“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates
The simple things in life or a new "trend" to follow? You may view minimalism in various ways but what exactly is minimalism?
Some of my artsy readers may know minimalism as an art movement in the 1950s that focused on simplifying art, especially sculptures and paintings.
But how does this translate to our lives today?
Imagine your life being painted on a large canvas. What would you include? Would it be cluttered with burdens, stress, and all the 'stuff' you've accumulated over time? Or would it be much clearer, less-cluttered, focusing on the things that add value to your life?
That, essentially, is the focus of the minimalist movement. Only going through life with items that have a purpose and are meaningful to you. Living life with less clutter mentally and in your surroundings. In today's consumer driven society, we tend to always want to buy and not invest. Minimalism focuses on investing in what adds value to your life and helps to sustain life.
In fact, all of those things couldn't be further from the truth. Minimalism does not focus on material things, it focuses on your mentality and adding substance to your life. Minimalism encourages FREEDOM. Freeing your mind from bondage, whether that is financially, emotionally, or both. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from being trapped by the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom. So you can very well have and do all the things listed above and still be a minimalist.
So does the possession of things mean that I am not free?
No it doesn't. I'm not saying to only have one shirt and one pair of shoes to live a fruitful life, but we tend to place a lot of value on material things and neglect our mental health, our families, and our personal growth. We idolize celebrity life with fancy cars and mansion style houses, but is that necessary to sustain life? Will it make you truly happy? The key to living with less is to find value in the things around you. If it does not add value to your life, remove it from your life do not add it to your life. Having a minimalist mentality will help you to act more deliberately and be less impulsive with everything in life. So yes you can have things, but meaningful things.
Minimalism helps you…
Though everyone's journey is unique, I can guarantee you will find satisfaction adopting a somewhat minimalist life... by adopting a minimalist mentality. By adopting a minimalist mentality, I felt less anxious and was able to get control of my overall wellbeing. I was able to focus on me and not be consumed by 'stuff'. I gained control of my finances and was able to save. Minimalists do not search for happiness through things, but through life itself. It is up to you to determine what is necessary and what is not essential in your life.
There is no strict code or rules to minimalism.
I challenge everyone for the New Year to declutter your life in some way. You can start small maybe with just your sleeping space or you can do a mass declutter. Declutter often, not only in the Spring. Every item you get rid of donate it to your local family shelter or Goodwill. Don't forget to also declutter your mind, every day before bed is best. Make time for you. Check out my previous blog "I AM..." where I discuss self love in great detail.
Also, if you haven't already, I encourage you to watch the Netflix documentary "Minimalism" it really opened my mind to the consumer mentality society has embedded in us and the reason to live a minimalist lifestyle.
If you need additional resources, try watching videos on Youtube, email me directly or comment below.
Till next time,
Hello world! I am Chérie Jade, I am passionate about promoting a holistic lifestyle and encouraging preventative practices for day to day healthy living.