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Intentionally Simple. Living Minimalistically

Contented Gypsy | Intentionally Simple. Living Minimalistically

I am deviating from my standard posts. The lengthy article type entry with a life lesson somewhere in there. I’m approaching this post like I’ve been living my life. Keeping it simple. To be honest, I haven’t been motivated to write much the past few weeks. I find with my personality, it’s hard to stay motivated after the initial excellent idea excitement. This does not mean these activities no longer bring me joy. Rather, it’s time to begin the hard work, and sometimes hard work is just, well…tough.

So here’s to powering through.

Powering through to dedicate time for Bible study when I would rather Netflix binge and being present in prayer, worship, and God’s presence when I would rather listen to Steve Moakler’s new EP (go check it out – after you’ve finished reading this, of course).

As I mentioned, I’m in the process of moving. A tedious affair combined with a full time job consisting of travel half the month.

We are NOT having fun yet.

I have moved every year since my start of college. 12 years. TWELVE.

I admire people who can relax and just be in the moment. To savor what’s in front of them whether it be boredom, loneliness, or a soul feeding conversation with a good friend.

Sometimes the building stays the same, but the floor and floor plan change. Blame restlessness. Blame gorgeous hardwood floors vs carpet (allergies, hello!). Either way, it’s exhausting (and my parents have finally told me “no more”).

This move has been different. In an attempt to save money (moving trucks are quite costly), I started my move a few weeks earlier than my usual last minute panic throw-everything-in-a-box-and-go. I’ve been checking bags full of fragile items to my parent’s place (we check two bags free thanks, Delta!). Sturdier objects have been sent via FedEx (box after box) to Indianapolis.

The original idea was to save money, and my goal has been accomplished, but along the way I realized we are a stressed out society. I see it in NYC (for obvious reasons – can we say too many people crammed on a small island), but I have also noticed stress as an existence in everyone’s lives. Life demands are bogging us down. There is constant noise around us.

We are connected 24/7.

And if grocery shopping was your solace (man was it ever mine), we can no longer even grab our groceries without being inundated by advertisements and loud music (I sound like my parents – turn that thing off!).

All this connectivity has made it harder to have quiet moments in life. Necessary moments to reflect and better ourselves. God is not going to compete with the noise and distraction in our lives.

Honestly, healthy relationships take work, and no relationship worth having will stick around for a continual competition for our attention .

Sure, we all know this, but do we actively take the time to do something about it? I watch people on the plane spend the entire hour flight sitting still watching people and their surroundings. I used to think, “how boring,” but now I have admiration for people who can relax and just be in the moment.

To savor what’s in front of them. Whether it be boredom, loneliness, or a soul feeding conversation with a good friend.

Less is truly more.

Cliché, absolutely, but for a good reason. It’s truth. We need more minimalism in this society of bigger, better, more more more, but how? Below are a few lessons I’ve gleaned about minimalism through trial and error, my various travels, and my move. I hope y’all can benefit from a few of them.

Declutter

A big task, yes, but arguably one of the most important ways to have a minimalist life. I could do an entire post on decluttering (and maybe I will). Unfortunately, there is no “easy button” for this job.

You just have to do it.

It will be a continual process (hey, no one said an intentional life would be easy), but the rewards are great!Contented Gypsy | Intentionally Simple. Living Minimalistically

During my first several years of moving, I hauled stuff from place to place. This process stopped when I moved to Denver, and I couldn’t afford to move my life with me. I took what I could fit in my suitcase, and the rest was moved into storage at my parent’s house (much to their dismay).

When I was finally reunited with my belongings three years after moving back to Nashville, I realized I didn’t miss or need the majority of what was in storage.

That was my wake up call to reevaluate everything I was clinging to and keeping.

It still took a few years to get the hang of tossing and letting go. I am no expert, but I understand the immense joy which flows from a clean, clutter free house (and not having to continually haul a TON of stuff up three flights of stairs every. Time. I. Move).

Quick tips:

1.) I started with my closet. For many of us, our closet has a few pieces who have the sole job of proudly displaying their price tag. Caroline Rector of Unfancy was a fountain of knowledge in this area. Clothes were the hardest for me to part with, but decluttering everywhere else became easy after overcoming this hump.

2) A friend of mind posted on Facebook she was cleaning out her house, and it felt great! She credited Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and her book for the help. Because I was on a time crunch, I didn’t actually read the book, but I did take away one important lesson. Joy. I started asking myself, “does this item bring me joy or stress.” While this may not have been exactly what she promotes in her book, it worked for me!

Distractions

Awhile back I deactivated Facebook (you can read about it). After a month, I logged back on, and shortly after I realized it was a mistake. Because I was moving and wanted to utilize the online communities to sell furniture, I temporarily kept my Facebook.

I am pleased to say I’m back off the social media grid (Facebook and Twitter anyway).

It. Feels. Great!

It’s not for everyone, but if there is one lesson I could tell people who decide to keep their social media accounts it’s this: please limit the amount of time spent on social media.

Intentional lifestyles are just that.

Intentional

It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of avoiding what we should be doing by spending our precious time scrolling through our newsfeeds rather than accomplish the task at hand. When you have a long to do list, put away the distractions and tackle the list. It may take you all day, but the stress lifted from finishing the to do items is so worth missing the picture of what your best friend’s brother’s sister-in-law is having for dinner.

Create

My Mom is crafty, and I am so thankful she did various projects with us when we were little. As I was decluttering and packing for my move, I found a hand crafted item I made. Couple that with an online article I read implying we have become a society of consumers vs creators, and I had a lot to mull over for a few days.

Contented Gypsy | Intentionally Simple. Living Minimalistically

The yarn (and colors) I’m using for my afghan.

I realized I haven’t been crafty in, well, years. My time used to be filled with various projects such as crocheting, painting, building, designing, making jewelry, etc. I used my hands and made projects which brought immense joy. This was the main motivation for creating my online store.

Two years ago I started an afghan (my first), and while I didn’t get far before life got in the way, I found my project in the move and decided to pick it back up.

The last few days have been spent “spring cleaning” (yes, I realize it’s summer, I’m just getting ahead for next year). At then end of the day when I would mindlessly scroll through Facebook, I changed my habits and now sit down to work on my blanket. This new night time ritual has me feeling more joyful and content than I ever felt glancing at pictures and memes while comparing my life to people I barely know.

Quick Tip:

Ask yourself what brings you joy, and do it! Adult coloring, painting, walking around the neighborhood, evening tea on your porch, a book, restoring old furniture.

Find your hobby and niche, and use that to relieve stress!

What are some ways you are bringing simple back to your life? Please share below.

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See you next week!

Contented Gypsy |Autograph

 

 

 

 

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