Life Lessons Learned From Permaculture

I am an impatient and organised (to the point of ocd) woman. I write lists for almost everything, have a “to do” list on my device with reminders set and try to get things done yesterday instead of today or tomorrow. As you can understand, this way of life actually puts me under a lot of (self inflicted) stress. Stress takes an enormous toll on the body and manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, different for every individual.

I recently realised that I have to go gentler through life, without putting so much pressure on myself. Just focusing on day to day farm jobs is helping me focus on the now, instead of what still needs to be done. Tom has taken over the cows in the morning, but I have made it a point to come into the cow yard and give the cows a cuddle every morning, as well as tick them and feed the biodigester. I love handling the cows, it is very heart warming to get a connection with animals.

Photogenic Anna! Here she is smiling for the camera!
Photogenic Anna! Here she is smiling for the camera!

It also occurred to me I need to relax. By putting myself under so much stress constantly, my body has forgotten how to turn itself off. To achieve relaxation I will have to let go. Letting go sounds easier than it is. It means trusting the natural flow of life and having faith that everything will turn out okay. I am still working on this by reminding myself regularly that anything that happened in the past no longer exists, whatever may happen in the future is not (yet) real and all we really have is right now. The present is a gift!

Living with Permaculture and observing nature is a wonderful way of being taught to live in the moment and be patient. I no longer cook according to a menu, I just make whatever is ready to be eaten at the time. Some things still need a little bit of organising (which appeases my ocd side!) eg. planting seeds when they need to be so we have succession of foods in the garden. Allowing Permaculture to look after me is a difficult process, as this means I have to allow myself not to be fully in control (did I mention I am a bit of a control freak as well?). I do believe though, that in order to be truly healthy I have to allow the flow to carry me, rather than me trying to direct the flow. Nature is our greatest teacher, in so many ways!

The pond in the morning at Maungaraeeda, home of and the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Inc
The pond in the morning at Maungaraeeda, home of and the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Inc

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Reproduced with permission and with sincere thanks to

Zaia Kendall

Zaia grew up in a family of musicians in Holland, and has a background in top sport and web development and design. She co-founded the PRI Luganville and PRI Sunshine Coast Inc with Tom, and runs all the background stuff, like finances, business administration, website design and maintenance, writes articles, records and edits videos and also organises the cooking and the kitchen on site. She has been researching and studying nutrition and health for 20+ years, has a certificate in Nutrition and continues to study by research, reading and daily observation. She is a certified member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapists and is a holistic food, health and lifestyle coach. She is also an active member of several musical projects and bands, involved in community music and runs occasional percussion workshops. Visit Zaia's website at DIY Food and Health.

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