I’ve always dabbled with elements of minimalism and intentional living. About a year and a half ago, I came out of a long term relationship, and some upheaval with my home life. After which, I felt the need to re-examine my life and really tap into the things I wanted to be doing and the things that genuinely made me happy.
When I took the time to think about what was important to me, the words “simplicity” and “freedom” kept coming to mind. Freedom from things, freedom from bills, freedom from stress, freedom to just be me and an overall need to just live simpler. This need to live a simpler life led to a shift in mindset. I said, “Goodbye” to being weighed down by things and re-evaluated my emotional attachments to my belongings.
There would be no more stressing over things outside of my control. Also, as a farewell to monthly minimum payments, I would pay off my bills, close unnecessary accounts, and reduce my amount of paper waste. Freeing myself from these things opened the door to more intentional living. I had a major home declutter. Anything that wasn’t loved or necessary went! I gave things away, gave them to charity, or sold them. All of this gave me a greater sense of space, clarity of mind, and some extra cash! Over the course of a year, I have minimized my wardrobe by 50%.
Just on the basis that if I haven’t worn something in a year, I had to get rid of it. I set about organizing my wardrobe and defining my personal style. My new rule is: Unless something is denim, navy, grey, nude, black, white or striped, it doesn’t get bought! Now, I regularly edit my wardrobe. Considering I work in fashion, this is definitely the area in which I struggle with being a minimalist the most. I love shoes! The best thing minimalism has given me is the space to examine my inner state and reconnect with myself. I’ve really connected with this quote from the “Less Is More” documentary, “The significance of minimalism isn’t that it’s about a few objects, that is just a consequence.
Minimalism is about a feeling of clarity about what’s essential.” In reconnecting with myself I am discovering what is essential to my happiness. What’s essential for me is family time, meaningful friendships with my girls, more control of my time, my right not to live a conventional life, and my very real love of travel.
Even though my journey into minimalism is still in its infancy I can honestly say as I approach my 36th year that I feel the happiest I’ve felt in a few years. Going forward I will only make space in my life for the things and people that matter most to me. As I continue on this path, I am applying minimalist principles to my work life, I’m making more time for meditation, and planning a visit to the Asian continent in 2017.
Want to learn more about minimalism from various brown girls? My girl, Yolanda over at The Black Minimalists compiled a free ebook called Simply Black. You should download it.