20160410_145300_edited.jpgLive simply.  It is a phrase I would assume we use at some point in our life, though its origins derive from different inspiration.  Living simply has been tossed around from season to season of my life – when I was an ambitious elementary-schooler, “organizing” my room to make space for the latest and greatest of whatever collecting phase I was on…usually cool rocks…to trying to make each new semester as a college undergraduate as easy to unpack as possible.  However, when facing reality, none of my methods worked out in favor of my belongings. I identified the theory of simplicity, but lacked the correct method to put it into practice…

That is, before I found minimalism.  Until very recently, I had only a vague, misconstrued idea of what minimalism really is.  When first asked, my perspective would involve whitewashed walls and a quiet ascetic hanging out on a meditation pillow for long stretches of time.  Quiet.  Alone.  Empty.

With the help of research skills curated over time, I discovered that being a minimalist and embracing the -ism, is not about living a stark, stoic existence in a hospital-white room but rather a vibrant array enabling the individual to express their lives through creative means.

The minimalist seeks growth, not a stale existence.  To live simply is to embrace a limit of things in order to invest in a bigger picture.  Maybe it is growing spiritually or investing in relationships.  Maybe it is developing a healthy habit or learning a new skill.  Either way, the minimalist is not on a journey for self-deprivation.  On the contrary, the minimalist is seeking life.  And how do they do that?  They spend time growing and investing in the categories that are the most important to them.  Growth is life-giving; over-accumulation of stuff is life-burdening.  That is not to say that all stuff is bad – there is need for certain items in our lives, but the more we accumulate, the more chains we attach to ourselves.

So what did I do wrong as a third grader?  It boils down to this:  I did not seek to minimize but to continue to consume.  Rock after mineral, marble after marble, I found new ways to expand my collections. I resorted to piling items in feats of organizational prowess (I thought) until there was simply no more space to fit anything else.  I, in both a literal and figurative sense, hit rock bottom.  (Go ahead and laugh, I know I punned.)

The same scenario played out as a college student trying to pack my “near and dear” belongings to and from campus for 16 semesters.  Every August, I was faced with the endless task of sorting clothes from textbooks, decorations from accessories, attempting to make “this semester the simplest, since I really do not need to bring everything with me.”  Right.  The loads of containers spoke for themselves.

I stewed at rock bottom, unhappy, but complacent in my situation.  I had a list of excuses not to begin:

  • What if I need that writing portfolio from high school?  It could come in handy…
  • I might get around to using that [fill in the blank] eventually…
  • “So and so” gave that to me; I do not want to hurt their feelings if I get rid of it…
  • I already organized my stuff.  Is that not enough?
  • I’ll start tomorrow…

Those excuses kept me in a bubble until now.  I graduated last May and I am inspired to begin a true quest towards the less-daunting minimalist lifestyle I discovered it to be.

This blog serves two purposes.  As a newcomer to the world of minimalism, I plan to use this blog to express joy and progress in my journey.  I also hope to provide value – whether that is encouragement, strategy, or inspiration to my readers in their own quest to reclaim simplicity and embrace minimalism as a meaningful lifestyle.

If you see value in my blog, by all means, pass it on! 

 

 

 

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