Create Space for Stillness

Why it’s important to focus on the right things in the right way

Words by Kelly Foss

Thanks to the clarity that comes with living simply, each morning when I wake up, I feel a great sense of purpose. I’ve pared my life down to the essentials and designed a lifestyle around my goals and the people and experiences that matter most to me.

But, while all has been purposeful, up until a few weeks ago I would also wake up feeling anxious and overwhelmed. I’d describe it as a feeling of “behindness”—feeling behind on my long-term ambitions and all the tasks on my plate.

While I had found happiness in spending my time on the most important things, I had also become unsuccessful at doing them the right way.

I was intentionally dedicating my time to my day job, my side hustles, my friends, my family, my physical health, and my mental development, but it all became too much.

I was leaving little space for rest and reflection. My mind and body were yearning for a sense of calm; the space to slow down and live in the present moment.

I was so zoned in on the excitement that comes with the opportunity to remove the excess from my life—and fill my time with all of the people, things, and experiences that bring me joy—that I began to spread myself too thin.

Fortunately, as a part of living simply, my mental clearness also manifested itself as a mental reminder to reserve space for stillness.

I believe that this lifestyle challenged me to reflect on my obsession with being productive. I’ve uncovered that my anxiousness was a symptom of always trying to maximize my time.

Upon reflection, I’ve since re-prioritized the most important things in my life to create space each day to rest my mind and body. I’ve also made time to “do nothing”—a practice that had previously been difficult for me.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve already begun to take walks without my phone and spend time laying on my couch listening to beautiful instrumental music—two activities I’d formerly only do while multitasking.

I am now making the conscious choice to check in with myself on a daily basis. As part of maintaining my minimalist lifestyle, I am now prioritizing daily mindful practices for rest and recovery.

I’ve learned that living simply not only provides me with the space to live with intention but also encourages me to reflect and hold myself accountable for how I use my time.

Now, when I wake up each morning, I am creating the space to live more in the present moment, to slow down and be still.

I no longer feel behind.

Kelly Foss

Kelly Foss is the producer and co-host of the Millennial Minimalists Podcast and a contributor at Minimalism Life. She is passionate about living simply, and her goal is to help others design a simpler, more intentional life.


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Inside Minimalism is our series of exclusive essays on simple living. Each essay is written by our team of writers who are passionate about helping you craft a simpler life. Supported by their own personal experiences, we want to inspire and encourage you to clear the path of life’s stuff, so you can get to where you really want to be.

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