Volume 2, Number 5
A Note from Darcia
Sheltering-In-Place: Nesting One Another
Dear Evolved Nest Readers,

Paul Shepard , founder of the field of human ecology, contended that we don't become fully human unless we are immersed in wild nature where we learn how our species fits in the biocommunity and how to be a moral member of that community. Only after a childhood of nature immersion are we ready in adolescence, to figure out our personal moral identity, our own individual connections to the cosmos and the gift that we can hone for community benefit. 

Many of us today did not experience such a childhood, and even in adulthood do not feel connected to nature. Wendell Berry and others point out that no matter how much we "know" that we depend on the health of the natural world, if we don't  care  in our hearts for the natural world, we will continue to mindlessly go about our reckless lifestyles. Poet Mary Oliver noted that caring for nature is not about abstractions, but about concrete caring for individual entities--- this  tree,  this  river,  this  mountain. Only then are we able to bring the other than human into our circle of habitual empathic concern and moral action.

In this newsletter we have several essays regarding nature connection. And the empirical article describes a three-week experiment to increase "ecological attachment" in college students. It worked. Check out the type of daily orientations and actions that shifted mindset toward ecological empathy. The paper is available for free access  available online  until June 15.

May you find many ways to enjoy nature in spring!

Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Read past newsletters in the press room
COVID-Related Essays
Can Sheltering-In-Place Bring About More Mental Health?
It all starts with the  evolved nest , where babies are beloved members of the community, whose wellbeing took priority. Babies were carried everywhere by someone; they were never put down. Babies learned to promote  happiness  in others, just as they were treated.

You might think that this relational embeddedness is stifling, not letting you “be yourself” or “do what you want.” That’s a misunderstanding of the ancestral social environment. Anthropological observers were astounded to note that small-band hunter-gatherers were both highly communal and highly autonomous. No one coerced anyone else and individuals could wander off when they wanted, participating in hunting or gathering, or not, but still sharing the food. Yet they enjoyed being with each other so much that most everything was done as a group. “Freedom to be” was characteristic of each person’s life.

Could being forced to stay home, away from work and school be a good thing for mental health—because you are more free to “be”?

COVID-Related Essays

Six Intelligences Children Learn Better Outside Classrooms
School work typically emphasizes only linguistic (of a certain kind) and logico-mathematical intelligences which is developed through reading and mathematics, the focus of most school tests these days. But there are at least six other intelligences that Gardner and others have mapped. I focus on those here. The eight intelligences are representative of the talents and knowhow we see among adults generally.

Cocooning With Kids: Explaining and Redirecting
Where should we direct children’s attention?

If you've been waiting to hear Darcia sing an original children's song that helps them and us connect to nature, here go you! (the track is in the middle of the article).

This song, and singing, is one of the ways we can create an Evolved Nest of connection while we are together indoors at this time!

Cocooning With Kids: Schools Closed, What Now?
Take advantage of the moment with what helps kids grow.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus
WVPE’s Jennifer Weingart spoke to Darcia Narvaez, a psychologist from the University of Notre Dame, about how to talk to kids about coronavirus.

COVID-19 Resources for Families:

May Blogs
Psychology Today's Moral Landscapes Blog
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.

White supremacy applies to you, to me, and to all in a white-centered society.

Neither the art or science of mothering is optimal outside of community support. In fact, our species evolved to have community mothering from multiple motherers

Stay-at-home orders may make avoidantly attached people especially unhappy.

In a new paper, we conducted a three-week experiment to help undergraduate students increase their nature connection to be more like that of First Nation peoples. It worked!

The Evolved Nest's YouTube Channel
Child Flourishing Symposium - YouTube Playlist
"Attend" a Conference During Quarantine!
You may have missed the 2014 Pathways to Child Flourishing Symposium, but it is preserved and presented for you here on the Evolved Nest's YouTube Channel! The playlist includes 24 presentations from the event.

You can also purchase the anthology from the event here .

The symposium was presented as a collaboration between Attachment Parenting International and the University of Notre Dame.

You can find the schedule of speaker's list, and more resources from API, here .

View and enjoy the playlist here .
You can also purchase the anthology from the conference here.
New Journal Article
Indigenous Nature Connection: A 3-Week Intervention Increased Ecological Attachment
Humanity as a species has spent most of its existence moving with instead of against nature as found among Indigenous or First Nation communities traditionally. Yet most members of modern societies feel disconnected from nature, which is attributed to a lack of connection and respect toward the more than human. We developed assessment tools for ecological attachment from an Indigenous perspective, validating measures ( n  = 695) of ecological empathy (feeling concern for more-than-human entities), ecological mindfulness (mindful attitudes and behaviors toward living things), and green action (conservation behaviors). Then we conducted a 3-week behavioral intervention with university students ( n  = 47) with two conditions expected to increase ecological mindfulness: (1) Indigenous ecological attachment (e.g., acknowledge the trees you pass today) by which ecological empathy was expected to increase; (2) conservation behaviors (e.g., turning off lights) by which green action was expected to increase. In session one, participants completed key measures, read texts related to their condition (facts, a poem, and an essay), and selected condition-relevant actions to draw from and perform in the following 3 weeks (one selected per day). In session two, measures were retaken. In comparison with a control group, MANOVA revealed that hypotheses were supported: Only the ecological attachment group increased on ecological empathy, only the conservation group significantly increased on green actions, and both intervention groups increased on ecological mindfulness.

