Unexpected benefits of letting go

You gain more than you may think

Words by Kelly Foss

Living a minimalist lifestyle has helped me foster greater self-awareness, curiosity, acceptance, and a desire to lead by example.

As I manage the ongoing excess that comes into my life, I am reminded about what is most essential, including the people, things, and experiences that are most meaningful to me.

This ongoing process of letting go has helped me become more intentional with my time, energy, and attention and has inspired great reflection, a feeling of inner peace, and an urge to build deeper connections with others and grow.

Living with less has also made me more attentive to life’s external and internal distractions that attempt to detract from our lives. I am now able to eliminate as much external noise as possible and both manage and take away lessons from my internal monologues.

By owning fewer trinkets in my home and making time to rest my mind each day, I am able to increase my mental clarity and better manage the plausible interruptions or unhealthy emotions that may come my way.

This lifestyle has particularly given me the space to reclaim my focus, explore my curiosities, and develop my passions, which has given me a greater sense of purpose. And further, it’s helped me become more present with others and curious about everyone and everything.

It wasn’t until I adopted this lifestyle that I began to possess the natural uninhibited curiosity I had as a child. By letting go of the physical and mental excess in my life and through honing a daily practise of self-reflection, I’ve become more open to escaping my social bubbles and familiar experiences to explore new circles and unique activities.

Getting clear on what I need and how I want to spend my time has also inspired me to turn outwards. And it is through regular introspection that I have become more interested and open to hear and learn from others without judgement.

Listening to the stories and perspectives of others has made me more accepting of diverse ways of thinking and living and also challenged me to unlearn some of the social constructs that I had learned as a child that no longer serve me.

I believe that letting go of excess things and making space to work through life’s obstacles nurtures new knowledge, wisdom, and growth. I now welcome new challenges since I can learn from them—and those faced by others.

The time-back that I’ve gained from living with less has helped me learn from my peers and develop new interests in philosophy (stoicism), meditation, and literature as well as heightened my desire to connect with others.

Today, I appreciate moments of quietness and solitude and equally quality time with communities who inspire me and whom I wish to inspire in turn.

Speaking from my own experiences and those of others in my sphere, I’ve learned that the process of letting go can fuel lifelong learning and qualities of greatness, including courage, resilience, empathy, clear thinking, good judgement, and greater acceptance.

I should conclude that I like to call this lifestyle "perfectly imperfect." It requires constant maintenance, although I am certain that through managing a simpler, more intentional life, we can all reap a long list of benefits.

The utmost reward is a happier, more fulfilling, and purposeful place.

Kelly Foss

Kelly is passionate about minimalism, and she has made it her mission to inspire others to design simpler, more intentional lifestyles. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she hosts her podcast, Millennial Minimalists, with her best friend and co-host Lauren. When Kelly is not researching for her next podcast guest, she can be found directing a local fundraiser for charities, reading and writing, running, hitting a Barry’s Bootcamp class, playing tennis, or traveling.

Millennial Minimalists

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