Category 2

Meaningful Change: Nurturing An Inner Permaculture To Enable A Deeper Outer Permaculture


The aim of this article is to explain why sometimes actions fall short of professed high ideals, or even contradict them. It’s about psychological processes rather than just competence, some at a subconscious level, which can disappoint and lead to cynicism over time.

I believe it is important to prevent subconscious interference from undermining the theory and practice of permaculture. It became clear to me, many years ago, that most practitioners were held back by ‘unhealed psychological stuff’. This was affecting their creativity, and led to unfortunate tendencies to: promise too much, postpone action, blame others, fail to collaborate, and eventually suffer from burnout. So I started offering workshops on ‘Permaculture of the Inner Landscape’.

Psychology Basics

Everyone is psychologically ‘wounded’ during their lives, and few recover properly. Meaningful action originates from the psychologically ‘unwounded/ healed self’. Most of what we do is compromised by subconscious censoring of our unwounded thoughts, and by the patterns of behaviour that, paradoxically, enabled us to survive our hurts (e.g. denial, pretending, postponing, changing the subject, blaming others).