So much of our life is lived in a fog of automatic, habitual, reflexive behaviour. We get so wrapped up in the hunt that it makes us miserable. We need to learn to be content with what we have, to rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing truly lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Minimalism- It can be neatly described as living more with less, a term I deem very fitting. It’s a word that carries a lot of weight these days and is ironic for that very reason. Welcome to one of many posts I’ll be sharing on Minimalism. It has been my way of life since I was a young teen and will certainly follow me into my adult years. I was surprised to find I hadn’t written more on the topic but am grateful nonetheless to chat with you about what I’ve learnt so far. It’s fair to say that I have a well rounded view of minimalism and can speak to how it has renewed and energised my person and pursuits. In the coming weeks I hope to speak further about why you should choose minimalism for yourself and answer your burning questions on the topic. What have you always wanted to know but remained afraid to ask? Let’s start a discussion down below!
Today I’ll be sharing with you my minimalist origin story and why I gravitated towards the lifestyle. I can say without a doubt that it has affected significant change in my life and transformed my thinking in ways I hadn’t believed were possible. My outlook in general has improved so much and that is beyond priceless. Minimalism has freed up my mind and invited me to make a home in cleaner, simpler spaces filled only with the things that bring me joy. It’s taught me to let go of perfectionistic and controlling tendencies, to lighten up and truly be in the moment. Life need not be taken so seriously.
I began my minimalist journey in 2018 at the age of fourteen. It was at this point in time that I realised I needed breathing room to truly be myself. Looking back, I realise that the young woman I was growing into felt ruled by clutter and stifled by the chaos around her. Minimalism is a beautiful way of life and a conscious choice you make for yourself. It is a philosophy and way of being that you actively commit to day in and day out. For this reason, it isn’t the way to go for everybody and that is perfectly alright. There is no one size fits all in the real world.
It saddens me however that there is such a wealth of misinformation out there surrounding minimalism. I have heard of the lifestyle being named and shamed as being only for the rich, white, single population when this isn’t remotely the case. The minimalist lifestyle is very personal to everyone living out its values. It serves a loose guide rather than a strict regime. You get to choose what is right for you and forgo the rest. Essentially, you create your perfect fit. There is no rule that states you must cull all and live with nothing, no numbered list that decrees your new bedroom must be bland and whitewashed. I wouldn’t feel well represented by that either!
I am comfortable with and proud to be promoting the minimalist lifestyle as I’ve seen firsthand how empowering it is to take charge of your situation and surroundings. I’ve found minimalism to be a way of finding freedom rather than imposing restrictions upon myself. I liken choosing this lifestyle to following a certain Religious faith. Few things in life propel people to commit to acting in a certain way- there has to be sustained belief in a higher power or positive outcome. I am a non practicing Muslim but respect the role Religion has played in the formation of the identities of my loved ones and much of society. Women in the Islamic faith wear headscarves as a show of submission and devotion to God. It is seen as a veil of modesty and a cover to deter prying eyes. However, as the times continue to change and our world modernises further, these reasons evolve. Bangladeshi Immigrant Nazma Khan started World Hijab Day in 2013 as an expression of solidarity and support for religious freedom. In many places across the globe she is seen as a pioneer for women’s rights. This is how powerful individual belief and drive can be.
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle will help you immensely in striking that perfect balance between wants and needs. Just as with most things in life, too much either way is no good. It is unnecessary to deprive yourself of what is beautiful and live only with what is functional. Elements in the natural world frequently exist to serve a purpose whilst being pleasing to the eye. Neither characteristic is inherently more or less important than the other. The real problem with multitudes of material things lies in the meaning we attach to them. We forsake our relationships, health, happiness, passions and more in order to feed into and exacerbate an endless cycle of consumerism. That’s where issues begin to arise.
Don’t we all wish to pursue meaningful, purpose driven lives? I firmly believe minimalism is the key to unlocking that. Ridding your life of what is unnecessary sets you up to better chase and live out your dreams. They can and will become your new reality with a bit of focus and determination. The benefits to a minimalist lifestyle are endless- you eliminate discontent, reclaim time, regain your ability to live in the moment, discover your personal mission, experience freedom in its truest sense, radiate confidence and create peace of mind for yourself. No longer will you live in fear of failure or loss. Instead, you’ll cultivate self reliance and individuality. Minimalism is intentional living with only what you need- the items that support your purpose and help you hone in on what matters most.
Ultimately, I am on this minimalist journey so I can experience lasting happiness. I no longer seek to find my worth or contentment through material objects as they don’t contain it. They are merely created to satisfy us until we find reason to be discontent and yearn for more. Minimalism was my cure and it can just as easily be yours too. It’s simple and free, just like all the best things in life.
In order to seek one’s own direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life. Purity and simplicity are the wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.