This post is not about the right way, better way or wrong way to evolve. Personal growth is unique to each individual. This post is about self reflection and how small simple steps have resulted in a personal evolution. An evolution I feel compelled to highlight since there is something to be learned from sharing my experience.
Here is a link to The Den which was my very first post on Treehouse Chatter. When I wrote The Den, I was just beginning to feel the urge for self growth. During that time, I accepted clutter. I accepted feeling swallowed alive by my stuff. I accepted shopping as a part of life, sometimes daily life. The irony of The Den being the first post on Treehouse Chatter is that I have evolved and grown apart from that consumerist mind set I used to feel so comfortable in. Treehouse Chatter has evolved as a result too.
I stumbled across minimalism as a result of living a plant based lifestyle. Eating plants resulted in learning how and why factory made food is a serious strain on the earth’s resources. I then became deeply concerned about how my personal actions were harming or helping the environment. I read books, blogs, watched documentaries, joined organizations, signed petitions and was and still am always up for a conversation on how to be more eco-conscious in our choices. Then came the topic of consumption.
Mindless purchases, buying stuff, collecting stuff, storing stuff, having stuff, it can all be very enticing and addicting. Unfortunately, it isn’t very good for the planet and it certainly is not a healthy outlet for ourselves either. My experience has brought me to realize that acquiring more stuff requires more space, more cleaning and more stress over the up keep. I am now aware that my purchases will end up in landfills, most of the time well before their life cycle is reached. I had formed attachments to my stuff that were no longer benefiting me. So I began taking small and deliberate steps towards a life free of feeling tied down to my stuff.
-I became more considerate when making a purchase.
-I began asking myself simple questions about my stuff like how was it made? Who made it? Is it necessary? What resources were used to create it? Does the cost of the item reflect the true cost of the resources that went into creating it?
-I slowly and steadily rid myself of the useless stuff I had accumulated over the years.
-I started to take better care of the stuff I do use and need.
-I stopped shopping for clothes all the time. If and when I do purchase clothes, I make sure to donate an item from my current wardrobe.
-As my personal products ran out, I began replaced them with eco-friendly alternatives. This goes for household cleaners as well.
-I lowered the amount of plastic I bring into my life.
-The money I saved from not shopping, allowed me to put more money towards organic food.
-Switching to wind power energy.
-Recycling every single thing I can.
-I now blog about my journey and feel more fulfilled than I ever could have imagined.
Taking small and simple steps and allowing myself to make a gradual change, resulted in a committed lifestyle evolution. Again, this is not to say that diving into change full on and living with less than 100 items is not the right way. Many bloggers I follow did just that and I find them to be a constant source of encouragement. But it is not the only way. In The Den, I wrote about my messy desk. I giggle now when I read this post because I no longer have a messy desk. Not because I organized my mess, but because I got rid of my mess. Currently, my iPad, my glasses, two pens and my planner are the objects occupying my desk.
Most of all, the small steps I took and still take daily, have brought more breathing room to my life. I feel like I am walking around lighter. I feel free. I go with the flow more. I connect more and I have deepened the genuine and important relationships in my life.
What does clutter bring up for you?
What are your thoughts on small steps?
Please do share! I would love to discuss this.
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