Sunday, January 31, 2016

Relationships - part 5

This will be the final post in my series about exploring relationships. I didn't mean to wait this long to publish it, but I was, um, sorting out my relationships. You've got to make time for what matters, and relationships matter a whole lot. Ignoring them, is a fast track to dissatisfaction in life.

Remember in part 1, when I said; "The beginning of all things, I'm convinced, are the relationships to all things. The ability to relate external substance, to our own". So it starts with us. However, it doesn't end with us. We have to connect with other living things, to evaluate any meaning to our own.

With only twelve of the daylight hours to interact in those relationships however, we have to make them count. They have to be in our face, obvious and enhancing to our daily lives. By developing a daily ritual of acknowledging those living things around us, we get a little boost of self-awareness. Which is really important if we live in a high stress environment, pulling us in all directions.

I'm fortunate, I can unplug from society on our property. But you know, I have little rituals for when I leave here, to go into town also. I pack a bag of home baked goodies, some fruit and cold drinks, chilled in a freezer bag with an ice brick. I can stop any time in my jobs, and have these treats to soothe me and those I'm travelling with. Getting out and stretching our legs is another important ritual when we go into town too. I always find a car park under shade (preferably a tree) and if it involves a walk to our destination, all the better.

But here's the biggie and it tops the list. We work together as a team and make sure everyone is comfortable. If someone needs help, we stop what we're doing and alternate our strategy to best meet the situation. Paying attention to details rather than purely meeting an objective, makes the difference between experiencing life or simply tolerating it.

Because that's where satisfaction can enter the equation. Satisfaction has the wonderful side-effect of making us feel happy, but we don't necessarily, have to be in an optimal situation all the time, to find satisfaction. It's about what we practice the most in our relationships though.

Which brings me to the summary of my series on relationships.

Hold someone's hand if you need to


1. Recognise how we translate relationships - connected or disconnected?

2. Learn how connected relationships work in nature. The permaculture principles and the community which supports them, are places to start learning from. If you're someone who struggles with human relationships (feeling vulnerable or excluded from them) engaging with nature, is that bridge to seeing how connected relationships work.

3. Look for ways to integrate nature into your daily life, even if you live in the city. This point alone, will increase your perspective - even if you don't get around to the first two steps.

4. Ask others around you, if they want to get involved with enhancing nature in your community. Even if its just adopting a few plants for the office. By inviting others to get involved, it helps the community become more self-aware also.

5. And probably the most important, is committing to the process like a loving relationship. You don't expect something to love you back, if all you give is your cold shoulder and a few indifferent glimpses of your time. Commitment doesn't have to mean physical torture, every day, either. It just means touching base in some way, every day - and actually missing it, when you've tuned out for too long.

6. Practice your commitment by supporting businesses which honour the autonomy (or natural cycles) of nature. This is not a prerequisite to following the above steps, but it can help shape the world we want to reflect our connected relationships in to.

7. Repeat above steps, until you don't recognise them as steps any more.

I haven't said much about point 6 yet, of practising your commitment by supporting other businesses. By spending where the autonomy of nature is respected, however, its the ultimate compliment we can pay our communities. Because it reflects the greater abundance of natural cycles, than the continual decline of man-made ones. These actions can accumulate and pay off over time, rather than running at a continual deficit today.

As individuals, families, communities and nations, we don't practice a unique identity, which is self-aware of our environment, as part of our culture any more. Instead, we focus only on the objective of "freedom" as a goal, with no defined responsibilities, other than what the law sets out. So its good to remind ourselves of the inclusive paradigm we're actually part of.

Perhaps Earth day is an attempt, to recognise we all need to collectively take part in something bigger than ourselves. Although, I feel its somewhat limited to one day, when a person can live a whole lifetime. So every day, should be indulging in connected relationships, with other living things.

There was a time, we didn't always know what things were called, or what their purpose was, before we found a connection with them. That is our ancestral language as a species. We connect, automatically, and we are drawn in, to respond to them.

So the question becomes, WHAT do we want to be drawn into, and how aware are we, in the process of that relationship? I hope, if nothing else, I've helped you think about your relationships a little more.


  1. Chris I just came over to check your sourdough post and realised I haven't been getting your blog updates. I just thought you weren't blogging. I will have to remedy that.

    1. Don't worry Nanna Chel, I've had a few technical glitches myself lately. Which is why I've taken so long to reply.

      Thanks for visiting and good luck with your sourdough! Its definitely worth sticking with, and you get your yeast for free. Gotta love that. :)

  2. Yes, very helpful. I am going to go back and read through the parts to enjoy them better though:)
    I have been working lately on the guru meditation as I joined a series presented by Ram Dass. At first, the guru meditation made unnerved me because it was so visual and requires that one has a defined guru to begin with which was sort of abstract to me until then.
    At anyrate you visualize the guru merging with you and then you merge with the universe and then you merge with history and with the future and with the person who is present with you etc. When you merge you are saying "I am that too". Once you get into this mediation, there is no way that you can cold shoulder another person. There is no way that you cannot see their flaws as your own and there is no way that you can not see that compassion is the key to all relationships including those with nature. Compassion, light, love. There is no "not I" so there is no "I".
    I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound like psycho babble. Its concept with its own vocabulary and can sound touchy feely but thats not a bad thing:)

    1. It makes sense to me now, but maybe not when I was a younger version of myself. ;)

      I can see the relevance in the exercise you mention above, is really practising "acceptance" of what is. Rather than assuming the influence comes from how we interpret something externally. It's not giving something outside of us, a motivation or a purpose on its behalf. Its merely observing what is, without wrestling with it. :)

    2. Yes, exactly. And by removing things from outside ourselves to an actual part of many more options open up. I still to this day know people who see nature as "other" for example but find it pretty or useful and that as far as it goes. They care for their cars with more compassion. It is prett and useful of course, but so are we and we try not to treat each other as commodities most of the we can reach out beyond these things if we see them.

    3. I found some interesting facts about a Frenchman, Jacques Lusseyran, who lost his eyesight at 8 after an accident. He's written extensively about how he started to see without his eyes. He mentions how everything has an energy, even inanimate things like rocks. He could point out trees and hedges in the distance, which would amaze his friends. He described it as only having to meet the universe halfway, as then it reached out to him.

      I found it extremely fascinating. It also reminded me a lot of the superhero "Dare Devil", and wondered if Jacques was the real-life inspiration behind it. Learning to see without your eyes, because you learn to recognise the energies and vibrations around you.

    4. Hold your hand up against a plain dark surface. Gaze just beyond the outline of your skin. Let eyes relax. You'll see your aura. Try playing around with chi gong and Tai'll feel energy in between your hands. Its all there. I had never heard of Jacque...very interesting.


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