Minimalism, the Invitation

minimalism-invitation

In a world that shouts consumerism and consumption from every rooftop, billboard, and television, minimalism quietly invites us to intentionality. In a world that tells us to buy more, minimalism invites us to pursue less. And in a world that argues for us to “impress” more, minimalism invites us to “live” more.

Minimalism is, in many ways, an invitation. It is not forced. It is not mandated. It is not mainstream. But it is willing to embrace all who accept it.

The invitation is heard as a quiet whisper. Unfortunately, in a world that spends billions of advertising dollars seeking our attention, a quiet whisper can be difficult to hear. But stop to listen. It is there. It is calling for you.

And why shouldn’t it? It has so much to offer.

  • It is an invitation to less stress. A minimalist life removes the clutter from our lives that heaps stress upon us. It embraces cleaner rooms, cleaner surfaces, and cleaner schedules. And in doing so, it embraces less uncertainty.
  • It is an invitation to less debt. Minimalism refuses to consume beyond our means. It has chosen to forgo keeping up with the “Joneses.” Instead, it seeks contentment. Leo Babauta, Tammy Strobel, and Adam Baker have all paid off thousands of dollars in debt by embracing a minimalist life. And so can you.
  • It is an invitation to more time. Material possessions drain a countless amount of our time (purchasing, cleaning, maintaining, organizing, and rearranging). Minimalism recaptures that valuable time for our lives.
  • It is an invitation to more freedom. Possessions hold us back and weigh us down. They keep us tied to the past rather than moving forward. Minimalism has removed unneeded possessions and found newfound freedom in life. And there are no limits with this new freedom. You can  travel the world like Colin Wright, work from anywhere like Natalie Sisson, write life-changing books like Chris Guillebeau, or knit for charity like Robyn Devine.
  • Minimalism is an invitation to value life. At its core, minimalism is about identifying and embracing our individual values. It refuses to allow culture or corporations to shape our hearts’ desires. It has identified what is most valuable in life and has removed everything that distracts us from it. And life has been reclaimed.

Of course, receiving an invitation is one thing… actually attending the party is something completely different. The invitations have been sent. The door is wide open. And the party is amazing!

Won’t you join us?

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    How do you get the other people that you live with to accept the invitation to Minimalism as well? It’s tough feeling like you’re the only one who’s caught the vision. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Not sure who lives with you Faith, but my wife and I raised our children with a good dose of minimalism by exposing our children more to nature than ‘toys’. We’d go camping and our kids would build entire cities out of sticks and pine cones. They grew up to love hiking, climbing, and sleeping under the stars. I’m proud to say that now, as grown children, they’re all debt free and still find more meaning in relationships and enjoying the simplicity of creation rather than buying adult toys.

      • says

        My husband and three kids recently made the decision to move into my parents house. We are now a combined household of 10 and so far I’m the only one who is ecstatic about minimalism. There are glimmers of hope that it will catch on so I’ll remain optimistic. :) Thanks for the link to that post. I loved it and find it comforting.

  2. says

    Even though I’m more excited about minimalism, my wife is more of a “natural minimalist”. I have to consciously remind myself that I have too much, and she just hates clutter and can’t stand to have it around. She’s quite the inspiration to me.

  3. Annabelle says

    Love this message! Thanks for the invitation. Even though we’ve been living minimalism for years, it feels so lovely to be re-invited to the party! You have used minimal words to say such a huge message!!!

  4. says

    I agree 100% It feels so great to do more with less and to focus more on life experience than things. Eventually, you become a prisoner to the things you own. Having massive amounts of debt really limits what you can do in life and the ability to change things. Are you unhappy at work and hate your job? Well you can’t quit because you can’t afford to! I wrote a blog post a few days ago about how I’m becoming a minimalist. I’m selling everything I own to travel the world. It feels awesome and liberating… but also so scary at the same time.

    http://www.whereisjenny.com/2010/09/letting-go-of-everything-and-becoming-a-minimalist/

  5. says

    Great post! Minimalism changes my life for the better every day, the more that I embrace it. I hope that neophytes will embrace your invitation and come join the party!

