"The journey is its own reward." – Homer
"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a sick society." – J. Kristnamurti
Kindred World, and my story of creating and stewarding Kindred's vision of a Wisdom-based, Wellness-informed World, is a story of transmutation, a personal quest for wholeness that began long before I gave myself permission to have a child. In my twenties, I simultaneously built my career as a communications specialist while anxiously visiting doctors, healers, shamans, and therapist's offices searching for "what was wrong with me."
After a ten year-long journey, I arrived home to myself, more whole and healed than I could have imagined. There was nothing "wrong" with me. My lifelong depression and chronic illness were signals from my wise body to simply listen and believe what I experienced as a Highly Sensitive Person and Intuitive Empath. As Judith Orloff, MD, writes in her books on Empaths, we must prioritize cultivating self-nurturing skills, while avoiding the pitfalls of an anti-nurturing culture. To maintain my state of wholeness, I learned to take my path of self-nurturing as seriously as my career goals of launching a communications company.
With expanded capacities for self-awareness and self-love, I created a constantly expanding, wellbeing plan based deep, relational listening to myself. Confident that I knew the way ahead for both of us and that I could keep us both whole and healthy, at 33 years-old, I gave birth to my son. Within the first few months of my son's life, I realized I was wrong. Motherhood, and parenting in any age of human existence, requires community support. Without a supportive community, the path to human family wellness in modern, disconnected America did not exist.
There were many questions I did not anticipate before experiencing the hard, grounded reality of motherhood. My well-laid plan for self-nurturing, extended to my child, triggered the entire world to show up to judge, shame, criticize, and berate me. It was not possible to do anything "right" as a mother and soon I found myself back in the familiar territory of feeling like something was "wrong" with me. This time, however, my skills of listening to myself and the messages I received were louder than the external din of criticism.
Deepak Chopra has said that the experience of wholeness is wisdom. Through walking a path to wholeness, I had transmuted my "illness" into wisdom. The time I spent tending to my own wholeness connected me to an unshakable, clear wisdom that guided me toward creating what I and many other parents needed: a safe space to gather and share our journey toward, what I called, a new story of the human family.
The questions still remained and multiplied and needed answers. For example, why were parents who aspired to nurture and protect their child's innate wholeness called hippies, oddballs, and weirdos? I wouldn't have the answer to that question until 2012. And most importantly, why did the richest country in the world offer zero support to families, making the necessity of nurturing an out-of-reach "elitist" ideology for many? The more I explored the terrain of what being a parent in America meant, the more grateful I became for those "signals" from my body that told me yes, something was definitely wrong.
While America's acknowledged "taboo on tenderness" and discussing parenting in social settings sanely made information gathering difficult, I believed someone knew the answers to these questions. Someone did.
It was Joseph Chilton Pearce who told the world in his seminal works that modern parents faced a Bio-Cultural Conflict, a special Catch-22 hell that forced us to chose between our children's biological imperatives (nurturing) and our cultural imperatives (eg., pay rent). Luckily for us, Pearce lived in Virginia, where Kindred World originated, and spoke at our early gatherings. In his book, Magical Child (1977), Pearce’s worldview-expanding work synthesized the science of human development and provided the foundation of the Conscious Parenting Movement in the United States, and around the world.
With Joe's prompting, the first order of my unintentional Mother (of a) Quest, was to create community, specifically, a wellness-informed community that supported families who wanted to make informed and conscientious choices. These founding families played and worked together to support birth, breastfeeding, gentle parenting, natural healing, and alternative education. (You can read more about community-building in Soul-Nourishing Gifts of an Accidental Tribe.)
Second on my wholeness plan for my family was to move onto an eight acre farm in Virginia, where I would reclaim my ancestral roots of growing food, stewarding land, and maintain a deep and necessary relationship with the Earth. (You can read these stories in Spiritual Composting and Beyond Sustainability: The Regenerative Promise of Biodynamics.)
