Beginning My Permaculture Journey

Well, I have finally done it! I am getting a certification in Permaculture Design.

It was about 20 years ago that I first read the word in print reading an a perennial wisdom in Quest Magazine, a publication of the Theosophical Society. There was a brief story about how Sepp Holzer returned fertility to a parcel of land in the alps by slowing down every drop of water that landed on the landscape using “permaculture.” It was one of those concepts that resonated so purely that my busy mind was able to focus on it singularly, with a quiet mind. Something that people who meditate practice over and over with a mantra. I knew that this word symbolized something that would be a major part of my life; my mantra. Yet it was something that I knew little about.

It was with permaculture in mind that I started the blog Cultivating Leadership 5 years ago. I was working my masters, my son was 2 years old and I could not articulate what permaculture was. I sensed that permaculture was the ultimate metaphor for leadership in complex systems. I guessed that permaculture would correspond to creativity, community and learning somehow.

As I blogged about neuroscience, cooperation, inquiry and conversation as practices of leadership, I knew I was exploring some good stuff. I believed the best outcomes for leaders could be cultivated; that leadership was in essence an act design.

Since then, I launched the Community Conversations Project, finished my thesis on Regenerative Systems and graduated with a masters in Applied Behavioral Science. I was invited to a Transition Training and thought I was home but soon after I moved across the country and began working as a teacher in higher education for a for-profit institution.

Now, I am on sabbatical studying permaculture with Lisa Fernandes at The Resilience Hub at Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. And, so it begins.

According to David Holmgren (Permaculture Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability) and there are the three permaculture ethics:

              • Care of the Earth
              • Care of People 
              • Fair Share

Turns out they correspond quite well with creativitycommunity and learning. Especially if you feel like I do that we as people on this planet are learning about how to share and care.

Originally published as on Cultivating Leadership Blog 5/16/2012 

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