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Living Simply Equals Living Happy
Everyone has probably heard the song “Happy” this year and it’s probably one of my all time favorite songs. I heard it the other day as I was heading to the gym and it hit me – I’m happy. What a wonderful feeling that was to realize that I am truly happy at this time in my life. I started reflecting on why I am happy at this point in my life and it dawned on me that it is a direct result of my minimalism journey.
You see for the first time in my life I feel like I have control of where I am going and how to get there. In the past, it was always about acquiring the next “thing” be it clothes, a car, jewelry, and larger and larger homes. When you go through life thinking that what you have is not enough and always focusing on what you believe you need to have enough or even that you believe you “deserve” to have, it puts a whole new level of stress on your life. And that is how I was living my life – always believing that what I had was not enough.
When you focus on what you don’t have, it consumes you. All you want to do is get more things when in reality you do not need any of these things. You would not believe the amount of clothes that I had hanging in my closet with tags on them. Why? Because that’s what I did on the weekends or to reduce my stress during the week – I went shopping. A direct result of all that shopping? A WHOLE LOT OF DEBT. The debt was manageable in the beginning but when my husband was injured on the job and we went from a two income house to a one income house, that debt was no longer manageable and we quickly found ourselves sinking deeper and deeper in debt which of course led to more stress. It’s a vicious cycle.
We worked out butts off and got out debt by not buying anything we didn’t need to buy. Family vacations were a few days camping. Unfortunately though, after we got out of debt, we still had the mindset that we needed more “stuff.” It wasn’t until Aly introduced me to minimalism that the crazy accumulation of stuff ended. Did I need more “stuff?” Absolutely not. When you take the emotion out of your purchases, you look at things black and white. How many pairs of jeans do I need considering I’m self-employed and spend most of my time in shorts and tees so I’m ready to teach my fitness classes or record my fitness videos? How many purses do I need considering most of the time I only carry my wallet. Do you see the pattern here? When you take a step back and truly THINK about why you are purchasing something from the perspective of does it add or detract from my life and my goals, you tend to view things much differently. The only debt we have now is our home and we are quickly knocking that debt off.
And that my friends, is how I got to my contemplation while heading to the gym. I am happy because I no longer feel the need to chase the “dream” of adding more and more stuff to my life. This “dream” is one many carry around like a burden. Almost like it’s choking you. When you remove that “dream” from your life a whole new level of zen appears. And for me that zen is I am happy and at peace.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).