If you are one of those, who have come across a video about minimalism that has been circulating in the social media and decided that minimalism is not your cup of tea, well, join the bandwagon!
Not too long ago, I felt exactly the same way. How could you live with so less, especially after the consumerism based lifestyle we are so accustomed to? Or how can you live a life out of a back-pack or just have 100 or even 50 possessions to own?
Here’s the thing: you don’t necessarily have to.
When I first heard the word “minimalism”, like many others, I also assumed it meant giving up all my priced possessions and living my life with absolutely bare minimum. I did not stop to think why one would do that or how that could help anyone. Moreover and most importantly, I did not feel the need to do it either. So I moved on, from that word, without a second thought.
Until in a period of depression, that I mentioned in My Big Bang Theory, my belongings started to suffocate me. Instead of focusing my effort and energy to seek help and get better, I found myself worrying about the books that had to be organised, gadgets that were running out of charge, shelves that were not dusted, make-up brushes that had to be cleaned – I could go on and on with that list! I was more worried about cleaning or organising them than using them for my happiness- happiness that I thought I will have when I bought them.
My mind space was clogged with utterly useless and unnecessary agendas that I could not focus on what I loved or what truly mattered.
That is when I realised what minimalism actually meant.
Yes, minimalism is about giving up possessions and adjusting your life to live with fewer materialistic belongings. But why? So that you have space in your mind and subsequently in your life.
There are no hard and fast rules to becoming a minimalist. Each journey is unique! The essence lies in understanding what is truly important for you and removing all the remaining excess.
Minimalism helps us to take out the unnecessary clutter in our life to make space. To make space, so that we have the time, effort and the mind-set to focus on what truly matters, what we love, what gives us enduring happiness. Without the background noise of excess and clutter, we can live a life with awareness of ourselves, our actions and our surroundings. We can live a life simply, mindfully and meaningfully.
Since I am just starting, I will leave it to the “veterans” of this field to give you a better idea of the concept of minimalism. My first Google search about minimalism led me to the blog The Minimalists, of Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. Reading their take on minimalism was the only validation I needed to get on with this adventure. It was like meeting kindred souls. Through their blog, I have also come to know about others who, despite being practising minimalism, live markedly different lives from each other.
You don’t necessarily have to own “x” number of possessions or go travelling for “y” number of days. You don’t necessarily have to move to a tiny apartment, sell everything you own, or start writing books or blogs (though certainly the latter will help, I suppose!). There are no hard and fast rules to becoming a minimalist. Each journey is unique! The essence lies in understanding what is truly important for you and removing all the remaining excess.
So although, I’m not quitting my job tomorrow, moving into a smaller apartment or selling everything and going on a back-pack travelling expedition around the world, I feel there is something to be learned from everyone’s experience.
A science major, currently dabbing in business, Farhin Rahman is like many others out there, trying to find her one true passion. She hopes that her journey into minimalism will help de-clutter her life of excess and bring her one step closer to what she really loves.
This article was originally published in August 2017 on themakingofaminimalist.wordpress.com