Three pivotal insights emerged next and brought Kindred's nonprofit work, and its transgenerational impact, into focus. First, I was trained as a Worldview Literacy facilitator at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, CA, in 2010. IONS was founded by the sixth man to walk on the moon, Edgar Mitchell, and their science-driven purpose was to research human consciousness. Their Shift Reports, both Evidence of a World Transforming, and Changing the Story of Our Future, provided clarity for our worldview-shifting nonprofit work ahead.
I came away from this Worldview Literacy work understanding that:
The second critical insight came in 2012, when I interviewed social scientist Paul Ray and discovered that Kindred World's readers and supporters were Cultural Creatives, a steadily growing part of the world's population. Ray showed us Kindred's work, with our interest in wholeness and wellness for humans and the planet, was a part of an organically-rising consciousness-raising movement, in America and worldwide. You can read and listent o our interview, Same Planet, Different Worlds.
As I shared with Ray in Same Planet, Different Worlds: “It took years to figure out that our meetings in churches, homes and community centers to sort out our mission and to devise strategies to advocate for ourselves defined us as a movement. In fact, your book shows clearly that our efforts to bring into our culture what was missing and the struggle we endured because our values were not reflected back to us, meant that we were not just any movement, but a consciousness-raising movement.”
Finally, in 2014, I was introduced to Darcia Narvaez's work by my friends at Attachment Parenting International, when Kindred co-sponsored the Pathways to Flourishing Symposium at Notre Dame University, where Darcia taught as a professor of psychology. Darcia's award-winning work was a game-changer for the conscious parenting movement. With her academic marking pen, she drew a circle around everything we had been advocating for and told us, the many issues we were advocating for culturally to normalize comprised together, "Our evolutionary pathway to wellbeing, our evolved developmental niche, and we need all of these components to create lifelong wellbeing."
Furthermore, Darcia's research shows that our capacity for developing a Kinship Worldview, a relational worldview capable of healing ourselves and the planet, is created when we provide the Evolved Nest to the human family pre-conception, birth, infancy, childhood, and throughout life. To create sustainable humans, we need to normalize nurturing. (Listen to my first interview with Darcia, Creating Sustainable Humans.)
Our relationship with Darcia began with featuring her posts on Kindred Media, to becoming a contributing editor in 2016, to a board of directors member in 2018, and to the collaborative creation of the Evolved Nest Initiative. Today, Darcia serves as the president of Kindred World. You can visit the Evolved Nest's Virtual Learning Center here, watch our growing collection of short films, and learn more about the nine components of our evolved developmental niche.
These three insights form the foundation for Kindred World's vision and mission: Wholeness, Worldview, and Wisdom. The relationship between these insights is what we are exploring at Kindred World.
In 2024, we are focusing our efforts on educational outreach that reveals the interconnection between our need to normalize nurturing and our capacity to shift our worldview (Wholeness + Worldview = Wisdom). The wok of transforming our culture into a Wisdom-based, Wellness-informed Society requires a commitment to our individual self-nurturing path first, to the wisdom made possible through our own wholeness, and then to our children, and the children of the future.
And here is where you and I meet on the path our human family's epic quest today. You are invited to join our monthly live calls, growing Kindred Community, and subscribe to our newsletter to share our journey together. Enjoy exploring Kindred World's ecology of projects and initiatives on this website, and others, and let us know how we can better serve you and your community. Our extensive donation page allows you to envision with us which projects you would like to support here.
Below you can read a more complete chronicle of my work, and hopefully, some day soon, you will read my longer account of my Mother (of a) Quest, that love and chronic illness inspired. Until then, please support our ongoing nonprofit work at Kindred. After a quarter century, we're just getting started!
Founder, Kindred World
Editor, Kindred Media
Collins and Lisa Reagan, 2004.
2024: Book Fairy Pantry Project is awarded $25,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation for the second time.
2024: Evolved Nest Initiative's Learning Module is launched.
2023: Evolved Nest Initiative Curriculum is launched.
