Dec 13, 2012

reading // Minimalism: Lead A Meaningful Life

Rounding out my Millburn-Nicodemus reading list was their non-fiction work Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.

One look at my Kindle collection will tell you I've read quite a few books on minimalism. It has been an on-and-off passion of mine, to learn more about minimalism and to try my hand at it. I have attempted (and failed) several times to live a life with less stuff so that I can actually live a more meaningful life. The truth is, I never could get past the whole "toss all your crap and live out of a backpack" thing.

Until I read this book.

Joshua and Ryan frame the whole idea of minimalism in a different way.

Or maybe they don't, and I just heard the message completely differently this time. 

It's not so much about throwing out your stuff, or living out of a backpack. Minimalism is a lens through which to view every bit of your life. If whatever you're looking at (an old book, the unworn clothes in your closet, that blog you read every day even though it doesn't give you anything back ...) doesn't build into and lift up your main reasons for living, then it's not worth having around.

Mind. Blown.

I've been wandering around for a week now, physically and mentally hitting the delete button. The number of blogs I follow is down below 30. I'm looking at every single thing I own and asking "does this positively affect my main things?" and if the answer is no, I toss it. (Gone immediately went all the nail polish and most of the make-up.)

My main things? My family. Cherished friends and loved ones. Knitting hats and giving them away. Seeking out and being a witness to the greatness of love that exists all around us in the world. And not much else.

Do my old high school yearbooks do anything at all for these main things? Probably not - they're hitting the recycling bin on Tuesday. What about those girl-versions of lumberjack shirts that I thought I HAD TO HAVE and then never really wore (I wore one of them once, the other still has the tags on it)? Gone. The stack of jeans? Gone. The blogs that I read out of habit, despite their lack of edification to my soul or my craft? GONE GONE GONE.

I never plan to live out of a backpack, and I will probably always have more stuff than would lend me to minimalism in the most "typical" sense. But the idea that I should suss out my main things and let NOTHING stand in their way?

Life altering.

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