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Cindy: ISO Joy

October 23, 2020 | Common Ground | 0 Comments

“Each person in your community brings so many gifts.”


Cindy is candid and introspective with a smile that radiates positivity. Married 28 years with 4 children and 3 grandbabies, Cindy has dedicated herself to family, teaching and a dynamic meditation practice called The Five Rhythms which builds community and creativity through movement. “I believe working with the community as your mirror is what shapes you – for me that’s really important.”


A resident of LA’s North Ridge neighborhood, Cindy and her family regularly visit Maui to see her brother who’s lived there for 42 years. This November she and her husband returned, but this time to help her son and daughter-in-law who were expecting twins. Nine months later they’re still there because of Covid travel restrictions. “We were lightly lifted and placed here. It’s Maui; we’re in the safest place! I say find the joy no matter the state of the world – that’s hard, so that’s the practice.”

Find the Value in the Simple Things

“I really like people who can be vulnerable, be present in the moment, and not justify who they are by the size of their paycheck. I like to hold a vision of a tribe where everyone had their job and whether it was harvesting or hunting or helping with the kids, everything was equally important. Today people have trouble finding that value in themselves, but just making a difference in one person’s life, that’s huge. Like being here for the grandkids; we’re creating an environment and putting energy into the future. It’s not always about right now.

This August will be Five Years

I went to my gynecologist because I thought I’d found something, but he completely missed it. 3 years later I got a new doctor – a naturopath – who sent me directly to a specialist, and within 24 hours I was told ‘you have a rare cancer.’ All women once they’re 45 should do an anal pap in addition to a vaginal pap! I like to think my lifestyle, my livelihood, my diet and where I’m at in general attributed to the fact that it hadn’t spread. Sometimes I think I could I have treated it alternatively, because a lot of the protocol didn’t make sense to me – I mean radiation and CT scans cause cancer, right?  But I went the traditional way for peace of mind for the family, knowing my clean up was gonna be huge.

We’re a Chemistry Set and We Change Constantly

I love functional medicine, it’s complete healthcare and it’s completely different. It looks at the whole person: nutrition, movement, sleep hygiene, meditation, stress management, and finding meaning in what you do – doesn’t matter what it is, just that it has meaning and you honor it.

For most people it’s go and do, do, do, do, do, do, do. It’s a society of ‘you’re feeling anxiety, depression…ok we can give you this.’ But what’s the core of it? How can you function in the world if you’re not tending to your body in the world? I don’t like to call it self-care, it should just be how it is, you know what I mean?

When my dad was sick it was so interesting, the doctors wanted to do open heart surgery and I’m looking at the doctor saying do you see the patient in the bed? He’s diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, he’s 90 pounds over weight, prostate cancer…and you want to cut his chest open and give him open heart surgery? I said we’ll go with plan B. He didn’t have the surgery and he never did have another heart attack. 

Advice

At 59 it’s like I’m already half way to the exit so maybe my advice would be to educate yourself and become more comfortable with death – don’t be fearful of it. I just think that could be a really huge gift. Some people think it’s nutty but there’s something called a soul retrieval, it’s basically a spiritual journey where you find out what tools you might need for the transition. My dad did one and when he passed he felt so confident, like he had everything he needed and just went. Have a good death – it’s part of the process.

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Laine Valentino

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