I read the minimalism blogs out there on WordPress the other day. There’s some good material out there. One tiny thing annoyed me. There’s plenty of call for the steps to becoming a minimalist but little material on the motivation or the human factor. I was annoyed that blog after blog seemed to talk down to me. It made me go back to my own blog here and see the posts through different eyes. I’ve simply done a play-by-play of how to as well.
The last thing any of us need is someone talking down to us or assuming we don’t know anything. Minimalism is pretty simple. I’m more interested in the human factor of why you have become a minimalist and how you maintain the lifestyle once you get there. That’s one thing that’s nice about minimalism is that we can all have a bit different viewpoint.
In 2009 I became really sick and almost died. The year following I had treatment and surgery. When that didn’t work they finally put me on a course of chemo. At that same time, my children’s paternal grandmother died and my children had to go through all of her things. It was torture. The combination of the two situations woke me up to the fact that things aren’t all that important and simplicity afforded me the peace of mind that my children won’t have to go through an endless amount of material things that don’t matter to them. I started cleaning things out then my husband received a job transfer and we cleaned out even more in preparation for the move across country. There’s nothing like a move to ensure that you take just what you need. It was the catalyst that brought my husband back to center with his shopping and acquisition of things that he used to think were important.
I changed the way I was living drastically not because I felt better with more space or because I like all white things but because I suddenly realized that focusing on material things didn’t speak to my soul. Buying something for status or to have more made me empty after the initial high of getting it. I was looking for more spirit and less self. Some of it was just that all of those things I kept for just in case didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t need to have a full bookcase to be intelligent. I didn’t need to buy or receive gifts to know that I love and am loved. Life is just more simple than that. I found that spending time with those that I valued meant much more to them than paper wrapping. Imagine that? It came as a surprise to be able to just let go.
Whether we play the latest minimalist games to declutter or whether we simply quietly admit that minimalism isn’t rocket science and we really do know how to delve into clearing our living space as well as the other aspects of our lives, we have to reflect soulfully why we are choosing to take this journey. If we are doing it to follow the crowd, there’s a good chance we won’t succeed. Minimalism may be popular but hopefully it’s that way because we’ve woken up to realize there’s more important things than material possesions. Simplifying our lives is more than just getting rid of things. It’s a project that has a very spiritual aspect and in order to be successful at it, we must engage mindful reasoning not just live it in the moment.