The Art of being minimalist
Over the past 18 months or so, my attitude towards some of my possessions has dramatically changed.
I’ve made a seismic shift from someone who never really thought about ‘stuff’ to someone who sometimes wishes the decluttering fairy would visit with a Fairy Godmother in tow.
You see, I’ve realised that I spend too much time looking after my stuff. Time I would rather spend indulging in more meaningful pursuits. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I’m ungrateful for what I have. On the contrary, I feel blessed daily that I have everything I need; especially when there are so many people in the world with nothing; it’s just that sometimes I would like to live a more zen like existence.
The bottom line is, we have too much stuff for the space here at Chez Green. It seems obvious that everything should have a home and you should put it back in its home after use. That way nothing gets lost, you don’t waste your time looking for things and life is so much easier and organised.
The reality is, things can’t have a home here because we have too many of them and not enough space to put them all.
Unfortunately for me, Mr Green is a hoarder, which leaves my closet minimalist in a bit of a quandry.
I remember distinctly clearing space off a shelf once and Mr Green asked me what I was going to put there.
Duh! I wanted the space, he likes to fill spaces…
I set myself a grand wardrobe declutter this month. I absolutely know that I only wear a small fraction of my clothes and the rest I keep for, I don’t know what or why or how….
I wonder if there is a subconscious poverty mentality going on. Don’t I trust that everything will be ok? Don’t I trust that if I let something go something else will come to me if I really need it? I certainly believe this on a conscious level, so perhaps I’ve bought into the marketing which tells me I need stuff in order to be liked, healthy, sexy, fun to be with, ok, accepted ….
Consciously I don’t believe that crap either.
Anyway, I’ve been totally inspired by Everett Bogue’s “Art of being Minimalist” book. I wouldn’t personally take things as far as him, but his work is inspiring and he’s taking Downshifting to the next stage. He quit his job, gave away most of his stuff, kept 100 carefully chosen items (which he could carry in a backpack) and set off with $3000 in his bank account. It would seem he has never looked back!
Everett is happier, healthier, doing the things he loves, is less burdened and has found his purpose in life. He’s telling everyone how to see through the American dream and start living life! We all know that happiness is not measured by the things we own, yet we still keep buying things to give us an emotional fix. I wrote a while ago about how I felt about choice and happiness and there appears to be a growing movement of people who are seeking something else in life. Something that brings fulfilment, true lasting happiness, meaning, purpose and a sense of okness with the world such as Leo Babauta over on Zen Habits, Tammy Strobe from Rowdy Kittens and Chris Baskind from More Minimal.
Everett’s “The Art of being minimalist” was written to help people declutter their lives, untangle their schedules, and find the freedom they’ve always dreamed they could have. If that sounds like you, then head over and buy yourself a copy. It’s beautifully written, the art work is suitably minimalist and even if you don’t pack 100 items into a backpack and head off into the sunset I can guarantee it will get you rethinking your life and making subtle changes. There are plenty of tips to get you started … Click here to visit Everett Bogue and buy the book! and if you need more convincing, you can view the first 30 pages for free on his site.
Let me know what you think!
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