Life lessons learned from Permaculture

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.

Anna our milking cow smiles for the camera, permaculture Sunshine Coast
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!

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

©2016 Zaia;, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, simplicity, permaculture, self reliance, self sufficiency, sustainability, food, health and homesteading, life lessons learned from permaculture


  1. Oh my, I am a list-maker myself. The majority of my stress is self-induced, and I have a very difficult time letting go. Spending time in nature and the garden can be the best cure for sure, but still requires that mindfulness to stay present. Thank you for sharing this, it is good to know I am not alone in my struggles.

    Also, did you know about the herb blue vervain – Verbena Hastata, is very good for list-makers and planners. It was introduced to me by my herbalist teacher, and I fell in love right away. It took away the horrible tension I carried in my neck and shoulders, which always led to tension headaches. I now grow my own for teas and tinctures, and it blooms all summer long. Here are some resources (I live in the United States, so my herbalist mentors are western-eclectic)

    1. Thanks for that, I will research verbena hastata and see whether we are able to grow it here. Apparently American Ginseng is also very good to alleviate stress…

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