017: How to create paradise, better the world, or carry out any other utopian-sounding, desperately-needed solution.
I've been swooning over dome homes for 15 years. Here's an article I wrote about them five years ago: "Live outside the box. Literally." It's shocking, how quickly those years add up... the ones you spend doing something OTHER than what you really want to be doing. Those "safe" years roll around and before you know it -- POOF! -- it's been a life.
Life is not to be saved. Life is to be spent.
And we can spend it on days that are delicious and daring... months and years that are satisfying and sustainable. We can DISRUPT the current cultural story of tolerating work we dislike, to buy wrecklessly designed things, to console ourselves about a constantly repressed and restrained life.
Like many sensitive, empathic people, I walk around with a strongly felt sense of the needs and pains of the world. And with that empathic awareness also came a desire to respond... to use my life in a helpful, improving, relieving way. All the approaches I have tried -- (such as environmental activism, spiritual caregiving, grant-writing for nonprofits and other attempts to "do good" in the world) -- these were all simple one-dimensional solutions, for complex multi-dimensional problems.
Knowing better, is doing better.
So when I was introduced to an ethical, regenerative design science that, to quote Geoff Lawton, "provides all the needs of humanity in a way that benefits the environment" I LITERALLY have been unable to think about anything else. I am obsessed with creating and finding effective ways to SHARE THE SOLUTIONS offered by this design science, and systems thinking, in general.
Design expresses and arranges energy in physical form. Regenerative design -- permaculture -- does that in a way that leaves the earth better than we found it. I simply do not know of a worthier pursuit. I commit:
My first order of business is earning certifications in both Superadobe Earth Architecture from Cal-Earth, and in Permaculture Design from Midwest Permaculture. This joint training is happening in Hesperia, California in the Mojave Desert. I'll be there, camping on their grounds, from October 5th through 19th. I'll celebrate a birthday there. And most importantly, I'll step more fully into my role as an advocate for biophilia, lifestyle sanity, personal authority, ecological and emotional literacy, and regenerative design for all of Life's systems.
Permaculture proves that Heaven on Earth is feasible. Flourishing life for ALL is possible. It is doable. Achievable. A desert has been turned into a garden oasis, for goodness sake. This is not hippie-dippie-new-age-brew-ha-ha. (Even though I have a lot of love for such brew.) This is empirically, measurably, verifiably REAL solution-rich science that we have had an embarrassingly underwhelming response to. It is a sad commentary of our "sapient" species that we have not stopped and dropped everything, to simply implement better, smarter designs.
I've been studying and writing about this topic to increase awareness about permaculture and earth architecture. They are not mainstream knowledge, and they absolutely should be. As long as we are in need of shelter and true food for our survival, these wise methodologies should have much greater influence in our civic and private lives. Despite the strangeness of the word. Despite culture's current separation from nature and wilderness. Despite the popular tendency to avoid deep, solitary or revolutionary thought, in favor of bread and circuses.
When you dislike the idiocy or harmfulness of things around you, YOU CAN OBJECT WITH YOUR LIFE. You can withdraw your money, attention and energy from things that shrink your soul. Rather quickly, the objection morphs into the most meaningful, engaging and well-provided existence you could have ever hoped for.
8th Permaculture principle: Integrate, rather than separate.
There are 12 permaculture principles -- distilled by David Holmgren, and listed in totality here -- that serve as wonderful filters and guides to use in decision-making and life-shaping. We've been going through each one individually, taking our time considering how they apply not just to the creation of food, fiber and fuel, but also to the support of our emotional and spiritual well-being.
This 8th principle is no different. "Integrate rather than separate."
Culture clings to a Cartesian legacy we have long outgrown: reductionistic thinking. On wide and massive scales, we reduce learning, healing, creating and even loving to the mechanized sum of its parts. We treat minds, bodies and relationships as if they were lifeless machines. But a breast is not a bumper. And a mind was not intended to be bridled and sedated.
Reduction is easy. Integration is work.
It took me a good, long while to fully INTEGRATE my loves of curved, earth architecture + sacred geometry, deep ecology, voluntary simplicity, personal freedom + time sovereignty, and figuring out how to live IN HARMONY with my rhythms, my values and my very beloved current home planet, Earth. Choosing to integrate my life, rather than maintain the previously separated one, has been the most frightening and liberating thing I've ever done. And am continuing to do.
This post is a butterfly bush!
I planted it to attract strategic partnerships in the following 4 ways with:
Oh, and to fulfill the implied promise made in the title of this post podcast:
Q: How do you create paradise, better the world, or carry out any other utopian-sounding, desperately-needed solution?
A: You DECIDE that you will.
Big thanks to Cheryl Ann Williamson for mentoring me this Summer
in the beautiful World Garden, where I took the pictures below.
Share your dreams + ideas with me!
Thanks for reading mine.
Belize City, BZ