Living from my Heart

Taking a permaculture class in the fall of 2013 was the beginning of a profound change in me. I *thought* I was going there to learn techniques for growing food.


I mean, there was that, and there was designing your garden spaces – technically I have my Permaculture Design Certificate. But even trying to design my own garden spaces didn’t work on paper. It is working for me by “feel.” And there is learning by trial and error. Little bits at a time, step by step. Growing organically, like the food.

What I discovered in that class, and have been discovering more and more since, is that the key to happiness is living from my heart, not my head.

Only that is easy to write in a few words, but it doesn’t describe the topsy turvy amazing moments that brings into your existence. Or how hard it is to make the head take a back seat.

Hmmmm, Chris, what ARE you talking about?

Im talking about stuff like this…

Last winter I was at a NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers Association) conference, perusing the books on the book table. I kept coming back to this one book, picking it up and putting it down. Finally I decided to just get it. It was called “The Secret Teaching of Plants.” And it was all about living from your heart and not your head. And how to connect/listen to the plants. I never expected that. I felt like that book chose me instead of the other way around.

And I realized I’ve always had a connection with the plants. In my permaculture class, when I learned some of the qualities of plants, I learned that I really have always loved plants that are good for the garden and are food / medicine, even though other people consider them weeds.

Consider these, which I’ve always left in my garden and yard:

  • Vetch
  • Clover
  • Wood Sorrel (which I thought was a variety of clover)
  • Dandelions
  • Violets
  • Purslane
  • An interesting tree that showed up on my property and that I love called an Autumn Olive.

Vetch and Clover bring nitrogen into their roots and as they die back, into the soil. So does the Autumn Olive. Wood Sorrel, Dandelions, Voilets, Purslane, and Autumn Olive berries are all edible. Clover is medicinal, so are dandelions (what I’ll be using them for, because I’m not so fond of eating them). Wood Sorrel is my favorite wild edible, with a citrusy taste.

PS Dandelions are dynamic accumulators, mining nutrients and storing them in their leaves. So if you leave them in the lawn, cutting them down and letting them rot back into the soil, you are actually fertilizing your lawn without chemicals.

Anyhow, this is all just one part of me living from my heart.

There is so much more. I am getting more in tune to the energies around me. I realized that despite Columbus’ over-the-top exuberance when new people come to the house, he has a calming energy.  I realized yesterday that so does my dad (I should say did, but I’m not so sure he’s really gone from my life – I talk to him often). Being in my mom’s house this past weekend I felt that energy missing. I didn’t really identify that feeling right away – nor when we were all there planning his memorial service – but now I know what it was.

All this might sound a little woo woo to some people, but I firmly believe if it does, that’s because most of us have been profoundly blinded by the industrial revolution and modern society. We’ve lost our connection to nature and the energy of it. Intuition, or living from the heart, is our way back to health. I’m going to keep on learning to live this way so I can help others do the same. Only this way of living can’t be forced. I think you are called into it. And once you are called, prepare to be amazed.

photo credit: via photopin

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