Design Your life With Permaculture 7: Design from patterns to details

Josh Davis
Thursday, 9th February 2017

How to apply permaculture principle, 'Design from patterns to details' to your own life, within work, hobbies, relationships and your free time.

Patterns are everywhere in the natural world. From the pattern of the seeds on a sunflower, to the migration and movement of animals around the planet, to the weather systems, to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, the natural world is made up of a series of complex patterns. Why should we be any different? If we can start to understand our own patterns we can learn so much about ourselves, the things that come naturally to us and what our passions in life are.

Work - Look at the style and atmosphere in which you thrive the most and aim to focus more and more on this style of work. Do you find writing easy but numbers difficult? Do you enjoy working on your own or with a great team of people? Do you like structure or flexibility? Everyone is different so it is important to identify what works best for you and set yourself up to do more of what you are interested in.

Freetime - When you are not being paid how do you spend your freetime? Observing the ways you spend time when you have the freedom to decide can help identify what you are most passionate about. If you find you spend all of your free time painting, maybe you should look for work as an artist, if you spend your free time playing sport, perhaps a sports coach is a better fit, if you love to cook, why not consider becoming a chef? If you are able to make money doing something that you would do for free, you will have an unparalleled level of work satisfaction and happiness. If you are pursuing something you genuinely enjoy you will also be much better at it than if you are doing it simply to make money. With passion comes success.

Hobbies - Look at the things you enjoy doing and try to look for the things that truly come naturally. Do you have hobbies that your spend time on because of influences from friends and family that aren’t truly a good fit for you? If you are true to the things that you excel at and give them more of your time you will be able to achieve much higher levels of success in them.

People - Look at the people around you. You are the average of the six people you spend the most time with. If those people have a negative influence on you or are not living a lifestyle similar to the one you are aiming for it will be harder for you to achieve your goals. Look for the patterns and habits of people you take inspiration from and surround yourself with these people whenever possible. 

Day to Day - What are the patterns of your average day? How long are you sleeping? How long is your commute? What is your route to work? Where do you buy your groceries? All of these habits are simply patterns that you can make more efficient with thoughtful design.

Home - Take a look around the house and see if there are patterns to how you move around your house. Are there ways to make your home more effective and efficient in order to save time and resources? 

Food and Drink - Use pattern observation to notice how what you are eating and drinking affects you. If you eat/drink lots of sugar, how does it make you feel? Too much alcohol, how do you feel the next day? These are all patterns and once you start to become aware of how they affect your health and energy you can redesign your habits to address this.

Josh Davis is an outdoor educator and facilitator exploring ways we can learn from the natural world. He offers one on one coaching and consulting to help design your life from permaculture.

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For more ideas about designing your life with permaculture

People and Permaculture and 7 Ways to Think Differently by Looby Macnamara

Zen in the Art of Permaculture Design by Stephan Geyer

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