When I first made the commitment to write people and permaculture, I looked for a principle that would assist me in keeping this commitment. I realised that while I was having lots of ideas and interesting conversations about people care, I was not progressing with the book because I was not capturing this energy. The principle I chose as an anchor was catch and store energy. Every spark of inspiration was written in a notebook. Words, phrases and ideas that would come while I was out observing the world, or late in the evening as I relaxed, were captured. I created mind maps for each section and chapter, where ideas from previous musings could join together. When I then came to have time to write I would have a ready-made plan in front of me. The process became like potting up plants into bigger pots; words to phrases to sentences to paragraphs… There was incremental growth that began with tiny seeds of ideas.
This principle obviously worked fantastically well for me, and I would recommend it for anyone with ambitions of a writing project. However, one of the things that interest me that the principles, is how they can be taken to extremes, and where there are exceptions to their usefulness. I’ve been recently challenged with this, because of RSI (repetitive strain injury) and having to limit my writing to the bare minimum. I realised that I’ve become too reliant on capturing and storing energy with writing things down. On the recent people permaculture facilitator training course, I stepped out of my comfort zone and spent two weeks not writing anything down at all. (Luckily I previously had written my session plans but during the course I didn’t write). This challenged me to be more present, spontaneous and trusting in my memory. I learnt a lot about myself and I was pleased to have the experience, even though I’m now happy to be able to write once more.
There are many different forms of energy, and I can see how we also might go to extremes with capturing energy in the form of material possessions that becomes clutter around our homes.
This week I’ve been focusing my accounts and tax return. From now on I am going to take time each month to keep them up-to-date and capture the information flow while its present, rather than leaving it to the end of year.
I also particularly like the proverb that goes with this principle – make hay while sunshine shines. I find it particularly useful to be aware of my own energy flows, and to be observant of energies within me, such as tidying, accounting, writing, exercising, reading. And to flow with these energies when they arise.
How do you use the catch and store energy principle?