The Mixed Emotions of Minimizing
Happy New Year, my friends! Another year on beautiful planet Earth (the Harvard of planets amongst those planets which entertain lifeforms), and Lady Gaga says we can do ANYTHING if we believe in ourselves! Amen, sister.
A few things in the current climate may be inspiring you to clean out your closets and invite in the upgrades:
1. New Year's resolutions
2. Capricorn Season
3. "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" out on Netflix
If any of this is a foreign language, click here and here. It's 2019. Embrace the witch.
At the heart of my mission - and the movements that inspire it, like minimalism, plastic-free living and sustainable design - is RADICAL DELIBERATION. Living by design, not by default. Less, but better. Careful cultivation of what populates the inner and outer vision. A well-examined life.
Rewind to 2017 - I was MAXIMALIST and proud, convinced that minimalism was one big bore. An overnight meditation brought me to the realization that minimalism would unlock my creative potential, contrary to former belief and resistance (typical!). I came home and wanted to kick everything I owned to the curb - and for the most part, did! 300 garments, to 30, over the course of a month.
Moving into minimalism has freed me up in ways I couldn't have predicted - and the process of purging in itself has been rich in reflection. But it can be challenging to part ways with items that hold value and meaning. We remember what we spent on it, who gave it to us, or how it may still be useful, and suddenly the attachment and guilt prevent us from getting rid of things that are no longer relevant.
And then there's the guilt AFTER the purge! I remember waking up one morning after a particularly brutal purge and realizing I had put my favorite leather pants on the curb. I ran down in my robe but they were long gone. Honestly, I often feel guilt after I donate or toss something that I spent good money on, made with my own hands, or wore frequently. So how to navigate the hand-me-down hangover?
- As Marie Kondo instructs, decide which items bring you joy. I even get rid of things that I wear regularly because they don't represent who I want to be going forward. Saying 'thank you' to the items before letting them go really does give a sense of conviction and closure, releasing guilt and attachment!
- Use the purge process to address the bigger picture of attachment. Sit with the discomfort of letting things go. We'll arrive at a closer sense of our true identity - who we are without our things.
- Grow to value empty space! I love looking in my closet and seeing SPACE. It's a breath of fresh air, highlighting the things we do choose to keep.
- By all means, first try selling! Be realistic about depreciation and perceived value - we tend to over-value our items. And don't let it pile up in the hope it may bring in a buck one day - space and freedom are much more valuable.
- Give back to the thrift-store Gods! How many times have you discovered a second-hand gem? Pay it forward by donating quality items with plenty of life left, knowing that someone special will delight in the find.
- Trust me, your deceased relative doesn't want you holding on to their old stuff for their sake. They want you to be free! Take your time, honor your process, and eventually let it go. Keep just a few items that are truly special.
- If you're on the cusp with some items, especially the sentimental ones, put them in storage until you're ready to reexamine.
- Take it one piece at a time! Don't be intimidated or overwhelmed. Trust, even enjoy, the process. The obstacle is the way!
- Remember to be mindful of discarding synthetic clothing - it's plastic and will not biodegrade! Revisit my previous post about responsible textile recycling.
I'm looking forward to all the refinement, freedom, growth and upgrades that are to come for us all in 2019. Thank you for being my community. I love you!