Article, books and blogs abound these days on the topic of minimalism. What I enjoy about the current minimalist movement is that it acknowledges that we all have a different comfort level not only in the amount of material items we have in our lives, but also in how we go about clearing out the items that are cluttering our space. While one person is able to just throw out or donate everything in one big effort; another needs to start with just one drawer. Minimalism also prompts us to become choosier about our purchases; trading in quantity for quality, or considering necessity versus short term happiness. We learn to find a balance and distinguish between items we want and/or need.
Applying some of the tenets of minimalism ought to be able to help us wade thru the seemingly endless amount of resources designed to keep us inspired and optimistic. The digital world has brought a constant flow of possibilities and offerings via Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites. Amazon has replaced the need to go to the bookstore. It is not a stretch to say we could read inspiring words, quotes and stories all day on our computers/tablets/phones. But if we are always reading inspirational words, how do we take the leap to putting them in action; to facing our fears and standing up for ourselves? How do we learn to dig deep inside ourselves to find our own strengths and courage to create the life we want.
We start taking the leap by beginning to practice minimalism and selectivity in what we read and watch. There is no need to go cold turkey on inspiration! We need inspiration and there are certainly benefits to finding it in so many places. What we don’t need is to become bogged down in it so that it begins to feel obligatory and meaningless and we aren’t really even paying attention to what we are looking at anymore.
Some say if an item doesn’t bring you joy any longer it is time for it to go. Well, if your email box is full of newsletters and book recommendations waiting longer than a day or two to be read maybe it is time to unsubscribe to some of them. You can always re-subscribe if you delete one and then find you miss it. If, like me, you have several books that you reach for often, keep a couple at a time next to your bed or reading chair and rotate them every few weeks. Visit a bookstore instead of automatically ordering from Amazon. Spending some time looking at a book or magazine before purchasing it may save you some money and disappointment if you find you don’t feel a connection with it.
Lastly, spend some quiet time by yourself. Be introspective and figure out what truly inspires you. Write your own mantra or comforting words and perhaps draw a picture to go with. Keep it near you so you can use it to remind you of your journey. Letting your creative side blossom even just a little can help you think outside the box and find new ways to make your dreams become reality.
Remember that while we live in a world in which information and answers are available almost instantly, it takes takes time to make your dreams happen and to shed those old layers that no longer serve you. So slow down and enjoy the journey. Don’t forget you are your own best strength and resource. Introduce your dreams to your authentic self and become your own best cheerleader and inspiration.