As a follow-up to last week’s post re: the other ways I’m decluttering my life and mind, I need to tell you how this whole process of “embracing minimalism” has evolved over the past two months…
When I started this journey in July, I will admit, I was 100% focused on the physical objects in my life. I spent a few weeks decluttering every last inch of my home and removing a total of 43% of my belongings from it. Nearly one month later, I am happy (and somewhat surprised) to say I haven’t missed a single item that I removed. But beyond that – and beyond the few changes I’ve made to my electronics/online life – what I’m most surprised by is how removing a little (ok, a lot of) clutter ended up helping me find some focus in other areas of my life.
It all started with just the slightest shift in my thought processes. For some reason, I finally started tackling all the small tasks I used to procrastinate over. For example, rather than letting dishes pile up in the sink like I used to, I started rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher right away. Then, instead of avoiding the dishwasher full of clean dishes, and slowly pulling things out to use as I needed them, I put everything away once they were dry.
Eventually, this end-to-procrastination took over everything, from the
two three dry cycles my clothes used to need when I ignored that they were done, to the random objects I left in my car for weeks because “my hands were full” the first time I should’ve brought them in. Those habits probably sound like they should be easy to change, but it took me finally paying attention to how they made me feel (annoyed) to make the switch. I don’t want to be annoyed, so why do I do things that annoy me!? (I love these aha! moments.)
Even though I still have another 50 or so items to remove from my home, in order to reach my goal, I feel like that’ll come with time (mostly, as I read books and donate them to the library). For now, I want to completely shift my focus from trying to remove any physical clutter from my life, to paying more and more attention to how things make me feel and what areas I want to grow in. To move forward in this journey towards living a more meaningful life, I want to:
- Practice yoga/meditate: I’m not aiming to do handstands, or really any poses that require a crazy amount of strength, but I have slowly been incorporating a few yoga poses into my daily routine that either stretch/strengthen the areas where I was injured in the accident (pigeon pose is my saviour) or just help me feel a little more grounded. Some nights, I literally just do child’s pose and shavasana before bed; both help me relax, so I can fall asleep a little easier. And meditating is still foreign to me, but so far I can say: there’s a reason people have been doing it for thousands of years.
- Nurture my relationships: One thing I’ve been paying attention to a lot lately is how I feel after I interact with people – and it’s not always good. Over dinner this week, Daisy and I started talking about what our greatest strengths were, and she told me that mine is how well I connect with people. I consider that both a compliment and a badge of honour. But it also makes me want to re-evaluate some of my relationships, so I nurture the ones I care most about and put less energy into ones that drain me.
- Pursue my passion/contribute more: There’s a project I dreamt up more than two years ago, which I almost immediately put on the back burner and later convinced myself I could never make come to life. It includes everything I’m passionate about + my background in Communications + all my career goals, and would be the most natural extension of this blog. It’s also huge, and overwhelmingly so. But it would allow me to give back in the best way I know how. It’s taken a handful of conversations and a lot of support, but I finally decided to share the idea with the one person I knew I wanted to work on it with (Daisy), and her reaction was better than I could’ve imagined. We’ll have more to share in a couple months, but for now I can say that there’s no word to describe how fired up I feel about this.
To help jumpstart all of this, I’ve slowly started to add a few new things to my daily routine, including starting each day by expressing gratitude to at least one person (you may have seen a few tweets that resemble this) and writing in my journal. Sometimes I can’t muster up more than a few sentences, but it feels good to reflect on how I’m feeling at any given moment or just write down more ideas.
I still can’t explain how simply decluttering my life of some physical belongings stirred up so many positive thoughts/changes in me… but I’m sure we’ll have the answer, by the time my 30th birthday rolls around.
Do I sound like a crazy person yet? ;)