When most people think about permaculture, they think about food production systems. While permaculture does relate to food production systems, it also applies to life in general, as do the permaculture principles. Lately I have been reflecting a lot on the principle of Apply Self-Regulation & Accept Feedback.
In a food production system, an example would be planting tomatoes on the SW corner of the house and if they did not thrive, modifying the growing conditions (planting somewhere else, increasing water, etc). For an everyday life example, I’d like to share about a friend of mine. My friend has a boss whose communication strategies are not mutually beneficial to her co-workers. This company consistently has high turn-over, especially with those working directly with the boss. Turn-over is very costly to a business; it is far more profitable to keep long-term employees who are interested in working than constantly retraining people who also end up disgruntled and quitting too. This mid-sized company has lost 3 employees this month. However, the boss and HR do not seem to understand why this trend keeps happening. If this boss would reflect upon the repeating themes, accept the feedback she is receiving, and apply self-regulation, I’m confident that this competent individual would keep personnel and save herself and the company a lot of headache.
It seems many of us are stuck in the same habits, doing the same thing over and over again, even when we are given feedback that indicates that what we are doing is not preferential or does not best serve us and/or the people around us. Taking the time to reflect on patterns and accepting what we find, even if we don’t like what we find, helps us gain the clarity to develop strategies that better contribute to what we’re looking for. Whenever things are not going as you’d like them to be, ask yourself: “What feedback am I receiving from this situation? How can I utilize this information to modify the situation to better contribute to what I would like?”