Americans are not moving as much as they did in the past. They are staying in the same house for years on end. Henry Grabar reported in an article on Slate that just 11% percent of the U.S. population changed residences in 2017, down from 12% in 2013 and 13% in 2006. Not only are people not moving from state to state, they are not moving from house to house locally.
What are the reasons behind this phenomenon? The country's aging population own their houses and are not willing to leave them. Second, there are fewer single family homes for sale than at any time since 1982, driving prices for those available higher and higher. Three, fewer homes are being built per capita. And finally, millennials remain in a holding pattern as many of them continue to live at home with their parents.
While some may view this trend toward not-moving as a crisis, counter to the American Dream of upward mobility, some spiritual teachers see it differently. Staying put, being attentive to the place where you are, can be helpful for those on a spiritual journey. Simone Weil said, "To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul." Thomas Merton wrote, "It is essential to experience all the things and moods of one good place."
Here are two spiritual practices you can try to get in touch with the soul of the place where you live:
* Think about the different ways this place has changed or deeply influenced your perspective on yourself.
* Move through your home and identify the special places inside it: the place where you have been most creative, the place where you have nurtured a relationship, the place where you discovered something new about yourself, the place where you have felt supported.