Sunday, June 30, 2013

Living With Intent - Part 5: Closing Thoughts

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In this five-part series, we've looked at three, very diverse, design philosophies that can help support your pursuit of a life of intent. They vary in cultural and geographical origins, disciplinary focus, and even the length of time they've been in existence. Permaculture, its founders Australian, is relatively new, having only emerged about 40 years ago. It focuses on better ways to steward the land. Cradle-to-cradle is even younger, emerging about 20 years after that.  Its founders bridge backgrounds from Europe, Japan and the United States, and they've rethought the ways in which things can be created, used and then discarded.  Finally, feng shui originating in China, is quite ancient, but still has much to teach us about the intersection of human beings, the built environment and our activity within the spaces we occupy.

However, those differences not withstanding, these systems still share a common thread their emphasis on holistic approaches to living that compel mindful consideration of our relationships to the land, other people, and the objects we use daily. They also offer opportunities to rethink those relationships outside of our immediate spheres of influence. Rippling outward, in ever widening circles across time and space, our regard grows to include our neighbors, communities, and the world beyond.

Expanding our frame of reference in this way, helps to make it easier to reconnect and internalize those relationships, even when remote or distant, in more productive and meaningful ways. The impulse to preserve and protect now becomes a natural extension of this evolving perspective, rather than a chore or set of tasks we must continually remind ourselves to complete or check off of some list. Our actions become deliberately positive (or intentional) rather than arbitrary or incidentally destructive. With this shift in focus, we also shift towards a life of intent.

We've set the “foundation”. Now, we’ll begin to learn more about acquiring the building blocks and other materials to “frame up” our structure.

Thanks for accompanying me this far.  I hope you'll stay on to help with the work ahead!

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