Mental Minimalism

A movement that has intrigued me my whole life is minimalism.

Minimalism is the lifestyle in which you don't own anything unless you use it, or it adds value to your life on a regular basis. Minimalists don't own things "just in case". The idea behind this lifestyle simply isn't to just have less stuff, but to remove the physical clutter in your life in order to create room for more depth and meaning.

This movement appeals to me because I've seen it work in my own life, and I bet you have too. You know that feeling when you finally knock out all the dishes that have been piling up? When you donate a big bag of clothes you haven't worn in years? When you clear the table before sitting down to eat? We all do better without clutter. De-cluttering makes us feel lighter, more ourselves. It gives us a moment to breathe when we didn't even realize we were holding our breath. 

Again, I've seen this happen time and time again in my own life, and I've tried to maintain as minimal of a life as I can. I almost can't stand the thought of going back to that cluttered room/closet/desk. And when it does happen, I feel it.

But even so, the clutter runs deeper. I find that I'm regularly in need of a "mental spring cleaning."

I started to ask myself, what other "clutter" is taking up the spaces I create? What destructive thought patterns are fogging up my mental clarity? What habits and tendencies do I have that are piling up like dirty dishes in the sink?

One of the reasons I practice yoga is because there comes a point in your practice where that "clutter" begins to weigh you down. When it's just me and my mat, I don't have room for the bullshit anymore. I have to clear out those thought patterns, physical tendencies and habits in order to give my full self to my practice. 

So what's your yoga? What's that thing for you that forces you to check in and do a "spring cleaning"? For me it can also be bike riding, walking my dog, even just eating in silence.

But I think for a lot of us, it's a foreign concept to make that time to de-clutter. I think the reason minimalism is a movement is because it challenges the norm of our culture, which is to accumulate. To accumulate clothes, dishes, trinkets, trash, tension, injuries, negative thought patterns, judgments...the list goes on. We've wandered so far from that feeling of freedom that comes with making room. And so we've forgotten how to take walks. We've forgotten how to stand and move throughout the day. We've forgotten how to turn our phones off at night. 

This is one of my greatest passions, because I have seen the effects of de-cluttering. And once you see, you can't unsee.

So I challenge you to find your yoga. Find that thing, whether it's walking to the grocery store instead of driving, putting your phone away while you eat, kickboxing, running, or even..yoga (: But find that thing, whatever it is for you, that leaves you no choice but to de-clutter. To make space for your full self move freely. To breathe. 

 

 

***If you want to know more about minimalism, check out The Minimalists:

 theminimalists.com