How My Minimalism Journey Continues... Part 4

Part 4 & The Final Post in this Series: The Next Steps…

Today, I have much less clutter in our house. AND it feels OH so good! There are still some areas to work on such as simplifying the groceries and mealtimes as well as our clothes. But it is a process, a journey and not a destination. I can take as much time as I need. I can let go of the rush. Less doing, more being.

Professionally, my next venture will be combining my love of minimalism with my love of experiential therapy through some sort of video sessions. I am going to use my creativity to find the intersection of these loves of mine. I am not sure what this will look like yet, but I am excited to see how this all will unfold for me in the coming weeks and months. As I have updates, I will let you know.

How can you use your creativity today? Is it time to start something new?

Until the next story…Bethie

How My Minimalism Journey Began... Part 3

Part 3: Current Times

Shortly after our foster children left in March 2017, I came across a Facebook post about a TOY DETOX online course given by Denaye Barahona of Simple Families. I knew we were getting ready to move soon and the toys were taking over our current house. I NEEDED this course and took it. It was LIFE CHANGING! I felt lighter. My daughter began to focus better on the fewer toys she had and was able to start flourishing in her creativity. It felt like I was on to something here.

After the toy detox, I decided to continue to clean out items around the house. I was motivated from the toy detox and the fact that we were moving. We had a yard sale and sold several items we no longer needed as well as those toys. Whatever remained went to the thrift store donation. Again, I felt lighter. I could breathe better. I felt free.

Then, about a year ago, I came across The Minimalists and heard about their back story on becoming minimalists. I was hooked! I watched their documentary and read their book, Everything That Remains. My motivation to de-clutter continued.

And now, after the birth of my second child, I am here again continuing to remove the excess. Less truly is more for me. I am realizing that all the gadgets I had with my first child (i.e. a swing, a crib bumper, a formal changing table, toys galore) I don’t need with my son. In fact, he is growing so fast that he only wears a few clothes and then he is onto the next size, so he doesn’t even need a lot of clothes.

Over these last few months, I came back around to Denaye’s work from an email she sent describing exactly how I currently felt: OVERWHELMED as a parent. I decided to take her week long Mental Unload online course this time. It helped me get really centered and clear about my priorities. She is teaching me about simplicity in parenting and how to de-clutter my mind so I can focus on those priorities.

So my minimalism journey continues. My husband and I hope to de-clutter our debt in the years to come so that we can live debt free and teach that to our children. I will continue to de-clutter whatever I need to in order to put my self-care, my marriage, my parenting, and my family first. I am tired of the stuff and the anxiety and depression that come with it. I am also tired of allowing the stuff to cover up whatever emotional challenges I might have going on underneath.

Are you tired of your stuff? What is your CLUTTER covering up underneath?

Until Part 4…Bethie

How My Minimalism Journey Began... Part 2

Part 2: The Later Years

The next big part of life that I started to de-clutter was right before and right after I got married. I de-cluttered my debt right before I got married and was thankfully able to enter into marriage debt free. The theme of our wedding was SIMPLE yet elegant. After marriage began, I de-cluttered my husband’s old open accounts (from the credit report) by closing them. I also began to let go of items in his/our house to make it more like our own place. In addition, each time we move, I clean out stuff we just don’t use. Moving is a time to start fresh.

Then, a few years ago after a series of events, my husband and I came to the realization that our marriage was going down a heavy, downward spiral. We had tried to ‘fix’ our marriage and the grief of our miscarriages by adding more children through foster parenting. This was not a healthy decision for us. At the time, we were also undergoing a house renovation, carrying two houses financially, had several bank accounts open due to the renovation, both working in our respective practices, parenting our daughter, and life was just in complete OVERWHELM! It knew it was time to simplify and MINIMIZE yet again. I keep coming back to minimalism.

Being in this spiral, we knew something had to change. We decided to go on a couples retreat at Onsite Workshops. Here we got really clear that we could no longer be foster parents. While we had good intentions, we were doing it for all the wrong reasons. It was not a good fit. And so this began a journey back to simplifying our lives again. We came home from that retreat and made a loving plan for our two foster sons. They were moved to a new placement two weeks later and have recently been adopted by that sweet family. They are in the best, right place for them.

We had gotten caught back into the swirl of stuff as a way of dealing with our grief and to manage the stress of a home renovation. It was NOT WORKING!

What is the CLUTTER covering up in your life? What is just not working for you?

Until Part 3…Bethie

How My Minimalism Journey Began... Part 1

Part 1: My Childhood

Over the last few years, I have become more interested in MINIMALISM.

Honestly, I think my desire to live in such a state of simplicity has been around since my childhood years. As I think back to that time, I always had a tendency toward de-cluttering. I can remember cleaning out our kitchen junk drawer growing up and organizing it AND my parents never asked me to do this. I did it of my own free will. I loved it and noticed that I always felt lighter afterwards. I kept my room pretty organized too growing up. My childhood bedroom was a place of safety and comfort, so it makes sense to me that I kept it so orderly. I believe that the de-cluttering and organizing became like a coping skill for me.

I even remember my mom having little trinkets and nick-nacks around the house like in window seals and wondering, “Why do we have these?”

By practicing minimalism, I have found peace, clarity, focus, and ease in my life. I am finding that I can stay more present with my family and that I am freed up to use my creativity in fun, new ways. Whereas the more clutter I have, the more stress I have and the less I can concentrate on my priorities. I even find now that when I enter into a space that has a lot of stuff that I start feeling immediately overwhelmed almost as if I can’t breathe. It makes me want to run outside for air.

What are your thoughts on minimalism?

Until Part 2….Bethie