In the third instalment of this month of Intentionalism posts, I’m delving into an important part of the journey from minimalism to intentionalism. That is, the reflection and reassessment of one’s values. Along the journey, it is natural to want to shed old, unhealthy habits and mindsets in favour of a fresher outlook. Many turn to meditation, yoga, mindfulness, creativity and other kinds of self-reflection to think about what’s really important to them. The wise will evaluate and regularly re-evaluate themselves on a Wheel of Life* to notice when their values are falling out of alignment.
An intentionalist will then try to live life with their truest values at their core. In their daily routines and practices, they will work hard to keep balancing and re-evaluating their wheel as much as they possibly can. Continue reading
Frugal is Not a Dirty Word
Last week I introduced a month of posts dedicated to intentionalism, and I kicked off with a post about what it means to be intentional. This week looks at the first logical step, intentional spending. Which is basically, asking yourself a lot of questions before you buy. Many would say it is about living frugally. Frugal is not a dirty word. Yes, there are some people who take it to the extreme, but there can be many advantages to consciously thinking about, spending and saving your money. I went off to the Middle East for three years after living in poverty as a university student. And the money I saved from living frugally in that time paid off an old car purchase, bought a new car on my return home, paid off two credit card debts, two university degrees, saved enough to travel for months after I left, and all the while, flew business class and stayed in apartment hotels each year during vacations. How? Everything I did, came from intentional thought. Continue reading
Isn’t this year just flying by and going snail slow all at the same time? I can’t believe it’s August and there is still so much uncertainty. Here in Melbourne we’ve just entered a stage 4 lockdown amid COVID-19 numbers spiralling. Well, I thought I’d break from the norm and, in keeping with my silver linings optimism, focus on something a little different this month: Intentionalism. Similar to minimalism, the journey a person takes typically starts with decluttering then going into minimalism, and then reaching intentionalism. That’s how I see it anyway. And each week this month, we will delve a little bit into the benefits of a life lived intentionally. This week, we’ll look at the journey and what it all looks like, so that the next posts featuring the benefits make a little more sense. Enjoy. Continue reading
It’s the first days of forever for me. One chapter has closed and another has begun. In the last 20 years, no journey out of Australia for me has been for less than two months (a couple of times), or less than a year or two (most times). I’ve reached a new chapter that sees me settled in Melbourne, no more travels except short holidays. Having a home of my own. Owning actual furniture. Forming habits and routines. Being normal not nomadic. Over the past year, during an almost one year sabbatical of travel, whether I was walking through Europe or riding a truck across Africa, I was listening to the podcast The Art of Decluttering, dreaming up what life would look like settled down. Envisioning my home, my future, and deciding on what podcasters Kirsty and Amy refer to as “visions”. Continue reading
Different people find and follow minimalism for different reasons. Some lose everything in a fire or burglary and have to start again with a reassessment of what they really need. Others leave their spouse and need to ponder what to part with, and what is necessary for moving on or starting again. Some are families that, in the daily grind and struggle to keep up with the Jones’s, find themselves accumulating too much and losing sight of the fun of parenting and family life. Finally there are the hoarders, who have emotional attachments to things, and minimalism is the breath of fresh air that flips the switch in their brains to start letting go.
That is the start of the journey. Maybe a friend said something or they heard about the Minimalists’ movie or podcast or they saw a quote on social media from Joshua Becker or Courtney Carver. However they hear about it, downsizing, intentional living, minimalism starts to make sense and the journey begins. Decluttering, although emotionally difficult to separate from things you’ve purchased or been given or earned, is a relatively simple task. Pick up object, decide to donate or dispose or sell, object leaves hands and home. Straightforward at least. But what about the journey ten years’ down the track? When the home is relatively emptier? What does minimalism look like then? How does one live intentionally in practice? Continue reading