3 Things That Made Me Fall In Love With The Minimalist Lifestyle – Guest Post

Hi everyone! Today I have a guest post from the lovely Helen of Crispy Confessions. Be sure to follow her on her blog as well as Twitter & Instagram.

When the minimalist movement started trending across America and some of my friends and neighbors started to adopt its values, I admit that I was intrigued. The very idea of choosing to have less stuff seemed unfathomable to me, having grown up with the mindset that you needed stuff to be truly happy. But the more I learned about the minimalist lifestyle, the more that I wanted to learn more. In this article, I will give you 3 things that made me fall in love with the minimalist lifestyle.

3 Things That Made Me Fall In Love With The Minimalist Lifestyle

Surrounding yourself with things that create joy

I first learned about the concept of surrounding oneself with things that spark joy in the Netflix documentary Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. What I learned was that the secret to decluttering the home was not using the gold standard of organizational methods, but to be intentional about the things that I do end up keeping. I learned about the importance of surrounding myself with things that gave me joy. I realized  that I didn’t want to just live in a home that was crammed with stuff, but rather with stuff that gave me purpose and truly made me happy.

Realizing the value in simplicity

Another thing that I love about the minimalist lifestyle is its emphasis of simplicity over chaos and clutter. It taught me that comfort can be found in even the simplest of things. You can simply have just the essentials in the home to survive. For example, I can just have a sofa, a TV, and a book or two, and I can be satisfied with just these three or four things. I don’t need that pull down map, fancy rug, or little trinkets. By just surrounding myself with the bare essentials for survival and comfort, then I am giving myself the best chance at maintaining a clean house and happiness.

Discovering the true meaning of life

The race to constantly buy things year after year is diluting the true meaning of not only the holidays, but life. The minimalist lifestyle embraces the complete opposite of that. Rather than going out to buy stuff, it advocates more important things that I could be doing instead. I could be spending precious time with family and friends or pursuing a new hobby or skill. By focusing less on consumerism, I can spend more time on the things that matter. It brings the focus back to the things that matter and less on materialistic things.

The best thing about embracing a minimalist lifestyle is the inherent ability to surround myself with joy, find happiness with simplicity, and ultimately reject consumerism. It is about finding peace with the things that matter. It is about loving who I am and the things that I choose to surround myself with at home. By being a minimalist, you end up ultimately embracing the best version of yourself.

Again, thank you so much, Helen for sharing your journey to minimalism. If you want to read more posts from Crispy Confessions, be sure to check out her blog!

Don’t Let Negative Energy Put You in A Funk

Energy, whether it be positive or negative, flocks to me like a virus (is that analogy too triggering?). Not to get all cosmic with you, but we need to learn to protect our auras. Raise your hand if you are an empath? *raises both hands way up high* I’ve found I am someone who embraces emotions even when they aren’t my own. And sometimes those emotions aren’t always pretty. What do we do when we are constantly faced with negative energy? And how do we protect ourselves from letting said energy affect our lives?

I think we first need to understand the idea of empaths.

In my own definition, I find empaths to be warriors of emotions. They absorb energies from people & make them our own. They take the analogy “walk in someone else’s shoes” a little too far. If you are reading this thinking, “oh my gosh, that’s me”…this post is for you. I’ve been really trying to work on this side of myself & have been doing a bit of research & I think I’ve found some ways we can control this “superpower” we have.

Yes, I’m saying being an empath is a superpower. I think once we understand it better & learn to set boundaries for ourselves, we can use these traits for good. It’s when we surround ourselves with too much negativity and even toxicity, this is when being an empath isn’t too fun. Especially when those people are one’s we can’t necessarily cut out (ie. colleagues or family members)

UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTALS OF EMOTIONS

We must first understand why people tend to gravitate to certain emotions. Use your empathic super power & understand we are all human & have a wide range of emotions from time to time. I’m sure you’ve had a bad day or even a bad month before. So, understanding where a person is coming from first, can help you in finding ways to then put those feelings into action. The thing about being human is we run on patterns. We tend to develop these habits that can, in turn, become traits in our personality. I tend to see people who side on negativity have in some way or another developed a bad habit, especially if the negativity is ongoing. Like any habitual trait, we must learn to combat it & not let it rule us. Don’t let negative thoughts become your comfort zone.

CUT THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE

This might sound harsh but bare with me. Taking the minimalism techniques I talk about & applying them to people in our lives is so important. Never feel guilty about cutting someone out of your life (even if it is family). Yes, I said it. And I’m not taking that back. Life is too short to be prioritizing people who bring us down. And regardless if they are blood or not, certain people just have the ability to drain us emotionally. And we have to learn how to gracefully walk away. Especially when it’s people you meet by choice like friends & acquaintances. Never feel obligated to keep these people in your lives if all they do is suck the life out of you. I call these people emotional vampires. And why would we choose to keep these monsters around? I think the notion of quality vs quantity within friendships comes with age. I’d much rather have a few people in my circle who truly have my back instead of a bunch of people who don’t.

KEEP IN MIND LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE

I fully believe in the concepts of manifestation & what you feel is what you will attract. If we feel we are surrounding ourselves with too much negativity & would prefer not to, we must first observe our own behavior. Sometimes without even realizing it we can be letting ourselves get lost in toxic environments because in some ways we like the attention, find comfort in it or feel like there is no way out. But as I said before, the energy we let stay is our choice. So, decide wisely. I find people tend to make happiness into this vulnerable concept. Society seems to embrace bad news & has made it be this weirdly sought after trait. I find we need to let go of this notion & see emotions as balancing acts. It’s unrealistic to be heavily one sided on either emotion. We need to take our emotions as they come & place action in front of them.

SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

If there are people in your life who mean well & are still toxic feeling, another opinion is to set clear boundaries. Without even realizing it, people in your life could be preventing you from your dream life. Parents or family members for example could care for you tons & mean very well, but their protective natures could be stopping you from pursuing what you’ve always wanted. Those same people can think they know what’s best for you & think their opinions are the only correct ones. Don’t ever abandon yourself. Always remember, you know yourself more than anyone else. During my research on these topics I came across some great responses to people who are trying to dictate your path:

“I appreciate your concern but I know what I want / know what I’m doing”

“That may be your case, but that is not my truth”

“I just need some space right now”

DETERMINE YOUR TRIGGERS

Awareness is golden. When we come to terms with what triggers us, we become more empowered as individuals. Regardless of what other people may or may not understand about your boundaries, you need to take ownership of those feelings & protect yourself when you feel it necessary. Whether that’s creating a smaller circle of friends, exiting certain topics of discussion or letting go of old habits; these actions will guide you to a better understanding of yourself & you will gain a sense of power that you may have lost.

How to Cultivate a Gratitude Practice and Make it Part of your Lifestyle – Guest Post

Today’s post is a guest post from the lovely, Estée of Faërie Lifestyle. Be sure to check out her blog & follow her. This is a topic I love to talk about, so when she decided to write about gratitude, I was all for it! I hope you all enjoy her post.

Every day we have the opportunity to make positive and lasting changes by implementing little habits and practices that can help transform our life and mindset.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned throughout 2020 is to be grateful and appreciative of everything and everyone that brings joy, positivity, and love to my life. Sometimes, complaining and being ungrateful can seem like the easy thing to do. But, after the unprecedented and chaotic year most of us had, it is important to realize that we are fortunate and blessed to be alive. 

I have tried hard to display a kind and cheerful attitude despite the shortcomings and everyday problems that have come my way. Although, I am not perfect, and more often than not I let negative thoughts take over me and they end up ruining my day. 

Late last year, I made a commitment to try and cultivate a gratitude practice and make it part of my lifestyle. I realized that despite all the suffering, grief, and affliction happening in the world, I was fortunate to have my health, my home, my family, and all my basic needs met. I was beyond blessed. And that meant everything to me.

I joined a 21 Day Gratitude Challenge group on Facebook, where I was given a daily prompt to journal and reflect on. This truly motivated me to dive deeper into making gratitude part of my life. 

Here are some easy steps I took that helped me cultivate gratitude and make it part of my everyday routine. 

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1. Give Thanks Regularly. 

What really steered me to a more grateful attitude was showing constant appreciation for even the smallest things. I was thankful for having a cold glass of water to drink, for showering with warm water in the cold weather, and for sleeping in a soft bed at night. 

This might seem silly to some of you, however in the rush of the day we sometimes take these blessings for granted. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have these little “luxuries”. 

2. Write it Down.

I first started verbalizing my gratitude, but after the 21 Day Challenge, I decided to make the practice more meaningful. I love journaling, specially as a way to manage my anxiety. So, I created my own Gratitude Journal and every night, I would set some time aside to fill it. To make it easier and stay focused, I created my own set of prompts.

This daily habit has been such a gamechanger. Being able to read over my gratitude journal and see my thoughts and feelings reflected is a great way to have some accountability and also remember how fortunate and blessed I am. 

3. Use Gratitude Prompts. 

Sometimes, it is hard to take time to sit down and journal. There have been days where I feel unmotivated or overwhelmed, and the last thing I feel like doing is writing what I am grateful for.

In days like this, I find it useful to use gratitude prompts, which are sets of given questions that help guide your gratitude practice. I created my own Gratitude Journal with prompts, which has tremendously helped me in staying consistent with my practice. 

4. Do What Works for You.

Having a consistent gratitude practice shouldn’t be torturous to you. This is an intentional habit that is meant to help you feel content, grounded and happy. So, don’t stress about it too much. If you miss a day because you were busy, or you can only manage to sit down once a week to write down your thoughts, then so be it.

Do what works for your lifestyle. What’s truly important is that you are having fun, being creative, and doing it because it fills you with joy. 

5. Spread the Word.

The best thing about starting a gratitude practice is sharing your blessings with the people around you. Once you experience a mindset shift and start seeing all the great benefits of a consistent gratitude practice, you will want to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them.

One of the best feelings in the world is being able to share kindness and love with others. This can be done through simple gestures like sending a handwritten note or letter, giving someone a heartfelt compliment, being polite and treating people with respect.

I hope this motivates you to start a gratitude practice that brings happiness to your life. Remember that this is just a guideline on how to begin. As you progress through being more grateful, you will discover your own particular way of showcasing this feeling. It is all about adding positivity to your life and doing something that works for you. 

Thank you so much for reading this post. 

A big thank you to Brittany from Mind. Beauty. Simplicity for allowing me to be a guest blogger on her amazing site. It was truly and honor and I had such a wonderful time. Your kindness and graciousness meant so much to me. 

Until next time,

Estée | Faërie Lifestyle

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About Faërie Lifestyle

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Faërie Lifestyle was created with the purpose of building a community of strong, resilient women that empower and uplift each other to reach their greatest potential.

On the blog, you can find resources, tools, and content that inspires women to express themselves, foster creativity, learn, grow, and use their voices to manifest and live the most beautiful and wonderful life they can dream of.  

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