Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.
Minimalism is a philosophy that permeates through many of my actions, thoughts and goals. I’ve been on this trajectory of labelled minimalism for some 6 years. But I can see how I’ve tapped back into a core that was present in my teens when I loved throw-outs and my early 20s when simplicity became my mantra as I worked towards achievements. Now in my early 30s and happily purged of much excess, I have come to a different phase – that of addressing the mind clutter and pondering the next steps.
Recently I came to the hard realisation that I’m not living my fantasy version of minimalism yet. And maybe I won’t ever be able to. It makes me wonder if many of us are in this position, looking longingly at our elusive ideal. As we can’t control everything in our lives, this is perhaps the next lesson we have willingly albeit unforeseeably opened ourselves to. Minimalism gives so much freedom, time and quality to our lives, but at some point we have to let life happen and fill our newfound space with the complexity and richness of it all, even if it’s not quite what we had in mind. However, it feels like the space that we’ve created gives us the best tools and energy to enjoy, adapt, learn from and conquer what life throws at us.
I was diagnosed as legally blind with a degenerative eye condition at the age of 19. I’m thankful for the gift it is in being a platform from which to ask and remind myself of the bigger questions of what is important. The answers have been clear – loved ones, health, contentment, self-development, travel, daily joys. With the diagnosis of further eye conditions since, all of which get worse each year, I see how I’ve been shaped by these challenges. It has led to a new motivation for minimalism cementing itself within me. One powerful way I manage the additional physical, emotional and logistical issues around my vision loss is in my pursuit of minimalism.
I struggle to not be stifled by the stuff that still remains, even while knowing that some of it is necessary for the rhythms of our daily life. But I’m sharing this alongside my husband too. I am incredibly blessed to have a life partner and best friend who understands my driving forces for a more stark level of minimalism than he is inclined to. And it is here that my fantasy version must meet with compromise. It is important that I continue to meet him in a middle ground too, and this has been achieved by always talking, compromising and setting shared goals and benefits.
Together we have gained much from this journey.
- Time is our luxury.
- Our overheads are moderate.
- Walking is a big part of our lifestyle.
- We enjoy good food.
- We’re not swayed by status symbols and The Joneses.
- Our priorities are clear and being acted upon.
Perhaps the throw-outs will be smaller and less frequent given we have levelled out to this state of minimalism in order to share life as a team. But we have space.
It is in that space that we can devote our attention to pursuits that are meaningful to us. Including the unknown in my deteriorating vision. It’s an empowering position to be in, to face the bigger stuff rooted in fear and to be in conscious pursuit of less is more. One of the many benefits has been the turning up of the gratitude volume. I’ve always practised this, but when I tossed aside clutter, it made room for gratitude to expand and settle on a more influential scale. On occasion I can be sobbing over a hurdle in my sensory deprivation, but simultaneously be feeling so utterly grateful for the man who’s arms are around me, my mum and nearest family who support me, my dog who lies at my feet, worldwide travel and all the simple joys of daily life in our simple city living.
And therein the beauty of minimalism is so clear to me – allowing the abundance of life to illuminate that space in our physical and emotional realms.
Read more from Lucent at Lucent Imagery.