Hi beautiful souls!
For those who have been keeping up with my YouTube videos, you may have noticed that I have mentioned the word “minimalism” a few times here and there, and because of that I have been receiving many questions from our community about this lifestyle I like to live by. Of course, this is absolutely amazing! I am so happy to know that even the word “minimalism” is generating an increasing amount of interest these days, and it is most definitely something that I am very passionate about.
Here’s another fun fact about me: I have always, almost unknowingly, enjoyed keeping things simple and preferred not to hoard or keep too many items. Perhaps my biggest influence throughout my life has been my dad, as I remember our random conversations about owning less to live happier and the power of the media in consumption, from childhood until now. Although I did have this concept kept at the back of my mind, it really wasn’t until mid-2017 when I started to truly focus on minimal living. When I began to declutter more of my bedroom, I was honestly surprised as to how much I still had but didn’t need! Even as I cleaned up my room a few days ago, I continued to find items that no longer served me a purpose, which humorously made me wonder why I still kept them.
Now, I am by no means promoting that owning things should be demonised or that we should feel guilty for having ‘things’. I don’t believe in guilt, and in this day and age, we all need to own certain materialistic things to thrive and help us fulfil our potential. Life isn’t all too serious after all, so this post isn’t about making drastic changes and not owning a thing in the world anymore (well, technically everything belongs to Mother Earth, but that’s a different story 🙂 ). Today, I just want to briefly share with you and answer a common question that I get, which is why I choose to live a minimalistic lifestyle. In other words, what are the benefits that I have seen in my life through consciously choosing to “live with less”? I simply hope that this post can inspire you to transform your life for your own good and for the better, and act as a starting guide to a minimal lifestyle if this is a path you’d like to explore.
Let’s begin with defining what a ‘minimalistic lifestyle’ is. Minimal living means that you value yourself and your truth more than materialistic things. It means that you choose to put your happiness first, to truly live more, and that you make decisions based on what you need instead of being pressured to get what you may want. Minimalism doesn’t mean that you are stingy, but instead you buy what you need and will bring you great value into your life. You don’t need to be strict or follow certain rules here. Only you can define how you want ‘minimalism’ to show up in your life, and it’s important to note that you do it for yourself because you know that it can bring incredible benefits into your life.
My concept of minimalism may look different to yours. For me, living more minimally in visualisation means that I own less than 10 pairs of shorts, for example. Or only keep clothes that I have worn in the past 6 months. Again, I don’t stick to certain rules or compare, but as long as I think that I am living in a decluttered space, then that’s all that matters. I do it because I truly feel so content with less things, as the more clutter I have the more I tend to feel stressed and unable to think clearly- like the universe is sending a sign that I need to re-align with my values again.
So why do I choose minimalism? Here are some of my top reasons:
- It allows me to have space to breathe.
Having less clutter in my home literally gives me more space to breathe. It allows more fresh air to flow freely from outside the window, the scent of my essential oils to circulate more widely, and this in turn gives my body and mind more freedom and clarity. In a not-so literal way, owning less also gives me more space to ‘breathe’, because I no longer hold on to many things from the past. I give myself the opportunity to focus on the Now and pave way for a future I desire, rather than keep any limiting beliefs stemming from the past. Not that we shouldn’t reflect on our past sometimes, but letting go of items can really allow us to feel more free in many aspects of our lives.
2. It cultivates simplicity into my life.
Life is simply simpler with less things. I have less to worry about, I no longer feel pressured by the media and society to make mindless purchases, it is a lot easier to find certain items (I’m sure we’ve all experienced that time when it comes to finding that one particular thing we usually always see, we just can’t seem to find it anywhere), and it’s just…simple! And because my life is simpler, I am generally more content, at peace, and in a state of happiness, since I’ve got a clearer mind and can truly focus on the important matters in life, which leads on to the next point…
3. I can focus on the really important things in life.
Owning less items which do not add any value into my life means that I can create space to focus on what truly is valuable in my life- for me, this includes family, friends, relationships in general, experiences, getting creative and serving others. Not only is this because I have less distractions, but also because the time that I would spend on shopping and purchasing those items is spent on taking action and doing things that will make me happy in the long term.
