barely minimalist is back!

I’ve been MIA for awhile, I know.  I googled my blog last night (yeah, I’ll admit it), and was reading through my past posts and noticed the last time I posted was in July 2012.  WOW!  To tell the truth, I’ve had a heck of past 9 months.  I promoted at my job last January and since then was living in a frequent state of high stress, adrenaline pumping madness. Literally everything else in my life took a backseat. 

As I was reading through my old posts I was thinking, “I don’t even know this person anymore, but I want to!”.  I’ve totally stepped away from my barely minimalist path and jumped right back on that train of consume, consume, consume.  But I need to find my way back home.

I actually have some big, controversial news…I quit my job!  Yes I did.  Say whatever you want, but this was a personal decision I made after a year of planning and I’m stoked!  It’s been about 3 weeks and I ain’t looking back.  I love it!  I’m in school finishing up my Bachelor’s, gardening in my community plot, working on some very small business ideas and just plain relaxing.  It’s awesome. 

I’m looking forward to lots of yoga, healthy eating, a 21-day cleanse, and getting back into my love of simple living and minimalism.  I’m taking my time right now though, flirting with all these things I want to do.  I don’t want pressure, I want freedom.  This is my life and I’m living, for the first time in awhile.  I’ve jumped off the cliff and the sleep-walking is over.  No more dreading everyday life. 


an authentic life

Since turning 30 in February, I guess I’ve been going through a bit of a mid-life crisis so to speak.  Like a lot of thirty-somethings I’m guessing, I thought my life would have been a lot different by now.  I expected to be married and have those three kids by now.  I thought I would have “it all figured out” and be a real live grown-up.  Honesty, I am so far from all of that.  I’m not married and I’m not even close to being married since I just ended a 10 year-long relationship.  I don’t have kids, a house, or a career that I’m passionate about.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for all that I have, but I can’t help but wonder if there is more out there for me.

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about living authentically.  To live an authentic life means aligning your beliefs, values, ideals, passions, goals, and self with your actions.  To live authentically means to be your true self and not pretend to be somebody you’re not to fit in.  This is easier said than done.  If I were to be honest with myself and others, I’m not living authentically.  My job at times embodies all that I think is wrong with society.  I eat food from unsustainable and unethical sources.  I buy products from and support companies that I know I shouldn’t, but do it out of laziness and convenience.  I talk about and read about simple living and doing what you love for a living, but I’m not doing it myself.  I have succumbed to societal pressure to buy an identity through consumerism and work an 8 to 5 job in a cubicle so I can retire at 65 years old with a 401k.

So why is living authentically so hard for me?  Is it fear?  Is it laziness?  Is it pure complacency?  I think it’s all three of those.  I’m afraid of being labeled, of being judged, of being an outcast.  I’m  afraid of failing.  So what’s a girl to do?  Take a risk or stay in the safe zone?  This is the question that weighs so heavily on my mind, that keeps floating in and out of my head.


gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about gratitude.  I read somewhere, in a book or online,  that gratitude is the key to happiness.  That resonated with me.  We get so caught up in the bad, that we totally forget about all the good in our lives to be thankful for.   So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reciting what I’m grateful for in my life before bed.  It keeps me in check, puts the bad vs. good in perspective.  Just to share, here are a few things I am deeply grateful for in my life right now:

1.  My vision (eyesight, that is).  I can see, though not very well, I still can see the beautiful sunset, the ocean, my niece and nephew laughing and playing, etc.  From a person who has “complicated” vision, I can tell you that it is priceless to be able to see.  Through two years of exams, surgery, and Lasik scheduled soon, I’m on track to being able to see better.   And this I am thankful for beyond words.

2.  My friends and family.  Though I don’t have a big family or a ton of friends, I’m thankful for those in my life who care for me, and I for them.

3.  My cat.  Ha!  He makes me laugh, he satisfies my need to take care of something, and keeps me company when I’m alone.

4.  My job.  It keeps a roof over my head, bills paid, and food on the table.  Maybe it’s not my dream, but it’s been paving the way towards it everyday and every paycheck.

