I am on a journey to an attainable and realistic way of living. I have decided to join the community of minimalist enthusiasts, yet I found the need to establish a perspective on minimalism that’s true to me. In Enoughism, Essentialism and other names for Minimalism, minimalist duo Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, list the many labels used to describe minimalism:
Sometimes people avoid minimalism because the word itself sounds extreme, radical, subversive; afraid of stepping outside cultural boundaries, these people avoid simplifying their lives because they don’t want the label: minimalist.
If minimalism seems too austere, you can re-label your flavor of simplification—and we suggest any of the following –isms:
…Call it whatever you want: no matter which –ism you prefer, the only thing that matters is that it helps you live with intention.”
I am guilty of avoiding the label ‘minimalist’, as I do not comfortably fit into the austere, bare and black and white brigade. I have decided to adopt ‘Living Simply’, which for me stands for a way of self discovery and means a practice of being considerate about what I let into my life and why. What you let in, often will tell you a lot about yourself and Margaret Everton in an article for Kinfolk, titled The Essential Non-Essential, describes the heart of essentialism:
“Without the guiding discrimination of our inner voices, our lives can be filled randomly with things that may be generally good, but not the best. A cultivated selectivity can transform plain objects into relics of our life story.”
I want to nurture my aesthetic and intellectual ideals around minimal living. I see minimalism as a tool (not a doctrine) for personal improvement – introspection and growth. To me it is less about the sparsity of things (which I think is commonly believed), but it is rather an intentionality behind everything, essential for true wellbeing and happiness.
In a series on this blog titled Simple Living, I plan to feature inspiring essays and editorials on minimalism that focuses on a type of minimalism that doesn’t force you to get rid of the things that bring you pleasure, but enables you to wisely differentiate between what is really happiness and what is just suffering in disguise. A journey of distilling all aspects of life to simplify, elevate and empower.
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