A Minimalist Mindful Moment: 10 Things Challenge
You made it. You are here. Another year has passed in your brief lifetime.
You are likely altered in some way, be it mood, attitude, outlook or personality.
Its reality that the world fundamentally changes around you, for better and for worse, despite your best intentions, or your inaction.
You are changed, carved into something different every year by the sharper edges of your life.
What do you seek?
Are you seeking the same thing you have sought for what feels like years?
How close are you to reaching the elusive subject of your obsession, your passion, your greatest hope, or even your greatest fear?
You are looking forward or looking up, wondering, if, how and when. Your mind's eye is consistently looking into some other reality, imagined or desired.
But how often are you looking around you?
How often are you absorbing the very environment you are surrounded by, the people within a touching distance, the achievements but a stone’s throw away?
How often do you observe your thoughts and reactions, instead of just letting them play out habitually?
I discover these questions and ask myself them, as I type them out and implore you to join me in switching up your thinking.
When you think of each facet of your daily life, be it your job or your routines, how do you feel?
For too long now in recent months, juggling the building blocks of my life, the elements which truthfully actually keep me afloat, alive and kicking, have appeared to me as albatrosses around my neck.
My short-term hospitality job, maintaining contact with my family in England, the challenge of travels ahead; they feel like weights instead of representing freedom. Freedom that I worked for, fought for and have maintained for two years now.
I advocate simplifying your life and yet I spend my days holding on tight to my painful and negative thinking habits.
I need to de-clutter my brain and massage my attitude.
I need to remember the function of literal minimalism, in my space and my things, and I need to visualize my mind as a place too, needing of a deep clean and some re-organisation.
Do you need to de-clutter your brain too?
The following few things could be deemed resolutions, but since I don't do that shit, they are generally realistic and hopeful intentions...
10 things I intend to do:
- Limit time spent on social media. I plan to monitor how much of my day is spent mindlessly absorbed in something that brings NOTHING, well at least very little, to my overall well-being. Too much scrolling of carefully crafted instagram's, banal tweets and repetitious Facebook adverts is taking me away from the important things that build my mental and physical health.
- Increase time spent talking to my friends and family. Stop using the excuse of being 'busy' to put off those emotions of missing home and feeling like I have to choose between one world, home, and another, the great unknown of travel, the slog of working and the pull of creativity.
- Watch more brain-food. A favourite relaxation pastime of mine is to watch Youtube, but I know that I am watching things akin to a soap opera; they bring me nothing but momentary distraction and escapism. They don't feed my brain, or my life. I plan to cut back and add in some more food for thought.
- Truly listen to inspiring people talk. I love words, writing, reading and speaking, but I too often don't let in the words of others who have something important and useful to say. I don't give them enough undivided attention. What I have to say, what I want to express, is only one side of a broader opportunity to grow and exchange inspiration in this life.
- Measure my daily achievements, not failures. I bought a 2017 diary weeks ago, and I couldn't wait to begin using it to map out my time, but instead of just noting the boring stuff, I am going to write down one brief line about what was so good about that day. Even if I didn't do something I fully intended to do, something I might have needed to do, the focus should be on what I did achieve.
- Let myself believe that things will be good, great even. I tend to live by the 'expect the worst, hope for the best' because I am always afraid. I am afraid something will go horribly wrong (a lovely symptom of my anxiety) or even worse, afraid it will be so amazing that no subsequent moment could compare. But this defence mechanism doesn't change anything or allow me to miraculously control the future, it simply means my outlook is more fraught and my energy low.
- Expand my mind about the world. Its a common reaction to our complex and challenging world to shy away from knowing things. But I want to know things. I get the bad, the sensational and the terror thrown in my face constantly, we all do, but I intend to seek out knowing things that empower me and will enable me to help myself and others.
- Dismiss the need to fill each moment of my day with productivity. The lofty hopes and ambitions of above are all good and well, but not every passing day has to be life-changing. I don't need to try and save the world 24/7, because holy shit, you gotta have some fun and some switch-off time.
- Embrace the parts of my day that threaten to ruin my mood. Work at 5pm? Great! another chance to build my savings for travels, to meet people, to make customers happy and to broaden my skill range. I need to flip my momentary negativity on its head and see it for the positivity it really is.
- Having less of a plan and not thinking ahead too much. This is truly a big one for me. I spend so much time thinking about how my current actions influence my future, down to the next day, week or month. Of course its a sensible way to be, but it also limits spontaneity and open-mindedness. It puts me in this little box where I limit myself for some distant goal instead of sucking the joy out of every day. It stops me pursuing friendships, fun and enjoying some of the fruits of my labours. You can plan ahead, but there's a healthy limit to forward-thinking and I aim to balance that.
So many new years resolutions fail because they are based on moving from point A to point Z with no regard for the part in-between.
Instead of envisioning a better or different future way down the line, or the accomplishment of some long-term goal, envision each day of the coming week.
Envision how today, right away, you can be different, feel different, better, if you pay some attention to cleansing your mind, the true home where things grow, build and come to life.
Come on this endeavour with me, and lets take a moment each week to check back in with one another, over on our minimalism newsletter list.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah here, one half of NomaderHowFar. I love reading, the beach, proper fish and chips, and a good cup of tea. But I mostly like to chat about minimalism, simplifying your life, the beauty of travel and sometimes I get a bit deep. Get to know us here!
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