Feng Shui and Permaculture are aligned in so many ways– working with the energies of Earth, creating a harmonious ecosystem with Nature– that it was a joy to have Permaculture expert Kim Carter join in The School of Intention and shine a major light on the infinite possibilities of bringing Feng Shui and Permaculture together into one Professional practice.
If you are a permaculture enthusiast, a beginner gardener or just getting to know your first houseplants, the wisdom that Kim shares in this article can apply to your gardening, your home, and your life. I turn things over to Kim now to share more of her magic, and while her bio and social media links are below, I would highly recommend following her on Tiktok before you go further to get a fully exciting picture of the passion she brings to bee keeping, permaculture, teaching, art and design!
Introducing Permaculture into Feng Shui practice to expand your home and garden energy!
For about 8 years now I have been using Feng Shui as an intentional design tool in my home. Much of the practice is now so engrained, it’s automatic, feeling the flow of energy through a space and understanding the shifts that need to occur for greater alignment. Three years ago, I completed a Permaculture Design Certificate with David Arnold at Murrnong Farm. It was a topic that I had always been drawn to after years of growing my own food and living more sustainably. What I hadn’t expected, was during my practice of Feng Shui and Permaculture that the philosophies of each would intersect time and again with one supporting the other to level up my connection with nature.
Here’s a quick run down for those of you not familiar with Permaculture.
Permaculture is a concept developed in the 1970’s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Drawing inspiration from the wisdom and traditions of First Nations Peoples, Permaculture is a design framework for regenerative living and working in a way that is more in tune with nature’s systems. At its core, Permaculture is based on three ethics: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. Within that, there are twelve principles that function as holistic thinking and design tools that can be applied and practiced in any living space.
Fusing the design tools from both practices can amplify your home and garden energy in a whole way. For those of you who wanting to try this out for yourself, here’s 3 ways you can start to use the principles of Permaculture in your Feng Shui practice to level up your nature connectivity.
- Embrace upcycling as expansive energy practice. Permaculture Principle 6: Produce No Waste
There is a wonderful phrase by tennis player Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can”.
When approaching the redesign of a space, ask yourself, how can I best use what I already have? What are the resources? How can you optimize them? Buying new things all the time to re-energize shouldn’t be the first port of call.
We are living on a planet with dwindling resources and must start breaking the habit of throwing things away when they are not wanted any more. Remember that there is no ‘away’ our old belongings don’t disappear when we throw them out. ‘Away’ too often means landfill, or someone else’s responsibility. Charity stores are stuffed full of donated goods too often unsellable.
What better way to re-energize an old object than to give it a new purpose, to think about it in a new light? Instead of buying new furniture for a space, can you upcycle what you already have instead? Can you repair, repurpose, repaint, re-cover, reupholster, reimagine? Upcycling is an expansive creative practice that saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment.
- Journaling to reconnect. Permaculture Principle 1: Observe and Interact.
Combining the simple practice of daily journaling with the first Principle of Permaculture: Observe and Interact for greater awareness and connection to a space.
Try this for each room in your home and your outdoor spaces as well (if you have them).
Stand at the entrance way to the room, take notice of the feelings you have about entering the space. Light, temperature, sound, colour, easy to move around, easy to find things – are the things that are used most often within easy access? Are there obstacles? What are the things you love about this space? What are the things you would change ? Observing and Interacting in the home can mean noticing that a particular chore is slow to get done like doing the dishes or putting washing away. Observation is noticing something deeply. Interaction is active engagement.
What difference will you make, how can you intervene to make a shift that’s needed, or maybe nothing is needed at all?
It comes down to awareness and being objective about your space based on observation.
- Conduct a household energy audit. Permaculture Principle 5: Use and value renewable resources and services.
There are a number of things you can do to conduct an energy audit on your home. Do this to reinforce your energy boundaries. Correct and direct the flow of energy can be as simple as repairing leaking taps, replacing shower heads with a lower flow to save water, block up drafty doors or windows, use interior and exterior curtains and blinds to block or let in sunlight to save on heating and cooling appliances.
From a Feng Shui perspective, fixing or redirecting these energy ‘leaks’ can help to restore personal boundaries and finances by making the best use of what you have. It can also help to save money on utilities.
While Feng Shui practice can expand your life and open you up to all sorts of new possibilities, Permaculture allows you to deep dive into a lifestyle that is more aligned with nature’s systems. Fusing the two, can bring about exciting, expansive change that is also healthier for the planet.
Kim Carter is a food gardener, and beekeeper educator living on Bpangerang Country, Victoria Australia. Kim grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne and studied performing arts at Deakin University before moving to regional Victoria with her 2 children in the early 2000’s. Over the last few years, Kim has completed studies in Permaculture Design and contemporary Feng Shui while working as a high school music and art teacher. Kim has since been retrofitting her home and garden using unique mix of Feng Shui and Permaculture Design. The goal being to live with less impact on the earth and more in flow with nature’s systems. This includes growing a majority of the household food, raising chickens and managing several beehives. In 2021, Kim and partner Bernie left the mainstream workforce to start a small business educating and mentoring new beekeepers.
You can follow Kim here on Instagram and I’m personally obsessed with her Tiktok that’s HERE @kimcarterfoodgardener.