My encounter with minimalism is triggered in a hard way.
It was my divorce about three years ago. I was depressed. I was overwhelmed. My life falling apart, I have my kids and household that I need to handle alone. I still need to go to work and move on with my life despite being challenged emotionally and mentally.
So I try to minimize and simplify my burden.
I thought I need to start with the easiest things, something that’s literally in my hand, my handphone! No, I didn’t throw my phone away.
What I was trying to do was to minimize the noise and clutters inside my handphone – unnecessary notifications – at that time I have more than one emails – many social media accounts that I don’t really use – apps and email subscriptions. Those are not really material things that we can actually touch but they are definitely the clutters that we don’t realize affecting our time and our life so much.
Internet community of Minimalism
I went to the internet to find tips and idea to simplify my online accounts. That was when I discovered minimalism and its community – website, forum and support groups. Yes, it’s not something new. In fact, most of the early religious and spiritual’s figures are said to have lived a simple life. Prophet Muhammad, Gautama Buddha. Also notable individuals like Mahatma Gandhi and St. Benedict.
And now, at the fast pace of our materialistic life, many of us seek minimalism again.
An answer to freedom
And as for me, minimalism IS my answer – a clarity. When I started to reduce my possessions, I feel free with each item that I let go.
Letting go is not easy at first but the more I do it, the easier it gets and the more I learn about myself and my priority. I feel free, no longer overwhelmed, no longer depressed.
It is so freeing and I could feel like I’m more in control with every little thing I own and the activities I do in my daily life. Everything that remains serves a purpose and brings value to my life. Everything sparks joy.
That is my story. From decluttering my online accounts and inbox, I proactively find ways to minimize – material things – to heavier, unseen and complicated clutter like a toxic relationship, commitment, and routine.