It seems the question of what is a minimalist will be answered differently depending on who you speak to. It means different things to different people. Minimalism has been around a while, it’s not a new concept. So if you’re looking for a history of minimalism then you’re out of luck.
The same goes for talking about the latest definition – “moving away from consumerism and leading a clutter-free life”. This post is not about any of that.
Actually, not entirely true, I will touch on clutter a little but really I’m giving my version of minimalism and what it means to me.
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I’m not an “anything”. I don’t stick labels on myself – labels limit and confine me in a box, figuratively speaking. And I am out of the box. LOL.
I like living in a particular way. I suppose I live part Peaceful Warrior (a movie based on the book Way Of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman) and part my own way. I haven’t always lived with the methods I am about to describe but I can tell you life feels lighter and flows easier since I have. I call the way I live TOTT – Take Out The Trash.
I took TOTT from the movie Peaceful Warrior and expanded on it. Here is a clip with the character Socrates explaining to Dan that he needs to take out the trash from his mind. The trash being anything that is taking him away from the only thing that matters – this moment.
What Prompted Me To Live The TOTT Way?
When you start to change your mind (subconscious) the consequence of that is your life starts to change as well. (Afterall, that is the whole point, to make changes to live a life you want to be living.). Initially, I thought that I was re-programming my negative beliefs that I held in my subconscious And the thing is, I was but little did I know that other changes were also taking place.
In hindsight, I suppose it makes perfect sense. After all, I was rewiring my mind. The bottom line is that this domino effect has been beneficial. I began to think about how I lived my life in all areas and questioned other beliefs that I held. Including the question: Is it true that the things that I think I cannot live without, I actually can? There was a time there when I believed I couldn’t live without smoking. It wasn’t true of course and through removing the negative beliefs I had about smoking in my subconscious mind, I stopped smoking for good. Stopping smoking was the catalyst in making other changes. I thought if I can stop smoking, I can do anything.
I started to experiment and remove the things I believed I couldn’t live without and make further changes
What Is TOTT Exactly?
The trash in Throwing Out The Trash refers to anything that either hinders my personal growth or that I just don’t need. Anything holding me back or holding me down. In essence, it is clearing out all physical and mental things and also streamlining my time by eliminating or reducing unnecessary tasks.
Following the experiment of removing things, I realized that my beliefs about the things I thought I couldn’t live without were just not true. I didn’t need a lot of things but old programming told me I did.
Looking at all areas of my life I took out what I didn’t want or need – with both my physical and mental environments:
Physical items – I reduced or removed items, icluding furniture, technology, personal items, toiletries and clothes. I went through all my things and now everything in my home is required and used. Meaning, there are no piles of anything laying around or cluttered shelves full of things I don’t touch or use.
Mentally – I continue to practice mindfulness and I am aware of my thoughts and behavior. If something (negative thought or non beneficial behavior) comes up that needs to be looked at I will find out the root cause (usually a belief I need to remove from my subconscious) and pull it out. Mindfulness is about staying present and being aware of what you are thinking and doing.
Both environments have an effect on each other.
Have you ever had to tidy up a room before you could sit in it? Because otherwise it felt uncomfortable and you couldn’t relax? In other words, you had to have an uncluttered space surrounding you before you could relax? Having both a clutter-free physical and mental environment leads to clearer thinking and less stress – it is literally a weight off your mind.
Here is an info graph to print out showing the areas to look into if TOTT is for you:
Minimalizing (Reducing) Other Things
I even looked at the food I thought I needed to eat and how much I ate. Cleaner eating and not over eating created a clearer mind too.
I now shop for food online, which means I plan what I will eat and save huge amounts of time and money by not trekking backward and forwards to the shop. I cut out a lot of food too and eat more fruit, salad, and vegetables which has meant I cook less. Shopping and cooking take up a lot of time and this has been drastically reduced (and so has my food bill) and more time gained.
I stopped eating meat, which saved money too but it also had a side effect, I smelt less. I didn’t need antiperspirant or deodorant anymore. Instead, I use nothing in the winter and a crystal salt stick in the summer, which is cheap and can last for well over a year. I went from washing my hair every day to once a week, saving more time and money.
TOTT Benefits - Is It For You?
Most things I did have been done by others, there is nothing new in what I am saying here. The difference is possibly the reasons why I did it and the mixture of things that I removed or minimized. I suppose the main reason I did it was to save my energy, time and money. To live with less but essentially get more out of life and:
- Gain clearer thinking
- Enjoy a healthier lifestyle
- Focus on the important things to move me forward
- Save time and money
- Live in the present moment
Throwing out the trash from all these areas of my life has been a liberating and freeing experience. It started with my mind and cascaded into a stream of beneficial change.
I live with the things I need and not the things I believe I need. No more, no less and so that I can create beneficial experiences and live an enjoyable life.
What is a minimalist and what is minimalism to me is looking at my life and taking out ALL trash from everywhere. Freeing up space and having more energy.
It is probably not everyone’s cup of tea but if you want to experience having more energy, time and money, then it might be just the ticket.
I can definitely recommend it.
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Do share your meaning to minimalism in the comments below.
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