Most people are influenced by inspiration. They are exposed to an idea or an example and they find themselves drawn into a new path of awareness or action. That has been my experience with downsizing and decluttering. My personal journey towards less has been shared here in my blog - and several wonderful readers have let me know my sharing has inspired them. Thank you. I think that is how some movements are started - inspiring each other and passing it on.
I do not aspire to become a card carrying minimalist, but I do find inspiration in that movement. I do strive to free myself from the weight of things for very selfish reasons. I am freeing myself from extra work of maintaining stuff (sadly no hired help in my future,) reducing stress (which I seem to have more than my share over the last 10 years,) and reducing distractions (the ability to focus seems to be the first mental ability to fail as we age. *sigh*) In addition, it makes my visually impaired husband's life just a little less frustrating.
So let me share with you a blogger who has inspired me.
He had the typical life filled with a happy family, a satisfying job, a normal house and an all too familiar over abundance of stuff. His story begins one weekend when he decided to clean out his garage. His 5 year old son also wanted a piece of his time to play in the backyard. With promises to play when the cleaning was done, he proceeded to empty the garage onto the drive way to approach this task in a thorough and logical way. Soon he was overwhelmed by the enormity of the exposed stuff and the effort it was going to take. It was then that his neighbor casually commented: "Maybe you don't need to own all this stuff." From that simple statement he quickly realized what mattered was time with his son and not the stuff in the driveway. Inspiration in its most infantile form! That experience sparked the beginning of a new way of living that he shares in his blog. I don't have a garage or a 5 year old child, but strip away the window dressing of that story, and his sudden realization was mine as well - it just took me a little longer. I encourage you to visit his blog and see if his experience could also be yours.
Recently he hosted a guest post from Sarah Peck. Her story is titled: The Story of Enough: Giving Up (new) Clothes for One Year. Although I have never been into collecting clothes I took time to read her story. The clothes saga is the window dressing of her story. The underlying truths can be nailed down to a few words - I have enough. I am enough. And "enough" is different for everyone.
Yes, that is EXACTLY what I believe.
I have captured a few of her quotes below. I encourage you to check out her post on BecomingMinimalist.com - and maybe spend some time visiting with Joshua Becker. I don't think you will be disappointed.
The Story of Enough:
Giving Up (new) Clothes for One Year.
"Our world is filled with messages that tell us we don't have enough space, enough stuff, enough clothes, enough fitness. We're never skinny enough or pretty enough or good enough or rich enough."
"...the idea of minimalism isn't about reaching a goal or checking off a box, or reaching a certain destination. To me, minimalism is realizing that what I already have is enough, and that adding clutter to the pile won't make it any better."
"Stripping away the excess lets us get to the bones of what really matters. Get to the heart space. Get to the pieces that are important. And that level can be different for different people."
"Untethering from the need to consume was surpassingly easy. It was the attitude change that made the most difference: looking through my things and realizing I already had enough. ... It was relaxing and reassuring to know that what I had was okay. What you are is already good enough."
"Sometimes a subtle attitude shift or a small sacrifice can make a big difference. Like taking the time to appreciate that what you already have is enough. And your effort? It's enough."