2023: Kindred World Publishing House is launched.
2023: Launch of Evolved Nest Initiative film collection and ENI Curriculum.
2023: Darcia Narvaez, Kindred World’s president, speaks at the the 9th Edition of the Science Summit held at the 78th United Nations General Assembly Summit of the Future.
2022: Darcia Narvaez speaks at the Humanity 2.0 Foundation and International WELL Building institute's inaugural Well-Being Discussion Series at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, New York City.
2022: Kindred launches our dedicated, private social media platform through Mighty Networks at www.KindredCommunity.org
2021: Meet the Wayfinders Oral History Series presented by invitation to La Leche League International’s 65th Conference
2021: Launch of ENI’s Breaking the Cycle Film with monthly live discussions
2021: Book Fairy Pantry Project is awarded $25,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation.
2021: Kindred Fellowship Program, to create the next generation of changemakers, is launched.
2020: Kindred Media launches the oral history series, Meet the Men Of ROBE: Standing At The Intersection Of Fatherhood, Infant Mortality, Breastfeeding, And Social Justice.
2019: Lisa Reagan, KW’s co-founder, is welcomed to the invitation-only Worklife Law Center’s Summit in San Francisco, California.
2018: The Evolved Nest Initiative’s virtual learning center is launched.
2016: Kindred collaborates with APPPAH to Create the In Utero Film and Resource Guide
2016: Lisa Reagan presents Kindred World’s history and vision to APPPAH students in the presentation, The New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family. Lisa Reagan establishes March as Birth Psychology Month, still celebrated by APPPAH.
2015: Kindred was featured in an interview with Lisa Reagan about her passion for and long history of advocating for families in the October 2015 issue of The Attached Family.
2014: Co-sponsor the Pathways to Child Flourishing Symposium lead by Darcia Narvaez, PhD, at the University of Notre Dame.
2014: Lisa Reagan is featured in the documentary, The Love Bomb, also featuring Kindred World's godfather, Joseph Chiton Pearce.
2014: Lisa Reagan is elected to represent the state of Virginia at the United States Breastfeeding Committee Fifth National Conference. The report of the event is posted on Kindred.
2013: Parenting for a Peaceful World, the USA Tour with Robin Grille, is sponsored by Kindred. Robin Grille visited seven US cities in 12 days during the tour.
2013: Pathways magazine received three Hermes awards for the issue featuring Lisa Reagan’s interview with Jamie Grumet on her experience as TIME magazine’s now iconic breastfeeding cover mom. Read the original interview, and download the audio, The Cover Shot Heard ‘Round The World: An Interview With Conscious Parenting Revolutionary, Jamie Grumet. Jamie now serves as on the Kindred World board of directors.
2013: Kindred World launches Parenting As A Hero's Journey, a virtual retreat with thought leaders of the conscious parenting movement who intend to "unmask modern parenting mythology with ancient wisdom teachings."
2012: Lisa Reagan, Kindred World’s co-founder and Kindred’s editor, is invited to be the writer-in-residence at the Institute for Noetic Sciences.
2011: Kindred World collaborates with the Museum of Motherhood in NYC to host the first ever, Mindful Mothering Conference.
2011: Celebration of KW’s 15th Anniversary at the opening of the Museum of Motherhood in New York City. We co-sponsor the production, again, of the play Birth at the event.
2010: Lisa Reagan, Kindred World’s co-founder and Kindred’s editor, is trained in Worldview Literacy at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. This training amplifies and expands the nonprofit’s strategic vision and planning programs.
2010: Celebrating the Shift to Conscious Choice conference, featuring dozens of speakers from conscious parenting fields, held in Washington, DC.
2009: Kelly Wendorf bequeaths her magazine, Kindred, the first global eco-parenting magazine, to us and joins our board.
