Decluttering each area of the house is important, but if you have decided to embrace minimalism, it takes more than just dropping bags of donations off at the local charity.
Embracing minimalism begins when you change your focus, your thought process, and what you view as a priority in your life.
Decluttering can temporarily alleviate stress, but changing your focus and lifestyle is what will carry you through to living a simplified and more meaningful life.
People should, however, be much more concerned with the why—the purpose behind decluttering—than the what. While the what is easy, the why is far more obscure because the nature of the why is highly individual. Ultimately, it has to do with the benefits you’ll experience once you’re on the other side of decluttering. ~The Minimalists
It’s important to spend time in self-reflection. Ask yourself:
- How do I really want to spend my time?
- What do I feel is so important it should be my first priority?
- What things are preventing me from focusing on what’s important to me?
- What would my ideal day look like from waking up to going to bed?
- What things fill me with negativity?
Minimalism is a journey. It’s not a place you arrive, it’s not a magic pill that makes your life instantaneously wonderful.
It’s easy to believe that there is a point where we become “official minimalists™” and suddenly have freedom, time, and energy for all the wonderful things life has to offer. This is undeniably false. I have significant evidence that minimalism is not a finish line you reach, but a framework with which you view the world. It’s a way to actively edit life in a way that allows us to give our best and live our best. Minimalism is truly a journey that lasts a lifetime as our needs and desires will change throughout. ~Break The Twitch
When you are reflecting on your personal life goals, ask yourself:
- Why is this my goal?
- Is this goal for status, or how others will view it?
- Is this something I really need/want/love, or something I feel is expected by others?
- Am I depending on this goal to fulfill me? (if so, is that realistic?)
There are no pat answers for any of these questions. You have to think through them, realize your motives and decide for yourself if you are satisfied with them. If not, then seek what will satisfy you.
Embracing minimalism means getting real with yourself.
It’s easy to go through life and do what’s expected. To do the things you need to do each day, veg a little at the end of it “because you deserve it” and then repeat the same thing again tomorrow.
It’s considered normal to live for the weekends, party it up and then go back to the daily grind on Monday.
And because that is so expected, it can feel uncomfortable to start asking yourself “why?”
When you start changing your focus and stripping away the things in your life that don’t add value and don’t move you in the direction you wish to go, you will face thoughts and feelings that you would rather not deal with.
But that is a very significant part of the beauty of minimalism. When you start letting go of physical clutter and unwanted obligations from your calendar, you will also have to learn to let go of mental and emotional clutter.
Finding the real you may not only be uncomfortable for you, but it may also be uncomfortable for those around you.
When people see a change in someone close to them, they are faced with the decision to acknowledge it in themselves or to limit contact with you so they don’t have to think about it.
It’s sad but true. Watching others change their beliefs and lifestyle brings up the question “Am I satisfied with my own life?”
People may limit their relationship with you, just to avoid thinking about that. Many of us choose unhappiness over uncertainty. We may not be happy with life, but we’re used to it and change isn’t pleasant, so it’s easier to just stay put.
Don’t allow others response to make you feel guilty. But, at the same time, don’t push them to change either. They may be inspired to seek change or they may call you crazy. Either way, continue to love them regardless of where they are.
Were there any unexpected changes in the way you think as you have been on this journey through minimalism? Leave a comment below and share your experience.