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Winners | Part 1

When I realized I’d have to make radical housing adjustments this past April, 20-plus years of mindfulness training and inner growth work kicked in.

I also had tons of “practice” to pull from, after being laid off in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Two years of fresh difficulty and challenge made me more resourceful.

That’s the way I chose to view my housing situation.

I refused to sink into victimhood paralysis or extreme worry. I refused to be disrupted from recreating my reality out of what most peers would consider another “failure”.

Years of mindfulness practice, faith in the Absolute Good, and tons of initiative to jump on the smallest opportunities to shift positively also secured confidence in asking my beloved community for help.

The First Lesson I learned was to reclaim my sense of home by owning and acting from the truth that I am not alone. That God/The Almighty walks with me, with all of us, all of the time.

And: that we only need a few amazing souls to walk with us when meeting a private challenge.

We do need faith and trust in ourselves and in the select, weighty few who are appropriate to be marked as our beloved community, as part of The Almighty’s cover.

If you wince at my bold trust [not mere “belief”] in a mighty, absolutely good and holy power — beyond anyone’s attempts to control, dismiss, co-opt, or destroy it — good.

You don’t have to believe. Know confidently that this offering is *not* for you.

For those of you as tech innovators who are aligned: I had to let go of operating in silence. I had to stop pretending that I could solve this problem [exclusively] with “human” support.

I had to drop the pretense that I could do this on my own, solely through my own efforts, and that I had to “prove my worth” to other humans to get the uncommon support I needed. I had to reorient my reality and how I move through it toward seeking and resting in resource — beyond human limitation and assumptions of what is possible in unusually trying circumstances.

The other part of this first lesson involved me accepting the nudge from the Divine Good to reach out to trusted and battle-tested family and community for help to walk my journey out.

Not to rest on my butt and give up.

I chose to fight. I chose to do battle with my own mind, emotions, expectations and limited view of the moment I was in. I decided where “home” for me truly was — with and in the constant presence of the Absolute Good.

This additionally meant that where I was physically located on Earth — in that moment — was also home, at a material level. I did not need to surrender my ground. I needed to stand on it — dwell in it — and do good.

Doing good first meant meant I’d work through the shame and embarrassment of temporarily not having a “stable mailing address” and still know and feel I was home, by asking for help from those I loved and who I know loved me. [The true root of “home.”]

I called on honorable family and friends to help me make the logistical adjustments out of my former housing.

Even my former landlords were part of my beloved community. They showed up in ways that were uncommon and beautiful, while still helping me stay accountable to my commitments.

This beloved community ironically never doubted me.

Not once did they question me and drop naysaying edge around my choice to step into the arena and dance with trouble, by transforming my own habits through action. If they did have doubts: they kept it to themselves.

All I received from them was love, extreme responsiveness and goodwill. This meant the world to me and fortified me in ways I’ll never be able to repay, but can pass forward.

As you navigate challenges in your life, lean on your beloved community.

Choose only a select few to put your trust in.

They should be beings you have already weathered storms with — who know your motive, character and drive to succeed and benefit others. They must be beings that viscerally get the urgency of the moment that you’re in. And: if they do question you, you’ll know [feel, sense] they’re questioning only to improve your skillfulness. Not to destroy or suffocate it.

Gutsy, gifted and grace-driven beloved community get in the ring with you. Or, they help you train for your inner battles, because they have been through their own. They orchestrate and co-maneuver to help you dance more beautifully through the difficulty, so the “battle” transforms into a joyful, enriching, even blissful liberation practice.

Lesson Two involved me digging in to the action-endurance practice of surrendering to inhabiting spaces with people I would never have chosen to engage or live with, for any length of time.

This is a truth-telling edge.

I am a woman who loves solitude, quiet and lots of space.

Six months of living in close proximity with “strangers” who had radically different value systems, cleanliness habits, spatial awareness, communication and conflict resolutions skills than my own tested me — daily  — beyond my comfort.

Every day I had to swallow bricks of pride and arrogance.

I had to accept that this situation is part of God’s offering of patience I could choose to cultivate now, or later. Either way, I could not move forward until I accepted each of these fellow travelers as a sister or brother on the path.

Even while it was still critical to protect my safety, physical health, and inner wellbeing by keeping my distance, we were all the same. We all were working to secure the same fundamentals of physical safety, being nourished, and being valued. Underneath the surface identities and attitudes were people who also had a whole life story, who had incredible gifts and power, who were also navigating what it means to be at “home” with themselves, and in this world.

I had to surrender my judgements and anger.

My standards were my own.

No one else needed to meet them. But I did not need to accept their standards as my own just to “get along”, or to make them comfortable. I just needed to respect their walk, and keep moving forward in my own direction.

Once I did that, surprising levels of respect and curiosity bubbled up. I could listen and observe more deeply — all the time. Which made making swift pivots easier, dissolving [or transforming] social friction, more often than not.

The other aspect of work and digging in involved radically accepting immediate, ethical solutions to the financial strain I was dealing with.

I had not been making consistent income since April 2020. I was blessed with getting laid off to use rightfully earned unemployment benefits to live from, alongside stocks I was happy to sell to buffer myself as I initially strove to “just get another job.”

The Third Lesson was opening to new directives.

I was forced to listen for next steps — in micro increments — day by day. I had to plan moment by moment how I would navigate a temporary housemate’s mental or emotional instability that was threatening the safety and security of myself and others. I had to navigate how I would find honorable work — within 24 to 72 hour increments to continue paying for a room. I had to navigate and strategize how I’d handle attempts to constantly negate my extreme devotion to keeping my personal space in communal living situations from being disturbed.

Some of the work I did, the tiny actions, that made a beautiful difference:

  •  Making my bed every morning — something I’ve done since being six years old.

Just because I did not have a stable mailing address did not mean the bed I slept in was not my responsibility to take exquisitely good care of.

Making a bed is not a practice most “modern, mature” adults do anymore — no matter whether they are wealthy, or economically challenged. No matter whether they’re an immigrant, foreign national, or a local citizen. No matter their gender identity. The cultural background and age is also irrelevant.

The average, fully-abled adult views taking care of their home space as a nuisance and hindrance…so they don’t do it. Or, they "hire" someone else to take up their responsibility and slack. I observed this repeatedly, in concentrated form, over the last six months.

Yet, this little edge of setting my realm in order by making my bed each day, made an exponential difference in keeping my spirits up.

  • I created a simple nutritional morning ritual of tea time and a bagel. 

I made the most of what I had access to regarding food and savored the reality that I worked honorably for this — without sacrificing my values or life force in an unhealthy or harmful way. I started my day —  even if it was all I had for the next 24 hours — with that tea and bagel. That simple meal of appreciation kept me going.

  • I continued to walk/exercise outdoors on my days off from working temp assignments. 

On days I could not work a job, I did not “sleep in”. I turned the hard necessity of needing to preserve my personal inner space by enjoying my time outside in nature. When I’d return to a packed housing situation at the end of the day, I was fortified, with a strategy created for the upcoming week toward incremental upgrades of my situation.

Continuing a lifelong habit of staying physically active and enjoying the natural world dissolved multiple layers of stress, so I could continue to think clearly and calmly. I made maintaining my sanity and emotional balance a top priority — with the resources available to me — so I could continue to progress forward.

In the next share, Winners | Part 2 – Completion, I’ll unveil additional insights. 

Stay focused, and be kind to yourself.



Originally written and posted December 6, 2022.