Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What minimalism means

So I am sort new to the whole minimalism thing, as this concept is one that is descriptive yet lose in the sense that it means different things to different people, I have sort of been grappling with it in my head. Ok so I get that I have to get rid of things, more specifically superfluous items I don’t need. But you see that’s the hard part to get my head around. What do I get rid of?
I would like to say its best if you figure out what minimalism means to you before you start to purge as this could lead to impulse purging, which could lead to you having to repurchase items that you had used for. Personally I hope my minimalist journey will eventually lead to frugality, so you can imagine repurchasing items is low on my list of things to do.
I don’t think you will completely master minimalism at the beginning, my guess is it will evolve in your mind as you go along. But I hope you see what I mean by having a basic direction before you start purging.
From what I have heard some get into it for various reas

I think for a lot of people becoming a minimalist is about gaining control. We are in a complex time where having security is a luxury for the few, so as a reaction to that people maybe are trying to find a way to control their lives. While I will say this is not entirely bad, I must say its can be a bad thing.
Think about it, if your main goal is to gain control, what happens if you don't get it? I think this could lead to greater amounts of anxiety and even maybe lead to people abandoning minimalism all together.

I think of a principle that the bible often talks about which is surrender. Its one of those things which i think is right at the center of minimalism, the idea that things don't matter, circumstances and situations don't matter. It doesn't mean you don't care it just means your able to experience a new freedom that control cant allow you to have. A lack of fear of the unknown, I mean isn't control all about planning for what might happen. Its based on fear more often than not and this is one of those things i hope to let go of. Fear is unnecessary I hope to purge myself of it on my journey. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Ingredients for Life

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today.’
  5. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
  6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
  7. Make time to practice meditation, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  9. Dream more while you are awake.
  10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
  17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the negative blues away.
  18. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

Monday, 4 June 2012


A lot of people don't realize that depression is an illness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it. Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem. 
Depression scares people off. It makes me laugh that it has that kind of effect. I have suffered from depression for most of my life. It is an illness. I used to be good friends with my depression, saying oh I'm so depressed, or life is terrible. There was a time when I really, really, really thought I was going crazy. I was exhausted and going through a terrible depression. Sometimes I think that I was forced to withdraw into depression because it was the only rightful protest I could throw in the face of the world. 
The culture is going into a psychological depression. We are concerned about our place in the world, about being competitive: Will my children have as much as I have? Will I ever own my own home? How can I pay for a new car? Are immigrants taking away my world?
Just like other illnesses, depression can be treated so that people can live happy, active lives. Many people think that depression is something you just have to live with when you get older, but it's not. Recovery from depression is a process, not a sudden miracle. One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives. 
There's nothing, repeat, nothing to be ashamed of when you're going through a depression. If you get help, the chances of your licking it are really good. But, you have to get yourself onto a safe path.

This post is a s series of quotes from other depression sufferers but it sums up what i feel about depression.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Your Beliefs and Your Emotions

"Freedom is both freedom to live according to our inner moral compass and freedom from being a slave to our unexamined reactions"
One thing I will admit has plagued me for the majority of my adult life is a quick temper. I find it difficult to hold my tongue when I feel I have been provoked. It’s as if I have a compulsion to react and I neither want nor can I stop myself from speaking my mind.

I examined myself after one such incidence and I came to the conclusion that I was a slave to my anger. I had allowed myself to view a meek spirit as a weakness and as a result I had developed a reputation as a confrontational person.

What has this got to do with minimalism, well let me explain? Minimalism to me is much more than objects it’s about getting rid of unnecessary thoughts and emotions and while I can’t and will not say anger is unnecessary I will say when applied wrongly it can ruin your life and the people around you.

As a form of personal therapy when I reflected on my actions, motivations and emotions, I realised that it generally is not the actions of others that triggers anger but rather my belief about the action. Basically I had built up a defensive character that perceived any number of things as personal attacks.

Now I won’t say that I have conquered my anger, certainly not. However I will say that by learning to deal with my past wounds I have lessened the chance that I will react to what I receive as a person provoking me. This takes discipline as with all things, discipline and intent of mind to succeed in being a meek soul.

Now your issue might not be anger it might be some other emotion or behavior but realising what untrue perceptions you have about a situation will over time set you free from whatever is holding you captive.

Monday, 21 May 2012

How to let go of things

“Minimalism is not a style; it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance.”

When I decided to become a minimalist the idea itself sounded quite simple, the reality on the hand was something of a struggle. I thought if I can just get rid of a bunch of stuff it will all fall into place, however as it turned out, it was the getting rid that was my main stumbling block. I think over the years I was hard wired to retain items long past their usefulness. 

A peek into my room at this very moment in time would not suggest a minimalist lives here, the opposite would probably be anyone’s conclusion. It’s not particular bare but it’s not a hoarders paradise either, it’s somewhere in the middle.

My first purge I will say was the most difficult and extreme, in that process I got rid of a lot of things and some of those things I later discovered I would have actually liked to keep. I went in with an amateur’s zeal and began to toss things out in a sort of zealous confusion (because let’s face it I didn’t know what I was doing) believing this was the only way, but was it?

Since then I have learnt a lot, my main mantra is to be patient as I purge, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should my minimalist life style. Instead I have opted to observe my items and see what needs to be purged. I’m very conscious of what is in my room at this moment and patiently observing the areas that give me the most stress. These are the areas when I am energised to organise that get dealt with first.

this approach actually opens you up to a lot of self explorations, from it I noticed my habits and what I like, I discovered I quite like having a proper bed, but I am not particularly fond of my wardrobe. I noticed I’m not much of a reader so the books will be going, realised I only really stick to a specific type of shoes and that i don’t like to iron, so clothing that need ironing gets no wear.

I suppose I said all this to say minimalism is about more than just getting rid of old things, it’s about finding yourself in the things you have and also learning the art of patience, when to act and when to not. So take your time, be patient but always keep your mind on the ultimate minimalist dream, having less but being better for it.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Minimalism: The Bare Necessities

For me minimalism is not about having less stuff, it’s about finding out who I am through my stuff. Take a simple black pair of shoes; we have so many variations of what a simple black pair of shoes is. To you it is a flat pair of loafer’s, to someone else it’s a 3 inch healed pair of court shoes, to him it’s a pairs of 8 eyelet doc martens… but to me what does it mean?

I started purging when I realised I had a lot of items in my possession that didn’t actually reflect who I was… a lot of unnecessary and often superfluous items I never used, but they were there in my possession. I started thinking about what it was that compelled me to hold on to things I didn’t need or use.

Society judges you by the things you own, their condition, price and aesthetic… it’s no point having a beat up old Gucci bag right? It has to be glossy and attractive to give you any kind of status. However we all value different things, I personally don’t want a Gucci bag but I was finding myself planning on saving for a designer bag, why? Because society told me this was the ideal.

Having a Gucci bag for me does not reflect who I am, my ideals or my aspirations. To some it does, but I’m just saying to me it does not. So I thought who am I and do my current possessions reflect that, do they convey who I am and who I want to be, because like it or not the outside is a reflection of the inside.

 I had to ask myself this very simple question to realise I don’t want very much but then again I don’t want very little. I know I can live on very little, even less than others find acceptable however stripping down to the bare minimum is not essential rather stripping down to the necessary is what I want.

Minimalism is no longer about what should get I rid of but rather about what I want to get rid of and what I want to keep and honestly, I don’t want that much so therefore I have less than what I started with, but more than the bare minimum. It’s about exactly what I need to stay happy, let’s call it the ‘bare necessities’ for a lack of a better word.