OS5: Andrew & Gabriella Morrison – Tiny Houses, Family & Redefining the “American Dream”

Posted on Posted in Podcast

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.

~ Michael J. Fox


Andrew & Gabriella MorrisonAndrew and Gabriella had said “no” too many times.

Their beloved children wanted to do fun things as a family. But, due to time and financial responsibilities, Andrew and Gabriella had to say no, declining the joy of now for a hazy, vague tomorrow.

After one such occasion, they scanned their surroundings and realized that most of their time was going towards paying for a home that they barely used. They had bought into the “American Dream” only to find their lives fading into a series of days spent working just to keep up.

Something had to give.

So, they sold their home, 90% of their belongings, purchased a pop-up trailer and headed for the beaches in Baja for 5 months.

As you do, right?

Thus began a remarkable journey towards a radical lifestyle redesign, which aligned more towards their true values rather than a prescribed dream. The focal point for this transformation is their gorgeous tiny house, which they lovingly refer to as, simply, “hOMe”.

Tiny House
“hOMe” tiny house: 317 square feet & home to the Morrisons

After building hOMe, they thought to shoot a quick video showing it off to friends and family. At 28 minutes, it’s a time commitment for sure. But, assuming only a few people would watch it, they uploaded it to YouTube in February of 2014. A mere 3 years later, and this video has been viewed nearly 10 million times.

Tiny houses, and radical lifestyle redesign, was officially “in”.

In this interview, Gabriella and Andrew graciously and beautifully discuss:

  • Their time in Baja: going off-grid and fully “repatterning” their days for more intimacy and spontaneity
  • The new “American Dream” – what their lives look like today, aligned with their true values
  • How their kids transitioned to the tiny lifestyle
  • Dealing with doubters as they began their tiny journey & the power of clarity
  • Their new relationship to consuming, and what to do when faced with the dreaded “Buy One Get One Free”
  • Their current online business, and the excitement and fulfillment of helping others go tiny
  • The deeply held beliefs that empower them to risk, transform and inspire others
  • Ambitions for the future: helping others find a deeper and tangible freedom in their own lives

What shines through in this conversation with Andrew and Gabriella is the same thing that illuminates their now, famous video:

These are real people who have simply made a decision. A unique one for sure, but if they can do it…maybe you can too.

Enjoy!

andrew & gabriella morrison


Selected Links from the Episode

The Morrisons:

Books:

Other Links:


Show Notes
  • Genesis of the (now) famous YouTube video of their hOMe [9:29]
  • How the “American Dream” didn’t turn out the way they thought it would [12:29]
  • First exposure to tiny houses via an email signature [14:21]
  • Becoming aware of the square footage/income/work relationship [15:14]
  • How when the veil is lifted, there is no turning back [16:36]
  • Selling/giving away 90% of what they owned, moving to Baja for 5 months & living in a pop-up trailer [17:09]
  • Redefining & reprogramming what “home” means [17:53]
  • The list of what they took to Baja [18:35]
  • Importance of family & how a larger home changed their internal dynamic [20:25]
  • The surprise and shock when realizing how happiness and square footage are not connected [21:50]
  • The repatterning & withdrawal process when they unplugged and lived in Baja [25:12]
  • The new American Dream, what it looks like post-reprogramming [27:50]
  • Size of hOMe, and how they live tiny with two kids [28:55]
  • How their kids transitioned to the tiny lifestyle [33:34]
  • Dealing with doubters as they began their tiny journey & the power of clarity [34:35]
  • The process of designing and building hOMe [38:00]
  • Creating a list of non-negotiables when designing their tiny house [40:01]
  • How “consuming” has changed since going changing their lifestyle + Andrew’s BOGO moment [43:40]
  • Difference between what we need and what we want [45:15]
  • Their relationship to food/diet and their ability to invest in this part of their life, “food as medicine” [45:42]
  • Love of travel and how their new lifestyle enables more of this [49:15]
  • Early business, straw bale homes, and Andrew’s biggest goal [51:09]
  • How having a passion or excitement for something can create it’s own “weather pattern” [53:25]
  • The “driving from California to New York metaphor” (Jack Canfield), and how it has dynamically played out in their lives [56:20]
  • “It’s literally so beyond our wildest, wildest dreams…” [58:12]
  • The 3 things that have to line up when jumping into something new [1:00:58]
  • The incredible ways that people are generating income & where opportunities lie [1:02:44]
  • The importance of understanding fear and discomfort in pursuing your dreams [1:04:30]
  • Gabriella’s mantra: “to not believe my thoughts” [1:05:50]
  • Importance of Byron Katie/The Work in their lives [1:06:22]
  • Andrew on getting clear on what he wants & prioritizing joy in his life [1:07:55]
  • Where you put your focus, acknowledging success and maintaining alignment [1:09:10]
  • The impact of nature on their lives, it’s healing power and how it initially brought them together [1:09:52]
  • 3 books – “The Happiness Project”, “The Prophet” & “The Giving Tree” [1:13:30]
  • The 3 items (2 of them stuffed) they have held onto the longest over the years [1:15:30]
  • The urgency of no longer being quiet and speaking your mind [1:17:40]
  • “At some point, there comes a time when you just have to go” & the power of commitment [1:18:45]
  • How building codes are changing allowing for a greater ability for people to build, and live, tiny [1:20:39]
  • Upcoming THB workshop schedule + their new “Create Your Freedom” program coming up this fall [1:26:36]