When I started blogging about my own journey into minimalism and simple living, I wrote an early post that encapsulated my thinking: So, what’s this minimalism all about?
What’s on trend right now?
At the time, I didn’t know that minimalism and simple living were becoming ‘a thing.’ A quick look at Google Trends is enough to see that, across the developed world, people’s interest in minimalism is on the rise.
Watching the film is insightful if you’re new to minimalism and unsure of its benefits (check out my review). In the documentary, we meet some of the most well-known US-based proponents of minimalism and simple living: Courtney Carver, Leo Babauta, Tammy Strobel, Colin Wright and The Minimalists themselves, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Their stories are both fascinating and compelling.
Here in the UK, we have some wonderful change-makers. Not all of them would necessary call themselves ‘minimalists’ but check out the good work they’re doing:
Jen Gale – Jen’s ‘Make Do and Mend’ Year in which she bought nothing new transformed not only her family’s own experience but fostered a community of like-minded folks. Jen’s approach means saying “‘no’ to mindless consumerism, and choose instead to re-use, repair, borrow, and thrift. To Make Do and Mend.”
Caroline Jones’s fashion tribute to her late mother led to a book published last year: Knickers Models Own – A Year of Thrifty Fashion. Check out her inspiring story here.
Sarah at The Simple Life Notebook gently shares the wisdom of simplifying – especially useful if you have a young family. Check out Sarah’s free e-course if you’re looking to get a grip on your closet and develop a capsule wardrobe.
Head over to Wendy Graham at Moral Fibres whose green lifestyle blog is well worth a visit if you’re looking to reduce your impact on the environment.
Lisa Cole’s website, Less Stuff is a must-visit if you want some straightforward and accessible ways into decluttering.
Finally, there’s Sal at One Empty Shelf whose writing on minimalism also extends to her passion for the great outdoors.
Each of these inspirational change-makers has her own take on intentional living, but they all share one thing in common: they are no longer bound by a life of consumerism and know what it means to enjoy a life of more, but with less.
Seeing life through a new lens
As I see it, those who espouse intentional living (perhaps initially through decluttering and shedding excess stuff) are enabled to take a step back and see life through a clearer lens.
By eliminating distractions and getting back to basics, we can start to focus on the things that are truly important to us.
This might mean improving our relationships, combatting stress, focussing on family, improving our health and wellbeing, improving our finances, being more aware of our impact on the environment or even taking a more spiritual path.
The great spiritual movements of the world
The Bible teaches that, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15, ESV). Living frugally is not confined to Christianity, of course. Buddism and minimalism (for example) are also well aligned, as that great movement teaches us to ‘let go’ and be more mindful about how we live.
Maybe minimalism is a new way to express eternal truths in today’s consumer-driven society?
What does minimalism mean for you?
In our local meet-up last weekend, Jane shared some of her eco-minimalism tips with the group, as we explored different aspects of minimalism and simple living. For me, it has been about simplifying my life to reduce stress and to increase happiness (it worked, for the record).
So, tell me about you? Are you one for whom Marie Kondo’s message of ‘spark joy’ resonates? Perhaps your interest lies in reducing debt, or carving out more time to do the things that matter? What does minimalism mean for you?
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