I am the opposite of a hoarder. My closets are regularly purged and very few objects hold sentimental value to me. Remember my article about my dear old roommate Aynsley Campbell? She used to describe our home decor styles as “lived in” and “just visiting”. Ha! So guess which one I was. Truthfully, I wasn’t always this way! I have gradually become more of a practicer of minimalism over the years. A few key things have helped me to see the abundance of the “less is more” mentality.
Minimalism v. Anti-Consumerism
Admittedly, I am a little bit of an anti-consumerist. A little ironic, I know, since we work with affiliates here on ye olde blog. My minimalist attitude isn’t about being against buying things. Consider the difference between purchasing something thoughtfully, versus mindlessly. Check out our Vaporwave article where we discuss Author Grafton Tanner’s view on the relationship between art and commerce. He touches on the idea that we are making fewer actual choices than we think. As a design professional, I have spent years in marketing and as part of teams learning how to channel choice making. Find your buying triggers and be watchful of your spending habits. Opt for unique items that are handmade or that will give you more than just a few moment’s pleasure.
Feng Shui Principles
As I mentioned in my first Feng Shui overview article, I first got into the design principles as a newlywed. I was kind of at a loss for where to put things and Feng Shui served as a handy dandy guide. As I became more interested in chi, I also became aware of the power different objects have on our subconscious. Organization and de-cluttering are integral to Feng Shui practice and hits minimalism to the heart. There is an idea that you should only place objects in your home that are useful or that bring you joy. Collections are cool, just be sure to give them a proper home!
Hoarders, Let Go!
Are you holding onto items that discourage you when you look at them? Are things in your home just taking up space waiting for the possibility of being used possibly, someday? In this case, try my friend Tracy’s wise philosophy. Express gratitude for the object, say “you’ve served your purpose”, and pass it on to someone else. (Even if it is an amazing item that you bought during a “retail therapy” session!) It served its purpose if it gave you the mental or emotional cure you were needing. It takes practice, but you’ll get the hang of it! Minimalism is hugely about being able to let things go. I love giving my hand-me-downs to my sisters and close friends. It adds to my joy to have them get use or enjoyment out of something that I’m done with. Reincarnation!
During those early married years, my dear friend Nancy Harline gave me a book called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. The author, Sarah Ban Breathnach uses 366 essays to teach powerful lessons on gratitude. An integral part of minimalism is finding contentedness in your current life. I loved reading an essay each day and applying the concepts of finding abundance into my life. Here is a quick quote from the book:
“There is an ancient metaphysical law that says if we desire more abundance in our lives we must create a vacuum to allow ourselves to receive the good we seek. How can more good come into our lives if there is no room for it? The way we create the vacuum is by giving away what we no longer need or desire but what can serve others. (May 16)”
Each day she has a new, thought-provoking concept that you can apply to your life. After a year of reading, you will find your home less cluttered and your soul more full. Highly recommended reading!
Gift From the Sea
That Nancy has done more to influence me than I probably even give her credit! Another great read I received from her years later was a book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh (both were aviators). I was recently talking to my sister about the meditative qualities of beachcombing. By the end of the conversation, I was sending Gift From the Sea to her, my mom, and my other sister! Lindbergh’s views on modernism suggest that we tend to over complicate things rather than simplify them. Her meditations on love and peace are uplifting and illuminating. I envy her days on the island as she writes and enjoys her own company. So much of my “just visiting” style home is decorated with rocks and treasures I bring home from the beach. Why not?
The Power of Appreciation
As I’ve put the principles of Feng Shui, thoughtfulness, and simplicity into my lifestyle, I have felt blessed mentally and physically. Surrounding myself with things I love uplifts my spirits. Getting rid of stuff I don’t use gives me a sense of freedom. Minimalism gives you a greater sense of abundance and frees you to be more generous. It’s as simple as adding beautiful plants to your home. It’s as easy as cleaning out your closet. Check out our meditation 101 article and give yourself 5 minutes a day. You’ll be surprised at how much more productive you’ll be! Your life will feel more satisfactory and you’ll feel more at peace with whatever situation you’re in. Certainly, you deserve it! xox