Making Room for the Important Things


Whaite BedI think of myself as a minimalist. What is that you ask?  Well I will tell you a little of this life re-defining expression in my life.

The elevator pitch on Minimalism written by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists.

” Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. There are many flavours of minimalism, each path leading to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life. Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?”

I fall more and more in love with minimalism the further on it’s road I travel since it landed holy and souly into my life some four years ago.  The 20% of my belongings that I did not sell off or give away two and a half years ago are still in storage and I now wonder why I didn’t just let it ALL go when I was packing up my life in Sydney. At the time the level of my letting go was profound to me. As an interior stylist my environment has always been imperative to me as a sacred place to be held by. Beauty and beautiful things were my expression. Soft furnishings were my vice. Decorating my home was my artistry and my therapy.

When I left my marriage I needed a place with a garage to store all the things I could not fit in my house. I had 15 of everything needed for a Steiner playgroup if I so desired to re-create one. I had the accumulation of all the things that I thought would help me manage through the unhappy years of my marriage. It was full to the brim and I slowly let go to the extent that my fear of being left with nothing would allow. No more garages for me now. I desire to live lightly with my footprint on planet earth and as a way to create ease, flexibility and the possibility for magic to fly in. And it does fly in….. often.

I used to work with people on productivity and decluttering. My job description was Personal Organiser, Decluttering and Productivity Coach. I would help them let go of stuff and organise the stuff they had into functional storage and usage. I considered myself a saver of marriages and sanity. I came to see how much time was spent tidying and re-organising stuff that had not been used for ages, that ‘just in case’ it might be used at some other time in the future. Or if only there was time to go on that ‘just in case’ adventure or create that art, craft, rebuild that car, boat, plane or to build that veggie patch. The level of exhaustion that comes up from the encumbrance of this way of thinking and living makes my skin prickle now. People working long hours at jobs they hate to make money for soul void filling junk that looses it’s shine days later, just to get up and do it all again. This is the story of a human consumerist society that people are seduced into on a daily basis.

Let It GoThe new age movement of the 80’s and 90’s waved the flag of ‘Just Let Go’, like it was the simplest thing in the world to do. If that were so true, there would not have been the need for a multi billion dollar new age movement of books, guided meditations and guru workshops on how to ‘Just Let Go’. The psychology of letting go can be so scary for many as we have all been spoon fed consumption as a way to salvation. People can be encourage to just let go only to find themselves in a crisis of revealing what all the possessions were medicating in the first place.  If someone is not ready to do the excavation of their inner world at the same time as eBaying their belongings, they can tail spin into fear and a compulsive need to recreate the security they have just dismantled.  Well meaning therapy can perpetuate the neurosis.

To truely let go is completely an inside job that I have discovered happens in either times of extreme personal crisis, a spiritual epiphany or over time in layers. For me minimalism landed as the way through all three and as a platform to leap into intrinsically deeper freedom.

Minimalism is the external result of a complete shift in the way to perceive our capacity, our inherit safety and freedom. Once the shift has taken hold it creates so much white space for other things to happen, time sitting still watching the stars and the sun move across the sky, reading books, sitting with my own thoughts and in stillness.

SimplicityI continue to let go of more and more of the things that I have invested my time and money into that I thought were imperative for me to feel safe, secure and successful in life. Now I know that things do not bring safety and security nor do I feel the desire to experience the fleeting sensation of success. I desire to sell off much of the remainder of my possessions as my children and I have embraced a simpler way of living. I say no to make space for there to be vaster space for the things, people and experiences that I am committed to in my life, including sacred time with myself and endless hours getting to know the heart of my man, watching my children grow and learning about the inner nature of humanity and the world. There is the satisfaction and the space to feel deeply, to drop down into my body and spend time with those whom I love.

I love my simple bed and candles and portable music box. I love borrowing new books for my son from the library and reading from my Kindle {though paper books is still very much my delicious vice}. My son has about 10 tea chests full of beautiful Steiner toys that he has not played with for 2 1/2 years, thousands of dollars worth, but in the last years he has only had two modest baskets of toys that have amused him for hours. My children and I agreed to invest money and time into experiences and not stuff and thus my teenage son gets plane tickets for birthday presents and the responsibility of managing his own money so he can learn the value of choice.

Minimalism is not about being tight, stingy and scrimping. It is not about going without and it is definitely not about keeping up with the infamous Jones’.  It is about creating more space for the real passions, joys, love, real freedom and adventures to unfold. Simple holds so much beauty.

My favourite place to learn all about Minimalism is via The Minimalists START HERE 

Another resource for Minimalism is Becoming Minimalist.


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