(Not pictured or finished yet: Miles’ room, our bathroom, and our back deck)
Minimalism has become quite the trend. With #slowliving and curated Instagram feeds of gorgeous, simple interiors. People living in tiny houses or vans, selling all their possessions to travel. I think the popularity of minimalism and a slower way of life are a reaction to the endless consumerism (and decimation of our earth) of the last few decades. I’m not bothered by the trendiness of it all.
I am only bothered by the reaction some people have to curated minimalism. Simple, slow, sustainable living is not about having a perfectly organized pantry with vintage ball jars all in a row. It is not about a stunning nursery with muted tones and no toys, appearing completely untouched.
Minimalism is a repeated daily choice to be intentional about what you allow into your life. It is about responding to “want” and “need” of new items with gratitude for all that you have now instead. Minimalism is about surrounding yourself with items that make you smile and spark joy in your heart and thanking them for serving such a beautiful purpose.
I have found, that minimalism at its root is gratitude. It is waking up grateful for the comfortable bed you slept in, the soft sheets and warm blanket. It is delighting in a hot shower and clean, fluffy towel. It is finding elation when you have a stocked pantry and fridge full of organic produce for you and your baby.
This isn’t about stuff. This isn’t about a curated number of items (although decluttering challenges can be fun and life changing). It is about waking with a grateful heart and not forgetting just how lucky we all are.
If you have a device and the time to read this blog post, think about how endlessly fortunate you are. You have a life where you can take a moment and read something that interests or delights you, on a device that so much of the world will not have access to in their lifetime. This isn’t about guilt. This isn’t about shaming yourself and kicking yourself for all that you own or past purchases. It is about choosing gratitude and joy in your life again and again, everyday.
I have the same temptations as others to go to Target and buy the latest cute items on their shelves. Tempted to let the joy of a new purchase fill me up and excite me, but it is fleeting. When I feel the urge to do that now I work to recall all that I already have. What is already in my home that creates a sense of warmth and joy? I am obsessively grateful.
People ask me how in the world I am so joy filled, happy, and okay after all that has happened in these past few months. I immediately respond with: gratitude.
Being grateful immediately interrupts anxiety and negative thought patterns. It alters your universal vibration. It immediately shifts you from negative to positive and the universe returns your energy in kind.
Our beautiful little apartment is simple. It is light filled and full of fun, colorful items that I love. Each item is intentionale, beautiful and has a place- a home to return to to rest after we use it.
Every day when I come home, I thank this little apartment for caring for us. For coming into our lives and being just what we needed. One day, Miles and I will live in an eco home that we build on our farm sanctuary, and when that time comes I know I will look back on the peaceful, simplicity of this apartment with a grateful heart. You can simultaneously yearn and work for more while still being so grateful for all you have now.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more..It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie
Bonnie Rae xx
For more gratitude inspiration: