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  • Cristina Joy Valverde

Living a Language of Love

Kincentric Circles of Care

At the heart of all thriving relationships is deep Listening…

From the quiet inner space of attentive presence and emptiness we can most clearly see --

Who is here.

Often however, that inner listening space is already quite full. It is a discipline to make time for one's personal needs and a pace of life that allows for sacred slowness while still caring for all that comes to our door. A clock somewhere is ever pushing onwards.

"Trouble in the mind, Trouble in the heart," my friend & cranial sacral teacher Hugh Milne would say.

Where there is busyness, worry, illness or imbalance, one can ask --

What troubles the heart?

This listening inquiry has been one of the great healing gifts to me as a wellness practitioner.

photographed: Ali Meders-Knight blessing a beautiful morning in the Mechoopda-Maidu roundhouse.

(Read about Ali's beautiful work on the About page)

photographer & collaborator: Evan-Marie Petit


Tending is a way of life. To care for one's relationships well requires time and presence. The time & energy of our attention is truly all we have to give. In knowing our own hearts intimately, we create the ability to see others more clearly as they are and the space to be in thoughtfulness with how we interact. All stories are known by the heart. This knowing can't come from books. To walk into the world with this knowing makes the invisible visible. This is empathy.


em-pathos (Greek)

-in -feeling

This way of relating is central to all indigenous cultures worldwide.

This way of relating is central to deep healing, or "wholing" of self... becoming whole.

This way of relating creates loving relationships, good grandmas & grandpas, good land tenders, and a shared sense of being.

Slowness creates spaciousness to meet all of life with care to its sacredness.

In the world today, the yearning to be in community blooms widely. People want to be in greater harmony with the planet together. These visions, Our visions, are interconnected. We all want to thrive. Life wants to thrive. May it be so.

It is the default for most humans however, by the way we’re raised & socially reinforced, to think in terms of the anthropocentric worldview of relatedness. Along with this view comes particular human world rhythms, calendarized life, and societal habits orienting attention. Humans are emotionally complex... and fragile. We are sensitive beings who have had to grow thicker skin -- the skin of separateness at times, of coping distractions and forgetfulness of our painful histories at times. We burst into the world inheriting a maze of stories -- of hurts & heroes, of interpersonal expectations, and built-in landscapes of relatedness. Dominant cultural narratives exist by echoing the mainstream channel of accepted norms; all linear stories often rooted in looped themes of scarcity, attachment, and fear. Egocentric over Ecocentric… This path of thought eventually comes to a dead end, physcially and spiritually.

As we are witnessing, these are potent times of deep self-reflection and reevaluation for humanity. These are times for re-visioning our identity, re-membering our interrelatedness, and re-viving the ways we walk in the world. To train the senses to hear and see the complexities of Life at eye level and heart level takes practice. To feel ourselves as porous beings interwoven and symbiotically sustained within a landscape of micro and macro forms takes practice. It is a lifelong language. Languages must be kept alive just as the brain and body need fresh air in order to function well.


Kincentric Ecology; Kincentricity:

a worldview that sees everything around us

— plants, animals, rocks, wind —

as our direct relatives.

(Enrique Salmón, Raramuri anthropologist)


Along with this animate view and language come living rhythms, new mythos, dynamic adaptabilities, "kincentric" circles of awareness. Awareness itself is Animate.

What does it mean to be Alive?

Who is Here?

May we enjoy our relatedness in its fullness, engaging like the curious mind of a young child -- pure in openness to the unknown.

We have all been children, and the spirit of our inner child is alive in us still when we wonder and listen...

photographed: Ali Meders-Knight processing local acorns & rosehips with her daughter & friend.

photographer & collaborator: Evan-Marie Petit

“The people of this land for generations have received prosperity, peace, health and love from their connection to this place and that will never change. Every single soul in California is part of this truth today, and we must recognize our ability to rise to the occasion and restore resilient ecosystems and thriving communities based on our collective efforts.”

– Ali Meders-Knight,

Mechoopda Tribal Member, Master TEK practitioner, Exec. Director of CA Open Lands, Mother

With Gratitude for the teachers, stewards, allies, & mothers.

With Gratitude for this beautiful Earth community we share life with each day.

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Feb 17, 2023

Carefully and eloquently written Crissie! Sacred slowness. I like that.

Good questions. I’m curious what you discover when you ask ’who or what is here’

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