Allow me to me take the concept of minimalism to a different degree for a moment. This may be interpreted as a religious/spiritual post, which is fine, but I believe it can also guide someone looking for minimalism to be a bigger part of their life in the right direction. If you will indulge me and read on about what I have to say, I’d love to hear your thoughts at the end.
The concept of minimalism speaks of owning significantly fewer material belongings that burden our lives, doing more with less, and achieving greater happiness and peace. A very rich pursuit if you ask me, but there are things that go on in our psyche that can hinder us and weigh us down just as much as the material items we are looking to be rid of (if not more).
To reach the acclaimed sensation of peace and happiness from minimalism, I would argue that your mind also requires a great deal of attention. You can get rid of 100% of the things you own but if you are not mentally prepared to live such a lifestyle, then it has now become more of a chore or task.
De-cluttering your mind of anger, insecurity, grief, jealousy, anxiety, envy, etc allows room in your mind (and heart) for feelings of love, compassion, joy, and empathy to enter. You invite more of these concepts to enter your life when you devote energy to removing the current malicious tenants that occupy your current state of being. Treat them as visitors who will occasionally barge in on your present moment but do not let them stay.
Evict them immediately.
I am constantly striving to be mindful of my current state of emotions and body language throughout my day. From hour to hour, from one activity to another, from one conversation to another, I am constantly reflecting upon myself and what I am doing at the moment that that is taking me away from being present in the moment. Quite ironic.
There has been a shift in me since entering college, reading more, traveling independently and living alone overseas, though, while I used to entertain jealousy, envy, insecurity, anger, impatience, I now entertain happiness, patience, calmness, tranquility, laughter (to the best of my ability each day. We are all works in progress)
To live a mindful life is easy to read about, easy to understand, and an easy concept to share with others. To be mindful and present is one of the most difficult pursuits to master. Start by evaluating your current emotional state as you read this. Inquire into the true nature of how you feel and why you feel that way. Treat every emotion as a guest or visitor and reflect upon them equally. By viewing them in such a manner, you are minimalizing the effect piss-poor emotions (anger, jealousy, envy, insecurity, grief) inflict upon you and maximizing the richness and deep-value of happiness, love, joy, compassion, and empathy.