Dear reader,

I am hereby creating one easy way of letting interested folk know what’s alive in my world and my work.

A place where I can share from underneath surface projects like making permaculture stronger, holistic decision making, living design process, the reading landscape film, very edible gardens, and such. As much as monthly, though I suspect a little less often. Hence this email, which is an experiment in this direction.

Please opt out at once if this is not for you, and forgive my intrusion into your inbox.

Otherwise, let me tease out a few live musings, sitting here in my cabin office on a hillside in Aotearoa with a good strong rain pouring down outside and a recuperating pīwakawaka (fantail) hopping about my keyboard.

On Source

I’ve been waiting for a moment to explore this idea that everything is sourced somewhere.

A source being the place from which something originates.

Where the something I want to explore is how humans go about creating things.

Creating in the sense of acting or engaging in a process to bring things into existence.

Think of something you have created, are creating, or will create today. An email, a meal, a conversation, a zoom call, the next stretch of a cobblestone pathway, a design for a garden or farm – it could be anything. Us humans are bringing stuff into existence constantly, serial creators that we are.

Having imaged some specific creation process in your life, you can now ask “where is this creation process sourced?” Not the physical ingredients, such as the words, or the flour and eggs, or the individual cobblestones, but the way in which you worked them into the creation of something.

What comes up for you?

When I ask this question of most mainstream human creation processes, my answers are survival, problems, cultural norms, the profit motive, industry convention, best practice, expert advice, master plans, and such. While there may well be a place for such sources, I don’t see them contributing to the life, beauty, and wholeness of the world.

Ha - it just popped itself in here - the final thread in what is now a RJQ – a right juicy question: what is the source of creation processes that create and contribute to life, beauty, and wholeness?

I invite you to reflect for yourself and maybe even make a few notes - what comes up for you?

While there are a bunch of answers this question invites me toward, three float to the top in this moment.

The first is the specific qualities or energies I am distinctively and qualified to contribute. Are these being engaged and developed and drawn on and in? I am tuned in to what these even are? Do I believe it is even possible to engage these in everything I create, or do I reserve them for particular hobbies or side projects?

The second is what is called for in the world around me – in the immediate and greater nests I exist within. Not so much the surface problems, or even what others are saying they want, but the deeper potentials and possibilities that lie beneath the surface and need some support to reveal themselves.

The third is the deep alchemical magic of how the rest of life so reliably creates more life, wholeness and beauty. Which is nothing to do with external expertise, rational plans, or bringing together the right parts. It is to do with whole processes of continuous unfolding springing forth from the reality of the moment. Like the growing tips on the juvenile avocados outside my window, the dynamics of falling rain drops, or the healing of a little bird’s wing.

Call in those moments in your life where what you are creating is authentically sourced in these three places. I’m betting these are the times you feel most alive and least separated from the flow of the universe. They may well also be the places you feel most afraid, surprised, and out of your comfort zone.

What would life be like if most of, or, dare I say it, everything we created was sourced in these three places? How beautiful and whole would our creations be? Is this even possible in modern times? Is it even practical?

Heck, I don’t know. If it is possible I sure have a ways to go. But I do know that such questions are like candles that light me up and lead me to the next stepping stone, and the next, and the next, on this wildly unpredictable path that somehow keeps emerging right in front of me.

All my best, and thanks for sharing in this exploration,

Ps. Shortly after writing this I recorded a rich dialogue with Pamela Mang where we went deep into a lot of these same themes.

Upcoming Events...

Living Design Process Online

A nine-week online course on Living Design Process starts August 6th. In collaboration with Gena Moses-Te Kani and James Andrews. Designing and creating from and as life – doesn’t get much better than that. Check it out.

Living Design Process Offline

For the first time in forever I'm attending a physical in-person one-day workshop on Living Design Process in Paeroa on July 30 at Tarariki Pottery. Get amongst!

I’m also showing up in-person to present for six sweet minutes at this one day regenerative design jam in Auckland on July 28th.

Holistic Decision Making Online

Six-week online course on Holistic Decision Making starts August 21st. On getting out of survival mode and organising your daily life around what matters most to you. Go there.

I’m also running a shorter two-session workshop on Holistic Decision Making for Sprout Tasmania starting July 29th.

Making Permaculture Stronger book Crowdfunder

Today marks the launch of a small, in-house crowdfunding effort toward finishing off the Making Permaculture Stronger book. Check out the campaign video here and see what you reckon.

Wondering why you received this?

You received this email because you subscribed to one of Dan’s projects or courses. If you getting this is some kind of stuff-up, or even if you got it correctly and don’t want it, you can opt out at once :-). Otherwise, stay tuned for another update if and when I get around to it, and happy living process adventures till then.
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