In case you read the article below in our February newsletter, I've now moved into my new home/office...
and you can see some of the photos here.
My Growing Edges: Part 2
by Eric Hellman
A Lesson in Faith and Trust: Finding my new home
Since moving to Vancouver, one of my biggest insights - both personally and professionally - is that this is a time of faith and trust. It’s also been one of my biggest challenges.
There is no doubt in my mind that I’ve been spiritually guided to come here at this time. And each day, I’m doing what I believe I need to do to heal, find a new residence and prepare for new work. However, each and every day I also begin to doubt myself. Am I doing enough? Have I looked or worked hard enough? Shouldn’t I be doing something more???
If any of you are faced with some of these thoughts as well, here’s a little story that may help. It concerns finding my new home.
(As I write this, a piano instrumental called “On the Road” is playing on my computer. It’s a favourite piece of music by Michael Jones, a long-time friend and participant in the Centre for Spirituality at Work – and someone I first heard play around the beginning of my own spiritual journey. Just an accident? Hmm, I wonder…)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
One of the decisions I made about 13 years was to live closer to nature. Seeing it and being in it simply nourishes my soul. This has always been true, but I’ve finally come to accept and act on it. As a result, I also now choose apartments that look out onto it, because I work at home and want to inspire and replenish my spirit when I look through my windows.
The last two apartments I’ve rented have been on the edge of nature. And each day, I’ve thanked Life for this. But on this move, I began to doubt whether it would happen again.
Last summer, I wrote ahead to the managers of a building I used to live in - on the edge of famed Stanley Park, a 1000+ acre park in the midst of urban Vancouver - to let them know I’d be coming. But by the time I arrived in early December, nothing was available. Christmas passed, then New Year’s… and on January 2nd, I received a call that they had a vacancy! However, as I headed over, my intuition sensed that this was not the right place for me.
Sure enough, when I looked out from this 11th floor suite, most of what I saw was the tops of other buildings, not the beautiful park across the street. I wanted it to be right, it wasn’t a bad view; I could see some of the ocean and a bit of the park. Surely I should take it! (I was also sleeping in my Mum’s dining room at the time, further impetus to act.) But it didn’t feel right. So, with slight reluctance, I said “no.” And as I stood on the street before walking away, a thought came, “Maybe it won’t be this place.” I let go, and opened myself to something new.
Over the next few weeks, I looked at close to a dozen buildings. I also began searching further away from the Park, thinking that what I really wanted might not be available at a price I could afford. It doesn’t have to have the perfect place; I could do with less. Yet something in me said "No. You don’t need to do this." But, but, but, the other voice said, the vacancy rate is so low. The prices are so high (30-40% more than I was paying in Toronto). I need a place. Shouldn’t I just settle for what’s available?
So which voice do we listen to? And which one do we believe is "true"?
One day, I looked at two buildings with apartments that were still not quite right, but felt like they were ‘getting closer.’ And as I walked ‘home’ afterwards, what came to me was: "This is a lesson in faith and trust. Do you believe you’re being guided, have come here at the right time, and the right place will come for you – or not? It’s a choice of which one you’re going to believe."
After that, the more I looked, the less it felt like I needed to be looking. I was also getting a strong sense that ‘my place’ would be in the same area as my old one. I wasn’t attached to being there; I just kept feeling that was where it would be. Then something did come available, two blocks away and right across from the Park. The building was lovely. The place was spacious. The landlord was great. But the first floor windows looked right out onto a parking lot. And inside I said, yet again, “I can do better than this.”
Where did that come from?
Early morning, one week ago, I was playing one of my favourite meditation or guided imagery CDs. It’s been part of my healing journey for the past couple of years. In this particular visualization, the listener is invited to go to a "favourite place" in nature: to smell it, see it, feel it… You’ve probably heard something like this.
Listening to it, I normally think of a beach that I love, or a rippling stream I once sat beside. But on this morning, what came to mind wasn’t a place in nature. It was my former building! “What the heck is this coming up for?” I thought. Yet I went with it, saw the building in my mind’s eye, and remembered how much I’d enjoyed living there.
Less than two hours later, I received an email from the manager there – telling me another suite had come available. I called him, said I’d be in the area later in the day, and asked if I could see it. And at 5:00 p.m. that afternoon, I was standing in a 17th floor apartment looking out over Stanley Park, and part of English Bay (another famous ‘attraction’ in Vancouver). As the sun was setting over the Bay and the Park, my heart was leaping for joy. I could barely contain it. "Yes… yes… yes" was all I could say within.
When I walked away that night, I could barely keep my excitement down. However, I also knew the power of euphoria to ‘turn one’s head’, so I decided to give myself the night to listen inside and make sure it was right for me. The next day, still feeling that it was, I called and said “Yes.” And two days ago, I signed the papers to make it mine.
And the rent? This apartment was less expensive than the first place I’d looked at in that building, and most of the others I’d seen since. While still much higher than what I paid in Toronto, it is also in the range my intuition says I can afford.
As to what work I will be doing here to ‘afford it’, I’m not yet quite sure. But that also feels like it is going to come into place. And what I do know is that this time is a lesson… in faith and trust.
Psst: I move in on March 1st. And I’ll be sharing photos with you in next month’s newsletter.
In You is everything I hope to find already given me. – A Course in Miracles