A few words about minimalism…
Am I a minimalist? Nope, I find it weird to put this label on myself, that will require an outwardly constructed self image to live up to. I am however very minimalism inspired. It is a word used for the subject of letting go what you don’t need, to live a life focused on what you want to do and want to have – this is why I am using the term here as well. To me, minimalism is a process, not a goal.
Simple living, intentionalism, focused life…(name it what you will) has shaped and will continue to shape my journey. Over the past years, I have gone through several decluttering phases, gradually downsizing the things I own. The status quo has become more and more refined every time, and I am still on a journey of increasing focus in my life overall.
Before that, I was that person who kept almost everything. I couldn’t let go. It was hard, it was painful, it was terrible it was unthinkable to give an item away that I had acquired or been given. I had a lot of stuff. You would not get me near the word minimalism back then, even if you tried really hard. I wanted to keep it all.
When you hold on to everything you ever owned, and have the tendency to buy way more than you need “just in case”, it quickly adds up. I was great at organizing and spent a lot of time doing so – so it all looked somewhat under control. I probably owned way more than any of the people around me but I was hiding it well. I remember that whenever friends helped me move, they were always surprised about the volume of stuff that needed to be carried out of my apartment.
Letting go, even though the process was a slow one for me, truly transformed the way I feel and live. Also it has showed me, that if I am willing to make a change in my life, I can make it happen. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look back, just to acknowledge to yourself how far you have come.
Being a HSP (highly sensitive person) I tend towards being overwhelmed with the world at large. This also means that the simpler I am keeping my life, the easier I can deal with the day to day challenges. This is where downsizing and minimalism come in.
I discovered this correlation by accident, I was unaware of the high sensitivity at the time. All I knew was that I found life exhausting, I was taking on too much, being constantly overwhelmed by the things I did and owned – and sometimes even small challenges felt like huge obstacles because I was spreading myself way too thin. With my first decluttering phase, I learned that owning less makes me feel better and even perform better, so I continued down that road.
The way letting go made me feel was the turning point for me. This is how I learned that letting go is not only okay, but liberating and even transforming. The more you let go, the better you become at it too. Your decisions become better and you gain so much clarity about what you really want; regarding your stuff and your life in general. At this point, I trust my intuition. It knows best if a project or thing belong in my life or not.
The journey continues. Right now, at the time that I am writing this post, I am going through a very deep and freeing phase of decluttering. It’s currently time to let go of the more difficult things, simplifying my life more and reaping the benefits of that process. I feel lighter, I feel more focused, I have more energy and I feel more freedom than I have ever felt. My home is finally becoming a calm space.
However, letting go is not the point of the process. Letting go of what I no longer need is liberating and gets the clutter out of the way. The point is focusing on what I want to keep in my life and treating those things, projects and relationships with the attention that they deserve.