Minimalism isn’t a new concept. In fact, it dates back hundreds of thousands of years, with the Tibetan Buddhists practicing some of the earliest forms of minimalism through asceticism or the practice of systematic deprivation in order to encourage greater insight and gratitude. This systematic deprivation in search of gratitude not only served their spiritual desires but also piloted the idea of intentional living with less. As time has passed, the practice has taken on new forms and meanings. Today, minimalism is something that spans art, architecture, environmentalism and more.
Minimalism has many definitions. For some, minimalism is an art and design form characterized by stark contrasts and straight edges. For others, it is a form of budgeting that keeps finances in check and curbs the constant urge to shop. It has even become a social media aesthetic, filling people’s feeds with neutral-toned capsule wardrobes that cost more than what I make in a year. And for some, it goes even deeper; it becomes a spiritual lifestyle focused on gratitude and a life lived with intention.
All of these definitions of minimalism have one thing in common: simplicity. No matter the definition, everyone understands that the “minimal” part of minimalism is essential. And that’s what matters. That is the key to how minimalism looks in your life. Whichever definition resonates with you, from the aesthetic to the spiritual, that is the definition that will help minimalism take root.
The more personal you make minimalism, the more you will learn. For me, minimalism is a way of living in search of deeper meaning and spiritual growth. Minimalism applies to every part of my day, from the food I eat to the clothes I wear, and the way I budget. I still choose to wear colorful clothes and I have more than one pair of shoes. The way that I define minimalism allows me to continuously learn and foster my passion for minimalism as a practice.
I challenge you to think about how you would define minimalism and then, how you can implement your definition—the one that resonates with you—into your everyday life.