Winners | Part 2 – Completion
I'm wrapping up this "Winners" series with final insights and vital lessons I learned from navigating housing instability throughout most of 2022.
To start: the best of us will be tested.
Especially as we choose to evolve our service and contributions beyond our comfort zone, and the low expectations of others.
This testing often involves a loosening of what we hold as precious – some object, situation, relationship, or experience we feel should not be touched or questioned.
As I write, across much of the tech sector tens of thousands of amazingly brilliant people – across all functions – have been and are continuing to be laid off. Outside of the tech space, additional sectors and market verticals are facing similar rash layoffs.
Jobs [and their waning "security"] are being touched, messed with, alongside many positions' functional value being aggressively questioned.
In 2020, a global pandemic gave many in the tech sector and beyond, a severely convenient test–excuse to "cut costs", initiate RIFs, and a host of other sterile HR definitions meant to neutralize accountability and corporate responsibility in upholding human dignity yoked with the power and agency given in useful work.
In reality: what was "cut" was a father's/mother's/caretaker's/newly out-of-college graduate or a seasoned, respected, ethical older-than-35 professional's economic livelihood and material stability.
At a time when the health, sanity and economic stability of every productive citizen most needed to be protected, fear bit into poorly managed budgets, bloated headcounts built on negligence, veneer company "values", and the average run of investor pocketbook-sentiments regarding scarcity, in greedy anticipation-prediction of an economic winter and a "bear market".
Now, another unusual set of investors are talking about a time of extreme innovation starting to arise, in the midst of so much loss and economic bloodletting.
How does all of the above connect to the housing instability I experienced through most of 2022?
The second lesson I had to swallow involved accepting that external influences are a pressure that must be dealt with – from an extremely internal focus – first. I had to work from the inside-out, to resolve my housing situation.
When external [social, political, market, global health] environments are filled with naysaying, destructive thoughts that depress instead of uplift energy and focus, when the social fabric at any given moment has been woven toward degrading self-confidence versus increasing resolve and solutions-making, you have to pull back your attention. You must stoke and calibrate your will toward higher ground.
I had to stop reacting in fear and allowing uncertainty to rule my mind, emotional state, access to opportunities, and physical wellbeing. I had to take, snatch back control – not expect it to be "given" or "handed over" to me, by anyone.
I had to stop listening to the news, the reports, the pundits and experts about what was possible for me, and my "demographic", or what was even "realistic in this economy" and global health terrain.
Yes: I still had to think critically, and act with urgency.
Yes: I still had to ensure my physical health, regenerative economic stability, and over wellbeing based on facts and tangible evidence that aligned with my own instinctive wisdom, paired with trusted, battle-tested insight from experienced financial masters, and science-backed common sense.
But I did not choose to hide and play into fear, or give up my power. I exercised agency and creative acumen every chance I got.
The third lesson-insight I learned to practice persistently was s l o w i n g ... d o w n in the midst of daily chaos concerning my housing situation.
I had to take a consistent and radically conscious break from the urge to spin off into anxiety, depression, or overwhelm. Applying a daily sitting meditation practice and walking in nature cured me of falling into these emotional states for longer than a few days, or in most cases, a few hours. I had to refuse to give in – I chose to actively fight against the cloud of despair that would creep in.
I decided that none of those states of mind were options for me indulge in.
This is where the power of faith and a reliance on a wholly Omnipotent, Benevolent Source [whom I refer to as God, The Almighty] was – and is – critical to my inner life success.
The shift from relying on other random [un-tested] humans and their opinions to help me fix my problems, invoked surrender into listening deeply for fresh solutions and genuinely sourced support from others who were focused on serving and assisting from good character and an ethical, morally just compass of helping me win – as a practice of self-love and peace they created in their own lives.
Getting quiet in order to generate energy to sustain critical self-reflection and internal calm was key to shifting outcomes in my external world.
I had to be aggressive in protecting my peace. I chose to take full advantange of the smallest opportunity to shut down negative thinking and the inevitable result of freezing, or becoming numb to fulfilling the next steps that only I could do.
The fourth lesson involved me accepting my creative and artisanal power to infuse my vision into the social atmosphere.
While a whole social engine of fear, conflict, illness, and financial scarcity was [and still is] being pumped and promoted daily, I did not have to agree to this being my exclusive reality.
It is a reality – not the reality.
My task was only to focus on ensuring that my inner world practices, self-care and daily, moment-to-moment visioning overtook and overthrew external obstacles [illusions to be destroyed]. I asked for guidance and I followed directions. If a direction given did not work, I gave myself no more than a few hours – at most, two to three days – to course correct.
Secure housing and stable income was the focus – not me being "right" all the time.
Lesson five – never let my time be wasted – was introduced to me as I dove into constant course corrections and valuable guidance follow-through.
When someone is in the midst of a major life challenge, time becomes slippery and thick with confusion. I had to kill off confusion in tiny increments, daily.
I often did this by refusing to spend any of my time socializing in the temporary housing situations I chose [Airbnbs].
I learned that many people are content to skim through life by tolerating unstable living conditions because the effort needed to break free of this particular life oppression is too daunting.
I learned that my values prevented me from accepting perpetual home instability as a permanent solution to what I decided was only meant to be a temporary problem.
Which meant that I decided to be quiet. I chose to listen more than talk in those environments, and I decided to become an excruciatingly detailed observer of human behavior. Beyond what I thought I was already skilled at.
All of my life coach training was put into painfully immediate practice. If I did not pay extreme, diligent attention to others and how they utilized their time and energy, my own time and energy was inevitably wasted by their attempts to syphon off of mine.
I was also deeply fortunate to observe others who held a level dignity in their own drive to better their temporary housing situation. This dignity showed in the quality of attention that they gave to me and others in swift, potent conversations, in the exchange of vital job search information, or while cooking a quick meal together – as a gesture of trust and kindness, in respectful compassion toward each other's boundaries as temporary housemates.
Time became a dynamic of currency that I had not appreciated or processed so deeply before. Its bounty only grew in relation to how I well I sustained my awareness and responsible caretaking of it.
There are numerous other lessons and insights I received from last year, some of which I'm being revisited with, in new, subtler forms of practice opportunities toward mastery of the lesson.
I'll end this Winners series by sharing that how we choose to navigate critical life challenges is relentless, evergreen work.
One way that sustains me through new seasons of challenge is documenting, journaling, my process. Then, as inspired, sharing my findings rooted in love for the journey and every being that has contributed to the lessons and insights – whether smoothly or roughly received.
As you move into March 2023, take some time to document what has already happened to, and for you, since the start of the year.
What has already shown up as "home" for you – the sacred inner spot of your life, to be fought for, and cultivated?
What are you ready to leave behind – the inner life destinations / states of being you've visited, and have no desire to return to?
Going forward: expect [at least] a weekly dive into an inner life success principle or inspired hit I've run into that I'm drawn to share.
These are teaching love letters and coaching-point portals.
Again, this is our season of doing the inner work together – in word gift form.
Sending big joy,
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