Life Coaching Pieces – Inner & Social Permaculture

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I’m taking a few amazing programs, some of them free, some as an exchange of skills and some paid. They all come from eco-psychology and holistic life coaching…

I want to share some of them here because in my life journey, I have seen that the Inner and Social pieces of permaculture are even more important than any regenerative landscape or design: we may create sustainable structures and produce beauty and food for all in nature-friendly ways, but if we don’t listen and work on our People-Care, none of that will work for long enough.

The following pieces come from courses, coaching and conversations I have had with Garliq (Herbalista and Holistic Life Coach) and Jon Young (Wilderness Awareness School Instructor and coach for the Renewal of Creative Path program from the 8Shields Institute)

Difference between voting and consensus

The difference between voting and consensus and how that plays out in your inner life/decision making as well as your relationships: when you vote, 51% may rule over the other 49%. That’s not fair for the 49% and depending on what decisions are made, it may be a significant loss. Sooner or later, that 49% will start building resentment and expressing it in one way or another. This, translated into your inner life may make you feel frustrated, angry and “not listened to” when you make a decision that doesn’t please all the parts that form what you call “I” It’s even easier to see how this plays out in a relationship of any kind… Those un-listened parts/people will speak so loud that you will eventually have to take action or may become mentally or physically sick (or, in case of relationships, this may translate into fights, grudges and eventual separation, abuse, etc.). In consensus, on the other hand, you allow all your “parts” to speak up and ask what they need/want…it may take longer but once you reach a point you all are happy to negotiate, the inner voices won’t make you crazy…

In coaching, we call this “shadow work” and it’s an amazing technique to observe, allow to speak and eventually accept your internal, relationship-wise or even collective shadows. In a culture where “light” and the “positive” is always celebrated and where the shadow is hide or rejected, this may be a daunting work. How many times we make decisions that later regret or make us unhappy, choices we don’t fully support and negotiations that leave us feeling uneasy and self-cheating?

Re-connecting – a work of love

Imagine that you are able to design your life according to your gifts and guided by both nature and a supportive culture…that’s exactly what you do when you take the RoCP with the people from 8Shields, and that is the work I do with young and the young at heart in my life design holistic coaching at Ethical Pathways: finding ways to be of use to nature and our cultures through our gifts…

Think about moments in your life when you were fully alive, when you felt full of compassion and unconditional love, when you had a quiet and connected mind, when you where whole…what were you doing? What was happening? Where were you and with whom?

Think about moments where you experienced the opposite of above and ask yourself similar questions…

Putting those two together may give you clues of where the shadows lay or where there may be a need to go back and do some consensus; what things, processes and people you are supporting with your time and energy and which ones are draining you, which ones are supporting and filling you back.

Consensus, however, is not always possible. As this amazing ebook by Starhawk shows, there are times when other ways may have to be used: such is the case of emergencies or when deep values (non-negotiable ones) are involved.

We all carry archetypes: some are shared throughout cultures and times; some are more personal and come from family or personal history. Every archetype has a shadow side that cast on the opposite of what they came to teach us…every archetype who forms your internal “family” has always something to teach you about yourself and the world.

We all also carry the burden and trauma (as well as the resilient elements) of our ancestors: that’s the origin of all current trauma, disconnection and addictions. It’s only by looking at these, by discovering the archetypes governing your life and the shadows you haven’t allowed to speak that we all will heal.

And as Richard Louv (author of Last Child in the Woods & The Nature Principle said: “The future belongs to the nature smart”: there’s no way to quiet your mind and find inner compassion to allow for this discovery and consensus, unless you connect first with nature.

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