How to Fill the Gap & Love the Life You Live
“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” ~Ali ibn abi Talib
As soon as we detach ourselves from one object we somehow find ourselves attached to three more. Whether it be books, technological updates, ornaments, decorations or clothes – you name it and we seem to find something more which manages to own us. In times of stress we become even more vulnerable to this pattern of behaviour. So how can the minimalist remove themselves from this attachment to stuff permanently? We have to face our own insecurities first. When we strip away a layer of faith, hope and comfort that has been preventing us from facing up to our own realities we somehow also manage to reduce for ourselves a load of debt and clutter. Put simply this way of living is a way to avoid our own insecurities and we’re left with the question of how best to replace this need to gather stuff and spend frivolously.
Personally I’ve found that there will always be days, weeks and individual moments where we suddenly become weak and vulnerable – these moments can make us feel as if the world is out to get us and they can be hard to come to terms with too. Using the plastic can be a great plug for a while but I’ve discovered that this really means we surrender ourselves to material living, we surrender ourselves to clothes, trinkets and items with no real value other than monetary and money is simply a tool to help us get from point A to B. Maybe it’s time to step aside and ensure that we are in charge of our own lives and not the other way around? Ask yourself if the ability to have your plastic there to get you through a tough day is your security net. For a long time it was mine yet when I narrowed down everything I owned it became easier to face up to this reality and suddenly I had to find other things to throw myself into to vent my stress. One of the best things I can recommend is to find a project which expresses a passion, it can even be a business. Building a business is one of the best ways to fill the gap from emotional spending and acquiring clutter – once you dejunk for good life becomes defined by discovering and expressing what is most important to you. If you find yourself strong enough to do so you can even learn to write about it and tell the world about your story in business – for a little inspiration you can hop over to Sweeter Business a blog I keep up to date with my own experiences in business and one in which I invite others to share their own experiences too.
As a rather new and naive individual thrown into the world of business I have had some soul destroying experiences but I’ve had some wonderful ones too – the balance is found by learning equally from each experience whether it be positive or negative and if you can use these lessons to help others along the way that’s just a bonus. When we become minimalists we quickly learn to declutter – it’s a new distraction but it’s short-lived because whether we aim to simply get rid of the unnecessary or widdle our vast material wealth down to a simple 100 items we end up finishing sooner or later. It’s then easy to be tempted by spending more so it becomes time to discover what we can do with our passions – are you a secret baker? A book seller? Maybe you were made to paint models and sell them on? The possibilities are endless but the conclusion remains the same, when we declutter we simply find room for new possibilities.
Laura is a passionate freelance writer, the creator of the blogs Living Minimalist and Sweeter Business and author of The Amazing Nine to Five. Laura is the founder and owner of Wellness Books Ltd and Book Corner UK.