Monthly Update : 1st Month of Being a Minimalist

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It has been about a month since I decided to become a minimalist. To keep track of my progress or  regress, I thought it will be a good idea if I made a monthly update at the end of each month.

It is important to point out that I have intentionally made a slow start towards minimalism, mainly because of two reasons:

Reason No 1:  As stated in my last post, Lesser Presence of Minimalism: The South Asian Perspective,  I was unable to find suitable reference points for minimalism from South Asian point of view; and yes, as I will discuss further in my upcoming posts, it is important not only because we live quite a different life from the western world, our culture and upbringing are just as dissimilar. On top of that, there is also my own stand on minimalism, practices that I am willing to adopt and those which I am not exactly comfortable with as yet. So, this is being a learning process, a slow one at that.

Reason No 2: I simply did not want to rush into it. I want to learn the very essence of minimalism properly first. I really want to take my time and look at myself. I want to look at all the things I bought that I actually have no use for and get rid of them with complete awareness, so that I do not end up buying them again.  In this way I expect to learn how less I really need to live my life.

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Reason No 3 :I do not want to restrict this journey to cleansing my closet only. I want this to be also about cleansing my mind and body. We are all familiar with Lao Tzu’s famous quote on “watch your thoughts”, aren’t we?  I want to watch my thoughts and take out the unnecessary clutter-worries, uncertainties, insecurities etc. that I allow to dwell in my mind. I want to read more, learn more, eat well, exercise, do the things I love- basically allocate time on personal growth.  I want to take my time and look at everything in my life objectively to separate and hold on to only those that can contribute to a simple, mindful and meaningful life. 

So for better or worse, inspiration or discouragement, here is my update for the very first month (please be kind) :

The Positives :

  1. I became acutely aware of my belongings– how much I own but actually do not need or even use!
  2. If I needed something, I looked inward– I looked into myself to assess whether I really needed it and/or into my closet to assess whether I had it already or whether I owned something similar that can be used instead.
  3. I have given away 5 bed-covers that I have been taking care of for the last 4 years but haven’t even used once.  Given our seasons, I had to take them all out at least twice a year, spread them over to air them. I also had to keep my closets open in heavy rainy days. All that for things I do not even use. I am holding on to two only, to be used interchangeably.
  4. To my utter shock I own 38 bags/purses/clutches! I have probably bought about 5/6 out of those myself. The rest were gifts *perks of being a bride*. I have kept 8 of my bags/purses/clutches (I know, I know, still not a great number 😦 ) and gifted 3 of them to my mum-in-law (don’t worry, she knew they were being “re-gifted”, in fact she hand picked the ones she liked) and packed the rest away. I have sent them to be stored in my closet at my mum and dad’s place. If I don’t use any of them in the coming wedding season (Nov-Dec-Jan), I intend to give them away, along with some more from the ones I am holding on to.
  5.  I subscribed to blogs and youtube channels that are aligned with my goals. I made a reading list of books on minimalism and only recently got my hands on to a few of those eBooks. I watched the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things I found it quite intriguing and very thought provoking. Its a great watch!

The Not-So Positives :

  1. I bought a notebook, despite having a few of them already.
  2. I have not been able to dedicate enough time and conscious effort to this journey.
  3. I might not have bought anything (except the notebook!), but I have not removed a significant amount  of my belongings either.

That wraps up the update for this month. I know and agree wholeheartedly that this does not seems like much when you think about it materialistically; but from mindlessly moving about my life to evaluating every single belonging and every single action, that too in a month is something I am quite proud of.  I have actively questioned myself when I went shopping and objectively refused when someone wanted to buy anything for me. I think this makes for quite a sturdy foundation for days to come.

Here’s to wishing for more progress for the next month! Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading.

With Love                                                                                                                Farhin*

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