What is a Simple Life? Five things every minimalist should cultivate
This is definitely a post I should have written a long time ago. Since it's the whole theme of my blog and all...but I just write when the words come, I suppose.
Here at Simply Liv, my goal is to inspire you to live a life that you're excited about. A life that is simple and beautiful, even in the mundane. I strive to do that through not only practical tips and challenges, but through peeks into my own life as well, where I hope I am leading by example. I want to create a community around this idea that simplicity is better.
The problem is, the culture we live in instills in us a "more" mindset from a very young age. In order to be happy, we are told (both directly and indirectly) that we need more- more money, more friends, more stuff, more letters behind our name...just more.
But we know, either through cold, hard experience or through a kind voice who taught us, that more never really satisfies us. The pressure to have more is overwhelming and all consuming and if you're immersed in that mindset for a while, it can be very hard to break. But the desire for more (except where healthy ambition and goals are concerned), often leads to a downward spiral. We get consumed by our quest for more, eventually leaving us with less than we started with.
While I haven't considered myself a "true minimalist" yet, I have way more things than I should and often catch myself longing for more- I believe there are ways we all can and should live, if simplicity is our goal. These five points are my "definition" for simplicity- it's not an exhaustive list or a textbook description, just what I have learned is important to live a life that is simple and full.
A Simple Life is:
To live a life that is simple, you must be trying to. Duh, Olivia. But really, simplicity doesn't come naturally for most of us. We have to look at our lives, our mindset and our heart to make sure we are cultivating the right attitude, and that requires a lot of intentionality. Be intentional about your relationships, what you bring into your home- everything.
This is the "stuff" point in the list. There isn't a right or wrong answer here, friends. Like most of these points, it will vary from one person to the next. But acquiring more things shouldn't be the goal of any minimalist. That's not to say don't treat yourself, or buy nice things- but don't hoard or buy more than you need.
Authenticity is one of my favorite words. I love being around people who are real.
We all know them- the one's who don't put on a mask. They're genuine, whether they're having the worst day of their life or are on cloud nine. Have authentic friends and be an authentic friend. It's at the heart of simple living.
This is along the lines of being uncluttered, though this aims more at the heart than at physical possessions. Contentment is something I have always struggled with, which is why it is so important to me. I have to be very intentional about cultivating a heart of contentment, with lots of prayer, because I tend to always want more. If I'm not happy in the now, then I'm bound to live a very sad life. I'm striving to be the best I can be where I am planted, knowing that when it is time to move on, God will lead us when and where we are meant to go. It is a hard attitude to have.
I believe a simple life is essentially a creative life. It isn't "by the book". It often leads you into rugged, uncharted territory, perhaps physically but more often mentally and spiritually. Whether you're an artist or don't consider yourself to be a creative type- this will apply to you. You are creating the life you live, the choices you make in this moment affect where your day, week, month will go. Let's create lives that we are proud of. Be original and don't be afraid to break the mold.
Which of these do you focus on in your life? Why is living a simple life important to you?
Have a happy new week friends!