10 Ways Permaculture Principles Can Help Your Relationships
10 Ways Permaculture Principles Can Help Your Relationships
By Kim Millar / permaculture.co.uk

Do you mulch your relationships? Kim Millar explains how Permaculture principles work just as much in the home, as they do in the garden

Most of us don't 'design' our relationships consciously, we're more likely to stumble and/or bumble along in the hopes that they'll grow in the right direction. They usually catch our attention only when things have gone wrong and we scramble around trying to stop things from unraveling.

But imagine if we put the same thought and attention into building a relationship as we do to creating a productive, efficient garden, increasing our vegetable yields and improving water harvesting?

Here are some parallels I drew whilst recently learning about Permaculture and its relevance to relationship.

1. Mulching

A relationship is a growing organism, create the right environment and it will thrive. Mulching offers several things including nourishment, protection and effective action with least effort. So how do you mulch a relationship? By paying attention and being more observant, learning to listen, understand & communicate more openly; simple gestures of care and affection can bring about amazing changes rapidly.

2. Greater productivity lies at the Edges

Relationships have their growing – and dying – 'edges'. Just before a relationship is about to move to the next phase there will be a great deal of productivity. Sometimes that can be arguments, disagreements, upsets and misunderstandings. It can also be feelings of deeper connection, greater love, more respect and trust.

Either way there will be an increase in emotional 'productivity'. Be curious about the emotions, about what changes are occurring, we can use this productivity wisely to build a strong and more resilient next phase.

3. Design for co-operation rather than competition

Make sure your companion planting takes everyone's needs into consideration! Just like a plant, we communicate our wellbeing by healthy productivity. It is really important to understand that some people compete to win and some to lose and those who compete to lose will do so in order to win later. Both styles of competition uses up nutrients in the relationship soil. A healthy relationship design is one where everyone thrives and feels valued.

4. Use the least effort to create the biggest effect

This translates simply as 'be authentic'. It is the small, genuine gestures that work the most effectively. The language of the heart is the communication that resonates most clearly, goes the deepest and lasts the longest.

5. The yield is only limited by the imagination of the designer

Every relationship is deserving of a Vision, what Vision do you have for your relationship? What do you believe is possible? What yield are you hoping for (closeness, co-operation, laughter, trust, forgiveness)? If the yield seems low, it may be time for you to study the relationship from a new perspective, to open up your imagination and get creative!

6. Appropriate technology is that which can be easily applied

If your relationships are hard work and feel like you're trying to push the river uphill, its a sign that you are going against the natural flow. Stop. Give yourself some breathing space and think about what is really being called for and what it is you are capable of giving, easily, authentically and wholeheartedly.

7. Start small and work out from well managed areas

It helps to assess what is working well and build on it. Trying to make big changes or address difficult challenges can seem frightening and overwhelming. Learning to chunk things down in to manageable pieces helps relieve the stress and creates a better focus.

8. Turn problems into solutions

Weeds and pests get into relationships too. They're made up of beliefs, thoughts and experiences we bring from the past and can take hold in a relationship, creating feelings of suffocation and heartbreak. 10% of pain in a relationship comes from the present, 90% is old childhood hurt being recycled. I often see relationships blossom when people discover that hiding beneath the pain is a new level of connection and friendship.

9. Mistakes are opportunities for learning

To embrace this principle we need to retrain our minds to see mistakes differently; not as a something deserving punishing but as behaviour that simply need correcting. It can be scary at first to open up and talk about mistakes and misunderstandings, it makes us feel vulnerable and defenceless.

The safest and most effective tool in relationship is empathy, it takes the charge out of situations and makes space for forgiveness. Forgiveness means being willing to 'yield' to 'give way'. But if we look at the productive concept of 'yield' you can see how forgiveness is a way to improve harvest!

10. Everything Gardens

To live a meaningful life it is important to give everything meaning. Everything that happens in our life, every event, every encounter is helping us to grow and evolve as individuals. We are all on a journey to fulfilling our potential; the events and lessons we are presented with are there to help us be more productive, if we have the eyes to see it.

Just like the Earth, relationships are a rich and precious resource. Once we view them as source of opportunities for growth and development, any emotion or experience becomes the organic matter to be composted and processed in order to promote growth, health and well-being. 

With a strong focus on transformational communication and personal development Kim says "Human beings are wired for connection and built for relationships. I believe much of our unhappiness comes from a loss of connection. If we lack effective tools to communicate and problem solve about it, the increased distance deepens misunderstandings and prevents hurt feelings from being resolved. Sometimes it takes a little courage to learn new skills and reverse this trend – but the rewards are infinite". 

Based in Hampshire, UK, Kim offers Relationship Training in innovative emotional intelligence skills.

To see many more inspiring articles, please visit www.relationshiptraining.co.uk  or email Kim at kim@relationshiptraining.co.uk  You can also contact her on 07789 408378 or click here to to view her twitter page.

Interested in this approach to permaculture? You may also be interested in People and Permaculture - caring and designing for ourselves, each other and the planet by Looby Macnamara.

 
mulching-and-planting-at-kostilkovo.jpg

Help spread the permaculture word...

4.7 ·
5
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 10,446 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 9,364 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump
Tim Dickinson · 7,946 views today · Though it's important to fight Trump's policies, "it's at the values level that we need to do a reset," says Jones
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 7,265 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
This Polish Ad Will Give You The Feels, For Reals
3 min · 7,236 views today · This is an ad for Allegro, a Polish company similar to eBay, and it's heartwarmingly lovely.
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 6,378 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 4,754 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 4,256 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 3,335 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
Why You Should Stop Apologizing for Doing All That You Can
Kelly Hayes · 3,307 views today · I’ve noticed lately that a lot of allies and accomplices I talk to about NoDAPL and other struggles will name what they are trying to contribute to the cause, and then promptly...
David Graeber: We Need a Revolution in the Way We Think about "Work"
4 min · 3,108 views today · David Graeber on the Value of Work. Does the world really need neuroadvertisers, PR researchers and branding consultants? Renowned academic and coiner of the ‘we are the 99%’...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 2,019 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Black on Black Crime Isn't a Myth
Donyae Coles · 1,793 views today · Let’s talk about Black on Black crime. Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, specifically likely in regards to Black people murdered by other Black people. Perhaps you’ve...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,600 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
Swanage Protectors Camp - Campaigning to Stop New Oil and Gas Exploration in Dorset, UK
7 min · 1,482 views today · The planning permission for an exploratory oil rig near Swanage ran out on 3rd December 2016. A good day all round for those campaigning against the fossil fuel industry. Hear...
Time-Lapse Satellite Images Give a Startling Snapshot of Past 30 Years on Earth
2 min · 1,389 views today · Working with satellite images from NASA and the US Geological Survey, Google has created a searchable snapshot of the past 3 decades on Earth, creating startling time-lapses of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,310 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
It's The Damn Police
Walter Fields · 1,298 views today · From an early age Blacks are socialized to live defensively and to absorb the mental body blows that come from the day-to-day indignities that are hoisted upon us by the very...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,275 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
A New History for Humanity - the Human Era
8 min · 1,217 views today · It is time to reframe how we think about our past. We need a new year 0 for humanity. But which one should we choose and why?
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
10 Ways Permaculture Principles Can Help Your Relationships