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.
Today, Regina explains how an object with an inspiring quote led her down the path to minimalism. Please visit her blog to read more about her journey.
I was walking down Columbia Road (London’s Flower Market) one Sunday about two years ago when I caught sight of a wooden board hanging in shop that stopped me in my tracks. It was a reclaimed wooden board printed with William Morris’ quote: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” It spoke to me so intimately and resonated with me so strongly that I knew it must have connected with something deep within me. I decided I must have that board and it became mine…after a couple of rounds of bargaining and a fair amount of money had changed hands.
I brought it home and parked it against a wall (there was no wall space left to hang it) and looked at it every so often. I know quite a bit about the self help topics such as the law of attraction and positive thinking and visualization and so on and they have helped me tremendously. I guess when you start looking within yourself for growth, you become more attuned to what aligns with your inner self and what feels right in terms of life direction. I knew next to nothing about simple living or voluntary simplicity then (it’s how you have to live when you don’t have enough money?) or minimalism ( stark white furniture in home decor?). I was working in the corporate world and earning a good corporate salary and spending money and accumulating possessions accordingly. But deep down I was mostly unhappy and unfulfilled and that reclaimed wooden board was my harbinger of change.
Two years have gone by and Morris’ words have spurred me to look at the stuff I have and to de-clutter; it has led me to read and learn about simplicity and minimalism from people like Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Francine Jay of Miss Minimalist and The Minimalists. Since then, I have done a few rounds of simplifying my life and de-cluttering my possessions. After each clear-out, I would feel so much happier, lighter and say ‘This is it!’. A few months later I would look at my flat and think ‘I still have too much stuff!’ and I realized that simplicity and minimalism is a process, a journey and not a destination. The destination changes as one changes.
Autumn heralds the shedding of the old year and for repose before nature starts its cycle once more. I am in the process of another ‘simplify and de-clutter’ exercise (This is the big one I always tell myself). I thought writing a blog (www.simpleandminimal.com) would be a good platform to share my journey and motivate myself and others on a similar quest to live happier, simpler, freer and more fulfilling lives.