Charlotte Cressey will be presenting two papers and teaching Earth Energy Yoga® at the Minding Animals Conference in Delhi, India in January 2015.

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Cressey will present two papers at the conference “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Progenitor of Ecofeminism” and “Embodied Love as the Antidote to Disembodied Logic”.  She will also be teaching Earth Energy Yoga® which is based on an ecofeminist ethic of connection to nature and honoring all bodies.

The first paper, “Embodied Love as the Antidote to Disembodied Logic” will explore why befriending our bodies is an integral part of co-creating a more loving and just world for all beings. We, as humans, are missing out on a great source of wisdom as we seek to solve global and local problems – the body.

Kindness, empathy, compassion, and cooperation are innate to the human being. The “golden rule” – treat others how you want to be treated – comes naturally to us. Mirror neurons are one example of the way that we experience pain when we see others experience pain. Empathy is inherent to our bodies. We are not naturally cruel and violent. These are learned behaviors of the dominator paradigm.

Patriarchal social, political, and cultural systems of separation and disconnection erode our ability to feel – beginning with the way we relate to our own bodies and feelings.   As highly empathetic and sensitive beings, we learn to separate from our natural compassion and move into the realm of thought, denial, and justification in order to function in a highly violent world. We learn to operate from ‘disembodied logic’ and separate from our bodies. This hierarchal mindset of disembodied logic normalizes violence and carries over into how we relate to each other with different skin color, genders, sexual identities, ages, socioeconomic status, etc.

Body movement exercises specifically designed to bring our attention back to feelings, sensations, and re-establish the mind-heart-body connection creates profound shifts. From this place, we re-discover “embodied love”: the experience of love, compassion, and a desire to treat others how we wish to be treated – the state that comes naturally to us, as social beings.   Conscious body movement teaches the participant more constructive and empathetic ways of relating to feelings and challenges as they arise. As a result, they learn to honor each individual’s inherent worth and can help us create a kinder, more inclusive world for all beings.   Participants will be given practical tools that will positively impact their relationships with self, friends, loved ones, family, and the larger community of all inhabitants of the Earth.

Cressey will also teach Earth Energy Yoga® at the Minding Animals Conference, which is based on the ideas in “Embodied Love.”

Cressey will present her paper entitled “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Progenitor of Ecofeminism” based on her research of the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Through the lens of ecofeminism, this paper explores treatment of animals and its intersection with treatment of women in the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Ecofeminism is a liberatory theory aimed at freeing women and animals from the confines of patriarchal culture which addresses the foundational attitudes, mindsets, and cultural beliefs that perpetuate violence and domination against animals, women, the natural world, and specific groups of people.

Typically, we think of ecofeminism as originating in the 1970’s. However, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, expressed provocative ecofeminist theories a century ago which remain instructive today. Gilman’s utopian novels reflect themes of vegetarianism and a deep understanding of the intersection between patriarchal masculinity, hunting, violence, and meat-eating. Her work puts forward vegetarianism as a feminist stance against male violence and domination.

Gilman’s eloquent illumination of mutually beneficial relationships in regard to animals and nature provide us guidance as we seek to create a kinder world for all beings today.