Minimalism For Beginners

It began in 2019 for us. A kind of spring cleaning that stuck around as a lifestyle, all year round. The one when the “I’ll wear this eventually” clothes make it to the bottom of a dark donation bag and the dozen decorative pillows were carefully considered as we said goodbye to half of the beautiful stack. Farewell stuff and hello boundaries. It wasn't only stuff that I let go of, but it was patterns of thinking and ways of existing. The term minimalism corresponds more with quality of life over quantity of goods. Minimalism is straightforwardly the removal of whatever distracts you from living a fulfilling life. 

Now that you have a little framework, the real start of this journey was foreshadowed in 2017 when my husband, Brandon discovered Josh and Ryan from the well known podcast "The Minimalists". They would go on to write best selling books and movies that would challenge the theory of enjoying life with less. Captivated, we discussed the idea for years to come. We learned, shaped, and tailored what this meant for us. Identifying priorities and frequent examinations of our goals from season to season. Pinpointing the true satisfaction of a rich and full life. 

Clutter as we know it, isn't always the messes that we live in. If you're anything like me, you have to constantly filter the jumbled thoughts that fill your mind. Never ending to-do lists, constant pressure that come with difficult relationships, or even an underlying sense of busyness that you'd hope somehow leads to worthiness. The activities and lists compiled all lend their way to where your time is being spent. Somehow mental health, hours on a clock, and prioritizes usually take the backseat. 

For us, developing a new sense of life was tucked away in the theory of maximizing experience and minimizing things. Embracing that which we call significant and worthy of our time to care after. We created a few simple rule of thumbs that we still use today. Take a peek: value what you say yes to, plan for the future, pass it along when possible, dwell before making an impulse purchase, and create space for the new. When we salute to the order of these practical steps, I believe we really live beyond the reality of existing. Learn freedoms that only arise when unconsumed by the power we give to stuff.

So where do you start? I've got a house full of things and not enough experience of letting go. If we were sitting across my sticky do it yourself farm table, I would share these few words, "familiarize yourself with letting go". I'd hope you'd continue to converse alongside of me after these words dance through the air and the atmosphere around us quiets. This is frequently what happens when there's a mic drop thought. The ones that sparks something interesting inside of our brains to consider as we partake in visualizing life as we know it. 

There's good news for those of you who might be frowning right now. The best portion of saying goodbye is this: it doesn't mean it's forever. The beauty of borrowing is a hidden treasure that would be considerably pleasing to dust off now and then. There's got to be a few dozen reasons why thrifting is such a hit, right? Reduce, reuse, recycle. We've all heard it before, but there really is power in experiencing what this means in our day to day agendas. One of our families favorite places to spend time together is the Library. The spark in shuffling through the hundreds of books, activities, and digital content is exciting in itself (if you're an avid reader life myself), but did you consider the satisfaction that you'll walk away without ever investing a penny? The resources you and I have accessible in our cities is notable and completely worth our time to consider. After all, that book you might have in your Amazon cart right now, doesn't even have to take two days to ship if it's already sitting on the shelves at your local library. Pretty neat stuff.

And finally, if there's one last worthy piece of advice I would consider to pass on, it would be this, don't underestimate your small beginning. One yes in the right direction is another step closer to your destination. Wherever that cap looks like to you, is worthy of your yes now. Every step leads somewhere. Your yes get's easier. Especially when you're yes indicates less time scrolling and more time present. Smaller amounts of clutter and increased quantity of memories. Not so many bills in the mail, but certainly more smiles felt. At the core, minimalism is so much more than just stuff. The stuff is just what everyone talks about the most. A minimalistic lifestyle is geared around what you value and that will look different for everyone. For me, that's Jesus, people and the experiences that tag along. 

My hope is that when you leave this space we've shared together today, you find the boldness it takes to reflect and the grace that comes with evaluation. Our entire existence is built upon intentional choices and it's our mission to prompt and protect what falls under that category - what fills your time and occupies your space. Beginning a minimalistic lifestyle isn't found in missing out or having less, it's truly enjoyed in what matters most. 

The cycle of constant desire stops at the foundation of contentment. The space of satisfaction that can be found in what fills your life here and now. It doesn't mean you'll stop aspiring to reach your goals, but instead learning the art of appreciation instead of waiting for that next season. This moment matters. Everyday you breathe matters. Let it count every step of the way, friend. Every single step.