Natural Living: Why Our Ancestors Got It Right
Living in Harmony
Our ancestors chose carefully, building homes in safe locations.
Sustainable homes connect you to nature.
A natural house should use its surroundings to benefit its inhabitants. For example, by orientating the house to maximise the benefits of air and natural daylight during the day.
This helped them to wake with the sun and adapt to the changing seasons. Following the earth’s natural rhythms benefit our own human (bio) rhythms and energy levels.
Locally Sourced Materials
They built homes from locally sourced, natural raw materials at times to suit each individual element.
For example, mud bricks would ideally be formed when the ground was soft enough to dig and the weather warm enough to bake the bricks hard.
Thatched or straw roofs would need someone to grow, harvest then dry the straw before creating your roof.
It would be perfectly timed after harvest and before winter when the weather would be prohibitive to construction.
East-facing rooms allow us to benefit from the morning sun. This increases our melatonin and helps our biorhythms understand that it’s morning.
This conversely helps our bodies to know when it is time for sleep which can lead to a good night’s sleep. West-facing spaces, therefore, benefit from the afternoon sun.
Life Nurturing Qualities
Increasing the availability of light and ventilation enhances the life-nurturing qualities of your home.
Decluttering your spaces and using natural materials are also good ways to reduce pollutants and allow energy, known as Chi (Chinese), Qi (Japanese) or Prana (Hindu), to flow.
Having plenty of natural light and airflow, uncluttered spaces and using natural materials and plants in our spaces all promote Chi.
Homes that don’t promote Chi allow toxins to circulate and build up, creating physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
Air and water flowed freely around and through these natural homes before evaporating back into the atmosphere, eliminating non-toxic waste products.
Modern building construction now creates airtight spaces which may be more energy efficient and draught-free than our predecessors but instead block out natural ventilation and light.
Creating crossflow ventilation, even by opening windows a small amount on each side of your home (ideally North–South) can help toxins escape.
This will refresh your home with clean air and Chi energy.
It’s also important as the build-up of toxins and pollutants inside a property can become significantly more than outside.
This is particularly an issue if you are a city dweller and far from clean air or green spaces, as over time lack of ventilation will block Chi.
These are the lines of energy along the earth, and the meridians are the lines of energy around our body.
Our bodies respond to and benefit from the energy from the earth to promote well-being.
Create fragrances to uplift or relax you – changing your aroma palette in different rooms or at different times of the day.
Use colours and textures to create softness and comfort and consider lighting effects for different tasks and spaces.
Full spectrum lighting is key to feeling well and particularly important if you don’t have good access to natural light in your spaces.
Adding plants to our homes adds not only a visual boost to our well-being through the biophilic effect, but also acts to cleanse and purify our air quality.
They can also act to show us how well the energy, or Chi, flows through our home. Homes and spaces where plants thrive also allow us to thrive too.
Personal space is our electromagnetic force, or aura which surrounds our bodies.
It is threefold, extending from our bodies in different magnitudes. Some a few centimetres, some a couple of feet and some a couple of metres.
When something invades our space, it can cause discomfort.
This discomfort will change depending on both the proximity and the source – for example, the more we know or like someone, the less discomfort we feel around them.
The closer someone sits, the more discomfort we may feel. Those with neurodiversity can be particularly sensitive to personal space.
This affects everyone differently and can also be a reflection of culture.
It stems from our primal instinct to sit with our back to safety, facing any potential dangers in case of a need to attack.
It’s why people prefer to sit somewhere with a wall behind them or facing the door. It protects and comforts their primal limbic brain and allows them to relax.
It’s a bit of a big concept, but the idea is that as humans, we have a strong connection to and relationship with nature.
In modern times, this connection between the head, heart and hands often breaks down, causing a disconnect. Ecopsychology is there to mend the rift.
The idea is that by honouring the places we live in we are honouring ourselves and the earth.
According to Wikipedia, “Ecopsychology is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field that focuses on the synthesis of ecology and psychology and the promotion of sustainability.
It is distinguished from conventional psychology as it focuses on studying the emotional bond between humans and the earth”.
So what should we learn from the past?
Maybe we should consider the learnings from the past when we develop homes for our future.
Either way, connecting our inside spaces with nature is proven to improve health and well-being.
And that’s no bad thing.
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