Just last year I was aware that my “stripped away” way of living actually has a name and is a lifestyle with increasing adepts nowadays – it’s called minimalism.
What for many, my family and colleagues included, is a sign of lack or even poverty, is for me and those who adopt a minimalist lifestyle, a simpler and peaceful way of living. Decluttering our home, our mind and our heart, is a way of unburden the soul and lighten up our life. Getting rid of the “things” that are not useful anymore, whether material, emotional or even spiritual, is a way of letting go of the past and the old, and to faithfully embrace the future and the new. By doing so we allow ourselves to live more in our present, and the present is in truth all we have. No longer we live by the standard of “getting” or “having”, but by that of “being”. And “being” is all we are, were and will be. No longer we need to rush to get and accumulate things, we acquire what we need and honestly we don’t need much. The old Indian saying “the needs are not much, the desires are” translate this in perfection. Letting go of the desires that don’t match our needs is key to a happier and peaceful life. Not only our life gets easier, but also our mind gains clarity, and our soul freedom and peace. We somehow gain clearness of sight and perspective towards life.
Under a minimalist lifestyle, these two questions are key when buying new things: Do I need it? Is it useful? If no, don’t buy it. For the things we already possess, adding this question can help us in deciding what to keep/go: Have I use it last year? If no, the probability of using it following year is the same, i.e. zero. Let them go. Other questions such as “Do I love it?” or “Is it beautiful?” can add clarity in decision-making. Scanning this way our mindsets and spiritual believes is a subtle, deeper level of minimalism, but its absolutely worthwhile. The reward is a lighter “self”, which is able to fly higher, and to root deeper into awareness.
So, in a nutshell, and rephrasing Picasso, “don’t keep anything that isn’t useful or absolutely beautiful“. This applies to clothes, kitchen items, books, decor, … mindsets and believes, … all the “things” we possess and consider “ours”. If we don’t need/use it or don’t love them, just let them go. Consider donate, recycle, trash… whatever seems more suitable, but let them go. Simplifying our life by releasing what no longer have space in our present is a beautiful way of living in the present and welcoming the future with an open heart.