Shifting Conciousness Through Action

Rainbow Serpent 2013 Permaculture Workshop

On a blasting hot day at the Rainbow Serpent site, I awoke after having worked on the Permaculture Garden for the last 3 days. I was tired, the moon was heavy in my womb and I had pure Permaculture excietment running through my veins!

This has got to be one of my favourite facilitation sessions so far, using a really beautiful process to link everyones visionary future together to create a whole, diverse community of earth stewards!

This is what was written for the website and booklet:

PERMACULTURE: Shifting Consciousness through Action
Permaculture is the process of designing systems by observing and working with nature. Currently, the earth’s ecology and biological diversity is being compromised by globalisation, industry and our consumerist mind-set. There needs to be a change in our world if we are to see it evolve towards a vital, efficient and flourishing equilibrium.
During the workshop 'The Perma Pixie' will link what we wish to transform about our own lives and society using Permaculture Ethics and give us tools of action to sprout seeds of change. With a focus on productivity, community and self empowerment we can give rise to a new mindset, using observation and design ethics, to make informative choices that will aid our progression towards the world we are visioning together.

I was trying to prepare one of the processes prior to the workshop, which involved me pinning ribbon to the floor in the shape of a spiders web. I soon realized this was not going to work, as people kept flooding into the space. There were too many people to stand on each spoke of the spiders web! I quickly packed up my tools and ribbon and sat down in front of the audience that had gathered, about 40 people were there in total I would assume- The biggest class I have facilitated so far.

So, the whole point of this session was to empower people enough to take steps towards both sustainability and linking with community. I have been to countless festivals since I was 18, and I have seen both beautiful things and quite distressing things. I have seen people get together with wonderful intentions, and leave destruction in their wake for the animals and inhabitants of the land to deal with. I have heard so many people talk, talk, talk- and I have not seen much happen in the form of action. I don't expect people to give up their amazing relaxing dancing thumping fun time at festivals to work, work, work.... but, if we are all talking about similar things within this faeryland festival community, then imagine what we could DO?!
Imagine if all these like-minded folk got together and, for example, planted a garden at a festival?! Used their energy to build something?! or to discuss how they are going to tackle things back home?!
The amount of times I have heard people say they would love to live at this festival are endless... but, if it came to the crunch, how would we eat? where would our waste go? where would our water come from? We can't just trick ourselves into believing we could live this faerytale that relies so heavily on water and power from the mains.
I wanted to give people tools to link together, to connect, to inspire each other, to spark discussion, and to realise that small steps can be made to a sustainable future.

I firstly discussed what Permaculture is, what it is to me, how it has helped, what it means to me, and the many definitions.
Then I invited everyone to close their eyes and vision what they would like the world to be in 5-10yrs, their ideal world- how the social systems would be, how would people be fed, what kind of food they would eat, what the political systems are like, how people would treat each other etc.
Following this I explained the 4 Ethics of Permaculture:
- Earth Care
- People Car
- Fair Share
- Transition
We went around the group and I asked people to think of one thing they could do in their life that would lead to the future they envisioned, with one of these ethics in mind. Each person shared this with the group.
Now, pairing up, the group discussed their goal with one another. My favourite part of this workshop was when I asked the people within their pairs to now think of a way that they could help their partner achieve their goal.
This means, that without knowing anything about the world that their partner visualized, and no matter how different it was from their own, everyone was thinking of ways to help each other get to their own beautiful future as a diverse network, using one another to achieve goals as a supportive community- no matter how different our ideas, our own goals and our truths!
We closed the session in the Permaculture garden with a few inspiring quotes, and I hope that the group felt inspired and realized Permaculture can be applied to many areas of their lives to protect and restore both ours and our planets health and vitality.

Common Unity.


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