As I said last blog saying ‘no’ can help us live a more intentional and meaningful life and help us to take care of ourselves. We need self compassion and courage to do so and this continues to be something I am learning to get better at. As Joshua Becker says 'Minimalism isn't about removing the things you love. It's about removing the things that distract you from the things you love.'
So lets look at the next two of the ten things I find helpful to say 'no' to or at least minimise include. As I have said being aware of them helps me to keep 'on meaningful purpose'
1. Spending money on stuff I don't need, free things and good deals
2. Too many social activities and entertainment.
3. Keeping up with social media and news
4. Projects or opportunities I don't fully understand
5. Unhealthy habits
6. Too many words (hence I'll do three at a time over the next blogs)
7. Negative self talk
8. Possessions - I have enough
9. Digital Clutter and notifications
10.Things that do not align with who I am and my values, likes and dislikes
Let's look at the next two....
7. Negative self talk
Being aware of our negative self talk curiously questioning its validity and checking in with our wise self for some kind encouraging words is a way to transform those limiting, untrue and unkind thoughts into more helpful, encouraging and truthful ones.
Being aware when we are being our own harsh critic and when we are allowing fear, regret, blame, negativity, worry regarding the future or criticism to dominate our thinking is very helpful. With this awareness we can instead choose to tune into our wise selves to be reminded of some kind and encouraging thoughts to choose instead. This is certainly a continual and very worthwhile practice for me.
Collecting more and more possessions is one area I find very useful to say 'no' to or at least reduce. I am very fortunate to have more than enough of what I need and so I try to resist the temptation to collect more shoes, clothes, books etc. I have found it particularly helpful to actually get rid of stuff that I don't need. It's always a good reminder to go on holidays with just a suitcase worth of possessions to realise how living with what we need is doable and liberating.
Lama Marut taught what he called the contentment mantra which was 'Om I have enough ah hum' This is a particularly useful thing to say to ourselves when we are tempted to buy more stuff. I find it very useful as I am walking down High Street and I see all the new clothes etc. in the shop windows.
Joshua Becker in addition to taking about the benefits of minimising possession reminds us about reducing visual clutter and visual noise in our lives. He says 'visual noise is any random visual stimulus that draws our attention'. Visual clutter is all the things around us that distract us. As I type this I am looking at my desk which could certainly do with a visual declutter.
Joshua says that minimising visual clutter can be as simple as putting things away when we have finished with them. I am reminded of my mother who always followed this rule, constantly reminding us to pick up after ourselves. Her house was always tidy and clutter free. I was very thankful of her minimalistic lifestyle when it came time to clear out her house. Again this is a work in progress for me, but certainly remains something I aspire to. Again on holidays with fewer things to keep track of, this was much easier.
In addition Joshua says that this visual decluttering can be as complicated as keeping all the surfaces in our home clear of unneeded items. I love waking up to a clean kitchen with a clear bench. Maybe its time for another declutter of visual clutter in our home.
With love, appreciation and very best well wishes ,to us all