Much of the conversation today is pointed towards the future. What we want. What we think we need. We plan, we strategize, we save or impulsively seek a fix, unconsciously attempting to fill ourselves with our latest purchase. It seems we’re always focusing on the attainment of something we’re convinced will cement in our happiness. It’s part of being human, being alive.
But happiness isn’t a goal. It’s a fleeting experience, one found only in the moment. It’s the fulfillment and contentment that have lasting value. They are what ground us and keep us whole. They require resilience and grit anchored in a deeper truth and knowing. They require faith. They cannot be bought, sold or bargained with.
“Whatever we own, we’re only renting,” an old mentor of mine used to say. Everything is temporary: the good, and the bad. But our core and the strength of our hearts remain. This is what makes us who we are.
There is a fierce kind of beauty in living simply and minimally. It’s one that often gets overlooked for shinier, sparkly visions of well heeled lives. But the richness of an inner life– one that transcends space and time– cannot be matched.
That isn’t to say we should live without luxuries or deny ourselves things we desire. But it’s important to take a look at what it is that actually motivates us, and where we are truly operating from.
Everything is marketed now, even minimalism. It’s a look. “All white with a cactus,” a designer friend of mine succinctly put it the other day. But there’s another kind of minimalism, one that’s not defined by an aesthetic. It’s the core understanding that things cannot, and will not, fulfill us. In fact, more often than not, the desire for this points us off course. We stop enjoying the experience and instead start increasing our attachment. It’s a natural byproduct of a world so committed to trying to convince us we’re not enough.
I grew up with a lot, but now I choose a life of little by comparison. One isn’t better than the other. The externals, actually, bare little relation to one’s experience of them. It’s the attachment itself, the thinking that we need that robs us of inner peace.
All I know is, for me at least, having less has been the clearest road to having so much more.