Little House Big Lessons-Episode 2 Mind the Gap
Perhaps that is the biggest tiny house gift I’ve received from my Insight Timer time — a cooler head. I share these 585 sq. ft. with a man who is 6' 2" and a cat who is 18 pounds of orange doofusness. We have to get along, because getting away from each other isn’t really an option.
I, like most of you, am entangled in many social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Minds, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and (until I met Mr. Rochester) OKCupid. Although I enjoy staying more up-to-date with those I truly give a crap about, and love the way these platforms can be incubators for change, I find the whole exercise of trying to be “relevant,” in that space tedious and more banal by the day.
However, a few months ago I got clicked in with a new network of folks, and it has truly made a difference in my tiny house life. I download the app, “Insight Timer.” From the first time I used it, I could see and/or connect with anyone else using it to meditate around the globe. Collectively, the users are also working toward a goal of 10,ooo years of meditating. Yesterday, I contributed 66 minutes to that goal.
I enjoy that while we ping instant “Thanks for meditating with me,” messages around, (my practice is to send a thanks to one woman, one man, and one undetermined each time I conclude meditation,) I haven’t experienced the glut of frivolousness I do in other digital spaces. There are no ads, no memes, no gifs flashing relentless at my tired eyes. Just gentle encouragement.
Somehow, that low-key encouragement did what all the click bait and listicles, memes and free intro offers couldn’t; it got my butt on the cushion on a regular basis. I’ve sat in stillness, or followed a guided meditation for 60 days straight. And it has made tiny house living much easier.
I could easily write, “8 WAYS INSIGHT TIMER CHANGED MY LIFE!” or, “15 REASONS YOU SHOULD MEDITATE DAILY!!” or, “5 MEDITATIONS WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE 5 MINUTES!!!” But I’ll leave that forgettable fluff to those busy busy platform beavers. What I believe is much more interesting is how being more mindful improved the experience of tiny house life.
I think it is an improvement to be relatively free from want. With my improved sense of self-observation, I catch the feeling of material want as it arises. Because there is absolutely no room for more “stuff,” in the tiny house, I have to pause the sensation of want and question to what degree is it a want versus a need. Answer: 99.8% of the time, it’s not needed. The few tchotchkes that adorn our abode are rich with meaning and memory. I wouldn’t trade the little brass donkey from my Grandpa’s house for all the imports at Pier 1. See, Little House Big Lessons-Episode 1 Dralapalooza
I think it is an improvement to avoid the potential, literal, pitfalls of the tiny house. Unexpectedly, my mindfulness has extended to my physical movements. Without ever having set foot in a dojo, I’ve picked up a bit of Bushido, The Way of the Warrior. I’m eternally grateful that I wasn’t mindlessly rushing down the spiral stair case when my long hair became ensnared in the metal railing. Because I was more “in the moment,” I only lost a few strands. I was quicker to notice the day my slipper caught an missed, protruding nail on the scary basement steps. I pitched, but didn’t fall. I called it, “my ninja landing.” And like a good warrior, I had the ability to calm my breath; and thus my entire system benefitted from not going into panic mode. My adrenals thanked me, as did my still intact bones!
The tiny house has a lot of physical quirks to be mindful of. The slope of the loft bedroom ceiling will knock me upside the head if I’m too much in my head and forget where I am and what I’m doing. The first step out the front door is oddly short. The back door needs an extra tug closed or the endless wind off the lake will eventually pull it open. Staying aware means staying in one piece! Bushido.
I think it is an improvement to appreciate this speedy little brain of mine. When you sit, you watch. And sometimes the cacophony of thoughts is so absurd it becomes — when you get the knack of not attaching to your thoughts — quite entertaining. I used to feel a sort of animosity toward my race car thoughts. But I now feel I have my hands on the wheel of the race car; I can steer it instead of being run over by it. And, best of all, I can slow it down, even bring it to a stop and let the engine cool.
Perhaps that is the biggest tiny house gift I’ve received from my Insight Timer time — a cooler head. I share these 585 sq. ft. with a man who is 6' 2" and a cat who is 18 pounds of orange doofusness. We have to get along, because getting away from each other isn’t really an option. I don’t get riled much anymore. I’m finding it easy to question the feelings that arise and judge whether it is worth engaging them, or acting out on them. A tiny house fills quickly with emotion; and one full of joy feels much better. See, Tiny House Dance.
Although I grudgingly attend to my social media presence, it is when my phone dings me the reminder that it is time to sit, that I truly feel connected. I know that I will be sitting silently with between 800–2000 other people around the globe. I know we are all getting to know ourselves so that we may be a better steward of ourselves, our societies, and our planet. It feels like a privilege to spend 20 minutes with folks that actively exercise this responsibility.
I send out my three little gratitudes, and feel a lift when a few thank you’s trickle back to me. Through this social network sanga, I see there are no gaps. At any moment, we are wrapped around the globe, sitting, breathing, watching, loving, knowing, sharing every inhale and exhale.
I could easily write 500 more words on all the amazing features of Insight Timer. However, it would be much more fun if you downloaded it and gave it a spin. If you do, look for me and we’ll have a sit together sometime. Thanks for meditating with me.