I have decided to finish off with a post reflecting on my diploma journey, just ahead of my final assessment later this week. I am using the 4 questions to structure my thoughts.
WHAT HAS GONE WELL?
- I’ve enjoyed learning about a range of different subjects, from forest gardens, to organisational design, to working with groups of people and herbal medicine.
- My time on the diploma has been a diverse experience for me and I’ve learnt so many new practical skills, tried out new ideas and increased my knowledge.
- I’ve loved being able to tailor the diploma around my specific interests and needs.
- Through the work I’ve done for my diploma, I’ve developed my environmental education business and trained as a forest school leader.
- The diploma has directly benefitted my career path, taking me towards a really fulfilling and worthwhile career that allows me to work regularly outdoors and educating people about arts and the environment.
- I’ve improved my health, learning more about how to eat, exercise and relax in ways that work well for my lifestyle and body type.
- My garden is abundant and manageable with lots of interesting features and plants growing. It’s a great place in which to rest and play and educate my children.
- I’ve learnt more about my local area
- I’ve developed many of my personal interests and found ways to include them in my career path, ie photography, foraging, organic gardening and natural crafts.
- I’ve found ways to structure and manage my business, helping me to overcome some of the difficulties in running a 1 person business.
- The diploma has allowed me to devote time to myself and my own learning and development. Time which otherwise would probably have been swallowed up with the day-to-day tasks of family life.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND DIFFICULT?
- I’ve found the diploma quite an isolating experience.
- I didn’t really get anywhere with creating a local guild, so it was a shame not to have peers to discuss my diploma with.
- I felt a bit ‘out of the loop’ at diploma gatherings and didn’t find them an especially positive experience. I think being a relatively shy person, its tough for me to deal with that type of enforced togetherness once a year.
- It was difficult that I chose a tutor who lives so far away from me. It meant that contact with her was only once or twice per year and involved a 4 hour round trip.
- I found it hard to maintain my momentum throughout the drawn out timescale.
- I got stuck in the ironic situation of creating designs that became so successful that they left me with no time to work on my diploma!
- I found the 5 year timescale difficult, it’s a long time to devote to something, I wish I could have done it faster. However, my breaks in diploma work were very productive in other ways.
WHAT ARE YOUR LONG TERM GOALS AND VISIONS?
- I want to continue working with my business and developing it further
- I’ve been considering multiple possibilities for the future of MB, possibly buying or renting some land of my own.
- I want to strive to keep a good work-life balance and not let my work life take over family life.
- I want to feel valued in all the jobs and projects that I undertake and to make a sustainable income from my work.
- Moving out of the city is still a possibility that we as a family return to time and again. We have family who farm in Wales, so often consider relocating to support them as they get older and less able to manage the land.
- I want to continue developing my skills and creativity.
- I want to work more with women and develop my retreat days
- I want to keep spending time on my own personal development, pursuing my long-term and emerging interests in earth based spirituality, herbal medicine, yoga and meditation.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT ACHIEVABLE STEPS?
- The very next step is to hand this in to my tutor, run through the last 5 designs with her and then address any changes that need making.
- I’m just about to start my spring programme of Muddy Boots, so from next week onwards I’ll be working outdoors 3 days most weeks. So that is going to be keeping me busy.
- I’ve already got ideas for additional designs I’d like to pursue buzzing around in my head, so i need to start getting these down into a notebook and working on them once time is available.
- I need to plan my accreditation event once I know I’ve passed my assessment!
- I want to keep tweaking existing designs and remembering to refer to them.
- I want to begin implementating my wild and healthy design.
- I want to keep using permaculture to guide and design my life.