We may think about becoming a minimalist during a time of crisis as we may learn to live with less out of necessity. Times like this quarantine have brought us to spend more time in our homes, perhaps we lost our source of income, and schools are closed, so we are spending more time with our children at home educating them. It is an easy time to focus on less is more as we turn our minds inward to feel into how this has changed our typically busy mode of living. However, minimalism should not be a forced decision based on an outer crisis, but rather a choice to live our lives in a new way. This is a ripe time to make a new decision both for our own mental health and for the health of our environment.
Perhaps we want more time, money, energy and focus to pursue the things that bring us more real lasting happiness. Material possessions will not bring us lasting happiness and in fact the more precessions we have, the more weighed down and unhappy we may feel.
Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things we really need, the items that support our greater life purpose. By removing the distractions of excess possessions, we can focus more on the things that matter the most. What I have noticed during the quarantine time, is just how busy I was before and how I had very little time to pursue the things that I truly enjoy most, such as time with my children, time in nature and time to reflect. On our first camping trip, I spent very little time sleeping, but felt this feeling of sinking into the earth and noticing all of the ways that I had been feeling anxious and stressed. Nature has been so healing and when I have the time to listen carefully, it has helped to heal old wounds, remove stories that no longer serve me, investigate negative self talk and reopen my heart to my higher purpose.
Positives that can come from this time:
1. We have more time at home than we ever had before to spend time with our possessions and actually see what we need and want in our lives. Do we actually need all of this stuff? How would we feel with less clutter and just keep the items that truly bring us joy?
2. Our work may change a lot and we may be working from home more than ever before. Is our work space simplified and decluttered? Is it a place that we find inspiring to be in?
3. People may want to reassess their finances and budget and wish to cut back on things that are no longer necessary. We may choose to invest more in our home inside and out. What do we want to spend our money on and what businesses do we really want to support?
4. Feelings of being in a life or death circumstance, might be be a healthy way to look as we consider what brings our energy in to see what is most important in our lives, look at our priorities, our values, and our goals. This life is precious and our time here is limited. So where do we want to put our attention?
5. Re-entry into what is our new “normal”. Do we want the busy, stressed, rush around lifestyle we had? Or are we being asked to ask the deeper questions to become more intentional about what we bring back into our life and do it more
6. What can we control? And what is most important? What are our silver linings of corona times?
(From the Life On Purpose Movement, https://ericalayne.co/)
-Simple, home-based memories with your spouse and kids.
-Deepened compassion for your neighbors—and mankind.
-Physical, mental, and emotional rest.
-More trust in divine guidance.
-New, healthier patterns for coping with stress and anxiety.
-Appreciation for simple joys you used to take for granted.
-A clearer vision of your values, your priorities, and the pace you want for your life.
-And maybe best of all, more confidence in yourself, as you look back on this time and see that you got through it!
So what things would you want to spend more money and time with?
Here are some of my ideas that I have been investing my time and money on. Gardening and buying soil, veggies and plants. Nothing has been more rewarding than to watch my baby seeds grow taller each day! Purchasing high quality clothing and essentials that will last you a long time. I gifted my son for his quarantine birthday with a survival gear kit and he is still using these tools almost daily! A good subscription where you can watch documentaries/movies, read books or learn something new without placing that amazon order feels great! There are also so many free classes online right now to learn new skills as well. Reusable products are another good expense as they will limit the throw away items. When the toilet paper and cleaning aisles at the store were being depleted, I restocked all my homemade cleaners and started making sauerkraut, kombucha, jun, jelly and now we are baking sourdough bread too! My favorite place where I choose to spend money is on tasty high quality food, and when we feel good in our body, we feel good in our mind too! This goes back to the first idea as I cannot wait for the garden to be feeding my family and neighbors soon!
If this is a new idea to you, here is an awesome documentary I suggest you watch. My kids and I started out our quarantine with watching this and it really helped us focus on the important things.
Minimalism: a Documentary About the Important Things, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrzESek2B2E
My deepest prayer is that without the connections of our wider community that we all feel the resource and love that we need. I feel that if we remove the distractions from our life, we can see with our eyes more clearly just who our community is and that we have the time to focus in and find our own deep inner love as well. We are also working towards generating greater inner peace so that we we may be able to not only keep our sanity during these times, but share with others our love and our service to help them on their way as well.