2008: Lisa Reagan presents at the Virginia Biological Farming Association's annual conference. You can read her writing on her farm in Virginia and her experiments with sustainable food production as a Community Support Agriculture farmer on Kindred. When Lisa was the US Contibuting Editor for Kindred Magazine, before the magazine became an initiative of Kindred World, print copies of the magazine were included in her CSA members' shares. See the photo here.
2007: The Gathering Groups program is transferred to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s management to help the program expand internationally. Lisa Reagan is educational director for the new Pathways Connect, and associate editor of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine. Over 400 gathering groups are created internationally. Pathways Connect was endorsed by Ervin Laszlo, PhD, author of Quantum Shift in the Global Brain, who said, “Wellness is the key to a peaceful and sustainable world. And wellness on the level of the family is the way to achieve it. Pathways and Pathways Connect is a precious guide for achieving this paramount objective.” Laszlo received the Goi Award, the Japan Peace Prize in 2001, the Assisi Mandir of Peace Prize in 2006, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005.
2006: Kindred World hosts the Future of Food film showing and panel discussion at Bryn Mawr College. Lisa Reagan moderates a panel discussion with food activists and book authors. See the event poster. Read about the event. Read Lisa Reagan's interview with Deborah Garcia, Future of Food filmmaker.
2006: Kindred World’s 10th anniversary is celebrated at the Whole Child Whole Planet Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.
2005: To celebrate the legalization of midwifery in Virginia, KW sponsors the first production of the play, Birth, by Karen Brody.
2004: Nominated as a nonprofit that was, “Making a Difference: Six Causes Worth Your While” by the magazine Delicious Living
2001: Birth Options Conference sponsored in collaboration with the Women’s Studies Department of Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. Keynotes included Marsden Wagner, MD, author of Pursuing the Birth Machine: The Search for Appropriate Birth Technology.
2001: Gathering Groups launched nationally, and one in England.
2000: Birth Options Conference in conjunction with the Women’s Studies Department at the College of William and Mary
1998: Kindred World incorporated as a nonprofit.
1997: Joseph Chilton Pearce presented “How Does Birth, Bonding, and the Learning Environment Affect the Intelligence of Your Child? at a Kindred World gathering. Pearce lived in Virginia and is considered the godfather of Kindred World. Read Lisa Reagan's tribute to Joe at his passing in 2016, here.
1996: Kindred World founded.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Magical Child and Kindred World's godfather, with Lisa Reagan.
Introduced as a “force of nature” by Cassandra Vieten, IONS president, at the first Mindful Motherhood Conference in NYC in 2011, Lisa Reagan’s passionate dedication to empower American activists, professionals, and families to envision and create a Wisdom-based, Wellness-informed Society has led to the founding of multiple inspired nonprofit initiativesand collaborations since her transformative motherhood initiation in 1997.
Lisa’s Mother-of-a-Quest began with co-founding a grassroots organization of Wayfinders, Trance-breakers, and New Cycle Makers fiercely intent on protecting American’s children with educational initiatives to counter the country’s freefall to the bottom of all developed nations’ wellness indicators. Today, Kindred World is an award-winning nonprofit whose vision and mission are more relevant and critical than ever. (Read Kindred World’s Great Nonprofits’ reviews here.)
Kindred World began as a grassroots conscious parenting movement in Virginia in 1996. (See a 2006 newsletter for fun here.) Kindred World’s founders and members, including Lisa, were heavily influenced by Virginia resident and human development scholar, Joseph Chilton Pearce, whose seminal works guided the organization in its infancy. Pearce’s work helped define the core issue for the Conscious Parenting Movement: the Bio-Cultural Conflict. Pearce demonstrated in his lifetime works that our biological imperatives were at odds with cultural imperatives, placing humanity at risk for maldeveloped brains, culture and an unsustainable future. Read more about Joe’s work here.
While earnestly investigating the gauntlet of new motherhood, Lisa shared her personal stories like Soul Nourishing Gifts of an Accidental Tribe, the Darkside of the Natural Parenting Movement, and Spiritual Composting. Her move toward human consciousness research to help her understand the lack of family wellness resources, public policy support and community connection in American culture is represented in her work following the discovery of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS.
