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Monday, May 5, 2014

Minimalism and mindfulness


Minimalism is not only about your number of possessions!  Of course it often starts there. Decluttering are most times the first few steps  in that awesome adventure.

Performing a physical declutter allows you to see or find again WHO you are.  Who you TRULY are behind or beneath all that stuff that you own!  Or that owns you shall I say!

Over the years we accumulate stuff for various reasons and when the time is right, we let go of them.  Hopefully early enough to enjoy the rest of our lives.

Once this initial decluttering is done, you'll find that you have much more time on your hands because you'll have less stuff to take care of!

You might also feel a need to declutter further more... i.e. the rest of your life!  This is about when you clean up your contact list (people you have not contacted in over a year or more), let go of some friends (which are no longer on the same path as you), clean up your agenda (all those meetings, appointments, social events that you do not really care for), drop some activities (stuff you keep on doing because you always did but you no longer really care for).

Once you're done with all that, you have room to find new stuff you like to do.  Simpler stuff.  You may also just feel like spreading out the rest of your schedule, or catch up on sleep!  Most of us are severely sleep deprived with a lack of somewhere between 1-2h sleep per night!

From my experience, many will take up on reading, walking, yoga, meditation... running or some artistic activity like writing/drawing...  simple and quiet activities that do not require extensive tools or objects to be practice.

And over time this change your life... but maybe one day you'll still get to a point where you find you are still too busy!

But why is that???

Minimalism along with a yoga/meditation practice brings you to a state of mind that is really, really calm! A state of mind that is free...  free from slavery to your stuff/obligations/agenda. 

A state of mind that looks for emptiness...  emptiness on your shelves, in your cupboards, in your agenda, etc...  Emptiness of your mind... Emptiness here being a good thing!  Emptiness equaling ease of breathing, freedom of choice.

This emptiness brings along mindfulness. And THAT is amazing! But easy to loose... 

Amazing because it allows you to enjoy NOW and not think about the past or the future.  Really it is possible.

Easy to loose because in the time and age we are in, it is not advertise so much...  Everything we see everywhere projects us in the future somehow: objects to acquire, trips to take, places to go, restaurants to try... 

But when you have experience the good side of minimalism and mindfulness, you get to a point where all you want is peace and quiet! 

I myself, recently realised that even though I did all that...  all that decluttering.... I found myself to be too busy... somehow!

I was loosing my "present" moment.  I was loosing that mindfulness that I appreciate so much!

I had a hard time finding out why... but I did!

As a matter of fact, by doing only things I like, by choosing how I occupy my time, I filled my schedule with only stuff I like to do but also found myself, because it s only stuff I like, wanting to perform!  Get results fast! I got obsessed by RESULTS instead of the occupation.  I lost "mindfulness" to "get results". I lost "enjoy the trip" to "wait for destination".

Results are in the future.

Results are like the fruits in a tree,  if you take care of the tree, you'll get the fruits! But there is not point in checking the tree every 5 minutes to see if they are there! They will be in due time.

How can I fix this?  Well, of course, as with all issues, it is easier said then done!

Ideally, I would get rid of my iPhone and open my computer only a few hours a day.  Hence not able to check for results! Being disconnected from all of that.

Realistically, iPhone is staying.  I love this thing!  It actually can do so much and decreases my need of much more stuff... it is a convenience... I only need to learn to use it better!

Realistically computer is open several hours a week because I work on it.

Then what?  How do I solve my problem?  How can I regain my sanity and mindfulness?  How can I take care of the tree without obsessing about the fruits?

1) iPhone will not be constantly by my side. 
           a) when I am at home, it will stay plugged somewhere not in the same room as me.
           b) when I am out, I will bring it as a phone but will keep it in my bag - not hand
           c) once a week, I will go out with my son and husband leaving the phone home
           d) when I am out with friends, I will only use it to be reachable for emergencies

2) Computer will be closed and put away in my desk when not on my working hours

3) When computer is open, it will be open ONLY on what I am working on.  emails, social medias and the like will be closed unless currently used - and only one at a time

4) I will assign 3x 30 minutes periods to social network and this blog - that should be enough to answer every one... 
          a) one in the morning (after breakfast)
          b) one right after lunch
          c) one mid-evening

5) Sunday I will be completely off-line!  Will get back to you on the next Monday

I will try those rules until the 9th of June, time at which I will get back to you and let you know if it helped... what worked or not and if I actually missed out on anything or if the world stopped turning (like that is going to happen)!

What are you thoughts?
What keeps you from being mindful?
How have you resolved it if you did?

thanks for reading!  and sharing!

love&peace,
nath
xox

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