Kindred World, formerly Families for Conscious Living, is a 501C3 national nonprofit whose mission, since 1996, has been to provide education and support to parents, professionals and collaborating organizations who wish to support family wellness through compassionate, sustainable and conscious living. In a modern, industrial society, conscious living, especially for families, is considered counter-culture and even radical. However, over the past 20 years, Americans have witnessed a shift toward a willingness to question cultural biases against wellness as:
Driven by love their their children, and a growing awareness of the lack of resources to support their biological imperatives for wellness, the founding families of Kindred set out to collect those resources for themselves and each other. You can read about this history in many articles on Kindred by Lisa Reagan (who erroneously thought she could have her grandmothers pastoral life when she grew up) here.
As a result of a innate drive to create a better world, by 1998 Families for Natural Living was born. The progression to Families for Conscious Living came when we realized it was our own level of awareness, our own Old Story programming, that would need to be addressed if we were going to usher in a New Story. We expanding our collective and collaborative reach to international organizations and thought leaders over time, and realizing it will take everyone of us working together to weave a new narrative, we changed our name to Kindred World.
Our collaborations with multiple nonprofit organizations provide families with trustworthy and credible sources of information, supportive local holistic practitioners. Our Pioneering Partner Project allows Kindred to collaborate with sister nonprofits to promote their work without replicating their services.
See our resource pages here, and visit our educational and outreach initiatives listed on our landing page.
We hope you feel inspired to contribute to Kindred, through your own work, volunteering, or tax-deductible donation.
Thank you for your commitment to creating a New Story, together, as the Re-Generation!
What an innocent beginning Families for Natural 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 FNL 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 FNL’s founders, were subjected to routine threats by social services for using direct-entry midwives.
And then, surprisingly, the world became interested in discovering the roots of wellness too...
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 were easier to find. In fact, Americans are three times more likely to see an alternative practitioner than a medical doctor these days.
What changed to allow this cultural shift in awareness? Someone’s mind.
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, twenty years after those first gatherings in Virginia public 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:
Kindred's mission, born of our experience in empowering ourselves through a nascent consciousness-raising movement, continues to create opportunities for Cultural Creatives to find one another and engage in enlightening discussions and supportive networking to help ourselves “shift” out of our cultural conditioning, or industrial paradigm, our Old Story, and into a wellness-based, holistic paradigm, the full potential of our human birthright, our New Story.
While we no longer sponsor community groups, currently, our Gathering Guide 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 resources, 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!
See our resource pages here.
For more of a glance into our history:
Do you feel like a weirdo? Do you feel driven to change the world around you, but isolation and fear of rejection prevent you from speaking up? You're not alone. In fact, you have a quarter of the world's population back you up, but you wouldn't know it, because lack of visibility and coherence are the twin challenges of being a Cultural Creative!
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 Kindred's founding families and social changemakers like them today 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!
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World is a nonfiction social sciences and sociology book by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson, first published in 2000. The authors introduced the term "Cultural Creatives" to describe a large segment in Western society who, since about 1985, have developed beyond the standard paradigm of modernists or progressives versus traditionalists or conservatives.
Above: Listen to Lisa Reagan, Kindred's editor, interview Paul Ray, PhD, about his research findings on Cultural Creatives, and how this social science insight applies to Kindred supporters.
Find out if you are a Cultural Creative with this quiz here.
Lisa Reagan, Kindred’s editor and co-founder of Kindred World, presents a historical context for the New Story that Cultural Creative pioneers have brought and continue to bring to cultural shift toward holism and sustainability. You can see the many resources, and read the transcript, on Kindred here.
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