In 2011, her exploration of the obstacles to conscious living led her to become a trained facilitator of the Worldview Literacy Project through the Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS. In 2012, she served as the Writer-in-Residence for the first Residency Project, Omnibus One at the Earthrise Retreat Center, IONS’ campus in Petaluma, California. During her retreat, she was interviewed about her Mother (of a) Quest for the documentary film, The Love Bomb.
The Shift Reports by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, IONS, in 2007, first alerted Lisa to the Old Story and New Story “shifting” taking place in Western culture. It was the discovery of family wellness advocates as Cultural Creatives through sociologists’, Paul Ray, PhD, and Sherry Anderson, PhD, book of the same name (also sponsored by IONS) that helped her feel encouraged and excited by the grassroots and growing Conscious Parenting Movement. Cultural Creatives were shifting the culture toward sustainability and wholeness through their value-reflected purchasing power, and they were a growing and powerful group, over a quarter of the population in most developed countries.
In seeking a creative and empowering format to present the Old Story/New Story to parents and practitioners, Lisa turned to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey for guidance on self-transformation as a path to transforming our unsustainable culture. The original Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreats (now a forthcoming book) encouraged parents to “Answer the Hero’s Call” to question our culture’s Cycle of Competitive Detachment and follow their heart wisdom’s call to author a New Story, one based on humanity’s Cycle of Connected Companionship supporting a Wellness-Informed Society. This New Story of Childhood, Parenthood and the Human Family, as well as Lisa’s Mother (of a) Quest has been presented at conferences, small groups and to professionals and practitioners for over a decade.
An alternative media and nonprofit initiative, Kindred’s mission is to seek out and present the under-funded and under-reported thought leaders, scientists, and advocates of the New Story and Conscious Parenting Movement. You can find her podcasts in Kindred Fireside Chats. These interviews with conscious living leaders continue to explore the New Story of holistic family wellness at a time when the United States ranks last among all developed nations for infant, child and maternal wellness (See the United Nations report). Kindred’s New Story video series, produced by Lisa and her husband of 30 years, Keith, are featured on Kindred’s Vimeo and You Tube Channels.
In December 2013, Kindred sponsored Australian psychotherapist, Robin Grille, on a Parenting for a Peaceful World USA Tour. Grille’s work is a formidable account of the psycho-social-history of parenthood. You can view videos from the tour here and read his work on Kindred here. Watch Lisa and Robin talk about the Conscious Parenting Movement as the flip side of the Children’s Liberation Movement in a video from this tour here.
In December 2015, Lisa received an Award of Appreciation from the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH, at their 19th International Congress in Berkeley, California. Kindred continues to work with APPPAH as a Pioneering Partner to bring forward the New Story of birth psychology. A new documentary, In Utero, now explores the origins of human consciousness, and study groups can utilize Kindred’s In Utero Film and Discussion Guide. Lisa collaborated with Stephen and Kathleen Gyllenhaal, In Utero’s filmmakers, to bring Kindred’s Film and Discussion Guide to an international audience. See Kindred’s birth psychology videos here.
From 2007 to 20013, Lisa’s vision of serving Cultural Creative families was carried forward through Kindred’s Pioneering Partners Project with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, ICPA, and over 400 international Pathways Connect Gathering Groups sponsored by the ICPA’s Pathways to Family Wellness trade magazine. The Pathways Connect educational program was based on a decade of Lisa’s work with Kindred World’s (formerly FCL) community building. (Listen to the FCL origin story.) Lisa served as Pathways associate editor during this time. Read her stories here, videos here, and interviews here.
Endorsements for her work include Bruce Lipton, PhD, who states in this interview, that “Conscious parenting is the rule of the day. To help us evolve from the mess that we’re in now into the future civilization, we have to help children get off the ground with beliefs that encourage and support them to be creative and manifest heaven on earth.” Lipton is a stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award.
