Our New Yorker Magazine Response
Reflecting on the New Yorker article, and subsequent press and conversation was a learning experience, a transformational test of my inner strength.
The writer lived with us for 8 days. She selected moments from only the first 3 days to paint her picture.
Omitted was soaking in hot springs. Omitted was days surfing. Omitted was breaking down in a national forest. Omitted was sharing ideas and beers with the GoWesty crew. Omitted was essentially why we love life and why we live in a van.
I was confused. Why is mainstream media focusing on the financial aspect of vanlife and especially influencer marketing, a new work territory for us all? And why the friction?
Here’s what I am learning…
Us human beings create belief systems, highly complex relational structures that determine our desires, thoughts and behavioral patterns. We often present this as who we are. I am a woman. I am a man. I am 33. I am a vanlifer. I am a capitalist. I am a neo socialist. I believe in God. I don’t believe in God, etc.
We surround ourselves with thoughts about who we are in an attempt to define ourselves.
However, our beliefs can divide us because we seek validation through our reflection in the people surrounding us. Essential, we make others a part of our inner model and want them to be predictable because it reinforces the walls we’ve built. When they change, we feel disturbed.
The problem with this mode of operating is that change is the only constant in nature. By attaching to unchanging thoughts we fight our own nature. Life moves in cycles of creation, preservation and destruction.
We live in a van because we love it. Plus, our lifestyle of movement has helped us reclaim real wealth.
Wealth, by ancient origin of the word, means abundance, happiness and wellbeing.
We reclaim real wealth when we work with purpose.
We reclaim real wealth when we engage with nature.
We reclaim real wealth when we adventure beyond our comfort zone.
We reclaim real wealth when we follow our passions.
We reclaim real wealth when we radically accept our differences.
We reclaim real wealth when we make health a priority.
We reclaim real wealth when we realize other’s opinions are not our responsibility.
We reclaim real wealth when we redirect our focus inward when challenged and work all the way through our response.
We reclaim real wealth when we remember we are pure awareness having a fractal experience called life.