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, Kay tells us how minimalism has given her a new perspective on life, as well as the freedom to embrace any opportunity.
Me and minimalism had a late start because throughout my teens and early twenties I was a conspicuous consumer who didn’t know any better. Money was earned to be spent and things were in the stores to be bought. It was time and life experience that brought me closer to simplicity and I only wish I’d have known then what I know now. Less is so much more than more.
First and foremost, to me minimalism is about freedom, both mental and physical. By only possessing what I need to comfortably survive I am free to move on a moment’s notice and this type of freedom is priceless. More than that, minimalism also provides me with clarity in all areas of my life; from the organization of my inbox to taking proper care of the things I choose to own, it’s nearly impossible for me to feel overwhelmed. I’m also able to see right through advertising and live a more spiritual and fulfilling life.
That old proverb – the best things in life are free – is right on the money. A hike through the country side or a dip in the ocean costs nothing and feels an infinite amount better than handing over my debit card to pay for a purchase in a crowded mall. I was programmed to believe that things will make me happy and it was only when I consciously overrode this command that I realized what life was all about.
By becoming a minimalist I was able to clearly identify the things that truly matter to me – kindness, family, knowledge and experiences. I now direct my life in a way that enriches these elements as much as possible. I hope that one day society will be able to shift its emphasis from more to less but in the meantime it’s inspiring to read about the small community of us aspiring to live minimalist lifestyles. I do still have a lot to learn and recognize that life is a constant journey but I feel safe in the knowledge that when I do have to make a sudden turn I won’t have anything holding me back.