Free Access till June 15.

New Podcast Interviews
Shifting Baselines: Consensus Reality, Primal Wounds and the Evolved Nest
From the Last Born in the Wilderness Podcast Show:

"The first time I spoke with Darcia was almost three years ago, back when I was first beginning to do interviews for this podcast. A great deal has changed and happened since then, not only with my work specifically, but in the world at large. In contemplating the roots of the fragmented, disruptive responses the novel coronavirus pandemic has generated, I felt compelled to reconnect with Prof. Narvaez to discuss her insights into this subject. This includes an examination of the contemporary, common child-rearing practices in the West (specifically the United States), and how this informs the ideologies/belief systems people attach themselves to in states of crisis and uncertainty, such as ours."

Respecting Our Human-Earth Connections
From the Wild Roots Podcast Show:

"We warmly welcome back Dr. Darcia Narvaez in a discussion on how global capitalism affects our psyche; and on understanding how to satisfy our basic human needs. Darcia's work shares insights on how to live a truly meaningful life by acknowledging our place within the living world."

Basic Needs, Wellbeing and Morality
Fulfilling Human Potential
Basic needs fulfilment is fundamental to becoming human and reaching one’s potential. Extending the BUCET list proposed by Susan Fiske - which includes belonging, understanding, control/competence, autonomy, self-enhancement, trust, purpose and life satisfaction - this book demonstrates that the fulfilment of basic needs predicts adult physical and mental health, as well as sociality and morality. The authors suggest that meeting basic needs in childhood vitally shapes one’s trajectory for self-actualization, and that initiatives aimed at human wellbeing should include a greater emphasis on early childhood experience. Through contemporaneous and retrospective research in childhood, the authors argue that basic need-fulfilment is key to the development of the self and the possibility of reaching one’s full potential. This book will be of interest to scholars of human wellbeing and societal flourishing, as well as to health workers and educators.

New Book (Featuring EN)
Zen Mamas: Finding Your Path
The founders of the popular blog  Your Zen Mama  share their experiences and tips on becoming a mother – while trying to stay Zen! – in this practical and beautiful book.

The authors include interviews with Darcia and information about the Evolved Nest in their work.

The book is now available in Australia and the United States. Buy the book here . Visit the Zen Mamas website here .

"So, forget perfection and prepare to get real, vulnerable and dirty (mostly from guacamole) with Sarah and Teresa as they delve into their journeys of motherhood and share some of the knowledge they’ve collected over the years from the Your Zen Mama community, from their expert mentors and through being in the trenches of parenthood themselves. From prepping for pregnancy all the way through to birth, the first twelve weeks with your newborn and figuring out the kind of parent you want to be long-term, they share their personal struggles, joyful moments and hard-won realisations." - About the book

Evolved Nest Lab Research
Meet Mary Tarsha!

Meet Mary Tarsha, a graduate student who is part of the Evolved Developmental Niche research lab. You can also hear Mary's interviews with Darcia in the Evolved Nest podcast series here.

The University of Notre Dame began offering the Neuroscience and Behavior major in Fall of 2014. Students can decide to pursue either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, which differ based on their set of requirements from the College of Science or the College of Arts & Letters. The major is very flexible and interdisciplinary, offering classes in fields such as Psychology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Anthropology, and Philosophy. The Directors of Undergraduate Studies are Dr. Nancy Michael (College of Science) and Dr. Anre Venter (College of Arts & Letters).

Fresh Eyes On The Evolved Nest
Follow the Fresh Eyes Series to discover how the next generation perceives the Evolved Nest and relates to children, before they become parents...
Learning How to Re-engage with Nature

By Ariel Niforatos

One can hone her/his Animal Mind by simply listening to Nature and learning how to be fully present in the moment without the interference of verbal thoughts that shut out what the natural world is communicating. This process of  nonverbal communication  is known as “thinking without thought” (Song, p. 61), which can better be achieved by participating in life’s events without specific  goals  or constraints in mind. 

The Evolved Nest Is On iTunes!
You can now find The Evolved Nest podcast series on iTunes, now called Apple Music! There are currently 24 podcasts available, with more interviews and blog audios planned for the future.

Be sure to give us a great rating and share the podcasts with your friends.

To find The Evolved Nest on iTunes, go here.
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