Okay, let me start by saying I am not a minimalist by some or even most standards. I own more than one pair of back pumps. I do have electricity and running water in my house. I LOVE my iPhone, MacBook and iPad, and I am a frequent user of high speed internet. By middle class South African standards though, I think I am learning to keep it pretty simple.
Modern minimalism is not anti-materialism. It is simplicity. It is self-reliance and self sufficiency. One of my greatest enjoyments is living a simple, uncomplicated life. And I think that is minimalism at its finest. It is being a step (or more ) removed from the norm of society. It is moving away from soul less living including the dependence upon convenience, perfect comforts, constant indulgences, and emphasis on image. Convenience and ease in daily living even infiltrates our personal relationships. Authenticity and genuine-ness in our relationships take at times an element of discomfort, honesty, and truth. When we live in a soul less manner then we create soul-less and shallow relationships.
There are many ways to minimalize. I try to minimize how much mind numbing time I spend on social media. (That in itself is a challenge as I am a social media manager for various brands- that is my job) I try to limit my coffee consumption, my sugar consumption. I find I appreciate things more when I do not go to excess.
So here is my list of reasons on WHY I am a minimalist:
1. It is liberating. Often we are possessed by our possessions. We spend so much time buying, caring for, and replacing things that we don’t have time to enjoy them. Do we even enjoy spending all our time off taking care of all possessions?
2. I feel more “able”. It feels good to be able to do things for myself. I grow some of my own food. I make my own cleaning products. Minimalism includes a return to basic skills and taking care of ourselves.
3. It is cheaper. The cost of buying, maintaining, and replacing things can be enormous.
4. It is “greener”. I do like to feel that I am a steward for this earth we live on. Consumerism has caused a host of environmental problems. Factory emissions, transportation emissions, packaging waste. The list goes on and on.
5. I don’t like cleaning. Fewer things equals less time spent cleaning.
6. It is healthier. Multitasking is dangerous. If you don’t believe me, watch me try to cook and do dishes while packing lunches for the next day. When I simplify and do one thing at a time I find that I do a better job with a lot less stress.
9. Non-attachment. Fewer material possessions can help free our spirits. Attachment and craving are the source of much of our dissatisfaction and stresses in life. The things that we think we need or that will make us happy are fleeting…momentary. Once again we will return too quickly to that state of dissatisfaction and emptiness. The more things we have to worry about keeping, the more stress.
If you had to try minimalism- what would your reasons be?