Site announcements

Preview of upcoming post connected to our recent video with Prf Stuart Hill

Preview of upcoming post connected to our recent video with Prf Stuart Hill

by April Sampson-kelly -
Number of replies: 0

Inner Landscape - On Being Totally Grapefruit


Permaculture Your Inner Landscape

Spontaneity Nurtures Inner Worlds

Professor Stuart Hill, ecologist, social-ecologist, and transformative leader challenges us all to explore and refine our inner landscape. Stuart reminds us of our formative years. At first, we live with open eyes and a passion to live from the ‘inside-out’. But with cultural conditioning, we live from the ‘outside-in’. He challenges us to regain our spontaneity, curiosity, and honesty. We become ourselves and get comfortable with being different. This healthy diversity enriches us, our relationships, and the world.

Drawing of a young bearded Banana gazing at his own navel, wondering "who am I".

We start life with spontaneity, and our curiosity enables us to appreciate context and environment. And so, we begin to conform. Bit by bit, we learn to live from the outside-in. Over time, our inner child learns to please other people and conform to society.

Tom, a wide-eyed boy, paints his face with mulberry juice

This conditioning, however, prevents our awareness. And it blocks our ability to be ‘present in the moment’, and gives away our power. Ultimately, we risk accepting compromises to our ethics and values. ‘Most people will be in denial of this’. states Stuart.

When we recover our spontaneity and curiousity, we are freed.
Painting of big moon floating over clouds and rolling hills with a curly ladder and spiral slide. Two ladies floating in front of the moon with a teapot, tea cups, a bouquet of flowers, wisps of scented clouds of tea, blue birds and falling petals

Becoming Different Enriches the World

Children around the world are conditioned. They learn to conform. In earnest, the adults aim to keep them safe and well, and help them develop skills. But, it is damaging to their inner landscape. Slowly, the child’s inner landscape becomes patterned. Eventually, their responses become habitual. The child begins to seek to please the teacher rather than seek the truth.

However, by staying curious, we develop skills that align with our passions. Openness allows us to be different. And it is these differences that create a wondrous tapestry of cultures and people.

Understanding and utilising the differences in people helps us to create better teamwork and better designs. Teamwork and a diversity of approaches and ideas enrich permaculture design, teaching, and practice.

Collaboration brings people together, shares the workload and opens possibilities.

Power of Collaboration

Stuart urges the Permaculture designers to collaborate more. Designers, clients, and members of the community need to work together for a design to be effective and valued. He encourages us to find out what is close to the client’s heart. Kindling the client’s passion, the permaculture design starts to evolve. With joy, the users engage and build competence.

Focus On The Exceptional

Stuart also explores the idea of systems thinking. He notes that anything that is happening in one place in the world is also happening all over. You will find 20% nasty, evil stuff, 10% really good stuff and the rest is compensatory. He challenges Permaculture to focus on the 10% really good stuff in order to keep thriving. All of us have to be awake, attentive, thinking, reflective, and avoid being judgemental. Don’t let the errors of Guru’s turn you away from their gems of insights.

Why Not Worship Gurus

Furthermore, when we searching for the top 10% of leaders, we may inadvertently create them into gurus. But the problem (according to Stuart Hill), with worshiping ‘gurus’ is that people try to imitate the high level of competence of the guru. Instead, what we really need is to uncover the learning journey taken by the guru. Then, we might discover how they focused on their own 10%. Best of all, we may learn how they resisted compromising their values.

Learning about the stages of development of great thinkers, through listening to their background stories, leads us to develop our own story. Nurturing our curiosity, we discover what is interesting to us. We find our own ‘exceptional’.

Work to your own agenda

About Stuart B. Hill

Professor Stuart B. Hill is Foundation Chair of Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney. At UWS he taught units on Qualitative Research Methodology, Social Ecology Research, Transformative Learning, Leadership and Change, and Sustainability, Leadership and Change (he retired in 2009 and is now an Emeritus Professor in their School of Education).