Giveaway: 3 copies of The Joy of Less Journal!

I’m thrilled to announce that The Joy of Less Journal: Clear Your Inner Clutter is being released today—and I’m giving away 3 copies to celebrate!

Decluttering often makes you ask questions that go beyond possessions—you have to confront your past, let go of emotions or expectations, and decide what you want for your future. That’s why it feels so liberating: decluttering frees you of psychological baggage as well as physical baggage…

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Three Words for My Younger Self: Own Less Stuff

This week I wrote a post for the blog-publishing platform Medium: Three Words for My Younger Self: Own Less Stuff.

Why? It’s sort of an outreach effort to would-be minimalists who might not otherwise trip across my blog. I think we’ve all had that serendipitous moment when something we read, or something someone said, sparked our interest in a minimalist lifestyle…

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The Exquisite Lightness of Being

A few years ago, I was reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and came across the most beautiful phrase: “the traveler’s exquisite lightness of being.” It became a sort of personal mantra for me as I whittled down my possessions to a single bag, and traveled throughout Europe and Asia with nothing more than a {Read full post…}


I’ve always been a big fan of Swedish design and culture—I love their restrained décor, their use of light and natural materials, their respect for the environment, their healthy lifestyles, their strong sense of equality. So it comes as no surprise that Sweden is also the origin of one of my favorite concepts: lagom. The {Read full post…}

Get Your Mujo On

One of the central tenets of Zen Buddhism is the concept of mujo. Mujo means impermanence, transience, ephemerality—in other words, everything is changing in every moment, nothing ever stays the same.

As minimalists, why is it so important that we get our mujo on? Because when we see that everything is impermanent, we become less {Read full post…}

Minimalism and Religion

I’ve always been fascinated by the philosophical aspects of world religions. As I mentioned in a previous post, I see many more commonalities among different doctrines than I see differences—and one of those happens to be their emphasis on simple living.

Across the board, the great spiritual leaders were not known for their riches or {Read full post…}

The Thread of Connection

I spent last New Year’s Day in Bangkok, participating in the Thai tradition of visiting Buddhist temples and making donations to the resident monks. At one of the temples, a monk blessed me with a sprinkle of holy water and tied a simple white cord around my wrist. Eight months later, I’m still wearing it.

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A Haiku Life

I’ve always been a big fan of haiku, the ultra-compact poetry of Japanese tradition. I appreciate its elegant form, its economy of expression, and its emphasis on limits: 17 syllables total, in lines of 5, 7, and 5.

Haiku typically celebrate the natural world and our intimate relationship with it. They show sensitivity to the {Read full post…}

Messages from Japan

Kaori, a reader from Tokyo, left a very thought-provoking comment on last week’s Real Life Minimalist post. I know that many of you don’t subscribe to the RSS Comments feed; therefore, I thought I’d share it in today’s post in case you missed it:

hi. I’m writing from Tokyo, Japan where as a city we’re {Read full post…}

Minimalist Philosophy: Sophrosyne

A few weeks ago, while researching my post on areté, I tripped across another interesting concept from classical Greece: sophrosyne.

Sophrosyne (pronounced suh-FROSS-uh-nee, if you’d like to impress your friends) is an ancient ideal involving healthy-mindedness, balance, and moderation. As you can imagine, I was immediately intrigued. :)

According to Wikipedia, sophrosyne “is perhaps best {Read full post…}