Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
This week, we have an inspiring story from Courtney Carver, who shares with us the profound impact minimalism has had on her life and health. Be sure to check out her blog, Be More with Less, and her book, Simple Ways to Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.
I didn’t wake up one morning and think, “I want to lead a simpler life.” I didn’t wake up, cancel my cable television, quit my job and throw all my stuff in a dumpster. I didn’t change because I started listening to the voice in my head that had been telling me things had to change. In fact, I was so busy and overwhelmed that I couldn’t pay attention to the subtle signals. My wake up call was anything but subtle.
There is no known cause or cure for Multiple Sclerosis, but I am sure that MS was my body’s way of rejecting my lifestyle. My quest for more did not resonate for my heart. Working more, spending more, having more and doing more wore me down and literally broke my body.
Being diagnosed with MS in 2006 as a wife and mom to a 11 year old, while working full time (and then some), and training for an MS ride to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research (oh sweet irony) was my loud and clear message that things had to change.
Knowing that stress impacts health and can contribute to illness and MS relapses, I set out to eliminate as much stress as possible from my life.
- I cut meat out of my diet and reduced stress on my digestive system and started to make change on a cellular level.
- I cut debt out of my life and reduced stress on my wallet and marriage. By working together to pay off our debt, my husband and I grew closer and redefined our future.
- I cut stuff out of my home and reduced the stress that comes from a cluttered atmosphere.
- I cut meaningless obligations out of my schedule and reduced the stress that comes from busyness.
All of my changes were different, but they had one thing in common: simplicity. By getting simple, and getting rid of what didn’t matter in my life, I created time and space to heal.
Today, six years later, I am healthier and happier than ever before. Minimalism changed me from the inside out, and continues to contribute to a life of hope and joy.