I watched ‘Minimalism’ tonight.
I was actually searching for a documentary on sustainability I had been told was on Netflix - just not Filipino Netflix apparently - and pressed play on this instead (those of you that know me know I’m partial to a nice font).
In the last couple of years I’ve found myself working on being more - for lack of a better word - ‘mindful’, to open my eyes to what I value in my environment; at home, at work, in my city, my country. To what brings joy, agitation, to what I have control over and what I can let go. It’s been a really enjoyable journey and one I’m happy to keep exploring.
Recently, I moved house. Not far, just next door. A replica of home with an extra bit on the side for some urban gardening. In not packing up to move (just picking up the contents of a shelf and lugging it in the summer heat to the same, but different shelf next door) I was re-acquainted with my belongings, and what I’ve accumulated in a couple of years of having a home that wasn’t at work. Naturally, I looked at it from an environmental point of view - the energy taken to manufacture it; where it would end up if I chucked it or gave it away; the packaging it came it and the redundancy I can’t seem to escape from.
I never really considered it’s impact on me. The metaphorical weight of it. The broken promises of that skirt I don’t fit in, but might do again if I just developed some discipline. Those colouring pencils representing a failure to take a break and colour in a jellyfish in the near-empty adult colouring book. Those heels I swore would inspire me to be a bit more fashionable, but never wear, and therefore am a slob. Those make-up brushes that make me feel less of a woman because I have no idea what they actually do, or why there need be so many. Who knew that my room, my sanctuary, was ridden with nuanced negativity.
If you asked me to visualise minimalism, I’d probably have described a photo of a succulent on a white table with gold trimming on it’s pot á la Instagram. I would not have said ‘happiness’…until I watched this film. It was like giving a face to all my unfinished ‘mindful’ thoughts, and showing me what this path could look like. It’s not an empty white room with a single chair and a bare light bulb. It’s living with what you need, and what you value. It’s side-stepping the marketing that’s shoved down our throats everyday, it’s deciding what to consume rather than being dictated to by the latest trend. It’s freeing yourself from the negativity imposed on you by your stuff.
I guess at the end of it all, it’s about taking control of your life, recognising what’s really important to you and curating your environment to match it.
I share this because I believe it’s a wide enough concept that anyone can adapt to suit them and their lifestyles and see positive results - it doesn’t have to be extreme in any sense. And in this mixed up, muddle up world of 2017, we can all do with a little more positivity in our lives…