Updated: Aug 30, 2022
It seems extraordinary to me that we are all trying to live the best lives we can but somehow making quite a mess of it. I mean no one wakes in the morning and says I am going to make my day as miserable as I possibly can. I can hear your mind ticking over ‘yes they do', but no, they don't, have a think about it. They may feel shitty, they may be about to make someone else day shitty, but they will rarely ever wake up with an attempt to make themselves miserable, well not consciously anyway.
What we do is move quite unconsciously through each day, relying on old habits and conditioning to navigate us through our day. What this does is keep us stuck in old patterns of less than ideal behaviours. We continue to eat foods with toxins, purchase products we will never use and overeat our share of the earth's resources. Apart from poor habits and conditioning, we experience trauma in life. These traumas whether big or small remain with us until we make a conscious decision to face them head-on and shift the pain that is trapped in our brains and bodies.
There are many modalities that can assist with shifting pain, psychology has a long proven track record of being successful in bringing about a more peaceful resolution to past traumas as do yoga, meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis, medication, and the list goes on.
What is of interest to me is that humans have been experiencing trauma since time began. Imagine the trauma of watching your relative, child, or mother being eaten by a large cat or being slaughtered by a neighbouring tribe member with a rock or spear in ancient times. In ancient times many tribes and cultures used pharmaceuticals to heal trauma in the mind and the body, they just didn't call them by this name. They called the medicine they used, “Spirit Medicine”. No universities, no degrees, just long periods in the jungle, connecting to the animals and plants and listening, feeling their vibration to guide them to the appropriate plant for the appropriate cure. The medicine doctors or facilitators of these rituals were guided by the spirit that spoke to them through the medicine, spirits that gently and wisely guided them to assist in the curing of the sick of mind, body and soul.
In March 2017 the medicine called me and my daughter, Camille, to the Yawanawa tribe in Acre Brazil. A young Brazilian friend, Thatja, had made a connection with the Yawanawa people in Sao Paolo and arranged for a ten day immersion, a journey to the soul, deep in the Amazon jungle. After parting with some stored energy (money), several flights (Bali - Chile, via Australia), 4 internal flights, a six hour jeep journey and 8 hours on a boat up the Georgian River, we arrived for our first ever adventure in the Amazon. There is so much I could tell you about the river, the accommodation, the food, the people, the medicine. What I will say it was all rustic, wholesome real, healing and loving.
What was magnified to me in volumes, was the people and their relationship to the earth. My partner Rob had booked into a Permaculture course in Sumba, Indonesia for the period that Camille and I were in the Amazon, and here we were immersed in what for all intents and purposes, was permaculture in action. The Yawanawa foraged the land by day, hunted in the forests at night, took medicine for connection and cures and sang and danced with the rhythms of nature through their days and duties. I have never seen a more healthy, engaged, mentally well, stable population of people (and animals for that matter) in my life. Witnessing the way they flowed, pulsed and moved through their days, through space, through each other. From an outsider looking in it seems they were one big throbbing organism, moving with ease, respect and confidence in the collective towards a common goal. The Sharman, a fifty year old woman had a partner 27 years of age. She was his teacher, and he a dutiful student in the school of the medicine. You see these people do not follow the norms of western society. They partner for other reasons. They do not have attachment to a body, they have a relationship with a soul. It is a soul contract.
Despite having issues that many of us face, they are humans after all, these people appear happy.
Living in symbiosis with nature makes us happier. The heart chakra is represented with the colour green. There are no mistakes here.
The 3 tenants of permaculture are;1) care for the earth, 2) care for people, 3) only take our fair share. I saw all 3 tenants whilst I was in the jungle with the Yawanawa. And people call them third world, as if that is a negative trait. These people are not destroying the very land they live on. They are contributing in appositive way to the earth.
Back home in Bali, my husband and I created a large modern home, based on the tenants of permaculture.
As the house is 1400 sim (huge I know) we were covering a huge portion of the land with concrete. To offset this, and the fact that the land covered in concrete receives not no, and sunlight no rain, we created ‘Sumeran’s’. Sumerans are deep holes filled with scoria rock that collects excess water and return the water to the aqueduct. The remainder of the eland is covered with organic gardens, 7 in total, which provide us with food and medicinal plants to eat. The food is also planted by the river and the local families collect, since, pumpkins etc when they are ready for picking. We have a vermiceptic worm system for our waste and that organic water is used to support our 7 gardens. We also recycle all of the water on our property and filter it for drinking water. We have solar panels, zero waste and a composting system for fertiliser.
Additionally, we have a separate cottage that we rent to help the project be sustainable. The income from the cottage supporting us to live.
My wish is that all people building, worldwide, developing houses and construction, come to the conclusion that the indigenous population have the answers of how we can live in symbiosis with the earth.
Their knowledge is vast and rich in longevity and sustainability. Ours is not.
Living in nature, with nature is healing. It can heal our traumas and deep wounds.
In 2022 I will be building a new home. I intend to touch the earth more lightly and allowing the soil to see the sun and the rain, in a gesture acknowledging the power of healthy soil.
Living in Bali over the past 4 years has shown me how populations can live more closely with nature. The Balinese pray to mother nature every single day, thanking her for her gifts. They eat mostly wholefoods and a great number of the population (with the exception of the large cities) eat from their own farms and gardens. When they kill a chicken, they use every single piece as do they with all plants. Over 80% of Indonesians still use plants as medicine rather than pharmaceuticals. Sure they have plastic issues, that is more to do with the increased wealth and lack of education, however, whole foods they are more in symbiosis with the land than the west.
Anecdotally, throughout this whole COVID disaster, they are happier too. I don’t hear much complaining going on. Rather an attitude of let's get on with life, find a new way of doing things.
There are eco and permaculture projects springing forth all over Bali, many being initiated by the local Balinese. There is a greater movement toward growing medicinal plants, along with education on how to use them, rather than reaching for expensive, often dangerous drugs.
There are many ways that we can heal trauma. One way is to give back to the earth. My big picture for the world I want to see for my children, my grandchildren and the future generations of this planet, is for us to be more in touch with nature and less in touch with superficial materialism, and that the currency becomes love for one another.