I find the Permaculture flower is one of the best tools for this. Over the 10 years I have been working with Permaculture I have seen how our designs can be much more relevant and useful if we address each petal of the flower. You could almost look at it as a checkbox to tick when creating designs. It is the health and spiritual well-being petal of the flower that I would like to explore here, the effect that we have on our environment.
Back when I was studying for my diploma in applied Permaculture design, I was learning about communities around the world. At that same time I was living at the Panya Project, a education center, example Permaculture site and international community in Thailand. There I experienced the joy of being part of a collective that is more than the sum of it’s parts. I also lived through the difficulties of living in community, when things become out of balance or when life throws up challenges.
And here is where Non Violent Communication (NVC) comes in. Also described as 'compassionate or collaborative' communication, NVC offers a set of guidelines that can be a very useful tool to address these problems that most communities face.
Hand in hand with healthy communication, there is another common thread that weaves through the 10% that got past ten years: spirituality, of some sort or another. A belief in something greater. This takes many forms, but the point is there was something that bonded them together on a higher level and acted as a filter, something that helped guide their actions.
I have heard the word freedom a lot over the years. To be really free it requires ownership and taking responsibility. From my experience, working with both of these practices can help us to cultivate a deeper connection to ourselves and others. Which leads to a more joyful and productive experience of life. Isn't
that what many of us want that in our lives?
Matt Prosser 13.03.2018