April 11, 2018

Minimalism: More Than Stuff

There has been no better tool to opening my eyes to freedom than Minimalism.

For me it was about reclaiming my time, confronting parts of me that were hidden under the “stuff”, feeling more in control of my life. It was naturally working on my anxiety, spending more time with my family, embracing self care living authentically, the list is extensive.

Minimalism has become my personal protest against consumerism. Seems obvious, right? Own less, buy less. Take a stand. Just like veganism has become my personal protest against the meat and dairy industry, it is my own personal stand against the consumerist society we live in.

The internet is a clever network. The players most savvy have figured out how to optimize algorithms, email addresses, studying what sites you browse, what you click, creating online presence profiles all to shove “stuff” into virtual shopping totes. Items you thought you needed because they figured out how to “subliminally” weave these items into your online experience. I live and purchase intentionally. I buy what I want, when I want and only when I need it.

The best part, it is so easily identifiable. I see it, recognize it and deliberately refuse to play into it. Browse a yoga site, and now it shows up on my Facebook feed. Not falling for it, Zuckerberg!

Furthermore, I no longer spend vacations wasting hours in the mall. I no longer waste time browsing online shopping sites with no purpose. I no longer subscribe to emails of non-stop sales. Because you know what, things don‘t go on sale because you need them, they go on sale because more often than not, nobody wants them. I’ll pass—on purpose.

We live in a society where status is increasingly determined by material things. It is a place where riches are determined not by the quality of life, but by the quantity of things. A world where greed and aggression is rewarded because outwardly it portrays stature. Is this really what we have become?

I've found some of the people I respected the most no longer placed on that pedestal and I realize it all comes down to my views on Minimalism. Not everyone has to be a Minimalist, but we should all work on our relationship with “stuff” and to what extent we let it define us. I realized many people I thought successful had lost the fulfillment of life simply as life‘s purpose. They worked to acquire things, they needed some tangible “trophy” to show their success because the time required to obtain it prohibited them from experiencing life. There is so much more to life. Minimalism is so much more than stuff.

It has truly opened my eyes to freedom, helped me to define myself and also those that I surround myself with. I have so much more in store.

Published by Suzanne Khan in Lifestyle

Photography by Sarah Dorweiler

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