Hello, everyone! I knew I said I’d be back after a few days, but life happened and I was unable to make good of my promise. And I think I probably should stop making concrete assumptions as to when I’d be back again, because well, as you can see it’s out of my control.
Anyway, how has everybody been? I’ve been having a pretty good week so far. I had muay Thai sessions with my cousin Thea, cuddle time with my boyfriend, and I’ve been catching up on anime and TV series. Naruto Shippuuden’s new episodes are so good, especially Shikamaru’s parts! As for the TV series, I’ve been watching Lucifer, Pure Genius, Supernatural, Criminal Minds, and Criminal Minds : Beyond Borders.
Speaking of muay Thai, i was so exhausted afterwards that I promptly became sick. Gah. I should either up my resistance by exercising more, or tone back on the physical activity…I think I’ll just exercise more! It’s fun, and I get to work out all my rage issues in a non-harmful way.
Last time, I told you guys I’d tell you all about the basics of minimalism. I’m about to get into it now, so get yourself a snack or something to drink, settle back, and read on.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism covers a lot of ground. It can be design/architecture, an art style, or a literary technique. It can also be a lifestyle. According to the website Becoming Minimalist, Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.
A quote from Vironika Tugaleva says, “Our culture has bred consumers and addicts. We eat too much, buy too much, and want too much. We set ourselves on the fruitless mission of filling the gaping hole within us with material things. Blindly, we consume more and more, believing we are hungry for more food, status or money, yet really we are hungry for connection.”
Take a second to think. Do you really need EVERYTHING you own? Do you love each and every item you possess, or are they draining your focus, your resources, your energy? Do you even remember all of them? Yeah. You don’t.
Why Did I Choose Minimalism?
There are few things that I’m passionate about, but if I were forced to name them, they’re the following: environmentalism, anti-materialism, and conscious consumption.
The opposite of minimalism is excess, which is hard to escape from today. Our whole lives are controlled by materialism. Over-consumption is hurting not only the environment, but also ourselves. Although it’s true that being a minimalist doesn’t mean consuming nothing, it’s also true that you will HAVE to be more mindful of your consumption. You can’t own as much stuff as you used to, so you’ll be forced to evaluate each purchase and each item you choose to keep.
A relative of mine criticized me when I explained the above. She said that anti-consumption and being frugal was bad for the economy. I countered by saying that the economy will be fine, it’s flexible and will be able to adjust. As long as enough consumers start buying things that have less of an environmental impact, the supply will slowly transition to producing less of cheap, single-use, easily destroyed items.
After all, isn’t is far better to support your local economy? For example, it’s better to buy in-season fresh produce locally from a farmer’s market, instead of a bag of frozen veggies from the supermarket. I find that today’s modern business and economic systems are largely based on greed. Large-scale manufacturers have no regard whatsoever for the environment or ethical costs, so why should you support them?
That’s not the only reason why I find minimalism such a good idea. As I’ve mentioned above, I love nature and the environment, and I try to live an environment-friendly lifestyle. This includes trying to minimize waste and being aware of the products I choose to buy. Plus, not buying things all the time helps the environment by reducing the demand, and therefore reducing waste and resources!
Committing myself to minimalism means that I choose to live simply, with only a few possessions. Living with only the bare minimum really throws all your stuff in a new perspective. You’ll be forced to reuse and recycle, to buy nicer things that will last longer compared to cheap and flimsy items, and keeping only the things that you love. Look at it this way – would you rather be surrounded by a lot of crap you don’t care about, or a few things that you absolutely love?
Being intentional with your purchases reduces your personal impact on the environment more than you know.
Philosophically, minimalism implies that intangible things are more important than material objects. Personally, I have found that I enjoyed my life more when I spent money on travel, experiences and people I love than mindless shopping. Also, less shopping means less possessions. That will reduce the time you need for maintenance and upkeep, resulting in more time to pursue your interests. Less possession = less distractions. Win!
Minimalism is not a be-all, end-all to magically alleviate the stress from your life. That being said, it IS very helpful, especially if you’re a stressed-out person who has to make lots of choices on a daily basis. When done properly, it can weed out a significant amount of stressors in your life, such as what to wear, what to eat, how clean your house is, etc. And as you settle into a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll find that you will have to worry about insignificant things less, and focus more on what’s important to you.
And that, my friends, is a pretty sweet deal.
BONUS: Some resources to get you started!