“Stop chasing success’. Start seeking significance instead.” – Joshua S. Becker
I’ve recently delved into the world of minimalism. After watching a documentary about it, reading books and blogs on it, I’m in.
I’ve always been borderline obsessed with being organized. One of my favorite scenes in a Disney movie? An obscure one. When Merlin in the “Sword in the Stone” packs up all his medieval stuff by having them all shrink down in size to fit in his satchel. Yep – he was rocking a satchel before the hipsters took it on as their thing.
How glorious to clean and declutter in that way! That would totally be my superpower of choice.
As I embarked on this minimalist road – happily pairing down my clothes into a “capsule wardrobe” and jettisoning away 7 full carloads of stuff…. (And my car has capacity with a capital “C” people! I lovingly refer to my Flex as Fat Betty…(I should spell it PHAT Betty now that I think about it.))
I realized that minimalist isn’t just about de-owning stuff.
It is an entire belief system.
It has made me truly take stock of not just want I want to physically have in my possession and what I don’t – but what thoughts, feelings and actions do I want in my life? And, conversely, what thoughts, feelings and actions do I NOT want?
Using this minimalist belief, I took stock of how I wanted my life to feel.
I wanted to feel calm, at ease, happy and satisfied.
Knowing that our thoughts drive our feelings, I worked backwards from those feelings that I wanted to feel and invite into my life and figured out what thoughts I needed my brain to practice to elicit those feelings.
Some thought sentences that emerged were:
“I can create a calm and organized space and schedule that highlights what is important to me and our family.”
“I and my kids do better with less. Less screen time, less stuff, less activities that clutter our minds and spaces.”
I sat down and wrote out how I wanted to spend my time. What actions lined up with my thoughts to create and experience calm and happiness?
For me, that meant:
Interact more as a family, including more meals together, game nights, etc.
Minimize screen time by having no video games Monday through Thursday and no more than 45 min. of TV time per day
Encourage quiet reading time and creative play time by having technology limits
Having no-tech Mondays and Thursdays where there’s no TV, video games or phones
Encourage alone time / down time for all of us
Prioritize more time to connect with my husband in any way possible – not just date nights
Refuse to get overscheduled with kids’ activities – no signing up for Little League in favor of playing more catch in the backyard
Cutting the cable cord and allowing more time to do other things with time and money saved
It’s all about living intently.
It’s all about taking time to figure out what’s important and planning for it. It won’t just magically occur without some intentional planning.
You may be saying to yourself – isn’t all that panning creating more work?
It’s purposeful work – not busy work (doing this allows you to avoid busy work in the future since you’ll know what is and isn’t important)– and the outcome is so worth the effort.
Having this minimalist approach to my physical, mental and emotional space has gotten me closer to that calm and happy existence.
I use these principles that I outlined for myself, based on minimalism, in all facets of my life and decisions I make on everything from meal planning to retirement planning and every small step in between.
It has allowed me to enjoy a clutter free and organized mindset which has helped me to be free of the future fears that us moms frequently experience. Those fears of if we are doing it right and where our kids will end up later in life.
It has helped me to be present.
It has helped me to be right here / right now for myself first.
It has allowed me to give myself grace, compassion and understanding which has allowed me to pay those feelings of acceptance forward to my kids.
It’s a transformative way of approaching everything and IT WORKS.
If you need or would like help in implementing minimalism for yourself, contact me. I’m here to help!