I would like to let you read an article. Because this piece really touches me. It was forwarded to me from Cissie Schellings, with the caption: “look what fits tiny”. I totally agree with her! Unfortunately, it’s in Dutch, but here is a key paragraph translated:
“Yes, I know that the system is broken and that we have to design something different. Yes, I want to contribute to shaping these new structures. But to really get that off the ground, I need the legitimacy of the existing system, the support, the financing, the network! ”
What is actually being said here?
- the system is broken,
- I’m going to build something new
- the old system must support me, see me and agree with me,
- otherwise it will not work.
There is a curious paradox in this, which I recognize and understand very well. I myself suffer from this paradox from time to time. It is almost a natural reflex, I would say instinctively, to ask for support from the existing system, which at the same time is broken and no longer works.
Yes! Quite correct. This is exactly what I believe in and why I do what I do. Why I decided to have a Tiny House designed and built, even though there were no Tiny Houses in the Netherlands yet. The old “how it should be done” system did not suit me at all, and my heart whispered to me that this was my way. Of course, I didn’t want to listen right away, so the whispering became louder. Until my heart was shouting in my ear with a megaphone. So, I just started doing it. And, oh boy, did it bring me further than I had ever dared to dream!
Photocredits: Barbara Lodewijks
Our system is broken. We know this. The best we can do is listen to our feelings, to our hearts, and follow what it whispers to us. Against all currents. It’s exciting, uncomfortable, complicated. But also, it’s such a beautiful adventure and always worthwhile. There is really no alternative if you want to live. Really live.
The old system probably won’t support you; it works against you. And yet, you will succeed if you dare to follow through. My Tiny House adventure proves that. I have now lived in my small self-sufficient dream house for 4.5 years and there are more than 46 residential projects with several Tiny Houses in the Netherlands, and more than 80 local initiative groups are active to create more residential locations. In just five years! I can’t stress it enough; that’s a huge achievement for a grassroots movement.
It also indicates the enormous need, the drive of these pioneers, to step out of the constraints of the existing system and create something new, something better. So big that they put up with all the obstacles thrown in their path by the old system that opposes them. Fortunately, there are also pioneering municipalities and provinces that really do their best to cooperate. They are also caught in that old, failing system but dare to look for the edges or even cross over borders when they no longer fit.
Photocredits: Lopke van de Reijt
Monique van Orden recently told me: policy follows reality. It keeps going through my head – what a big truth. You can wait endlessly for the system to change, but that will not happen automatically. We have to take the lead, you and me. Just do it. Start the change and make the need known. Only when enough people do so will the policy be adjusted. It is an illusion to think it will be the other way around. Here too, the Tiny House movement shows how it works. Do you still need more convincing?
“Living from your heart, from your soul, requires growing up. It calls for the path of the hero. To dare to stand alone and to dare to trust that you will meet the people on your path who connect with your soul’s desire.”
Chop chop. Get on with it. Follow your heart. Trust that you will receive help. Not from the old system, but from people who share your dream and connect with your soul’s desire. Grow up. Be a hero!