Happy Sunday ya’ll!
Today’s post is a continuation on the topic of minimalism. I'd like to share with you the process I use when getting rid of stuff. Also known as De-cluttering 101. This is especially useful if you are going minimalist or feel the items piling up in your life. I still use this process as a way to keep my goals and minimalist journey on track. Keep in mind that this is a process that I use. Therefore, it may not work for everyone but this seems to be the main process for most people.
So without further ado here's my little process:
1. Set Life Priorities
The only way to get rid of things is to figure out what you want. It is a great starting point for anything really. I’ve been doing this for the past two years and it’s kept my life on track. In my minimalist journey, this was pretty simple. I knew that I wanted to do professional theatre (mostly avant garde and physical theatre), dance, travel, and have a blog on veganism, minimalism, and spirituality (hence this blog). Therefore a majority of the items I would need would be technology and information based. I also knew that my mountain bike, dance shoes, and I would be together forever. I’m serious. I don’t think there’s anything that can separate us. There is also that part about owning a few plays and learning dance routines here and there but you get the point.
2. Begin Sorting Out Stuff
This is the hard part. It is for most people. It means getting honest and real about the wants. It means putting wants into actions. For me it was proof that this minimalist life wasn’t all in my head. That I wasn’t some crazy eighteen year old trying to let go of old baggage.
When doing this step, I suggest sorting out the easy items first like clothes. Or kids toys. Or anything that doesn't match what your values and goals are. This step varies for everyone so take your time. Furthermore, it’s not so hard on your brain and you can work through some of the mental blocks that might be deterring you from getting rid of the larger and more attached items. I also suggest reminding yourself this: “it’s okay. Everything is okay.” There is a reason for things that come and go through your life.
3. Pack It
Yup ya’ll read that right. Pack it out of sight. Set a deadline. If you need one of the items before the deadline, then you still need it. If not, then it’s time to let go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this and it’s always told me the truth.
4. Donate/Sell the Items
This is the most rewarding part. When I gave away or sold my unwanted items, I found a sense of peace knowing it was going to be used by someone else. Even more than that, I found myself letting go. Like actually feeling and experiencing what it was like to let go. That sounds dumb, but it’s true. I was so stuck in a low mindset that I forgot what it was like to be a giving person. To do selfless acts for both ends sakes.
Like I said before, there are many ways to getting rid of old junk especially when going minimalist. Therefore this isn’t the end all, be all of de-cluttering 101. I hope ya’ll have a great day/night! Stay awesome and love yourselves.
Happy Sunday ya'll!
As promised today's post is light hearted and informational. Today I am discussing something is that very important to me: minimalism. Now a lot of people ask me what minimalism is. Hence I am writing this post. The main focus of this post is to inform you on minimalism as well as give a crash course on how to go minimalist.
Without getting too technical, minimalism is when a person owns nothing but the objects they use. Keep in mind a lot of minimalists are digital nomads. That is their work is online which allows them to move from place to place. This means a person could live in Europe for three months then come over to the United States for a bit without hassle. For example a person might own four outfits, seven pairs of underwear, a computer, and a bike that they travel on. Another person might only have a blank apartment with not that many decorations, a mattress with sheets and a blanket, and a kitchen that has multi-faceted utilities. This may explain why artists and musicians don't own many physical items, even when they become successful.
Nevertheless, this lifestyle looks different on many people. For me I only own four boxes of stuff. At least for my dorm. These boxes contain the things I need for the school year: dance clothes (which is mostly work out clothes), my rice cooker, blender, bathroom stuff, my camera, yoga mat, roller, and three reusable grocery bags. There are probably a few things I'm missing but that's it. I'm not kidding. Yes I do have some posters and miscellaneous objects but those are things I enjoy having. They are handheld and no bigger than the size of my face which means I can get rid of them at any time. Nevertheless, Move-in and move-out time are pretty easy for me.
Now getting to this point isn't easy for some people. Some people go minimalist because they want to be environmentally conscious, they have a hoarding problem, or feel they need to cleanse their life. For me, it was a little bit of everything. I found that I was holding onto my dysfunctional past like a crutch. I needed to de-clutter and start over. I also had, and still have, aspirations to travel after college so I didn't want that much stuff.
