Minimalism: more than owning less stuff

We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy.

 – Richard Foster

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.  

– Harold Kushner

Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.  

– The Dalai Lama

For me, minimalism is about getting back to the essentials of life, the core of living. It’s about having and consuming only what I need.

I focus on the core of what I want to achieve. I want to be a writer, so I get a pen and a piece of paper and I write. I don’t spend time emailing or tweeting that I #amwriting. That’s extra. That’s more than the work. The minimum action I need to perform in order to be a writer is to write.

The same goes for my relationships. I don’t need to be surrounded by hoards of people and be wished happy birthday hundreds of times on Facebook to feel connection. I need a small, well-chosen cluster of people who love me, genuinely care for me, support me and bring joy and meaning to my life.

In return, I don’t spend all my energy going out on coffee dates with people I worked with once, 3 years ago. I’m creating space for quality time, quality conversations, and quality experiences with people I cherish and want to support and encourage. People I genuinely want to be with.

It’s not just about getting rid of physical clutter, it’s mental too; it’s emotional … it’s even about getting rid of people (not in a Tony Soprano way, just like a normal “You’re a good person but I don’t think we’re good for each other” kinda way. Please don’t kill anyone in the name of minimalism.)

Minimalism is more than just clearing the clutter from your house. It’s clearing away all the worries, obsessing over past actions, past relationships, past failures. I’m not the perfect minimalist, far from it. I eat too much, I wallow in old, lingering shames, I buy outfits hoping that cleaning up my outside will cleanse my inside.

But I try. I get up in the morning and meditate to clear my thoughts. I sit down and write for twenty minutes, the minimum amount of work required to achieve my goal.

I clear away all the magazines that consume my time, designed also to consume my finances by convincing me I need everything shown on the page. I talk to my loved ones at the dinner table instead of staring into my phone to scroll websites that create only hollow connections.

Minimalism has helped me work towards creating the life I want. It frees me of baggage – figurative and literal.

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4 thoughts on “Minimalism: more than owning less stuff

  1. Yes. Exactly. It’s not just about material clutter. I moved across country and left most friendships behind. Essentially if you can’t pick up the phone to call me, don’t think I’m going to re-friend you on social media. Authentic interactions and less needed to create an image. Nice post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. Minimalism truly is about only keeping things that add value to your life. To embrace minimalism takes a certain amount of courage, after all, today’s society encourages consumerism. But it is so worth it. I love how easy it is to pick out an outfit in the morning, and that’s just one small part of it 😉

    Like

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