I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately doing some searches on Stitcher with the term minimalism. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the minimalist gurus are closely tied to terms that keep cropping up: Productivity, Strategic Planning, Goals for Business, path to your fortune and money-making are a few. There seems to be a focus on following the minimalist path so that in the end you can make money with your passion. That is not my intent. Never was. I trust many of the podcasters out there, especially the Minimalists, Joshua Becker, and Marie Kondo and some others. But a few others are coming across as charlatans touting snake oil remedies. Another trend is the foodies, recyclers, upcyclers, and off-grid communities jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t want this to sound critical, because none of these things are “bad”. Minimalism has a very broad definition and can mean something different to each person
We are all drawn to a minimalistic lifestyle for different reasons. We just have to be careful not to follow a path which will lead us where we don’t want to go.
For my own life..
I don’t want to spend money on books about “how to live like a minimalist”. I can pick up an idea or two by reading other people’s ideas, but the best instructor is my spirit which is calling to me everyday to continue on the path to a peaceful, happy life.
Having grown up in a near-hoarder lifestyle, I have discovered the freedom of Space. I don’t want to simplify my life so I can fill it up again with projects and stuff. I have tried to adopt a simple rule on most buying. Buy one thing, eliminate two. (Buy a blouse, get rid of two.) If I follow this rule, eventually I should eliminate things and be at a level of space I want to be.
I don’t want to simplify my life so I can… EXAMPLE: Meet friends for lunch more often. Deep down inside meeting friends for lunch is what I want to ELIMINATE!
On off-grid life… I have a solar/wind home. Off-grid life is HARD. It can be complicated, frustrating, and far from simple. (Try taking down a 60 ft tower to replace a broken blade on a wind turbine in 20 degrees and you will know.) The simple part is, I don’t have a utility bill.
So I think each person has to evaluate how they want to develop as a minimalist and the choices of intentional living will come naturally in that development.
For myself, maybe eliminating the many voices being raised in the minimalist culture is my next step…