Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Travelling in a backpack and then downsizing to living in a vehicle has made me realized how little I really need in my life. Earlier last year after reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up went through a process of giving away, selling, or throwing out a large majority of my material possessions, keeping only what I need or what sparks joy. The book goes into more detail of the concept of what "sparks joy", so if you're interested I highly recommend the read.
As I started simplifying my life more and more physically, owning fewer things, having less clutter, I noticed a significant shift in the way I experienced my everyday life. As I freed up more physical space in my surroundings, I've also been working on clearing out my emotional and mental space, expressing emotions, letting go of past hurts, anger, resentments, thought patterns, beliefs, and relationships. This has created more room and decluttered my energetic space aswell. By having less, I've noticed that I'm seeing what I have as precious and enough, rather than constantly seeking to need more and buy more. I no longer shop compulsively because first of all, where the heck am I going to store more stuff? And secondly, I realized that I have what I need already, and purchasing more will not bring me more ihappiness.
I now find more satisfaction in the little things, like the colors of the sky at sunset, the way trees sway, connection with animals, the smell of fresh air, and the sound of raindrops on my van ceiling at night. I take pleasure in a hot cup of tea, a bonfire, a smile or a warm embrace.
With less time, money, and energy spent on acquiring more 'stuff', I have been able to focus more on building my connections and exploring my passions.
Furthermore, now that I don't have the month to month pressure of needing to make rent, my relationship and attachment to money has also changed. I'm 'working' less, and focussing more on doing things that help me grow and bring me joy. I have been making investments on myself, whether it's taking classes in areas I want to grow in, or attending conferences, talks, events that surrounds me with people who inspire me, I stopped making excuses to stay in my comfort zone and just gained clarity on what is important to me.
What it really comes down to is approaching everything in my life, whether its a physical object, a person, an activity, any asking myself Do I need this? and Do I love this? and How is this serving me?
I heard an analogy from someone that compares the 'background noise' in our heads as 'static', and through the practice of meditation and mindfulness, we can learn to tune out of the static noise and focus. It's that simple. By allowing the clutter and excess to be released and fall away, I can more deeply connect to what is left at the core of my being.