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Inner Work: Meta-Analysis

 
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Hello Jasmine.
I love the subtitle of your book "A Practical Workbook for Integrating People and Places". Looking on Amazon part of the book description reads, "This unique resource combines analysis, creativity and inner work."    Would you explain a little on this inner work. Thanks
 
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Chad Pivik wrote:Hello Jasmine.
I love the subtitle of your book "A Practical Workbook for Integrating People and Places". Looking on Amazon part of the book description reads, "This unique resource combines analysis, creativity and inner work."    Would you explain a little on this inner work. Thanks



Hi Chad, by inner work I mostly mean reflecting on your responses, ideas and decisions. Someone called this meta analysis, I found I did it naturally and also was taught to teach permaculture in this way. For example, at the end of most the design activities there is a box to reflect how did that feel, what was challenging, what unexpected outcomes occurred through applying that tool eg observing patterns and then applying to design outcomes. The answers to this 'inner work' then assimilate and seem to create an awareness of what we bring to the party, informing design by being less blinkered. Learning to know myself and so trust myself more, felt like an important aspect of my designing and noting my own inner responses, as opposed to calling them facts, made it less likely for me to force ideas onto the land because 'i thought they were true'.
Another aspect of inner work I'm keen to explore and encourage in the book is bringing your body awareness to these exercises too. For example, you might notice you feel very tense working on an aspect of the project, or that you feel warm, pleasure at a particular idea. Keep track of these impressions, the uncomfortable feelings can be harder to capture, as often we push them away in case they are painful or difficult.

As with landscape, if you catch a glimpse of a feeling you’re pushing away, it doesn’t mean it’s not there, so you may as well notice it. You don’t have to act on it or do something, just notice. For example, becoming aware of a dark corner of a yard you dislike or an area of a field that you avoid, may reveal the essence of its 'problem' to contain a perfect solution for part of the design. These psychological edges are productive; go and check in with them, see what emerges.
 
Chad Pivik
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Wow Jasmine! I think you just started a new type of earth psychology. I've never thought of my psychological edges in a permaculture metaphor. I have on one occasion drank too much wine while planting in spring and found myself sleeping on the ground in one of my raised beds. Very restful and productive.  It was after that I started to let the plants grow where they wanted to grow and stopped tilling the beds.  A year or two later I was infected with permaculture and everything started to make so much more sense.  Except for my neighbors who think I have gone wild and like to cultivate chaos.
By the way have you ever heard of earth breathing?

Thanks, you have given me much to feel/ponder.
 
Jasmine Dale
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I love that example you give, it's brought tears of fun and warmth to my eyes! I may have first come across applying edge principles to psychology and culture through Starhawk. Bringing curiosity to the strange things we do and feel surely is a guide to earth and our own wisdom. I am certain falling asleep in the veg bed and your subsequent gardening is connected, being aware of it gives it triple power. Right now I've got physically cold feet and when I tune into that, it's connected to having to go to London tomorrow for a training course, which indeed I have some nervousness about!

I haven't heard of earth breathing, tell me more!
 
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Ok this is just a summary. The first part of earth breathing is just being relaxed and in touch/aware of your body while lying flat on the ground with your knees up and tied together. This helps your lower back to relax.  Elbows are on the ground and hands on your lower belly.  You breath in and on the out breath you imagine yourself sinking into the earth a foot or two.  With every breath out you sink further and further into the earth. Then you just abide.  This also works good for when you are feeling stressed.  You just feel the tension and breath into it and on the out breath you breath the tension into the earth.  It can be very grounding.  Really all you are doing is breathing your awareness into the space and energy of the earth. I'm afraid I haven't given the depth of this practice justice.
For a more thorough guided decent into the earth you can go to dharmaocean.org and click on teachings then click on free audio series.  My curiosity usually get the best of me and eventually I found out that this is a practice in one form or another that many indigenous cultures use.  But they don't really see it as meditation.  It is just something you do naturally.
From the way you write it sounds to me that you are already very somatically grounded. I'm looking forward to getting your book and its just in a nick of time.  I'm doing my first official permaculture design and I'm finding it's a little overwhelming at times.




   
 
Jasmine Dale
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i will certainly test that out. I have a practice of laying flat, heart to the ground when I'm overwhelmed. That works well.
I've had world class teachers such as Starhawk and Robin Clayfield, a lot of the best practices in my book I learnt from them, and then have trialled with my many students over the years.
Earth psychology for a new ecological age!
 
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Chad Pivik wrote:You breath in and on the out breath you imagine yourself sinking into the earth a foot or two.  With every breath out you sink further and further into the earth. Then you just abide.



