Clearing Paths to Minimalism
Updated: Dec 17, 2022
I've always thought of myself as a minimalist until I wasn't.
I had found a way to accumulate objects as comfort and emotional crutches. For instance, the potted plants started to multiply making it impossible to navigate around them. Sure I was experimenting, developing a healthy hobby, and fine-tuning the craft of gardening until eventually, after seeding and sprouting, it was a matter of creating a large enough space for them to thrive. My balcony space got very crowded, and in a place that was not my permanent residence.
Books are also a passion. I had bought many novels and picture books over from the US, where I had lived for almost three decades, they were time stamps of various periods of my life, and now they were the heaviest things I owned. I spent a lot of money on movers to haul the books and other household items from one country to another until I said enough.
I had to ask myself why such an attachment to all these material objects that can easily be replaced or stored away? The answer I came up with is emotions. I needed things to ground me to moments in my past and to remind me of who I was at those times when I read them or purchased them. And what has changed now that I feel I can let go?
I know I'm not the only one going through changes in life. After a world pandemic everyone's lives have changed in one way or another, and I think so has our perspective. Climate change has uprooted many in Australia and around the world. Can we feel safe living with the illusion of safety? What has become evident to me is that I have grown spiritually to know myself to the point of understanding what I need in life, one being family, two work, and three friends. Everything else is fleeting. And with this realisation, I have been comfortable letting go of peripheral material things.
Once I started letting go, I felt lighter, more energetic and unburdened with the attachment to my past. Instead I looked forward to what was to come with more excitement than I had imagined. I've left a lot of hard rubbish, given things away, and rented a small self-storage for those times that I may not feel so grounded in my own skin. Letting go is a process. It will happen when one is ready. All I can say is that it has made my life freer to make adventurous decisions that would have otherwise needed planning and a group effort. Tis the season to Spring clear your life and unburden your mind with uneccessary attachments. I highly recommend the minimalistic lifestyle.