I participated in a Holistic Life Design course facilitated by Rakesh Rootsman Rak. We used permaculture principles and tools to create a design for our lives and explored various naturopathic principles and tools to maintain our well-being. Hereby I’m sharing a brief summary of the tools I found relevant and engaged with during my design work.
Generally we applied SADIMET to guide our design process.
Tool: Rakesh’s Needs vs Greeds (survey, analyze)
What is that essential to your well-being? What is that really enriches your life? Based on your needs, identify the major functions in your life. What are you doing currently to support these functions? Use permaculture ethics to evaluate them. Ideally, what would you do to support these functions?
Tool: Ananda Marga’s Prama (survey, analyze)
Consider the following main dimensions of life: physical, mental, and spiritual (you might want to use the word emotional if that resonates better with you). Each can be further broken down into sub dimensions: food, exercise, rest and cleansing. Analyse your life using these dimensions. For instance, what is that you do currently to have mental exercise or emotional rest? What is your goal? Draw a chart with each combination and fill in the spaces.
Tool: Symptoms survey
List all symptoms and their severities you have or had in your life.
Tool: Health history (survey)
Draw a rough timeline of key health issues and medical treatments in your life. Highlight emotional traumas.
Tool: Rakesh’s Reverse Ripple Design Methodology (design)
Take a big sheet of paper, and put your life functions on the edges. Going towards the centre of the sheet, start mapping out different activities to support those functions that you would like to have in your life. Use the outcome of the previous surveys. Explore how supporting different functions can be connected. Use permaculture principles (such as Holmgren or attitudinal principles) to help you come up with and tweak your activities.
Tool: Zones (design)
Map out your activities using the Zones tool to understand their regularity and physical proximity. How far do you literally need to go in order to perform them? How often do you imagine performing them? The Zones tool can help collect activities that support the same functions, so you can create a repository of activities that depending on the weather, your location, your mood, etc. can be performed. It’s an opportunity to build in redundancy and therefore resilience into your system.
Tool: Trial day (design, implementation, monitor)
Design an ideal day based on your work so far. Live that day. The day after, reflect on it (tool: 4Q). Consider doing another trial day based on your findings.
Most of the tools in your permaculture toolbox can be adapted to the life design work process. Engage with them and pick the ones that makes sense for you.
If you would like to participate in a permaculture life design workshop, visit the Roots n Permaculture project to see their future activities.