It's been about 4-5 months since I decided to head toward minimalism (truthfully...I can't quite remember when I made this decision) and about 3 months since I took the challenge not to purchase anything new! Not for me, Tara or our home (ahem...of course...books are excluded from this list!). When I first started reading up on minimalism and this 3 month challenge it seemed quite impossible! I mean...to buy nothing new at all for 3 months??? But the more I began reading stories of how it changed people's lives, the lessons learned and the truths uncovered...I made the decision to try it. I mean...I can do anything for 3 months, right?? The most difficult part?? Not buying anything new for Tara:) The first month was the most difficult...every time I saw something cute...I really had to make a conscious decision (and exercise a lot of discipline!) to not purchase it by telling myself if I really wanted it I could always buy it later on. And now that I am at the tail end of my challenge...I feel utterly transformed with so many gifts gained..And what bountiful gifts they have been!!!.
*Note to self: Tara doesn't want more stuff
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” -Thich Nhat Hanh.
Okay...so the first month or so was utterly and impossibly difficult...and I had to keep reminding myself that I am not my stuff (This mantra was on auto repeat quite a lot! ) . To fully know, understand and live this truth is an invaluable gift I can give to myself...and to my daughter. But the more I stuck with it...the easier it became. Then when Tim had his major surgery a month ago...I saw the tangible effects of minimalism...because everything came down to the bare bones truth of what's really important in life. And for me...I suspect for us all...it's time spent loving and talking and hugging and dancing...it's about living life! In a deeply meaningful way of authenticity + connection. It's about what gives us joy and purpose. It's about caring less about what I own and caring more about living. Now...to be clear...I love and enjoy beautiful things...and it's not about giving away everything! It was simply about changing my focus + perspective.
And so...there has been more time for huggles and snuggles:) More time for reading stories under shady trees, eating Popsicles and running barefoot in grass. More time for impromptu picnics and evening photowalks. More time for reading, singing, dancing and listening to music...more time to experience life rather than cleaning up or figuring out what to wear in the morning. More of simply..being.
“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.”-Harold Kushner
Another invaluable gift that has emerged has been this...the focus has now been turned inward rather than outward. So...instead of looking outside of myself for happiness, peace or connection... instead of buying something new, distracting myself with busyness or thinking something "out there' was going to fulfill me...I turned inward. To healing and journaling, to feeling my feelings, to deeply meaningful conversations and truths. And it has made all the difference! I feel stronger, more authentic, more fulfilled...happier!
Grateful, grateful + grateful!