I admit. I’m a bit of a minimalist junkie these days.
The relaxation I feel when I clear away clutter is almost like lounging poolside at an all-inclusive resort. Nerdy, but true.
There’s just something so freeing about purging the excess that clouds my home, my schedule, and my mind.
My minimalist journey began three years ago when I walked down to the basement of my 2500 square foot home and couldn’t find my workout shoes. Seriously? How is it possible to have so much space and not be able to find what I need?
Thus began the purge.
I started in the basement (naturally) and slowly made my way up to the very last box of the very last room on the very top floor. There, hunkered down in the corner of the linen closet, after having purged the final shred of cluttered evidence, I wept tears of freedom. Never had I experienced such space (and in the smallest corner of my house to boot!), never had I experienced such relief, and never had I experienced such freedom.
Never could I have known that what was causing the clutter in my home was caused from the clutter in my heart. So when I confronted the stuff in my home, it forced me to confront the stuff in my heart. See how that works?
Here’s what I discovered.
Everything about our lives is surrounded by stuff.
Stuff we feel pressured to wear.
Stuff we feel pressured to buy.
Stuff we feel pressured to be.
Stuff we feel pressured to have.
Stuff we feel pressured to do.
The clutter and the chaos of our culture is causing such busyness that it’s hard to think straight. But on a deeper and sadder level, the clutter and the chaos of our culture is causing such disorientation that it’s near impossible to live straight.
No one has time to think anymore, never mind wrestle with and process the most important questions in life:
Who am I?
What do I like?
What do I actually need to be happy?
What is meaningful to me?
What’s my purpose?
What do I want to do?
Who do I want to be?
How do I want to live?
Why am I here?
When I confronted the clutter of my home and began wrestling with these very important life questions, deeper levels of purging emerged.
A purge of toxic relationships.
A purge of an unnecessarily busy schedule.
A purge of people pleasing.
A purge of purposeless living.
A purge of following the crowd.
A purge of keeping up with The Joneses.
A purge of comparison.
A purge of distraction.
A purge of consumption.
A purge of perfectionism.
For one whole month I invested some serious time and energy into decluttering my home, but for one whole year I invested some serious time and energy into decluttering my heart.
And here’s what resulted.
I found my purpose again.
No longer was the voice of comparison louder than the voice of contentment.
No longer was a pursuit of achievement more important than a practice of gratitude.
No longer did I see my life purpose as merely about getting, but rather about giving.
Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we are free to pursue all the things that really do matter. –Joshua Becker.
“Our contribution to this world can be measured by something more meaningful than the size of our house, the car we drive, or the designer label on our jeans. Our lives are going to have lasting significance in how we choose to live them… and how we enable others to live theirs.”
But it starts with a purge – a purge that will look different for you than it did for me, but a purge none-the-less of all the stuff that is distracting you from living the life you were purposed to live.
I leave you now with a list of purpose filled questions Joshua Becker lists in his recently released book, “The More Of Less.” These questions are a great place to start when trying to decide what your life purpose and passions are all about.
- What experiences, both good and bad, have shaped your life?
- What similarities can you recognize in your most notable achievements?
- What problems in the world are your most passionate about solving?
- If money were not an issue, what line of work would you be most drawn to?
- Which dreams in your life do you feel the most regret for not pursuing harder?
- What is the lasting legacy you want to leave?
- Whom do you most admire in life? What specific characteristics of this person do you want to emulate?