Little did I know how deep getting rid of my stuff would take me. I had to see how insane I was during my eating disorder. And, it wasn't pretty. It was jarring to see. It made me realize how powerful the sub-conscious is. How we can keep unwanted thoughts without realizing it. My parents were questioning me about my decision to do this. They thought I was going through a depression. In all honesty I was letting go and growing up. I was finding that the past wasn't serving me any longer and I needed to move on. Otherwise I would have been a complete mess.
Some of the main minimalist building blocks is in regards to this question: what are your aspirations/goals? If you're aspiration is to live from place to place, then you won't need that much stuff. But if you want to live in one place, then ask this question (which sort of ties into the first question): where do my morals and values lie? This will help with figuring out what things to let go of.
The main question I asked myself was this: are going to use this for the future? If it was a no, then I got rid of it without mercy. For clothes it was, and still is, this: if I haven't worn it in a year, then it's time to let go of it.
One podcast that really helps me is called The Minimalists where Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus discuss the ups and downs of being minimalist. This podcast has helped me so much and I hope it does for you too.
As you can tell, this process is about letting go and focusing your aspirations. It's not easy but I can tell you it's worth it.
I hope ya'll enjoyed this post. Namaste.
Honestly, I’m scared to write this post. I am not sure if I’m going to post this. It gnaws at the core of my being to write about this. Why? Because I’m talking about a detox that I did. One that I knew would be difficult and scary. Yet it was something I needed. Something that my gut was telling me to do.
When I started this journey, I didn’t realize how deep it would go. I didn’t think that my childhood wounds would appear like sore thumbs. All the times I had blamed others for my problems. All the times I was teased in school for being an overweight kid and feeling dumb. Ultimately I realized that my judgments come from a deeply rooted insecurity that runs in all of us: feeling like we’re not enough.
From a young age I had an issue of always comparing myself to others. My classmates, family members, and people on T.V.. Pretty much everybody. People who I saw, "had it all." And it made me feel less than. Flash forward to middle school and I still carried that desire to be enough. That meant looking and acting like them. Yeah...I was a little nuts.
Then high school came and I lost over thirty pounds. I could fit into the clothes I didn’t think I’d ever fit into. People noticed but I didn’t tell people how I lost the weight. I didn’t want people to know the truth to my reality. It got to a point where I did have an eating disorder (ED). I don’t remember half of what I said or did because of how little I was eating. Then veganism came to the rescue. It literally saved my life. I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for that discovery.
Now I’m in college and found myself having hard judgments towards others. When I say judgments, I’ll talking about the minor and the major ones. I didn’t know why this was happening. I had been ED free since 2014 and was continuing to judge those around me for specific lifestyle choices. Hence the Judgement Detox came to me.
This book came to me on accident. Well it was sort of an accident. It was recommended to me on Audible after I had finished Bernstein’s previous book The Universe Has Your Back. I thought to myself, “Let’s do this.” I was desperate and wanted live with myself at the end of the day. I couldn’t stand to think of judgments that were weighing down my self-esteem. I didn’t feel as great as I usually do. I was having a hard time sleeping and being a functioning human being. I needed to take action.
It’s been a month since I took on this challenge and I've grown as a person. For everyone this experience has been different but here are some lessons I've learned:
1. It’s Okay To Feel The Way You Feel
I used to hide my emotions because I wanted to “look strong.” I remember keeping myself from crying because I thought that was weak. But the reality is that emotions are powerful and looking like a mute is never a good thing. When I first felt these emotions I didn’t know what they were. It had been so long that I had forgotten they’d bothered me.
2. We All Have Trauma
I didn’t think I had trauma before doing this. I’m serious. I thought that my ED phase was done and that was it. But no. The universe needed to remind me that self-improvement is an ongoing process. That our words and actions have a deep and profound impact on people.
3. Being Judgement Free A Commitment
This was a hard pill to swallow. I knew going into this that I wouldn’t be the same person as before. I knew that I would learn tools and methods to help me combat dealing with judgement in the long term.
4. Some Judgments Take Longer To Work Through
In fact, I’m still working through some right now. And honestly finding the reason for some judgments takes time and energy. I just take it one day at a time.
