If you have to buy stuff to store your stuff, you might have too much stuff~ Courtney Carver
There is something to be said about living life in the simplicity track. I recently downsized when I moved from a house I had lived in for 20 years. It meant purging everything that was no longer part of my present life. It meant I had to get rid of loads of old books, pictures and mementos that no longer had meaning or function. As I cleaned out my past, I realized how much lighter I began to feel. I was making room for new space and fresh energies to come into my life and in the process was releasing the clutter in my physical and emotional space. My new home is smaller, but is in greater order and embraces minimalism principles. ~ John Stamoulos
What is Minimalism?
At its core, minimalism is about consciously living your life surrounded only by the things that serve your needs and that you value the most. As I did when I moved, it requires letting go of everything that does not support what is most important to you. It means that you ultimately end up living with less but everything you keep is either functionally necessary or gives you joy.
Minimalism not only focuses on the physical aspects of life but it also becomes a mindset that embraces simplicity, discards clutter and generates spaciousness on all levels of existence. Because it is a deeply personal choice, it is unique to every person or family who adopts minimalism as a lifestyle.
Why choose minimalism?
When you decide to live a minimalist lifestyle, you have:
- less possessions to take care of, clean and worry about
- everything in your sapce is menaingful and functional
- more time to embrace a slower pace of life, resulting in inner peace, happiness and freedom
- less consumerism (if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem)
- more disposable income to travel, donate to causes or get out of debt
- less stress in trying to keep up with the latest consuming trends of others
- new perspective on what you really need and what you don’t
- more free time to nurture your present moment ‘being’ nature and to embrace a slower, more mindful pace of life
Discovery and Exploration
One of the most significant questions you canask yourself is, “What’s Important? “ It is a powerful measure of your priorities and helps you determine the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual path you want to tread. This simple inquiry is also key to beginning the process of becoming a minimalist:
- What do you really want – determine what makes your heart sing when you imagine yourself opening the door of your minimalist home. Do you want a warm and intimate feel? Zen? Spacious and open?
- Breathe – Release and repeat. Remove anything that does not support the look and feel you have determined you want to embrace. Keep only what you love and cherish and let the rest go. Be ruthless and inwardly honest during this releasing process. Check out books that help you remove clutter or explore online resources to assist.
- Maintain the lifestyle, grow the mindset – As a way to reinforce the new lifestyle you have chosen, commit to eating, dressing, shopping and traveling with minimalism in mind. What can you get rid of in your closet that is not essential? How can you eat nourishing foods that are simple yet delicious? Do you really need to buy that item you just saw advertised? Can you travel with a smaller backpack instead of a suitcase?
Minimalism by its very nature, is not a race to the finish. It is a step-by-step process that unfolds in your own timing and in the unique manner that personally works for you. Little by little, you can trade in the pressures of your present life for more ease, free time and the peace that is possible when you cease to have to scurry around trying to manage a bloated way of living. Embrace the change!