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Minimalism is a funny new idea spreading quickly among millennials. From the outside looking in this concept may appear as if people are just getting rid of their stuff and living a “bare bones” lifestyle. Pictures and videos representing this movement involve HUGE amounts of trash bags stuffed full with clothes, shoes, purses, accessories, socks, underwear, books, papers, and other home items, leading many to believe minimalists are people who live well...minimally. And while that may be true in some regards the impact of this lifestyle is far more reaching and enriching to one’s life than just getting rid of stuff.
I, for a long time I was always cluttered by clothes, books, crafty items, & kitchen supplies. And as a person looking from the outside in, this movement intrigued me. Minimalists seemed happier, grounded, and organized. At that time in my life I was so consumed by things, by mess, and overstuffed closets and drawers that I longed for simplicity. What’s funny is that I didn’t realize that the state of my home was also a reflection of my emotional state and life as well.
My emotions were out of control. I was depressed and stuck. I felt so stuffed up with feelings of anger, frustration, resentment and sadness and could find no way to release it. My life was a mess and no matter how many times I organized and cleaned it would still consume and drain me. I never felt like I was moving forward and instead constantly dragged back down into the mess of cluttered emotions and things.
And maybe you feel the same way?
Stuck, suffocated, irritated, angry, or even overwhelmed. If so keep reading because minimalism could be your saving grace like it was for me.
There are three things I have learned from minimalism that reach further than I ever thought possible. I mean for reals, baseline, we are getting rid of stuff right? How could that ever affect my emotional, financial, physical or even spiritual state? Well my dear it can and it has for me which gives me hope for you too.
1.) Release and let go of control
And by control I mean controlling the future. I found myself holding onto items, particularly clothes, because I thought I would need them. And what I mean by “thought I would need them” is I would make up crazy scenarios in my head that if I were ever to be stranded on a beach with Captain Jack Sparrow I would want to wear this or if I were to be invited on a sailboat for a sunset cruise in October in New England I would have to have this.
And in releasing control of my clothes & futuristic fictional scenarios I discovered my next learning lesson--
2. Aligning with your Joy
I followed the Kon Marie method of getting rid of every item that when picked up did not give me feelings of joy. Now when this is put into action I bet you will find you don’t have a lot to keep. We cling on to so much stuff and with all of it comes emotional baggage, memories, good and bad. I for one was honestly SCARED I wouldn’t have clothes to wear. But what I came to realized was that in getting rid of all the stuff that did not bring me joy I was actually extracting out the “non Shelby” elements of my life. You know like the extra fluff we accumulate to please others, our bosses, our parents, our significant others, men, women, strangers...society. I wore a mask, like I am sure many of you do to to appease the outside world. Whereas if we were left on a secluded beach in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific we would probably strip down to nothing and be totally satisfied...well of course if Captain Jack Sparrow were there it might be a different story!
But in all seriousness all that extra, “non-you” elements in your home can cloud the light of your true self from actually shining. In clouding that light you deflect the relationships, jobs, and opportunities you long for because you are NOT focusing on what gives YOU joy and instead what may appease others idea of you.
And the more I just focused on what gave me joy the more alignment I saw in my life, my purchases, my community, my business and my relationships because I was representing the true me. I was vibrating purely Shelby and therefore only bringing in the things that were supposed to come to me.
I know it sounds crazy that the simple act of getting rid of objects that no longer align with you can bring about these radical shifts. But I have done it as you can see and I URGE you to do it too and just watch the magic unfold.
3.) Always Provided For
My last realization thus far is this: I am and always will be provided for when I shine out purely Shelby. I have found that by decluttering my space I have also decluttered my mind. Therefore, I have more time to focus and cultivate myself, my truest self without distraction. I have begun to bring in more opportunities, jobs, relationships that align with my life & my hearts truest longings because my inner self is no longer being blocked, clouded, or suffocated by mental or physical clutter.
So as you see this whole “getting rid of stuff” minimalism movement is far more reaching that throwing away, donating and selling unwanted items. It is the extraction of superfluous & superficial layers from your life & being and the beginning of cultivating your sense of center, your unique JOYFUL center.