Maren Freeland lives close to the earth at Landmatters Permaculture community and set up UNTAMED social enterprise which seeks to counteract modern society’s widespread “disconnection disease” by offering nature connection experiences for women, children and families.
What if it really mattered what we dream into existence?
I feel very hopeful about the movements aiming to halt climate change and biodiversity loss. But too often I hear the story of “we’re f*cked”. Scientific data has people conclude that we’re facing collapse and extinction. This is the story of the “Great Unravelling”. And it seems to be a story that is waking people up. Good, because the story of “Business as Usual” is simply not an option anymore. It’s been a disaster for the earth and her many life forms for far too long! So isn’t this an opportune time? Many people are waking up and making a stand for systemic change. But what is the vision of a more beautiful world that we are standing for? And do we truly in our hearts believe that we can win? Joanna Macy reminds us of another story: “The Great Turning is the story we hear from those who see the Great Unravelling and don’t want it to have the last word. It involves the emergence of new and creative responses that enable the transition to a life-sustaining society.” The truth is, we don’t know which story will be the outcome. But if I consciously point my arrow of intention, I know which story I’m choosing. If it really mattered what story I dreamed into existence, then how do I cultivate the capacity to imagine the Great Turning?
Do you have a daily practice to dream this beautiful world into being?
Dreaming Existence © Maren Freeland 2019
As a child I used to be naturally at home with our alive earth. I believed in magic, and the universe responded. I unashamedly gave of myself – imaginative play, laughter and song. I talked to plants, animals and danced with the unseen. Growing up in a culture that treats the world around us as inanimate, my beliefs calcified and crumbled away. To see the earth as alive is naïve, to make meaning of signs in nature is superstitious, even dangerous – it can send you mad! I didn’t want to be ridiculed by peers; after all, a well-adjusted person thinks rationally and scientifically. But how lonely one becomes when surrounded by a non-animate world! So now I venture out, introducing myself, baring my soul to nature first. What am I giving to the beings of this land? Do I approach with openness? Am I making myself available? When I notice the magic, I’m remembering to come home.
Remembering to Come Home © Maren Freeland 2019
When I was part of setting up Landmatters Permaculture Community fifteen years ago, I was motivated by the desire to reduce my ecological footprint to a level that would be sustainable on this planet. Against the odds we won our planning battles, met many challenges and persevered. I learned that it is possible to manifest my dream. I live in a low-impact dwelling, grow food in good soil, generate electricity from the sun and the wind, harvest firewood from the trees and collect water from the rain and from an underground well. My off-grid lifestyle is as simple and satisfying as it’s easy on the earth. But more than anything, living like this for the last twelve years has given me a direct connection with the natural world. It has helped me to appreciate the four elements around me in a very tangible way and it had a profoundly healing impact on me to come to realise, in an experiential way, that I am part of nature. We can’t survive without the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – but we have become so disconnected from nature that we forget about this. I now make some time every morning to consciously feel the elements around and inside of me and let myself be filled with immense gratitude and appreciation for the gifts of life!
Going Elemental © Maren Freeland