It’s nearly a year since I began quarantine and working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and boy the time flies! I decided this would be a great opportunity to get many personal things accomplished in a few months (back in March 2020 we thought we’d be going back to the office, and normal life in about six months). I thought I could lose some weight, organize my closet, purge unnecessary items from my apartment, exercise more, and many other positive changes that would enhance my life. And I have accomplished a lot, so far.
I organized my closet and got rid of a couple of large bags of items I don’t wear or use any more, plus I haven’t purchased any new clothes so the closet remains neat. I purged and reorganized every drawer in my apartment, etc., etc. But if you were to visit me you might judge me as a “collector” as there are still many items in my home. I’ve not lost any pounds but I haven’t gained weight. My efforts to lose are balanced by my indulgence from time-to-time on the scrumptious meals I get delivered or pick up from a restaurant.
Since there’s ample opportunity to focus on self-improvement while we try again to render the Corona Virus extinct, I want to continue to purge my life of more baggage that’s anchoring me to the past. That is what most of the material we own does; keep us in the past and make it impossible to progress. An excess of stuff, AKA clutter, can also contribute to making your environment stressful. Since we are spending almost every waking hour at home that can affect our minds negatively.
There’s one habit I’ve picked up while on lockdown is watching a fair amount of YouTube videos, and I’ve come to enjoy and “subscribe” to a few YouTube influencers. One of those subscriptions is for Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness. Lewis has a vast library of videos covering many subjects and he has done interviews with high profile people such as Tony Robbins, Matthew McConaughey, Kobe Bryant, and professionals from many different fields of expertise. One of those video episodes was an interview with Josh Fields Millburn on the subject of minimalism. The interview is from 2016 but is relevant now. It’s a rather long interview, but if you want to know more about the mental effects of purging and some of the history behind how he got started it’s a good one to watch.
I looked up The Minimalists, which is the business that Josh Fields Millburn and his partner Ryan Nicodimas founded a few years ago. Minimalism didn’t just get popular with the Covid era if it is indeed popular, but it is certainly lucrative for Josh and Ryan and I watched their Ted Talk from 2016 that has had over 2.8 million views. It’s over 18 minutes long but worth watching as the emotional struggle and release of purging is well presented in the video.
My quest to become more organized and purge began as a desire to live a more peaceful and meaningful life. This is now a worldly cause, though it still centers around self-improvement, it covers a wider range of influence. As I let the need to acquire and keep nonessential material items go it affects my psychology and spirituality. Before you stop reading this because you think I must be insane to connect throwing out plastic shopping bags I’ve hoarded over the last ten years to achieving a state of nirvana, hear me out.
Marie Kondo has sparked joy for many people when she published her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I read the book a few years ago and it did spark an interest in me to be a more organized person, even though I thought some of her tidying lessons and methods were too extreme. However, the concept of only keeping items that spark joy when you see and use them did resonate deeply in my psyche, though I never before committed to cleaning up my act as I did last year. Life-changing magic is what pulled me into committing to working on this now.
To wrap this whole roundabout essay back to peace for the planet is the connection of being a responsible consumer by buying less which produces less waste, and less waste supports a thriving planet. We see how the absence of automobile traffic helped the environment dramatically in a very short time. The effort of unburdening yourself of unnecessary material goods helps you mindfully by reducing anxiety, letting go of agonizing memories, and past hurts, which makes room for joy. The benefits are almost immediate.
As more of us become conscious of the good effects of letting go has on us individually we become a little lighter in possessions, burdens, stress, waste, and more joyful and peaceful. Perhaps this movement could be the way the “butterfly effect” makes a huge positive impact around the world towards a peaceful and unified existence on earth. It’s worth trying.
Author: Karen Nish Nishimura 1/31/21#peace4theplanet #minimalism #peace #butterflyeffect #theminimalists #mariekondo #lewishowes