Serving up a heaping spoonful of gratitude

I had the opportunity to attend a brilliant symposium yesterday entitled, Making Healthy Babies, Raising Healthy Children: Living well in a toxic world, that united scientists, doctors, researchers and professionals to discuss environmental influences around birth and childhood.  I was in the presence of visionaries, pioneers and healers presenting their unique perspective at the entire system that affects our children and future generations.  I walked away inspired and filled with gratitude for each of their unique contributions to change the world.  It was quite clear that each one of the presenters affect positive change in the world with love, compassion and dedication to their mission. My sole purpose for this post is to introduce you to these amazing, extraordinary individuals.  First, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a visionary who will not be deterred by the endless barrage of personal and professional attacks because he’s brave enough to conduct scientific research that asks the tough questions and challenges the way in which vaccines are tested and administered.  He has dedicated his career to finding answers and helping children that suffer in pain.  He is driven by a force for good without ego and I stand in awe of his mission.  He is the Executive Director of Thoughtful House Center for Children.

Dr. Marshall Klaus, a pioneer who radically altered the way we view the birth experience and the bonding between baby, mother and father within the first two hours of life.  He and his wife, Phyllis Klaus, a psychotherapist have written several books about mothering the mother during the birth experience.

Dr. Kenneth Bock, a compassionate healer who for over a decade has dedicated his entire medical practice to promoting a new level of wellness and has treated and improved the lives of over 2,000 children affected with the diagnosis of autism.

Julie Matthews, an autism nutrition consultant who provides nourishing hope for autism.

Sharyle Patton, environmental activist and director of the Commonweal Health and Environment Program that seeks to protect human and ecosystem health from environmental contaminants.

Elizabeth Davis, a renowned expert on women’s issues and midwife, educator and consultant for over 30 years.  Her view on birth is quite unique and opens up the possibilities to consider birth as an ecstatic experience versus a frightening, painful experience.

Finally, the M.C., Carolyn Raffensperger who created a beautiful space filled with love, compassion and openness.  As an environmental lawyer she specializes in the fundamental changes in law and policy necessary for the protection and restoration of public health and the environment.

A special thank you goes to the four women who created the vision for this event and made it possible.

Elizabeth Horn, co-founder of the Autism Recovery Consortium to support continued research into autism recovery. Along with Dr. Martha Herbert of Harvard and Michael Lerner of Commonweal.  She co-founded the autism group that meets regularly at Commonweal called NPART (New Paradigms for Autism Recovery and Treatment).  She produced a documentary film entitled, "Finding the Words" about children recovering from autism.

Maureen Bock, founder of the Ryder Foundation whose mission is to raise money for organizations that make a difference in the lives of children with autism.  She is a mother of a child who no longer meets the criteria of autism.

Diana Paul, filmmaker and founding director of Sage Femme, a non-profit organization that produces the Motherbaby International Film Festivals and promotes and educates about EcoBirth.

Molly Arthur, Managing Director of Sage Femme.  Molly is also the inspiration behind EcoBirth, a philosophy linking birth and the environment.