November 2020
A Note from Darcia
Healing Ourselves
These are difficult times that require multiple virtues, such as strength, flexibility and kindness toward one another. But our experiences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can get in the way by making us stress-reactive, influencing our abilities to cope and cooperate.

In this newsletter you can learn about ACEs from one of its original researchers, Dr. Vincent Felitti, from a Notre Dame conference of all stars in 2010. At that time, the research had been around for over a dozen years and was still not attended to. Thankfully today, more and more recognition is being given to the negative effects of toxic stress in childhood. Mary Tarsha and I are putting together a paper showing that evolved nest experience provides a buffer for ACES.

Below, find a link to our new discussion of routine healing practices in Evolved Nest Explained: Routine Healing Practices. Remember that nature connection is a key source for healing. See Fresh Eyes below for an essay by a student who learned greater nature awareness and connection in one of my classes.

May you nest yourself and loved ones with the healing practices to guide you through whatever challenges you face.

Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Evolved Nest, Founder
"We have the power to change our being with our attention,
practices and environments."
So choose wisely!
The Evolved Nest's Child Care Checklist
The Evolved Nest's Child Care Checklist
We are excited to unveil Evolved Nest’s Child Care Center Checklist. The Checklist has been created to help parents and guardians determine how well a child care center matches up with the components of the Evolved Nest. The checklist is intended to be supplemental to the other protocols a center has (e.g., infection prevention, abuse prevention, diaper change frequency).

Please share widely.

The Evolved Nest Explained
The Evolved Nest Explained:
Healing Practices
Darcia Narvaez and Mary Tarsha discuss one of the nine components of the Evolved Nest: Routine Healing Practices.

One of the nine Evolved Nest components is taking up routine healing practices. We all get hurt or angry or uncentered, then we are more likely to hurt others or ourselves. In traditional societies, regular, even daily healing routines are practiced. Here we describe how we get thrown off balance, from early life stress or ongoing or sudden stresses in adulthood. We suggest several ways you can adopt self healing practices.

Find out more about the Evolved Nest and its nine components here:

Getting to Baselines for Human Nature, Development, and Wellbeing
To make judgments about research findings, one must have a baseline against which to compare the results. One of the baselines the field of psychology should use is what is normal or typical for humanity as a species. Humanity emerged from the social mammalian line with many similar basic needs. Human infants are born highly immature and require an intensive “nest” to grow properly. However, modern industrialized societies often do not provide humanity’s evolved nest, thereby undermining optimal normal development in their citizens. Yet, scientific psychologists, who assess citizens in these societies, assume they are studying typical members of the human species. But human beings are extensively shaped by postnatal experience, expected experience that the evolved nest provides. Humanity’s evolved nest has been a characteristic of virtually all societies until recently. Industrialized nations typically do not provide the evolved nest, leading to underdevelopment of human species characteristics which include cooperative sociality and nature connection, contributing to the current destructiveness of modern humans toward one another and the planet. We make several suggestions for how to realign psychological science to include the multi-disciplinary knowledge needed to understand humanity and the development of human nature. We recommend that psychology take seriously the evolved nest and assist parents and policymakers in its provision. Our future may depend on it.

Notable BOOKS
The Evolved Nest Nurtures the Neurobiology of Spiritual Development
This important new book explores the nature of the divided brain and its relevance for contemporary psychotherapy. Citing the latest neuroscientific research, it shows how the relationship between the two hemispheres of the brain is central to our mental health, and examines both the practical and theoretical implications for therapy.

Disconnections, dissociations, and imbalances between our two hemispheres underlie many of our most prevalent forms of mental distress and disturbance. These include issues of addiction, autism, schizophrenia, depression, anorexia, relational trauma, borderline and personality disorders, psychopathy, anxiety, derealisation and devitalisation, and alexithymia. A contemporary understanding of the nature of the divided brain is therefore of importance in engaging with and treating these disturbances.

