There are many reasons why so many Minimalists are able to maintain this lifestyle easily without succumbing to consumer urges. Others have a difficult time, going through binge episodes(consuming and collecting), followed by guilty purging episodes (mass household minimizing); big spring cleaning projects every year after an entire year of comfort shopping.
The reasons for being able to consistently maintain a modest home for many Minimalists I have seen include:
- Some people are just wired NOT to covet things. …… seriously. These folks are “Mighty Oaks” as I call them.
- They keep their exposure to a consumerist world limited, perhaps eliminated altogether. This is a good idea anyway. We don’t need to be exposed to garbage information in the form of ads and influential media. No TV, no smartphone, living in some level of seclusion.
- They are so consistently focused on their projects, that other urges haven’t the room to creep into their minds. They simply haven’t the time for anything else but their immediate passions.
These are all excellent reasons, and to be honest I am envious of folks that fall into either #1 or #3 (Although I believe I am half way there on #3).
As for me ……. I can sum up my method/mindset for maintaining a Minimalist life in two words:
Gratitude and Sensitivity
In previous posts, I have discussed gratitude in some depth. But for the purposes of how I mean it here, I’d like to define it differently. You see …….. people have a natural desire to want what they don’t have. This can be lessened (or eliminated) by cultivating a want for things we already have. THAT is gratitude. People tend to take their riches for granted, and when this happens they want the “next best thing”; this is of course, is a bottomless void we’d be attempting to fill.
The other reason I am able to pretty easily maintain a minimal life is through mindfulness. I permit myself to be sensitive to all the sensations going on around me. Smells, visions, tastes, and most importantly, touches. I pause to let the heat of the suns rays splash upon my face. I breathe in the seasonal air and let it wash through me. I make the most of the company with me and try to connect deeply in some way. I permit myself to take in all that is going on around me already, and in doing so gain a level of contentment that no amount of consumption can offer me.
Many people, as they have progressed into adulthood, have become numb. Blind to all the wonderful sensations going on around them, and are bored as a result. They have been desensitized by the fast rewards flashy consumer driven world we live in today. This is a shame, because they are missing out on the better part of life.