In my previous post, I spoke about the ugly side of minimalism. Not wanting to dwell in the negative, I feel it is appropriate to articulate some of the many benefits I’ve seen from implementing minimalist principles into my life so far. I’ll call this the ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’ side of minimalism.
Letting Go Of Perfection – I used to chase the fantasy version of myself through the things I acquired. After decluttering, I gained insight into what types of pursuits I valued. More importantly, I saw how planning and perfectionism impeded me from ever actively pursuing those interests. I finally gave myself permission to start, and to fail if need be. I boldly pushed ‘Publish’ on this blog, and it felt good.
Connection To Others – Practicing minimalism confirmed to me that if I run out of something, I will be ok. Better yet, if I need something, I can connect with someone who cares about me, like a neighbor or a friend. I used to shun vulnerability. I bought my own private version of everything, so that I would rely on no one but myself in times of need. What I was actually doing was purchasing isolation and loneliness.
Empowerment – Knowing I can repair, reuse, or create something from what I already own makes me feel a renewed sense of self-sufficiency. I am no longer blindly purchasing what I am told I need by advertisers or feeling as dependent on corporations. Rather, I have become conscious of the influence of marketing, and now focus on developing my own creative skills to provide for myself. Goodbye fast food, hello home cooked meals.
Contentment – The drive to acquire has dropped off dramatically in my life, replaced by the realization that I have enough. I am done acquiring the things I already have, which leaves me time and energy to focus on fully experiencing my present. Instead of dwelling on scarcity and lack in the future, I can take comfort in enough today.
Space – Space, by definition, should be the absence of anything. However, I will argue that negative space is very tangible both physically and emotionally. Physically empty space in my home is clean, bright, and calming. Emotional space in my mind lends itself to creativity, adventure, and inspiration. Space represents wonderful potential.
I could go on and on about the positive aspects of minimalism, but like a beautiful rainbow, all things must fade away. (Cue unicorn riding off into the sunset.)