Awesome Stories 361

This week Awesome Stories brings you DIY homes, hopelessness, and courage.

DIY Homes

I’ve always loved the flowing lines of dome homes and these DIY ones from DomeGaia look beautiful. They also seem like a lot of work. If you’re willing to invest a lot of labor, they estimate you can build a dome home from Aircrete for under $10,000. Aircrete is an earth-friendly building material made from natural materials like sand, cement, lime, gypsum, water, and a foaming agent. This creates an aerated concrete with insulation, structure and fire protection in one lightweight product. My hesitation is having to build the pump, mixer, forms, unique windows, etc. I’d love to see the 3D printer technology from ICON (see below) combined with the aircrete material. DomeGaia offers building plans, workshops, videos, and more on their website.

The founders of ICON have ambitions to transform the housing markets around the world. They’ve already built a prototype in Austin TX and plan to start their first community project of 100 homes in El Salvador next year. They believe their low-cost, 3D printed, concrete based homes can provide safe affordable homes for the almost 1 billion people who don’t have proper homes. ICON has developed a method for printing a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours that costs about $10,000 currently with plans to bring the cost down to about $4000. Again, I would love to see a company like ICON use hempcrete or aircrete which are more environmentally friendly than regular concrete.


When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the pain itself. ~ Pema Chödrön 

hopelessness, Awesome StoriesAccording to Pema Chödrön, unless we give up hope, we will never learn to relax into the deepest truth of who and where we are. The true spiritual journey begins with hopelessness, not hope. I read her book When Things Fall Apart a few years ago and couldn’t relate or embrace the wisdom of her message. Now, after trying so hard to improve myself and my life for so long and still things fell apart, I can see the wisdom of embracing the uncertainty, pain, loss, ambiguity of life. Only through self-compassion and acceptance for our pain and darkness, thereby gaining wholeness, can we begin to grow the light within.


Here’s a wonderful article by Brené Brown about Courage over Comfort. It’s a very touching story about an advertising executive who faces his own feelings of shame and inadequacy in a courageous way that helps not only himself but the whole team. Andrew was a respected team leader who felt he had screwed up and let his whole team down. With the help of a friend, he gained insight into the fears and shame driving his feelings and he shared the insights with his team. I was moved to tears by the story of how Andrew found the courage to be honest with himself and the team.

May your week be full of courage, love, and a comfortable home.


34 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 361

  1. Oh my goodness, I love that air-crete housing, so amazing and beautiful, id love to build one. Also pemas book “when things fall apart” has been my go to for almost three years now…I love love that book..simple, fun , Pema always adds so much humor in life to lighten the load. I love her wisdom. Thank you for this post it’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read Pema’s book, Brad. But I’m wondering if the message of giving up hope is akin to giving up a denial of our current state. Meaning: maybe she is saying if we’re always hoping for something or somewhere else we lose contact of what is present now? And if so, that would make sense to me, in that with acceptance of things we reunite with these pieces of ourselves we’ve been trying to cast out, so to speak, and then transformation can begin… Not even sure if that is relevant, but that is what I thought reading your paragraph here.


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  3. Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
    Brad’s awesome stories this week include a new kind of dream home and the healing power of of self-compassion, acceptance and honesty. I enjoyed the story about the ad executive who admitted his mistakes and strengthened the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brad, what an excellent trio of stories you’ve curated for us here, along with your own strong words. I particularly appreciate the last one. When we are afflicted and in pain,courage isn’t the main thing one wants to feel. Comfort seems so much nicer.

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  5. Those DIY homes are always fun to explore, watch, and contemplate. I love the DomeGaia ones. 🙂 Approaching the spiritual journey from hopelessness. I admit that I haven’t heard of this, but it sounds intriguing and I see the appeal. Perhaps I’ll get that book and have a read. (The question is finding the time at the moment…)
    The piece about courage seems very touching and shows us that being vulnerable can actually be a strength. Beautiful choices for Awesome Stories. 🙂

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  6. Brad, the concept of these housing projects is incredibly innovating and so very needed in this world! How heartwarming to see young people concerned about the welfare of those who live on this planet. It gives one so much hope for mankind!
    I too have the book, “When Things Fall Apart”, and to be truthful have only been able to read some of it. I plan on going back to it when I am guided to, when I am on firm terra cotta after going through heartbreaking pain from just too many losses in a very brief span of time.
    Beautiful, thought-provoking post! As I am looking at the last third of my life, I do have hope in my Heart that these younger people are waking up to the fact how dire so many lives on this planet have become because of the elite who don’t give a damn about their fellow neighbor. Bless you for the good you are doing!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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  7. Awesome stories, Brad. There are so many solutions to homelessness and affordability that I hope someday everyone will have a safe healthy shelter. And I’m a fan of Pema Chodron. Pain brings sublime gifts all its own. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Brad, wow, just watched the first video of those DIY DomeGaia homes.. how fabulous is that material, Domes are the way to go.
    If you look in nature nothing is built square… Birds build nests in circles, Even the Native American Indians new to build their Tepees round.. Eskimos too.. 🙂
    Domes allow the wind to go around 🙂
    Loved this article.. Thank you for sharing..
    Sending Mega Hugs your way xx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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