Uniquely Minimalist: Why my Definition of Minimalism is Different than Yours (And, that’s okay)

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” ~ Joshua Becker

If you ever came to my house for a visit, first of all, I would offer you a cup of Harney and Sons Tea with perhaps a homemade pumpkin muffin, and side of freshly cut fruit to complement. We would chat nicely for a time while you took in the surroundings of my home enveloped around us. After seeing for yourself how my family and I live, you might switch your friendly tune, abruptly stop our kind chat with teacup mid-sip, and proceed to yell at me, “FRAUD! LIAR! DECEPTIVE, you! Just who do you think you are? YOU, my friend, are NO MINIMALIST!” You might go so far as to almost slam the teacup down in protest, and storm out my front door in righteous anger.

At once, I would apologize for inviting you over under false pretense, and plead with you to come back, stay for a just a little while longer so that I might explain myself with complete honesty. You might relent, but may come back to hear my explanations, though keep your arms crossed the whole time, and glare at me from across my beat-up kitchen table.

To begin anew, I would smile at you in genuine likeness, then justify myself by telling about the beauty and calm I find in the art of simplifying. That I find intentional living a meditative process, and feel quite called to be sharing my family’s abundance with those in need. I might add that adhering to the practice of minimalism isn’t something that can be done in a day, a week, a month, nor even in one year’s time.

Of course, I would tell you that I presently remain in the thick of becoming a minimalist, with a gentle reminder that my mantra all along has been “striving toward minimalism.” It would be worthwhile to add that my definition of minimalism may vary widely from others’ minimalist ways, and certainly may look completely unlike what you had in mind.

From this point,  I would encourage you to look around once more. I’d ask if you would you be so kind as to take into consideration all that I have just explained, with the meaning and purpose of my striving toward minimalism advising your thoughts and opinions? Perhaps, I would say, could you put on fresh eyes and glimpse again, though this time with a newfound understanding of my commitment to becoming so much more in the wake of a minimalist, intentional, and simplified undertaking ? Would you see it all rather differently this time?


My continual journey of striving toward minimalism is fueled by my commitment to being intentional about my choices for what goes and stays, finding a harmonious balance of my family’s needs versus wants, and weighing out all of my decisions on a scale of joy, usefulness, and intent. Yes, I’m being deliberately slow in the process, but I’m inclined to keep a snail’s pace in order to be sure about what I am minimizing, and to pace myself for this lifelong pursuit.

If you could choose one place (room, closet, cabinet, etc…) to de-clutter and minimize right now, where would that place be? What is overtaking your time, cramping your space, and hindering your peace? How might you immediately begin to simplify that area in your life? 




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