Life before minimalism was driven by prosperity happiness. And while economic security is an important part of the overall well-being, it was a picture of overwhelm and sometimes burn out to achieve such perceived contentment. On reflection, the reality was that to keep up with the Joneses was actually making us unhappy. That life is long gone now.
Walking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Walk in Spain was the catalyst to the lifestyle change we now swear by. If you have ever travelled living out of a back pack then perhaps you understand that the stuff you tend to take represents the weight you are prepared to carry. You tend to purchase only the bare necessities to limit the heaviness and snap photo’s to replace collecting a tee-shirt for every destination visited to keep the weight down. Carrying less allowed us to enjoy it more.
This featherlike travel prompted us to question life as minimalists and eventual transition. Could living with less back in suburbia allow us to enjoy life on the treadmill more? You bet.
For us as Kiwi Minimalists, minimalism is about having greater simplicity in your life whether it be footprint, material possessions or consumption. It isn’t about living in a tent or having a room with no ornaments so that it echoes or living off bean sprouts for every second meal! It’s about de-cluttering and therefore creating more money, more time and more energy to pursue more of what really matters most, with less.
Having determined our purpose to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle, we can attest to being healthier, happier, our environment is a better place and ultimately, we have a better sense of fulfilment. A de-cluttered surrounding where we now watch other Joneses continue to go up and down!
We use the ‘more’ of what we have gained back to travel more out on the planet’s conveyor belt, collecting experiences through new country-sides, new cultures, new cuisines, new citizenships, new connections and new conversations. When we are not out there, we are back home venturing within our own back yard or volunteering giving back.
Family, friends, work colleagues, social circles or new conversations had with many a stranger have exposed them to the minimalistic movement growing globally. Where it used to be an oddity in this mass-marketed consumer-driven world is now an acknowledged alternative to the pursuit of happiness.
Martial Artist Bruce Lee once quoted, “One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”
The question now becomes one of, is this for you?
If feeling burnt out or overwhelm is an everyday occurrence, perhaps simplicity through minimalism has value to improve your happiness.
If this is for you then we challenge you to donate or discard one item of clothing you have not worn in the past 90 days; or one book sitting on a bookshelf you have not read in ages; or one item collecting dust in your garage you think you may need but have never used.
It’s that simple to taking the first step toward a more fulfilling happiness.