Green Renaissance produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel hugely blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with exquisite expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate Grateful Living principles and practices. In this short film we hear from Nirmala Nair.
Learn more about Green Renaissance through our Grateful Changemaker feature.*
Questions for Reflection
- What feelings/thoughts/questions surface for you in viewing Nirmala’s story?
- How does Nirmala’s story move you?
We invite you to share your reflections below the video transcript that follows.
My children always tell me, I’m a… what is the…there’s a word for it… social… misfit! (laughing)
You see, I am actually quite unusual in my thinking. I don’t want to just settle down to life. I mean it just sounds so boring, I could not have lived a settled down life. And my work, I think, is continuously sharing the ability to question the status quo. Not let people just sit back into that settled down life and then be comfy. No. We’ve got work to do.
So what are you here for? What are you alive… what are you living for? You are here to do something, even just a tiny little thing, which starts from being able to listen to that little voice inside, to be able to connect with that. If you’re not able to connect with that, how are you going to be able to connect outside. Even if you’ve got wifi and satellite phone and all of that I mean that’s not connection. You are disconnected inside.
Time has become linear. What do they call it? I have a… I have a deadline. That’s right, that’s the word. I have a deadline. Deadline. OK. It’s a line from one to there, and it’s dead. It’s a dead line. So you are following a dead line. You have a dead line. Do you ever have a living line? (laughs) No – it’s a dead line. So obviously if the whole world is following a dead line, what do you expect? You get dead living. (laughs)
There are things that are beyond our understanding. There is an enthusiasm to discover life, and how life operates. But we don’t have that. We have already made answers. We have Mr. Google sitting there and giving us answers at the tip of a click. So we don’t really go out and engage. We don’t relate. We don’t discover.
The intelligence inside us is alive, in everybody. It’s there, for each of us to access. It’s there. So to be able to take the risk, to follow one’s heart, and make mistakes and learn from that, that is authenticity.
To allow of you who have contributed, for those of you who have shared our films, for those of you who have written out comments, this journey is just beginning. And we’ve put a Patreon link below our films, so if you would like to continue to support us, we’d love for you to donate below. Thanks so much.
To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey visit Green Renaissance.
Please log in or Create a Profile to post a comment.
fabulous – inspiring woman and great job description!
As a sociologist, and systems inspired permaculture designer, Nirmala’s expertise is in developing strategies on the ground to enhance a deeper connection to life and wellbeing.
Nirmala has been consulting on integrated local solutions focusing on resilient systems through regeneration and rehabilitation. The first and foremost of them being healing the soil-water-food-web. She has travelled, worked and consulted in many parts of the world including India, Indonesia, Bhutan, South Africa and Zambia.
Currently she is working on a story project highlighting the importance of the interconnectedness of life at the local level that is being eroded with the onslaught of hyper-specialization, over digitalization and unnecessary technological intervention.
She is the founder of School of Practical Sustainability – a non- institutionalized platform to share reflections and possibilities of moving away from a hyper-globalized world to recreating smaller, diverse community settings bringing back common-sense and local knowledge to rebuild broken communities. She works through mentoring, teaching and trainings with the communities she gets invited to work with.
She is a certified permaculture designer trained with Geoff Lawton of Permaculture Research Institute, New South Wales. A trained yoga teacher and an Ayurvedic practitioner, Nirmala’s tiny garden in her Cape Town house enables her to fine tune the teachings of the soil-water-food-web connection to healing life and one’s sense of wellbeing.
She radiates joy! Her smile is infectious. What a wonderful pep talk to start the week, or just start your life!
This made us smile – ‘or just to start your life’. Sometimes we just need to these little reminders that help to redirect us back to the path our hearts need to follow. Hugs to you Alina. Justine and Michael x
Yes! The connection and ability to listen to the small voice is what makes life worth living!
We agree Toni! So glad that you enjoyed this film.
Justine and Michael 💚
Such a positive energy Nirmala has.
Her fully engagement to life, her curiosity around her and openness, her cheerfulness; her story is inspired that there are more in life.
Just as you say, Nirmala is a real inspiration – constantly questioning, seeking to know more, never satisfied to just ‘settle.’
Hugs to you! Justine and Michael 💚
I love these videos…they never fail to inspire and encourage me on my gratefulness journey. How do you find these lovely people?
Nirmala’s story moves me to be more light-hearted. To laugh more. To present to the world my authentic self. I am searching for who that is. Nirmala is an inspiration…she is unabashedly her authentic wonderful misfit self! I wish I could sit with her and have a cup of tea. It seems to me that just being in her presence would bring me closer to my own authenticity.
Thank you for the gift of this, and all, your videos.
Thank you for this beautiful message of appreciation Diane. It really makes us smile to hear that you are finding so much value from the sharing of these films. What we have learnt along this film making journey over the last four years, is that everyone has a story to share, some wisdom to impart, that we have so much to learn from each other. It’s about taking the time to truly connect and listen with open hearts and minds – that’s when the magic unfolds.
Sending you love and very kind wishes.
Justine and Michael x