A common misconception about minimalism is that it’s empty, boring, barren, or stark. That kind of lifestyle is called asceticism. It is related to minimalism, but I’m not interested in extreme self-deprivation. Some self-discipline is very helpful, but the goal here is to enrich our lives with an abundance of time and freedom. We are clearing away all but the most essential things, so we can free our minds and our homes of distractions.
Minimalism is the practice of finding the balance between the two extremes of either constantly wanting more, or feeling overwhelmed by too much. By balancing and purposely choosing what we allow into our lives, this brings a relief and enhances our ability to concentrate on the things that are most important to us; such as making our dreams come true by achieving our goals, removing obligations so we can spend more time with the ones we love, clearing away the distractions so we can focus on self-development, such as creating inner peace, and improving our minds and our bodies. Making room for these essentials, results in feelings of satisfaction and happiness.
Of course, when we buy technology, we must consider the question: “Are we consuming it, or is it consuming us?” We can own whatever we think will be best, but we must beware of the inherent distractions that are built into our so called, “helpful” technology.
There is not only one way to be a minimalist. We must all carve our own minimalist path so it suits our circumstances as best we can. My way might be different than what another person may consider minimalist. No one is perfect and we all have room to improve as we seek a minimalist lifestyle that works for our individual situations.
As a result of simplifying our lives, we can all enjoy the benefits of more time to do the things we love and care about most. By becoming more conscious, we buy less stuff, eat fewer animal products, use the car less and cycle or walk more. This has a positive impact on our environment. This is us changing the world by changing our own habits.
There are no set rules about what minimalists eat, however, there are definitely many vegans and vegetarians who are drawn to minimalism.
It makes sense because the lifestyle is consistent with both belief systems. Both are based on taking a closer look at our behaviours and rather than just going along with whatever the majority are doing, both involve taking charge of changing our habits to live more consciously to become more healthy in mind and body.
Less is more with food, as with basically everything else, so it follows that minimalists tend to eat less, while eating more simply, by choosing more natural foods, with less processing.
Henry David Thoreau was a minimalist American icon. He wrote about eating lightly in Walden. He mainly did not buy butter, coffee, tea, milk or meat, so he didn’t need to work to pay for them. He pointed out that his neighbour ate all these, but then needed to work very hard to pay for them, then as a result, had to eat harder to replenish his system.
In an hour or two, Thoreau could fish and either eat it, or sell the fish to earn money to support himself for a week. However he mentioned that he believed eating vegetables was a more innocent, wholesome and simple a diet. He said that animal food is unclean, and it’s better to abstain from animal food and actually use it as little as you can at all times. He believed that the destiny of the human race is to stop eating animals. He said it was more civilized… like when man stopped being cannibals!
I love this quote from Walden, “He who truly savours his food cannot be a glutton, but he who does not savour his food cannot be otherwise.” That’s some great advise for food and everything else. Let us keep only what will be truly appreciated and enjoyed!
Most people spend all of their lifetimes worrying about how to make more money, but few focus on the abundance and joy that results from living more simply! Letting go of the clutter and the desire for things that do not match our true aims benefits us in many ways. I have experienced amazing results with Abundant Minimalism. It has transformed my life. I am so glad you’re here to share this journey with me. I invite you to also share your experiences, as we continue to focus on the essential and cherish the beauty all around.
Accumulating less stuff means more money, time and freedom to create lives of our choosing. These benefits also lead to improving our lives in a multitude of other ways, because when we have more money, time and freedom, we have less stress and fear. Instead we feel more positive and confident. All of this allows us to focus on the really important things like our passions, relationships, and personal development. It’s a wonderful opportunity to create a more fulfilling life!
Here’s the beautiful balance of Abundant Minimalism:
Abundant = more money, time, space, freedom, health, joy and focus
Minimalism = fewer distractions, complications, obligations, and no debt