Mimicking the patterns of nature, allows us to operate with more harmony facilitating not only more water, animal habitat and healthy soils but also deeper friendships, a congruent work, lifestyle and thriving social systems. When we understand the principals and ethics of permaculture, we can apply them to design systems that have a greater output than input.
More popularly, permaculture is associated with designing land to support living systems in their growth. Through the facilitation of the interrelation between insects, plants, animals, contour lines, climate, slope and soil quality, land can be designed with a permaculture lens to facilitate more abundance.
By studying a forest, we can understand that it is important for the creation of "humus," meaning that the ground is covered by dead material that helps the soil to retain moisture. This is the first step to building healthy and fertile soil to grow food in.
Another way of putting permaculture to practice on land is to follow how the water naturally flows across the landscape to decide where the best place would be to have a garden, place a pond or build your home.
Applying permaculture to our landscapes can be an enriching life-long learning journey through trial and error and study in our local climates to live in greater harmony with our ecology.
When comparing human and natural ecosystems, we can view our governments, teams, communities, friendships and even romantic relationships as holistic and regenerative systems.
In a forest for example, what makes it such a resilient system is that it is diverse. Each life form plays a unique and pivotal role within it. It is the same with our communities. When we embrace diversity in all ways, the different perspectives, skill-sets, backgrounds and cultural traditions make the system stronger.
In nature, support is reciprocal. It works together towards one goal; growth. As humans, we can embrace this behavior and learn to support one another through sharing, caring, loving and bringing out the best in each other. Many methodologies and practices within this social aspect of permaculture that can be applied to support the cultivation of regenerative relations.
A lifestyle through a permaculture lens can take time but through small and slow steps, we can create lives that are nourishing to the body, mind, spirit and earth. We can look at our daily life as a whole system. If we assess each aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, to what we spend our money on, to who we surround ourselves with, to what we do for work, we can identify the areas where energy isn’t flowing between them.
Just as in nature, everything in our lives is connected. When one aspect is out of balance, it can change the whole system. If we take the time to assess all areas of our lives and understand where energy might be leaking or overextending, the entire system can be rebalanced with conscious awareness and practice.
We must water our inner garden and grow our roots deep to find the resilience and strength in our everyday life.
Instead of only focusing on monetary wealth, we can expand our perception to see the greater ecosystem of resources that we have available to us.
A book called Regenerative Enterprise by Ethan Roland and Gregory Landua outline a methodology called 8 Forms of Capital that helps to break down and expand all forms of wealth. This process can connect dots between available resources to show how one might be benefit another.
When we redefine wealth, we can learn to diversify our income streams, create passive income and find ways to cut costs through focusing on the flow and quality of wealth as opposed to the quantity.
Permaculture is a vast philosophy and body of work that can change lives and open up a more fulfilling and regenerative way of co-existing with humans and nature. Studying ecology can not only make us feel empowered through understanding how we are connected to our earth but also help us design our lives and communities in a holistic way. When we find this balance and understand our interconnection with nature, we can create more space in our lives to follow our heart and passions.