The inspiration to simplify my life had nothing to do with a desire to be more organized, or to live with less. I always wanted more. I wanted a bigger closet, more stuff, more money, and more work. I went through decluttering phases, but never really connected with the idea of creating a simpler life until things got too complicated to handle.
After my MS diagnosis in 2006, I began to eliminate all the stressful things that made me feel tired, and eventually sick. A few years later when my life was feeling lighter, and I was much healthier, I decided to simplify further. I could see that there was something more in less, something more than decluttering, paying off debt, and letting go. That’s when I discovered minimalism. The word scared me at first.
Simplicity felt light, but minimalism felt empty and extreme. I wanted colorful art on my walls and purple shoes in my closet, but that didn’t fit into my definition of minimalism. I thought minimalism was empty, black and white, and unfulfilling. I thought minimalism was nothing.
I was wrong.
Minimalism has invited me to be discerning when it comes to …
- what occupies the spaces in my home.
- how I spend my time each day.
- where my heart’s attention lies.
With a minimalist mindset, I can easily say yes to what resonates with my heart, and no to what doesn’t. With a minimalist closet, I get to wear my favorite things every single day. When I eat a minimalist diet, I fuel my body with food that doesn’t add unnecessary inflammation causing MS relapses, aches and pains, and other negative reactions.
I’ve learned there is no merit in comparing my minimalism, because mine has to be right for me and my family. While minimalism has encouraged me to create parameters that help me thrive, I still see value in breaking the rules. More importantly though, by eliminating everything that doesn’t matter, I finally know what does.
What matters are the people, the work, and the places I love. What matters to me is continuing to thoughtfully create a life of love.
Everything else can go.
Now I see minimalism for what it really is. It is nothing … nothing but love my friend.