The real reason simplifying has changed my life

image1.jpeg

I think when people talk about minimalism it so easy to see the lack of physical possessions and either be horrified or inspired, and whilst I’m the last person to want a lot of stuff, to me this is an incredibly superficial view of simplicity or minimalism.

Sometime I wonder if it’s just what happens when something becomes a movement, or maybe it’s the inevitable result of the Pinterest/Instagram culture where the superficial is ultimately what gets portrayed a lot of the time.

I’ve read countless articles about minimalism, detailing everything from the life-changing benefits of de-owning, to the privileged and exclusive nature of the minimalist community, but what doesn't seem to get discussed that much, is the more subtle but much more profound effects of simplifying your life.

The process of simplifying my life has been a slow one and has encompassed simplifying what we own, how we fill our time and every aspect of our life, from parenting to running a business, but the area that has had the most radical shift is my inner experience of the world.

Because what isn’t discussed a lot is what happens when you remove things, physical or otherwise. When you remove what was once there, you are inevitably left with empty space, space that you in most cases you have to deal with. It might be subtle things, like the fact that owning a wardrobe full of clothes was in someway tied to your opinion of yourself, or perhaps you made yourself so busy because you were trying to prove something to yourself or others. These are just examples. In reality, we are all individuals and this will look totally different for every one of us, but I do believe, in most cases, things will come up when we let go of anything from objects, to obligations, to habits. This is where the magic happens.

It’s not the de-owning, or diary decluttering that makes the real difference. I love not being surrounded by clutter and not always feeling overwhelmed, but you know what I love even more? Getting to know myself, having the opportunity to unpack what’s really going on inside, taking another step on the life long path to accepting myself.

A big thing that simplifying revealed to me was that I was always busy because I was terrified of missing out on experiences and achievements that I might later regret not having pursued. It was only when I learned to cut down my commitments that this fear was pushed to the forefront and only in that space I had the room to see it for what it was.

I would love to know if this experience resonates with you and what inner shifts you’ve had since simplifying your life.

Emily Rollings