Today anonymous minimalist shared her experience with us and talked about minimalism.
I didn’t become a minimalist, I was born into it. And just recently I learned that my approach to organizing life fits well with this fashionable trend. For me, minimalism is freedom: from unhealthy internal attitudes, from unnecessary things, from inappropriate people, from unloved things. The older I become, the less I need to be happy, the easier my life is. The main thing in minimalism for me is the ability to live here and now, to maintain a clear mind and peace of mind. And for this, I need to get rid of bad or simply outdated habits, other people’s opinions, and imposed desires.
I have a capsule wardrobe in which all things fit together. For the summer, there are 3 dresses, 3 skirts, 1 pair of jeans, 3 tops, 1 shirt, 2 pairs of sandals, moccasins, and a backpack. When this year I had to leave for another city for a month, all the necessary things fitted in my backpack and weighed only 4.5 kg.
In my cosmetic bag: brown eyeshadow, mascara, 3 lipsticks, 3 nail polishes, nourishing cream. In my bathroom: loofah, soap, apple cider vinegar for rinsing the hair, pumice stone, shaving razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and milk for makeup remover.
I have only 2 “gadgets”: a phone to make calls and send SMS (it does not have an Internet connection) and a laptop for work, communication on Skype, blogging, and self-education. I rarely take pictures of myself (no more than once a year) and do not keep old photos. I change equipment only when it breaks, for example, my phone is 5 years old and this is my third phone in 14 years.
We eat extremely simple food, which I cook 90% myself. No semi-finished products, ready-made sauces, canned food (except for seaweed), purchased sweets. I even cook bread myself and mostly buy dairy products in the countryside. As a result, in the store, I need to regularly buy only chicken fillet, fish, eggs, cereals, pasta, flour, oils, spices, vegetables, and fruits. I fit into the fashionable list of 33 products. I hope that over time we will grow vegetables and fruits on our own, and maybe we will start breeding chickens. By the way, berries, mushrooms, nuts, and herbs in the village are free, even if you don’t grow them yourself. I do not stockpile so that all the products are fresh and nothing has to be thrown away. Most of my recipes take less than 10 minutes, I cook for 1 meal.
Almost all the furniture in the house is made by my husband from natural materials, and I am engaged in textiles, decor items, wall painting. We independently carry out all communications in our new house, do our own repairs. It is important for us to create our own space ourselves, this allows us to reduce consumption to a minimum and treat natural resources with greater responsibility. I have never taken out loans and I hope I don’t have to.
I am very slowly but surely moving towards a system of waste-free households. I am sure that minimalism and sustainable behavior are inseparable things. Unfortunately, in the village, there is no way to hand over garbage for recycling, so I try to just produce as little of this garbage as possible.
About workspace and money:
I have been working remotely in advertising for the past 10 years. In the near future, I plan to start conducting online training. Work takes several hours a week, and the workspace fits into a laptop. In my family, free time and self-realization are considered important, we do only those things that please us and allow us to grow, some of these things bring us money. Sometimes it happens that there is a lot of money, sometimes it is not enough, for us this is an insignificant criterion for a prosperous life since most of the things that are important to us do not require money at all. Now they are needed only for food and decoration of our house.
About the soul:
It is worth studying yourself, putting things in order in the inner space. This can be helped by psychotherapy (for me, body-oriented therapy and holotropic breathing turned out to be the most effective) and/or spiritual practices (meditation, yoga, recapitulation, etc.). When thoughts and emotions are in order, when you are comfortable alone with yourself, when you rely on your inner core, there is no need to look for support from the outside and overload the outside world with things.
About communication diet:
It is important to follow the “communication diet”. Our mirror neurons copy all the people around us, regardless of our desire, so we should surround ourselves with those whom we want to “copy”.
If there is a craving for minimalism, it must be realized, regardless of the situation. Someone lives with parents who are accumulators, someone lives in a rented room, I, for example, live in a house in which we have decorated from scratch. Even if it is completely impossible to do everything in accordance with your ideas, it is enough that some parts of the house, or the wardrobe, or the organization of files on the computer are already under control and enjoyable.
About shopping list:
I always make a shopping list. If I like an item that is not on the plan, then I will only buy it on my next shopping trip. So I will have time to understand exactly whether I need this unplanned thing. I am not a spontaneous person at all.
Now for me, the best inspiration is nature, which is why I left the city for the countryside. Observing natural cycles, you understand that many products of civilization are completely unnecessary for a full life. And not only material products, but also ideas. For example, the idea of glossy beauty that women should strive for in order to be happy is an illusion that poisons the lives of countless women. Instead of examining their true needs, they spend resources trying to mold some kind of abstract shape out of their bodies. Living close to nature relieves this manic anxiety about appearance, you begin to see beauty in a variety of shapes and sizes.
About books and movies:
On my way from town to village, from average consumption to minimal consumption, I was guided by films, articles, and books, revealing the “ins and outs” of modern civilization. When you see not only sparkling windows but the work of people in third world countries, the scale of the planet’s pollution, as well as ways to manipulate the minds of consumers, you want to participate as little as possible in this orgy. I recommend a video on this topic: “The Ecological Footprint”, the cycle of Annie Leonard on the consumer society, “Eating You Can’t Throw Out”, “The Real Cost of Fashion”, “The World According to Monsanto”, “Garbage” (2013), “Under the Power of Garbage”, “The effect of a light bulb. Planned obsolescence ”,“ 99 francs ”,“ Beautiful green ”.
And from the fresh one, I want to recommend the book by Loretta Graziano Breuning “Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin”. In my opinion, this is the best book about simple happiness that is available to everyone.