The interesting thing about living a more minimalist life is that it can start to change more than our closets and drawers. It can change our perspectives and priorities as well.
By living a more minimalist life, our peace of mind is allowed to germinate without the weight of the extras that stunt our spirit and stifle our growth. As we slowly shed the old truths and treasures that are no longer relevant, or glistening, we have no choice but to bloom.
We become new, lighter, and more clear. Unencumbered by the weight of our old possessions and rigid ideas, life can feel purer, cleaner and more powerful. We slowly change.
After a few years living a minimalist life, I can see changes in myself. Most integrally, I no longer see possessions as a viable replacement for happiness, or for my insecurities.
Perhaps you can relate as you look back at your own journey. Or perhaps the changes that a minimalist life has the power to create within us, might intrigue you.
Here are 6 small ways that a minimalist life may be changing you.
1. A newfound respect for your own space and your chosen possessions
In the beginning of a more minimalist life, there is often a massive purging of random ‘just in case’ items, of ineffective and unwarranted treasures, and of random unused purchases. And we may not have realized the value of this grueling experience. But it has likely been massive.
As we are forced to acknowledge a lifetime of lost fortune, funds and space, we may grow a stronger respect for the things that we now allow to stay with us in our space.
After being forced to look eye to eye at the representations of wasted money, and room; the future events of acquiring something and then accepting it into our hard earned space likely becomes more thoughtful than it once was. And so, this greater respect for chosen possessions, and the magic of our precious space may just shine a bit brighter.
2. A love and appreciation for taking the time you need
As I have evolved and changed through my minimalist path, I have learned that the time to do what I desire (or need) to do, deserves respect. And so I make the time. I have it, I deserve it, and in taking the time needed, everything is more enjoyable, more effective, and in the long run, quicker. The tasks at hand are also achieved with more care. More often, that old mentality of hurrying things up, no longer seems to come up in my life. And I don’t miss it a single little bit.
Everything that we decide to do deserves the time that it takes for us to do it well, and effectively. And doing each task with respect for the time it takes will inadvertently make the task at hand more enjoyable. Doing things in haste almost always makes them take longer in the long run.
3. A genuine calmness that wasn’t within reach before
A minimalist life can be an extinguisher of extra stress, strife, and of the ever building anxieties that can drown us in sadness, uncertainty, and loneliness. The interests and business that we put our energy into with a minimalist mentality; they have a way of staying fresh, relevant, important. If not, we bid them farewell.
Inherent in this clarity and relevance is a calm that is often searched for in the exact areas that it is extinct. We search for contentment in the things we mindlessly buy. But it’s not the new things that will bring us calm or contentment. And through a lifestyle of minimalism it can be easier to find the clarity of that truth. And then we can find exactly where that calmness actually lives and thrives… It’s in us.
4. A honed willingness to let go of the things that don’t serve you
As we have thought through our needs extensively, we become so much better at seeing and judging things for their attributes, or the lack thereof. Where once I was tentative in letting things go, now I am clear, and willing. I respect the idea that I may have chosen something that I don’t actually need now.
We are ever changing beings. But I now revel in the idea of gaining new space as I declutter unnecessary things. As we get to know ourselves, we get to intimately know what we need, and what we don’t. And we become more and more confident, and willing to exert this right of ours. It is a right to only have what is serving us. And the more clear we become, the less likely we will be to acquire something that we don’t actually need.
5. A respect for the experiences that fill you with joy and excitement
As we tread the path of a minimal life, it becomes more and more apparent that the truest, and most core-fulfilling things in our life, they are experiences–not things or items. In readjusting our life such that experiences are given the highest regard and priority, our life may change. Instead of coveting a sweater, we may be more likely planning a trip with people we love, or off for a lovely morning walk. With less random items crowding around us, we have more space to dream, and more space to figure out the life that we can love and be filled by.
6. A self assured conviction to give yourself what you need
In acknowledging the smaller things through a life with less, I have had the chance to get to know myself on a new level. In so doing, I have a better understanding of what I need for true contentment. And I have a growing confidence to stand up when I don’t think I’m being respected. In so doing, I can give more to the world in the ways that inspire and excite me. We all deserve that.
It is up to us to find, and to cultivate the poetry that makes our life fulfilling. The kinder we are to ourselves, the better we can be for ourselves, and for the ones we love.
About the Author: Lyndsay Allison is a writer and minimalist who is passionate about the power that minimalism has to bring us more joy. Her website, lyndsayallison.com is filled with articles about mindfulness, minimalism, and simple living.