  6. says

    Thank you for the invitation, Joshua. I’ve definitely changed a great deal over the past few years, beginning with awareness. My eyes are much more open to the messages that our society bombards us with and how I don’t have to buy into them anymore. I’m moving slowly, step by step towards a more minimalist existence. I’ll come to the party, but for now, lurk about the fringes whilst I continue to work on getting my minimalist groove on.

  7. says

    I’m glad I accepted the invitation I offered to myself. The trick is to continue accepting it every day. I try to make everything I do a party, and it works for me most days.

    Thanks for a fun and simple post. Good job.

    Gip

  8. Amanda says

    I think minimalism in many ways actually INVITES uncertainty.

    If your day is not filled up with working to own stuff, what will you do with your time? If you don’t have tons of “possible” things to do in your home (TV, books, computers, hobbies, video games), what will you do when you’re bored? If you don’t go shopping with friends or your mother, what will you do instead?

    You’ll do what’s important…to you. But if the only important thing has been to accumulate, to work and buy, work and buy? If you get rid of that? Then what?

  9. Steev-O says

    I’ve been researching minimalism after hearing a story about it on NPR a few weeks back. Since being laid off, I’ve been on a forced march on the road to minimalism after spending years in the valley of materialism. Selling/donating these things that overflow my rooms and closets has been extremely liberating. I can say that the road is difficult since I live in one of the capitals of material excess, but the journey feels good. I just need to stay alert and not fall prey to the siren song of the bigger/better/faster/next generation item that may lure me back down into the valley.

  10. says

    Thanks for the shout out Joshua.

    You hit on exactly why there aren’t more minimalists right here: “actually attending the party is something completely different” – When I talk to people face to face and somehow it comes up that I own almost nothing the response is usually surprise. “Wow, that sounds amazing! I could never do that.” To which I respond “Yes, you can.” But most people would rather not accept the invitation. It’s easier to go through the same old motions instead of making positive life changes.

    That said, with awesome people such as yourself blazing trails and making it known how beneficial it is to be minimalist, lives will be changed. Like you mentioned above in a response to Faith, “slowly and patiently.” :)

  11. Randy P says

    Salem, (you know thats what I call you.) I hope Vermont is treating you well. My life transformation to living a minimalistic is almost been a full year. You once again have changed my life for the better. Another red bench, front porch experience with you friend. I can’t wait for more.

    Ps. You know my friend Robin Devine Charles, she and I go way back and great person to have on your team. Thx u2!

  12. says

    Thank you for this invitation! It is an invitation my husband & I have offered to ourselves in many was as we slowly, but surely are transforming our lives from more is draining, to abundance with less. I’ve been reading Becoming Minimalist for a while now, and always turn away greatly inspired and the points of this invitation close to heart and mind.

  13. Roxanne k says

    My son and I moved in with my mother less than a year ago because of unfortunately. I have embraced a minimal lifestyle and am trying to influence my son towards a life without the consumer culture dictating his values. My mother has more Christmas decorations than I have belongings. It seems that every other day a box arrives with random knick knacks, various holiday decorations, pillows, dishes, and who knows what. There is not a surface without “stuff” which makes it frustrating to place a drinking glass or school work on. With every seasonal or holiday change the house becomes chaotic with the taking down of some items and putting out and up with others that reflect the current theme. I find peace in minimal surroundings and and finding it to be more than stressful to be surrounded by things and things and thing. Things that serve no purpose. I have explained the environmental and negative emotional/mental impact of all her stuff. She nods and continues to scan her pile of kn ick knack catolognes. until we are able to move out how do you suggest I deal with someone whose lifestyle is at odds with mine, besides enjoy our outside adventures?

  14. katharine sullivan says

    I agree heartily with not filling lifetime up with things, but as an artist, I need materials, and space for them and space to work with them. It concerns me that being “minimalist” can turn into a misunderstanding of the goal of being engaged with one’s life instead of one’s stuff resulting in yet another attitude seeping into the collective of “good” and “bad” styles of living. Even if this is spun to be called the healthy/unhealthy axis, it really is the enlightened/unlightened axis or put more simply Us and Them.

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Einladung « N-o-t-i-z-b-l-o-g | September 12, 2010
  2. The Invitation | MinimalWall | September 13, 2010
  3. Take Note ~ Links of Love | October 1, 2010

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