The moral of this story is this: people need to constantly work on their inner selves. It’s hard as hell but it’s worth it. The important part is that we work through it. Don’t get me wrong, I slip up sometimes. In fact, I may or may not slip up weekly. But I forgive myself and move on. I let go of what I can’t control and listen to my inner guide.
This was hard to write. Not only because it happened recently but being vulnerable is hard. Sharing personal stories and struggles have always been tough for me. But it was worth it.
I promise that next week's post will be more light hearted and informational. Thank you for reading about my experience with this. I hope ya'll have a great day/night wherever you are. Namaste.
Happy Sunday ya’ll! Looks like I’m finally getting into this whole lifestyle blog. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while so it feels nice to give people advice and share my life with you guys.
Anyways, today’s post is on the topic of mindfulness. More specifically mindfulness practices for stress. This is something my past self would have loved to have. Like I’m not even kidding you, she would have been eternally grateful for it. I am someone who had to learn the hard way in dealing with stress. I went to a cut-throat high school, so academics were intense. And it made me an intense person. I thought that a social life and my other aspirations were not possible. Seriously I remember being in middle school and thinking to myself, “WTF is a social life?” I literally cut people off and spent all my time in school. It was sad.
Overtime I developed a list of daily practices that continue to do me service. Some of these tend to be more often than others but it depends on the situation. I didn't include meditation because that's an automatic piece of advice I give to everyone and I wanted to find other ways as well. That's not to say meditation isn't useful. If anything it adds to any of these practices. So without further ado here you go.
I can’t tell you how much this simple technique has helped me in life. As a creative, you’re taught the power of breathing. It keeps your nerves down and you find your inner power. I’ve had many situations where I’ve used this because I can build a lot of anxiety around performances and school. I am reminded that everything’s okay. That it’s all in my head.
2. Positive Affirmations
This might sound cheesy and totally weird but it’s helpful. For those who don’t know what a positive affirmation is it’s a series of statements to affirm your beliefs. Hence affirmations. For example, if I want to decrease my self-doubt and fear about a particular goal I would say or think to myself “I deserve happiness and peace in my life.” It helps the brain from thinking too much and focus on taking action. We live in a world where people believe that the impossible is not possible. The truth is that one creates their reality. Their perception of the world is their perspective.
Now when I say exercise, I don’t mean killing yourself with cardio. I mean doing some type of movement that you enjoy. For example, I love to run, dance, lift weights and do yoga. It stimulates my brain and allows me to enjoy the present moment. Our culture makes us think that we must work out seven days a week and kill ourselves doing insane workouts. When really it’s about eating plant based and allowing positivity into your life. Otherwise all those workouts will go to waste.
It also helps me develop project ideas. As I run, I see images run through my head of possible theater productions or combinations I could do. I might sound insane for writing this part but it's true.
4. Recognize You’re Doing Your Best
This is a realization I came to a few weeks ago. I can get really into a project that I forget I have a life and friends. I want everything to go well and throw everything I have into it. In other words, I become a perfectionist. This definitely happens with my workout and school routines. I want things to go a certain way. Otherwise I feel like I’m slipping on thin ice.
Hence know that you are doing the best you can that day. You don’t have to be an overachiever. Just do the thing you set out to do with intention.
5. Getting Enough Sleep
I know what ya’ll are thinking: “Geneva…what are you asking of me?” Well I’m telling you because it helps. Also it’s important. The way to minimize stress is to manage your time well.
The best way I do this is to nap if I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I also make sure to set up my day so that I am not staying up doing work late at night. This is something I’ve started to do as I was desperate to decrease school and family stresses. For me, that means not using technology, saying positive affirmations [yes the affirmation thing came back again], and putting my faith in the universe’s hands.
6. Let Go
This is something I’ve alluded to before but it’s important. This means letting go of things that aren’t in your control. That not everything has to be perfect. This year I realized that I needed to let go of past resentments. It was building my current stresses and not making me feel like a great person. Don’t get me wrong it was, and still can be, painful. But as people we want to feel free not stuck in a mindset that isn’t serving us.
I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now and it’s been doing me wonders. I’ll make sure to write a post on this later.
With all these being said, know that there will be times you’ll slip up. The point is that you get back and up and start again. That failure’s a learning curve. I hope ya’ll have a wonderful night/day wherever you are. Namaste.