I am a minimalist. Perhaps you are too?
Beware! It can take some bravery to own up to this. Because once you’ve dared call yourself a minimalist, you’ve inevitably set yourself up for a whole lot of scrutiny. People may start pointing out that your home isn’t quite small enough. Or you may even be reprimanded for allowing your kids to have more than one toy.
There is absolutely no need, however, to become judgmental in response to this lack of understanding. At first glance, minimalism might indeed look like it encourages getting rid of a lot (if not all) of one’s material possessions. Especially when the promoter of the minimalist lifestyle regularly speaks of non-attachment and non-coveting in the context of her yoga classes. As I do.
However, letting go of material things is not the essence of minimalism. After all, not all minimalists (or yogis) are ascetics, spurning material possessions. This is not about deprivation of pleasure or denial of comfort. On the contrary. Aiming for less is a good starting point but the main focus of minimalism is actually on creating more. More space for freedom, time, contentment.
Most of us will agree that excess can overwhelm. Don’t we all occasionally feel buried under the weight of clutter in our lives? Can’t we all feel suffocated by the stuff in our homes, the lack of gaps in our calendars or the busyness of our minds? By subscribing to the minimalist lifestyle we can free up space. Space in our homes. Space in our calendars. Space in our minds.
Did you know that there is a broad spectrum of minimalist tools and approaches? Oh the irony! You see, as far as minimalism goes, anyone brave enough to discerningly choose what to own, what to do and, to some degree, what to focus their mind on can call themselves a minimalist. All to live a more intentional life with fewer distractions.
If you would like to learn more about minimalism or discuss, share and develop minimalist tools with a group of like-minded people, my upcoming workshop at triyoga Soho on the 30th of June could be of interest to you. We will be focusing on three areas where excess can often be overwhelming: material possessions, social demands and mental stress. Once we have gathered examples and identified common challenges, we will discuss methods that may help us surrender our attachment to things, experiences and social status. We will also learn and practise a few techniques that can help us accept and be grateful for what we already have, what we already do and who we already are.
Join me at triyoga in Soho
minimalism: clear your material, mental + social clutter
Friday 30th June from 19.30-21.30
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