Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter,
Maybe this month I should call the newsletter, Joy-in-MINIMALISM!
I think perhaps at heart I’ve always been a minimalist. After all, I grew up in an age when I and my three siblings had one TV, the whole household shared one phone number, and I even had to share a bedroom. I’ve never liked having a lot of stuff and it’s my nature to be organized, so for me, whatever I have always had it’s own place.
But then again, there are lots of definitions as to what minimalism is. I noticed about 6 years ago a movement called Minimalism started taking root. People started creating blogs on the subject and these blogs became popular. Everyone seemed to be taking the concept in a slightly different direction, too.
The extreme was someone that gave all their possessions away except 87 items. All 87 items could fit in a backpack that they could take at any time to travel the world.
One couple got rid of their huge house and mortgage payment and bought a tiny house, so they only kept things in their life that could fit in 100 square feet of space.
Some people were just more deliberate about what they kept around them. Recently a friend reminded me of a quote from the movie The Fight Club. Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden says, “The things you used to own end up owning you.”
There are a lot of different versions of Minimalism. I don’t think there is one “official” definition for it, so I’ll just tell you what I think it is.
I consider Minimalism the practice of being extremely focused on what will bring you happiness, comfort, beauty, and practical use. I also see it as a lifestyle practice in the sense that I think about the minimal amounts of something I do or eat that will get me the results I want. After all, why overdo things if it’s not necessary?
Over the years I’ve pared down what I own and want to keep. I was very deliberate about this process. If I hadn’t used it in over 6 months and I didn’t see myself using it in the next six months, I let it go.
How could I have so much stuff I wasn’t using? It amazes me each time I pare down. I became a big believer in circulating the energy of stuff so that if I wasn’t using something I let it go so it could flow into someone else’s possession.
I’ve also taken the concept of Minimalism to my businesses, my health and wellness routines, and even my spiritual life.
I stopped focusing on 100 different things and cut my focus down to the most important things in each area of my life. The things that REALLY matter.
When I started to focus at this deep level a couple things happened.
I had less distractions and I had more time to be grateful for what I did have in my life, especially since it was all purposely chosen. I also felt my energy, creativity, and productivity soar.
Focus became, and still is, a cherished practice and what I consider the core of my Minimalism: Cut out the distractions and what’s unneeded and focus on what matters. And because I practiced focusing, I got really good at it.
People know I live in an uncluttered minimalistic way, so they ask me about it. I’d say how to declutter and how to be better at self-care are the two topics people ask me about the most.
A while ago I recorded one of my podcasts about a book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In fact, one of my friends calls me Shelli Kondo! But even after people read it, I still think there’s a few things they misunderstand.
It’s not Feng Shui. I am a huge believer and practitioner of Feng Shui, but I think it works a lot better if you first declutter and organize your space.
Some people think Marie Kondo is telling them to basically get rid of everything, and that’s not the case at all. She goes by similar guidelines to what I mentioned above. Does something bring you joy and serve its purpose? I can’t tell you how many people don’t REALLY want to ask themselves this question. Instead they’ll ask me, “But what if this object MIGHT bring me joy in the future?” Makes me laugh. What they are actually saying is more like,”I’m just not ready to declutter yet.”
I can’t give you the feeling of space, well-being, and freed up energy that I feel from living in a decluttered, focused way. You must create your own.
Going forward I’d like to write more about these kinds of topics because I feel they fit into my general Joyinmovement themes of creating the healthiest lifestyle possible so that as we age we feel a sense of well-being and peace. But I need to know if you all want to read about these topics, so please let me know. I like to write about what you like to read about!
Until next month, find Joyinmovement through perhaps a bit of decluttering movement!
p.s. Many of you have already purchased my newest ebook: Happy Belly, Happy Brain. Thank you so much for your continued support!
p.p.s. I’m totally humbled by how many of you are following my newest venture, travel blogging. I hope you’re enjoying reading as much as I enjoy writing. Thank you for coming along on my travel adventures!