Thursday, May 5, 2016

Minimalism: A Call for Simpler Life

Minimalism has been around for years. Though not so mainstream in the past, many people are adapting this lifestyle, turning their lives around against this world of consumerism.

It was only at the end of 2015 that I started really noticing it. I admit that the beautiful pictures and lifestyle videos were the ones that drew me in. But more than the monochromatic scheme and wide spaces, what is minimalism? And being a member of the middle-working class in the Philippines, is minimalism possible?

What Is Minimalism?
Minimalism, according to Merriam-Webster, is a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. The term can be applied to music, literature, architecture, art, fashion, etc. But what I am really interested in is the minimalist way of living. Here's one definition of minimalism that I very much agree on:
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom. (The Minimalists)
For me, minimalism is subjective. What is minimal to me might not be minimal to others and vice versa. My take on minimalism is the same as most of the minimalist I have read about. It's about simplicity and freedom to choose what I allow in my life.

As I have mentioned, those beautiful white-themed pictures and decluttering, living light videos got me into looking deeper into minimalist lifestyle. There are a lot of blogs dedicated to minimalism. I have been into a lot of them, reading their journey into simpler lives without all the clutter of this materialistic world. Though the blogs and channels I've been to are all from other countries, I was still inspired to give it a try- to try to live with less and experience a lot more.

Why Minimalist Living?
So, why did I choose to start with this path? Our present world is full of shallow and unnecessary things. We have a lot of things that do not really add value to our lives. I have a lot of things that do not add value to my life- physical stuff, thoughts and practices. With those, I frequently lose focus of who I am and what I want in my life. It is now time to put an end to mindless consuming and to holding on to something that do not make me happy, that do not make my life worth living.

As a Christian, I also think that this minimalism would be a fit lifestyle for me. This would help me focus more on what really is important in my life- my relationship with God.

Where Am I Now?
First, I would just like to say that I'm taking baby steps. It would be overwhelming to streamline everything all at once. And I'm starting with the things I already own.

In the beginning of 2016, I started decluttering my stuff- my clothes, books, crafting/art supplies, documents, computer files, skin care products, cosmetics, etc. I even got rid of some mementos I didn't know I still had. I am repeating this process once in a while to be sure that whatever I am owning today is really important and has utility to me.

I still have a long way to go, more aspects of my life to streamline. One step at a time. It's an exciting journey. And I cannot wait to walk deeper into this path.

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