Featuring contributions from some of the key authors in the field, The Divided Therapist suggests that hemispheric integration lies at the heart of the therapeutic process itself, and that a better understanding of the precise mechanisms that underlie and enable this integration will help to transform the practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in the twenty-first century. The book will be essential reading for any therapeutic practitioner interested in how the architecture of the brain informs and effects their client’s issues and challenges.

What Bears Teach Us
This is a terrific book for promoting Ecological Imagination!

“We can all learn from the wisdom of bears. Our ancestors knew this, like Native peoples today. Sarah Elmeligi and John Marriott show us, in gorgeous photos and engaging words, the wisdom that scientists have gathered about bears. ‘Managing bears is about managing people.’ The book guides us in learning how to coexist safely, instead of risking both human and bear lives. Both educational and inspirational, this is a book to cozy up with! As more of these amazing creatures are finding their way through my neighborhood, I’m planning to get a few extra copies for my friends.”— Darcia Narvaez, professor emerita of psychology, author of Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom

Maternal Gift Economy
Maternal Gift Economy:
Breaking Through
November 27, 2020
4:00PM-7:30PM GMT
Vandana Shiva (India), Darcia Narvaez (USA), Heide Goettner-Abendroth (Germany), Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot Nation), Mary Condren (Ireland), and Genevieve Vaughan (USA/Italy)
Moderated by Letecia Layson (USA)

Drawing on Maternal Gift Economy theory, the suppressed wisdom of women, and the traditions and ethics of Indigenous societies, this integrated programme of presentations sponsored by the International Feminists for a Gift Economy Network will offer new insights, perspectives, and challenges to the underlying market-based mentality of the dominant world order. 

In this time of crisis and systemic upheaval, the model of the Maternal Gift Economy on which our survival depends at the beginning of life, is being revealed and celebrated. The interdependence of all living beings can now be made visible and honored. 
Mother Earth provides the model of an economy based on gifting that we receive as young children from our nurturers—before we are alienated into market exchange. We must make the transition from the exploitive Euro-American patriarchal/dominating and capitalistic ideology to a gift-based economy and culture grounded in the values of nurturing and care rather than competition and greed.
We invite you to join us in exploring the possibilities in this series of presentations and dialogues that bring together those who have been laboring to articulate the principles of the Maternal Gift Economy, protect Indigenous values, and practice peaceful and just community building. The time is now for all humans to cooperate rather than compete. Please join us!

Gold Birth & Beyond Online Conference: AVAILABLE UNTIL 11/30
Darcia's presentation "The Postpartum Nest: Helping Parents Lay the Foundation for Their Child's Lifelong Health" was the closing keynote for the Birth & Beyond Conference on October 26. 

The public access to this presentation is available until November 30, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out! Only our delegates who are registered for the full conference will be able to claim continuing education hours and you can do so by logging into the Delegates Area prior to watching the presentation.

Vincent Felitti, MD, ACES Founder, from Notre Dame Human Nature and Early Experience Symposium 2010
This 2010 Notre Dame Symposium is new to the Evolved Nest YouTube Channel, and to the Internet
About Dr. Vincent Fellitti

A renowned physician and researcher, Dr. Vincent J. Felitti is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma. Leading the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults, he is co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, a long-term, in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults. Defying conventional belief, this study famously revealed a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults. In fact, the ACE study shows that humans convert childhood traumatic emotional experiences into organic disease later in life. Revolutionary at its inception, Felitti’s groundbreaking research remains extremely relevant to today’s healthcare models.

About the 2010 Symposium

An international collection of renowned scholars from several disciplines presented research on the psychological, anthropological, and biological conditions related to the optimal brain and body system development in human beings. Speakers include: Vincenzo Felitti; Allan Schore; Jaak Panksepp ; James Prescott ; C.S. Carter; Stephen Suomi; Stephen W. Porges ; Wendy Trevathan; Colwyn Trevathan ; Allison Fleming; Pranee Liamputtong; Douglas Fry; Joseph Flanders; Jay Belsky; Augustin Fuentes; Lysa Parker.

