Anika van Leeuwen

Bellingwolde, the Netherlands

 “Get out of your comfortzone, chase your dreams, develop your skills, change your environment, take control, follow the money, move until you find IT, grow up, train/educate yourself to become the best you”…are just some modern life goals most of us, including me, have on our long to do lists. But I was lucky to be studying permaculture simultaneously while trying to find my place in this complex manmade system. Which meant observing plants, trees, animals and humans, noticing their specific characteristics, how they react to the elements and each other.

Far more interesting to me than sales targets and although I was moving up careerwise, it didn’t feel I was using my real potential and I was getting bored out. But I am so thankful for my business experiences and the whole ‘finding myself’ abroad aftermath, because you know what it made me realize when I added permaculture in the mix?

Apparently, we are all connected, all part of a delicate but highly intelligent natural ecosystem. That is if we as humans want to be. Right now as humans you could say we are more part of an egosystem rather than eco- and because of this imbalance, the world is actually slipping out of our hands. Which is kind of weird, because if we would just listen to our natural instincts more, we would notice; it’s all there, the know-how, the urge to do good (there are always exceptions), to choose an apple over putting our teeth into a bunny, to feel uneasy about pesticides and especially to feel stressed because (our own) standards are increasingly getting higher and higher.

We got too caught up in exceeding each other’s expectations, creating an intergenerational spiral downwards in trying to expand our influence on the world and others. But actually, the key is in the simple basics. We should stop our attempt to control everything, but invest a lot more in finding our way back to a natural balance. Isn’t that what actually makes the world go round? It is what I finally will do by (co)creating a real comfortzone @ www.zozenenzo.nl where people, animals, and nature can observe, attend workshops and hang out, while enjoying the perks of having enough natural food, knowledge and life fulfillment as a result. Nature = key, nature = me.

Permaculture Design Course Graduation Presentation

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