More and more people agree…permaculture has much more to it than simply growing food. Realistically, if people don’t get on, then very little food growing, creativity and contentment will occur!
‘People Care’ is part of the three ethics of permaculture, the others are the often explored earth-care and fair-share. People care is tricky, because people and their needs vary so much from person to person, family to family, group to group and culture to culture.
So what are the ways to live harmoniously with others…? The lists are endless! What works…? Well, that depends on who you are and how you perceive things.
Here is one simple take on how to live together…
The big question, why are you here!? What is it that lights your fire and how does ‘it’ look.
Clarifying your vision of how you want your life to look is not only important to you but gives you the ability to communicate to those around you. Write it up, mind-map it, scrapbook it with images, draw it with coloured pens, timeline it, find out who you want to do it with and what resources you have at your disposal. Show it to others and see if they share or overlap with it in any areas!
Affirmation: ”I trust the vision of my heart”
As our friend, Alan, says ”We have two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we talk!”
Listening is key. But it’s not just listening with your ears and time, it’s listening with your heart. Find out what people are sharing with you, beyond the words.
Listening can be difficult if someone is sharing a point of view you don’t agree with, or giving you tough feedback, or are in a state of anger or distress. It can evoke a range of reactions. Listening means slowing down the reactivity time and giving yourself time to process the effect of their message and ponder the purpose of their message. Listening gives you the choice of how to respond.
Affirmation: ”I welcome all that life offers!”
This one takes some practice! Listen to yourself. Take time to read the cues…the emotional ones, the physical ones. Your body can be the barometer of your mental state.
It’s going to give the ‘heads up’ to what’s important to you. The challenge can be that sometimes our mind tells us a different story to the one our body does. So take some time to listen to yourself like an old friend.
When you can be clear about your state of being, your needs and your vulnerabilities, you can communicate them to others.
Affirmation: “I feel, listen to and love myself unconditionally.”
When you can clearly understand yourself, you can share it with others. Speaking up takes courage and vulnerability. It helps to know what you are asking for and why.
Simple things help like…
- Be kind to whoever you are talking to. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Treating people as friends and not enemies. This will help to shift the interaction from one of defence and hurt to an upfront, friendly, matter-of-fact, heart exchange.
- Let go of the past and let go of resentments.
- Don’t let behaviours and feelings fester unresolved or unacknowledged. Speak up and clear the air – with gentleness!
Affirmation: ”I speak with integrity, kindness and courage.”
Know the Boundaries
Find out what your needs are for personal space and ‘together-time’. Talk about it with your household, family or work friends.
Figure out when you can share time together or offer privacy to one another. Mutual acknowledgement of the situation is important, with acceptance, understanding and forgiveness.
We all have different levels of need for privacy and togetherness. People range from somewhere on the line between extreme introvert to extrovert. The important thing is to work out how to create a space where each person can experience comfort and connectivity in a meaningful way.
Affirmation: ”I rejoice in our similarities and honour our differences.”
Have a Tool Kit!
Here a some the tools I’ve worked with to help maintain equilibrium, process the inner gremlins, decompress and recharge, and tune in to my inner voice.
Check them out….
- Marshall Rosenberg’s NVC (Non Violent Communication)
- The Work of Byron Katie
- Yoga Nidra
- the tools and writing of Eckhart Tolle
- The teachings of Adyashanti
- a long, hot bath
- chopping wood