What is Minimalism?
Minimalism, by definition, isn’t quite what one would think. It references 1950s sculpture painting and avant-garde music. But even in these, it was the simplicity that mattered. In my podcast this week, I started a new series – The Minimalist To-Do List. Now when we think minimalist, what really comes to mind? Most likely not the art forms.
Joshua and Ryan of “The Minimalists” lay it out well here:
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.
I love this, and their concise definition below, as the real meaning of minimalism as we know it today. It’s about so much more than just living in an Ikea house.
Ikea Isn’t Everything
When you say the word “minimalist”, people immediately think Ikea (or maybe that’s just me). We think of a stark white room, all full of feng shui and lush sheepskin rugs, a trickling fountain and candles. There is greenery and open space and a feeling of zen. Basically, go to Ikea. It’s clean, simplistic, and gorgeous in it’s sparseness. Everything has a purpose. I joke about how when Nathan and I got married, it was Cracker Barrel meets Ikea due to my love of holding on to everything. Now, we’re not quite Ikea, but a bit more World Market than Cracker Barrel.
I love color – and my bohemian style definitely craves variety overload. But what I’ve found is my decorating style is so not what minimalism is really about. And that’s why I can do a whole series just on this topic. It’s deep. It’s rich. And it is so much the essence of what is important to me, and what the “Mama Says Namaste” mission is.
The Minimalist To-Do List
- What Is “Home” To You? Define your vision before you start working on it.
- The True Definition of “Minimalism” – it’s not just the clutter.
- Clutter of the House: Cleaning out what physically stands in your path.
- Implement and Act: Engaging the senses and building feng shui – how to create a house that is light and lifts you up.
- Clutter of the Head: How many obligations and “to-do’s” do you succumb to? How often are you a victim of circumstance or reacting to the chaos around you?
- Time blocking and intention: Creating clear focus on what really matters.
- Clutter of the Heart: What pieces of the past do you carry with you – what is the point of keeping them close? Has your heart baggage become your badge of excuse?
- Toxic Relationships: Setting clear boundaries and creating community you thrive in.
- Family VIPs: How you set your family as your priority in a home that is open and ready for love and connection.
I’m looking forward to this journey with you. Let’s dig deep into minimalism in a way that allows you – and your family – to feel lighter, free, and focused on what you hold most dear.