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.


Help spread the permaculture word...

4.7 · 5
What's Next
Load Comments
Trending Today
Confessions of a Walmart Hitman
11 min · 6,751 views today · Former Walmart executive recounts how he would watch Associates sit in the break room during their lunch hour without eating because they couldn't afford food. Walmart banned...
A Brief History of European Colonization in Africa
4 min · 5,998 views today · This clip, narrated by Kevin Spacey, comes from the feature documentary Uganda Rising. It shows how Africa was carved up by European colonial forces, using divide and rule...
Native American Responses to Thanksgiving
2 min · 5,792 views today · We invited Native Americans to respond to the word "Thanksgiving." These are their responses.
How the Elite Deal With Sparks of Revolt
Bill Blunden · 4,319 views today · “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half” —Jay Gould Metanoia Films has released a new documentary, Plutocracy: Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule)...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 3,971 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,655 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...
John Pilger: "There Is No War On Terror... There Is A War OF Terror."
3 min · 3,562 views today · John Pilger speaks frankly about the "War on Terror," saying that no such thing exists. "There is a war OF terror," he says, and it is primarily state-sponsored terror, and...
Endless Economic Growth is Fundamentally Unsustainable
George Monbiot · 3,216 views today · The belief that economic growth can be detached from destruction appears to be based on a simple accounting mistake.
'Boys Send Me Rape Threats, So I Tell Their Moms': Meet the Woman Fighting Online Harassment
Kali Holloway · 2,581 views today · Rape threats are an all-too-common reality for women online. Just as often, the anonymity of the Internet makes it nearly impossible to strike back at trolls. What’s more, as...
The Image Hollywood Created of Africa
3 min · 2,191 views today · After viewing Mama Hope's video, "Alex Presents Commando," Gabriel, Benard, Brian and Derrik (the Kenyan men in this video) told us they wanted to make one that pokes fun at...
We Created Islamic Extremism: Those Blaming Islam for ISIS Would Have Supported Osama Bin Laden in the '80s
Ben Norton · 2,086 views today · Jingoists conveniently forget the West's Cold War strategy was to arm the Islamic extremists that became al-Qaida
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 1,723 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A. (2015)
109 min · 1,557 views today · Plutocracy is the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class. A multi-part series by filmmaker Scott Noble, Part I focuses on...
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran · 1,545 views today · My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to...
Rebel Geeks - Steal From the Capitalists (2015)
25 min · 1,508 views today · Evan "Rabble" Henshaw-Plath is a coder, activist, anarchist, and a hacker. He is also one of the original developers of Twitter. Henshaw-Plath believes that, as a tech...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 1,183 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
The True Story of Native Peoples' Plight - From Genocide to Reeducation
25 min · 1,096 views today · Each November, Americans celebrate a mythical version of U.S. history. Thanksgiving Day's portrayal of the experience of Native Americans under the boot of settler-colonialism...
Man Vs Earth
5 min · 1,043 views today · Who Do You Think Will Win? Editor's note: We're big fans of Prince Ea's videos, and there's a lot of great stuff in this film, but sadly the ask at the end lets it down. We...
Monsanto: The Poison Expert That Wants to Feed Us
5 min · 974 views today · Is the ‘old’ Monsanto, the one responsible for producing Agent Orange, PCB’s and DDT and a terrible record at covering up and denying the tragedies that have resulted from...
Stunning Images of Deep Sea Creatures off the Coast of Puerto Rico Reveal Hidden World
2 min · 786 views today · Some sea creatures are so new to us, they don't even have names.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?