemic level, so the involuntary affects from just breathing our air or drinking our water or eating our food, can be safe and healthy, not poisonous.
There is a good video and short article on steps you can take to avoid environmental toxins in your everyday life. Thank you Tracey for doing the work and making us more aware of how we can live in our real world with consciousness and diligence.

Molly Arthur's Maternal Lines digital story from molly arthur on Vimeo.

We women can face the pain and grief we have for our suffering Mother Earth and reclaim our story of creation and redemption with the power and beauty intimately held in our body’s cells from our maternal lines since the beginning of the cosmos. Our existential and communal grief heals within the loving gathering of our feminine compassion, connecting us to the truth and strength of our Mother Earth and all our kin. We start with Molly’s Personal Environmental Story-to explore the birth stories and places and times of ourselves, our mothers and grandmothers.Using the stories of our own maternal lines, with sharing, active listening and intention, we call on our ancestors, our inner wisdom and the shared circle to witness our story with compassion. Using ritual, song, movement, and sharing of our truths, in community and powerful circle as well as spending time on the land - we can acknowledge the oppression in our lives, feeling it in our bodies, grieving it, transforming it and ourselves in a safe, loving space. Our healing path connects our sacred lineage from the womb of our Mother Earth to integrate our inner and outer lives and discover our place in the connected caring cosmos. We are a part of a continuum of sacredness, lifeforce, divine energy including our Ancestors back to the stuff of the stars. We can reclaim our cells, our lineage and our legacy to the future generations. Like in birth labor, we must yield to our bodies innate knowing, to progress, to open, to birth our love. With our active surrender to fierce compassion we can restore our connection to the natural world and our own inner wisdom. We can drop our obsessive addictions to control and return to our healing, caring, befriending tendencies- innate for us nurturers. And then we can repair, regenerate, and renew our culture for tenderness and kindness, naturally embodied by us. We will be able to guard and protect ours and all descendents - becoming their Beloved Ancestors- by asking - What is possible now to transform our world for Future Generations?

Molly Arthur of EcoBirth- My Personal Environmental Story November 2012 from molly arthur on Vimeo.

Why EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story
EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story will help women tell their life story by considering the two primary environments- place and birth- for themselves, their mothers and their maternal grandmothers. Through this process each participant will come to realize the hazards in their environmental genealogy and realize the healing in telling their own story. And they will be empowered to affect the changes that are necessary for our Mother Earth and our children and grandchildren to thrive.
Imagine looking back to your grandmother's and mother's birth time to figure out what environmental influences you might have inherited? And have passed onto your children and grandchildren? Would you wonder what was in the air, water and food in their lives- and look twice at what diseases, birth defects, addictions there are in your family?