An Introduction to Minimalism
When you hear the words minimalism, the first thing that comes to mind is "living with less". For starters, that is a good definition. However, minimalism is not about living with < 100 things.
Minimalism is about being conscious about consumerism and deciding what you really want in life. It is a way of looking at life where you are defined not by what you own, but by your attitude towards life. Deciding what is not important to you and what you can give up. It is about standing up for your individuality and not being swept away with the flow. Decluttering life is a good way to simplify life.
A phrase from Sheryl Crow's "Soak up the Sun" would fit in beautifully with the concept. It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got.
Where do I start
The following bloggers have been quite active in this space.
1. Leo Babauta blogs at Zenhabits.net and mnmlist.com. His articles cover areas like productivity, health, exercise and motivation. The key focus is on the essentials, simplifying life and being contented. The articles are full of practical advice.
2. Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodermus left their cushy corporate job and setup The Minimalists. Their personal experience in taking the big break and making lifestyle changes is documented well.
3. Joshua Becker blogs at Becoming Minimalist.
4. Mohamed Tohami blogs at Midway Simplicity.
Most of the articles are small, but don't rush through a lot of reading in one sitting. It takes quite some time to read, reflect and then absorb the intent and the message behind the posts.
Pick up a couple of articles and then start seeing what can be applied in your life. Transformations are most effective when you experience change in your life. Once you see a change, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. You would then be motivated to do more.
Listening to the practitioners is much more effective than reading about Minimalism. Youtube and Vimeo have a lot of content available from the lead bloggers.
Profiling an example from Midway Simplicity. This interview with Leo Babauta covers areas like eating right, limiting your online time and being conscious of your purchases. He also talks about making relationships work, bringing compassion into life and how you can focus on living in the moment.
As with all lifestyle changes, it is best done in steps.
- Read and understand
- Decide what appeals to you
- Make small changes
- Observe and Reflect
- Take the next step