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 we hear from Archan Mehta, whose meditation practice led him to minimalism. He’s a writer, consultant, and teacher with a Ph.D. in Management, and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.
Okay, I admit it: I’ve had a tendency to acquire things and hoard stuff. You could say: Well, you almost made a career out of it. I would go shopping and save up for a rainy day. But, as we all know by now, those rainy days only exist in our imagination.
The clutter was so bad…it got to the point where I could not find what I was looking for; and this bad habit started to interfere with how I managed my day. It was a lousy feeling, that is, not being able to accomplish the things that make life worth living; not being able to achieve closure on daily tasks.
Folders, laundry bags, pens, pencils, clothes, etc. were littered all over the place, and I found myself tripping over some of these items. In order to escape from this condition, I found solace in bookstores and libraries: after all, reading was my favorite hobby.
Suddenly, I came across the works of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Shakti Gawain, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and others. Reading their books opened my eyes to the possibility of embracing voluntary poverty: it was an idea whose time had come, but I did not accept it fully, since it was an intellectual concept.
However, once I accepted meditation into my life–advocated by these writers–things started to fall into place. Slowly but surely, I started to make meditation a daily practice and it changed me. I was able to experience a shift in consciousness and started to live mindfully. The need to own things fell by the wayside: my shopaholic days were over.
Today, thanks to the daily practice of meditation, I have few needs. I have donated most of my stuff to charity or I have removed these items from my life. I finally feel like there’s a load off my shoulders and it feels surreal. There is so much freedom in voluntary simplicity and a functional lifestyle. Will it work for you? There’s only one way to find out–try it.