At first glance minimalism may appear to be about decluttering your wardrobe, or owning less stuff but this interesting practice can take you vastly deeper. With the practice of minimalism you can create space for you, hear your truth, prioritise your values and connect with your soul.
Minimalism as a Spiritual Tool
To practice minimalism externally, you may find yourself simplifying your physical spaces to only include that which brings you joy or is useful. When minimalism is extended to your schedule you prioritise what matters most to you, including self-care time and you learn to say “no” to keep balance. Minimalist ideas may also spread through your mind allowing you to change how you approach situations; such as putting your phone down when you’re in another’s company or gifting experiences over physical items. Such ideas might increase your awareness of your impact on the planet or on those around you. With the multitude of ways choosing to live minimally may benefit your life, it should not be a surprise that it also works as a tool to awaken your soul.
As a spiritual tool, minimalist practices have been applied through many cultures. In zen buddhism monks traditionally live minimally, which has also extended into minimalist Japanese design. Buddhist practice states that is the attachment to things that cause great suffering and Buddhists find great peace and spiritual wellbeing in the releasing of attachment. As nothing will last forever, there is a greater appreciation for allowing what is to flourish instead of clinging to things or a set of circumstances.
Minimalism – less time spent on the temporary and more time spent on the eternal.
Honouring Your Values
Minimalism can work as a spiritual tool by allowing you to know and honour that which you truly value. Ask yourself, what brings me the most joy, the most peace? What satisfies my soul? What puts me in alignment with my soul and in service of all beings? When you answer these questions you can work toward the minimalist practice of prioritising these. You create space for the activities that match your values and with this you can also begin saying “no” to that which takes up your time – the things that do not align with your values.
This simple rearrangement of placing your values at the top of your to do list can have large affects on your happiness and your spiritual growth. If you have identified that time with your family or friends is a high value because it helps you to feel connected and loved and to give love, then it becomes easier to swap a few hours on social media with connection with your loved ones. If prayer, meditation or mindful walks in nature bring you closer to God and to your soul, then practicing minimalism with your schedule and your time will allow you to connect with your soul as you put these rituals first.
Creating Space for Your Soul
We all have desires, but when your desires are no longer needs that control your minds energy you find yourself in a space where you do not need to be anything, have anything, achieve anything or have those around you behave in a certain way. You find in this moment that there is a space left where the “need for more” once sat. In this cleared space you can glimpse the divinity and the eternal that has been under all the wanting. This is the essence of who you are and your oneness with all things.
To achieve this state mentally envision yourself releasing the many things that take up your mental energy, or that you hold on to; the “needs and wants”. Imagine you are lovingly releasing certain people in your life whom you place expectations on. See yourself releasing your need to attain a certain goal with your studies or business. Lovingly release the need to own a home, or a car or anything at all. Slowly go through the top 3-5 needs you hold tightly to. Remember, you are complete as you are now. You can still choose to create a desirable life but you do not need it. You are already whole. After completing this mental vision of release breathe in deeply and ask yourself: what remains?
At first you may feel emptiness or alone but stay in this moment and look deeper. You will see your soul, divinity and oneness. In this state send your prayers to God or the Universe. In this state name your truest desire and release it. In this state simply be; recognise that you still exist, more YOU now that all of the stuff is removed. It helps to hold this space mentally as long as you can. This will help you break down your ego, and understand who you are without it.
Self-Discovery and Happiness
You are a three part being, body, mind and soul. As we live primarily from the physical and the egoic mind it can be difficult to know what is underneath. What is the real you? By implementing minimalist practices you are stepping away from anything that smothers your truth. Once this process has begun whether it is through minimising your home or your time you will find a space; in this space you can discover who you are without everything that you were once attached to. Happiness can arise from the conscious decision to know your truth and to live that. Move away from that which smothers, embrace simplicity in every area of your life and relax into the freedom of it.