Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos: Take Care of Each Other

Permaculture is based on three ethical values: Take Care of Our Planet, Take Care of Each Other, and Share Your Extra. These three core ethical values comprise the ethos of Permaculture Plus Houskeeping. Here’s the second: Take Care of Each Other

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“We’re all just walking each other home.” - Ram Dass

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - Ahimsa

I love the yamas and niyamas of yoga. They’re sort of like the ten commandments, only they’re for yoga. The first yama, ahimsa, says that we should do no harm. The way I read this, this means not only refraining from doing harms to others, but also refraining from doing harm to yourself. Ahimsa is a perfect idea to bring to a permaculture design system, in which many different living elements coexist together.

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - Loving Yourself

An important part of Ahimsa is loving yourself. Permaculture says that you should care for the people, and pro tip: you are one of the people. So take care of yourself. This includes resting when you’re tired, eating when you’re hungry, cutting back on your responsibilities when you’re overwhelmed, taking breaks, challenging yourself, and cultivating a self-respectful internal dialogue. It’s an amazing thing to walk through life as you own best friend, and I highly recommend it.

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - Humble Inquiry

By far, my favorite way to talk to another person is to use Humble Inquiry. Humble Inquiry is my hammer, and every conversation is a nail. By removing yourself from the center, you open yourself up to worlds of discovery about the other person. Conflict gets reduced. Memories form. I spend entire days trying to keep Humble Inquiry at the forefront of my mind, because those days, quite simply, have the best conversations in them.

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - The End of Competition

Capitalism is a great system for fostering competition. And, to be perfectly honest, I’m not above a wee bit tad of competition now and then, as a game. But competition is built on a foundation of scarcity. In permaculture design theory, there’s enough respect, food, love, and shelter to go around, and the trick becomes engaging in effective collaboration to benefit all. (Or just making tea for each other.)

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - Assuming Good Intentions

A good way to start building effective collaborations is to move away from a default state of suspicion and competitiveness and over to an expectation of good intentions. If you believe that the other person has your best interests at heart, you’re less likely to sabotage an otherwise successful collaboration with second-guessing, drama, and overthinking.

Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Design Ethos - Loving Each Other Exactly the Way We Are

  • This is how you inspire other people to flourish.

If only he wouldn’t leave is socks under his desk. If only she would be more respectful. If only my child was learning more math. If only this person would change. That’s a sort of default mindset in our culture - wishing that other people would change. But it’s problematic, because insisting or intimating that people should change shames them, closes them off, and causes conflict. Plus - you’re not their master. Who are you to dictate their change?

Instead, love people exactly the way they are. That doesn’t mean that you should suffer or abuse or disrespect - remove yourself from those situations immediately. But allow people to be exactly, perfectly who they are and watch how your loving celebration of who they are helps them to grow into the most empowered and loving version of themselves.

Just because you’re taking care of people doesn’t mean that you can’t study them.

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Permaculture Plus Houskeeping Footnotes!

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