Minimalism has been easy for me

My journey in a nutshell

Words by Justin Burger

Life circumstances led me to my true self. Divorce. Death. All within a six-month window. Divorce, after seventeen years, was like getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere. I could get around, but I was still lost. The death of my mom was like that network signal that allowed me to finally get the Uber app to work so I could catch a ride out of nowhere.

When mom died, it was the opposite of what a lot of people assume you go through. Of course, I was sad. Never depressed though. Her death got me to look at my life and what I was doing. I was still a bit lost. But I had ideas of who I was. I started going to the gym. Yep, that is me. I started taking my art seriously. Again, me. But I had a few missing pieces. I got into philosophy and started to look over my life to find where I needed to go.

I read The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts. A real game changer personally. It was a guidebook to help me through my anxiety and rediscover myself. This book introduced me to the simplicity of life. I started to look over the basic principles of me. I had found exercise. I had found art. What else was there? Hmmmm. I sure have a lot of clothes. Shirts, pants, shoes I never wear. I should go through my closet. Wow. Look at all these CDs and DVDs. When was the last time I watched Christopher Reeves in Superman? Wait. I don’t even own a DVD player. Wow. Why did I keep these unfinished Halloween decorations my kids started but never finished?

Well, I didn’t do anything about any of that stuff right away. There was this thing. I couldn’t remember what it was called. Started with an M. That thing where you live on nothing. Netflix read my mind. The algorithm suggested this minimalism documentary. You may have heard of it. Anyway, I watched it, and it was like the exact blueprint for the final thing I had been looking for. Minimalism!

That day I went through and completely cleared my closet of the stuff I had. Stuff. Just stuff. Stuff I had kept just because. I went from my closet to the kitchen to my living area to my kids room to my bathroom. Just purging all this stuff that had no value. Blankets, pillows, utensils, cups, bowls.

Minimalism was easy for me. I got rid of it all. I had zero attachments to any of it. I will forever be grateful though. Because it led me down a path that I did not expect.

Justin Burger

Justin Burger lives in Middle America. The one thing he is not minimalist about is his art, which you will see in stacks around his small apartment. Maybe one day he will sell some of it. When he is not painting, he is enjoying time with his kids and going to the gym. He tries to read more, so cut him some slack. He also enjoys the comfort found in nothingness and silence.


Our Book, Inside Minimalism Vol. 2

A collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. This book covers many topics such as slow and quiet living, meditative practices, curation, consumerism, and family. It is not a strict guide book or a rule book. Rather, it is a book we hope will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to take a slow and simplified approach to life.

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