A few months ago I wrote about finding my kind. Finding my place. Feeling at home. In the minimalist movement.
Much of that post talked about getting rid of stuff. And having less stuff is certainly a big part of minimalism. But minimalism is so much more than that.
It would take many posts to give you an accurate idea of the current minimalist movement. I'm sure I will write about it again to cover various areas and how they fit into my life. But for now, I would like to offer a small introduction to minimalism of today.
While there is a push toward minimalist architecture and decorating and design, that's not really what I'm talking about. The minimalism I'm talking about is a lifestyle change.
As with any lifestyle generalization there are many different interpretations on what it means to be a minimalist. There are probably as many interpretations as there are people trying to live this lifestyle.
A few of the things I've seen people working toward: owning fewer than 100 things; 33 items in their wardrobe; quitting their regular job; becoming location independent; giving up their car; traveling the world with nothing but their backpack and a laptop.
I do not anticipate doing any of these things.
More commonly I read about people who are getting rid of stuff, rethinking commitments, challenging the ideas that they've been told for years, defining what they want out of life and making it happen.
My definition: Minimalism is about creating space for the things you love. Maybe that's physical space and you're focusing on clutter. Maybe that's time and energy and you're adjusting your work week. Maybe it's emotional space and you are letting go of relationships that are draining. Whatever.
It's not about living without. It's about only having what you need and what you love, realizing that anything extra takes away from the joy of life. It's not all about thrift shopping. Maybe instead of ten cheap pairs of pants I want to own three really nice ones.
It's about choosing what I want in my life, what feels good in my heart. It's about knowing when I have enough. It's about living with intent. It's about slowing down. It's about making this very moment important, no matter what I'm doing. It's about not choosing things based on what other people say I should want. It's about listening to my own heart and letting it help me find myself. Chipping away at all the garbage the world has buried me in.
It's about thinking. Choosing. And enjoying.