Why Tiny Houses Create Healing: Jim’s Story
I want to share with you Jim’s story. Maybe it’s your own story as well. Or someone you know. The theme is ubiquitous: child grows up to be an adult, believes that happiness and joy comes from material possessions, buys into the “American Dream”, fails to find joy, and faces a distinct and challenging event that serves as a wake up call. Now those defining/challenging moments can have one of two effects on a person: 1) create a long term/permanent collapse or 2) propel one into a life that otherwise would not have been possible. As for our friend Jim? He chose door #2.
Jim found himself smack dab in the middle of a real estate gold rush while living in Florida some years ago. Eager to make back the money lost from his divorce, he threw himself into his work as a realtor. Clients were literally throwing money at him, gobbling up real estate like there was no tomorrow. Seeing an opportunity, Jim also started snatching up properties whenever he could. Life was “good”, the money was coming in, he was busy but he shares, “I hated my life. It was never good enough.”
Real estate ventures led him all the way to Panama for a year and upon his return in 2006, he re-entered into a paradigm much different than the one he had left. The real estate market in the US had tanked and long story short, Jim had no choice but to fold on his properties. Just as quickly as the feeding frenzy had begun, so to had it collapsed. And this is where Jim’s story starts to get really interesting.
Jim shares, “It was surrendering that saved me. I had been swimming against the current my entire life, and I gradually learned to swim along with it instead. However, it was the beginning of a crazy, depressing, and challenging period of about five years until I was truly healed and recovered. I can’t pinpoint the day I really “got it”. It took a while, but gradually I learned to consciously change my thoughts and approach to life.”
A job offering led him to NYC. He packed up his worldly belongings into his car and made the drive to Manhattan, unaware of the transformation that lay ahead. Amongst the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest cities in the world, he found a yoga studio called ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha Tantra and Ayurveda). He immersed himself into this new practice, lifestyle, and way of seeing the world. Jim shares, “I finally learned how to deal with all the mental chatter that most humans learn to equate with who they are. Quite simply, I finally woke up. Life became infinitely clearer, and negativity was steamrolled by gratitude.” After three years of living in NYC and with clarity in his life, he realized he didn’t need the city life anymore. He began to crave nature like never before and the west coast, which had always felt like home, called to him.
Today, Jim calls Ojai home. He shares “I’m in much less of a hurry than I used to be. It hasn’t all been roses, as is the nature of life, but altogether I love it here. Ojai is spectacular. I swim laps outdoors and hike in the hills whenever I can. I have a job that just requires a phone, an internet connection, and some travel. I have met some very generous people that have been totally on board with my Tiny House project, and so it has become a reality.”
When I asked Jim what drew him to tiny house living he thoughtfully answered, “Time is the most precious gift we have in this life, not money, and Tiny House living makes it easier to get rid of all the extra “stuff” that clutters up our lives. This opens up a lot of extra time!” He added, “In our country we are so far behind the curve in green, sustainable living, and this avenue allows a real alternative for certain people who’s lifestyle fits this living. It can be a huge reminder to live in the present and be grateful for everything in this life. Sometimes this is lost amidst the clutter.”
Thank you Jim for taking the time to share your story with us and explaining why tiny houses create healing. We look forward to hearing more as it unfolds. If you would like to read more about Jim’s story, you can visit his website, Go Small Or Go Home, by clicking HERE.