Permacultures, both of the soil and the soul, follow an ethical means to a bountiful yield in alignment with the design of nature. Both seek conscious, cooperative, co-creative coexistence and a sustainability of thriving —'of the soil,' with the earth and 'of the soul', within oneself and in relationship with all that is. In this case, soul refers to the whole human.
Whereas 'of the soil' focuses on the elements, forces and patterns of nature such as earth, air, fire, water and sunlight, 'permaculture of the soul' attends to the subtle energies and capacities within each human and the pattern for the individual in the original design.
Saundra Wolfe wrote, "The common characteristic of all permaculture systems is that all the energy needed by the system is provided by the system: It is self-sufficient." This is true also in permaculture of the soul as the human system becomes personally self-sufficient, needing no external attention, acknowledgment, re-assurance, or other psychological or emotional energies for well-being.
Wolfe also states in the beginner's guide, "The heart of permaculture is its values and ethics, which involve taking a personal responsibility for caring for the earth." The same holds true in the practice of permaculture of the soul, which has personal values and ethics at its heart, and is all about accepting 100% responsibility for one's actions, motives and energies and unfolding into the fullest expression of one's potential.
Nature designs for efficiency. Her structures and living systems are designed for the efficient collection, storage, usage and dispersal of energies, for high yield and low waste. Nature seeks the continuation and expansion of the complex, inter-connected, multi-dimensional expression of the one consciousness which inhabits Everything.
Humans have the capacity to work with or against natural design. Outside indigenous peoples and conscious individuals, human methods and behaviors of today are contrary to nature. This can be seen in the depletion of resources without renewal and the waste products of society. Non-alignment with the original design is the root cause of imbalances which lead to all of the threatening problems which face humanity.
Many are the approaches with intent to address these issues, yet where is the efficiency? There will be no whole solution until there is an approach from a perspective of the whole. I feel it begins with the individual, as each is a microcosm of the whole and each has the in-born capacity to make conscious choices. Individual subtle energies such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, will and desire can be attended to with choices for high yield and low waste. When choices are made to let go of what hinders and embrace what nurtures and supports personal expansion (referring to the person within and including psycho-spiritual and emotional maturity,) the individual is starting to practice permaculture of the soul.
From "Regenerative Permaculture Design - a beginner's guide to designing a truly livable world" - by Saundra Wolfe, Regenerative Leadership Institute:
Observation of nature reveals that cooperative species and associations of self-supporting species (e.g. mycorrhiza on tree roots) create healthy and resilient communities.
When we expand this idea of cooperation to the natural systems of the Earth as a whole, we understand that all life has common needs and so is interdependent. Understanding that we are all family and we need each other leads us to evolve ethics of sustainable and sensible behavior. - page 11
The basis of permaculture is beneficial design, whereby actions are taken that benefit the system as a whole. Therefore, the concept of permaculture can be applied to almost any human activity or system. - page 12
In the practice of permaculture of the soul, certain insights have been most potent for me. I repeat these silently and aloud through the day, feeling them. They return me from thoughts of the past and projections of the future into the present moment, remind me that there is an original design (such as the healing process of nature) and that opening my heart to give and receive is a choice. I have found that while acceptance is generally beneficial, being authentically grateful for what is — even for the things I have aversion or resistance towards — is super self-empowering.
With all my practice, I still miss opportunities for shifting from what hinders to what nurtures and supports — but I catch it earlier and often am able to make the shift after realizing my inner contraction. There was an occurrence of this recently, when I contracted towards others due to unconsciously trying to control the situation. I placed blame on others, making the contraction more binding. At first, pride and self-righteousness blocked me from taking self-responsibility. But when I saw it and let go of control and took 100% responsibility, the softening and expansion of my experience was richly rewarding. These are the insights I've found most potent:
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. - Walter Eliot
As technology and science progress, we discover more and more the inner-relatedness of all things. What before seemed unrelated, now is known to be related.) Our moods affect our breathing; and our breathing also affects our moods.
The chemicals in our brain and our DNA shape our thoughts, but it is also proven that our constant thought patterns can physically change the brain and our DNA. Our thinking and moods are also affected by the music we hear, movies we watch, books we read, and all other types of media, environment, food (here and here), and people.
So, it seems everything has an influence on our consciousness. Our mind is so volatile, our will power so fragile, our world so distracting. How can we then hope to remain steady in any path or goal?
Here is the magic of perseverance, a virtue extolled by many great man and women. Perseverance is an unshakable commitment to a path, a goal, an activity, or an ideal. It is firm and uncompromising. It doesn't ask how are you feeling today, or what you feel like doing now. It says: "No matter what, I will ______". It is positive stubbornness in honouring ourselves, our word, and our vision. This vision and effort, then, will also affect everything else. Exercise
What are the really important commitments in your life? Where is your "no matter what"? Happy growing, Giovanni Dienstmann LiveandDare.com