Sunset behind two trees on either side. A canal is seen in the foreground. Picture in article about living as a minimalist
13th June 2017 The MALESTROM

Minimalist living: Learning to let go

At the heart of its very concept, being a minimalist means a certain way of living your life, certainly doing so in a mindful way and also crucially knowing how and when to let go.

Those who have ever cleared out drawers and wardrobes of a late loved one or have tried to get rid of keepsakes bought by an ex, know just how painful it can be to throw objects out that we have a deep sentimental attachment and connection with.

Hoarders are often vilified and shamed by others in life and on TV shows for being bad, dirty people. But there’s often a deep-rooted reason for this behaviour, usually a trauma, a death in the family or a sudden departure of a partner.

The desire to cling onto stuff is a desire to cling onto the past, a happier time, a time that resonates in our souls and lifts us up. It’s only that keeping this stuff during a decidedly more negative period in our journey in turn affects the energy of the objects themselves, they become attached to a lower frequency and no longer hold the magic they once did.

And that’s why purging can be so positive. By removing items we think will make us happy, that keep us looking backwards in time, at moments where we once felt a sense of joy, we give ourselves a chance to feel joy again, that of a renewed kind. By releasing this stuff, we are giving ourselves space to think, to live, to be free.

The happy feelings are often outweighed by the pain attached to those objects, and much of this hurt can be dissipated by their removal.

Famed minimalist Joshua Fields Millburn makes an excellent point in his Ted Talks piece when saying,

“Memories are not inside our things, they’re in us.”

Very true, and once we come to that realisation that this collection of things isn’t generally the THING that brings us happiness, we are able to seek out what does lift our hearts and souls. Whether it be having a drink with a friend, or creating a piece of music, it’s often the simpler things in life that benefit us most.

So learn to let go, be brave, rid yourself of the stuff you cling too. Move out of that material mind frame and look forward to a life lived.

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