I care about people. I care about animals. I care about health. I care about my time. I care about giving freely, loving deeply and doing work I love. I don’t care that much about stuff.
That doesn’t mean I don’t like some stuff or fully appreciate its value in my life. That said, I’m attached to very little of it and could walk away from most of it at any time.
So after you’ve decluttered and simplified your life, what’s left? What’s next?
A reader recently wrote to me with this question:
“Your blog inspired me to immensely declutter my home (and not just my wardrobe). I really appreciate the extra space it’s allowed. However, after over a year of practicing minimalism, I am still not feeling the other positive aspects (more time, more freedom…). I feel like I’ve switched the consumption addiction to an emptying one. Do you have a post that address that particular issue? I have been following a couple of blogs but most seem to stop past the decluterring part.”
I’ve heard a similar questions and concerns and I think this will help …
Simplicity is awesome, but it’s not enough. The act of getting rid of things will make you happy temporarily, just like shopping, spending, and collecting.
Happiness didn’t come from the stuff you put in your closet and it won’t come from the empty space that have today or hope to have tomorrow. That empty space will however offer you opportunity for greater longer lasting happiness compared to anything you pick up at the mall.
Here are a few things that my friends have said about this very thing …
“Pursuing simplicity isn’t about which storage bins to buy at Target. It’s about nurturing our souls and the souls of others.” – Dave Bruno
“Living a minimalist life won’t automatically make you a more generous person, but it will provide the space necessary to make it possible.” – Joshua Becker
“There is an empty room, and you. And you are enough. You are all that’s needed in this room, you fill it with your light and the miracle of your being, and you now realize: the things you used to express yourself, those were just a crutch. You need none of it. You are enough.” – Leo Babauta
Today, instead of decluttering or living simply and before you give away one more thing …
I couldn’t have said it better than Dave Bruno, “We need to know that when we crave simplicity, we are not after an easier life. We are after life.”
Simplicity, minimalism and decluttering are the tools that will give you the time and space you need to identify your joys, passions, loves and cares but you have to give yourself the permission you need to take that time and space. You deserve it. This is your life we are talking about, not a closet or drawer.
It is possible that you won’t give yourself permission because you are …
scared that you won’t know what to do with your time and space. Don’t worry if you don’t have a passion. Often, you have to identify what you don’t want to do before you can discover what you want to do.
worried that if you do know what you want to do, you won’t be good at it. How good you are won’t matter. The joy is in the practice.
feeling like you don’t deserve the happiness that’s available to you. You deserve every bit and once you realize your capacity for happiness and love and joy, you can share it with the world.
You may end up with more time and space than you know what to do with and that can be really uncomfortable. That’s not an excuse to keep your focus on stuff and clutter, but instead an invitation to think about what you really want in your life and for your life.
Accept the invitation. RSVP with a resounding Yes.