Less is More

“Simplicity allows the true character of our lives to show through.”

~ Duane Elgin

During the last several years I’ve adopted a minimalist lifestyle, in part due to necessity and in larger part as a result of the desire to live more congruently with the thoughts and feelings that were emerging from practicing a more holistic lifestyle.

I like who I am and the life I’ve carved out and it made me weary watching and being around others who seemed to not mind being slaves to their possessions and constantly “keeping up with the Joneses”; there’s a “never enough” feeling that comes from that drama. Unfortunately, the area where I live, and society at large, is so wrapped up in this “look at me” mentality.

My son will be moving on to college soon so the time has come to pare down even more, to downsize. At first I wondered if it was necessary. How could there possibly be less that I need or could use that still filled the spaces? But there is! It’s amazing what we hold on to. There are definitely things that remain “must keep”. I’m still evolving and some of my “things” hold memories too dear to part with yet (even though the thoughts and feelings are inside of me).

But aside from the material bits and baubles that will be edited out during this stage of life spring cleaning, I’m finding that a de-cluttering of the mind has become part of the process. This mental cleanse is sort of a detox for the soul. I think because we assign so much meaning to our possessions, letting them go is also a way of letting go of limiting beliefs about ourselves and also a way of examining self-defeating behaviors (what was I thinking buying purple velvet pants?). Often, we fill our spaces with pretty this ‘n that’s to take up empty feelings, to stave of boredom or even to replace the people who are no longer present. Our clutter, especially our mental clutter, is sort of a barrier that distracts us from taking on new challenges and becoming who we are really meant to be.

It’s utterly liberating to unburden one’s self of the things that no longer serve or define who we are. And that’s really the point; material possessions shouldn’t define us.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

~ Lao Tzu

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