We live in a consumer society that tells us that more is not enough, and that we are always constantly needing more. We need to update our technology, buy this product to be happy and wear this to fit in. There is so much clothing, technology, food and so forth that are disposed of in land fills every year. It makes me think about how much do I really need to live an abundant life? and the answer I really feel is: not a lot. Materials can give us short term satisfaction, but the true things that sustain long term peace in our lives are the people we surround ourselves with, our environment, our friends and family, positive self talk and being grateful for what we have, from the water, food, electricity to the sun, moon and stars.
Be grateful for what you have in your life. There is an endless plethora of things we can be grateful for. Most of us have everything we need in our lives to live contently. Food, water, electricity, shelter and clothing are just some of the basic things that not everyone in the world are able to have. When we practice gratitude, we place the focus on all the things in our life that we are fortunate to have, and we acknowledge it.
Buy with intention and invest in your items. Buy with the mindset that you are purchasing something you’d like to keep for a long time, rather than wear or use a few times and throw away. I do truly feel that there is only so much we can have, and that especially within the fashion industry, we are told by the media to always be buying and keeping up with more and more of the new styles and trends each season.
Live with things that have value and purpose. It’s better to have one thing that is of high quality, than several things that break easily or don’t last very long. Something that I think of is my laptop and smart phone. I’m someone who uses technology until it breaks down, because I can’t justify buying a new phone because it’s an updated version. When we use what we own to the fullest, we give it purpose and value.
Make friends with positive and kind people. This is so important to our well being and the bubble of energy we create in our life, because the people we choose to surround ourselves can be influential to a degree. It’s better to have a few genuine friends, than a crowd of people that you might not feel a deep connection with. Surround yourself with people who are beautiful inside and out.
Focus on what is important and practice gratitude. In many situations, we realise what is important. In our everyday life, we breeze through yet we are so blessed to have good health, breathe in fresh air and have family and friends that love us and who we love dearly. If you fall sick or face a tough situation, those are moments that emphasise the blessing of good health. I think one of the most important things in life are our relationships with people.
Discover your interests and implement them into your daily life. One of the things I love to do is take long walks. Doing what you love takes your focus off things that are surfaced level, and really takes you into focusing on the things that matter. Whether that may be writing, singing, exercising, gardening or cooking. In the last link below, she mentions “I feel like we waste so much money when we’re bored, unhappy or feel like we should treat ourselves…We don’t have to shop to be happy.”
This is so true, because there is often the mindset that buying will make us happy, but in the long term it simply is not the case. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while on a chocolate or a delicious meal, but if we are always buying things that we know we won’t really use, then they lose meaning and can be a waste of money. By embracing our interests, we can save more money and time by doing those activities rather than buying.
Know that you are truly beautiful because of your heart. As we are told that this and that will make us beautiful, living an abundant life is accepting yourself for who you are and knowing that you were born into this earth for a purpose. You are beautiful not because of the clothes you wear, the makeup you apply or the shape of your body. You are wholeheartedly beautiful just the way you are, because of your kindness, compassion and light.
Articles on Consuming Less:
Minimalism may leave one thinking of a Zen garden or a spacious room. Over the years, I’ve decluttered and cleaned out many things that are not needed, or only take up space. They no longer serve a purpose, and are often a piece of paper with a note or a pair of shoes that you never wear. It’s only kept for its sentimental value. Of course, there will always be the bits and bobs that always stay with us. They give us a deep memory of a person or time. Minimalism is often known as cleaning out the materials you have. However, it is also the art of letting go and living with less. It gives time to focus on the important things in life. It means letting go of not only clothes, but having more space and time to accomplish things.
It means letting go of a friendship that may be causing you strain, travelling with only the necessities, treasuring what you have, spending less time buying, being focused on the positives, eating healthy and being more productive in your life. It makes the focus less on materials, and more on experiences and people. As someone who has period of moments where I experience anxiety, the art of letting go has been extremely helpful. It’s made my anxiety improve a lot compared to two years ago. It made me recognise how much time we can spend thinking about things that don’t matter. It also reminds us how important it is to look at the simplicity of life. The biggest creator of stress is when we imagine all the complicated scenarios that don’t end up happening.
Minimalism doesn’t mean I can’t buy this or that. It doesn’t mean that my house should feel empty or my wardrobe should hardly have any clothes. It means that in these cases, we will ask ourselves Do I really need it? and will I value it for a long time or is it something I will throw away at the end of the year. It also means not having too much emotional attachment with materials, but rather have a focus on our relationships, health, education and passions. It’s putting your time on what gives you true long term happiness, rather than the short term gains. When we live with less, we live with less negative thoughts and more contentment. We’re more present and spend time using our creativity, rather than consuming things.
We all want to feel fulfilled and at peace in our own life. Living life with less, means that we look for our happiness in life itself, rather than the clothes, makeup, car or house we have. Minimalism means letting go of unnecessary materials, bad habits, toxic people and negative thoughts. It allows one to focus on living a more meaningful and rewarding life. Some of the richest people in life are those who have experienced the world, seen many wonderful things and met many inspiring people. They feel completely fulfilled through the experiences they have. Whereas a poor person could be someone who may live in a large house with everything, but feel completely unsatisfied in their life.
Think of when you walk to the garage sale in the neighbourhood, or walk into a store of new clothes. We are all able to choose what we buy and take home. That in itself is something we are so fortunate to be able to do. We can choose this brand or the other, this style of clothing or that one. It means that there are endless options, and we have to make a choice of what we want to buy. It can sometimes lead to those buying what is trending and popular, which leads to discarding the item in the end, or some may buy what they truly like. When we buy what we truly like and need, we also embrace our own style, our differences and recognise the things we will cherish.
If I go window shopping and see a lovely coat or dress, the first thing I ask myself is “Do I need it?” and then I ask myself “How often will I wear this?”. Usually that helps me know if this is a long term purchase or simply a spontaneous purchase. That way you will know if this is something you’ll use in future. This mindset also helps when saving money, and avoiding buying several things that you won’t need in a years time. It also teaches one to really value what they have. Clothing is a great example, and when we think of our most loved clothing, we think about how it’s been worn for years and years. We can’t imagine throwing it out, unless the threads start loosening.