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Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ~Elise Boulding

Embarking on this journey of self-imposed minimalism was not a path chosen on a whim, by accident, or for no good reason other than I was seeking something worthwhile to occupy my days. Rather, striving toward minimalism has been quite a lifelong internal pursuit of mine. Finally, I have reconciled my true desires—those of living more simply and intentionally by drastically reducing, de-cluttering, and minimizing all my worldly possessions—with the myriad of outward mistakes and demoralizing failures I chose to make by listening to the world’s voice—subtle, yet persistent—constantly calling out to me, “Consume! Spend! Add! Acquire!” Instead of heeding to my own truth, that inner-dialogue and guiding compass reaffirming that I was content and beyond rich with all that I had and have ever had, I gave in to the norm for far too long.

Embarrassing as it is to admit my weaknesses—such as my propensity for over-consumption, my increased discontent even with all I owned and could buy, shopping too much and for pitiful reasons, and especially allowing my self-worth to be measured and determined by the type of things cluttering every shelf, closet, and corner of my home—I find it is worthwhile and important to expose my flaws here because it represents the pinnacle and point of realizing that I was stuck in old, demoralizing, woeful habits. And it is precisely where my journey to a better life begins.

Changing oneself for the better is a terrifying, yet exhilarating experience. After all, someone once said, “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” I couldn’t agree more.

What changes have you made that improved your life for the better? What has been your most compelling heart’s desire that you’re still afraid to pursue?