Thank you! I used to do this all the time as a child! I also used to talk to what I called "the fairies" in the woods, which were probably elementals or nature spirits. Now I'm getting excited about going out and just lying on the ground outside. My partner Robert will think I'm completely insane, of course. Maybe I could do it after I've hauled several loads of mulch, then lie there for a while, and if he asks, just say "I find I can get more work done if I take a few minutes to just lie on the ground."
 
Diane Kistner
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Jasmine Dale wrote:Another aspect of inner work I'm keen to explore and encourage in the book is bringing your body awareness to these exercises too. For example, you might notice you feel very tense working on an aspect of the project, or that you feel warm, pleasure at a particular idea. Keep track of these impressions, the uncomfortable feelings can be harder to capture, as often we push them away in case they are painful or difficult.

As with landscape, if you catch a glimpse of a feeling you’re pushing away, it doesn’t mean it’s not there, so you may as well notice it. You don’t have to act on it or do something, just notice. For example, becoming aware of a dark corner of a yard you dislike or an area of a field that you avoid, may reveal the essence of its 'problem' to contain a perfect solution for part of the design. These psychological edges are productive; go and check in with them, see what emerges.



I have to ask this. I posted before and after photos of my backyard in another thread to show how thickly wooded and overgrown with horrible invasives the land was before I started and how it's looking now in the process of clearing it out to begin to establish a forest garden. What you said above gave me the beginnings of a glimmer of why I might be feeling so sluggish and tired all the time now. My whole life, I've had what I always considered a very strange reaction when driving by, or being in, a deciduous forest: I'd get horney! Not the "I really want to jump some guy's bones" kind of horney, just a vigorous rising of libido that made me feel very aroused and alive. If not in the woods, I'd feel beckoned to go into it, almost as if I was being seduced.

Well, the forest in our backyard had to be cleared. The trees were all sick and threatening to fall, there were man-arm-sized poison ivy vines growing forty feet up into the air, the English ivy and poison ivy were choking out everything else, and some of the rotting stumps of fallen trees were filling with water and breeding mosquitoes. Deer and Lyme ticks were everywhere. But as I worked (at first satisfied with my progress but feeling more and more misgivings as I went on), I felt more and more guilty for pulling out all that greenery. As the land has gotten cleared out, I've become more and more tired and find I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I understand the work itself has made me tired, but now I'm wondering if it's not more than that. I certainly ain't feelin' no libido risin' these days!

This definitely gives me something to ponder. What have I done? Can I see this through? What do I need to do now?

 
Jasmine Dale
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Diane Kistner wrote:

Jasmine Dale wrote: But as I worked (at first satisfied with my progress but feeling more and more misgivings as I went on), I felt more and more guilty for pulling out all that greenery. As the land has gotten cleared out, I've become more and more tired and find I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I understand the work itself has made me tired, but now I'm wondering if it's not more than that. I certainly ain't feelin' no libido risin' these days!

This definitely gives me something to ponder. What have I done? Can I see this through? What do I need to do now?



A big question!
If it was me, I'd heed my inner response, sit with the sensations in my body, and then
a) tune into this exaggerate the sensations, follow that process until I reached an 'edge', then I'd expect my unconscious to reveal the next step, either as an image, phrase, idea etc.
b)or, see what the dominant sense is when I sit with this series of events and feelings, then change sensory channel eg if a recurring phrase is present, I'd check in with my auditory or body feeling. If it was a body symptom, I'd check in with the voice in my head
c) or, tune into the essence of the place and then design from there to restore it, with respect to my needs to co exist with that place

 
Diane Kistner
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Jasmine Dale wrote:

Diane Kistner wrote:But as I worked (at first satisfied with my progress but feeling more and more misgivings as I went on), I felt more and more guilty for pulling out all that greenery. As the land has gotten cleared out, I've become more and more tired and find I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I understand the work itself has made me tired, but now I'm wondering if it's not more than that. I certainly ain't feelin' no libido risin' these days!

This definitely gives me something to ponder. What have I done? Can I see this through? What do I need to do now?



A big question!
If it was me, I'd heed my inner response, sit with the sensations in my body, and then
a) tune into this exaggerate the sensations, follow that process until I reached an 'edge', then I'd expect my unconscious to reveal the next step, either as an image, phrase, idea etc.
b)or, see what the dominant sense is when I sit with this series of events and feelings, then change sensory channel eg if a recurring phrase is present, I'd check in with my auditory or body feeling. If it was a body symptom, I'd check in with the voice in my head
c) or, tune into the essence of the place and then design from there to restore it, with respect to my needs to co exist with that place



This is a precious gift to me, Jasmine. Thank you.
 
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