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I Took It to the River
Last week was the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. One year later, something deep in my bones told me the healing I needed was to tell the story of my mother’s passing to a community, and to be witnessed, held, and valued by that community in my grief. Yet given that my life has imploded over this past year I had no access to an established human community for this ancient, sacred form of healing, so……
I took it to the river.
The river as community. The living, breathing, moving river, with her sighs and jubilations and pronouncements. With the finned and scaled ones moving through her veins, the winged ones like hawk and butterfly tickling her mists, and all the four legged folk who come to nurse at her body. I told the story of my mother’s passing to this community. They were active participants in the call and response, letting me know where they had insights, offering connection, and reverence.
Living from this place of understanding the world around us as alive, as sentient, and as community, inspires very different movements in me than the ones I’ve been conditioned with by our culture. For instance, when I understand the earth as a living being, I feel differently about the garbage I create. Garbage and recycling ceases to be a mental question of right and wrong and enters golden rule territory – polluting my mother’s body with stuff that’s inconvenient to me makes me sick to my heart. How do I create less waste in the first place?
I’m convinced that my body knows when I go into overshoot of what my earthly family can sustain – it registers as anxiety. Here’s where “kincentric ecology” comes in for me. As a set of concepts I can work with, it’s a way to help my western brain get with the program.
In an effort to restore an awareness that indigenous cultures can teach us, the movement of kincentric ecology has been around for awhile. Learning from indigenous perspectives, we discover we are intimately interwoven with the ecosystem around us, and that we both affect and are affected by the natural world. In fact, the natural world births, houses, and sustains us, and we are therefore kin with every fiber and sinew and drop of moisture and morsel of beauty that is the world we inhabit. Without this awareness, life becomes unsustainable for the whole wide web of kin.
How did we ever get as disconnected as we have become? What led to this? And how do we get ourselves back?
Deeply leaning into these questions for a few years I was very excited to find out about an 18-month program in Kincentric Leadership. I applied a few months ago and am so delighted to be able to say I was accepted.
I’m excited to explore these above questions and more with my Kincentric Leadership cohort, and report back to you on what we discover. This inspiring group of human souls states their vision this way:
Our vision is a future in which everyone knows that we are part of an intelligent, living Earth.
Our aim is to lay the foundations for a new paradigm of leadership and polycrisis mitigation grounded in kincentric ecology, weaving human beings back into the wider web of life - experientially and practically.
Thank you to the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation for funding this program.
Leave a comment or write to me if you’ve got things you’re chewing on that you’d like me to bring to my cohort.