The Minimalist Spiritualist
Ahhh….. Minimalism. One of my favorite topics and passions! I dove into minimalism two years ago when Austin and I decided that we wanted to be nomadic. And we had a tiny Chevy Cruze to fit all of our stuff in. That leaves us with little space for two people! Minimalism has become a practice since that first trip, and we’ve learned how to live with so much less stuff-and a happier attitude towards life. There’s many reasons to becoming minimalist besides for deciding to live in your car. Maybe you want to downsize your house, or create a better mind space for yourself. Or maybe your spiritual journey is leaving you feel like the things in your life that you don’t use anymore are cluttering your spiritual being. Either way, downsizing on your stuff can lead to huge benefits in your life, like increased free time and a clear mind and soul.
I wanted to share with you a funny picture from my 15 year old self, and her bedroom. Observe the piles of stuff on every surface, all of the mismatched colors (though there’s nothing wrong with that) and her physical state. Not judging her, rather observing, you can see that her face has acne all over it, she suffered from extreme anxiety and depression, felt like she had no sense of self or confidence, and she looks nothing like the present Ashley XD. I love this picture because it sums up who I used to be and where I am now on this minimalist spiritualist journey. I’ve come a long way since that day! When I got home from Oregon in 2017, I realized that much of what was piled up in my picture was still in my life physically. I also realized that holding onto stuff, even sentimental stuff, can energetically create blocks within us, sort of how a messy kitchen would make you feel. A cleaner space feels good on the inside too, wouldn’t you agree? Realizing this made me feel like I had a lot of emotional baggage to clean up, and when I put all of my stuff in a room it almost filled up to the ceiling! It blew me away that someone who wanted to live a minimalist lifestyle still had this much stuff, and I felt very discombobulated on the inside too.
A universal law I learned about was that your external world - the people, things, environment - is a direct reflection of your inner world. This truth blew open a huge door for me to begin going through my stuff and downsizing to the max. Why the hell was I still holding onto that T-ball trophy from when I was five? There was no use for it in my life, it literally brought me 10 seconds of reminiscing and then I forgot about it. I could easily have that memory without the item, so I decided to do this type of mind work on every. single. Item that I possessed. Now mind you, I kept some things that I wasn’t ready to let go of, but was able to fit most of those sentimental in a small pirate’s chest. Letting go of these external things, and working through the memories, thoughts, and emotions that each item possesses as you let them go is really healing work! You create so much more room in your life to create new possibilities and to rebirth yourself, to recreate yourself. We all have things inside of us that we hold on to that no longer serve us, just like that trinket Aunt Jo brought back for you 10 years ago! A clear mind is a happy mind.
Going through the RV before we move has been very similar! We are again switching our lives back to living in a tent on the road, and we want to be as minimal as possible. Practicality is reality. What you use on a daily or weekly basis is probably all you need to be happy (besides 4 season’s clothing! ;). Now, what about that power washer that’s been sitting in the corner of the garage collecting spiders, used once a year? Try renting or borrowing. Renting something is so cheap and saves you so much trouble in maintaining something like, let’s saw a power washer. Borrowing things from your friends enhances your physical relationships with people, strengthens your communication skills, and keeps your home more clutter free. Bartering and trading is totally okay!
I hope this sparks your interest in minimalism - and inspires you to cut down on your stuff! It feels so emotionally freeing and you end up creating more abundance in your life with less baggage.
Steps to becoming more minimalist
Recently, I published a post called the Spiritualist Minimalist. In the post, I explained that clearing your physical reality will clear your emotional reality. So often we hold onto items because “we think we’ll use it someday in the future,” or “man, I just can’t let go of that memory!” Two things: the only moment you will ever have is the present moment. It’s great to plan for the future, but holding onto stuff because we “think” we’ll need It is unnecessary. And who’s to say that just because we get rid of an item, that the memory will go with it? These realizations may change your perspective of why you’re holding onto your stuff.
I wanted to share with you some steps on becoming more minimalist, and easy ways to clear your mind and space.
Pick a room to start in | This could be your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, garage, basement, living room, office, wardrobe, even computer etc. Pick one spot to start in. You don’t have to do this all in a day, or a week, or even a month. Take the baby steps towards minimalism or you may feel overwhelmed. A room to focus on for a week is a great start because you can observe what is in it and slowly add things to a donate box that aren’t serving your highest good.
Create three bins | KEEP - TRASH/RECYCLE - DONATE. This is a simple way to categorize your things. When you’re done with a room or section, go through the keep box and reconsider each item in it. Do you really need these items? When you’re done, you can easily put the KEEP items back, recycle the TRASH/RECYCLE box, and take the DONATE items to your desired thrift store/donation center.
Ask yourself, do I use this item on a daily/weekly basis? | If the answer is no, consider why you have it. If you say yes, then consider keeping it. Feel with your intuition here. Your heart always knows best. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to “go buy a new one,” or better yet, ask a friend to borrow “one!” Ask yourself the question above - “Do I use this item on a daily/weekly basis?” - for each item. Another good question to ask is “Do I have more of one of these?” You’ll find that you’ll downsize a lot just by getting rid of the duplicates of items you already have. I noticed that when I went through my desk that I had about 50 pens - did I need 50 pens? NO! So I downsized to 2 and that was enough! You can always get pens for free when the ones you have run out. Or splurge and get yourself the two nicest pens you can find. Seriously it’ll add some value to your life!
For sentimental items | Getting rid of sentimental items can be emotionally freeing. It’s fun to create rituals for things you are deeply connected to. For me, I took my journals from my childhood and led a cleansing ceremony for myself to let go of the feelings and energetic blocks that the journals bottled up inside me. I burned them and thanked the experiences for teaching me what they did, they made me who I am today. It’s good to honor your sentimentals and to thank them for being with you. Letting go of these items becomes much easier this way.
Minimizing your life couldn’t be easier than these four steps. It’s a matter of dedication to yourself and your health and happiness that’ll git r’ done!
What ways are you minimizing your life? Do you have any steps to add to these? Let me know!