5.  My apartment and my car.  For the first time in my life, I feel secure where I live and with the car I have.  Neither are extravagant by any means, but I love my new place, and I love not worrying about my car breaking down everyday.  It’s peaceful right now, and I need peace in my life.

What are you grateful for in your life?  Take a couple of minutes and make a small list either on paper or quietly in your mind.  Recite that list to yourself whenever you are feeling overwhelmed by the bad.  It helps, it really does.

 


moving to a much smaller living space

This is a post by one of my favorite bloggers Naomi Seldin of “Simpler Living” that I would like to share with you.  Her blog has a lot of great posts about moving minimalist style!  Here’s a great one about downsizing your home:

Moving to a much smaller living space.


moving!

I’m in the process of moving to a new apartment and that’s why I’ve been a little MIA. It’s super exciting as this was one of my big goals for awhile now. I’m moving acrossed town to a new (to me) apartment with my cat Tatum this weekend and so I’ve been super busy!

So I plan to be back shortly with a bunch of posts on “barely minimalism” and minimalist moving. Moving is really giving me a chance at a fresh start and a chance to really clear the clutter, so I can’t wait to share!

Be well!


minimalist in 30 minutes

Are you like me?  Do you want instant gratification?  Do you want to see results right away?  Do you want to become a minimalist right this very minute?  You can!

How is this possible you ask?  All you have to do is……

Decide.

Decide that from this day forward you will adapt a minimalist lifestyle.  That’s it!

Make the decision and start putting your new lifestyle into action.  You can kick off your new cool lifestyle with just 30 minutes of intense minimal-izing:

Clean out a drawer…..5 minutes.

Grab a shopping bag and fill it with unworn clothing……10 minutes

Pair down your toiletries down to the ones you actually use…..10 minutes

Find 5 -10 useless knickknacks/items around your home you do not need and are tired of dusting and throw them in another bag/box to donate…5 minutes.

Done in 30 minutes! You’re on your way.  Rinse and repeat each day, start telling people about your new lifestyle….be proud!

Start a blog.

Get excited!

Do you know what’s in store for you?

More money, more time, more room to breathe and live, and more freedom.

For those extremists out there, feel free to pack up your vehicle with all the stuff you can today, drive to Goodwill, drop it off, and relish in the freedom and exhilaration you will feel from freeing yourself from stuff that’s holding you down.

Warning:  Sudden decluttering of large amounts of stuff may cause initial panic and exhilaration.


becoming a minimalist means learning to let go

Letting go of an obsession and/or attachment to things is essential to becoming a minimalist.  I have indeed read this many times, but actually experiencing it  along my minimalist journey has proved its truth. 

I have always been good about clearing out stuff I no longer want or use (for the most part), but seem to acquire new stuff just as fast as the old stuff gets loaded on to the Goodwill truck.  This is not being minimalist, and this desire must stop- and has for the most part.  I’m not perfect, I’ve purchased a new dress and shirt in the past couple months.  But I can see how easily these small purchases could have triggered my old habits and pulled me back to where I started.

The difference now though, it that I have had a shift in consciousness.  Stuff is not important and too much of it can keep you stuck and imprisoned in many ways.  My favorite quote from the movie “Fight Club” sums it up perfectly:  “The things you own end up owning you.”  I no longer have the desire to acquire everything and anything in my path, I only buy what I truly need and love.  And the rest is discarded.

So letting go, and rebelling against a society that is bombarding us with advertisements and reality tv shows telling us to buy, buy, buy to make our lives better is imperative.  There is another way, and from what I’ve experiences so far and read about on other blogs, it’s a better way!

As a recovering spend-a-holic and new minimalist in the making, I need to remind myself of the great benefits of minimalism everyday.   Buying a bunch of new stuff might bring happiness in the moment, but will inevitably end up causing more damage. 

So just let go and ask yourself…..

“Am I willing to trade my money, time, freedom, and ultimately my life for stuff?”

 


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