Almost three years ago when I was pregnant with Ida I started reading about minimalism. First on the internet and then I read a book by Joshua Becker called The More of Less and I loved this book. It really spoke to me and I started de-cluttering like it was my full-time job. Joshua Becker also built a course online called Uncluttered which was a life-changing experience. It felt so good to get rid of the things that weren't working in my life to make room for more time with my family and to gain a greater clarity about life. I continued on my minimalism journey after Ida was born and discovered a lot of other awesome people talking about how to enjoy life more by owning less things. It was such a wonderful time to be born into this new way of thinking as I had such a wonderful birth experience with Ida and felt like I was born again as a mother and woman. When I discovered The Minimalists, Everything That Remains I was already deep into it, I had drank the Kool-Aid and took the pitcher it was served in to Goodwill. The Minimalists brought home to me that minimalism wasn't just about physical stuff. I could apply the principles of minimalism to all the areas of my life to enjoy life more and enjoy the people and some stuff fully.
As life goes on and changes its so important to reevaluate what brings value to our lives and what doesn't. Something that may have worked two years ago might not fit into your life as well now, whether that be an old couch in a new apartment or a relationship or a job. A life as a minimalist is an almost constant effort to be conscious of what brings value to your life. Minimalism gets the clutter, all kinds of clutter, out of the way so you can focus on what is most important. I am so grateful that minimalism came into my life and was the encouraging factor to the life shift we are in the process of making. It was only four years ago that we were so determined to buy a house and plant roots and have the American dream. Which, by the way, was never what we wanted as we had been trying to move out of state for years. It was with our discovery of minimalism and a desire to simplify life so we could live full-time and work part-time when we realized that we may not have actually wanted the typical American dream which includes some not so great things like, property taxes, debt, and a large mortgage.
Minimalism is also something that I have brought into my work. As a birth worker I feel called to help families at a exciting and challenging time in their lives. Sometimes its hard to not take on too much, the desire to support all the families that come my way is totally there, all the time. I can feel used up and then I'm no good to anyone. Minimalism helps me to say no, it helps me to choose me sometimes. I think it was The Minimalists who said that its not like your are saying no, but what are you saying yes to? I've learned to say yes to me more, unapologetically. I get to create a work-life balance that is my own. I am fortunate that I am in a position to do this and grateful. Once you realize how life-changing this way of thinking is, you don't wan to go back to the old ways of busy all the time. Stopping to smell the flowers is wonderful!
So we are following a new American dream, our American dream, thanks to the Universe pointing us in a different direction and handing us the tools we need to make better choices. I encourage everyone to listen to their hearts and live a life that is fulfilling. Whether you get rid of all your possessions and travel the country on a bus or if you live in the suburbs and work a 9-5, find a way to live fully. Minimalism will look differently to different people. Constantly revisit your choices and if they aren't working choose again, that's one beautiful thing about your life you can change.