Minimalism: What is it?
You've probably heard of minimalism, and I'm about 99.9% sure you probably have some questions regarding it, and I'm here to answer those in this post!
But first, we should chat about maximization. :)
Our brains are wired to want more. “Buy this. Lose weight. Wear this. Share that. Retweet this. Watch that. Eat that. Make more. Do this. Go here.” Who wouldn’t want all of that? We think it will make us the best version of ourselves ever. If we could just have/do/eat ____ then we will be happy, content, and whole. Clever marketing tells us this message. They tell us we need more. That we need to upgrade to the newer version, that we need hundreds of outfits in our closet, that we need all this home fitness equipment because we don’t look good naked, that we not only need 1 tire pump but just in case that one breaks, we need two! And we blindly, with no question, believe it.
Not only do we want more things, but we want more experiences. We want to fill our schedules because an empty schedule means we are lazy and not good enough. It means we aren’t worthy of happiness. Ever been asked the question, “Hey, what are you doing tonight?” and you reply with “Oh, probably nothing. Just hanging around.” and you just feel the judgment coming from the other person that’s thinking you are just a lazy, no good bum? This is not good nor is it true.
We mix up success, fulfillment, and happiness with temporary pleasure: buying, collecting and accumulating more things AND filling our calendars with lots of events and tasks. Everything we see, touch, feel, smell, have, learn, experience, etc, whether consciously or unconsciously, uses up our money, energy, memory, mental space, health, etc. If we only have a finite amount of resources, why would we let it be taken up by things that don’t truly matter?
We are too caught up in the daily grind to pay any attention to what it is we want in life vs. what we think we “should” want (according to society, big corporations, our past, our peers, etc).
Traditionally, minimalism is about living a life with fewer things so that we can lead bigger, more meaningful and more intentional lives. It’s being more conscious + aware about not only the physical items we bring into our lives but also the mental, emotional, calendar and digital clutter.
Letting go of our attachment to material items, emotions, memories, tasks, and events that no longer serve our larger purpose is difficult, but necessary. Our stuff, our emotions, our memories, our experiences, our events, our gatherings, etc are all neutral. They have no intrinsic meaning. We give them the meaning.
Minimalism forces us to get clear on our values, our goals, and our dreams in life so we can actually take action and make things happen without getting overwhelmed, stressed, or distracted by unimportant things.
Simply put: Remove what isn’t adding value to your life, to make room for stuff that is.
Less of this: clutter, time commitments, negative thought patterns and emotions and toxic relationships.
More of this: time, freedom, space and energy for things that really matter to you.
In case you are freaking out right now with overwhelm, here are some quick tid bits to clarify what minimalism is and isn’t.
- Minimalism isn’t a fad. It’s a way of life.
- Minimalism isn’t about owning as little as you possibly can. It should be to own only essential items to you, your values, your goals and your dreams.
- It isn’t something you do once then never again. It’s a practice. As our needs change, our possessions should change accordingly instead of rotting away in the back of a closet.
- Minimalism is not about deprivation. It’s about aligning your short-term actions with your long-term values, goals, and dreams.
- Minimalism is not just a well-curated home: minimalism is a well-curated life.
- Minimalism isn’t just about de-cluttering. It’s about de-owning and letting go completely.
- Minimalism isn’t just one right way. It looks different for everyone.
- Minimalists do not deprive themselves of the things that add value to their lives.
- Minimalism isn’t the end goal. Minimalism is a tool. It should help you get hyper focused and intentional with your life so you can start living the way that you really want to live. It’s a tool to help you live a more meaningful, authentic, and beautiful life.
Here are just a few general benefits of minimalism. If you choose to lead a life of minimalism or choose to dabble in it just a bit, you may experience any or all of the following, and more:
- Minimalism helps us feel less stressed by letting go of our vapid problems like consumerism and replacing them with more empowering problems.
- By removing physical clutter can help free up mental space.
- Minimalism allows us to better prioritize our most important relationships.
- Minimalism helps you discover what your values are and start taking action.
- Living with less makes room for the things—even physical things—that add the most value to our lives.
- It gives you more time to do the things that you want to do and more money to do the things you want to do.
- Best and most comprehensive of all is freedom.
But really, you need to ask yourself ‘How might my life be better if I owned fewer material possessions, ditched the self-limiting thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and cut down on my time commitments?’
We hope those helps you on YOUR kind journey.
xoxo, Taylor Layne