How to make distractions lead you where you want to go

​How to make distractions lead where you want to go

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

​​How can you get to what's important, when ​energy-sapping mess and ​time-wasting distractions keep leading you astray?

​​You ​have important, worthwhile projects you want to work on. B​ut some days ​you struggle ​to motivate yourself to get the washing folded. ​

​Humans are easily distracted from tasks that are important and valid, but that feel difficult or uncomfortable, because there is a lizard on the control panel who is obsessed with comfort and wants immediate gratification.

Every time your focus wavers, your lizard brain seizes its chance to immerse you in ​comfort.

Then you “wake up” a short time later, wondering how you got from ​"I REFUSE to be distracted by those cookies one more time!" 
...to the bottom of the empty cookie jar.

What can we do to work with this, rather than fighting it?

Read the article at PermacultureNews.org

​(This is Part 3 of a Series. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 is here.)

What do Lizards and Procrastination have to do with Your Brain?

​What do Lizards and Procrastination have to do with Your Brain?

(Approximately a ​5 minute read)

​This is Part 2 of a Series about the “lizard brain” – made up of the oldest parts of the human brain​ ​that co-exist with our more recently evolved brain regions​.

​The lizard brain ​is 
obsessed with ​safety and comfort​; it ​cannot understand ​that there is a future; ​and ​it ​can completely bypass ​your rational brain when it feels threatened or stressed​.

The lizard brain is responsible for all the procrastination and avoidance behaviors we’re so familiar with – overwhelm, being easily distracted, feeling unmotivated, difficulty prioritizing, seeking comfort in inappropriate ways, and many others.

These are not “weaknesses,” so much as strategies that your lizard brain uses to try to keep you safe and comfortable in the present moment.

​Are there ways to mitigate these apparent human weaknesses, or even turn them into strengths? Read the article at PermacultureNews.org, and find out. 

​Part 1 of this Series is here

What do Lizards, Procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with Your Brain?

​What do Lizards, Procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with Your Brain? 

(Approximately a ​5 minute read)

​Photo​: Christo Goosen, Pexels

​​Did you know there’s a lizard in your brain that’s the source of all your resistance to difficult, boring, intimidating or uncomfortable tasks?  

And that this lizard can be re-trained, using Permaculture principles and (un)common sense, to help you reach your goals (instead of sabotaging them)?

This Series of articles will show you how.

Here, in Part 1, I’ll explain the human brain structure in very simple terms. We’ll meet the “lizard brain” that lives in the base of your skull and find out what makes it tick. 

By the end of ​this article, you’ll understand why procrastination and avoidance are such frustratingly common human behaviors. ​

Read the article at PermacultureNews.org.

Real Food does not come from Supermarkets: 6 Steps from Bare Ground to Homegrown Cauliflowers

​Real Food does not come from Supermarkets: 6 Steps from Bare Ground to Homegrown Cauliflowers

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

I imagine that when our grandchildren and great grandchildren read in history books about the supermarkets we relied ​on for food, they’ll wonder what we were thinking.  

My goal is to get to where our family can live without the supermarket entirely. There are many things we have yet to learn, but we’re well on our way.  

​Our number one focus right now is learning to grow more of our own vegies. ​Recently, we ate our first ever homegrown cauliflower.

Read all about it​ at PermacultureNews.Org

Re-examining Freedom

​Re-examining Freedom 

(Approximately a ​4 minute read)

​Up until around the time ​we became parents, ​Alain ​and I ​never questioned our assumptions about freedom. ​​

​The story of our time says ​this is ​normal:

  • to ​be chained to debt and to schedules, 
  • to have ​little or no control over where our food originates, 
  • to be walled off from nature, 
  • and to be more connected to ​each other via screens than in person.  

​This post describes how we began to question that story, and to re-examine ​what freedom means to us. 

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8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants, & How to Use Them

​8 Abundant "Fodder Forest" Plants, and How to Use Them 

​(Approximately a ​5 minute read)

​This morning when I went to feed the animals, I thought I’d start with collecting some pigeon pea for ​the horses, and see what I could find for the pigs​ in the fodder forest while I was there.

Our fodder forest is a small beginning in my long-term goal to ​eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel-based agriculture.

This article lists 8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

Read the article ​at PermacultureNews.org.

Do We Still Need Non-digital Ways of Remembering and Sharing Experiences?

Do we still need non-digital ways of remembering and sharing our experiences?

(Approximately a 6 - 7 minute read)

​​​There are aspects of ​re-experiencing and sharing a story, that cannot be ​digitally preserved.

When your friend says, “Remember that camping trip?” they are not just recalling dry facts, the names of campsites, stops marked off on an itinerary. 

Your friend is recalling a host of felt perceptions and experiences that have shaped the relationship you share and have become part of who you are.

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Getting Together

Why Getting Together Is So Hard To Do 

​(Approximately an 8 to 10 minute read for the average reader)

​​​​Did we lose more than we gained, when we advanced from "social mammal," to "modern individual"?

Earlier in my life I didn't see the point of sitting around chatting. I was in a hurry. I had a lot of urgent work to do, and not enough time to do it.

Important things, like connecting with each other just for the sake of it, don't feel urgent. They hover quietly in the background.

Sometimes ​those important things hover, unattended, until ​we get to a point ​in our lives where we look back and wish we had done more socializing, and less striving. More giving and connecting, and less acquiring and directing. 

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Ditching the Supermarket


Ditching the Supermarket

(This post is approximately an 8 to 10 minute read for the average reader)

​​​​​Usually when something seems too good to be true, there's a catch. The supermarket catch is a big one, and multifaceted.

The choice to shop at the supermarket really seems to be a no-brainer – you can get everything you need at one location, be back in the car before the kids get to melt-down stage, and it’s cheaper there than anywhere else. It seems too good to be true. 

In this article we’ll sniff out the real story behind the cheap convenience on the supermarket shelves.

We’ll look at the complex web of connections and consequences that attend our supermarket choices.

And we’ll uncover the reasons why reducing your dependence on supermarkets could be one of the most powerful things you’ll ever do to make a difference – for your own family’s health and for the health and resilience of your local community and the ecosystems you rely on.

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Thinking for yourself

​Thinking For Yourself

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

Thinking for yourself, to me, means understanding what influences your thoughts, questioning everything, and then making your own informed decisions with consideration for the short AND long-term consequences to yourself and other living beings.

Aside from building more autonomy and self-reliance into your life, ​this kind of thinking​ will help ​dismantle the existing growth-at-all-costs system that relies on consumers who don't think for themselves.

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