Urban human-nature resonance for sustainability transformation


Seeing with the heart –
About individual human-nature resonance,
a common dilemma with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and a sustainability-related explanation to the readers


A personal expression of my
individual human-nature-resonance
(Continuations always possible!)

For me, resonance means breathing consciously,
to fall asleep in the evening,
To feel pain,
accept this pain ,
to want to be healed,
Beauty to see,
to think about Bolivia.

For me, resonance means laughing,
to dance to music and feel joy,
the smell of fresh home-baked bread,
watching the birds fly and the fish swim,
complimenting the plants in my flat,
Putting earthworms from the footpath onto the side,
to be grateful for the friend who always has an open ear.

Understanding each other silently is also a sign of resonance,
to be carried by a horse with joy,
the moment when the little prince got his sheep,
to be true to his heart,
to remain true to his heart,
To help others - if possible,
to apologize,
to forgive,
to embrace each other,
to love,
to be.

Dear readers,

I thought for a long time about whether I should start with the expression of my personal individual human-nature resonance right ahead or first write an explanation. As you can see, I have decided to trust you and your perceiving-abilities and hence to start directly expressing my personal individual human-nature resonance. Unfortunately, the protagonist of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's world-famous book "The Little Prince" was not so lucky: After he made drawings at the age of 6 and then presented them to adults, they did not understand his intention behind them. They advised him to rather do something reasonable in life: Becoming mathematician, geographer etc. (something with numbers and whole sentences). Some people will remember that he tragically gave up his potential career as an artist at the age of 6. 


Exupery's grandiose first masterpiece in
"The Little Prince"

But what does this have to do with the expression of my individual human-nature resonance?

In our modern world, we adults are mostly used to getting explanations for everything and also explaining and justifying ourselves. We talk a lot with our heads. We throw theories around and calculate everything if possible. We define and quantify objects, people, clouds and the list could go on for a long time. Sometimes, when I am with other adults, I miss something: Interacting with other senses, with feelings, with the body and always guided by curiosity. For example, once a few years ago I was on a company trip with many nice colleagues on a ship. After a while, I couldn't do much with the conversations and instead found it much more exciting to observe bugs with a child, to get to know them and to marvel at what other beings share the space with us. Unfortunately, we all too often forget to see the world as children see it: With shining eyes, as Hartmut Rosa would say.

Or as Antoine de Saint-Exupery would say: With the heart.


Looking with the heart

Why can this be important for everyday life and for the current problems?

In his resonance theory, Hartmut Rosa has broadly described how, in his opinion, modern societies have lost their relationship to the world. By trying to dominate everything in our current economic system, to make everything available, we no longer recognize that every opposite has her or his own voice and value. We assume the right to determine the world, to extract unlimited resources from it, to strain our bodies ever further - always with the aim of accumulating as many resources as possible for ourselves. But what happens then is that a relationship falls silent. Our relationship to the world, our relationship to nature. Given the urgent need for deep change towards sustainability – would it not also be appropriate to measure a society's progress not through GDP growth, but by focusing on happiness and sustainability (if we already seek to make our world visible through key figures)? One suggestion for this is the Happy Planet Index, which focuses on the ecological footprint, life expectancy and our ecological footprint as the basic prerequisite for a healthy and fulfilled life in the sense of sustainable human-nature relationships.  In their book Mehr sein, weniger brauchen - Was Nachhaltigkeit mit unseren Beziehungen zu tun hat (Being more, needing less - what sustainability has to do with our relationships), Jessica Böhme and Thomas Bruhn trace human relationships and reflect on possible levers for a sustainability transformation.   Also the aim of our URBNANCE project is to explore how our relationship with nature can resound relationally, resonate again, in order to enter into human-nature resonances. Becoming aware of our relational dependence on nature and understanding it with appreciation is seen by many scientists as a great lever to deepen our human-nature resonance again. This includes reconnecting with our own nature - our heart.

Why is there not "THE" human-nature resonance?

In terms of the diversity of different characters, it is not about a single human-nature relationship, but each person has his or her very own relationship with nature, which is shaped by experiences, upbringing, (epi)genetics, society, etc.. How these experiences shape our current interaction with our spatial environment is something I investigated as part of my master's thesis: Those who joyfully ran along under avenues of chestnut trees as children will often resonate more easily with this landscape in adulthood. Those who like to hear the sea roar will also like to go to the sea as adults.


Resonance partner sea

Made physical experiences and experienced feelings shape our future interaction with the world, nature, other people and ourselves. Physical actually hits the spot, because everything is stored in us physically and mentally and can therefore also be changed in this way. Remembering one's childhood dreams and goals and retrieving these treasures can be helpful in connecting with life energy. The inner child is a common metaphor used in psychology and psychotherapy.

How do I find my own human-nature resonance?

Getting to know yourself better in a mindful way can help you to understand who or what makes you happy. Knowing your values and needs helps you to develop strategies to integrate them into your life and to change your own (also physical) constitution.


Going in search

This has also been discussed by Stefanie Spessart-Evers in her book "Klimawandel - Bewusst seins wandel" under the heading Auf das eigene Herz hören. Who am I and what do I need? (p. 163). For example, she sees the promotion of mindfulness as a way to strengthen the soul's ability to resonate with life (p. 62). And also, living in harmony with my own individual human-nature resonance requires a certain amount of reflection, but rewards with a more sustainable lifestyle according to studies. A wonderful exercise from ACT therapy, a value-oriented therapy that helps bring people closer to their needs and goals, is for example to imagine the ideal day: What would you do if money was no object? Just be with friends? Read in bed all day? Paint? A bit of everything? At the end of the exercise, ideally you have a few notes with things that fulfil you and make your eyes light up and your heart dance, in Rosa's sense. Next, ACT therapy also supports individuals to integrate these moments of happiness into their lives but that is not to be the content of this essay, but will be the subject of my second dissertation paper.

The expression of my individual human-nature-resonance outlined above is supposed to help not to disregard the fulfilment of heart's desires. Reading it helps me personally to remember my beautiful resonance moments and to consciously store them in my body as memories: Beautiful carp, cutting still hot steaming bread and dancing spontaneously. By directing my concentration again and again to positive experiences, resonances arise here too - with the imagined inner pictures on the one hand, but also with myself (gifting oneself with pleasant feelings). 

At the same time, I hope, my personal expression can act as a bridge and invite you to let yourself be touched and to reflect: What do you burn for? When and where do you see with your heart? What are your values and goals in life? Where have you felt in harmony with the world, nature and yourself and your values?

I would be happy to hear about your individual human-nature resonances!

Resonant greetings

Author: Susanne Müller

If you have any comments or question on the essay, feel warmly invited to contact the author  (s.muellerioer@ioer.de).





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