Taking the first steps
The first steps have been taken. In fact, we’ve been making them for the last few weeks. We’ve been decluttering our house constantly and continually – we’ve brought tens of bags to the charity shops (plus small furniture items), we’ve recycled a couple of bags with old and unused electronics, and we’ve managed to put aside a couple of hundred euros from selling stuff. The house feels lighter and calmer. So do we – our small family of three.
I mentioned last time that we’re taking care of the house (about 3 1/2 years now) while the owner, my partner’s grant aunt, is slowly winding down in a nursing home. Well, last Thursday Maeve passed away at the remarkable age of 97. She died peacefully. Her strong heart made its last beat and she moved on to the other dimension – may she rest in peace.
Her funeral has put an end to an era. And, as we know, every ending brings a new beginning. We knew this was coming and we’ve already started to look for options. We’ll have to move out of the house and, although saddened, we also feel liberated. We know there’s a blank page in our lives ahead of us and we’re eager to start filling it with new experiences. There’s no limits.
Embracing minimalism as a lifestyle and a value system is the very first change we’re making in our lives. And though it’s a long journey we’re anything but afraid or bogged down. I’m more than inspired to learn new aspects of minimalism and incorporate them in our life. I’m also delighted to find many other souls who’ve taken the same path and be part of a growing community!
Although, the word minimalism is not something I fully identify with (I simply don’t like that I have to put on and wear a “label”), the idea behind the concept is something my being completely resonates with. I know it with my whole heart that this is the true path for me. It’s THE path. And that’s not calling myself a minimalist but simply living a life that’s meaningful. A life that’s dictated by what’s important to me. And minimalism beautifully puts that into a frame that’s easy enough to follow.
Last year when I was reading about astrology and my North Node, I was introduced to the term “value”. In order to live out my full potential in this life I must figure out what my values are and live accordingly. I must not fall into other’s beliefs and opinions and learn what is truly meaningful for me and pursue it to feel content. I didn’t know what to make of it. What are my values? What are values? It just sounded too abstract, words that don’t make any sense.
Today I know. And while minimalism isn’t my value, it contains the lifestyle and life that I’d like to lead. And that’s the great thing about minimalism – that it’s not just one thing, or one way to live your life. It’s finding what’s meaningful for you, it’s curating your life in a way that supports you into becoming the whole person that you were meant to be. That you are born to be. And this could have a billion ways of expression. It’s entirely individual.
The recipe is to get rid of everything (physically and mentally) that distracts and prevents you from seeing your true self, to create space and time in your surroundings and your head for the things that make you grow, and lean into all the discomfort that this might bring.
You strip all the layers – all your identities. And it’s not going to be comfortable, or easy at first. But it will be the first step you’re taking towards realising your true potential. From then on, all you have to do is to show up every day, to quote Liz Gilbert.
Right now what I want to do is focus on my blog and grow, grow, grow it (and myself with it). I’m committed, I’m not going back. I’m inspired and I just want to walk the walk, a step at a time. I’m curious where’s that going to take me but I’m not going to speculate on it. It will take me where I want it to take me. For now it’s to the next article I write.
Here’s a list of few more things I’ve done besides clearing out physical possessions:
- I’ve unfollowed my friends on Facebook – this is something not many people are familiar with, it created some confusion among my friends. While I still have all my contacts on FB, I don’t have a feed that I feel compelled to check every so often.
- I’ve taken down the Facebook page associated with this blog and deleted some of my personal photos on my profile – I’ll aim to use my personal profile to post my writings and use it the way I was using my page. I want to minimise the FB accounts I have (to one) and use it in a more open way to publicise mine and post other bloggers’ work.
- I’ve taken down my freelance translation business and the website and email account associated with it. I still intend to translate on voluntary basis for various organisations and enjoy it rather than expect it to pay.
- I’ve taken down numerous profiles I had around the web – I googled my name to see what comes up and I’d like to minimise the amount of info I have exposed. Still work in progress.
- I intend to start meditating twice a day- morning and afternoon.
- I recently came back to driving (after 8-year break) but still don’t feel even partially confident so I’ve decided to enlist some refreshers driving lessons.
- I can still identify areas in my life where I suffer and seem to struggle to make progress, so I’ve allowed myself to look for help e.g. find a therapist/psychologist.
Although I’m making a lot of progress I realise that my abilities also have a limit and it’s okay to look and ask for help, even if I have to pay for it. For too long I’ve thought that I have to do it all by myself, that I should be able to do it (whatever it is) without asking for help. I feel guilty for also spending money on something that I should be able to do by myself. I also want to stop thinking that if I only push myself a little bit more, I’ll be able to overcome my fear (of driving for example), which is true and it’s not. In some situations this might be true – you experience some discomfort but then soon after you overcome it and you feel great. But in others – e.g. I continually feel nervous about driving on my own with my son and that nervousness affects my whole experience – I realise I don’t really have to go through this and I can simply enlist some help.
And that’s BIG progress for me. And another step forward towards living my life the way I want.
Have you heard about minimalism? Is it something you’ve tried already? And how has it changed your life? Share in the comments!1
One often doesnt realise the amount of distractions there are from truly finding ones self. I too unfollowed my friends and in general just reduced all communication with anyone who I felt was impeding in on my creative journey. Dont get me wrong that I dont like them or anything,I do speak to them, but I know if they really want me or me them, we could just call each other. I felt so liberated once I did it.
I agree with you! I believe there’s so much noise out there, that it’s so hard to focus on what really matters. Luckily minimalism is a great guiding light 🙂
Thank you for following my blog, Vilina