Minimalism has taken a modern spin in the past few years. These days it's more about simple appearing stuff based esthetics that costs a fortune. If anything, such showy and costly minimalism can be the opposite of what it means.
"Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life." - theminimalists.com.
Modern material based minimalism has its place, but in a consumerist world, the core of simplicity must be remembered. It may seem quite alternative to be a minimalist, but it's a lifestyle choice that leaves more room for living a fuller life.
More things, no matter how expensive, isn't bringing more lasting and deep-rooted joy to anyone. There's a reason the saying "more money, more problems" is valid. Once you create an identity around having a lot of money, you feel pressure to "keep up with the Joneses." Imagine just being able to keep up with your core needs or that of the family. This is already enough pressure!
However, minimalism isn't just about things. If you're looking for ways to truly minimize your life, here are three surprising ways to do so that have nothing to do with having more or less material things.
I've been an overthinker since my early teenage years. Recently, I've started to take note of what this toxic behavior has done to my life. I began to distrust myself (and others as a byproduct), simple decisions always take on a complicated angle, anxiety, lack of spontaneity, and so much more.
Lao Tzu says, "Thoughts poison the mind." I didn't think this made any sense because you can't get rid of your thoughts completely. The way I interpret it now to mean is thoughts will always come and go, but not all are intended to be followed or entertained. Staying present keeps my overthinking habit docked. Meditation and taking a minimum of three conscious breaths always settles my thoughts.
Kids teach us every day to keep things simple as well. They are incredible at focusing on one thing at a time. This is a way kids teach us to be better, and in turn, we as parents don't pass on unhelpful thinking habits.
Babies drink breast milk (or formula) for months before being able to specifically try the foods that come together to make breastmilk. They begin to shape preferences as they grow older based not only on what we give them to eat, but what they observe others (mainly mom and dad) consuming.
I find keeping it simple with fruits and veggies as our base helps the entire family. Even with a dietary pyramid, we often still end up over complicating food. I'm guilty of this on many levels because I consider making food an art, meaning I love experimenting. There's nothing wrong with having fun with your food, but we still have to remember our body does need certain kinds of food for optimum function.
For babies, we focus on food for growth rather than for fun, but somewhere along the years, this changes. It's best to teach our kids (and remind ourselves) this simple idea of food for health first as the base for consumption. If we don't, our kids will end up having the same complicated relationship with foods we have. It's not always easy because we need time to course correct our behaviors, but we can grow into new habits along with our little ones as best we can.
Before all these modern ways of exercising existed, there was walking. Walking seems too simple sometimes. We forget how powerful it can be!
After babies crawl, they spent years of their life just walking. They stay remarkably fit by doing nothing else, no yoga (with expensive leggings and tops), gyms (and their monthly memberships and various machines), etc. With a simple but effective diet and daily walking, you can change your health for the better.
Reduce & Release
You're probably surprised you can be a thought, food, and exercise minimalist. It's a broad spectrum including so many more ways to keep life to its simplest, especially as the world grows more complicated. You don't need to get rid of everything, but you can focus on what feels right to reduce and release.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.