Over the past couple of months I have slowly been evolving into a minimalist. It was very unconscious at first: I went traveling and then moved into a small flat and was gently forced reduce the number of objects I own. Recently I read a book called goodbye things and the whole concept of minimalism and its benefits was brought into my awareness.
This seemed impossible a year ago. I used to be a very very enthusiastic consumer. I needed everything. I thought that my worth was in the clothes I was wearing or the technology I owned. I begged my parents for new stuff so I could appear cool to the outside world.
I wasn’t fooling anyone though. This didn’t make me happy. In fact, looking back on it now, I think it caused a lot of stress in my life. I was stressed about money. Stressed about objects. Stressed about everything external. I needed more stuff because I thought it would reduce my unhappiness. It was a bad cycle to be in.
I think travelling first brought me out of this mindset of constantly needing new stuff. When you are carrying all your belongings from one place to the next, acquiring new things is just out of the question! So whilst in New Zealand and Australia I think the only things I bought were maybe a new book and a pair yoga leggings.
Then I came back to England and moved into this apartment. I had stopped buying stuff and now I started to actually get rid of the useless stuff I owned. I donated boxes and boxes to charity shops, instead of feeling a loss like I expected I felt 10 times better. I was slowly realising the truth…
Reducing my possessions has really been a good self enquiry process for me. I am brought face to face with attachments I have and also false concepts I cling too- like my worth is external.
It has taken time to change these beliefs and finally see the truth. But the moment that i really believed that who I am is a person is on the inside, no out, changed my life.
It has been so liberating to uncover this and in the process reduce the number of items I own. I have gone from owning 30 plus pairs of shoes to only 3. I am so proud of that.
I now have more time (because I am not wasting time buying lots of stuff I don’t need) and of course I have more money. I now can spend more money on the things I really really love – yoga and travelling – and I don’t feel as though I have sacrificed anything.
Here I am today, everything I own can fit in a rucksack and I am happier than ever.
Remember that objects don’t determine your self worth. Others won’t like you more if you have the newest iPhone or the most expensive shoes.
You are perfect exactly as you are, you need nothing else.