What is Regeneration?
Core Aspects of a Regenerative Paradigm
Humanity's relationship to life, regeneration and this living planet is deeply broken
Core Aspects of a Regenerative ParadigmEntering a regenerative paradigm requires a profound shift of perspective in regards to the fundamental aspects of life. These aspects include:
1 - Cyclicality
2 - Integration
3 - Embracing of trauma and shadow
4 - The self as relationship
5 - Embodiment
The current paradigm of extraction, separation and scarcity is the result of a partial relationship with life and vitality. It is an overemphasis of creation coupled with a denial of death.In a regenerative paradigm the reaction of judgment and exclusion is replaced by the response of inquiry through the nurturing of calm, curious, compassionate, courageous, confident, clear, creative, and connected self-leadership. It is a radical reorientation towards our fears and discomforts, becoming intimate and related with what we avoid the most.
Regeneration is not a fancy new word for "environmentally conscious" or "sustainable", regeneration is a total recognition of the waves and cycles life is constantly engaging in: Birth, Maintenance, and Death.
These three fundamental qualities represent the fullness of life, the possibility of vitality, the dance of syntropy and entropy, the breathing of the living cosmos, evolution and involution, the lovemaking of light and dark, the perfection of life. Regeneration is not a purely creative process, it is a cyclical process. A regenerative culture overcomes separation and ceases the denial of death as an elementary part of this cycle and recognizes its regenerative and life affirming essence.Death, destruction and disintegration are creating the fertile soil life is rebirthing itself within continuously. Honoring the seasonality of vitality with conscious time for regeneration, pause and hibernation as communities and individuals honors this cyclicality.
One of the core capacities necessary for the manifestation of a regenerative paradigm is integration. Integration isn’t an act of fixing or manipulation, it is a total recognition of the interdependent and undivided nature of everything. This recognition invites a new perspective of humility, where every aspect of life, however dark and uncomfortable, is embraced as vital and valuable partial truth that has to be included in our identity, sense of self, knowledge, values and collective agency.Integration is the capacity for dialogue, it transcends contradiction (thesis and antithesis) with inclusivity (synthesis) through the application of curiosity, humility, courage, self-sourced safety and compassion. Beyond this, integration also acknowledges the continuous developmental journey humanity is on, including the awareness of its current collective adolescence and the transitory nature of everything we think to be true.
Shadow & Trauma Awareness
A regenerative culture is a shift in our relationship to collective and personal trauma and shadow.Trauma is a phenomenon that arises in a dissociated state of an overwhelmed nervous system, leading to a fragmentation of our memory. These fragmented memories revisit us as flashbacks from the past, that without our awareness merge with our present moment experience and create disproportionate or inappropriate reactions to the present based on survival instincts and coping mechanisms that drastically limit our ability for creativity and compassion and perpetuate states of victimization that strip us from our agency.Shadows are the parts of our personality and values that we have willfully disidentified with from an innocent need for belonging and being accepted in our communities. They lead to judgments, projections and denial, disconnecting us from our true creativity and our original innocence. In a regenerative culture these disintegrated parts of our collective and individual memory and personality are neither denied, nor overcome, they are embraced and appreciated as the untapped resources and perspectives they are. They are recognized as our original innocence that hold tremendous gifts within the forgotten underworld of our collective humanity that have value and are a portal to wholeness and deep ecology.
The self as relationship
A regenerative paradigm recognizes the transitory nature of the self and its constructed identities. Who we think we are is an idea that we attach to and identify with, it is not substantial or subjective per se.Understanding this, allows us to become aware of the relationships that create this transitory experience of the self. It makes room for fluidity and flow, for continuous expansion of identity, not getting fixated on ideas of who we are, and replacing the reflex of self with a surrender to the alive cyclical process of an ever expanding identification more and more of what is alive. Within that process-awareness, we can practice compassion with our current limitations of identification and create the resources to continue letting go and grow into more of who we are, every day, again and again.This attitude is the fertile ground for profound intimacy with each other, the planet, the parts of ourselves that still create discomfort, and life as such.
A regenerative culture isn’t possible merely through cognitive inquiry and knowledge, by answering scientific questions in our collective minds, it can't be met by reason, by ideas, by technology, by politics, by supranational agreements, by words or by merely cognitive approaches. It requires a profound and humble, direct, embodied, reciprocal relationship with the whole living ecology, with our hands and hearts deeply immersed in the soils and the waters of this alive earth, with reverence, attention, dedication, and devotion. It needs us as a collective to ground abstract concepts through embodied experience, relationally, within our bodies, between our bodies and in touch with the living soils.We need to feel, smell, taste, and breath-in the soil that is birthing us every moment, listening to its music, and also let it breathe us and fill us with its profound primordial wisdom, as it already knows the answers we are looking for.
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