I started this site to talk about minimalism.
I wanted to explore how simplification, a boiling down of the unnecessary to the essential, improves life. I wanted to talk about the focus of mind and thought that comes as a natural occurrence when we minimize distraction. I wanted to explore how creating time and space in our lives creates the opportunity to give small, but significant, gifts to ourselves and others.
But who am I to give advice on minimalism? I have a lot of debt, both from student loans and your typical consumer-type loans (car loans and credit cards used to get by in lean times), and I’ve earned my living the last seven years by creating marketing plans to sell more of the stuff of modern life (packaged foods, clothes, electronics and the like).
This his has been a hard year for everyone. People on both sides of the political spectrum worry — about their families, their communities, and our country. I feel that stress and angst quite personally and deeply. I’ve allowed self-doubt and the distraction of social media to keep me from sitting at this keyboard for months, all the while feeding a dissatisfaction inside me.
Something has to change.
I believe we best affect positive change in our world by first creating change in ourselves and then using that energy to connect and create within our local communities. We can and should continue to make our voices known to our national representatives. That’s how democracy works best. But life, the everyday every day, works best when we laugh and love and create and connect with those around us through conversations that include more eye contact than emojis.
The Minimalists often say there’s no one flavor or recipe of minimalist. Perhaps minimalism means you have only 33 items of clothing. Maybe it means you live in a small home with a few possessions. Maybe it simply means that you feel the metaphysical weight of the physical stuff and clutter in your life, and you want to make a change.
Very soon, we plan make some big life changes to reduce our overall debt, minimize some of our physical possessions and move to a more community-building and connected lifestyle. I’ll share those changes here in the hopes that they can help some of you find your own Way.
There is no One Right Way to be a minimalist, or for that matter to be a Democrat or a Republican, an American, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or atheist. There is only the way that gets you through your day with more love and less hate, more faith and less fear, more connection and more community.