We are born naked.
You and me do not come into this world carrying Gucci purses or wearing Nike shoes. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those items…
Well you get my point.. I hope! 🙂
I’m not saying one should start going around naked again living on next to nothing, not unless you’re a Yogi and/or an Ascetic like the awesome ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was. That is, not if you’re an individual that likes to challenge yourself by living on the bare necessities. Did you know that once Diogenes sat down with his cup drinking while observing a child drinking out of his hands, and he immediately threw away the cup with the words, “A child has beaten me in plainness of living.”
Diogenes maintained that his society and the people in it were too soft and attached to material possessions, they were simply unnatural in their way of life and their everyday conduct. Diogenes himself lived in a cozy barrel and had only a foldable cloth as his clothes, clothes which he walked around with in the heat of summer as well as in the freezing cold of winter. Now I just couldn’t help to imagine the reaction he would have towards todays crazy bordering on neurotic world.
That would be something!
Now this extreme minimalistic attitude that Diogenes the Cynic displayed isn’t exactly what I’m preaching, what I’m rather trying to convey is that a healthy dose of shedding, or a certain amount of relocation of our plethora “possessions” can be quite healthy and transformative from an all-encompassing or existential point of view.
The Symptoms of a Cluttered Life
Because think about it…
If you can’t seem to wind down and relax, and if you’re always on the go, and you’re stressed day in and day out, and if you feel that you lack coordination, harmony and balance in your life. Well then perhaps you need to rethink some of the fundamentals that constitute your life, surroundings and habits.
Because the same way that you can’t relax if your mind is filled to the brim with redundant thoughts and projections, the same way you’ll have a hard time relaxing if your home or workplace or any surrounding that you spend significant time in is overstuffed with superfluous things.
In order for some true relaxations to kick in, which is as you might have suspected the very goal of this website, tending to ones inner and ones outer surroundings is key!
If you are immersed in clutter, noise and objects or redundant overthinking for that matter, you will have a quite hard time allowing yourself to relax. This is why the minimalistic approach can prove to be a worthy lifestyle to consider and try out.
Sometimes or perhaps most often, simple is best, and I find that it is in simplicity one can cultivate a sense of lightness, clarity and ease in ones life.
Why is Minimalism Growing?
There are many trends that come and go, some stay longer than others while others are forgotten rather hastily into oblivion. The thing with minimalism, I feel, is that modern society is all about producing copious amounts of just about everything and consequently nothing, i.e. information, gadgets, items, accessories, foods and the like just enough to keep the good ol’ wheel going.
We are simply surrounded by too many things and distractions, whether they be in the form of information or more tangible physical objects doesn’t really matter. This overstuffing can easily create a sense of a psychological and to some degree a physical claustrophobia.
Now being stuck doesn’t feel good as you may know, especially when all life has the innate and natural impulse to be free and expansive in their expressions.
Therefore one could see the growth of minimalism to simply be a reaction to a society that is increasingly mass-producing without purpose, foresight or wisdom.
I find it to be a balancing and somewhat healthy reaction to the unhealthy reality of modern society.
Now don’t get me wrong because I don’t want to degrade and badmouth the entirety of modern civilisation, its rather that this important aspect of mass production and redundancy is definitely up for grabs when it comes to criticism and things to improve.
The Benefits of a Minimalistic Lifestyle
There are many benefits in various dimensions of ones life when adopting a minimalistic lifestyle, here below I’ve listed some of the most compelling ones, if your looking for some minimalistic decor tips and tricks, click me.
1. Simplicity and clarity.
Slowly but surely one start seeing things more clearly, not only in ones immediate surroundings but also in ones own subjective reality, meaning ones thoughts, feelings and the like.
Clarity of mind becomes increasingly the norm for the one who practices minimalism.
2. More freedom and less attachments
Instantly when you throw away something you deem to be useless, that creates an space in your psyche somehow. One of the great beauties with the minimalistic philosophy is that one becomes lighter, freer and less attached to nonsense.
One is free to move about as one wishes without a backpack full of heavy rocks, if you get my gist.
3. More relaxation and less stress.
I’ve found that by cutting back on things, you immediately prime yourself to access deeper layers of relaxation within yourself.
This is something immensely valuable, that is to find the calm within the storm. But if the storm is too long and too vicious, then one need either to deal with it directly or move somewhere else. In other words, if you are overwhelmed with too much objects and matter around you, you either throw em out or move elsewhere!
4. Things that needs to get done get done.
Another benefit of minimalism is that one simply get shit done! Excuse my language, but that is exactly what happens when one isn’t distracted or disturbed by superfluous things in ones vicinity.
You gain a sense of direction and achieve more in less time.
5. Harmony with life and nature.
Perhaps this is starting to sound like hippie talk to your ears, but seriously one starts to feel a greater sense of harmony and balance with nature and life. At least that was and still is the case for me.
There’s an idea that keeps floating around my mind, and its about the delightful freedom that comes with stripping down to the basics of life. To come into full contact or direct experience with your essential nature. I find minimalism to be a good beginning when it comes to getting in touch with that which is not an object, that which is pure subjective awareness.
Hmm I suspect I’m going somewhat off the rails with my spiritual tirade here… But hey what can you do! 🙂
Now that I’ve really uplifted and embellished the minimalistic lifestyle and outlook to the maximum, it is only fair to see what possible negatives can be found in this interesting lifestyle.
The Possible Drawbacks of Minimalistic Outlook
- Don’t turn it into a religion like some militant vegans do with veganism. Why? Well because it gets rather repelling which makes people respect it less. It is better to keep an open mind and be open to (almost) all walks of life.
- Don’t expect to much of the minimalistic lifestyle, simply let it smoothly and silently work its own magic. If you expect certain definite results from adopting minimalism and it doesn’t appear, well then your just setting a nice little trap for yourself.
- Don’t walk around completely naked all the time. That is unless, as I mentioned in the beginning of the article, your an ascetic or an yogi like the mighty Diogenes or the Russian sage Porfiry Ivanov. In other words try to keep a healthy balance between materialism and minimalism.
I sincerely believe that we need to be smarter and more conscious of what we have around us and also within us. Minimalism for me isn’t just the lifestyle of cutting back that which is unnecessary and superfluous from our vicinity, but also the conscious understanding of the dynamics of ones inner states (mental and emotional). When one understand how thoughts and feelings can also be redundant, one can move on to flushing out all that as well.
I find this to be the next level in the minimalistic way of life, and something I may cover in some future article here on TrueRelaxations!
Love and light!
Daniel Seeker is a lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized deep relaxations of the psyche when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realization. Daniel has meditated & done yogic exercises daily for more than 10 years and is studying history and philosophy at Uppsala Universitet. He is currently finishing writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist, Yogic and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.