Permaculture and Relationships

In our recent permaculture class we focused on applying permaculture principles to our relationships. When we don’t have a solid relationship with ourselves and our surrounding environment, we end up mimicking the very system that we are trying to change. With the understanding that we are an integral part of our ecosystem, we can cultivate fertile soil within ourselves, using the same precautions and principles that we would in our gardens to our relationships.

Permaculture is rooted in relationships. Our relationship to Earth, our community, our natural resources, our food, our local economy, and the web of life. Relationships are a vital resource that holds our livelihood together. Everything within Nature is interconnected and as we allow ourselves to live lives that are integrated into the webs of life, we experience the relationships that exist all around us. We live in a way that is holistic, whole-systems, and connected, rather than the Western lifestyle that is rooted in individualism, isolation, and competition.

A biodiverse garden at Alex Nikesh’s in Bonita Springs, Florida

When we look at a polycultural system, we see there is a large range of biodiversity that contributes to the health of each plant and soil. It creates more resiliency when we aren’t relying on just one plant to give us what we may need. We also create a system that doesn’t allow our entire garden to be completely susceptible to insects, as compared to a monoculture crop that hosts a feast for pests to wipe out. If that plant were to be susceptible to pests, what would we eat? How would we nourish ourselves? Due to our ability to create biodiversity, we have a garden that withstands varying effects. We create a system that is able to stand strong against any challenges. This system can easily be applied to our relationships as well.

This brings me to the permaculture ethic of people care. By existing within a community, we are able to live a life that is rich, resilient, and capable of creating more abundance than one could ever do alone. We come back to our tribe, where traditional societies began. When we create a diverse system of relationships, we are able to become more reliant on our own community than the industrialized system. By incorporating diversity, we allow each individual in our life to contribute in their own unique manner, accepting them fully for who they show up as and not fully relying on them to fulfill all of our needs.

Sweet sisters Tati and Cathy at the Florida Permaculture Convergence

This has been a huge realization for me within relationships, romantic or not. Creating underlying expectations for how each individual should show up in my life and becoming disappointed when they didn’t meet this subconscious expectation. I don’t hold expectations for my plants in my garden to give me certain things they aren’t capable of! I fully accept them and honor them for what they do give. However, I plant a wide variety of plants within the garden, allowing my needs to be filled through my diversity. When we are able to fully accept everyone for where they are at and not rely on one individual for our needs to be met, we are able to have an unconditionally loving relationship, fully embracing what each individual uniquely offers.

Now, I want to share that my messages come from a place of learning from my own mistakes, observing, accepting feedback and applying self-regulation. I have placed all of my eggs into one basket many times within relationships, leaving myself completely degenerative at the end of it. My garden was depleted. I have relied on one person to meet all of my needs and always end up in despair and disappointment in the end. But I recognize that I was the one who placed them into that box. I allowed them to “fill my garden,” rather than cultivate my own fertile soil and have them be one of the many diverse plants that nourished me.

I am dedicating myself to learn from my previous mistakes and compost them, allowing them to nourish my inner garden with wisdom and compassion, giving nutrients to those relationships I seek to cultivate. I’m completely humbled with the amount of information to learn, digest, and integrate.

My goddess water sister Helen at Blue Springs

I am accepting feedback & applying self-regulation to my relationships in my life. How can I show up in a way that’s more regenerative? How can I create more diversity within my human relationships so my needs aren’t dependent upon just one? How can I be more accepting and less judgmental of what each individuals needs and yields are, meeting them where they are at, just as I would a plant in my garden?

I am grateful for all of the gardens, forests, plants, and animals leading me to the Truth. I’m grateful for the space to observe Earth’s wisdom and share it with others. If we take time to stop and be present, the Truth is ever-present.

With so much love and appreciation,

Mandalynn


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