Ew. Minimalism?!? Who would ever want to do that? I didn’t say it out loud, but in some variation that is what I thought when I watched a youtube video called, “What minimalism really looks like…”. I thought I would give the idea a shot. And crap. It made a lot of sense.
When I watched that video, minimalism was a foreign concept to me. I know that everyone reading this has had a wide range of different experiences with the idea of minimalism. Some may know nothing about it while others may think it is only owning 100 items total. More likely, you imagine that minimalism is for the hipster 20-something that travels the world for a living. I want to invite you to reimagine what minimalism is and what it could be for you.
What is minimalism? Disclaimer: minimalism is not one size fits all. There is no number tied to the title of minimalist. Minimalism is a value-based lifestyle. You add whatever brings more value into your life and get rid of the excess.
“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives.”Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
It is simply living intentionally. Minimalism gives you the freedom to be who you want to be and not what the next advertisement tells you who you should be. In the ’70s, the average consumer in the U.S. saw around 500 ads per day. Now, it is upwards of 5,000 ads a day. Imagine with me what one more zero would do to your bank account. Now, imagine what that one zero on the amount of ads we intake everyday is doing to us.
If you are like me, you haven’t really noticed the ads. I never go to bed and am exhausted from seeing 5,000 ads today. Yet, it is doing something to me. It creates within me a discontent with the life I am living. Everyday you experience discontent at some level 5,000 times.
What is that doing to our souls?
This constant discontent within our souls is a dangerous place to be. It will make you reach for things that you don’t need. It will make you want to prove something to people you don’t even know. It will make you long for a lifestyle that you don’t actually want. Along the way we become someone we never meant to be.
Who are you becoming?
John Mark Comer says, “the mind is the portal to the soul, and what you fill your mind with will shape the trajectory of your character.” (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry).
“The unexamined life is not one worth living.”Socrates
Everyone is becoming someone. Minimalism is a way to become who you desire to be. It is living within your boundaries. It is living with purpose. When everything you own is intentional and purposeful, it allows you to appreciate what you have, instead of wanting what you don’t.
“Once we wake up—once we open our eyes and see the benefits of a more meaningful life—all the ads in the world won’t faze us.”@theminimalists
Minimalism is counter-cultural. Minimalism is simple. Don’t mishear me. I said simple, not easy. Minimalism takes discipline. It is hard to fight the urge to “add to cart”. It is hard to point out the lies of consumerism. It is hard to release sentimental items. Minimalism isn’t about perfection (as if that is something attainable). It is about growing with less. It is about living in the moment. It is about self discovery. When you set values and live by them then you deny everyone else to do it for you.
Minimalism is a means to an end. For me, minimalism is a tool to live a more Christ-centered life. It helps me reduce the noise, refocus on Jesus’ values, and rely on Jesus for my joy. Otherwise, I grab everywhere else for what only Jesus can provide. You can call it minimalism, essentialism, or value-ism. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that life becomes more like life when we live more intentionally.
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