Her work is also endorsed by Ervin Laszlo, PhD, author of Quantum Shift in the Global Brain, who said, “Wellness is the key to a peaceful and sustainable world. And wellness on the level of the family is the way to achieve it. Pathways and Pathways Connect is a precious guide for achieving this paramount objective.” Laszlo received the Goi Award, the Japan Peace Prize in 2001, the Assisi Mandir of Peace Prize in 2006, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005.
In 2013, Pathways magazine received three Hermes awards for the issue featuring Lisa’s interview with Jamie Grumet on her experience as TIME magazine’s now iconic breastfeeding cover mom. Read the original interview, and download the audio, The Cover Shot Heard ‘Round The World: An Interview With Conscious Parenting Revolutionary, Jamie Grumet.
In 2015, Lisa was interviewed about her passion for and long history of advocating for families in the October 2015 issue of The Attached Family.
Lisa is honored to serve on the advisory board for the first-of-its-kind, Museum of Motherhood, MOM, in New York City, where she helped to coordinate the first Mindful Motherhood Conference in November 2011. Watch Robin Grille talk with Martha Joy Rose, MOM curator and founder, about the history of motherhood here.
She serves on the venerable Touch the Future’s board of directors as of 2012, and is very proud of TTF’s new adult learning center, The Academy, featuring 30 years of video interviews with thought leaders and research scientists who connect the dots between child development and sustainable living. In 2015, TTF launched the Joseph Chilton Pearce Library.
In her home state, she served on the board of directors for the Virginia Breastfeeding Task Force from 2012 to 2019 and represented Attachment Parenting International on the state’s Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee. In 2019, she created the state’s first Virginia Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards. She was also elected by the state coalition’s members to represent the coalition at the National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening in Bethesda, MD, in June 2019, as well as the University of California at Hasting’s Worklife Law Center’s invitation-only summit in San Francisco in August 2019. You can read her article, Nursing Narratives, about these two conferences in 2019.
As a certified master naturalist, Lisa served on the board of the Virginia Master Naturalist’s Historic Rivers Chapter from 2018 – 2021. She currently still serves on the board of the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory.
Lisa’s professional journalism background includes serving as the East Coast Editor-at-Large for the groundbreaking, natural parenting magazine Mothering in the early 2000s. In 2003, she simultaneously became the US Contributing Editor to the first global magazine on sustainable family living, byronchild, originally out of Byron Bay, Australia and founded by Kelly Wendorf. In 2009, byronchild, now named Kindred, moved to the US and became a nonprofit initiative of Kindred World.
From 2007 to 2013, Kindred World partnered with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, ICPA, to produce the award-winning magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness as a nonprofit collaboration with Lisa serving as the publication’s associate editor and creator of the community building and parent education program, Pathways Connect.
From 2007 and 2012 – 2019, she served as a judge for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence college journalism awards. In the very beginning of her career, she worked at the Virginia newspaper, The Daily Press, where she earned two Virginia Press Association awards for Gulf War Special Editions of the paper, Coming Home Proud.
Along the way, in exploring paths to sustainability and wellness, Lisa became a Reiki Master Teacher, an organic and biodynamic Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, farmer (read about her farming adventures in Beyond Sustainability; The Regenerative Promise of Biodynamics), and formally studied shamanism as an extension of her self-directed indigenous worldview studies. She is also a certified master naturalist and writes about her flora and fauna relationships from this perspective.
She currently lives with her family on their small farm in Toano, Virginia, where she is writing what is now many books about her Mother (of a) Quest in the Conscious Parenting Movement.
Read Lisa’s work on Kindred Media.
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"Serving the Re-Generation Since 1996"
The Old Story of Separation that dominates our culture and conditioning today is entering a natural composting stage... it doesn't work anymore. The New Story of Connection, who we've always been, is emerging in our consciousness and marrow. We are all in the space between these stories, exploring the possibilities, deciding what our new narrative will be...