A personal take on minimalism.
Minimalism to me is to live a value-filled life, mindfully, within my means, while making the least impact on the environment. - mnmlgrl
It is a lifestyle, a journey, where I aspire to create value by focusing on quality over quantity, sustainability rather than wastefulness and repurposing instead of thoughtless consumption. For me, practicing minimalism is to live with intention – the intention to move away from consumerism, to find joy in less and focus on health, relationships, personal growth and living in harmony with that which is around us.
I believe that there is no correct way to be a minimalist – no blueprint to follow and no perfect vision to achieve. Minimalism is a continuum. - mnmlgrl
Practicing minimalism has inspired me to take care of what I already own. I handwash my nice clothes, I regularly polish my brass heirlooms, my electronics are maintained annually, and my linens get professionally-laundered every six months. Because I buy less, every single thing I own is valued and taken care of. Some items have inherent value - like heirlooms and gifts from close ones, others have value because they are useful or make my life simpler and more beautiful. Everything I own has a purpose. All items stir pride and beauty in some way, shape or form.
Previously, I would fall for the consumerist mindset and spend hours browsing stores (online & offline) for deals or just window-shop for a pretty something to surprise myself with. Now, the focus has shifted to spending the same time doing something worthwhile like hanging out with family over a meal, buying groceries with my mother (she loves to cook!), writing articles, calling friends I want to catch up with, watching movies and reading books.
I now take pride in owning less instead of consuming more. One of the things I have started enjoying is finding ways to reuse and repurpose the plastic that I own to reduce my carbon footprint. A few weeks ago I gave a bunch of plastic water bottles (the one-use & throw kind) to a bunch of kids who used them as a framework for their mud castle....it was an innovative, out of the box idea which never occurred to me - it came to my Mom. While living a more eco-conscious life is not essential to minimalism, it is a natural offshoot of it because consuming less means you leave a lighter footprint on the environment.
Even my food habits & health have changed. The fridge is stocked with only the days leftovers and the ingredients needed to make the next meal. This ensures that all my meals are fresh and nutritious and none of the fresh fruit and veggies rot at the bottom of the fridge. I also work out to YouTube videos using some free weights, an exercise band and a jump rope, saving tons of money every year on gym memberships.
Living minimally is simple, uncomplicated and natural. You don't need any fancy gadgets, you don't need to buy new clothes, you don't need to add anything. All you have to do is subtract what you don't need or love and love whatever remains.
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