Live like a minimalist and bypass materialism.
Ever since the death of my grandmother last year, I was reminded yet again that life is short. I was forced to revisit the fact that one day, I too would depart from this world and all of my earthly possessions. In the immediate aftermath of her exit, I flirted with the idea of living as a minimalist. Though most of my belongings aren’t of expensive taste or value, I’ve still got quite a few things under my roof.
My trinkets and shot glasses are mementos from my domestic and international travels. A collection of books, music, and movies that have nourished my soul and have added aesthetic appeal to my home. And a small shoe collection of athletic, casual and dressy footwear. Yes, The Great David Bowie of Great Brittain was the first pop chameleon and master of versatility. No one will ever top his style and flare, as there will NEVER be another Bowie. However, that doesn’t mean that a man or woman can’t welcome a little diversity and dynamic to their wardrobe.
It’s nice to have things and treat yourself to some of what this world has to offer. If you want something, work hard and earn it. But are we over investing too much into goods and service without substance? Are we addicted to retail outlets and online shopping? To sidestep the allurement on materialism, we must draw the line and determine just exactly how much is enough during our time spent on earth.
“How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:14
I love my country. I was made in the USA. May God continue to bless America and the world. But what exactly is the American Dream?
Opinions will certainly differ as to what this concept is. But, when I insert my 25 cents, and the left over 20 pesos in my wallet from last years trip to Baja California Sur, I sometimes believe the dream revolves around overt consumerism. The luxury automobile. A 30-year mortgage. Black Friday. A culture that occasionally promotes the hymn of “bigger is BETTER!” *Sigh* Whatever.
Spending does have its place in society because consumerism stimulates economic growth. If consumers reduced or ceased spending, their economy would experience deflation. Such a manifestation does have its pros and cons, but overall, in my opinion, this would not be a good thing.
Still, I marvel at the magnificence of the minimalist lifestyle. Minimalist practitioners are some of the few who have found a seam through the gate that leads to the path of REAL life. They’ve cracked the code of life by devising their own algorithms for success.
The few. The proud. The Minimalists.
Amber Stoneburner is one of the few who has figured it out. She is a mother, entrepreneur of several businesses, writer, knitter and a minimalist. With wisdom and a minimalist mindset, Amber has been able to craft a life that is in alignment with who she is as a person.
She has her freedom. Her sanity. Happiness and much more. Though she wears multiple hats and has a lot of responsibility, she only carries the load for what is important: her children, her freedom, and her businesses.
Los Angeles based Affiliate Marketing guru, musician, and blogger, Malan Darras, has found peace and happiness on his own terms. He resides in a simple yet nice 1 bedroom apartment. His wardrobe isn’t large or flashy, but he still has style. Instead of clunky gaudy jewelry, Darras wears an assortment of well done artistic tattoos. He has built a life based on his own blueprints specs and encourages his followers to do the same.
If The American Dream template for life is not in alignment with who you are and how you wish to live, then make a change. Never follow someone else’s dream. Build your own dream and find a seam through the gate that leads to the path for REAL life.
Have MORE with LESS – This is the minimalists’ way.
Rick Rubin is revered as one of the most brilliant and influential producers in music. Rubin co-founded the groundbreaking Hip Hop music label, Def Jam Records, and his body of work spans 3+ decades. Aside from these remarkable accolades, Rubin’s standout power is his minimalist production style – a tactic that involves “stripping down” a track by removing certain traditional sonic elements.
Through the employment of this method, Rubin has, throughout the years, masterfully exposed the essential components of a song. Cut the fluff, the bells, whistles, and allow the diamond in the rough to shine through sonically – that’s the Rick Rubin way.
Circumvent the allurement of materialism as a minimalist practitioner.
As the effects of Hurricane Harvey began to settle in, I was overcome by a wave of emotion. I felt bad for all who lost everything and mourned for those who died. And once the sun reappeared after what seemed like a lengthy hiatus, its rays illuminated all that had been done. As the skies became clear, and the eyes of the city regained focus, the severity of Harvey was very telling.
I was and still am BLESSED to have survived the storm. Very little damage was done, thus no evacuation for my neighbors or me. Though if I had to jump ship, I knew exactly which things I would have salvaged: my dog Pancho and my grandfather’s wedding ring. These two are the only gems of TRUE value because they’re both special and irreplaceable.
If my dearly departed, Mr. Leroy Brown, Sr, was here, he’d echo the importance of the minimalist lifestyle. He sought to protect me against the allurement of materialism. He’d often tell me, “spend your money on what you need, NOT on what you WANT!” We’d argue about this from time to time, as I was young with a pocket full of flaming dollar bills. In my defense, I always championed the need to occasionally treat thyself to something nice. I still stand by this ideology, but only when done in moderation. As noted above, we must know when to draw the line and cease the acquisition of needless materials.
“Well I’m a runnin’ down the road trying to loosen my load, got a world of trouble on my mind.” – Glenn Frey
In 1972, Former Eagles frontman Glenn Frey sang about the perils of being a womanizer on their hit single Take it easy. Though Frey’s load was related to a bevy of women, his hunger for materialism, i.e. excess of women, had turned sour. The burden became overwhelming, hence the need for escapism from what was weighing him down.
In remembrance of how short life is, I felt the need to escape and lighten my load by purging. As the wise advice of my grandfather played over and over in my head, I have decided to cut back more on consumption. Disaster can, at any point, take away all of my earthly possessions. With little to covet and protect, how light the burden would be in the event that tragedy devours my precious relics.
Those cares and concerns I’d have about my home while away on vacation – worries and emotions of the past. Once one’s focus has been entirely redirected away from materialism, a heightened awareness of what’s truly important in life is discovered – bring it on! A newfound skill and tolerance of improvisation and adaptability, respectively, are pluses, not minuses.
In summary, the key to abscond the allurement of materialism and to mitigate the loss of material keepsakes: minimalism. Do and have MORE with LESS. Live lean. Be happy.
Keep on shining,