In 2017, I want to create more space and time for the things that matter to me. I want space to practice, space to create and master my crafts, time to spend sharing experiences with loved ones, and time to recharge my introvert batteries by doing nothing (and not thinking about all the stuff I "should" be doing). So what's in the way? Stuff. So much stuff.
My first step towards creating more intentional time and space was spending the past month getting rid of stuff and committing to a more minimal existence. The seeds for this journey were planted a long time ago, but only recently have they been able to sprout. The idea of "minimalism" is not new and it's not new to me. As long as I've been practicing yoga, it's been in the back of my mind. Around this time last year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I understood the concepts, but for whatever reason, the approach just didn't resonate with me. Thinking about approaching my stuff as described in the book made me feel exhausted and overwhelmed. So I stopped thinking about it and allowed my stuff to continue to multiply, but I never stopped feeling overwhelmed.
About six months ago, I subscribed to a minimalist newsletter called No Sidebar, which eventually lead me to The Minimalists blog. By reading their essays and listening to their podcasts, I realized that there's no perfect formula for minimalism - something that never really seemed clearly articulated in the other books I've read or content I've consumed. Also, the only timeline that needs to exist is my own.
As I work on defining what minimalism is for me, I had to start somewhere. Enter the Minimalism Game. Basically, getting rid of stuff each day starting with 1 thing on the first, 2 on the second, 3 on the third and so on. By the end of a 31-day month, we're talking 486 things.
So how did it go? I got rid of tons of stuff. Additionally, I cleaned out my pantry, kitchen cupboards and closets. But I didn't even touch my spare room that is filled with stuff. Stuff that is occupying space that I can't use for things that bring meaning and joy to my life. But I know that I will keep working towards reclaiming that space for me. Slow and intentional is how I approach lots of things in my life, and I'm finally ok with my journey towards minimalism requiring more time than I originally thought it should.
Easing into getting rid of stuff through the Minimalism Game allowed me to process why I hang on to things. And learn how to start actually feeling and dealing with the emotions / memories attached to those things and feeling the benefits of letting go - all of which I know will become easier with practice.