Declare Your Independence

minimalist, minimalism, materialism, independence, declutter, clearingIt’s July 4th, Independence Day, and 2016 is officially half over. The “year of clearing” has proven to be just that thus far.

My journey toward minimalism is still underway. Although it seems strange and satisfying at the same time that I’ve stuck with it this long. Often new ideas that strike ebb after only a few weeks.  Six months have come and gone and I’m still feeling highly motivated.

I have been consistent with my weekly decluttering habits each month. My hired motivation came every Friday to help and we tackled the dragon together.

Some days we scrubbed out cupboards in the kitchen.  Some days we vacuumed spiders out of the basement. Other days she only listened to me ramble about memories while I sorted through and released old letters and photographs.

I filled my car almost every week with boxes and bags for donation.  I anxiously watched through the window on trash days to see if the garbage men would refuse to take everything I’d put out on the curb.

Week by week, I emptied every square foot of my house of things.  I touched every single item and I made a decision about each one.

Trash. Donate. Keep.

With each decision I declared my independence from stuff.

I had to get clear about the truth about me. Who I really am and what I’m really about.  I realized with more clarity that much of what I owned was for the sake of a false identity.

  • Books to prove I was a philosopher, artist, musician.
  • Photos to prove I’d been here and there or met this person or accomplished that.
  • Duplicates for “just-in-case.”
  • Dishes for “if” the occasion arose.
  • Complete collections of this and that to prove I had it all, even though I never used it.

When I realized none of those things made me anymore of who I am, it was easy to let go of all the stuff that was weighing me down. All that stuff was causing me to believe falsehoods about who I was. A fantasy self.

Now that it’s gone, I can just be me.

Minimalism isn’t about having nothing.  Minimalism is about declaring your independence from the lies your stuff tells about you.  Creating space where you’re free to be yourself.

Minimalism is also about pledging allegiance to that which is most important to you. People and passions. Suddenly you have time and energy to invest in relationships and meaningful work.

My house isn’t empty by any stretch.  We still have plenty. More than enough, even.

I’m much more aware, however, of what we use, what we love, and what really matters. And I’m excited to see what my life will look like when I finish whittling down what doesn’t belong and polish up what remains.

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Leave Your Mark – Words of Wisdom

purpose, change, art, Torres, immortal

purpose, change, art, Torres, immortal

Creation: the act of bringing something into being that would not naturally occur or that isn’t made by an ordinary process.

The mind is infinite.

There is no end to what you can think, imagine, and dream.  There is also no way to capture an idea unless you put it in solid form.  When you create something, no matter the medium, you are taking the abstracts in your mind and making them very tangible.

The most important part of your life happens inside your mind.  Your feelings of love, purpose, hope, excitement, and adventure are internal.  Your emotions are the reason why you do something, continue to do something, or step away from something.

The interactions you have with people, your family, your friends, your not-so-friends, all leave you with impressions that you react to.  How people and events make you feel guide the direction of your life.

What tokens will there be from you that leave a lasting impression and show who you really were?

The people closest to you will know how you made them feel.  If you were kind, encouraging, empathetic.  But the thing about the feelings you leave behind, they die in a generation or two.  As soon as there is a generation in which you haven’t had contact with, your legacy is lost.

You want to be remembered.  We all do.  That’s why you search for a purpose.  A niche.  A meaning.  That’s why you create.  So there will be some physical reflection of who you were.

Creation makes the unknown known.  It makes the mortal immortal.

Your art, writings, music, and designs are all unique to you.  They are as much you as your fingerprint.  It’s your identity.  Something that can never be original again no matter how many times it’s copied.  Your creativity can live on forever and continue to make a difference in how people feel long after your gone.

Why do you create?  What impressions do you want to make on people?  Share your comments here.

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