4. I am able to invest my money in what truly brings me value.
Since I no longer make mindless purchases which do not serve me a purpose, I am able to cultivate more finance towards investing in ‘things’ that are valuable to my life and allow me to fulfil my potential. Again, it’s not about ‘saving’ money and being stingy, but rather quite the opposite- it’s about feeling abundant in all areas of life. For example, as a content creator, because I haven’t been mindlessly spending my money, I have been able to instead spend that money on purchasing a high quality camera and editing software which do bring me value. I have been able to invest my money in travelling (a.k.a experiences), savings, and I know that in the future this will help me to pay off my student loans more easily.
5. Own less and work less.
I absolutely love this concept. Funnily enough, my dad actually said to me the other day, “I would rather work less and own less stuff”, and I couldn’t agree more. So while working less may mean that you could earn less in terms of your salary, it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t live a life filled with abundance. For example, by not making mindless purchases, you can invest that money into experiences that light you up. If you love your job, then that’s fantastic too! I’m not here to tell you that you should work less, but by owning less we can prioritise more of our time towards doing things that may not be a part of even the job that you love.
6. It reduces stress and increases energy.
Clutter certainly can promote a more stressful environment. It somehow is connected to our minds, and whilst it may not affect some as much as others, a clear space definitely doesn’t do anyone harm. Owning less can also reduce stress because you’re not worried about having things ‘stolen’ and you’re not being weighed down by as much of a burden, and you actually cultivate more energy to deal with what is important. Personally, I’ve definitely felt more energetic since transitioning to a more minimal lifestyle!
7. For the environment.
There’s no doubt that consumerism plays a big part in global warming and environmental destruction. Resources are ultimately taken from the Earth, much of which is limited, to produce materials that will eventually end up being dumped unsustainibily back into the Earth. The production of items often leave a big carbon footprint too. Have you ever noticed the intense packaging of some items we buy, wrapped in layers and layers of plastic that really serve no purpose? Of course, I am by no means perfect. I still purchase things online that come in big boxes and lots of wrapping, but I am definitely a lot more conscious now than ever before. As someone who is super passionate about protecting and loving Mother Earth, I simply aim to just try my best when it comes to this area, and follow the four r’s: refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. Our planet is our only home, not only to humans but to all living species and beings, so let’s do our part in caring for our Earth who only ever gives to us.
8. For social awareness.
I am incredibly grateful for everything in my life, know that I am (and you are) more than worthy of abundance, and try not to take things for granted at all times, but there’s no denying that I truly do have ‘too much’. There’s no hiding from real statistics these days, demonstrating just how serious poverty is in some parts of the world and the unequal wealth distribution. For me, living with less allows me to feel more grounded, and though this may sound counter-intuitive at first, it does make me more grateful that I have access to so much. By being conscious souls, little things over time can create a difference, and we can create change through supply and demand and allow the resources that we have to be used towards those who truly need it.
Overall, I choose to live more minimally because it gives me a sense of freedom. I am able to live with more true ‘abundance’, and it has made my life so much more peaceful and content, knowing that am also doing my part for our Earth. There is a reason why studies have shown that those who live with ‘less’ generally are happier, and if you haven’t given this lifestyle a try yet, I am here to encourage you to begin today! Remember that it’s not about comparing, you can take your time, there are no rules, and it’s simply about valuing yourself, honouring your time on Earth, and caring for our planet.
There are also some great resources out there to help you get started. One of my favourite blogs is The Minimalists, who also have an amazing TED Talk on Youtube which really inspired me in the beginning. I also really like the Going Zero Waste Blog. As for how to aim towards a more minimalist lifestyle and the steps I took, I will make another blog post for that in the future, but I hope that today’s post could reach out to you in some way and inspire a new change in your life for the better. If you have any questions, do leave them in the comments below, or even send me a direct message on my instagram! I am always more than happy to help.
Sending my love,