|Art Journal collage, May 2014|
I say this because I know my situation is different from anyone else's. Therefore, while what I've been able to let go of might seem radical in the context of your lives, it's worked for me, for who I am.
I am a single (solo, unattached), poor (financially only, certainly not in terms of spirit), senior woman. I never had kids. I have no family (of origin). I live on social security only and because all my work was in the usually-underpaid nonprofit sector, and because I had to take chunks of time off between jobs because my soul hated working and I needed to be creative for unpaid lengths of time, my monthly income is low enough that it just covers my rent and monthly expenses.
It's actually always been this way for me, but I resisted reality for all of my adult life and consequently got myself in a bit of debt trying to keep up with the world. Of course, that's all over now, the striving and the debt, and I'm a lot better off for it. I used to feel like a victim of circumstance ~ primarily the lack of money to do what everybody else seemed to be able to do ~ but from my current vantage point, the lack of financial resources has turned out to be a huge blessing.
We've all seen photos of people in "disadvantaged" countries all over the world who are happy with their lot. They have little (compared to folks in industrialized nations), yet their lives are intrinsically happy ones. They value life for what it is, not for it's comforts and conveniences and worldliness and having a lot of truly insignificant stuff. This is me, now.
It was relatively easy for me to offload 80 percent of my stuff because I didn't have any option other than to move to a way way smaller place. Necessity was the mother of big change for me. And not just in terms of downsizing stuff. I've seen myself grow inwardly and spiritually, watched my attitudes and values change.
From my personal experience I can say that modern life, they way the system wants us to live it, is nothing but entertainment and distraction...and then we die. Being the inveterate soul searcher that I am, that kind of life was never good enough for me, because it's a complete waste of a life on earth. When I look at my entire adult life in retrospect, where I am now is the perfect place for me to be given all the experiences I've had, all my esoteric leanings, all the places I've been and the things I've learned about myself. I seriously don't think it would have turned out this way had I had an easier time of it in life, financially.
And also ~ I am an introvert, a real introvert, the kind who regenerates her energy by being alone 95 percent of the time, the kind who prefers her own company to that of anybody else (except BeeGee). I'm a highly sensitive person, which means I feel things more deeply than a lot of folks in the world and that too many possibilities, too many choices or options for anything can be completely overwhelming and enervating. So letting go of a lot of things ~ possessions, the "need" to travel, massive modern conveniences, knowing what's going on everywhere in the world, filling myself up with useless entertainments and distractions ~ was absolutely no problem for me.
So there you have the context for me simplifying my life. I'll spell out a few more specifics next time.
Meanwhile, here are two extremely good blogs, and each has a Facebook page as well ~ The Minimalists, and Becoming Minimalist.
See you in a couple days. xo