Experts’ presentations reexamined the influence of early experience on child outcomes, and how human beings’ emotions develop and function. There is growing evidence that particular childrearing practices positively or negatively impact brain development, and evidence that the ways we are rearing our children today are not the ways humans are designed to thrive.

Why fear is the wrong approach for climate activism
By Renee Yaseem

Renee Yaseen is a junior at the University of Notre Dame and former student of Darcia Narvaez. Check out her essay, "Where is the love? Why fear is the wrong approach for climate activism" and the upcoming Best in Climate Series podcast on Eaarth Feels. 

"Our class inspired me to write this piece about love-motivated climate action in the Observer," says Yaseen. 

This article was first published in The Observer here, and can be seen as a part of the Fresh Eyes collection here.
Self-Nesting TOOLS
28 Day Eco Attachment Dance
Take up the Eco Attachment Dance!

You, your children, your family are invited to discover ways to connect with nature, renew your ecological attachment, and restore your living connection to the Earth. 

Dr. Darcia Narvaez and her students did an experiment to increase ecological attachment—nature connection—through small daily practices. Each day participants practiced one activity that increased attention to and being grateful for the natural world. See here for the press release about the study, published in EcoPsychology

Take up the Eco Attachment Dance to expand your own ecological attachment through an Instagram challenge. Each day for 28 days an activity will be posted for you to practice that day. Each activity takes about 5 minutes (though you can go longer).

If you would like to take the anonymous pretest (and later a posttest) you can see how your attitudes and behaviors change after participating in the Eco Attachment Dance.

Cycles of Development
What we experience in early life and childhood eventually affects the whole society. Find out how we can make big changes to our world, starting with the little ones.

Listen to Mary Tarsha and Darcia Narvaez discuss the Cycles of Development in this audio download or from the Evolved Nest's YouTube channel.

This podcast is part two of the 24 part Evolved Nest Introduction and Podcast Series.

Listen to the podcast here.

The Original Sin Of Babies
Why do adults harden their hearts against babies?

  • Misinformation about baby needs and development
  • Their own experience of being mistreated
  • They get ideas about sinful, unruly babies from religious authority figures.

The ‘original sin’ of babies, for which they are harshly treated, is to be needy. In a country known to expect toughness over tenderness, the expectation gets transferred to babies too (Suttie, 1943).

Find The Evolved Nest on Kindred
The Evolved Nest is an educational initiative of the award-winning and venerable nonprofit, Kindred World, and a sister initiative of Kindred Media.

Kindred has served as the platform international New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family since 2002.

You can now find all of the Evolved Nest's posts on Kindred on its own dedicated page. Many of these posts, podcasts, and interviews are not found elsewhere.

See the Evolved Nest's reviews and support our nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donation below.
Moral Landscapes Blog from Psychology Today
I write typically about research findings related to moral functioning and living a good life. Sometimes I muse on things that I puzzle about (politics). I am very concerned about how much our society doesn't seem to know about how to raise good, healthy and happy children, so I spend a great deal of time on parenting. I also write about things that I am working on myself--the endless quest for virtue! This is an opinion blog, not a set of research articles, intended for the public not scientists. For more nuanced and highly referenced work, look at my academic work.

In "Dying of Whiteness," Jonathan Metzl examines the health consequences of what he calls “backlash governance."

Robert Jones examines the history of white supremacy in American churches and denominations and reviews sociological research findings.

In his book, "His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope," historian Jon Meacham shows how Lewis learned his craft for “good trouble.”

New research is showing us that we perhaps should apply this “golden mean” approach to caring for babies.
We Won Great Nonprofit's Top-Rated Award, Again!
Thank you to everyone who has supported The Evolved Nest's work over these past two years. Read our reviews and support our ongoing nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donation at our Great Nonprofits page.

"Kindred World helps bridge the vast gap between scientific research and practice, what is happening within the culture that often cuts against scientific evidence regarding ways to promote human thriving and flourishing. Parents and families deserve to know the best ways to raise healthy, happy, socio-emotionally developed, loving children and this is exactly what Kindred provides!" - Mary Tarsha
The Evolved Nest -