I just returned from an amazing 4-day training with Relational Uprising at the Watershed Center in upstate New York. A group of 5 of us from the Permaculture Association of the Northeast (PAN) attended, with a diverse group of other organizations from around the country, to build on our commitment of honoring diversity and people care. The training framed 3 overarching dominant narratives of separation and then taught us storytelling techniques backed up new scientific understandings of human evolution and neuroscience that debunk the old dominant narratives.
The three stories stories of separation they outlined are the story of civilization, story of domination over nature, and story of self-sufficiency. These narratives are reproduced both at an institutional, personal and interpersonal level and shape how people view and experience the world. We got the opportunity to construct and listen to new narratives based on our own struggles, values those struggles taught us and the support we received through those times. By reframing our stories to include values and support it allowed us to debunk the notion of self sufficiency and isolation and honor the ways that we are connected and can lift each other up. The relational uprising story telling and resonating techniques give permaculturalists a tool to build a culture of mutual aid and deep trust in relationships. It also allows us to develop a embodied understanding of stories of connection that will guide us to creating a more just, equitable and regenerative culture.