Creating A Refuge In A Stressful City

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Whether you are working 9-5 in a cubicle, freelancing from a coffee shop, or creating from your garage we all are facing the increasing pressure of globalization. We are having to produce quality content consistently, navigate ever changing and at times frustrating social media algorithms, and DIFFERENTIATE ourselves from the competition. For the millennial generation who does not like to be stuck in a box or told we can't be good at many things -- there is always incentive to do more, achieve better results, and get ahead.

"We're all so scared of hurting or offending people that we don't tell them exactly what they need to hear in order to become fully realized adults." - Natalia Borecka

We are chipping away at making our dreams a reality. We are dedicated to skilling-up or pivoting, but character, and statesmanship are words that have become utterly defunct vocabulary. There is something missing. We are losing sleep, we are anxious and we are stressed out. We snap photos of perfect plates of food, but are losing the ability to converse deeply around a meal. Workplaces have become the center of cities - providing yoga, meditation, food, continued learning and community. The only problem is corporate wellbeing initiatives are not deeply rooted rather their focus is to "attract and retain talent". They are driven by a need to produce more, better, faster. Someone recently mentioned to me that we seem to be going back to the coal mining era where entire towns were built around industries. What happens if the tech industry which has been shaping Seattle decides to move elsewhere? What if the bubble bursts? What will be left behind?

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” ― Wendell Berry

We seem to have gotten off-course, but are so busy we don't even realize the massive shifts which have happened in the last 10-15 years. We've glamorized the dreams and goals of the individual, to the extent that we are trying to do everything by ourselves. We feel guilty when we can't do it all. We are bio-hacking, gene hacking, life hacking, to get any advantage we can. Our whole being, family, friends and communities are being neglected as we pursue success.

Most people try to fix their inner problems by getting better at the same external games they have always played... External changes are not going to solve your problem because they don't address the root of your problem. The root problem is that you don't feel whole and complete within yourself. If you don't identify the root properly, you will seek someone or something to cover it up. You will hide behind finances, people, fame and adoration. If you try to find the perfect person to love and adore you, and you manage to succeed, then you have actually failed. You did not solve your problem. All you did was involve that person in your problem. - Michael A. Singer

This past weekend my parents came to visit which led to a spontaneous slumber party at my sisters one bedroom apartment. Family members sleeping on couches, on pallets on the floor, and the dog squished in between. I was reminded that the size of the house doesn't matter, it's the people in it. As we are all pursuing our dreams, I would ask us are we making a home? Are we making a place that people can come into and just be? A refuge from the stresses of life?

I want to create a home, a place that is a refuge for myself and those I care for.