Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Bernice Wood of Living the Balanced Life.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dwyer
The journey towards minimalist living is an ongoing, continual process. Similar to healthy eating, you’ll need to continue the habits and actions that got you to your current point. This may be daunting to the aspiring minimalists, but it should be a source of comfort. After all, there is no checklist, there is no certificate of achievement, you travel at your own pace, and you get to decide when you have “arrived.”
As a child, I was raised by 2 packrats (not quite hoarders, but close to it). I married young and took many of the tendencies of accumulation I saw as a child and tried to create my own home. With the addition of 4 children over the next few years, my family had a houseful of stuff before we even knew it was happening. Fast forward 25 years… we had become a married couple who had been overworked, overwhelmed, and had spent years trying to keep up with all the accumulated stuff that had come along with our family.
However, as the kids began moving out, we realized we were ready to lighten our load and began that process. But first, we needed to change the way we thought about things.
Clearing the mind first
Sometimes, before you can change your lifestyle, you have to remove the doubt, fear and self-limiting beliefs from your mind. For example, when it comes to removing the stuff and belongings from your life, here are some things you may be thinking:
- These things are my life. Who am I if I get rid of them?
- But these ____________ belonged to my mother! How can I get rid of them?
- I want to be able to pass these things on to my children. Everybody needs a ____________.
- Won’t my children be “left out” if they don’t have a ____________?
Change your thinking and your actions will follow
We discovered that once we started intentionally addressing (and answering) the thoughts that were going through our minds, it immediately freed us up to start making decisions to release our belongings. And what an awesome feeling that is!
Now, my husband teases the kids that if there is anything they want to keep, they better get it now before I sell or donate it. And after changing our mindset (and working so hard to free myself of accumulated things), the last thing I want to do is go buy something else to fill its place. The awesome freedom and peace that accompanies living with less is just too wonderful.
Do you need to change the way you are looking at some of the things in your life?