5 Life Lessons I Learned from Starting Minimalism
Time is man’s greatest resource.
Sadhguru, an Indian mystic or spiritual teacher of life, in one of his Youtube videos, one of the audience asked him, “How do I deal with being so insecure.” They might have expected him to give them solutions but he replied, “Life is insecure.” At another time, he said, “Humans are mortals living like immortals.” I realized I am used to thinking I have all the time and will live up to old age, then I realized I can die anytime, there is no certainty. And even if I didn’t, as I turn 40, time is ticking fast for me. And everything I have, who I am in this life would be nothing. It is then that the importance of NOW got ingrained in my consciousness. Which brings me to the next lesson.
It’s about feeling content right now
Fumio Sasaki, author of Goodbye, Things
It is money that allows us to be free to do what we want with our time. In the past, my scarcity consciousness has led me to stock up on things, mostly “just in case” items or “someday” items. I was easily swayed by media advertisement into buying what they are selling. I always felt I need work to get those things to feel successful, to be admired and to be happy. But I was miserable. I felt I was a failure, a loser in this rat race for material possessions and prestige. Looking back, with horror, I realized what I ultimately paid for all these things is my time and my health.
Now, I understand the wonderful feeling of being content, free from the burden of material things. Minimalism made me embrace the moment NOW and I wanted this to be the case with my things. Everything should add value to my life now. Instead of thinking someday and holding on to the version of myself in the past, I can let go and I can be who I am NOW and redesign our lives according to that.
Minimalism Can Be a Tool for Focus and Healing
I learned from Yoehum in Heal Your Leaving youtube channel to use minimalism to live with intention and focus to manage energy, time, space and money efficiently to give way for activities that are nourishing and that would fill one’s life with joy and healing. Her sister in her own youtube channel introduced me to Nature Art Therapy which is very therapeutic. A clutter-free space can be used for movement therapy such as yoga. I also applied minimalism in my food so I can focus on those foods that give the most nutrients I need with my unique health condition. This would include fruit smoothie with chia seeds, egg with moringa, tuna for omega-3 and tofu for vitamin B and eggs for Vitamin B12..
I realized I have more than enough.
Marie Kondo taught us a method of decluttering by category. For example, I took out all of my clothes and put them in a pile. I realized then that I have so much. This led me to stop buying clothes, shoes, and bags. I stopped buying things. I found a deep desire to trim them down to the bare essentials and have a capsule wardrobe. I learned to repurpose unused clothes into quilted blankets or comforter, scrunchies, pot holders, cotton sanitary napkins, rags. Once I’ve used up all my summer clothes, I will turn my T-shirts into sleeveless summer tops or into tank tops. This taught me to be creative and to make do with what I have. And that for me sparks joy. Now I feel lighter, less burdened by material possessions. I have everything I need and that is a wonderful feeling.
It Sparked a Desire for Sustainability
Once I experienced what it feels like to be time rich, I want to live like this for the rest of my life. But due to past financial mistakes, I may not be able to achieve this just yet. But minimalism will fast track me to my goal. It surprised me what I can let go of and live without. Living a minimal lifestyle will help me save up.
I was also surprised with the good feeling I felt when I adopted simple ways for environmental sustainability such as reusing eco-bags and stopped buying plastic bottles. I put food waste in a compost pit and in awe at the natural ecosystem where this can be used to grow plants that will nourish my body.