I just realized that this is my fourth year of practicing minimalism and living simply. I have learned so much during the process and some things I thought when I first learned about it differs from how I feel now. When I first learned about minimalism and began to follow some of the methods. But I felt like there was only one way to approach it. By getting rid of everything I own and judging others for buying new things. But the more that I expanded my knowledge and realized that there is no “right” way to go through life. I realized that everyone’s approach to minimalism or simple living is different.
Ultimately, I stopped judging others and I no longer compare my minimalism or lifestyle to others. Let me tell you this, it is not easy at all. From such a young age we begin to compare ourselves to others and sometimes we do it without even realizing it. I remember a podcast I used to listen to called Let It Out by Katie Dalebout. She would always reference the idea of velcro. She felt that we didn’t come into this world with the idea that we were “better” than others, wanted to look like someone else, or be like someone else. But over time, we begin to taken on the expectations and ideas of others like velcro. We constantly allow things to stick to us like velcro without coming up with our own ideas of what we know to be true.
after 4 years of simple living, i have figured out . . .
what minimalism means to me:
To me, minimalism is just a tool that I use to focus on what’s important in my life. It’s not a set of rules or guidelines that I follow and not allow myself to do what I want to do. Sometimes I feel like minimalism can come across as ridding yourself of all of the possessions you have by living in a 50 sq. ft. tiny home, and buying nothing. But I don’t feel like that at all. I do live very minimal as my apartment is less than 350 sq. ft. But it’s just right for me! I live my life very intentionally, so I can appreciate what I have, be positive, and enjoy life. I don’t want to be bogged down by things that don’t matter to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love luxury skincare and name brands just as much as someone else. But I’ve decided to be more mindful when it comes to my purchases, which is why I am doing a low buy year. I want to make sure that what I bring into my home has a purpose, is useful, and could be sustainable. Since I’m really interested in sustainability. I’m beginning to eat less meat again and I no longer buy paper towels, but I’ll discuss this in another post. To me, it’s the little things that add up.
what intentional living means to me:
To me, intentional living is simplifying and doing what adds value to my life. I want to live a purpose driven life. I know that God brought me into this world for a reason and I’m slowly figuring out what that reason is. Just like some people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime – it is all meant to teach us something about ourselves and others. I want to make sure that my life is creative, enjoyable, and loving.
The older I get, the more I realize that we all have trials and tribulations. But that doesn’t mean that we have to suffer and dwell on the negative. We can deal with something terrible and fuel that into another way to help others. For me, writing is one what that I express myself and help people.
how to practice minimalism by living a life with intention:
I have noticed that I ask myself these three things when I am making a decision, spending too much, or just unmotivated:
- Is what I’m doing purposeful, or add value to my life?
- Is it worth my freedom, such as is it prohibiting me from reaching my ultimate goal?
- Am I enjoying the process?
I’ve realized that for me, it is best that I live my life with intention. Being a minimalist or not, there is no way to reach perfection. So I’ve learned to let go of perfection and control, but I will admit that I struggle at times. But being able to do things without trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, or caring what others think is a lot more fun.
I’ve had to realize that minimalism to me is about living an intentional, purpose-driven life. I want to encourage others to reduce their waste, simplify their life, save, and get out of debt. One thing that keeps me going is constantly remembering this quote:
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.– Erma Bombeck
I’ve definitely learned that I need to do what makes me happy and being creative fuels me. It is very intentional and I am enjoying every bit of it.
three ways to not become obsessed with the “idea” of minimalism
1 | DEFINE WHAT SIMPLE LIVING, MINIMALISM, OR INTENTIONAL LIVING (WHICHEVER YOU CHOOSE TO CALL IT) MEANS TO YOU. // It is so easy to get caught up in the mundane of titles and ways to define yourself without figuring out if it truly works for you. I could get rid of everything I own, but would that truly make me happy? Maybe, maybe not but I’ve figured out what does make me happy and how I want to portray that.
2 | DECLUTTER OFTEN AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WORKING AND WHAT ISN’T WORKING IN YOUR LIFE. // I do a declutter of my space about every other month. When I made the decision to start cooking more. I went through my cabinets, made a list, and starting using up what I have. Then, I got rid of everything that I didn’t like because all of the “pantry essentials” lists on Pinterest had the item on it. I had to figure out what was working for me and what wasn’t to get clear on my goals.
3 | FUEL YOUR LIFE WITHOUT FOCUSING ON CONSUMPTION. STOP RESORTING TO CONSUMING BY FIGURING OUT WHAT IS FUELING YOU SPIRITURALLY, MENTALLY, PROFESSIONALLY, ETC. // I love blogging. I really do. But I’ve also realized that blogging fuels my creative passion. While my day job fuels my very type A structural side. I’d realized that by separating the two I’m able to forget about one and use the other as a way to ignite a fire within me.
Minimalism shouldn’t make you feel like you only need to live in a van, or that you can’t own 500 books – because you can! You can do whatever you want to to do and figure out what works for you and your life. I strongly believe that each person needs to define simple living for themselves.